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June 14th, 2012

With the onslaught of apps for everything, what about apps specifically for film and TV industry? We discovered there were a lot of great ones. Here are five great digital time-saver apps for content producers out there.

#1: 1st Video Net
Maker: VeriCorder Technologies
Price (OS): $9.99 (iOS)

Can ten bucks really put “a TV studio in the palm of your hand”? If you work in a newsroom, 1st Video Net may be the ticket to media control. With your iPhone or an iPad rental you can record, edit and send podcast- and broadcast-ready video, simply and securely. Flexible enough for various newsroom systems, 1st Video Net supports cellular or WiFi transfer. (You need a VC Corporate Account, so contact first.)

#2: 3cp/Image Control Pro
Maker: Gamma & Density Co.
Price (OS): $399.99 (iOS)

3cP/Image Control Pro (“ICP”) enables color correcting, masking and cropping of images on a calibrated iPad screen, and creates a matching 3D LUT (LookUp Table) for post-production. Images can be sourced from the camera(s), the Photo Album or WiFi. Plenty of our PC desktop computer rentals are used for this work, but with ICP the iPad joins the “heavy lifting club.” All metadata can be e-mailed to post-production personnel, ensuring color-corrected dailies and reducing line costs.

Film TV Apps

#3: Acacia
Maker: Ephemerald Creative Arts
Price (OS): Free (Android)

A camera assistant’s app for Android, Acacia recently hit version 0.8.3, cementing its position as the “Swiss Army knife for filmmakers” by adding more features. Known for its Depth of Field (DOF) calculator and media-management tools, Acacia upped the ante with a new digital director’s viewfinder.

#4: AJA DataCalc
Maker: AJA Video Systems
Price (OS): Free (Android, iOS)

The AJA DataCalc app calculates video and audio storage requirements. Supported formats include Apple Intermediate and ProRes, Avid DNxHD, CineForm, raw uncompressed and many more. Video display standards include PAL, NTSC, 2K and 4K, 720p, 1080i and 1080p. In 2007, this app’s desktop ancestor ran on a Mac Pro rental, but today any Android or iOS device will work. You can calculate media durations of seconds, hours, days or even “frame rate” when using time code mode.

#5: M3s Movie Manager
Maker: OnSet Software
Price (OS): $4.99 (iOS)

A useful tool for many members of a film crew, OnSet Software’s M3s Movie Manager is a smart, organized app for integrating dailies with related assets. This means scripts, call sheets, camera/sound reports, production data and other PDF, PNG or JPEG documents. Viewing clips that are sorted by scene and take allows you to mark “circle-takes” (possible keepers) and view a slideshow of those selections. You can send an e-mail from within the app listing all circle-takes with accompanying comments.

From audio visual (AV) equipment rentals to everything you need for conferences, all it ever takes is a single call or e-mail, or a visit to our Quick Rental Quote page, to get your best solutions!

March 15th, 2012

new iPad

In “The New iPad: Some Nice Surprises (Part 1),” we told you about the astounding new Retina display, the faster A5X processor and the impressive camera specifications. These great upgrades, however, may not be required by every user. Are there other reasons to move to the new iPad with the early adopters, or should you play it safe until the first bug reports?

Familiar feel, predicted prices

The new iPad adds but a sliver to the sleekness of the iPad 2. It’s 3/100th’s of an inch thicker (.37 vs. .34) with about 1-3/4 ounces more heft (1.44 vs. 1.33 lbs.), nearly imperceptible increases that should have no effect on day-to-day use. Like the iMac through its history, some upgrades leave the look alone and focus on the insides. If you liked the iPad 2 ergonomically – the design, the look and feel – you’ll recognize the new iPad’s pretty face and svelte body, but you don’t need to upgrade to enjoy these features.

For the new iPad, Apple kept the starting price the same (for the Wi-Fi model with 16GB of flash memory) and lowered its iPad 2 price. You won’t be giving up much if you’re not a gamer and don’t lust for that Retina display. If you do need it, and the cameras, you’ll have the extra oomph of the A5X to get the most from them – but if you have a good cell phone, forgo the 4G model and save some dough. Apple packed every bit of its smarts, style, quality and value into the entry-level price.

What to do?

It comes down to the cameras, the display and the CPU. It’s not like Apple engineers threw everything out and went back to Square One, as they did with the mighty Mac Pro some years back. They took a great product and did a combo update-upgrade with three very powerful improvements. Everything the company learned in years of making Apple Cinema Display rentals went into creating the new Retina display. If you spend time reading and playing high-end games, you are one of Apple’s top upgrade candidates.

Two more types are on that list: people who depend on mobile data networks, and the early adopters and pioneers of tablet photography. The 4G speed jump is far too great to pass up if you work and live online. You can rent laptops to cover the territory, of course, but when you need an iPad, well, you need an iPad! A mobile photographer, on the other hand, commonly uses a PC laptop or a MacBook Pro for processing, indexing, editing and “Photoshopping” – but a solo iPad can be note-taker, indexer, editor, camera and digital lab.

Not convinced? Don’t know what your business should use? Discuss it in a call or e-mail to CRE. Our expert Account Executives know their stuff, and everyone else’s, too. Whether you need audio visual (AV) equipment rentals or high-end post-production gear, CRE is your one-stop shop. And visit our Quick Rental Quote form day or night!

March 13th, 2012

The rumor mill is closed, the guesses and predictions are old news, and the new iPad is here. It has neither “3″ nor “HD” in its name. It’s “the new iPad” or, simply, “the iPad.” For CRE, iPad rentals will include iPad 2 as well as the model just introduced, which has some serious upgrades. Enough to get every iPad 2 owner to make the move? Let’s find out. Here’s part 1 of a two-part blog all about Apple’s latest core product.

new iPad

The top upgrades

The consensus “killer feature” is the Retina display that debuted on the iPhone, which doubles the pixels of the iPad 2 screen to a bright, sharp 2048 x 1536. The enhanced pixel count blows away the previous screens, and finally competes with other ultra-HD tablets in browsing, reading and especially gaming. The type of tech going into a high-resolution LCD touchscreen monitor rental is now being configured for smaller and smaller devices. Your eyes will be quite pleased with the new iPad.

In addition to having a great new screen – will rumors have it hitting the MacBook next? – the iPad marks Apple’s first “true” 4G device. Much faster than 3G, today’s 4G networks from Verizon and AT&T (which calls it “LTE”) promise video and everything else in a fast, fluid, stable stream. Of course, greater data speed makes it easy to download “stuff,” leading to costly overages, a main gripe against one of the Big Two iPad carriers (AT&T).

CPU, graphics, cameras also improved

As expected, Apple increased CPU power. While most prognosticators claimed the new iPad would have the A6, it has the quad-core A5X processor, which naturally has much in common with both the iPad 2′s dual-core A5 and the quad A6. Now endowed with true “high-def  gaming” power, the new iPad moves beyond the level of tablet PC rentals, and pretty close to pricey gamer dream machines like the Razer Project Fiona.

The original iPad had no cameras. The iPad 2′s front-facing one is okay for video chatting, but the back-facing one has under one megapixel for stills. The new iPad now surpasses the MacBook Pro in this department, with a solid 5MP camera for sharp stills and 1080p video, and Apple’s “photo-friendly experience” includes an iOS version of iPhoto. The “tablet photography” sector is brand new, so Apple is intent on conquering it. How? By helping you create as much or more content on the iPad as you consume with it.

Now appearing at CRE, of course, are all the great computers, trade show convention rentals and the high-tech post-production gear that media pros need. One call or e-mail, or one short visit to our Quick Rental Quote form, puts us to work for you right away!

Make sure to check out – “The New iPad: The More Things Change… (Part 2)” – on Thursday, March 15, 2012.

January 12th, 2012

Sure, Apple will continue to upgrade its Macintosh line in the coming year, with the next changes in the iMac likely to be with the display (as well as a cosmetic facelift). The potent Apple portables, with the MacBook Pro rental at the top of the food chain, will probably get some “evolutionary” refinement, but no major changes. So what insanely great changes are coming up this year?

Apple’s 2012 strategy

The real action at the Cupertino company in 2011 was with its iOS devices, which will continue to be the firm’s big newsmakers in 2012. One thing we know:  iPad rental will have a “3″ at the end of its model name. It seems pretty clear that Apple’s big-ticket product in the first half of 2012 will be the iPad 3, with the iPhone 5 debuting in the second half of the year. We will take a look at the iPhone in an upcoming blog – the iPad 3 is the first order of business this year.


Despite the proliferation of mobile devices like tablet PC rentals, Apple will doubtless continue to rule the market in tablets (and smart phones). There are literally dozens of iPad-centric sites, but the original is iLounge, and its recent coverage of iPad 3 rumors (and others) is cautious and thankfully un-hyped.

Where was iPad 2 weak?

The iPad 2 added some potent new features to the original model, but still failed to live up to several expectations. The dual-core A5 chip was a bona fide improvement, but both cameras in the iPad 2 are somewhat underwhelming compared to some competitors. Not for long. All this will change with third iteration of the iPad, which will likely feature an A6 processor and new, high-definition cameras, probably the same ones that will end up in a revamped MacBook rental line, too.

When the new iPad does launch, it will probably cannibalize sales of the iPad 2. However, this gives Apple the opportunity to place its legacy model in the mid-range tablets market, currently topped by Amazon’s new $199 Kindle Fire. Despite a great deal of speculation about Apple introducing a “mini” version of its hit tablet, or putting the iOS in a downsized MacBook Air, but there has been no evidence of this being seriously considered.

CRE Rentals stays abreast of technology and supports all your important work, from intense post-production tasks with an AJA Io HD to conference breakout sessions with our first-rate trade show convention rentals. Our expert Account Executives will respond swiftly to your call or e-mail, or you can speed things along even faster with our Quick Rental Quote form. When you’re ready, we’ll be here to help!

January 10th, 2012

We’re going to go out on a limb and predict that the world will not end in 2012, as some ancient Mayan calendars have been interpreted to mean. Even if it does, it’s supposed to happen in December, so the following two trade shows in late January and early February should be right on schedule.

World of Concrete Trade Show

World of Concrete

From January 23-27, 2012, the Las Vegas Convention Center hosts the only international conference dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry construction industries, World of Concrete (WOC). CRE’s expertise in trade show convention rentals will help you create an inviting, effective presence in WOC’s 500,000 square feet of indoor and/or outdoor exhibits.

With around 1,300 exhibitors showcasing a wide range of products, services and technologies, you need the right sights and sounds to stand out – like big plasma display rentals for indoor exhibits and audio visual (AV) equipment rentals for outdoor exhibits. WOC also has a full program of demonstrations and competitions, as well as a first-rate education program.

Lab Automation Conference gets new name


SLAS2012, the First Annual SLAS Conference and Exhibition, is bringing the best of the former Lab Automation and SBS conferences to the San Diego Convention Center from February 4-8, 2012. Over 5,000 engineers, scientists, technologists and researchers – from government, academia and industry – are coming from around the world. A wide range of industries will be represented, including drug discovery and development, food and agriculture, forensics and security, energy, consumer products and more.

Whether you decide to focus on the display floor, inviting people to your booth with an interactive presentation running on an all-in-one multitouch display PC (or several), or lead a breakout session with one of our advanced Audience Response System rentals (ARS) to gather feedback, we can put it all together for you.

Attendees will enjoy some 130 presentations and scores of workshops, tutorials and short courses, and will also be investigating exciting technologies from about 270 exhibitors. Arm your conference team with the iPad rental and you can all stay in touch with FaceTime, IM and SMS messaging, e-mail and web conferencing services. Rent interactive kiosk technology to augment your human crew, and capture contact info from all the people you don’t see.

One call or e-mail – or a few clicks on our Quick Rental Quote page – will put an expert Account Executive on the job for you. We will craft just the right solution for your unique challenge at these upcoming trade shows (and future ones too!). Give us a call today or learn more about our products and services

December 7th, 2011

CES 2012

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) draws huge numbers to annual events of exceptional, ever-increasing quality, and CES 2012 will be no different. By all possible measures, CES is truly incomparable – the number and quality of exhibitors and attendees, the intense media focus, the incredible variety of markets represented and the unique special events. If your firm needs to be there – the Las Vegas Convention Center, Tuesday January 10, 2012 through Friday the 13th – CRE can help you make your best impression.

CES has options for all marketing strategies, and so do we. If you want to show off your product or service to one and all, consider an Open Booth Space with one of our large-screen plasma display rentals showing your eye-catching invitation. If you prefer to meet and greet new and existing clients in a more private setting, then CES’s Meeting Place or Suites may be the spot to showcase new product offering using iPad rentals.

This year, there are more than a dozen CES TechZones featuring such exciting niches as “green tech,” iOS- and and Mac-specific products, 3D monitors and tablets/e-readers. With our complete selection of event production rentals, we’ve got you covered whatever you decide to do.

NAMM 2012

The annual convention of the National Association of Music Merchants, NAMM 2012, is set for Thursday through Sunday, January 19th to the 22nd, 2012, at the Anaheim Convention Center. Get the inside track on the newest gear, freshest ideas and best strategies for your business. Network with global pros, attend NAMM U development sessions, learn about the latest challenges and opportunities – and put your own best foot forward with the right CRE trade show convention rentals; we are the official technology rental provider for NAMM Trade Show.

At NAMM 2012, there will be some 1,400+ exhibitors from all over the world. In addition to welcoming as many as possible to your own booth – showing a presentation on our special NAMM plasma rentals, or inviting folks to interact with your product demo on one of our LCD touchscreen monitor rentals – you can also “multiply your presence” to capture contact info without wasting “people time.” Rent interactive kiosk technology from CRE and position a unit or two in high-traffic areas (the ones where you and your team won’t be, naturally).

“You can’t get hands-on on the Internet,” as the NAMM promotional materials say. You need to get there in person! Whatever your strategy, CRE can outfit your booth and breakout sessions, and keep you in touch with your team with WiFi devices like iPads or tablet PC rentals.

No matter what size your budget is, CRE can help your strategize a potent presence at CES, NAMM or both. Call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive and let’s work out the best plan for you. You can also use our Quick Rental Quote form if you know what you need. Either way, we’re ready, willing and able to help you put your best foot forward in Las Vegas, Anaheim – and everywhere else!

November 30th, 2011

Recent studies show that the popular iPad rental is an increasingly significant source of web traffic in the U.S. With a little planning – and some strategic insight into the ever-busier two-way street of mobile media – you can attend conferences and be confident in your ability to drive attendees to your website with iPad. Here’s how.


Traffic leader

The respected web analytics firm, comScore, reports that smartphones and tablets (from iPhones to WiFi-enabled tablet PC rentals) accounted for nearly 7% of total U.S. web traffic in August 2011. About two-thirds of that was from phones, the balance from tablets. Astonishingly, the iPad grabbed over 97% of tablet traffic.

But the iPad is also driving more web traffic than Apple’s own iPhone – a 46.8% share of all traffic originating from iOS devices (again, in August), as opposed to the iPhone’s 42.6%. Tellingly, the total iOS share of U.S. mobile web traffic that month was 58.5% – that’s market penetration, folks. This is true despite the continuing growth of Android, which just released version 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”).

In the mix of communication

Clearly, the iPad is right “in the mix” when it comes to communications today. What makes it so potent as a marketing device – before, during and after conferences – is its portability, for one thing. But the real power lies in its “double connectivity” (WiFI and cell) and all the great apps that have been customized for it. Although the MacBook Pro is portable, too, Apple’s tablet is supremely flexible, adaptable and focused.

With access to e-mail, social networking sites and the rest of the web, you can use your iPad in real-time from your exhibit booth to draw attendees there. In addition to communications apps, the iPad has a full array of office tools for creating, editing, printing, sending and otherwise managing all of your marketing materials. You can announce breakout sessions, invite participants to interactive presentations powered by Audience Response Systems (ARS) and steer attendees to both your booth and your website.

Bottom line for business professionals

According to comScore, in 2010 over 115 million Americans used mobile devices to browse the web, use/download apps or access content. This is nearly 20% greater than just the previous year – and the numbers are even more impressive among business users. Whether using a PC desktop computer rental or a mobile device, business users have come to depend on the ability to reach their targets – worldwide, around town and in a sea of conference attendees.

When you need more than just an Xserve RAID array or other high-tech tool – when you need a solution, a plan, a strategy – you need CRE. One call or e-mail, or one visit to our Quick Rental Quote online form, and an Account Executive is on the job for you. Just let us know what you need to do!

September 13th, 2011

Oracle OpenWorld 2011

Oracle Open World

Fall is coming, and that means it’s time once again for Oracle OpenWorld 2011, being held October 2-6 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Researchers, entrepreneurs, the scions of today’s industries and the innovators of tomorrow’s – representing every imaginable industry – come to OpenWorld from the overwhelming majority of nations on Planet Earth.

If you want to master Oracle technology, this is the place, with literally hundreds of sessions, 450 exhibits, scores of technology demos, numerous breakout sessions and many exciting keynotes from world tech leaders from which to choose. If you want to outfit an exhibit area to reel in interested parties, CRE has the convention rentals expertise to help you there, too.

For 30+ years, CRE has been providing solutions for breakout sessions, presentations and exhibits, and is a veteran of OpenWorld. Our plasma rentals can anchor your booth with dramatic displays and signage, while iPad rentals empower your conference team by putting those same materials (and/or others) right in their hands for “portable presentations.”

As we’ve said of previous OpenWorld events, Oracle delivers “five days of education with insights and connections that will transform your business.” The clincher for 2011? This year’s “Appreciation Event” concert features Sting. How can you afford to miss all this?

Solar Power International 2011

From its previous home in Anaheim, Solar Power International 2011 (SPI) moves to Dallas, TX, for its annual conference, to be held October 27-29. SPI is among the biggest, most wide-ranging solar power exhibits and conferences in the world with some 24,000 professionals from over 125 countries in attendance.

With 1,200+ firms from all of the solar power vertical markets exhibiting across an expanse of nearly a million square feet (gross), SPI is working hard to achieve its goal: to “advance and support the solar power industry and to promote the growth of U.S. solar markets.”

Encounter new products, service providers and prospects while networking with professionals from the broadening horizons of the industry. Draw passers-by into your exhibit area with unique (and fun) LCD touchscreen monitor rentals that engage, educate and entertain. From manufacturers, contractors and engineering firms to utility companies, government representatives, investors and financiers, the connections you need to make will all be there – don’t let ‘em get away!

In addition to Audience Response System rentals and other gear, CRE has tips for a successful breakout session. Want to multiply your presence cost-effectively? Capture information from high-traffic areas with interactive kiosk rentals customized with your message and queries. We are conference and exhibit professionals. We can help! One call or e-mail to an experienced Account Executive, or a few minutes with our Quick Rental Quote form, and your solution is on its way.

August 30th, 2011

Interbike Trade Show

Interbike International Bicycle Expo (Interbike) is the premier bicycle industry business-to-business (B2B) event, bringing together leading manufacturers, retailers, support industries, cycling advocates and media to tend to the business and technology side of cycling. The event assembles over 1,100 cycling-related brands and draws over 20,000 attendees every year. The 2011 edition of the show will once again be held in Las Vegas from September 12th to 16th.

To move or not to move?

It almost wasn’t so. Last year Interbike announced it was moving its 2011 show from September to the month of August. Almost in passing, the organization mentioned that the location was moving, too, from Las Vegas to Anaheim. The announcement unleashed a flood of feedback, surprising Interbike’s top brass.

It “elicited a very real response,” said Interbike show director Andy Tompkins. After “countless conversations [with] exhibitors and retailers” the group reversed course. “We are hearing loud and clear,” admitted Tompkins, “that [the] industry prefers September dates and the convenience of Las Vegas.” CRE is particularly experienced in serving the great convention centers of the West, even if you just need a dozen tablet PC rentals for your team.

Interbike shifts paradigms

During the scheduling kerfuffle, Interbike execs heard from numerous industry insiders about the show’s importance to the marketplace. It is still “the industry’s show,” said Tompkins, and “the market’s passion and commitment” to it means that the 2011 and 2012 events will be “groundbreaking.” Expect large, milling crowds, and stay connected with iPad rentals – they’re notepads, display devices, phones, e-readers and Internet appliances in one slim, slick package.

If you’re exhibiting in a major way, CRE’s excellent event production services will make your trade show appearance a hit. You can also put together your own booth a la carte, so to speak, and draw passersby into an interactive presentation on a Interbike plasma rental . If you’re attending to gather materials and distribute your own, you can set up a mini branch office with CRE’s vast range of office equipment rentals.

Green is keen!

We can help you make your tradeshow experience greener than ever, too. Save on four-color printing by handing out business cards or flyers with URLs listed, so interested folks can save a few trees while reading your “virtual marketing materials.” Multiply your presence with CRE’s interactive kiosk rentals, which can be configured to your specifications to dispense info (and collect it, too). Very handy, and kiosks don’t take lunch breaks. (But you should!)

If you’re working yourself to a frazzle setting up your exhibit or strategizing a breakout session, let CRE help. We’re seasoned trade show specialists that also happen to have one of the largest inventories of high-tech rentals anywhere. One call or e-mail, or a few minutes with our Quick Rental Quote form, is all it takes to get you on your way to Interbike.

August 4th, 2011

Once a month or so we like to show you that high tech can be fun, too. With new ways to connect you to the world – the real one you’re photographing or the virtual one you’re immersed in – and inventive ways for you to express yourself, gadgets may begin their lives as “cool new things” but often wind up being indispensable new tools for creative pros. Let’s check ‘em out.

Hasbro My3D

Hasbro My3DThere are lots of ways to watch 3D movies, so that’s not the aim of this new device that you use with your iPhone or iPod touch. Hasbro’s My3D has seven applications that insert you into virtual worlds like a shark tank (that’s fun?) or an asteroid belt in space. Sure, people have figured out how to watch 3D material on computers like our iMac rentals, but those attempts fail to deliver the “immersive experience” of My3D’s closed goggles. Like the venerable ViewMaster, Hasbro’s My3D opens up new worlds for you to explore.

Eye-Fi Direct Mode

Eye-Fi Direct Mode

Eye-Fi Direct Mode SD cards send photos wirelessly from your camera to your smart phone. What’s the big deal? Before Direct Mode, you’d use Eye-Fi cards to transfer photos to a computer, a photo-upload service like Flickr or a social site, but you had to access a Wi-Fi hotspot first. What a hassle. Now you can take advantage of the wireless network you carry – your smart phone, CRE laptop rentals with 3G dongles, anything like that – and upload directly to Facebook, Twitter or wherever you want. In essence, it gives your camera the power and connectivity of whatever 3G device you use. Cool!

Wacom Bamboo Stylus for the iPad

Wacom desktop tablets are the unchallenged standard in the industry. Now Wacom Bamboo for iPadthe company has released the Bamboo Stylus and a companion app, Bamboo Paper, with some of the same great functionality. With the firm, nearly frictionless black rubber tip, using the stylus comes very close to the feel of pen on paper. Using it in place of your finger feels strange the first few times, but you get used to it fast. The Bamboo Paper app is free in Apple’s App Store whether you have the stylus or not. And if you do have the stylus, you can use the app on CRE iPad rentals or your own iPad, as the device is not linked in any way to any certain device.  Great stuff!

Whatever cool gadgets you need to plow through your digital workflow, a call or e-mail to CRE’s experienced Account Executives is all that’s required. Use the Quick Rental Quote form if you know what you need, talk to us if you don’t. We don’t charge anything to help you figure out what to do, and then we provide the best tech at the best prices for your CRE solution.

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