Drones on parade, and a few fun facts about 4K

So I stopped by the National Association of Broadcasters show today to talk big data with Gracenote Co-Founder and CTO Ty Roberts, after which he took me on a brief tour of the nearby show floor. If you’ve never been to NAB, it’s like a behind-the-scenes-version of CES, filled with the biggest, baddest, most-expensive television and movie-production equipment you’ve ever seen.

The big thing this year — 4K television. Here are a few factoids that Roberts, clearly having been educated by his peers in the Sony family, shared:

  • The storage footprint of 1 hour of 4K video is 512 gigabytes.
  • That’s a lot of data to move across IP, so 4k cameras just send everything straight to production storage systems over fiber-optic cable.
  • The picture is so detailed that it’s difficult for one person to shoot scenes and focus at the same time. The answer: new two-person camera setups where one guy shoots and the other stands next to him focusing the shot on a larger screen.

Oh, and there were drones, too:

The Schiebel Camcopter S-100.

The Schiebel Camcopter S-100.

This is the civilian version of the Schiebel Camcopter S-100. There’s a military version, too. Its sticker price of several hundred thousand dollars probably isn’t surprising.

For the more cost-conscious aerial cinematographer, Freefly Systems had its own booth:

The Freefly Cinestar, um, helicopter?

The Freefly Cinestar helicopter

Or for those who prefer the ground:

A video rover, I guess.

A video rover, I guess.

This all kind of makes me wish I shot video for a living. If I had a flying, rotating video camera or an off-road setup, I’m sure I could find some way to use them.