Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks

Blackmagic Rolls Out a New Range of Ultra HD Products

Posted by JenThorpe at 3:11 PM on April 13, 2014

Blackmagic Design logoBlackmagic Design brought a whole new range of Ultra HD products to NAB 2014. It includes converters, routers, DeckLink cards and much more. Here is a quick look at some of the new products from Blackmagic.

Blackmagic URSA Camera is the world’s first user upgradable 4K digital film camera. Its DOP station has a 10 inch fold out on set monitor and separate 5 inch screen for settings, camera status, and scopes. It includes an upgradable Super 35 4K image sensor with global shutter, 12G-SDI connections, XLR audio inputs with phantom power and dual Cfast based RAW and ProRes recorders.

DaVinci Resolve has had over 70 new editing features upgraded and added. This includes the dual monitor support, dynamic JKL trimming, audio crossfades, and a fully customizable keyboard for faster editing. The color correction features have been upgraded. Apple Final Cut Pro X is part of the enhanced editing features.

Blackmagic Studio Camera features a very large and bright 10 inch viewfinder, built in 4 hour battery, talkback, tally indicators, balanced XLR phantom powered microphone connections and built in optical fiber and SDI connections. There are two models of this camera to choose from: the Blackmagic Studio Camera (which is an HD model) and the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K.

Blackmagic Cintel Film Scanner supports real time scanning of both 35mm and 16mm negative and positive film and it diffuses the patented Cintel diffuse light source to reduce dust pickup. It features Thunderbolt 2, which allows you to plug it in and run the control software on a Mac.

The Blackmagic Mini Converters are upgrades that replace the old models. The new models are Mini Converter SDI to HDMI 4K, Mini Converter HDMI to SDI 4K, Mini Converter SDI to Analog 4K, and Mini Converter SDI Distribution 4K.

iRig Mic Cast Review

Posted by geeknews at 3:08 PM on April 13, 2014

irigmicastAfter reviewing the iRig Mic which includes a full sized microphone. I really did not know what to expect in Audio quality from the iRig Mic Cast for the iPhone/iPod/iPad & most Android Devices. But knowing what the IK Multimedia folks had accomplished with the iRig Mic my expectations where high.

I attend a lot of conferences where  like to record the speakers, the biggest challenge when recording with the iPhone is to eliminate background noise or actually for the recording to be loud enough to hear it on playback. So this is where I really wanted to see if the iRig iMic Cast can help out.`

The iRig Mic Cast comes with a stand & microphone. The Microphone has two settings Low and High you can also plug in a headset to the microphone to get real time monitoring.

I did a test recording with the iPhone then connected the iRig Mic Cast and repeated, the iRig sound quality was cleaner, and 2 to 3 times louder. I ran the mic on the high setting and would only likely go to the low setting during one to one interviews.

I did offset testing as well, where I was about 10-15 feet away from the rig and it picked my voice up fine. The mic records equally well on both sides of the mic. The included stand makes it easy to have it set on a desk or table and will come in handy during panel recordings.

This setup is perfect for conferences, training, and one on one interviews. In a interview situation I would hold the iPhone and position the mic appropriately. I have tested other similar mics for the iPhone, and it works as well as others I have reviewed. The $39.99 price point is perfect for a solution that you can literally carry around in your pocket.

iRig Mic / iRecorder Review

Posted by geeknews at 2:40 PM on April 13, 2014

irigOver the past 10 years I have reviewed over 50 microphones across all price points. So when Don Baine and I stumbled across the iRig® Mic for iPhone, iPad & compatible with most Android phones at CES I really wanted to put the microphone to the test..

The true beauty of this setup is that you can have a podcast studio that you carry around in your backpack for $59.99 be up and running in literally a minute or less.

The iRig Mic is the first condenser mic for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. While there are plenty of dynamic mics out there this mic raises the quality bar for mobile device recording. Personally I have never been able to get the vocal range out of dynamic mics. and have always used condenser mics in my studio.

I am quit critical when it comes to microphones, and I judge a microphones performance on isolation, sound quality, low noise and build quality.

  • Let’s start with isolation, like any condenser mic you have to understand that the mic is actively amplifying what comes into the mic so using this mic in a heavy noise area will result in background noise. But for the price point they have done a great job with isolation.
  • The sound quality was much better than I expected, and comes with 3 level gain settings with the best results mid-range. On the highest amplification setting the mic was susceptible to white noise, and in my testing you will want to stay away from the highest amplification setting.
  • Noise level: Every microphone has what I call a sweet spot in the distance your mouth  should be from the mic. This mic seemed in my testing to have a sweet spot of about three inches. They appear to have some foam or other material inside the mic capsule which will help if this mic is used outdoors to reduce noise that will be picked up with wind. It will be important for the person using the mic to do a test recording and find the best configuration for the mic in position and amplification settings.
  • Build quality the mic is solid, has good weight to it. The body and capsule of the mic appear to be made of aluminum and it has a smooth finish which is very nice to the touch. My only concern was the cable I would not swing this mic by the cable like some rockers do.

It is critical that you utilize the iOS iRig Recorder software for the real time monitoring, most other iOS recording apps will work but you will not get the real time monitoring.  The iRig Recorder software was very simple to use, and great for podcasters if you are going to want to have greater control over effects you will want to download the VocalLive app versus the iRig Recorder.  

I like the iRig recorder because its just simple to use, and perfect for spoken word. It has a mini editing package to trim the media file, and some processing tools to optimize the recording. You can optimize tone, cleanup, brighten voice, smooth voice and even tools to preview what the audio will sound like before you apply it. You can even apply a pitch shift which I thought was a nice touch.

The price point of $59.99 is really hard to beat for what you get with the package. Mic, Mic Holder for a mic stand, and cable with dual mini jack.

LiveU featured LU500, LiveU Central, and LU-Smart HD App at NAB

Posted by JenThorpe at 2:36 AM on April 13, 2014

LiveU logoLiveU is the leader in portable live video acquisition, contribution, and management solutions. LiveU featured three new products at NAB 2014. They are the LU500, LiveU Central, and the LU-Smart HD app.

LiveU Central is a cloud-based management system. It has been designed to be a one-stop destination through which you can control, monitor, and manage all of your LiveU units, servers, apps, and user profiles. You can access LiveU Central through any browser on any computer, tablet, or phone from anywhere in the world.

The LU-Smart HD app is a mobile app solution for video professionals. The app brings out LiveU’s bonded transmission technology to the iPhone or iPad. It combines Wi-Fi and cellular networks in order to reach optimal video quality. The LU-Smart HD app requires a “Smart-Activated” LiveU license including a LiveU receiving server.

The LU500 weighs only 2.2 pounds. It is small enough to fit inside a backpack and can also be camera-mounted. The LU500 offers excellent video transmission up to 14 network links including 6-8 internal modules with LiveU’s proprietary antenna technology. It can support LiveU batteries, Gold-Mount, or V-mount. More details are in the video below.

Ventuz and Blackmagic Presented 4K Graphics Solution at NAB

Posted by JenThorpe at 5:18 PM on April 11, 2014

Ventuz logoVentuz Technology is a company that makes a real-time graphics content creation, authorizing, and playout control software. Blackmagic Design is a manufacturer of creative video technology. The two have teamed up to create a new solution that can be used for 4K Ultra HD broadcasts.

Their solution was on display at NAB. It streams uncompressed 4K video from a HyperDeck Pro 4K SSD recorder or a 4K camera to the Ventuz real-time render engine via a DeckLink 4K Extreme capture and playout card. Ventuz layers channel branding graphics into the live video stream and immediately outputs it through the DeckLink 4K Extreme to a 4K display.

Together, they have created an affordable, off-the-shelf, streamlined solution for people who do on-air productions. The software/hardware integration enables live on-air broadcast graphics without pre-rendering.

GNC #940 What you need to know about HeartBleed!

Posted by geeknews at 9:55 PM on April 10, 2014

What you need to know about the HeartBleed SSL vulnerability sweeping the net and what you need to do as an Internet user. We give away the Amazon Fire TV to one of our Ohana!

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TGP #152 Cali Lewis Interview at NAB 2014

Posted by Gadget at 7:55 PM on April 10, 2014

Welcome to The Gadget Professor Show #152 hosted by Don Baine, produced by Mike Baine.

Just got back to Phoenix from NAB 2014. We have unpacked our gear and decided to run the interview I did with Cali Lewis, of

I had never met Cali and she was so very gracious to grant me an impromptu interview. I must tell you she is a very bright and energetic lady. She lights up the room with enthusiasm and it was a real pleasure to have the opportunity to chat with her. No question – she is at the top of her profession and a charming person to speak to.

Thank you Cali!

For the best in video streaming & rental equipment check out the new Livestream Studio HD51

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AccuWeather Introduced New StoryTeller App at NAB

Posted by JenThorpe at 4:19 PM on April 10, 2014

Storyteller by AccuweatherAccuWeather is the “go-to” website for when you want to know what the weather is like. At NAB, they introduced the new StoryTeller AlertID Crime App. It is powered by AlertID and allows newsrooms to access important data that they need in order to keep their audiences well informed.

The StoryTeller app lets newsrooms access data from communications between citizens, law enforcement, and both federal and state authorities. Use it to access national sex offender data and alerts and Amber Alerts issued by local law enforcement. It also will give information about missing adult alerts, national weather, earthquake, wildfire, and hazardous materials warnings and alerts.

The idea is that the StoryTeller app will help newsrooms quickly respond to the breaking crime news and to news about dangerous weather alerts. This, in turn, will help them to keep the public well informed. The information in the StoryTeller app is drawn from over 170 types of local crime-related data, covering more than 140 million people.

People can also use the StoryTeller app with social media. It interfaces with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. Soon, it will also connect with Vine. Newsrooms can use the social media function to sort through the information and pre-screen all posts for on-air use. AccuWeather was at booth SL-6819 at NAB 2014.

Robot Underpants: 04.09.14 (148)

Posted by Langley at 11:23 PM on April 9, 2014

Mat “Langley” Luschek, Eric Rice, and “Starman” Michael Gaines talk Star Wars, Captain America, Battlestar Galactica movies, NASA suits, Winnie the Vader, lights on Mars, Silicon Valley and more!

* Winnie the Pooh Vader
* Star Wars filming
* Battlestar Galactica Movie
* Light on Mars
* NASA New Suits
* Kate Mulgrew is the center of the universe
* RIP Ultimate Warrior
* San Francisco is the Worst Place Ever
* Comic Sans Neue

Fiilex Features Spectacular Lighting Kits at NAB

Posted by JenThorpe at 8:34 PM on April 9, 2014

Fiilex logoFiilex features two of their lighting kits at NAB 2014. They are the K302 Kit and the new K681 Kit. These professional lighting products have a little something extra for people whose work requires spectacular lighting solutions.

The K302 Lighting Kit has three P360EX lights with enhanced weather protection. The light has an IP-24 rating. It can handle high humidity, extreme cold, and downpours. The Fillex lights are two lights in one. They have color tunability between 3000-5600K.

It is one of their first lights to feature DMX control, which is made possible by the optional DMX Connection Box. One box lets you daisy chain all of your lights together and control them all through one panel. Or, you can use multiple boxes for individual control.

The K302 Lighting Kit includes three P360EX Lights with Barndoors, three AC/DC power adaptors, three Reverse Leg Light Stands, a 15” x 15” softbox, a speedring, and a rolling travel case. It can give you professional results in challenging or varied environments.

The new K681 Lighting Kit has six of their award winning P180E lights. The lights weigh 1.2 pounds each and have 200W equivalent output (40W draw). They are color tunable from 3000-5600K, and all with a CRI >92. The P180E can run off AC or DC power. You can plug them into standard broadcast batteries or even a car charger.

The lights have a life expectancy of over 40,000 hours. The K302 Lighting Kit has the IP-24 rating, which means it can withstand rain, snow, or sleet. Add the optional rain shield and you get IP-25 protection. The K681 Lighting Kit is comprised of six P180E Lights with Barndoors, six AC/DC power adapters, three Reverse Leg Light Stands, two Back Light Stands, a Cold Shoe Mount with Stud and a rolling travel case.

You can find Fiilex at booth number C12649 at NAB 2014.