Tuesday, September 10, 2013

HP Z Workstations and Displays..!

This past week I was in Manhattan New York City to take part in the HP Pre Launch. It was really cool to see all the latest HP offerings and enhancements to their whole new Z Workstations, Z Books, Z Displays...basically HP has a total solution now to maximize your workflow from mobile, workstation, and displays for every level whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro looking for the fastest most powerful hardware to get your work done in less time! We've never seen anything quite like this from HP. I love their new 'Z' branding...!

I also had the opportunity to get up close and personal  with the latest hardware from HP and it's nothing less than stunning, innovative, and always expanding on their strengths of reliable, solid, performing products. Over the past year or so I switched from Mac products to HP. The transition was surprising a lot smoother than most might think. A big reason is the fact that HP works so closely with the software and other vendors that goes right into their products like the Z Workstations. I've not dealt with downtime, or lots of issues because it's on a Windows platform. In fact Win7 Pro has been really reliable and solid. Also something that really to me matters is having a workstation that can actually house my hardware inside and with Thunderbolt coming in their latest products it's only going to get easier and easier I think for Mac users to seriously consider a switch like I did. The Z820 I run is so much more powerful and capable of a workstation than the MacPro that just couldn't keep up with the performance of my HP Z820. Apps like Adobe Creative Cloud just work better and faster. I just get more work done in less time-which has a big part to do with the ability to run more ram, more cores, not too mention a real thought out design keeps my HP Z820 running cool and quiet...gotta love it..!

Also should mention that my HP elitebook 8760w(now a bit of an older model)also is more efficient than my 17" Macbook Pro which I love(but really only use now for email and blogging). The ability to run multiple hard drives internally(without compromise)or even raid them, load it up with ram, fast processors, better i/o in my opinion(and thunderbolt coming in models released today is a very welcome addition for all in the media and entertainment industry), as well as the Dreamcolor screen is perfect for on set color feedback.

I also had the opportunity to speak with a number of media at the event. They were rather curious of my Mac to HP switch. On top of it all I took part in a technology panel(1 of 4 not including the presenter). The others and myself discussed latest trends in hardware and how we've been taking advantage of what HP has to offer up to this point and how it's changed the way we work...and will help others too become much more productive. I think it's important to actually take a close look and compare what's out I encourage you to read on about all the latest announcements officially launching today..!


Ryan Brown
Aka Filmguy

ps: I'll leave you with some pics from the event and the technology panel discussion I took part in as well as detailed specs of the latest HP Products..!

pss: Also here's a great article from @MobilizedDebra of Creative Cow who interviewed me in NYC!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

How To Build A DIY 4K Raid..!

As many of you may already know or should know...4K is here to stay! That's right...each year the past several we've been hearing and seeing more and more 4K buzz at big expos like CES and Nabshow especially. So far we've seen the 4K TV and Professional Monitors hit market each year but at a very high buy in price. Though more recently the hottest screen for the money is the the Seiki 4K going for around $1499(or less...I've seen them sell for as little as $1k on ebay). This has been one big issue with 4K still taking a long time to be embraced outside of the local Movie Theaters like Regal, AMC, or for me locally Cinetopia have all upgraded screens to 4K. This past Nabshow we also got another curve ball. Blackmagic Design introduced a 4K Cinema Camera to follow last years 2.5K for $3k camera. The exciting part is it's only $4K for 4K(you can learn more about it on my Blackmagic Booth vid). The other issue have been how do I play it out. Well more recently various companies are offering you options. Nvidia have several offering that will output 4K, Matrox as well with their 4K Mojito Card(also check out my booth vid for Matrox with Dan discussing their new 4K card), and again Blackmagic with their New DeckLink 4K Extreme so as you can see you have options!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Apple 2013 MacPro..!

So it's finally here...the new Apple MacPro..! Wow they've done it again...a total almost looks like a kitchen appliance. But all jokes aside it certainly boast some really interesting specs and concept..!

One thing I have to tip my hat to Apple is taking a new approach with their new MacPro. It's just like them to change the game once again.

I won't bore you with all the Specs...just here to offer some food for thought..!

link to apple macpro:

First off. What's the deal with ATI GPU. I know it's a constant back and forth between ATI and Nvidia. One year we are sold on Nvidia Cuda and the next it's all about ATI. Frankly I've felt that Nvidia has been the most dominant in recent years and the likely choice. ATI seems a bit distant and little to no information or very much talk about how well it's working for the Media and Entertainment industry. My guess is Apple is writing their code around these new GPUs. How that will effect the apps you use outside of Apple Pro Apps is something I guess we'll just have to wait to be able to start benchmarking it..!

On the topic of GPU. This all in one solution is actually pretty interesting. My first gripe is the GPUs though actually. I feel that the bare minimum these days it's 2. I'd love to see more like 4. So many apps, plugins, you name it is leaning on the GPUs. So why only one option. I feel like FCPX came on to change the game and it's yet to really move users over to apple. In fact many have moved away from Apple to Avid or Adobe. In fact I just attended the user group meeting with some of the folks at Adobe like Steve Forde(who also mentioned that Premiere Pro is now the #1 used NLE)and Paul President/CEO from Maxon. Adobe already utilizes the GPUs heavily(Maxon is looking into adding GPU but for now it's all CPUs). It seems more and more important these days and to make us choose just one is not the best idea in my opinion. If this was redone I'd love to have a box similar to this but housed my GPUs(or mobile ones that could just slide in and out and be updated over time, allowed me to update the ram(with off the shelf options). The lack of hard drives is fine because I'd just have my root drive/sdd(or card of ram)and an external box for my Raid. Remember hard drives take very little power but GPUs on the other hand...a ton..! And they just keep getting bigger, better, faster, cheaper. 

I think something many don't consider is how much it cost the manufacturer to adopt Thunderbolt..! I've overheard somewhere in the neighborhood of $50k. So what happens with TB v2.0? Is it an additional cost. Don't forget all the new money you'll need to spend on the new external hardware. I really never liked the idea of having to attach a host card and cubix expander for anywhere from $2-3k. Remember if your base machine already has internal expansion like my Z820 then that is just a cost I have to spend that I wouldn't normally have to. So consider even a $1k external expansion box to hold the cards that would typically just plug and play. Are you following me. So if everything is now an external option...that means just that. I have to buy a bunch of new hard drives, raids, i/o, Gpu boxes. So take that into consideration. Basic math can probably give you a ball park number on what this new MacPro might cost...then add all the additional Thunderbold v1 & now v2.

As far as all the other amazing specs. I dig it...bring it...we love the speed and convenience...but just looked how iPhone and iDevices changed the game. So much so it's has put us Media and Entertainment folks in my opinion on the back burner. My guess is this new box will be a welcome update...but there will be so many different ways to use it that v2 of this new design might need more updates to better suite all our needs. 

Again this is a totally new design and concept. I don't doubt many other manufactures will adopt similar cause just think about it. It really simplies the system. It's leaves all these 3rd party companies we must rely on now to build hopefully dependable expansion. Like anything this is all new. Time will only tell how it will all play out...will it completely change the game. Is apple doing us all a favor by doing a total redesign or are they opening up a can of worms..?!

All the i/o is great. I can see this lil box becoming the lil power house portable I could have runnin off battery power, generator etc...even edit out the back of my car. There will indeed be many possibilities. I look forward to seeing how many users attempt to hack this box to more suite their needs(if that is even possible...but trust me if it is they will:)!

For me this is not the machine for me..! I do think it's innovative and cute...but I'm still down for a true workstaion. Shoot my power supply could easily be the size of this whole box..! That is something to be desired. Will this thing get hot, will it be unstable, or is it the revolution in size vs. cooling and so on.

I also love to hear more products being made in the USA(from

Designed and Assembled in the USA..!

With the new Mac Pro, we’re assembling the entire product and machining several of its high-precision components in the United States. By leveraging the innovative power of industry-leading companies in Texas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, and over a dozen other states across America, we're able to build a product that's impeccably constructed and beautiful in every detail. In other words, exactly as it was envisioned by our designers and engineers in California.

I encourage your feedback and would love to here how you plan on using it..!

Thanks for reading..!

Ryanb. Aka Filmguy

 ps: noticed some people searching guess how much it will cost. off the top of my head I'd say in the neighborhood of $3500 and up based on config. if it's less certainly welcome but they are packing some pretty impressive specs to say the least...that will cost you..!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wacom NabShow 2013

Steven Smith of Wacom Technology Corporation gives us a detailed booth tour on the NabShow Floor 2013..! You're going to love what he has to show you..!

@Wacom @Nabshow 2013 from Ryanb. Aka: Filmguy on Vimeo.


The Cintiq family of interactive pen displays combines the advantages of an LCD monitor with the natural feel and superior performance of Wacom's patented, professional pen technology. When working on a Cintiq, you'll gain all the benefits of working digitally in a creative experience that replicates traditional media.

Cintiq interactive pen displays enable creative professionals to work naturally and intuitively using Wacom's pressure- and tilt-sensitive pen directly on the surface of a high-performance LCD display.
Cintiqs are designed to replicate the traditional experience of working with conventional tools such as pens, markers, brushes, canvas and paper, photographic exposure retouching tools, or sculpting tools and clay, while at the same time allowing users to work with all of the power and flexibility of advanced creative software applications.
Cintiq 24HD touch

Cintiq 24HD touch

Immerse yourself in the creative experience. Zoom, pan, rotate and navigate with intuitive multi-touch control while enjoying the natural feel of Wacom's professional pen technology.
more info
Cintiq 24HD

Cintiq 24HD

The Cintiq 24HD combines high-definition LCD performance with the ability to work with Wacom's most advanced pen technology directly on the surface of the screen.
more info
Cintiq 22HD

Cintiq 22HD

The Cintiq 22HD delivers all the benefits of Wacom's professional pen input capabilities in one of the most popular desktop sizes. Discover all of Wacom's proven productivity tools, a sleek design and a new high-definition display.
more info
Cintiq 22HD Touch

Cintiq 22HD touch

The Cintiq 22HD touch and its 21.5” full HD display feels like nothing less than a natural extension of your senses, offering a seamless on-screen creative experience to maximize your productivity.
more info
Cintiq 13HD

Cintiq 13HD

Wacom’s compact desktop pen display, the Cintiq 13HD delivers professional pen-on-screen performance in a slim, lightweight design. Ideal as a primary or secondary display, the Cintiq 13HD packs power.
more info


Intuos5 delivers a revolutionary new pen tablet experience, combining our finest pen capabilities with an intuitive multi-touch surface and new productivity features. It’s the ideal choice for professionals and anyone with a serious creative passion in photography, art or design.

Intuos5 Small

Intuos5 touch Small

The small Intuos5 touch is perfect for limited desktop areas or for anyone who wants a highly portable, professional-level tablet that fits comfortably in a laptop bag.
more info
Intuos5 Medium

Intuos5 touch Medium

The medium Intuos5 touch is the most popular and versatile choice among creative professionals. With 48.4 square inches of working area, this tablet provides ample workspace for most tablet users.
more info
Intuos5 Large

Intuos5 touch Large

The large Intuos5 is perfect for creative professionals who work in large format or who are trained to work from the shoulder or elbow. With 102.4 square inches of working area, this tablet provides a generous workspace.
more info
Intuos4 Extra Large

Intuos4 Extra Large

For tablet users who desire an expansive working surface, perfect for concept art or digital painting, Wacom offers the Intuos4 pen tablet. Intuos4 is a pen-only tablet with 218.4 square inches of working area, which provides an enormous workspace.
more info

Friday, May 3, 2013

AJA NabShow 2013

Tony Cacciarelli of Aja Video Systems gives us a breakdown of their hottest new products including 4K..!

@AJAVideo @NabShow 2013 from Ryanb. Aka: Filmguy on Vimeo.

Ki Pro Quad

4K/QuadHD/2K/HD Solid State Recorder

Ki Pro Quad enable a manageable 4K/Quad HD/2K/HD workflow with the efficiencies of Apple ProRes and the flexibility of RAW data in a compact, solid state recording and playback package that easily mounts directly on a variety of cameras.

Only $3,995 US MSRP*

* Pricing is for US only. International pricing will vary.
Please contact a local AJA Reseller for pricing details.
Ki Pro Quad

Overview Features Tech Specs Options Support

Manageable 4K

Utilize the power of Apple ProRes to work in high-quality 4K without the need for a supercomputer.

Learn more

HD now, 4K when you need it

Ki Pro Quad supports 4K, Quad HD, 2K and HD resolutions at 4:2:2 and 4:4:4, giving you the flexibility to use one device now and into the future.

Learn more


Ki Pro Quad is the hub of 4K production with real-time debayering of RAW data as well as simultaneous HD and 4K monitoring.

Learn more


Getting into 4K doesn't have to be expensive. Ki Pro Quad offers functionality not found in recorders of ANY price.

Learn more




AJA's ROI Mini-Converter allows exceptionally high quality conversion of computer DVI and HDMI outputs to baseband video over SDI at an affordable price and a very portable size. With incredible image scaling, extensive aspect ratio and frame rate conversion, and audio functionality ROI fulfills the growing need to properly incorporate computer signals into the video world without sacrificing budget or space.

Only $995 US MSRP*

* Pricing is for US only. International pricing will vary.
Please contact a local AJA Reseller for pricing details.

Overview Tech Specs Support

Region of Interest

The free MiniConfig application lets you interactively select a Region of Interest from the incoming DVI or HDMI signal and control how that region is scaled to the output resolution using AJA’s high quality scaling algorithms for the cleanest picture quality possible. Eliminate extra interface clutter and menu bars and extract only the portion of the image you want.


Take full control of aspect ratio and frame rate conversion with on-screen controls in the MiniConfig software that show you exactly what your source and output will look like and what formats are coming in and going out. Simple menu controls let you quickly choose the proper output for any situation.


ROI utilizes a DVI loop through, allowing it to be placed in-line so you still have a connection to an external DVI or HDMI monitor while extracting to SDI. The reference input ensures the SDI signal out of ROI is locked for use throughout a production or facility.


ROI accepts 2-channel audio from the 3.5mm analog audio input or embedded 8-channel audio from an HDMI input. The audio source and routing can be selected in the MiniConfig software and is embedded in the SDI output. This allows computer audio to be embedded within the SDI signal for easy, synchronized routing.


  • DVI to SDI conversion
  • Region of Interest scaling
  • DVI loop through
  • Audio embedding
  • Aspect ratio conversion
  • Genlock input
  • Configure via USB port and supplied MiniConfig software
  • Uses 5-18VDC power (universal power supply included)
  • 5-year warranty




AJA's Hi5-4K Mini-Converter provides a simple monitoring connection from professional 4K devices using 4 SDI outputs to new displays with 4K-capable 1.4a HDMI inputs. Hi5-4K is a single, highly-portable device that allows more affordable monitoring solutions in professional workflows.

Only $595 US MSRP*

* Pricing is for US only. International pricing will vary.
Please contact a local AJA Reseller for pricing details.

Overview Tech Specs Support


The latest generation of 4K monitors utilize the new HDMI 1.4a connection, which allows a full 4K signal to be passed over a single cable. Typical professional 4K workflows use four SDI cables to carry the full resolution image, making it difficult to incorporate the newer monitors. Hi5-4K is an easy-to-use converter that bridges the gap between these two worlds.


Up to 8-channels of embedded audio in the incoming SDI signal are carried through seamlessly into the HDMI 1.4a output, ensuring your audio is always in sync and can be easily played back on the connected monitor.

4K and UltraHD

Typical 4K signals use a resolution of 4096x2160 pixels while UltraHD signals measure 3840x2160. This difference can prevent some monitors from being used either in full 4K workflows or in UltraHD workflows. Hi5-4K can compensate for these resolution differences, allowing UltraHD monitors to be used in 4K productions and vice versa.

HD Support

Not every job is a 4K job. When you're not working in 4K, Hi5-4K can still be a useful tool for converting HD-SDI to HDMI. A single HD-SDI signal coming into the Hi5-4K will be sent out as an HD resolution HDMI signal, much like AJA's Hi5-3G Mini-Converter.


  • 4 3G-SDI inputs
  • HDMI 1.4 output
  • HD conversion supported
  • Embedded audio support
  • Configure via USB port and supplied MiniConfig software
  • Uses 5-20V power (universal power supply included)
  • 5-year warranty

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rampant Design NabShow 2013

Founder and CEO Sean Mullen of Rampant Design Tools gives us a quick breakdown of their Amazing Products for the Professional Video Editor..!

@RampantDesign Tools NabShow 2013 from Ryanb. Aka: Filmguy on Vimeo.



“Hey Sean, can you make me something that…” was generally how the conversations started. On the other end of the phone, professional editor and producer friends looking for that something “extra” to make their current edits pop. After years as an award winning visual effects artist for the big & small screen, Sean Mullen (IMDB him!) decided… there has to be a better way. Rampant is that better way.


At Rampant, it’s not what we do… it’s what YOU do. Our products are created with you and your production in mind! Rampant’s exclusive drag, drop & go design makes giving a Hollywood edge to any production beyond simple! With the highest resolution video elements in the industry, our stock content helps create the perfect look for artists and editors of all skill levels.


Stock elements, after effects templates, royalty free music and sound effects, stock photos & textures, vector imagery, free software, product training and… well, what else do you need? Seriously, tell us!


What makes Rampant different is that we’re not some huge, faceless corporate entity. In fact, we’re really more of a “mom & pop” operation. But don’t let that fool you… we are anything but old-fashioned! Rampant is a small group of working artists and award winning industry professionals who understand the needs of today’s editor. From TV to film to web content, our products make your productions awesome! The other thing that sets us apart from our competition is our pricing and availability. With prices to fit ANY budget and immediate downloads available, you can buy it today and drop it in your timeline… today!


Just turn on your TV and you can see our content being used everywhere! From on-air promotion for network series to the series themselves, our elements give every production a polished, professional edge! Our ever growing client list includes NBC, CBS, VH1, Technicolor, MTV, ABC and Disney just to name a few.

ATTO Technologies NabShow 2013

Wayne Arvidson of ATTO Technologies, Inc. gives us a brief history over the past 25 years bringing quality products to the Media & Ent. industry and also highlights some of their hottest products being shown at NabShow 2013..!

#ATTO @ATTOTechnology @Nabshow 2013 from Ryanb. Aka: Filmguy on Vimeo.

“This NAB, we are excited to illustrate how ATTO’s 25 years of innovation has made us the leader in powering every facet of high-performance audio and video workflows,” said Wayne Arvidson, vice president of marketing at ATTO Technology, Inc. “We are proud to display our latest advances in our booth, but a true testament of ATTO’s industry leadership can be seen in over 60 booths throughout the show floor. These presentations, coupled with our extensive partner network, are a perfect example why content creators in the media and entertainment industry consistently rely on ATTO to produce high-performance solutions.”

The ATTO FastStreamTM is the industry’s first 16Gb/s RAID Storage Controller and is an ideal
choice for customers needing a low-cost, shared storage infrastructure without a complex system.
It allows users to edit up to six streams of uncompressed HD video or three streams of 4k RAW.
The FastStream offers pay-as-you-grow flexibility as storage requirements expand by allowing
access to multiple JBODs of RAID protected storage.

ATTO’s 16Gb/s and 8Gb/s Fibre Channel family represents the industry’s first complete SAN
connectivity solution made up of HBAs, RAID Controllers and Switches. It includes the industry’s
only quad-port HBA that allows data transfers of over 6,000 MB/s, a superior choice for streaming
media applications. ATTO’s latest 16Gb/s Fibre Channel solutions provide double the
performance of 8Gb systems while preserving existing storage infrastructure investment.

ThunderLinkTM and ThunderStreamTM Desklink™ products provide high-performance storage and
network connectivity for Thunderbolt™-enabled devices. They allow powerful new portable devices
such as all-in-ones, Ultrabooks and laptops to connect to external 6Gb SAS/SATA storage, 8Gb
Fibre Channel and 10Gb Ethernet networks for on location, on-set or in-suite editing and
management of data. ThunderStream adds RAID protection to SAS or SATA storage and both
solutions now support Windows® 8.

ATTO’s ExpressSAS/SATA 12Gb/s and 6Gb/s solutions are engineered to specifically meet the
needs of direct attached storage found in high-performance media and entertainment workflows.
Representing the latest advances in SAS technology, ATTO’s new 12Gb/s HBAs achieve up to
8,000 MB/s to enhance the performance of streaming media applications today while being ready
next generation platforms and infrastructures. In addition, this demonstration features another
breakthrough in storage availability and performance, ATTO’s Adaptive Path Optimization (APO)
feature. APO improves RAID group reliability by eliminating single points of failure and
automatically tunes connection pathways to deliver predictable performance and uninterrupted
workflows via a single cable.

ATTO FastFrame™ NICs and CNAs offer a complete portfolio of 10GbE connectivity aggressively tuned for audio and video workflows that outperform competitive products by up to 25 percent. Quad-, dual-, and single-port CNAs and SFP+ NICs all include high-quality SFPs, and may also be used with Direct Attach Copper cabling. Single- and dual-port 10GBASE-T cards are built on the industry's first single-chip, low-power 10GBASE-T controller by Intel. All FastFrame adapters include iSCSI support and have drivers for Windows® servers and workstations, multiple Linux distributions, and Mac® OS X.

ATTO’s Multipath Director™, the world’s only technology that allows direct connectivity to enterprise storage not just for servers, but also workstations. As the only universal SAN connectivity solution for Mac, Windows and Linux workstations and server environments, it increases productivity while protecting data through load-balancing and fail-over. Additionally, direct workstation connection to storage eliminates server latency resulting in improved real-time performance.

About ATTO Technology, Inc.:
Celebrating 25 years of industry leadership, ATTO Technology, Inc. is a global leader of storage and network connectivity and infrastructure solutions for data-intensive computing environments. ATTO provides a wide range of end-to-end solutions to help customers better store, manage and deliver their data. With a focus toward markets that require higher performance, ATTO manufactures host bus adapters, RAID adapters, network adapters, RAID storage controllers, ThunderboltTM-enabled DesklinkTM devices, bridges, switches and software. ATTO solutions are based on providing a high level of connectivity to all storage interfaces including Fibre Channel, SAS, SATA, iSCSI, 10GbE, FCoE and Thunderbolt. ATTO distributes its products worldwide through Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), systems integrators, value-added resellers, and authorized distributors.
Follow ATTO on Twitter
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All trademarks, trade names, service marks, and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

HP (Hewlett Packard) A/V, Workstations, and Display Solutions

Dan Bennett of HP gives us an Awesome Breakdown of the Z1 All In One Workstation..!

@HP #Z1 All In On Workstation from Ryanb. Aka: Filmguy on Vimeo.

HP Z1 Workstation

No compromises were made on the Z1 — it combines the capabilities of a workstation with the elegance of an all-in-one to meet the demanding visualization and computing needs of our customers.

Watch the HP Z1 Workstation product tour video
Z1 Product Tour
See the Z1 in action

Watch the HP all-in-one workstation product video
The Making Of
HP Z1 Workstation