Friday, December 12, 2008

What, no more Aspect HD?

After 5 years we are now retiring Aspect HD, and I say Yah!!!! David Taylor, CineForm's CEO, has post as to why on, but I like this change as we no longer need to remove key features from Prospect HD to make Aspect HD (that is how it is built.) This will streamline development and testing, plus slicing off all the really good stuff always bothered me. We will still have entry level products in the NEO line (more news to come,) but today's customers are increasingly purchasing their first CineForm product at the Prospect HD level (some going directly to P4K as Red users really need a workflow.) Recently Aspect was falling into no man's land, too pricey for the hobbiest and too feature limited for many professionals. The Prospect product line now starts at $749, lowering the entry point for professionals and existing Aspect users can product jump for $199 (only around $50 more than typical upgrade between AHD versions.) This upgrade will also include the upcoming CS4 version of PHD.

Aspect and Prospect a short History.

5+ years ago when Aspect HD was first released it retailed $1199, it was the only HDV professional product of its day for post. The only HDV camera at the time was the barely HD single chip 720p JVC HD10U, so Aspect HD took in only one camera format, 720p HDV and converted into an 8-bit AVI for much easier post within Premiere 6.5 (wow, we come so far since then.) Aspect HD was upgraded to Premiere Pro 1.0 and we soon added 1080i support as Sony FX1/Z1U was coming (we have a bread-boarded prototype of the Z1 in box at the office -- somewhere.) Then HDV exploded, many great cameras, and CineForm implemented the first HDV support for Adobe into Premiere 1.5.1, and Aspect HD prices fell and the sales volumes grew. Around the same time a Prospect HD beta version was used in the post of Dust to Glory, the first film sourced (and HDCAM, DV, etc.) theatrical release ever to have had an compressed online DI workflow. Support for more and more cameras where added, XDCAM-HD, P2, AVCHD, etc. While Aspect was growing beyond it HDV roots (bumping up against it 1440x1080 8-bit limits,) and Prospect was turning in the swiss army knife for all input types with the addition of DPX sequences, XDCAM-EX, Grass Valley Infinity, SI-2K, Red, Dalsa, Phantom all with HDSDI I/O. Over the years of Prospect, feature additions includes 10-bit, 12-bit, 4:4:4, alpha channels, RAW compression, Active Metadata and much more.  So today the Prospect line fits the role for today's indie professional, with so many input formats and many possible output types, it is nice to have an intermediate that handle yours resolution, bit-depth needs in real-time, without breaking the budget, your disk system, or the PC your are try run on. Aspect HD was being left behind when compared to Prospect, so I hope many Aspect users will make the jump to Prospect, as it is a big step up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please, skip hdv.