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 Format Wars 2010 Title


Is it just me, or are the years flying by faster than ever these days? It's hard to believe a whole year has passed since our last annual report, detailing the trends we see in our shop, pertaining to service and repairs. 2010 was certainly an eventful year. In mid year, we moved just up the road a piece. What we thought would take a couple of weeks, actually took a full month to do. It's amazing how much junk you can acumulate over the years! If you haven't updated us in your address book, we are now at 260 Milton St, Ste 101, Dedham, MA 02026. 2010 also saw us add 120 new clients! We are eternally grateful for all 2900+ of you.

At the end of each year, I review our invoices and look for trends in new and used camcorder and format purchases, and also what video products we are repairing and maintaining. New camera purchases have increased about 40% over 2009's numbers, with the majority of those (58%), being the HPX P2 models - up from a 19% increase in 2009 over 2008. Sony's PDW series dropped to 20% over 2009's numbers, from 50% in 2009 over 2008. We arrive at these figures by reviewing the invoices for the past year, for new cameras set-ups. Our clients send in their new cameras that we set-up to our Macie Uniform Standard camera setting, along with more specialty settings. About half of our clients come to us for our camera set-ups.

Pre-purchase check-ups of used cameras/camcorders were down 24% from 2009, with the majority of those (62%), being Panasonic HDX-900s. Sony PDWs accounted for 23% of the total for the year. In 2009, the PDWs were the most popular at 41%, with the HDX-900s at 24%. All cameras checked out were HD models. Clients send us their cameras to be checked out prior to purchase. We evaluate the condition of the recorder unit, look for internal damage, and check for bad pixels that can not be fixed, and require a very expensive optical block replacement.

As expected, with general maintenance and repairs of all cameras and decks, BetacamSP has decreased the most - down to only 9% of our repairs from 23% the previous year. Digibeta, HDCAM, DVCAM, HDV, and DVCPROHD are all up slightly. The biggest increase for service was with the Sony EX, XDCAM, and HDXDCAM models, which more than doubled. By manufacture, Panasonic increased to 39% - up from 27%, and Sony decreased to 60%, from 65% in 2009. Panasonic's market share has certainly increased, mainly due to the popularity of Varicam, SDX, and HDX. The Sony HDXDCAMs and Panasonic P2 camera seem to be taking hold as far as new cameras are concerned. The breakdown of SD camcorder service vs. HD service is about the same: 60% SD vs. 40% HD.

The most interesting trend last year and so far this year is the popularity of the Panasonic HDX-900 DVCPROHD tape based camera, both with our clients and with the rental market - at least in the Boston area. The PDW camcorders seem to be increasing especially with reality show producers.

As I mentioned at the end of last years article, more and more video is being recorded on memory card based camcorders, whether P2s, SXSs, or using outboard memory card recorders. That also explains some of the popularity of the Panasonic HDX-900 tape based cameras. By using archiving on tape, and providing a memory card, you have the best of both worlds. Another great tool for producers is the NEXTO-DI Video Storage Memory Card Reader. With an internal 500GB recorder, you can back up CF, SD, MS, xD and P2 cards with an adapter. With an integral monitor to check recordings, it records to an internal 500gb hard drive, and has the capability to record to external hard drives with USB, Firewire, or eSATA PC connections. You can shoot during the day, back up Memory cards on its internal hard drive, then transfer the video files to a client supplied hard drive when job is completed. The client is happy, and you have an internal NEXTO drive, and memory cards that can be reformatted and used again. Don't you just love technology!

With the Sony HDXDCAMs, clients can just walk away with their disk, sort of like a video tape.

As a side note, I have continued to perform on-location services in 2010 with three PBS and one Food Network cooking shows, ESPN's World Series of Poker, and a national dance contest. After being "Tied to the Bench", I have been enjoying field productions. I'm hired to set-up and match a multitude of cameras and often "Shade the cameras" during the shows. Need our services on-location, give us a call. 888-macievi(deo)

We, at Macie Video Service, want to thank you all for your support of our business with both service and referrals. In spite of a changing industry, with your help, we were able to service and additional 120 clients. May God continue to bless your businesses as well.


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