With less than two months to go before Avid Connect—April 10-12 in Las Vegas—we’re finalizing our plans for what’s shaping up to be the media event of the year. We’re not alone in our preparation for this year’s annual convening of the Avid Customer Association (ACA), our sponsors are also busy firming up their activities for the event.
While we count down to Avid Connect, we’ll be sharing sponsor profiles with you to spotlight their stories and share what they have in store for attendees.
BlueFish444, based in Victoria, Australia, has been a long-time Avid partner and dedicated Avid Connect sponsor since our inaugural event last April. When asked why BlueFish444 sponsors Avid Connect, Tom Lithgow, product specialist at BlueFish444, was quick to answer.
“Avid Connect events have been a great launch pad for successive trade shows that follow the event and for brand new products from BlueFish444, including new hardware and software,” he said. “They also give us the ability to connect with end users, industry partners and Avid staff.”
BlueFish444’s desire to be part of Avid Connect is just one of the ways this unique company engages customers, industry leaders and Avid.
Avid Connect events have been a great launch pad for successive trade shows that follow the event and for brand new products from BlueFish444, including new hardware and software. They also give us the ability to connect with end users, industry partners and Avid staff.
From Past to Present—Evolving to Meet Industry Needs
It’s not every day that you hear of a company whose name originated from an aggressive fish and sampling of video signals, but not every company is like BlueFish444.
When the company formed in 1998, they wanted a name that represented their logo and main business. “The logo and brand name were formed together with the 444 referencing the sampling of uncompressed digital video signals, which is what BlueFish hardware is known for,” Tom said.
Now 16 years later, BlueFish444’s hardware and name has become a mainstay in the professional video, broadcast and post production industries, with a customer base of more than 14,000 and growing, including Chyron Hego, Discovery Channel, Dolby, and 7th Sense. Today, the company focuses on developing, manufacturing and marketing uncompressed SDI video I/O cards.
“When BlueFish444 first formed, we designed PCI cards for analog and digital video capture and playback, so input and output of video and audio from workstation computers,” Tom said. “Now we develop video solutions for SD, HD, 2K and 4K video workflows for SDI digital video. Also, the last product we released in the past six months includes HDMI output capabilities for HD, 2K and 4K on more cost effective displays so slightly different area.”
Basically, since the inception of Open I/O, we have been an official partner with Avid—prior to this we had worked together to make compatible workflows.
Along the way, BlueFish444 and Avid formed a partnership to benefit from each other’s industry expertise and together, stay on the forefront of industry innovation. “Basically, since the inception of Open I/O, we have been an official partner with Avid—prior to this we had worked together to make compatible workflows.” he said. “Open I/O is our gateway to video and audio I/O from inside Media Composer for third party devices.”
With every Media Composer release, comes an update from BlueFish444 to ensure their Open I/O plug-in’s functionality is compatible with our software. These continual updates, Tom said, come with rewards and challenges for we work in a media environment that is constantly evolving and we all have to keep up.
“The media industry in general is extremely fast moving as far as technology is concerned so this requires continual refocusing and realignment with what our goals are and what we try to provide our customers. A good example is the steady transition from SD to HD, then strong interest in 3D technology and now adoption of 4K resolutions and higher frame rates—that has all happened in a relatively short span of time as far as technology is concerned,” he said. “But that’s what makes the industry we work in exciting and enjoyable, because it’s never the same.”
As the industry evolves, companies are striving to provide customers with solutions to current and future challenges. Tom noted that Avid Everywhere is a good example of an existing need in the media world being answered—the ability to connect and access media remotely.
“Avid Everywhere is a fantastic concept and really does highlight how the industry is consistently progressing and changing its requirements,” he said. “Everything is becoming web-based and it makes sense that the content creation tools have an ability to do that as well, whether it be through content management or through editing over the cloud.”
Avid Everywhere is a good example of an existing need in the media world being answered—the ability to connect and access media remotely.
Product Showcase at Avid Connect
Constantly being on the “bleeding edge of technology” as Tom said, is a full-time job, but innovating and responding to customer needs is just in a day’s work for him and his colleagues. “We are quite dynamic as a company and can respond to customer requests with solutions and upgrades to our hardware, software and drivers very rapidly,” Tom said. “Basically, if a customer has a new requirement or needs a feature that can’t be achieved on the current hardware, we can assess that and provide a solution rather quickly.”
Tom continues, “That’s why Avid Connect and trade exhibitions like the NAB show are so important. They give us the opportunity to connect with customers, industry partners and professionals directly using our equipment.”
At this year’s Avid Connect gathering, BlueFish444 plans to showcase some of its latest product releases, including their new low-profile half-length form factor PCI express video card, Epoch 4K Neutron, and Fluid DNxHD Ingestore software application.
“Our Fluid DNxHD Ingestore software application, which is complimentary to any Avid Media Composer system or any facility using Media Composer internally, allows BlueFish444 customers to work inside Media Composer with an SDI or HDMI preview, while simultaneously capturing video from an SDI source,” Tom said. “This is just one of the unique features of BlueFish and is one of the complimentary products we offer that fits into the Media Composer workflow and facilities.”
BlueFish444 is looking forward to meeting with customers, partners and thought leaders at Avid Connect and hopes to see you there. “I’d happily recommend that users, teachers and industry professionals and anyone who has an interest in media in general and it’s evolution should attend the event.” he said. “It’s definitely worthwhile.”