I have a stack of MiniDV and HDV tapes languishing in a box. When that was still a current format, ingesting into a computer was simply a matter of connecting the camera to the computer via FireWire. But in 2020, FireWire is equally defunct as DV/HDV, and most computers do not have the interface.

Ingestion Methods

From best to worst:

The $79 OWC Envoy Express is the first diskless external Thunderbolt 3 enclosure and I got mine today! I’ve been using a Sabrent Rocket 1TB NVMe PCI M.2 2280 SSD in a $25 generic USB 3.0 enclosure. It has worked well but it is considerably slower than the internal SSD on my 2018 MacBook Pro (MacBookPro15,2 model indentifier). I’d like to use the SSD as a primary drive for video editing, so I wondered whether the Thunderbolt 3 interface would make a significant improvement. TLDR, it does… mostly.


You get everything you need in the box: the enclosure, a clip…

Sick of people looking up your nose on video calls? Here’s how to take them to the next level.

Picture of Panasonic camera
Picture of Panasonic camera

It is surprisingly easy to make your video calls more professional, and you may already have most of the equipment needed!

You Need A Better Camera!

There are cameras to suit every budget and you may already own one that you can use. Some cameras can connect to your computer over USB and appear as a webcam to your computer using the right software. At the moment, the only one that seems to do this well is Fujifilm’s X Webcam utility, which works with some of their cameras. Canon and Panasonic both have utilities, but they are clunky in their own way; Canon’s EOS Utility

Updated 18 May 2020.

This article was written back in March and is aimed at video professionals who are new to streaming.

One thing’s for sure about the Coronavirus outbreak: it is increasing the number of remote meetings. A friend of mine does training for corporate video production. This type of training is very hands-on and interactive: Participants need to see how equipment is being used, what’s being displayed on a camera screen, what buttons to press, etc. With many companies issuing work from home directives, we started to think about what it would take to deliver something that approaches…

2020–04–06 Update: There is now a $595 ATEM Mini Pro switcher. It adds the much-needed multiview, built-in streaming output (via a wired network connection), and recording of the program output (in streaming quality) to a USB drive. I have not tried this device, but it does not appear that my criticisms about the PiP or lower-thirds functionality have been addressed.

I gifted myself the $295 Blackmagic ATEM Mini for Christmas this year. My use case is quite straightforward: I live stream events that consist of a presenter’s laptop output and their talking head fed from a camera. …


I wanted to assemble a system that would handle 1440p gaming well and be upgradeable to higher-end CPUs. For this build, I went with the newer AMD Ryzen CPU and the latest X570 chipset motherboards. I recommend www.pcpartpicker.com for building out your own system on paper and getting an idea of whether components will fit together as well as different options.

Parts list for build

Tools and Sundries Needed

Medium-sized Philips screwdriver

Zip ties

Cardboard or other non-conducting flat surface

USB flash drive for installation

Anti-static wrist strap (optional)

Scissors (optional)

Craft knife (optional)

Needle nose pliers (optional)

Overall Approach

I like to bench-test everything before…

Harissa is a hot sauce or paste that is common in Tunisia, Morocco and France. It typically accompanies couscous to spice things up, but you can use it with anything.

(June 29: See updates at the end.)

UK audio company Cambridge Audio recently released their first truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds, the Melomania 1, so I gave them a try. With an MSRP of $130, they are about the same as the Apple AirPods, and almost half the price of the new Apple Powerbeats Pro.



  • Good passive noise isolation (with foam ear tips)
  • Small size (earbuds and case)
  • Good audio quality
  • Good microphone pickup in quiet locations
  • Reliable pairing (so far)


  • Bluetooth reception not particularly strong
  • Microphone pickup not good in noisy locations
  • Controls leave something to be desired

A year or so ago, I put together a two-channel audio system purely based around analogue components: a Rega Planar 6 turntable, a Rega Brio Class AB integrated amplifier and a pair of Tannoy Revolution R3 speakers that I’ve had for 20 odd years. I wanted to augment it with digital playback but without a lot of complexity. I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money on high-end systems like Aurender.

I came across Roon, which is a combination music player, music organization and discovery system with advanced audio processing. Why audio processing? You may have some devices…

In the United Kingdom, when you get a kebab you get chili sauce. Every good kebab shop has its own recipe. My favorite, Bosphorus in South Kensington, is particularly good and it definitely doesn’t come out of bottle. In the US when you go to a “Mediterranean” place your chili sauce options are usually Sriracha, sambal, or Tabasco/Tapatio/Cholula. An exception to this is Shamshiri Grill in Los Angeles. One of my favorite Persian restaurants, the standout for me is the homemade hot sauce that I eat with koobideh kebab. I asked them for the recipe once but all they would…

David Sayed

Builder of media technology services and a videography, cinematography, photography, gadget, IoT, AI, auto and aviation geek.

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