Everyone at Technology Evangelist would like to give a big thank you to Herby for making the 2006 CES HDTV feeds available as bittorrent files. These files will help reduce the strain on the Technology Evangelist servers and reduce the amount of bandwidth utilized overall. It’s fellow evangelists like Herby that make this site so much fun to work on.
I thought it would be fun to show everyone our HDTV setup and show a bit of how we’re doing things before we hit the 2006 CES floor today.
From left to right we have our Mackie mixer, 17" PowerBook, HDCam tapes, Panasonic DVCPRO HD 1200 deck, Sony HDW-730s HDCam camera, and my Fujitsu 4020 TabNote. While we have a lot more gear here at the show, this is just what we use to edit everything.
Being able to edit HD on a laptop is not easy. We take the HD-SDI feed directly out of the camera and plug that into the Panasonic DVCPRO deck. From there the deck converts the 1080i HD-SDI signal to a 1080i DVCPRO HD signal and spits it out through the firewire port. The firewire is linked into the laptop which has a 250GB Lacie hard drive attached. All content is then captured using FinalCut Pro HD on the external drive, edited down, and the compressed on the laptop using Sorenson Squeeze. Once the 480p file is done compressing we transfer that to the Fujitsu TabNote on the right and begin working on creating a much smaller version for Video iPods as well as the Podcast stream. The first video starts uploading to our servers right away while the 720p and 1080p continue rendering (it does field interpolation to get us 1080p since the raw is 1080i). Each night the entire render process takes about 9 hours. Each video takes about 2 hours to upload. As you can see, we start to lag behind with the 1080p content since it’s SO huge and hard to manage. We make it to bed around 4:00am and wake back up at 7:00am for the next day of shooting.
Editing the content is only 1/2 of the puzzle, distributing it is the other 1/2. Hardly anyone distributes HDTV content via the web, and I know of no one else that tries to bring nightly HDTV updates from a convention floor. The biggest problem is finding an easy way for consumers to be able to view the feed without having to configure their browsers or media players. That’s why we have been working on getting Apple iTunes support, which I’m excited to say is now complete. If you click on the ‘Video iPod Feed’ under each video post you’ll be taken directly to our Video iPod area in the Apple iTunes music store. From there all you need to do is subscribe. I’m trying to find a good way to add that support to the HDTV feeds, but have yet to find a way to make it easy to understand. I would like to clean up all of the buttons and make it a simple ‘iTunes HDTV’ feed as well as the raw RSS for the bittorrents and mp4’s… If anyone has an idea of how to do this elegantly, please post in the comments. We’re creating the future of HDTV distribution, and any comments you may have to streamline the process would be appreciated. We’re innvovating together.