Video Pro News from WWDC 2019

Posted on by Larry

The big news, for video folks, coming out of this morning’s WWDC announcements from Apple were the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR monitor.

For developers, the ability to use Swift to code user interfaces much more easily, the separate iPad operating system, and the ability to create a single application that runs on iPads and Macs were, I suspect, the highlights.

Let’s take a look at these in more detail.

The new, NEW MAC PRO

(Image courtesy: Apple Inc.)

Coming “in the fall,” the 2019 Mac Pro is reminiscent of the cheese grater Mac Pro of the last decade. “Built around a stainless steel space frame, an aluminum housing lifts off, allowing 360-degree access to every component and vast configuration.

“At the heart of the system is a new Intel Xeon processor with up to 28 cores — the most ever in a Mac. In addition, large L2 and shared L3 caches and 64 PCI Express lanes provide massive bandwidth in and out of the processor.

“Eight PCI Express expansion slots. Mac Pro is designed for pros who need to build high-bandwidth capabilities into their systems. With four double-wide slots, three single-wide slots, and one half-length slot preconfigured with the Apple I/O card — it has twice as many slots as the previous Mac tower.

“Mac Pro has extremely high-performance I/O, and lots of it. It begins with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and two 10Gb Ethernet ports. And with every MPX Module you add you get more capability. Connect up to 12 4K displays or up to six Pro Display XDRs from Apple and see your work with over 120 million pixels. It’s now easy to expand at will.” (Apple website)

The base price is $5,999 for the 8-core system with 256 GB of SSD storage and 32 GB of RAM. Full pricing options have not yet been announced. Extra cost options that most video pros will want to consider include:

The things I like are its ability to be user-configured after you purchase it, it’s emulation of the wildly popular cheese-grater Mac Pro, and the ability to add really high-performance components to the system. I expect, in coming days, that 3rd-party hardware developers will be announcing additional hardware in support of the fall release.

NOTE: Here’s the link to learn more

PRO DISPLAY XDR

(Image courtesy: Apple Inc.)

Apple also announced a new Pro Display XDR (for Extended Dynamic Range), which will be shipping in the fall. (I can already see that the “XDR” name will cause confusion with HDR and the different published monitor standards.)

“The first 32-inch Retina 6K display ever. Up to 1600 nits of brightness. An astonishing 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and super-wide viewing angle. Over a billion colors presented with exceptional accuracy. And dynamic range that transforms the professional workflow. Introducing Apple Pro Display XDR, the world’s best pro display.” (Apple website)

While Apple implies that this exceeds the HDR spec, in fact, it doesn’t. What it DOES do, though is provide up to 1600 nits (peak) of brightness. (Most monitors are 500 nits.)

It also displays a P3 wide color gamut, which we have become used to on other Apple monitors, such as MacBook Pro laptops. A very need feature is that the stand and monitor support rotating into a vertical display. While not particularly helpful for video, it will be very helpful for photographers and people working on display advertising.

Retail price is $4,999 plus another $199 for the stand. (A VESA mount adapter is also available.)

NOTE: Here’s the link to learn more.

macOS UPDATED TO CATALINA (v. 10.15)

(Image courtesy: Apple Inc.)

Apple also previewed the next version of macOS: Catalina.

“With macOS Catalina, Apple is replacing iTunes with its popular entertainment apps — Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app. The all-new Sidecar feature enables users to extend their Mac desktop by using their iPad as a second display or as a high-precision input device across creative Mac apps. New security features keep users better protected and Voice Control lets users control their Mac entirely with their voice.

“’With macOS Catalina, we’re bringing fresh new apps to the Mac, starting with new standalone versions of Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app,’ said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. ‘Users will appreciate how they can expand their workspace with Sidecar, enabling new ways of interacting with Mac apps using iPad and Apple Pencil. And with new developer technologies, users will see more great third-party apps arrive on the Mac this fall.’” (Apple press release)

As a reminder, Catalina will not support 32-bit applications or codecs. So, while the new OS won’t ship until the fall, make sure that any existing application or media that you need in the future can be updated to 64-bit.

Another potentially nice feature is Sidecar. This allows an iPad to be used as a second monitor for a Mac desktop or laptop system. The iPad connects via BlueTooth, so you don’t need to carry connectors to use this feature. “When paired with an Apple Pencil, they can use their iPad to draw, sketch or write in any Mac app that supports stylus input. Sidecar is a great tool for editing video with Final Cut Pro X, drawing with Adobe Illustrator or marking up iWork documents.” (Apple press release)

NOTE: Here’s an article that explains how to tell if your applications are 32-bit.

Most of the other featured applications were consumer-focused.

NOTE: Here’s the link to learn more.

SUMMARY

The new announcements are exciting. But, as with all new updates, allow yourself time to learn more and NEVER update when a new OS is first released. Our job is to create compelling visual content on time and on budget. Let others, who don’t have deadlines, run the risks associated with any new release.

I’m looking forward to learning more and sharing the news with you.


10 Responses to Video Pro News from WWDC 2019

  1. I really think Apple has gotten back to their core fundamentals of innovation and design! That’s what they’ve always done best and continuing to raise the bar into the stratosphere! I was excited when the previous redesign came out but it just didn’t provide what we professionals really needed for our workflows. Apple seemed to want to push most of the expansion literally out of the case into modular add-ons via cabling. That’s all fine if the expansion hardware supported graphics cards. Until Thunderbolt 3 and some innovative developers, we couldn’t support it, and even then I think it arrived too late for the industry. Many professionals moved over to other workstations that could deliver built in expansion and graphics support well, like BOXX’s workstations for example. Hopefully this move by Apple will turn heads and bring many of the industry leading companies back to MacOS, along with many new players that may now give Apple a try.

    Thank you Larry for your continued coverage and support of the creative professional and the content creation industry! Although I’ll miss your weekly Podcast, The Buzz, I understand the need to focus on the fundamentals and evolve your business. I wish you well in your endeavors and look forward to what training and insight your offer in the future!

    • Larry says:

      Terry:

      Thanks for your very kind words!

      I agree, the new Mac Pro looks like Apple has learned major lessons from the 2013 Mac Pro. I’m very impressed with both initial performance and its expandability.

      What I’m waiting to see is pricing – a $999 MSRP for a monitor stand does not provide a lot of hope for reasonable pricing – and how much gear we can add AFTER we purchase the unit. If it is expandable AFTER purchase, Apple may have a winner.

      larry

      • Chris says:

        I have been told from an insider (CEO of one of the companies mentioned on stage at the Keynote) that the monitor comes with a basic mount. The $1k one is very optional…

      • Hi Larry,

        Well for what I’ve learned from the pros who visited the product showcase after the WWDC Keynote presentation, the new display will mount to most VESA Monitor Mount/Stands, so as Chris says it’s “Very Optional.” But of all the adaptable and articulating stands, Apple’s version may be worth it’s price tag as it is one of the most fluid-moving and effortless-to-use stands created that I’ve seen come to market! I just hope that they will have one in their retail stores to try. I think it would be a good move to test the consumer on how they like the feel and functionality of it to see if they should adapt it as a new standard for more their future displays including the iMac/iMac Pro line of desktops.

  2. Shameer M. says:

    I understand the Mac Pro’s and Pro XDR pricing reflect its target market but is it me, or does $999 for a Pro Stand seem unjustified?

  3. Clayton Moore says:

    For me there is a price point disconnect here for Apple, now it may be what this new tech cost to build but……… Everyone know budgets have been on the decline now. I noticed that Panasonic lowered their Varicam LT camera almost $7,000 and the reason they gave was the $20,000 camera market has effectively gone away. I’m not sure how that equates to computer work stations but, I guess we’ll find out. It might be that in the same way the high end camera market still sells, this new MacPro may be that equivalent to that where work stations are concerned. Not currently in my league I’m afraid, but a very cool, powerful beast of a machine that’s for sure.

    • More than likely it will come to the cost of a new car if you max this Mac out. But as Larry has always pointed out you don’t need to do that for most workflows. Many that have done that are either showing off or really need that extra CPU power to get their vision created. I really think this new Mac will be mainly used by the powerhouse pros (VFX Design & Composition, Color Grading, Music & Sound Design) who need it, who can recoup the investment with the client work they do. Most of us professionals will buy the lower end or mid-range configurations that better support what we do as content creators and visual artists. Once we get pricing per spec, then we just have to find the “sweet spot” for what we can budget. Or a lot of us may not need the 2019 Mac Pro. The iMac Pro, iMac, Mac Mini (aka Mac Mini Pro), or the Macbook Pro, may be all we really need to get our vision accomplished. But it’s nice to dream. Smiles.

      I think YouTube Creator, Jonathan Morrison really makes this case well in his recent post about the 2019 Mac Pro. Link below.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=V8-APXqA15I

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