Among other things, I’ve been a Technical Director/Switcher (TD or TD/S) almost as long as I’ve been a videographer.
For those who don’t know what that is, I’m the last guy to “touch” the signal at a concert, sporting event or conference before it goes live.
I get to sit in front of a console and a bank of monitors with a whole bunch of text and flashing lights.
You’ve seen these photos before:
Still don’t get it?
We TDs laugh whenever we watch Star Wars Episode 4 (The ORIGINAL Star Wars film) – The Death Star “Planet Blower-Upper Gun” is actuated by the Take-Bar on a video switcher! Television geek inside jokes are so much fun! The Take-Bar is activated at 6 seconds in. I think every TD imagines all that power at least once per gig…
Well, for most of my career, the larger surfaces I’ve had the pleasure on working behind were manufactured by Canadian firm Ross Video.
One of the things I and my fellow TDs have always loved about Ross is their Take-Bar (or T-Bar) design.
Imagine my shock and surprise to see news this morning that their new Acuity large format switcher is now shipping with a new Take-Bar design.
I can’t lie – I missed this at the NAB Show in Vegas this year. I would have loved to have heard the discussions from other TDs about the feel of the new design.
But man, does it look hot!
The user interface is what makes a good TD great. The right feel and placement of buttons, dials, switches… I always assumed driving a Formula One car would be something like “driving” a switcher – anyone can kind-of jump in the driver’s seat and push some buttons and make it do something but a real artist can make it sing!
I’m a huge fan of Ross Video and have been since my beginnings. This is the sort of radical change I love seeing in my industry. Radical, not “disruptive”, a “game-changer” or some other hyperbolic adjective.
I wish my friends at Ross the very best of luck with this new design and hope someday I get to drive one!
Thanks for reading!