View Full Version : What's with the NAB stream?

04-21-2004, 11:37 AM
While the VT3 hardware may be professional quality, whoever is directing the stream makes it look like a hack.

I've seen video that is out of phase, bad cuts, wrong audio fading in and out randomly, lower 3rds that look like crap and fade in for like a second then fade out... again randomly, weird angle shots with hosts not looking at the camera and getting their heads cut off. And that was all within like 5 minutes. Oh, if I see that santa video one more time I might have to strangle something.

Get it together guys, if your end users used your equipment like that we would get fired.

04-21-2004, 11:49 AM
Yo Jock

The guys swithing are the inventor (Tim), the chief of engineering (dr drew), and for lack of a better word "the product manager."(jeremy) These guys test the stuff, make the stuff, but they are not professional technical directors that do this everyday. So, for as much as they have done it, it is going remarably well. Sure they could bring in a hot shot TD, but this is proof positive that even engineers can switch a show, and stream it, and get an award for streaming the show.

However, the cameras that are out of phase are the robotic ones, and that is always a PIA to get them to work with "real" cameras.

But, overall, I think they are doing fine. Only tech heads are watching the stream. But there are a lot of tech heads out there.

So my point is that there does not seem to be anyone else pulling this off with this much success as Newtek.

Or whoever is streaming is using a t3 under a table and pulling it off with their help.

Sorry you hate the switching, but you could easily pi$$ off the guys that make tools that you personally want.\

04-21-2004, 12:01 PM
Kurt, I understand what your are saying.
However excuses usually don't get you far in this industry.

Sure I am a tech head, I understand what potential problems there are out there. But I still cringe everytime I see a mistake. I find it hard to even watch the stream it is so bad sometimes.

Especially when I watch they talk about how easy it is to genlock and time cameras with the VT3, then switch to an out of phase camera or deck. It's just makes the hardware look bad.

BTW, I think the award was for the hardware, not the directing.

04-21-2004, 01:28 PM
So the great thing is I'm sitting in my office at the Las Vegas Convention Center and within 2 min. I can be at the Newtek booth!!

Anyway... I would have to agree this is NAB whith nothing but Tech Heads 99% of which look at the VT3 system as a joke (which it is not). Due to this, the stream and everything MUST be 100% clean and tight so that those who joke about the VT3 system will start to look at the system as a real competitor in the market.

But having seen the booth they are pretty much doing this as a 1 man show which is very tricky to say the least. Last time I walked by 1 person was switching, titles, robotic cameras (with a RS-8 looking thing with a joystick??), and mixing audio. So for a 1 men show it's good.


04-21-2004, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by bbeanan
robotic cameras (with a RS-8 looking thing with a joystick??),

I noticed that that "thing" had the newtek name on it.... Engineering proto-type? ;)

04-21-2004, 04:39 PM
I will agree that although it is great to see the demo in action at NAB, the camerawork and directing doies leave a little to be desired. Given the fact that you do have the web audience that you do, I would think it would only be prudent for them to see the best streaming presentation possible. If a presenter is making reference to something on his computer, it's rather frustrating if we, the web viewers, cannot see what he is talking about. These presenters are doing such a great job that they deserve a web stream that is as good as their show.:)

04-22-2004, 07:55 AM
I am going to have to defend jerm here.

Yeah, there were some botched switches.

So, what about it?

There were some really good things as well.

I certainly learned more about t3 in the last couple of days.

And I learned lots about the new L8.

Everybody here is a great switcher I am sure.

Jerm is a product manager who watches TV. These are likely the qualifications of many t3 users.

MAybe next year they will bring in a hotshot TD. Maybe that would satisfy the web audience. But there are a lot of malcontents, myself certainly included on certain days.

However, the product does work.

Who saw crashes in the software? hmmmm.

Anyone? Bueller?

Jerm has a key role in the stability of the t3. So, if he wants to switch a webcast, the LEAST anyone could do is give him a break.

Or, in the alternative, YOU (whoever wants to step up, I am not singleing out anyone) should have hopped a plane and helped the man out.

I am going to go switch for three days.

I know what I am doing, but I didn't always.

It is a revolution and an evolution that you can participate in.

That is the newtek paradigm.

Isn't it fortunate that you have a forum to say these things, and the posts are still visible?

Most companies would have moderated this off the board.

We'll see if this disappears.

And, just like TV, if you don't like the webcast, change the channel. You have the remote.

So, good job jeremy, someone recognizes your effort.

04-22-2004, 10:35 AM
Ya know, if I didn't care I wouldn't have posted this. I didn't post it to be an ***, I posted it to say, "Hey, wake up, the audience is watching, your customers are watching".

I'm not talking about bad switches alone, if that were the case, I could understand. I'm talking about bad judgement. Like when the demonstrator is talking and the camera is doing a 30 second zoom into the alien. That has nothing to do with what is happening on stage, it is not a mistake, it's someone playing with the controls like it's a toy. That is exactly the stigma NewTek needs to get rid of if it's ever going to break out of the "product manager who watches TV" market.

It's nothing personal, I understand that he is not a professional TD. I would be a much worse product designer than he is a TD. But there is alot at stake for NewTek at this point. I would hope they would do everything they can to put on a professional presentation, and I'm just trying to help.

04-22-2004, 11:24 AM
Jockomo I think you have made an excellent point with this thread. I TOO can't stand what I'm seeing on the live streams. The picture quality is awesome and the bells and whistles of VT3 come through nicely, but it lacks the real TD/Director skills.

Yeah...it is a trade show and tech folks are watching, but still one would like to see a little more professional switch. I do agree that there were times where I wanted to see what the presenter was talking about and saw nothing even close. One time I was watching a prjector mounted on the ceiling for about 30-40 secs. Why? not sure....maybe I missed something.

I hate to do it, but I have to remember back to the booths that Play Inc. had with the Trinity. They would put on a little "show" with Kiki and the host from the PBS computer program. Those shows were tight and look very prfessional on screen - the TD really knew what they were doing from what I remember.

I don't think NewTek should be making huge sets and bringing in TV personalities to change their on-stage presentation, but the production end needs to be better to impress those NON-tech individuals watching.


04-22-2004, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by MediaSig
the production end needs to be better to impress those NON-tech individuals watching.


In many ways it's the non-tech heads that are the most important, whatever the industry.

I'm not a professional here. If the TV business is anything like other businesses, often the decision makers aren't too interested in how wonderfull feature XYZ is, they just want to be wowed by an impressive, slick presentation and reassurance that their money is being well spent.

If I was working in some small cable station or something, would I pull in the station manager to watch the stream? Would his reaction be That's a great show, and the kit only costs $X, or would he think I can do bad camera moves with the equipment we've already got?

Sometimes I think the marketing of Newtek products seems more orientated towards the skilled technician than the management people who sign the checks.

All that said, the enthusiasm of the people and the skill of those who are at NAB come shining through and I thank you very much for it. I don't doubt the skill and dedication of those at NAB, just the main target of the marketing effort.

A small example of a little thing that struck me yesterday. LW8 was was being demod (expertly) using a little alien model. Fine to show the technical aspects of what LW8 can do, but what would I think if I wore a suit? Perhaps it would be 'we aren't doing space alien stuff', it's not for us.

I'd also like to see some of the VT3 demos using some less 'brash' TV stuff. The flying logos haven't changed and sometimes look a bit jaded perhaps for an audience now seeing some more subtle stuff even on the internet (courtesy of Flash).

Just my thoughts, they're probably way off base.


04-22-2004, 02:57 PM
You all need to remember that the web stream is nothing more than an infomercial for the VT3. As I said in my earlier post, those making the presentations at NAB are doing a superb job, and yes, they deserve to be seen in the best possible light. The reference to the Play, Inc. web streams was right on the money. They put on a slick and well presented demo and technically, it was right on the money. Let's be honest...the reason Newtek is at NAB demonstrating VT3 and Lightwave is to see their products.
Their web audience is also comprised in part, of potential buyers. If you have a multiple camera set-up AND a direct feed from the VT3 itself, there is NO reason why the web audience should not be able follow what's happening with ease and clarity. That's worth the investment, if necessary, of a good TD and camera operator. :)

04-22-2004, 10:48 PM
hey guys dont ***** about the robotic cameras. thoose cameras were controlled by a new controller by newtek. which i am sure it is in aplha stage its called the vt cam .i didnt get a close look at it but tim seemed to be having fun with it

04-23-2004, 01:11 AM
I don't think anyone is bitching about the cameras - they looked great! Robotic technology has come a long was since the ones I used 10 years ago...and those were ancient for that time period as well.

It's the decision making of the TD/Director that's in question and discussing ways NewTek can improve their webcast for next year.

Believe me, I'm happy NewTek won the recognition for VT3 at NAB - the quality of the stream was outstanding. But you have to take the bad with the good - and the broadcast needed quite a bit of improvement to impress the accountants and the management in companies pondering a VT purchase.


04-23-2004, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by Kurt_Henning

Or, in the alternative, YOU (whoever wants to step up, I am not singleing out anyone) should have hopped a plane and helped the man out.

Actually I know quite a few people who did and Newtek never responded... Not this NAB but the Last I offered to help out anywhere I could (Heck my day job is running the IN-HOUSE AV company at the LVCC, so when I say help I could have gotten them just about anyting for little to no cost.) But they never responded.

Then I know this year at least 2 other VT3 Owners offered help but Newtek never responded.

So once again I will put it out there I will for FREE design Newteks booth next year for NAB, making sure it is a booth which will make the industry notice that the VT4 (hopfully) is a real competitor.
...my quaifications... I pretty much live at the LVCC I know every sq. in. of the place and I see every single booth which goes into any of the halls. Oh yea and a few booths I have designed have won best of show awards and have been featured in Exhibitor Mag. or featured on shows like Good Morning America.

You see if you present a professional & serious image them all of the tech heads have no choice to to take the system serious. The booth this year said "We are a fun compnay with cool toys" when you want them to say "Wow this is a very impressive TOOL, with a very professional company backing it".

Anyway just my 2 cents...

04-23-2004, 10:56 AM
Now there is an offer they can't (or shouldn't) refuse! They have no excuse.

04-23-2004, 01:04 PM
Enough with the armchair critiques!

There's an old saying: " 'tis a poor craftsman who blames the tools"...

I have been to many trade shows and, like buying a car, I want to test drive before I buy. I believe many potential buyers feel the same way about spending sizable sums of $$$ & will look past a demonstration (good or bad) because they know what they want and only personal experience and word-of-mouth referrals (still the most effective sales tool) will satisfy them.

Newtek (an EQUIPMENT manufacturer) has an Oustanding reputation for integrity, reliablility and service. They may not 'dog & pony' as much as others, however after decades they're still here with a viable product and no real competition - so who needs to dance? We, as Broadcast Professionals know it's true potential -- It's up to us to spread the word.

... I yield the floor...

04-23-2004, 07:16 PM
Amen to that!!!:)

04-23-2004, 09:00 PM
I was at NAB this year. Saw many presentations and Newtek I'm really sorry to say this, but I can't imagine how "broadcast" professionals can look at the VT[3] in the same light as all the other edit systems, switchers, etc.
The presentation was awful. The people presenting need several things
1) Preparation on what exactly they will talk about
2) All files/clips/CG's native & in some cases finished versions.
3) Better volume

I saw many presenters who were not sure what they wanted to say next, did not have the clips they wanted (so they could not show), and were hard to hear.

I even saw a presentation on live switching when the Toaster crashed!!

Rich Deustachio
04-23-2004, 10:25 PM
Jeff, many of the presenters were not NewTek employees, they were VT3 users so were not as polished as a talking head might be. I would rather hear from a real world user than a programed, puppet talking head salesperson any day.

I watched many hours of streamng and the first day was a little unorganized but hey it was the first day. Overall most of the presentations were done very well and in all of the hours of watching I saw zero crashes. I think NewTek did a great job of presenting their product.

The only dissapointment I had was not hear about any new things to come which many of us expected to hear at NAB, but I am sure that wil be told to us when they are ready.

04-26-2004, 06:18 AM
As an outsider to the business, I'd like to make a suggestion for what was missing from the presentations at NAB (and no doubt will be missing from siggraph).

First some praise. As time went by the NAB presentations did improve - the camerawork seemed to settle down and changes of presenter seemed smoother. Seems Newtek took notice of some ofthe comments on the thread.

Now the presentations themselves. I think 'techies' were well served - plenty of people showing how to do clever things with the VT3 and LW8. All good stuff.

Now the stuff that was missing, was anything that might convince a non-techie (and this might even include techies that have moved into management) that this is a system to go with.

I know that the presentations did say (almost as though they were selling in a Sunday Market) that VT3 costs $X and the equivalent costs $10X, but I don't think it's enough to sell a VT3 to a suit (ie the guy with a cheque book).

So, what do 'the suits' want? They want to see how the VT3 fits into their production pipeline, they want to be shown how their existing infrastructure can be replaced with hardware that is far cheaper and will improve the quality and timeliness of their product. They want to understand how this hardware will allow them to do more with less.

Newtek try and do this with 'talking heads' that expound the good things about VT3. Many of these VT3 users are adept at using the VT3 but I don't think their presentation naturally appeals to the suits.

In my experience the suits will respond better to the following:

Diagrams: Suits like diagrams. If you can't draw a diagram, the suit doesn't want to know.

There should be diagrams showing logically what a VT3 is and how it fits into as studio/outside broadcast workflow. The suit must be able to see the example workflows and understand how it relates to their workflow. Make it easy for them so they don't have to think about it to realise how well it would suit them.

Scenarios: Provide example scenarios, real or ficticious to illustrate the versatility of the kit. Explain what kit you would need to do a live outside broadcast with five cameras at a sports event/concert/beauty pageant/carnival/etc. Show them what they need and how the VT3 fits that and an example of the costs involved. If the VT3 is so good and inexpensive challenge them to try the same scenario with rival kit, or the kit they already have.

Case histories: Get a 'talking suit' from a company whose invested in the VT3 to come and talk about what a great return on investment it's been. get them to talk about what they did before VT3 and how much it cost, then get them to talk about their VT3 investment, how it's changed things. The improved ROI, timeliness and new broadcast areas they can now tackle.

If you provide sessions such as this, then it would be the kind of session that a techie can show to their manager and catch his attention without embarassing him because he doen't understand the technology perhaps, or more importantly he's not interested because they're showing someone doing a job he pays someone else to do. He's only interested in saving money, improving existing services and offering new ones. He's got the cheque book for that reason alone, not to improve the life of his editors or O/B team.

I'm not suggesting that the technical session be replaced by suit-friendly sessions, just that you need to add in perhaps one or two techie sessions each day to the current mix.

Lastly, NAB comes once a year. Why doesn't Newtek put together a DVD using the existing technical/demo session and add the 'suit-friendly stuff. You could mail the DVD out across the world to let people know just how good VT3 and LW8 really is and most important why they should be interested - it saves money and builds business. This would have to be slick (no bad camera moves) and professional.

I've mentioned VT3 specifically, but a similar tack might be good for LW8, though I can see that that's more problematic.

OK, that's my 2p, sorry if you found it boring!


04-28-2004, 08:37 AM

Please drop me an email with your contact info! I would love to speak with you about your ideas! I would also like to know who you were speaking with at NewTek..

Please don't post that info here. We can take our discussion offline!

See Ya,

05-03-2004, 08:02 AM
i tend to cringe everytime i watch tv! not only does the content make me 'switch' the channel but the arrogance of the people in the industry almost makes lawyers seem more human -- the revolution here is not about the so-called tech heads or their bosses cowtowing to their bosses - thats for marketing - who don't and NEVER WILL understand technology PERIOD. the revolution is about putting the technology in the hands of the people - at least until 2007, right? VT is that and a whole lot more ... i can even run the program without a chip in dreamtime .....

05-20-2004, 07:08 AM
Aussie was also doing some switching. Another difficulty in swicthing at NAB, is you are out on the main floor also "demoing". Part of the VT3 demo is the live switch itself. People will come up and ask questions, ask to see certain features etc. I sure wouldn't want to be the guy doing the TD work.

As for camera work. . . .he he he. They had some robotic cameras and some cameras on sticks and once in a while someone would go hand held. Heck, I don't remember what I was saying but jerm was holding a camera and was laughing so hard the shake must have been horrible. . . .

I agree on presenters being prepared. I absolutely HATE demoing on a machine that I did not set up. Speaking personally I had ZERO plans for demoing at NAB. I was there on vacation and to promote the 3D Arsenal etc.

After Don did his first demo, Tim asked him if he could get me to go up there with him. I had no idea this happened. So I walk up and don asks if I want to do a demo. . . . .he he he. . .I say F*&k no! The reason was, not being prepared etc.

Later on Don told me that Tim had asked. . . .so. . . .how does one say no to the Tim meister? he he he he

So I got up there and we were not nearly as prepared as I would like. I think those demos were more for the die hards etc. I also saw reactions from people when showing VT Edit. They looked like they saw fire for the first time.. . . .

Presenting on stage at a trade show is HARD. Not everybody has the personality for it. You need to be part "ham" but also know what you are talking about. The 9 hour days with no breaks can kill ya as well. . . . .he he he he

Doing 2 a day was cake!