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Revisiting the 10 Standout Video Products for the Next-Gen AV Integrator and Their Customers

In the year since we introduced this newsletter, we’ve addressed the enormous expansion the role of AV expert in business, government and houses of worship. We’ve looked at some of the points that integrators and resellers must absorb rapidly about the changing needs of clients who are expected to become experts (sometimes overnight) in producing live events and shows for streaming or podcasting, among other types of programming. This edition, we look at ten new products that particularly illustrate the kind of expanded requirements for clients and business opportunities for integrators.

Many AV integrators’ clients now find themselves responsible for producing and webcasting professional-looking live and slick-looking video. That seismic shift has, in turn, created an enormous assortment of products designed to make previously high-tech production and post technology for institutions with high-end production needs but budgets that don’t match. Video integrators are becoming fluent in new products that fit into the many new niches that all this change has created.

1. PTZOptics has made a significant impact with its PTZ (remote Pan, Tilt, Zoom) style cameras. We covered the power and impact these types of cameras have had, particularly in roughly the past year, as the chip resolution and optical quality has taken massive strides. PTZOptics, which specializes in these cameras and peripherals, has made a significant impact.

2. Avid Nexis | Pro brings Avid’s entertainment-industry-proven professional storage and networking to the “entry-level” postproduction work environment. With it, Avid offers the kind of flexibility, robustness and storage capacity in the $5 thousand range that would until recently have started at four times that.

3. For those who want a lot of storage and significant networking capabilities but without the resources or requirements for the professional “entry level” solution, G-Technology offers a significant range of options that might be the perfect fit.

4. NewTek’s TriCaster TC1 offers the higher-end webcaster and broadcaster complete live-switching, editing, mixing, streaming tool with 4K/60p, integrated video servers, multi-channel ISO recording to full-res QuickTime and H.264 for VOD postproduction and archiving. It is essentially a full TV control room in a small package.

5. A bit further down the scale, Telestream, offers Wirecast, which may offer fewer bells and whistles than a TV control room but is a more affordable approach for people, companies, houses of worship and schools looking to deliver live and prerecorded video to YouTube, Facebook and other platforms.

6. And at an even more attractive price, Pearl Mini from Epiphan Video offers a compact audiovisual capture, recording, and streaming product.

7. The recently-enhanced Samsung 360 Round camera lets AV teams explore a world of visual storytelling that the whole world is still defining. The camera’s been around a while but a new version includes updates to its livestreaming and post-production software, including Samsung’s Stitching tool, that weaves together video from each of the 360 Round’s 17 lenses.

8. Atomos has been a leader in the world of video monitor/recorder going back to the early days of the video-capable DSLR. Today, with their feature-heavy Shogun Inferno, the company offers a tool with the exposure and focusing tools videographers have come to expect as well as the ability to capture ProRes, DNxHR, CDNG and the new ProRes RAW format.

9. Anything with NewTek-invented NDI (Network Device Interface). A lot has evolved since we reported on the topic of the interface, created by NewTek and available on a massive number of cameras and webcasting tools. More tools are NDI native and NDI itself continues to offer more power and flexibility. It has definitely helped simplify the tech involved in getting video in front of huge numbers of people.

10. BirdDog has made a name for itself with a group of products that convert traditional video signals into NDI. They call their MINI “the world’s smallest NDI encoder.” The tiny unit supports resolutions from SD to 1080P60. The importance of products like the MINI is that departments that own non-native NDI equipment can still work in the NDI space, without the cost and logistical obstacles that HD-SDI and HDMI can present.

But, of course, we’re only providing a snapshot of cool products in the AV world at this moment, by the time of InfoComm next month, there might be a whole slew of additional products. And that is why we reiterate: There’s never been a more exciting time to be a video integrator!


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