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by Allan Tépper

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Allan Tépper has been working with professional video since the early eighties, since he first learned to edit video using the open-reel 1/2” EIAJ-1 format with a Sony AV-3650 editing deck in his high school in Connecticut. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting both end-users and manufacturers via his Florida company. Via TecnoTur, Tépper has been giving video technology seminars in several South Florida’s universities and training centers, and in a half dozen Latin American countries, in their native language. Tépper has been a freque...

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Review: Átomos Spyder monitor calibration system

Review: Átomos Spyder monitor calibration system

Quickly and easily calibrated to Rec 709 from Mac or Windows.

By Allan Tépper | October 23, 2014

Last year I published a short article when Átomos announced its Spyder monitor calibration system. Now I am privileged to have received one to review. With it, we can quickly and easily calibrate any calibratable Átomos monitor/recorder (i.e. Shogun, Samurai Blade, or Ninja Blade) to Rec 709 color space with a D65 white point (6500 degrees Kelvin). This is a special offering of Datacolor’s Spyder, with special software and a LANC cable. Details ahead.

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iPad Air 2 is semi-matte!/My MacBook Air is now matte too!

iPad Air 2 is semi-matte!/My MacBook Air is now matte too!

The new iPad Air 2 is non-reflective and reduces glare by 56%! The "least reflective tablet on the market"...

By Allan Tépper | October 19, 2014

Frequent ProVideo Coalition readers know that I strongly prefer matte screens, whether its for media production or general use. In fact, I recently even sent my MacBook Air to have its display transplanted for a matte display. Now, I am ecstatic to see that Apple is finally offering a non-reflective screen on its latest iPad Air 2. I am only disappointed not to see it offered on the iPad Mini 3 or an any current iPhone. Details ahead.

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Review: ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt system

Review: ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt system

Now we can do RAID5 via software and save substantially.

By Allan Tépper | October 19, 2014

Back in June, I published my first look article on the ThunderBay IV 4-bay 12TB Thunderbolt system with the palindromic price —in this configuration— of US$979, which has since been lowered to US$959. OWC offers other configurations too, with smaller or larger capacity, and now even some with Thunderbolt 2. Ahead I review the various available configuration options (JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 0+1, RAID 4, RAID 5) and compare their performance versus redundancy, logistical benefits of each one, and more.

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TriCaster Mini from NewTek: a first (but intense) look

TriCaster Mini from NewTek: a first (but intense) look

TriCaster Mini is likely to become the most revered “multicamera studio in a box” in its class.

By Allan Tépper | October 07, 2014

Today NewTek announced TriCaster Mini, the newest member of its TriCaster family of “multicamera studio in a box” products. Frequent readers will recall that I have covered TriCasters in the past, and —full disclosure— have also written several contracted white papers for NewTek, in two languages. Under a non-disclosure agreement, I had a rather intense advanced briefing/discussion about TriCaster Mini with the company, and ahead you’ll see everything I love, plus details I would really like polished in an upcoming software update.

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The Padcaster Mini is now available

The Padcaster Mini is now available

iPad Mini mediographers now have more frame/case/mount options.

By Allan Tépper | October 04, 2014

Joining the original (larger sized) Padcaster, the new Padcaster Mini is similar, but sized to match Apple’s iPad Mini and iPad Mini Retina. Padcaster Mini’s purpose is to mount the iPad Mini (Retina) on a tripod or other support device, and to mount accessories and lenses. In many prior iOS mediography articles, I have covered the original Padcaster and its closest competitor, the iOgrapher. Ahead you’ll find virtues of each and help you pick the option for your iPad Mini (Retina).

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Pinnacle Studio/iOS adds 48 kHz + non-integer framerates, but instructions are required

Pinnacle Studio/iOS adds 48 kHz + non-integer framerates, but instructions are required

Pay attention to some details, and we can now have audio/video that complies with our target format.

By Allan Tépper | September 16, 2014

As the developer previously committed, Pinnacle Studio for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch has now added both 48 kHz audio as default for all iOS devices except for the first iPhone 4, and non-integer framerates like 23.976, 29.97, and 59.94 fps, together with integer ones like 24, 25, and 50. The way to handle these framerates requires a bit of explanation, as I’ll cover ahead.

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iLoud: a multifaceted powered speaker that impresses

iLoud: a multifaceted powered speaker that impresses

Use iLoud for playback during music video production, to present live, or during editing.

By Allan Tépper | September 15, 2014

After i recently reviewed two other products from IK Multimedia, the iRig Pro preamp/A>D converter and the iRig Mic HD, they graciously sent me their iLoud, a rechargeable stereo powered speaker that impressed me quite a bit. Although IK Multimedia markets the iLoud for musicians, I immediately saw several other applications for our ProVideo Coalition readers, including playback for a music video production, to present live, or even to monitor when editing audio or video, with the usual disclaimer for the last one. Ahead are the details.

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iPhone 6+ (5.5“): The new iPad for iOS mediographers?

iPhone 6+ (5.5“): The new iPad for iOS mediographers?

As I hoped, Apple made this new 5.5” version even better for iOS mediographers

By Allan Tépper | September 09, 2014

In hopeful anticipation of greater things in a (then only rumored) iPhone 6 (5.5 inch version) with improved mediography capabilities, I put my iPad Mini Retina 128GB up for sale last week. Today, Apple confirmed the rumor that there would indeed be a 5.5 version of the iPhone 6, which is officially called the iPhone 6 Plus. Ahead are its new video features and specs.

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Review: Tascam iXJ2 preamp/A>D enables dual-mic/2-channel opportunities for iOS mediography

Review: Tascam iXJ2 preamp/A>D enables dual-mic/2-channel opportunities for iOS mediography

A discontinued interface from Tascam is still ideal for certain recording and streaming events.

By Allan Tépper | September 05, 2014

Although the Tascam iXJ2 preamp/A>D is officially discontinued, fortunately it is still available (for now). Ahead you’ll discover why the iXJ2 is a unique enabler for high-quality dual-mic/2-channel, 48 kHz/24-bit iOS recordings, including several use-cases: interviews, sportscasting, and even voiceover auditions; when it’s appropriate, and when it isn’t.

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Blackmagic didn’t quite remove the Band-Aid after all…

Blackmagic didn’t quite remove the Band-Aid after all…

As I sadly discovered in Guatemala, Blackmagic didn’t quite add RGB over HDMI after all…

By Allan Tépper | September 02, 2014

In June 2014, I published an article stating that Blackmagic had finally removed the Band-Aid for original DreamColor monitor users, based upon information published in their own ReadMe and a direct statement from Blackmagic’s US president, which I quoted. In mid August, I went to Guatemala to configure a system, and discovered that RGB over HDMI wasn’t really available. After a few weeks of email exchanges, Blackmagic has finally clarified their position via the public relations department.

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Review: Plantronics accidentally enters broadcast headset market

Review: Plantronics accidentally enters broadcast headset market

When combined with a portable A>D converter, the Plantronics .Audio 326 becomes a broadcast headset.

By Allan Tépper | September 02, 2014

Plantronics is a renowned headset manufacturer for office communication, general listening, mobile telephony, and gaming, but not for broadcast or multimedia production. However, due to an unusual set of circumstances, I discovered that their completely analog Plantronics .Audio 326 headset (when combined with a portable preamp/A>D converter) transforms itself into an ultra-affordable broadcast headset for production and live streaming. Here’s my review with test recording.

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Review: RØDE NT-USB studio-grade digital microphone

Review: RØDE NT-USB studio-grade digital microphone

The NT-USB includes a pop-shield + table stand, and works with Mac, Windows, and iPad.

By Allan Tépper | August 28, 2014

The new NT-USB from RØDE is a studio-grade digital microphone that officially works with Mac, Windows, and iPad. Unofficially, it also works with iPhone and iPod Touch. Ahead is my review, including exclusive comparative audio recordings with Chilean singer Bárbara Intriago.

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Review 1: Telestream’s Switch aims to overtake & surpass QuickTime Pro

Review 1: Telestream’s Switch aims to overtake & surpass QuickTime Pro

In many ways, Switch has already surpassed QuickTime Pro…

By Allan Tépper | August 20, 2014

Back in December 2013, I published my “first look” article about the then just-announced Switch application for Mac OS from Telestream, which in many ways has already gone way beyond what the QuickTime Pro app ever did. Now that Switch is shipping, I was able to get a review license from the company and ahead you will see what I like, and what should be added to this promising audiovisual tool.

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Initial review: iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia

Initial review: iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia

iRig Mic HD is a handheld digital mic from IK Multimedia

By Allan Tépper | August 05, 2014

I am honored to be one of a few tech journalists who have received the iRig Mic HD from IK Multimedia for initial review. The iRig Mic HD is a handheld digital-exclusive mic, made for use with iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), Mac and Windows and produces rich and full bodied sound recordings (and this is not a shampoo commercial). I have a lot to say about the iRig Mic HD, so let’s get started.

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RT and DirecTV Sports go beyond conventional mic flags

RT and DirecTV Sports go beyond conventional mic flags

Using a technique virtually unused in the US, networks like RT and DirecTV Sports are getting better branding on their mics.

By Allan Tépper | August 04, 2014

Most people who produce sports or news for TV know that branding is important, both on location (with signs and mic branding) and on screen (via electronic graphics). That is nothing new. However, I have recently seen how two TV networks from outside of the US are taking advantage of a device —and a technique— that grants them better branding by going beyond conventional mic flags.

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Handheld vocal microphones: a trend towards condenser electret?

Handheld vocal microphones: a trend towards condenser electret?

Have an open mind to condenser electret when considering new handheld interview microphones, together with traditional dynamics.

By Allan Tépper | August 04, 2014

With new handheld vocal microphones I am currently testing for reviews, there is a new trend toward condenser electret, which challenges the long established thinking. In traditional ENG (Electronic News Gathering), for decades there has been a preference for dynamic handheld interview mics. One of the reasons for that is because dynamics are generally much more durable. However, several factors are changing, so we must have an open mind when evaluating.

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The dawn of CFast video recording

The dawn of CFast video recording

A tiny CFast chip now rivals HDCAM SR tape, and a US$50 CFast reader now rivals an HDCAM SR deck which typically costs US$50k +

By Allan Tépper | July 31, 2014

The first CFast devices were shown at CES in 2009, but NAB 2014 was the first time I saw professional video products using it. CFast is a derivative format of CompactFlash which offers the very high bit rates required by virtually lossless intraframe 10-bit 4:2:2 códecs like ProRes 422 and DNxHD for HD, and even for 4K. The pioneers I saw using it were Átomos and Blackmagic. A tiny CFast chip now rivals an HDCAM SR tape, and a US$50 CFast reader now rivals an HDCAM SR deck which typically costs well over US$50k. Ahead are the details.

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Review: iRig Pro preamp/A>D from IK Multimedia

Review: iRig Pro preamp/A>D from IK Multimedia

Use the iRig Pro confidently as a mic preamp, an A>D converter, or both simultaneously.

By Allan Tépper | July 16, 2014

Although I have reviewed many audio preamps and A>D (analog-to-digital) converters, the iRig Pro I am covering here is truly unique for several reasons, two of which are why I purposefully excluded it from my recent roundup of five other preamp + A>D devices for iOS. Ahead you’ll learn everything I love about the iRig Pro for both audio and video, yet why I still can’t recommended the iRig Recorder app for video producers.

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Pinnacle Studio for iPad to add missing framerates & 48 kHz!

Pinnacle Studio for iPad to add missing framerates & 48 kHz!

The developer has committed to adding non-integer framerates and standard audio sampling.

By Allan Tépper | July 16, 2014

Last month, I published an article covering improvements in Pinnacle Studio for iPad, which is a video editing app which was originally an Avid product. At the same time, I made some constructive criticisms to the lack of non-integer framerates and proper 48 kHz. I am now delighted to let you know that the developer has committed to adding all of those. Ahead are the details.

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Inexpensive balanced XLR lavalier microphone test

Inexpensive balanced XLR lavalier microphone test

Can you really get a pair of balanced XLR lavalier mics for under US$100?

By Allan Tépper | July 15, 2014

If you have ever priced lavalier microphones with balanced XLR connections, you know that they typically cost upwards of US$150 each, and sometimes can cost more than double that price. However, my friend María found a package deal where she was able to receive not one, but two balanced XLR lavalier microphones for well under US$100, which means that each mic cost less than US$50. Ahead you’ll get to hear four recorded tests and make your own conclusion about the quality.

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