NAB 2007 Report: Got HDTV?

May 3, 2007 5:02 PM, By the Mix Staff


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

HDTV is surely the longest-running overnight sensation in the history of broadcasting. Cries of "HD's here!" have been echoing through NAB's exhibit halls for more than a decade, but this time, the show's 100,000-plus attendees were very serious about gearing up for high-definition production and broadcast. Part of this stems from the February 2009 mandate when the FCC finally pulls the plug on analog TV and ushers in the new age of 100-percent DTV broadcasting. Another factor? Consumers seem willing to upgrade to 720p and 1080i/1080p systems, especially with prices falling on large, flat-panel LCD and plasma TVs—laying the groundwork for a substantial market of HD-hungry viewers.

The major broadcasters and content providers have been gearing up for this for years now, but the real revolution comes when the mid-market stations and producers get on board. Or as one observer put it, "Think about how many college football games are going to want to be in HD over the next three years."

The mood at NAB was decidedly upbeat; even the audio-dominated North Hall was packed. A popular item on everyone's 2007 shopping list was digital surround consoles, but in a buyer's market, the emphasis was more power, more inputs and more surround program outs—but in increasingly compact frames and at half the price, naturally.

Calrec ( unveiled Omega, a new mid-level console that uses its award-winning, FPGA-based Bluefin high-density signal processing technology and features 160 mono DSP paths packaged as 48 stereo and 64 mono channels, and up to 24 full 5.1 surround channels. Available in 24/40/56-frame sizes, Omega with Bluefin's output complement includes eight 5.1 surround groups; 20 aux outs and 48 multitrack outs. QVC purchased the first Omega for its new 48-foot truck.


Keeping with the theme, SSL ( renamed its C Series to C100 HD and C300 HD, doubling the inputs to 512, adding MORSE routing capabilities, updating Century processing and incorporating the workstation control from SSL's popular AWS series.

Derived from the System 5 Series, the Euphonix ( S5 Fusion digital console combines onboard DSP processing channels and extensive DAW control, with 24 channel strips and optional motor joysticks. Each channel strip has a multi-format moving fader, touch-sensitive knobs for EQ, filters, compressor, expander/gate, aux, pan and DAW plug-in control for TDM, VST and Audio Units. The high-res screens show metering, track info and routing display.

Harrison ( countered with the under-$150k Ikis-powered Trion. Over the past few months, the company has sold four in Germany and a few more in Taipei.

Studer ( unveiled an optional I/O card that brings onboard Dolby Digital and Dolby E decoding to its Vista and OnAir 3000 digital consoles.

Soundcraft's ( Vi4 console includes all the capabilities of its Vi6, but in a compact package. Less than five feet long, the Vi4 offers 48 inputs on 24 faders with a total of 27 output buses and inherits the Vi6's Vistonics II touchscreen interface and FaderGlow features.

Merging Technologies ( gave us a sneak peak of Pyramix 6—the first-ever, 48-channel DSD recording system. Merging also showed the new, sharp-looking Ramses controller with its Oasis I/O boxes that offer DSD and DXD recording with optional mic preamps in the box. It all speaks back to Pyramix via MADI.

Throughout NAB, you couldn't escape the "workflow" catchphrases: "server-based workflow," "integrated workflow," "paperless workflow," etc. It's not just better technology, it's easier. Avid, Apple, Adobe and Sony lead the way, as you’d expect, but there are plenty of other contenders in this area, from workstation manufacturers such as BIAS and MOTU to SSL with its MediaWAN.

Apple Computer's Soundtrack Pro 2

The big talk at NAB was the $1,299 Final Cut Pro Studio 2 production bundle from Apple ( Highlights include Final Cut Pro 6, which introduces Apple's ProRes 422 format for uncompressed HD quality at SD file sizes and Soundtrack Pro 2, a complete revamping of this audio editor/creator with new tools for multitrack editing, surround mixing and conforming sound to picture. STP2 also ships with 5,000 pro Foley and sound effects, some 1,000 surround SFX and multichannel music tracks, and 50 plug-ins—many in true surround, including the Space Designer convolution reverb.

Digidesign's ( Pro Tools Version 7.3 adds support for high-def video workflows, including a secondary time code ruler that displays HD frame rates, for viewing positions in both HD and SD timebases and nudge in half-frame increments. Also in 7.3 is the ability to tag AAF (Advanced Authoring Format) file exports with HD frame rates for compatibility with Avid video workstations. In other Pro Tools news, a Windows Vista version is coming this summer.

Also shipping this summer, BIAS' ( Peak Pro 6 editing/processing/mastering/delivery software features a redesign of the GUI, and enhancements to the playlist, including new crossfades and the ability to tweak volume envelopes. Other interesting features include Pitch Envelope, Convolve Envelope, Perpetual Looper and Vbox Link. Retail is $599.

NAB had no end of software apps designed to increase efficiency in the production and broadcast environments. Providing file-based workflows and project management for post facilities using Pro Tools, Virtual Katy's ( VK Connect bridges the gap between the sequence-oriented picture editing and session-structured audio post. The company also unveiled VK Version 2.5, an update of its popular software, now with expanded format support.

Dolby ( is now shipping its Dolby Media Producer suite of encode/decode/media tools. DMP supports all Dolby audio technologies for disc-based media formats, such as HD DVD and Blu-ray, as well as standard DVD-Video and DVD-Audio formats.

Minnetonka's ( Audio Tools Batch Pro offers an automated processing environment for many audio-related tasks, including editing, encoding, plug-in processing and processing through external I/O.

Read more of this article...

Fill in the form below and click Order Now! to get two years (24 issues) for just $35.97 - the regular price of one year. But HURRY - this offer won't last forever! (U.S. orders only please)

First Name: Last Name:
Address: City:
State: Zip:
This data will be sent directly to Mix Magazine  and will not be used for any other purposes.

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95



Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.