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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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Do you work in the broadcast industry? What does “broadcast” mean?

The term "broadcast" has multiple meanings and contexts.

By Allan Tépper | April 09, 2011

Do you work in the broadcast industry? What does the word broadcast mean to you? If you work for a radio or TV station or network in almost any capacity, you probably consider yourself to be a broadcaster. If you're a stringer (an independent videographer who shoots news for TV), then you probably consider yourself to be a broadcaster too. If you manufacture or sell "broadcast" cameras or other equipment, then you probably consider yourself to be part of the broadcast industry. There was a time when people questioned whether a particular camera, recorder or other device was "broadcast quality" or not. As a certified translator, I am very aware of a particular word's many nuances, especially when someone asks me to translate that word. In this article, we'll explore and define different meanings of the term broadcast in various contexts. Then these meanings will become reference points for upcoming articles. Read More


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PluralEyes for Premiere Pro CS5 (Mac) reviewed

You'll wonder how you ever survived without it

By Allan Tépper | March 14, 2011

If you ever record dual-system audio or multiple camera angles without synchronized timecode, you'll wonder how you ever survived without PluralEyes added to your editing software. Users of Premiere Pro CS5 for Mac who are aware of PluralEyes for other editing programs will be happy to know that a version of PluralEyes is now available for their preferred app too. This article will go over PluralEyes' general features and then illustrate the specific workflow used with Premiere Pro CS5 compared to the way it works with other video editing software. Read More



Thunderbolt in MacBook Pro: a new era for demanding video editors who prefer laptops

Sound the trumpets! The 2-year mourning period that began in 2009 can finally end!

By Allan Tépper | February 27, 2011

As we have amply covered in multiple articles in ProVideo Coalition magazine, demanding online editing of multiple realtime HD video layers requires a high bandwidth connection to an external disk array, especially in the tapeless acquisition era, when it is even more desirable to use RAID5 (or equivalent). In many cases, it is also extremely desirable to have a high bandwidth connection to advanced video i/o devices from companies like AJA, Blackmagic, and Matrox. Since Apple laptops have never offered direct eSATA ports -and some professional i/o interfaces connect via the ExpressCard/34 port, demanding editors were able to connect one or the other (but not both simultaneously) in sub-17" MacBook Pros until June 2009, when Apple nixed the ExpressCard/34 slot on 15" models. Now that Apple offers a Thunderbolt port on all MacBook Pros (13", 15", and 17"), we'll soon be able to have both of our wishes simultaneously: high bandwidth for external storage, and high bandwidth for advanced video i/o interfaces. Thunderbolt in a laptop indeed represents a quantum leap for serious video postproduction. (See also my upcoming related article regarding Thunderbolt in live video production.)In this article:The virtues and limitations of ExpressCard/34Thunderbolt says: "Here I come to save the day!"Is the King of DAS dead? Has Thunderbolt dethroned eSATA?10Gb/s, not 10GB/s! Read More


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To DRM or not to DRM? That is the question for today’s digital content producers

By Allan Tépper | January 20, 2011

Whether you are a video producer, music producer, audiobook producer, or the author of ebooks, if you sell your content, there's really no escape from the question: "To DRM or not to DRM?" If you aren't yet familiar with the acronym, DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, and basically refers to technologies which can limit digital content. Some DRM implementations aim to prevent copying at all, while others aim to limit the number of permitted copies. To give a familiar example, Apple's iTunes Store originally created its FairPlay DRM system which limited playback of a file to a maximum of five registered computers. However, as quickly as Apple was able to convince content producers (mainly record labels) that they were better off without it, Apple gradually began eliminating DRM and finished that process at the beginning of 2009. For me, the question "To DRM or not to DRM?" recently demanded an immediate decision when I decided to release my book Unleash GoogleVoice's hidden power as an ebook. Previously, it had existed only as a printed book. Although I had previously created digital video tutorials, the DRM decision for them hadn't come up because up until now, my digital video tutorials haven't been sold by themselves: They've been included with seminars and webinars. Read More


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Google political move stifles web video distribution & complicates our workflow

Google has thrown a monkey wrench in present & future recommended practices

By Allan Tépper | January 16, 2011

In case you didn't hear yet, Google recently announced the elimination of support for H.264 in HTML5 video in its popular Chrome web browser within the next few months, in favor of WebM (VP8) and Theora video códecs. Despite Google's official justifications for the move in the name of openness, many analysts (including myself) see this as a political move against Apple, and even hypocritical since the Chrome browser has contained (and will continue to contain) an embedded Flash player. Our logical conclusion is that Google's next step will be to drop support for H.264 in its Android operating system too. This happens after H.264 already has achieved support from Adobe, Apple, and even Microsoft. Up until now, Google's Chrome browser has directly supported H.264 with HTML5's video tag. Before this shocking below the belt punch, many content producers were well along the way of offering HTML5 video with H.264, playable as raw or automatic fallback to the same file embedded in Flash if the browser didn't support it in HTML5, as I have covered in my seminars. However, as we see the writing on the wall, this will likely no longer be sufficient for the ever popular Android devices as they likely become updated to newer versions which would purposefully exclude H.264 playback, especially considering the poor Flash performance on most of the current Android devices that even support it at all. So within a short time, the preferred video códecs for Android devices will likely be WebM (VP8) or Theora, while for Apple iOS devices (AppleTV, iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), it will remain to be H.264. Read More


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TecnoTur 6 (Castilian): interviews with Escuchalibros, RAMM Animation, and actress Carla Sánchez

2D animation in Latin America, audiobook production in Spain, and Venezuelan actress/model Carla Sánchez

By Allan Tépper | November 24, 2010

TecnoTur episode 6 in Castilian (aka "Spanish") is now available. In episode 6, we learn about Venezuelan actress/model Carla Sánchez's latest projects, and we briefly discuss Allan T©pper's book Unleash GoogleVoice's hidden power for 3G, WiFi, and free international roaming. Then we present the 2nd part of our interview with Rafael Andreu of RAMM Animation, whose projects have included the Castilian version of Sesame Street (Plazo S©samo in Latin America or Barrio S©samo in Spain). Finally, we discuss audiobook production with Victoria Mesas García of Escuchalibros of Spain. Here are details about how to hear TecnoTur free, or become a subscriber. Read More



TiVo Premiere for professional use

How to transfer TiVo recordings to your Mac over Ethernet or WiFi for journalistic or other pro use

By Allan Tépper | November 05, 2010

For a long time, I have had my eye on TiVo to use instead of the Comcast-provided Motorola DVR. I have known for a few years that the workflow required to re-purpose DVR recordings is much smoother, cleaner, and easier with a TiVo than what's feasible with a conventional DVR. Up until recently, the price for an HD TiVo unit -together with the monthly TiVo fee- had kept me away. However, in the month of September 2010, TiVo was giving away the latest entry level model known as TiVo Premiere when one signed up for a 2-year contract. Under this agreement, the TiVo monthly fee is only US$3 more than what Comcast charges for the old Motorola DVR rental, so the offer became irresistible. This article describes the process to upgrade from your conventional DVR to TiVo Premiere, and the available workflows to re-purpose content for personal or professional use, including the steps to enable editing in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 or (with additional steps) with Final Cut Pro.{C} Read More


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Adobe’s US$99 Premiere Elements for Mac: a first look from a pro video perspective

Adobe's US$99 Premiere Elements for Mac is marketed for amateurs, but may have pro applications too.

By Allan Tépper | September 28, 2010

Last week, I attended Experience Adobe CS5 Production on a Mac here in Miami. Interestingly, the seminar was organized by a local reseller called Enhanced View Services, although promoted via Apple Events, and the actual presenters were from Adobe and Apple. Even though there was a presentation from Apple before and after the Adobe presentation, I estimate that 75% was about Adobe's CS5. Many ProVideo Coalition readers know that I have written several articles about Final Cut Pro workflow, and more recently, I've published several about Premiere Pro CS5, and I will continue to do so. In addition to saying hello to the people from Apple and Adobe and hearing even more about CS5, I really wanted to see whether there would be any mention of the new US$99 Premiere Elements for Mac, which had been announced earlier in the week… and if not, I wanted to ask questions about it. In this article, you'll find out more about what happened at this event, and the surprisingly positive answers I got about Premiere Elements for Mac. Read More


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TecnoTur 5 (English): interviews with SingularSoftware (PluralEyes + more) and OWC (iMac w/eSATA)

Blackberry podcast consumption app, Covert Affairs' Venezuelan episode, conversations with Bruce Sharpe of Singular Software and Larry O'Connor of Other World Computing

By Allan Tépper | September 26, 2010

TecnoTur episode 5 (English) is now available. In episode 5, Carla Sánchez and Allan T©pper discuss RIM/Blackberry's new podcast consumption application. Next comes Larry O'Connor of OWC (Other World Computing), creator of the revolutionary eSATA modification for certain Apple iMac computers, as well as SSDs (Solid State Drives) and other products. Finally, we converse with Bruce Sharpe of Singular Software about 3D/stereo editing workflow, PluralEyes, DualEyes and their latest application, Presto. Here are details about how to hear TecnoTur free, or become a subscriber. Read More


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An open letter to Apple’s iTunes Podcasting Team

Allan T©pper requests three improvements in iTunes' podcast handling, plus one more thing

By Allan Tépper | September 05, 2010

Dear Apple's iTunes Podcasting Team:We love podcasting, and we love the fact that Apple's iTunes has helped to facilitate the growth of this relatively new medium since 2005 with iTunes 4.9. Congratulations on releasing iTunes 10 now, in 2010. This letter is to point out three key areas where you need to improve the user experience of podcast subscription and commenting, especially with regard to podcasting in worldwide markets and with its use with mobile devices, and in some cases where some of your competitors (i.e. Google/Android and RIM/Blackberry) already offer podcast subscription apps which are much more user-friendly than the current iTunes podcasting experience. Oh, and of course, there will be one more thing! Read More


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Add eSATA to a 27” iMac and untap RAID speeds of 3.3 times faster than FireWire 800

OWC's new eSATA modification for 27" iMac (mid 2010 models) makes it much more attractive for serious video editing systems

By Allan Tépper | August 18, 2010

Although it has been in existence for many years and is known to be among the best and fastest ways to connect local external hard drives or disk arrays to a computer, Apple strangely has been the only computer manufacturer to my knowledge which has not yet offered a direct eSATA port on any of its computers. Even way back in the Apple G5 tower era, I used to add eSATA ports to high-end video editing systems I integrated, and this of course has continued with the MacPro (Intel) era of Apple towers. The lack of direct eSATA port on all other Macs Mac, MacBook(Pro), and Mac Mini] has sadly meant that video editors have had to settle for slower FireWire 800 speeds… until now. The highly respected OWC (Other World Computing) is now offering a US$169 custom modification to iMac 27" (mid 2010 models) to add eSATA, which untaps 3.3 times faster performance with an external disk array or SSD, compared to FireWire 800. This article will cover what the extra speed means to a video editor, how eSATA has been added to Macs before (with compromises), the advantages of OWC's new official upgrade plan, and how to do critical video evaluation monitoring with an iMac. Read More


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TecnoTur English episode 4: interviews with AJA, DVKitchen, and Carla Sánchez

Listen to conversations with AJA, the creator of DVKitchen, and actress/model Carla Sánchez

By Allan Tépper | August 13, 2010

TecnoTur episode 4 (English) is now available. In episode 4, Allan T©pper converses with Carla Sánchez, a USA-based Venezuelan actress, model, and spokesperson. Next comes Josh Mellicker, creator of DVKitchen, the program which is TecnoTur‘s favorite application for calculating, encoding, posting, and embedding video for the web and the most popular mobile devices, including iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry, and Android devices. Listeners of TecnoTur can get a special discount on DVKitchen when purchasing it directly from the manufacturer by entering a promotional code. DVKitchen is compatible with Matrox's MAX hardware accelerator for H.264 encoding, which is available both as a standalone card, or as a factory-option with any MXO2 interface device. Finally, TecnoTur converses with Bryce Button of AJA, who tells us about AJA's latest announcements from the entire product line. Here are details about how to hear TecnoTur free, or become a subscriber. Read More


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USA Networks’ “Covert Affairs” simulates Venezuela by shooting in Canada

Universal Cable Productions' Covert Affairs simulates Caracas, Venezuela from Toronto, Canada

By Allan Tépper | August 04, 2010

In episode 3 of Covert Affairs, Universal Cable Productions simulated Caracas, the capital city of the South American country of Venezuela, both visually and linguistically (at least they attempted the latter). Covert Affairs is an enjoyable new series from USA Network (a division of NBC Universal) which last week broadcasted episode 3 (Southbound Suárez), where the protagonist Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) -a novice CIA agent- is sent to Caracas to carry out her third assignment. This article will describe a bit about that, and about Universal Cable Productions' feat in simulating Venezuelan scenes, along with some cultural and linguistic blunders. Read More


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Sony’s 1st response to HDSLRs, its segregated progressive policy, & implications for users

Will people from 60Hz countries be again tempted to import 50Hz model cameras to shoot in 25p?

By Allan Tépper | July 19, 2010

As first covered here in ProVideo Coalition by Matt Jeppsen, Sony has just announced the NEX-VG10 as a first response to HDSLRs which have been used for HD video productions for quite a while already, despite their well known limitations. Fortunately, the NEX-VG10 eliminates several of those HDSLR limitations, while establishing some of its own, with its initial segregated progressive policy. This article will establish the details of these limitations, their workarounds, and the way a professional "big sister" will likely make them unnecessary, although certainly at a higher price. Read More


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TecnoTur episode 3 (English): Karl Soul© of Adobe and Tamara Benavente of Ellanvannin Multimedi

Karl Soul© of Adobe: little known benefits in Premiere CS5/Tamara Benavente and her short film Lost and Found

By Allan Tépper | July 12, 2010

TecnoTur episode 3 (English) is now available. Tamara Benavente of Ellanvannin Multimedia tells Allan T©pper and the TecnoTuristas about how she produced her latest short film Lost and Found, using a Sony camera and Adobe Premiere. Then Karl Soul© of Adobe tells us about some little known yet extraordinary features in Premiere CS5. Here are details about this episode contents, and how to hear it free, or become a subscriber. Read More


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Happy hacker breaths flexibility, power, and quality into the Lumix GH1

Now the Lumix GH1 can record 50mb/s MJPEG or 32mb/s AVCHD!

By Allan Tépper | July 06, 2010

I first wrote about the Lumix GH1 in March 2009, and at that time, I requested a review unit from Panasonic. Then in June 2009, I wrote a followup article with a written interview with Panasonic's PR department, to clarify several technical issues. Unfortunately, all of Panasonic's answers were negative from a pro perspective. Over a year has passed without Panasonic loaning me any review unit (while countless other manufacturers have sent me several products for reviews); and competitive cameras from Canon have come out, like the 7D and T2i, and Sony has shown similar models, at least in the consumer division. However, last week I heard that a happy hacker had modified the GH1's firmware to permit 1080p internal recording, either 50Mb/s MJPEG or 32Mb/s AVCHD. Read More


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Does Premiere CS5 achieve the “impossible dream” for critical evaluation monitoring?

Can editors and colorists finally scream: "Look Ma', no professional i/o!"?

By Allan Tépper | July 01, 2010

Anyone who has ever read the seven articles I've published so far about critical video evaluation -be it with the HP DreamColor monitor, or any other brand and model- knows why this process has traditionally required a professional interface to do this properly. Even Apple has warned about this, both verbally at NAB 2005 when announcing the Digital Cinema Desktop, as well as in writing, in Apple's support article TA27705. This situation has affected other professional editing programs too. This situation has convinced many video editors -even those who now deal exclusively with tapeless footage- to buy a (seemingly) otherwise unnecessary professional i/o interface from manufacturers like AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, or MOTU. Has this situation changed with Premiere CS5, together with 10-bit/30-bit DisplayPort or HDMI connections on computers? Read More


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TecnoTur episode 2 (English): Radio Lollipop + Matrox’s announcements at NAB 2010

ProRes422 encoding in Windows, compatibility with Avid MC5, MAX 2.0 with scene analysis and VBR encoding

By Allan Tépper | June 16, 2010

TecnoTur episode 2 (English) is now available, and includes an interview with Radio Lollipop, and with Matrox regarding all pro video announcements at NAB 2010. Brittany Smith of Radio Lollipop -an international radio network based in the UK, with affiliate stations in children's hospitals throughout the world- tells TecnoTur about her background in commercial radio, and her current position at Radio Lollipop. Then Rub©n Abruña and Allan T©pper travel to NAB 2010 in Las Vegas and interview Wayne Andrews, a Matrox pro video product manager. Wayne tells us about ProRes422 encoding in Windows, compatibility with Avid MC5, and MAX 2.0 with scene analysis and VBR encoding. Read More


Comparison of portable HD studios: BCC versus TriCaster TCXD300

By Allan Tépper | May 14, 2010

Comparing the BCC and the TriCaster TCXD300 isn't really about a price issue. If I included prices in the comparison chart you'll see later in this article, it's to show how close they are in price, not to let the price dictate your choice. The real factors that anyone who may be considering either one of these two fine tools should be taking into account are workflow philosophy and key features. In this article, I will emphasize those issues, and I will also explain why I designed the comparison chart the way I did. Read More


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MONOGRAM’s BCC is a portable studio that changes the rules of the game

BCC's touch screen interface & template-based workflow simplify while they accelerate.

By Allan Tépper | May 14, 2010

When people first hear about MONOGRAM's BCC (Broadcast Case) production TV studio in a box, some of them mistakenly assume that it is a copycat of existing portable TV studio systems that have been on the market for a while. However, as soon as they get closer or hear more about it, they realize that it is quite the contrary. I had never seen a touch-screen interface before on a vision mixer ("switcher"), let alone for an entire portable production studio with onboard audio mixer, character generator, 4:2:2 recorder, and H.264 video streamer. I had also never heard of one with an onboard intercom system, yet alone one that could even power the cameras over a unique combined camera cable, which unifies SDI (or HD-SDI), power, intercom, and even tally information in one very manageable enclosure. In this article, you'll learn how unique and groundbreaking the BCC really is. Read More