Articles tagged with: UHD

Shared storage for Final Cut Pro X post teams from GB Labs and LumaForge

Wednesday, 06 May 2015

For many years post production teams have been able to access media on shared storage. GB Labs and LumaForge make products that can be tuned to work well with editors who use Final Cut Pro X.

GB Labs' Space

The GB Labs Space storage range is a NAS (Network Attached Storage) system. 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections mean that editors can work with footage and Final Cut Pro X libraries stored on shared storage.

With current connection speeds, the limiting factor for video data rates isn't the networking technology but the speed of the shared storage and storage controllers.

For two simultaneous users who need a fast direct connection to their storage, GB Labs sell a relatively portable product: the Midi Space SSD. It is designed to travel from place to place with a film crew. 

The Midi comes in the form of a Tower PC with two 10GbE connections with up to 13TB of storage with 2,000MB/s throughput.

GB Labs Midi Space SSD NAS device

The GB Labs Space SSD is less portable, but higher performance device with a througput from 3,000 to over 6,000MB/s. It is rack-mounted and serves multiple editors via an external switch: 

GB Labs Space device connected to editing workstations via a switch

GB Labs' workflow page for Final Cut Pro X.

In response to a Twitter question from Sam Johnson:

LumaForge's LumaShare

LumaForge recently introduced their LumaShare Mobile family. It is a portable (as in a luggable single tower PC-sized device) system that supports up to 12 4K users using direct 10GbE connections. Adding an external switch supports more users.

Their 4 minute demo on Vimeo shows how many streams of 4K can ber served from a single LumaShare box:

Because of the way Final Cut Pro X can work with files, the same 16 4K files can be simultaneously streamed to multiple editors on the same network via their own Final Cut libraries (which are also stored on the server).

Later that same day at the April 2015 meeting of the LACPUG:

For speed and storage specifications for the LumaShare family along with prices, visit LumaForge.

As well as GB Labs or LumaForges devices for each workgroup, each Mac needs a 10 Gigabit Ethernet connection. Modern Macs get this using Thunderbolt adapters - such as those from Promise, Atto and Sonnet

Almost plug and play

The new economic model for post production support means that the market will need medium to high-end solutions that are almost plug and play. There isn't much margin in selling Macs and video editing software. The new generation are becoming accustomed to doing without service contracts - supporting themselves instead. LumaForge say that they tune each LumaShare they sell to match the specific needs of the workgroup - including the way Final Cut Pro X libraries work on NFS shares. GB Labs have partners in Europe and the US.

Products like GB Labs Space and LumaForge LumaShare are designed to be set up by assistant editors and DITs. If both companies provide enough online training and support, collaborative workflows for many artists working with large amounts of high resolution footage will be accessible to many more people.

Up until now, obscure user interfaces have been a sign of 'high-end professional' products, but as products move 'down market,' UI quality will become more important than features. Once products provide good enough hardware and software to get the job done at similar proces, it will be the system that is easier to set up and maintain that will win.

Review: MoviePro 3K video camera app for iPhone 6 Plus

Monday, 27 October 2014

MoviePro has been available on the iTunes App Store for a long time, but it has been updated to take advantage of the faster processors and better camera processing in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The headline news is that MoviePro can record at 3K at up to 30 frames per second on the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. 3K is 3072x1728 pixels per frame. 

This 4K video on YouTube shows how much bigger 3K is than HD and shows the quality of the recording. The quality isn't limited by the camera, but by YouTube:

When viewing this full-screen, make sure YouTube is playing the 4K version by choosing '2160p 4K' from the cog pop-up menu.

There is also the problem of not having a big enough screen to show the video on. Here is the same video with the centre HD area cut out. It shows the quality, and also shows how much you can zoom 3K video in an HD frame without losing any quality.

If you want to download the source 4,587,894,223 byte 3840x2160 ProResLT file, it will be available for a month here (or until HighTail turns off the unlimited downloads/bandwidth setting for the file).

Here is a partial list of resolutions MoviePro can record in: 320x240, 1024x768, 1600x900, 2560x1920 (4:3), 2560x1440, 1920x872 (2.20:1), 1920x698 (2.75:1)

As well as high spatial resolution, MoviePro can also record in a large range of framerates: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.. in single frame increments to 23, 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60, 96, 100, 120, 192, 200 and 240 frames per second. 1080p can be recorded at up to 60 fps. 240fps at 1280x720.

Pro features

As this app has been around for a while, there have been many improvements over the months to support professional use:

High data rates

For 3072x1728 25fps footage, the H.264 file has a data rate of 120-130 megabits per second. That's up to 681K per frame. If you encoded a QuickTime movie using Photo Jpeg with a quality set to 'Low' (25), its data rate would be around 640K per frame. If you record at 30 frames per second, the data rate isn't higher, so you get lower quality frames.

If you record 3072x1728 at 2 frames per second, the data rate goes down to around 25 Mbps. That results in very high quality frames.

The data rates fall quickly for lower resolution videos: 3000x1688 movies are recorded at around 115 Mbps, 2560x1440 at 85 Mbps, 1920x1080 at 45 Mbps.

The data rate cannot be set directly - 'Video Quality' is defined as a percentage of the quality the iPhone would normally record:

mp3.5 presets

Sound

As well as having a on-screen sound meter, there is also an on-screen control for input record level. Using a splitter cable you can monitor with headphones while a separate microphone records the scene. You can also use a bluetooth connect microphone.

You can also control how audio is recorded: choosing between none, low, medium, normal (?) and uncompressed:

mp3.5 audio

It seems the data rate for Low, Medium and Normal have the same result: 64 Kbps 44.1 kHz AAC. Uncompressed is 710 Kbps 44.1 kHz uncompressed. There are no sample size or frequency controls.

Interesting

You can group settings into five presets which you can swap between with a tap. Pressing the 'Star' control near the record button brings up the presets:

mp3.5 presetsoverlay

As you can see, some of the preset descriptions are shown in type that is too large to fully show in the overlay.

Other settings not built into presets include:

  • Orientation
  • Which built-in microphone to use (Bottom / Front Top / Back)
  • Zoom - choosing either a slider for direct zooming, or a +/- buttons and a zoom speed control
  • Whether the Volume + button can trigger recording or not (useful for external microphones and headsets)
  • Guides - One kind of guide: Dividing the screen into thirds
  • Recording time - As well as the usual unlimited recording, set recording time for values between 5 seconds and 2 hours
  • Spy Mode - The option to blank the screen when recording
  • On-screen Audio Metering
  • Video Stabilization

A nice touch for left-handed operators is that the UI reconfigures if you hold your device up the other way.

Right-handed UI:

mp3.5 UIRight

Left-handed UI:

mp3.5 UILeft

By default, MoviePro will auto focus, auto expose and auto white balance while recording. By tapping on the screen you can set the point that the software uses for focus and exposure. Dragging from the point you've tapped allows you to have separate focus and exposure points:

mp3.5 focus-exposure-point

You can also turn on the device flash and use it as a light, use a timer delay before recording and also pause recording while filming with creating a separate QuickTime file

Instead of sending footage to the camera roll, you can keep them in the app library, which has a browser that provides useful information - and gives access to a video editor:

mp3.5 library 

3K in Final Cut Pro X

When you create a new project in Final Cut and set it to set the resolution based on the first clip added to the timeline, you get the following message:

3k-not2k

If you switch the Format pop-up to 'Custom' Final Cut will set the project to the correct dimensions:

3k-3k

Bear in mind

There are a few areas where MoviePro could do with some improvement.

The first is frame rate control: Even though you might choose a specific frame rate, the frame rate recorded often isn't exactly correct: If set to record at 25 frames per second, the resulting movie is usually 25.035 fps, but sometimes 25.034 fps or 25.025 fps. The metadata in the file means that editing software like Final Cut Pro X reads the frame rate as 25 fps, but QuickTime Player 7 and Mpeg Streamclip determine that the frame rates I've listed. Here are the frame rates of other movies I've recorded: 24.024 fps (not 24), 23.029 fps (not 23), 20.025 (not 20), 120.2 fps, 200.557 fps, 239.634 fps (but sometimes exactly 240 fps).

There is a note from the developer stating that if you can do without higher resolutions and data rates, the recorded frames per second are more likely to match the setting, but that setting didn't improve the accuracy for me.

This is probably a side effect of the software framework MoviePro uses - the iPhone prioritises quality over consistency. MoviePro needs a mode that records at exactly the frame rates required. This is needed if you want your iPhone or iPad to synchronize with other devices recording at the same time - be they cameras recording other angles of moments that might only happen once. If the high frame rate section is only going to be recorded using MoviePro is less of a problem - editing software will treat the 239.634 fps footage as if it is 240 fps and when you play it at the frame rate of your project, you'll get the slow motion you want.

Frame rate accuracy is also important when performers are working to music playback for sync slow motion for music videos. 

Talking of frame rates, professional movie makers need more specific frame rates: 23.976, 29.97 and their x2 and x3 multiples. To get better results, they also need shutter speed control. Footage shot at 25 fps is usually made from stills shot with a 1/50th second shutter speed (known as a shutter angle of 180° as it results in a shutter speed of twice the frame rate). That means footage shot at 2 fps should have a shutter speed of 1/4 of of a second.

As the data rate of 3072x1728 footage can be as high as 130 Mbps, it would be be great to have that same data rate available to lower resolutions (perhaps at higher frame rates). Recording as a Photo Jpeg medium (instead of H.264) 2560x1440 QuickTime movie would result in high quality footage with enough extra resolution for reframing and stabilzation.

Being extra picky, it would be good for the UI graphics to be scaled for the iPhone 6 Plus display, as some of the graphics is a little blocky if you take a closer look.

Conclusion

The fact that I'm asking for precise frame rate control, shutter angle control and audio encoding settings shows how professional this application already is. This application is great value. Buy it now and it will help your iPhone become a secret weapon on your next professional shoot.

MoviePro costs £2.99 and is available from the iTunes Store.

iMovie for OS X Yosemite: Final Cut Pro X for Yosemite clues

Thursday, 16 October 2014

As iMovie for OS X Mavericks is a full version of Final Cut Pro X with a consumer UI, the new version of iMovie for OS X Yosemite is relevant to those waiting for the next version of Final Cut.

iMovie for for OS X Yosemite (version 10.0.6) has a new user interface.

The old 10.0.0.5 UI:

iMovieMav

The new 10.0.6 UI:

iMovieYos

The old adjust controls:

iMovieMavAdj

The new adjust controls:

iMovieYosAdj

 

10.0.6 new features

  • Updated look for OS X Yosemite
  • New file export options including Custom H.264, ProRes and Audio Only
  • Share any video frame as an image
  • Email HD video with Mail Drop when signed into iCloud
  • Select a portion of a clip in the timeline by dragging across the bottom of a clip
  • Adjustments bar is always open for easy access to audio and video tools

For developers using iMovie to create app previews on the App Store:

  • Support for iPhone and iPad screen recording videos captured with QuickTime Player
  • 11 animated titles designed to showcase apps in action
  • Share option to easily export for the App Store

Version 10.0.6 will on run on any version of OS X before OS X Yosemite.

A short Apple developer document explaining how to use iMovie to create app previews. Ripple Training also have a video which shows the process, including iMovie's 'App Preview' mode.

As iMovie 10.0.6 requires OS X Yosemite, iMovie 10.0.5 is available for those who haven't upgraded. This means both online help systems are still available:

iMovie 10.0.5 help.

iMovie 10.0.6 help.

 

Although there are some new features to iMovie, the majority of the changes between 10.0.5 and 10.0.6 refresh the UI for OS X Yosemite. Not all the UI has been updated however. The Import Media dialogue box hasn't been updated (apart from its title bar):

importmediaMav

An unmentioned 10.0.6 improvement was first seen in Final Cut Pro X: the option to hide clips you've already imported.

New "App Preview" project type

Here are the icons for the 11 new animated titles designed to work for App previews:

APreview-Titles

Three have a yellow on-screen control for repositioning the title:

APreviewTitleOSC

These new titles are implemented as Motion 5.1.1 templates. The current version of Apple Motion is 5.1.2. The other Motion titles were created using an older version of Motion.

Export options

The new version of iMovie adds the ability to export the current project or clip as a ProRes (422) mov, H.264 .mp4 or audio only file (with a choice of AAC, MP3, AIFF or WAV formats).

As you drag on the custom H.264 quality slider, whose range is between 2 and 16 Mbps for 720p footage… 

export-custom

the estimated file size is updated:

export-custom-size

A feature that would be useful in Final Cut Pro X. You can also choose to export at lower resolutions using the pop-up: Options are 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, 960 x 540 and 854 x 480. The custom data rate range changes based on the resolution of the export.

If you are working in an App Preview project, a new App Preview share destination appears - H.264 mp4 with AAC Audio.

If you have imported 4K footage, you can export it (or a selected range of it) at full resolution in ProRes .mov or H.264 .mp4:

4k-clip-export

Remote control apps are dead, long live remote control

The iOS 8 - OS X Yosemite combination means that Apple will discontinue specialised remote control iOS applications. To replace them full iOS equivalent applications will be able to control their OS X counterparts.

Here's how this works with Keynote. Keynote on iOS can control Keynote presentations running on nearby OS X Yosemite Macs.

You first pair your iOS device with the Mac using a preference: 

Kpair-pref

Once linked you tap the 'iOS play' icon:

kphonestart

The presentation doesn't have to be in slideshow mode on the Mac:

k-before-control

Once the iOS device finds the Keynote app running on the Mac:

kphoneready

As each slide comes up in the presentation on the Mac, it appears on the iOS device. As well as going to previous and next slides, the iOS device can use a range of colours to mark up slides on the Mac screen. Sketching done on the iOS device:

kphonemarkingup

…appears on the Mac:

k-marked-up

This is the kind of two-way communication that would be very useful for iMovie and Final Cut Pro X users. Up until now, most remote control iOS apps have controlled Mac applications by simulating keypresses. Now useful information could be passed from the application running on the Mac to the iOS app. For example, the Mac could be displaying a project so that it fills the screen while the iOS app shows an inspector for the current clip.

Final Cut Pro X inside iMovie 10.0.6

It looks like the Final Cut parts of iMovie were created in August. There are no obvious hints about future X features hidden in iMovie. As before, a large proportion of iMovie's almost 3GB bulk are made of frameworks used in Final Cut Pro X. 

What does this mean? That the features for iMovie 10.0.6 were frozen by August; the weeks since then were used to fix bugs in iMovie for OS X Yosemite compatibility (and perhaps bugs in Yosemite for iMovie compatibility).

Skinning iMovie 10.0.7 (i.e. Final Cut Pro X 10.2)?

Classic Apple user interface design avoids Modes - states where only some tools, menu commands and user interface elements are available and when the effects of some tools change. It is interesting that with iMovie 10.0.6 Apple have added a third mode. As well as video editing and trailer making, the App Preview project type acts as a mode - changing which titles are available and making sure the resulting movie is the correct size.

It would be interesting if Apple added more project types. Two examples 'Media Logging' project and 'Producer Feedback' project. In fact, if Apple could add types of project, they could make the application skinning/project type mechanism available to third parties. Useful if you wanted to create a 'BBC News' project type, or a 'Real Estate' project type. As iMovie is the Final Cut Pro X underpinnings with a consumer friendly skin, perhaps these custom versions of iMovie could include a few features from Final Cut. Useful for large enterprise deployments of 'iMovie Pro X.'

UHD: Logo and minimum specification

Tuesday, 09 September 2014

Digital Europe have announced a logo and minimum specification for UHD:

UHD-logo-Alex4D-black-on-t

UHD-logo-Alex4D-white-on-black

UHD-logo-Alex4D-white-on-transparent

The display device accepts UHD input via HDMI [2.0 according to appendix]

It shall support HDCP 2.2 Copy Protection

  • a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • at frame rates 24p / 25p / 30p / 50p / 60p
  • with a minimum supported bit depth of 8 Bit
  • at a chroma sub-sampling rate of 4:2:0 for 50p/60p and 4:2:2 for 24p/25p/30p
  • with minimum supported colorimetry according to BT.709

PDF including specification and logo information.

 

 

UHD/4K and HDMI 2.0

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Many people are looking forward to devices that can send and receive HDMI 2.0 signals. Some manufacturers have said that their HDMI 1.4 hardware may be able to be upgraded to HDMI 2.0 using a software patch - the connectors and cables are the same.

When we do get computers, screens, cameras and recording devices that are compatible with HDMI 2.0, what are the limitations when it comes to the various flavours of UHD and 4K?

The HDMI.org FAQ has the answers:

Does HDMI 2.0 support BT.2020 (rec.2020) colorimetry?
Yes. HDMI 2.0 includes support for BT.2020 Colorimetry with 10 or more bits of color depth.
Video Formats defined in BT.2020 and supported by HDMI 2.0 specification:
– 2160p, 10/12 bits, 24/25/30Hz, RGB/4:2:2/4:4:4
– 2160p, 10/12 bits, 50/60Hz, 4:2:0/4:2:2

What are the 4K formats supported by HDMI 2.0?

4k-over-hdmi2

So if you need the best quality 4K high frame rate monitoring, HDMI 2.0 won't be enough. It also means that higher frequency 4K monitors will need to drop some colour fidelity in UI mode (when using the monitor as an additional screen with NLE UIs) in contrast with playback mode.

Find out more in the HDMI FAQ

 

Televisual Production Technology Survey 2014: Editing Software

Thursday, 21 August 2014

As part of a survey of '100 senior production staff' Televisual asked about what post-production software they use.

Televisiual2014

 

Great news for Avid.

Who will step up?

Although this looks like bad news for Final Cut Pro X fans, I'm surprised it is used by ten of those surveyed. 

…the FCPX upgrade which alienated many users. “We always edited FCP until Apple produced a useless upgrade version,” says one indie head of production.  Respondents score FCPX poorly in terms of workflow, support and feature set – but highly in terms of price.

If post companies find X is too limited 'in terms of workflow, support and feature set', then fewer companies will being using it next year.

Would higher usage amongst this group of 100 companies result in bigger sales to the many professionals who would find Final Cut Pro X useful? If X gets more high-end features that would be a sign the business of these 100 execs matters to Apple.

It also falls to third parties to provide better workflow consultancy and support options - if they still think there's a large enough potential market for Final Cut.

If you think what they said is relevant to your buying choices, go to the Televisual site to see what the 100 said about compositing, grading, 4K and cameras

Thanks to the MotionVFX mBlog for pointing me in the direction of this survey.

 

Final Cut Pro X: Compositing 64+ layers in real time

Friday, 01 August 2014

Here's a new video from Gyro (tweeted by @sundsvein) featuring an edit on a Mac Pro using 64 layers of video - each of which was at least HD resolution.

One 14 second sequence had 2,400+ 1080p clips.

The reason we went for Final Cut Pro X as our main (and only) software is because it was bar far the only software that could handle 64+ layers with relative ease, and the way it works with the hardware is crazy

chess-olympiad

Shows that Final Cut Pro X in combination with a Mac Pro can do real-time compositions that would be hard to do using other systems.

 

 

There‘s more to UHD than pixels: BBC R&D on HDR video

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Most people associate UHD with 4K - four times as many pixels. A more important aspect is a higher range of colour and brightness - High Dynamic Range Video. Recently BBC R&D took part in the European UHD standards workshop:

Currently in stills photography, due to limitations in print and screen technologies, it is usual to utlilse a "tone-mapping" algorithm to create a lower dynamic range representation of an HDR image suitable for printing or viewing on a PC screen. These tone-mapping algorithms can lead to severe distortion and poor representation of natural scenes. For HDR video, the intent is to utilise a high brightness, high contrast ratio screen to show the HDR content, reducing the need for tone-mapping.

Their belief is that further work is required amongst the various standards groups to:

identify a suitable peak brightness and suitable dynamic range to maximise the increase in subjective quality without causing physical discomfort or requiring long adaptation periods,

identify which proposal is best suited to television including live production with mixes, fades and Digital Video Effects (DVE) image shifts, and

write a final end-to-end specification for the delivery of HDR video

 

UK HD TV: Interlace not dead yet

Wednesday, 09 July 2014

From October 1 2014, nearly all UK broadcasters will only accept TV programmes as files - tapes will not be allowed. To help independent TV production companies prepare for 'File Delivery Day,' the UK Digital Production Partnership have agreed on standards for everyone to follow.

The Digital Production Partnership is "funded and led by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 with representation from Sky, Channel 5, S4/C, UKTV and BT Sport to help producers and broadcasters maximise the potential of digital production."

As well as a guide for producers, there is a full technical specification for post production workflow as well as a minimum metadata set.

An important aspect of the technical standard is for those who like to use animated graphics, transitions, titles and credits scrollers: they must be rendered as interlaced. Even if all the video in a programme is 25 frames per second progressive…

moving graphics and effects […] must be generated and added as interlaced to prevent unacceptable judder.

rules

 

To see YouTube attempt to show the interlaced fields, use the settings control (the cog) to choose 1080p (HD) and then click the full screen button in the bottom-right corner of the player.

In Final Cut Pro X, make sure your projects are 1080i25 and to check that graphics and transitions are properly interlaced, use the 'Show Both Fields' option in the Viewer's pop-up menu.

Project-properties

Show-both-fields-blog

The UK TV file format specification:

Each high definition programme must be delivered as a single MXF OP1a file which conforms to the AMWA specification AS-11 v1.1. The AS-11 file must use the ‘UK DPP shim specifications’ that describe exactly how the file must be constructed to meet DPP requirements

Final Cut Pro X users will have to turn to third parties to handle the video encoding and required metadata. Currently the only product that is available is Hamburg Media's AS-11 Suite

The rest of the specifications (including the standard allocation of 16 audio tracks), read the Digital Production Partnership Technical Delievery Standards document.

 

The demo video features footage from EditStock, a website that hosts rushes from short films you can use to practice the craft of editing, and my free Leaves title plugin for Final Cut Pro X.

 

 

Late 2013 MacBook Pros can run a 3840x2160 display at 60Hz - But there's a catch…

Monday, 02 December 2013

This month sees the launch of the new Mac Pro from Apple, which can support multiple 4K displays. Many Mac fans hope that Apple will also be launch 4K displays to go with the new computer.

Yesterday MacRumors reported that Dell are starting to promote a new 24" '4K' monitor. This is relevant news because Dell pricing is usually much keener than other suppliers, and Dell usually use the same display panel manufacturers as Apple.

Apple have already said that the new MacBook Pros with Retina can support a 3840 by 2160 display via their HDMI port at 30MHz. The question is whether their two Thunderbolt 2 ports can support large displays at higher refresh rates - which means smoother movement for animation and video with frame rates faster than 30 frames per second. Apple haven't publicised that the new MacBook Pro can run two 4K external monitors alongside it's 2880 by 1440 internal screen.

Dell's new display uses the DisplayPort 1.2 standard, which supports 60Hz refresh rates at 3840 by 2160 at a high bit depth. Thunderbolt connections have always been able to support monitors with an DisplayPort 1.0 interface. So far Apple haven't been clear about whether Thunderbolt 2 can handle the increased demands of DisplayPort 1.2. Will the MacBook Pro and new Mac Pro only work at high refresh rates with Apple Thunderbolt 2 displays?

A good sign can be found in a post by 'kogir' on the Apple's Support Discussions site:

Yes. The Macbook Pro Retina Display (Late 2013) works for me via the Thunderbolt 2 port @ 4K 60hz under Windows 8.1 with the ASUS PQ321Q.

The hardware support is there, and I fully expect OS X to get support in time for the Mac Pro launch.

My one worry is that it *is* a driver issue, and the Mac Pro has ATI graphics, so it's still not impossible that the Nvidia drivers for the MBPR never get support :/

So for now, the Thunderbolt 2 ports on the new MacBook Pro support a 3840 by 2160 display only if the MacBook is running Windows 8.1.

The good news is that higher refresh rate 4K displays from many suppliers are likely to work with the new Mac Pro and MacBook Pro with a driver update in OS X Mavericks - not limiting monitor options to new Apple Thunderbolt 2 displays.

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New MacBook Pros and MacPro: 4K at high refresh rates via DisplayPort?

Thursday, 07 November 2013

Many Mac users are hoping Apple release a 4K monitor. They want a Thunderbolt-equipped display that can handle resolutions at at least 3840 by 2160 at high refresh rates.

The graphics system on the new MacBook Pros seems like a good intermediate step: They can support 3840 by 2160 at 30Hz and 4096 by 2160 at 24Hz via the built-in HDMI connector.

Today saw the an announcement from Canon of their first 30" 4K display. The DP-3010 is a 16:10 reference display for use in high-end post production. It can display 4096 by 2560 10-bit pixels at up to 60 frames per second.

Although it has two 3G/HD-SDI connections and a DisplayPort connection, it doesn't have an HDMI connector. 

The HDMI standard was updated to version 2.0 in September, allowing for higher frame rates at higher resolutions, yet Canon didn't include HDMI. Sony's new Z100 4K camera has an HDMI connector that they plan to upgrade to version 2.0 using a firmware upgrade:

A future firmware upgrade is planned to provide compatibility with the new HDMI 2.0 standard and enable 4K 50fps/60fps output to a wider range of devices.

Up until now I've assumed that 4K at higher refresh rates on MacBook Pros and the new Mac Pro was a matter of waiting for an HDMI software upgrade. But, perhaps we don't have to wait.

There's a good chance that the display limitation MacBook Pros have is that of the connection used. HDMI 1.4 is limited to 24Hz at 4096 by 2160. What if a 4K was connected using the DisplayPort aspect of the Thunderbolt 2 connector?

The DisplayPort standard was last updated in 2009. The big change was to double the effective data rate to 17 Gb/s. It also added Apple's Mini DisplayPort connector design.

Thunderbolt connectors are based on the older Mini DisplayPort connector design. I'd like to see how well a new MacBook Pro connects to a 4K monitor with a DisplayPort connector. As Thunderbolt 2 cables can handle 20 Gb/s in two directions, there's a chance that they can handle the 21.6 Gb/s bandwidth required by by DisplayPort v1.2 (there is a 25% overhead for error correction).

There's a good chance the Mac will be able to drive the display at higher refresh rates: at 50 and 60 frames per second. The refresh rate limit isn't down to the graphics processing power of the Mac, but because of the connection used.

When you set the internal Retina display to be 'Scaled' to show 'More Space' the OS draws to an imaginary 3840 by 2400 pixel screen (double the perceived resolution of 1920 by 1200) and the GPU scales it down to the native 2880 by 1800 screen. The Iris Pro Graphics GPU can handle the high refresh rates expected on computer displays, so 50 or 60Hz might not be a problem

Has anyone tested a DisplayPort-equipped 4K monitor with a new MacBook Pro yet?

The combination of a fast DisplayPort connector plus an SSD that can read and write data at 1.1 GB/s makes me think these new MacBook Pros are a great testbed for making sure 4K works well on the new MacPro.

Mark Harrison, BBC: “We are taking 4K very seriously”

Monday, 04 November 2013

He says TV hardware manufacturers are

inviting consumers to consider seeing their television as less of a television and more as a primary display. It’s almost like the TV becoming the biggest and best computer screen in the house. Once you have accepted a ‘television’ is actually a display – and the discipline of television is separated from the device – it has subtle but profound implications for both consumer and producer.

More at IP & TV News.

4K might not be for you, but

Friday, 13 September 2013

Last week Sony announced two 4K cameras. Matt Davis asked me to contribute to a video he was making on the prosumer model: the PXW-Z100. As well as having my dainty fingers working in big close ups of the controls, he asked for my perspective as someone who designs videos and animations for motion graphics.

 

  • Categories UHD
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