Smart Assist Octo (above)
- 8× HD cameras or 2× 4K cameras.
- 24× SDI outputs.
- Tagged routed outputs on mini OLEDdisplays.
- Apple M2 Studio CPU and GPU performance.
- Touchscreen: rugged, sharp, 500 nits, truecolor 22” 4K DCI P3 display.
- ProRes444, H.264 and H.265 recording.
- Removable SSD video drives.
- Stream live or playback video to up to 16iPads or iPhones.
- Connects with standard Bluetooth devicessuch as keyboard, mouse and headset.
- Power : Mains, block or camera batteries (Vor Gold mount), hot-swap and 2-minute UPS.
- Fast-and easy to setup.
Sergi Ovide Maudet is the General Manager of Ovide, a company with headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, manufacturing video assist systems and renting camera equipment.
A few weeks ago, Andrew Steele, CEO / Technical Director of EMIT in Paris called to say that they had just been appointed distributors of Ovide video assist systems in France. He introduced Sergi, who presented an interesting overview of the company and their video assist products. Sergi said:
“I studied engineering in electronics and telecommunications. My idea was not to work in the family business for a long time. But I loved it. My father has always been in this industry. He founded this company 30 years ago. Before that, he worked in a Spanish electronics company making home audio equipment. He started as an intern and kept on going. Then he left the company and ran his own companies trying to sell TVs and audio equipment. One day, he realized by accident that renting was more profitable than selling. He said, ‘It’s a fun thing to give someone something and when they return it they give you money and you still have the thing and get even more money for the same thing.’ He realized that rentals looked like an interesting business. So he made it grow.
“In the beginning, I spent my summers here cleaning cables and then cleaning cameras and everything else. I’ve done every job in the company. And I’m still working here. At Ovide, I’m also very involved in R&D. About 10 years ago, we were looking for a proper video assist system and had a clear idea of what we wanted. We knew about QTAKE, the Slovakian software company which was the industry standard for video assist. But we needed a proper hardware system for it that could endure the abuse of a rental item. We cannot rent a cart with a computer, lots of Thunderbolt cables, and if you turn it on, it may not work.
And so, after requesting a trial license from QTAKE, we put all of the hardware components that we had in mind on a big table, all of the circuit boards and so on. We designed some electronics and packaged it all-in-one with a 22-inch monitor. We delivered the first unit to a production along with the rest of our equipment rental package, and then two weeks later we delivered the second one.
“Word got out and people wanted to buy our video assists. That’s how our manufacturing and sales started. Actually the first sales unit went direct to New York on The Amazing Spider-Man. In the beginning, the Ovide Smart department consisted of Victor (our mechanical engineer and head of manufacturing), Flappi (our product manager) and me. It was as much fun as it was tough. We went through a lot together.
“Then, step by step, we hired more people and started designing more complex circuits. It was never all off-the-shelf; we kept on improving and then doing specific video boards—which we had not done in the beginning. We improved our designs, cooling, power management and packaged it all in a housing that is aircraft grade aluminum and very tough. We wanted it to be upgradeable. We wanted it to be as easy to use as possible. So we continued and have been doing generations upon generations of our Smart Assist. The Octo, which was released last year, is our latest high-end video assist. It has 8 inputs and 24 outputs. It is based on a powerful Apple M2 Studio computer.
Ovide KOKO 10″ Video Assist
• 10” HDR DCI-P3 Touchscreen. Sharp, super bright (1000 nits) and true color 10”HD (1920×1080).
• 12G-SDI in/out.
• Records 4× 1080p60 cameras or 1× 4K.
- Records onto removable SSD.
- Apple ProRes recording.
- No additional software needed.
- Records focus, iris, zoom, white balance, shutter,ISO, LUT metadata.
- Independent LUTs for each output.
“Our other new product is KOKO. It has a 10″ super bright (1000 nits) and true color HD (1920×1080) HDR DCI-P3 Touchscreen, with 12G-SDI in/out, and it can record 4× 1080p60 cameras or 1× 4K in ProRes onto a removable SSD.
“We bought the technology of Odyssey from Convergent Design. That’s the good news about being a camera rental company and a manufacturer. I was standing in one of our Prep Bays and saw an Odyssey. After navigating through the menus, I thought it was a very good start for what we wanted to do. We knew that Odyssey was not being manufactured anymore. Convergent had stepped out of the video recording business.
“And so, we made KOKO. It’s ready to record in 1.5 seconds. Turn it on and it’s ready. KOKO also has protection. Playback is disabled when you’re recording, but you still can browse the drive, filter and get your files ready for playback as soon as you stop recording. So, as soon as you stop recording, the playback button pops up. It switches to play mode. All of this happens in 1.2 seconds. It’s about 10 times faster than any other system. And it has measuring tools for the DITs such as WFM, Vector, False Color, with more to come.
“KOKO runs off a dedicated FPGA. Our larger Smart Assist products that run QTAKE software have Apple CPUs inside. KOKO does not run QTAKE. It has no OS. It’s pure electronics, built from the ground up. It’s much more simple than QTAKE. The electronic and mechanical designs of KOKO are 100% ours. And we do the assembly in-house.”
Ovide Smart Systems have worked on AIR, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Asteroid City, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Little Mermaid, and many more.