2006 ushers in the year of affordable high quality high definition (HD) capture, edit, and output, with all the pieces finally becoming widely available. Camera manufacturers large and small showed off their wears to the marketplace. The very largest electronics vendors had monstrous booths with entry pavilion theaters with breathtaking visuals. Sony Electronics featured their 4K SXRD projectors with a spectacular 4096 x 2160 pixel resolution. Sony showcased the 70 mm film Baraka, by Ron Fricke, with scenes of Japanese Macaque (Snow Monkey) and volcanoes. Matsushita Electric Industrial under their Panasonic brand headlined the versatility, workflow, and color accuracy of the AG-HVX200 DVCPRO HD solid state camcorder. NHK showcased the North American premiere of Super Hi-vision with an astounding 7680 x 4320 pixels, for a near IMAX experience with digital cinema.
The entry into the HD realm starts with 720p, followed by 1080p, and then reaches into the stratosphere with 2K, 4K, and 8K systems. JVC previewed the GY-HD200U a 720p camcorder and Panasonic celebrated the 720p and 1080p AG-HVX200 camcorder. Sony delivered on the 1080i XDCAM HD series, and RED digital cinema promoted a future 4K RED ONE camera.
On the post production side, Mac based editing solutions include Avid and Apple. Compositing software is more diverse with Apple Shake, Boris FX Blue and Red, Autodesk Combustion, and Adobe After Effects. With the rapid move toward Universal applications and Intel based workstations, every software vendor is rapidly moving toward the PowerPC and Intel binaries, but no one faster the Apple Computer. Already Final Cut Studio and very soon Shake will be fully qualified on the Power Mac G5 series, MacBook Pro series, and future platforms.