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As Hollywood continues to adopt remote workflows requiring review and approval for everything from dailies to edits, Apple unwrapped a new iPad Pro with an eye toward such applications. During its virtual event on Tuesday, the tech giant’s flurry of announcements also included a new iMac and new version of Apple TV 4K.
The new top-of-the-line 12.9-inch iPad Pro offers a new HDR-supported Liquid Retina XDR display (a “mini-LED” design) with “up to 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1 million-to-1 contrast ratio,” according to Apple. This 12.9-inch model offers P3 color space, meaning that it could support flavors of high dynamic range (HDR) including HDR 10, HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision. Features also include 5G and Thunderbolt support.
“High-quality remote review and approval is transitioning from a necessary solution in 2020 to a standard in 2021. Cinematographers, colorists and directors have needed a tool that can display their work faithfully, as they originally intended it to be seen, without having to be in color suites. Today’s Apple announcement of the iPad Liquid Retina XDR seems to be the ideal solution for professionals that need high-quality color-calibrated viewing anywhere.” Michael Cioni, Frame.io’s senior vp innovation, told THR following the announcements.
He added that the new iPad display seems to have the potential to “unify all stakeholders reviewing images with a single trusted high-fidelity reference.”
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro (as well as an 11-inch model without the Liquid Retina display and with scaled-down features) is available for preorder starting April 3o and is slated for availability during the second half of May. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $1,099 for a Wi-Fi model and $1,299 for a Wi-Fi and cellular model.
Apple also unveiled new models of its iMac with a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display with 500 nits of brightness, while also incorporating its M1 chip for improved performance. Additional features include a 1080P HD camera, and what Apple said are improvements to its mics and speaker system.
During the announcement, Apple singled out professional applications such as editing, suggesting that with the new iMac, editors could cut “up to five streams of 4K footage, or one stream of 8K footage” with Apple Final Cut Pro. The new iMac start at $1,299 and also is slated for availability during the second half of May.
Also on Tuesday, the tech giant touted a new version of Apple TV 4K supporting various flavors of HDR including Dolby Vision, as well as the ability to show images at high frame rates up to 60 frames per second. As part of the announcement, it confirmed that it’s working with Fox Sports, NBCUniversal, Paramount+, Red Bull TV and Canal+ as they begin to stream HDR at high frame rates.
Apple also introduced a “color balance process” aimed at automatically displaying video with accurate colors and contrast without the consumer needing to adjust their television settings, which sounds like Apple’s version of the Filmmaker Mode setting developed by the UHD Alliance.
As part of the Apple TV 4K announcement, the company also debuted a new trailer for season two of Ted Lasso, which will be released on July 23. Apple also confirmed that it’s rolling out a podcast subscription service.
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Warner Bros. Discovery