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HP divesting PC business?

August 27, 2011 1 comment

HP is considering spinning off or selling the PC business.  Whoa….what does this mean to our Avid, Autodesk, Assimilate and Adobe users who count on HP to deliver high performance HP workstations?

My first take is good luck changing your business model.  That being said, every company needs a strategy and HP is making a distinct move away from the consumer and lower margin business’.  That said, we’re talking about a  $42 Billion top line business with $2 billion in profits, equaling 4.76 % net profit business.   My first take is, HP is passing up on an amazing opportunity to provide vendors with an integrated business to consumer workflow, well, not everyone can do Apple.

I had an opportunity to speak to the HP workstation team and get some insight about what this means moving forward for our clients who use HP products.  The good news is the Workstation team is almost giddy.  They believe carving out the PC business will allow them greater flexibility to design more products and not get caught up in HP’s divisions of server versus software and truly compete with more relevant solutions to complete high value workflows within the media industry.  They’ll be a  “nimble” and profitable Company.

So, HP warranties are safe, all products will be serviced by HP.  This transition could take up to eighteen months.  My one worry is the lack of development during this time as HP shifts resources to “higher margin” opportunities such as their recent acquisition of Autonomy.  Stay tuned, we’ll keep you updated.

http://www.keycodemedia.com/Avid/avid-nitris-dx.html

http://www.keycodemedia.com/products/adobe/creative-suite-5.html

http://www.keycodemedia.com/Finishing/D.I/assimilate-and-kcm.html

http://www.keycodemedia.com/AutoDesk/smoke.html

BlackMagic H.264 Pro Recorder client feedback

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Last week one of our clients came into Key Code Media Burbank to do some testing with the H.264 Pro Recorder from Black Magic.

“There’s a lot to like about this but some trade offs.  I like it’s the size of a turkey sandwich.  with low power, low heat, no noise.  great option for our application which would live at someone’s desk.

The real time h264 looked pretty good.  we noticed some compression glitches when capturing with the “native” profile.

No ability to customize an encoding profile and very limited options in a drop down.  the box does not make any changes to the geometry, cropping, interlacing, etc.   Also doesn’t allow any change in audio settings other than selection of the embedded channels to capture.   So if you feed it 1280×720 HD-SDI, you get a 1280×720 h264, if you feed it 720×480 SDI, you get 720×480 h264.

Definitely not a replacement for a fully featured capture/encoding platform but for certain singular uses like this one, might fit the bill nicely.”

Call us for more info, testing and pricing.   http://www.keycodemedia.com

Apple Final Cut Pro X and the ensuing land grab of Avid and Adobe

June 30, 2011 1 comment

Word….The Apple professional editorial universe has gone bonkers.  The best explanation I’ve heard from a friend/client is the Final Cut Pro change is like Microsoft changing Word and all old files are not compatible or integrate with any of the other Microsoft applications you use with Word.  As an Apple and Avid and Adobe partner, this is as disruptive as it gets.  Editors don’t like radical changes and FinalCut X’s innovations has freaked a lot of people out.

The editorial camps have been carved into three camps: Apple FinalCut (comprised of either younger editors or people who got totally fed up with Avid over the years), Avid users and a much smaller contingent (of people cutting beyond web and weddings) of Adobe CS5+ users.  Overall, Avid and Apple battled.  Apple, in my opinion, won the second tier markets and the tier one markets with the younger editorial crowd.  Heck, even Angus Wall won an emmy for The Social Network cutting on Final Cut.  Yes, Angus made his initial mark cutting music videos on the Avid MediaComposer, back in the day.  FinalCut became the cool product to cut on and for most people contracting editorial services, a lower priced rate.  My opinion is that the younger editors charged less per hour and that was the larger contributor to a lower rate.  Anyway, Apple announced the new X and discontinued FinalCut 7.

X is the future and 7 is yesterday, so move on, upgrade off the app store and move on.  What….you say you need to make EDLs.  They are yesterday or even the last millennium, so what if the studio where you cut trailers requires an EDL to create the matchback.  Studios are yesterday, it’s all about electronic distribution vehicles like Amazon and Itunes, they don’t require EDLs.  Where am I going here…well, a large contingent of FinalCut editorial houses are totally pissed.

My short term opinion is simple, don’t jump off any bridges, this as every change will work itself out.   Apple will either recognize that they should have named FCP X “ImoviePro” or rethink the disruptive product introduction and re-tool their strategy.  I’ve known the key product developers at Apple (even before they were at Apple), they are smart people and understand post production intimately.  If they want to make changes, they already know what needs to be done.  If Apple has defined the next growth market to be Imovie upgrades, well the professional FCP 7 users are SOL.  Round one of FCPX does not look good for legacy workflows, but there are cool new innovations, just not multi user workflows…yet.  That being said, I’m still unclear as to whether MediaComposer 5.5 will work on Lion, but hope to know by end of next week.

Editorial software is now cheaper than plug ins (or close) and having access to more than one workflow and software can help maximize the quality of projects and the productivity of editors.  Download free copies of Avid MediaComposer http://www.avid.com/mctrial  and try out Adobe CS5.5 (couldn’t find if their is a trial).  Minimize your risk and stay educated on options.  With new management, Avid has radically changed their approach towards users and the economics while Adobe will continue to innovate their editorial tools and in my opinion have the best video web solutions on the planet.

Editorial is being driven to commodity status, editors are creative people and creating differentiation is tough while maintaining rates in a tough economy.  The broader the set of deliverables you can provide, the greater your value.  Key Code Media will be having a major event and streaming it to get together top level editors to help sort out all the craziness.  Stay tuned, the trailer is in development and will be the most intense invite we’ve ever put together.  Mark late July for the event of X. Simultaneously in Seattle, Santa Monica, San Francisco and Burbank tied together by LifeSize HD teleconferencing and Newtek’s Tricaster 850 Extreme streaming the event.

That being said, Gary Greenfield and Kirk Arnold are coming to the epicenter of editorial world, Los Angeles,on July 13 to have some type of event and want to spread the word.  Me being the tool that I am, will help communicate this.

http://community.avid.com/blogs/avid/archive/2011/06/30/making-great-products-to-serve-professionals-is-our-lifeblood.aspx