Tablo Streaming Antenna Box

I want to talk about what I think might be the coolest knew thing since Netflix. I recently discovered the Tablo on Amazon. This is not just another set top box. The Tablo will connect to your antenna and stream the over the air Broadcast to many set-top boxes. It will also play live TV and recording content to any web browser! This is huge! Now if you want to cut the cord you no longer need to try to feed antenna signals all over your house. You can simply buy a Tablo, connected in a convenient location, download the app on all your set-top boxes around your house. For instance, this helps me out because I can have one Tablo box in my main AV rack then my TV in the bedroom connected with a fire stick. Two TVs in the basement connected with Roku minis, and stream the content to my tablet. This also allows me to have a football game coming in on the satellite to the media room. Have my Roku connected to the deck TV streaming a local game on ABC. You can watch on up to six devices at one time. The Tablo has two tuners and a USB out for recording to a hard drive. Yes, it’s a DVR as well. Tablo has a free 30-day trial of their TV guide data subscription. After the 30 days it’s $4.99 for a month, $49 a year, and $149 for a lifetime. With this subscription, you can also stream your recording’s and live TV to your mobile devices anywhere. So, if you’re in Japan and want to check out the local news you can! Of course, you can use it without the subscription. You just lose some of the cool artwork, 30-day TV Guide, and streaming to your mobile device outside of your network.

Door County Shot On iPhone 6s Plus In 4K

Jillian and I had a chance to see family in Wisconsin this summer. Her aunt and uncle took us to Door County. It’s a peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Known for long shoreline and many parks. Peninsula State Park on Green Bay is home to sheltered Nicolet Beach, with its calm waters. On Lake Michigan, Newport State Park is a wilderness park crisscrossed with trails. Potawatomi State Park, in Sturgeon Bay, is fringed by limestone cliffs. This was shot on my iPhone 6s Plus in 4K.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARElNTmZndw]

New Years Eve Production with DCR

I had the great honor of being able to serve alongside DCR Media & Systems for this year’s Campus Out Reach 2016 New Year’s eve conference.  I look forward to this event every year it’s a great  Ministry  and a great group of people.  DCR Media & Systems provided all of the audio video and lighting as well as the rigging and Crew to pull this 6 day event off.

We used a dB Technologies  rig consisting of 24 T4 tops and 8 EV  dual 18 subwoofers.   Allen and Heath GLD 112 at front of house and GLD 80 at monitor world.  Wireless was all done using the new Shure QLXD with SM 58 capsules and galaxy audio  HM3 headsets.

  Everything is hung off of 16 motor points.  18 ETC ellipsoidal’s were used on the face light truss.  These were powered with Two ETC SmartRack Dimmers.   24 quad 6 battens as well as  16 QFX Blades from blizzard lighting. We added 10 Rogue R1 and a D50 hazer for the New Year’s eve party.   Lighting console was a hog 4 hedgehog.

 I was pulled into drive all of the video content which consisted of a three camera  and two MacBooks running  pro presenter 6.   All switching was done via a black magic production studio 4K and a Panasonic HMX 100.   Content was being displayed on two Christie HD 14 K projectors.  We brought in an 18 foot Camera Jib for the New Year’s eve party.  This allowed us to do sweeping crowd shots and overhead views of the DJs.
 This was truly an honor to be able to be apart and work with an amazing crew from DCR and  the amazing staff at Campus Out Reach.
 Front of house engineer- James Jaros II
 Lighting engineer- Nate York
 Monitor engineer  and stage manager – Matt Yancey
 Production director- Chris Russell
 Video director- Andy Terrell 


Best Power Strip Ever

Recently I purchased something to help out some of my clients and fellow crew members. It seems like every time we do a shoot either the talent client or other crew members are always needing power strips. Mostly to plug-in phones to charge them. So on Amazon the other day I ran across this little gem. It’s a 6 outlet plus 6 USB charging port surge protector. This is been a big hit with the make up artist and hairstylist I work with. They love this because they’re always playing music from their phones. Clients are always wanting too plug-in while in the chair and it gives them plenty of outlets for things like hairdryers and curling irons.

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The only downside I wish they would flip the outlet plugs around so the ground was facing out. Some wall warts will cover the USB socket. And for that very reason I carry a few of these in my production box

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Sony A7R2 and Tamron Lenses

So probably in the latter part of the year we will be looking to upgrade a few of our cameras. Lately I’ve started the process of narrowing down the field of camera selection. One of the cameras so talked about is the Sony A7r II. Naturally this camera makes the list. As I’ve been looking through online reviews and reading blog post. I have found a lot of information talking about the camera itself as well as its compatibility through Metabones adapters to work with Canon lenses. However I have not found any information that talks about working with Tamron lenses. I’ve been a Tamron lens shooter for many years now since I got my first Canon 20D. I have drug them up mountains and drop them in the sand on the beach. In they still keep going.
So naturally I want to make sure that the Sony A7R2 will work with my tamron glass. So I logged on to Lensrentals.com (great people) that is where I rent the majority of the gear for bigger productions. I ordered the A7R2 and the Metabones V4 version four adapter and the spare Sony lens just in case it didn’t work. Before my order shipped I got an email from them that they had given me a free upgrade to the meta-bones T adapter. This is a cool adapter because it works for both Canon EF and EF–S lenses.

So when everything came in I got to testing things and I’m very happy to report that everything worked great. The only autofocus issues I had was in very low light during the civil twilight shooting some sunset stuff. I even tested out the 24 mm lens from Canon and found that it worked fine. The camera and the Metabones smart adapter even knew that it was an EFS lens and change the A7R2 camera to APC mode automatically for me. This is very helpful when you’re in the field switching lenses. This way you don’t have to remember to change the setting. All in all I’m very pleased with the system and how it works. And I must say that Sony is kicking everybody’s butt right now. Canon step up your game start getting innovative! Please! So as far as which camera we will be choosing not totally sure yet, more out there to look through but I wanted to get this out in hopes that it’ll help somebody else in their art endeavors. Wish all of you the best.

Tips for editing great video

I’ve been working with a few people as they’ve been trying to get more involved with editing video and I’ve noticed something. People get really focused on editing the video and making sure the video is right but they are listening to the audio through their computer speakers. I’m not talking about a decent set of external speakers or desktop monitors, I’m talk about the speakers built into The MacBook. It’s highly important for you to have a good set of external desktop speakers so you can actually get the volume up to an appropriate level so you can hear the blend between your vocals and or talent in your background music. The speakers inside of your computer do  not have a full dynamic range in most cases they are tweaked for vocal performance. So if you’re mixing between speech and background music there’s a good chance you’re going to wind up with the background music too loud and covering up your speech.

Get a pair of decent studio monitors plugged in to your computer and play some of your favorite music also play one of your favorite movies from Netflix. If you do a lot of documentary style editing listen to a couple a news broadcast stream from like Fox news or CNN. This will get you use to the way the studio monitor sound and react to your environment. If you do a lot of music production and music videos I would recommend getting a sub woofer as well. This will keep you from overcompensating on the bass and things becoming to bass heavy in the real world.

I used the JBL LSR305 5-inch Two-Way Powered Studio Monitors (PAIR) w/ 1 JBL LSR310S

If you’re on a budget you can always get a good pair of  headphones. I would recommend the Grado SR60e Headphones this would also work great if you need edit on the go like on an airplane. 

The last vice and it’s not super important if you’re on a budget is to get a external DAC or digital to analog converter. This will give you better sound than just the headphone jack on your computer. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Audio Interface Studio Package

Cheaper alternative to Sonos

Cheaper alternative to Sonos or Denon HEOS.

A few months ago google released the new Chromecast, A $35 media streaming stick. Actually this one looks more like a hockey puck.  But they also released an audio only streaming puck. I have messed around with the Denon HEOS link and it’s still a product in the making. I have install the Sonos products mainly Connect and connect amps. So when I started looking for an alternative or cheaper option to the Sonos connect and connect amps I stumbled across the Chromecast audio player for $35. The chromecast audio player does pretty much everything a Sonos connect will do. It will let you name the rooms or devices connected to it and let you group multiple rooms for players together for a whole house audio experience. It will stream from all of the major sources like Spotify, deezer, rapacity and tune-in. I think the only thing it won’t stream is iTunes and Amazon music.

So to help you guys out and save some money here are the following ways I have this hooked up and running.

Option one driving in ceiling speakers

I have the chromecast connected to a cheap dum amp like this Lepy Amp. This amp powers a pair of Monoprice in ceiling speakers. I just leave the amp on and I have the volume about 90% of the way up. Depending on your speakers you may find you need to mess with the EQ knobs or the volume to suit your fancy.
Lepy LP-2024A+ Hi-Fi Audio Amplifier Stereo Power Amplifier Car Amplifier with Power Supply, 3A Power, 20W x 2 RMS, Black
Monoprice 104104 8-Inch Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair)
Monoprice 104103 6-1/2-Inch Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speaker

Option to connected to my AV receiver

My AV receiver is actually powering the living room 7.2 and kitchen in ceiling speakers. I have the chromecast connected to the CD input of my Onkyo receiver. I have a second Chromecast audio plugged into a second old denon receiver that powers the deck outdoors and dining room. I have another very similar set up in the master bedroom and bathroom.

Monoprice 104104 8-Inch Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair)
Monoprice 104103 6-1/2-Inch Kevlar 2-Way In-Ceiling Speaker

 This is an Onkyo that work like my old Denon with 3 zones for output.

Onkyo TX-NR1030 9.2-Ch Dolby Atmos Ready Network A/V Receiver w/ HDMI 2.0

 Option three connected to a powered speaker.

In my office I have a pair of powered studio monitors connected to the computer. I have the Chromecast connected to my powered speakers.
JBL LSR305 Studio Monitor