Why I think VMC1 is technology from the future


NewTek Engineering

At IBC I am sure that you see more than usual number of new products from many companies. Even so, I personally believe that what we have just announced constitutes one of the bigger shifts in the market that we have seen for quite some time, and I am truly proud to be announcing this product line.

For two decades, NewTek has leveraged the ever-increasing power of modern computers, software and processing to make live video production available to a huge part of the market. When we started out, it cost a lot of money (and I mean a LOT) to produce a live show. Products like TriCaster helped make this accessible to everyone, and in the process helped bring about the streaming revolution (which would not be worth considering without quality shows to watch), helped make live video not just about expensive shows on broadcast TV, and played a big part in nurturing a new generation of "broadcasters" (creating YouTube, Facebook Video, etc...)

Until now, though, this revolution has mostly benefited smaller productions. Those producing shows needing much beyond about 8-12 inputs have really seen no significant production advances in ~30 years (since the advent of the built-in DVE unit). Sure, they have more resolution and have a few extra buffers than they did decades ago, but the reality is that a modern switcher is only marginally improved over one from the SD era. While the low end of the market has been revolutionized beyond all recognition, the high end has basically been stagnant. This is because of fundamental bandwidth constraints on modern computer systems that make it really hard to scale up much beyond the 8-12 input range. Missing out on the innovations enabled by innovative computer technology and software, advances in this part of the industry have been comparatively glacial.

With 64 primary switcher inputs (44 that all support key+fill, 4 DDRs, 15 buffers, etc.) VMC1 accomplishes things that shouldn't technically be possible ... not even on the fastest computers today (VMC1 handles almost 10x the number of sources of most other computer-based systems). And all of this is done at full 1080p60. Indeed, I do not think it is an over-statement to say that this technology is truly a generation beyond the traditional live production equipment it replaces. Compare it to the current crop of hybrid SDI/IP platforms, and you'll see that most of these are (at best) 3G switchers running base-band SDI video internally, and maybe having maybe an IP transcoder bolted onto the inputs and outputs. By contrast, VMC1 is a true IP-based system from the ground up. From the moment you use it, VMC1's superiority over traditional switchers becomes immediately apparent.

What keeps me excited about my job at NewTek is that we do not just make new versions of our products; instead, we make products that really matter, and really change things. Almost exactly a year ago today (just before we announced NDI, and fully NDI-enabled TriCasters), I posted on these forums that we were about to make the biggest announcements we've ever made, and further, that the related advances would not be limited to what we displayed at IBC and then NAB. The announcement of the IP Series is the next step in that transition .... and I can tell you that we still have more big steps to come.

I am so proud of the team that have helped make this happen, and so proud to be able to share this with our customers, who inspire me almost every day with suggestions (and criticism) and give us the ideas that have helped us change the world of video.



'the write stuff'
My favorite quote of the day (from this article) seems to back up your view:

"NewTek’s IP series has simply fallen out of the future. In our opinion, it’s five years ahead of anything else. And, in this age of exponential change, that means that it seems decades ahead. "


NewTek System Integrator
I couldn't agree more Andrew. As you know I have been pushing IP based concepts for a long time. We have been doing IP audio via DANTE for years now. We are using NDI every chance we get. I have been sitting here since the announcement just plotting and contemplating how much easier NDI and the new NewTek IP platform is going to make everything for us and our clients.
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