DJI’s April 23 Live Stream Disappoints Consumer Enthusiasts
DJI hosted a live streaming event on Facebook Sunday night. The event was designed to announce new products and kickoff the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas. Over 35 thousand viewers tuned in at the time of the live stream and most of them were disappointed by the failure of the world’s biggest drone company to release any new drones.
How Did People Watch?
The stream was apparently also available on YouTube, but people were reporting on Facebook that the audio on YouTube wasn’t working. Those who watched on Facebook had a better experience, but they had to deal with a mediocre presentation, fuzzy video, and the inevitable constant stream crude vitriol posted by annoyed viewers.
What Wasn’t Announced?
Many people assumed DJI would use the NAB show to announce the DJI Spark. This highly anticipated mini-drone has generated a lot of interest. We have some interesting predictions about the Spark.
Not only did DJI not announce the Spark, but they didn’t announce any new drones. Just last week they announced the Phantom 4 Advanced, probably because that announcement would have been a total bust in a larger presentation like this live streaming event.
We were hoping some upgraded drones and maybe the long awaited FPV goggles would be announced at NAB, as opposed to the downgraded Phantom 4 Advance from the previous week. Lots of people were hopeful for the Spark, and were holding out for the Phantom 5 and Mavic 2. Obviously that didn’t happen, but you can still read our predictions on the Mavic 2 and Phantom 5.
UPDATE: DJI did announce the goggles the next morning, but not as part of the live stream. Learn more here.
What Was Announced?
Here is a breakdown of what DJI had to say. Most of it is only of interest to professional videographers with big budgets, so we are giving just the bare-bones details here.
DJI announced some major upgrades to their professional gimbal system with the Ronin 2. Among other improvements, it will now be able to handle bigger rigs and longer focal length lenses. The release date and pricing details are going to be announced later this quarter.
Cendence Professional Remote
Professionals are looking for more power and more customization in their remotes. DJI presented this beauty that will set you back the price of a nice drone at $999. The Cendence will be available later this year and will only be compatible with the Inspire 2 and Matrice 200.
Tracktenna Ground Station
We will forgive DJI for the descriptive name choice. Their marketing team must have been a little tapped out after picking names like the “Cendence” and “Spark.” Despite the name, the Tracktenna was our favorite new product revealed by DJI. This ground station automatically points the antenna at the drone, which is so cool! When paired with the Cendance remote, the Tracktenna can extend the range of your drone to 6.2 miles. I could feel the FAA cringing at the thought of this. An observer on flat ground can’t even see the horizon at 6.2 miles!
CrystalSky Available “Very Soon”
They snuck this reference into the presentation. The CrystalSky screens will be available “very soon”. These will undoubtedly be available before the goggles. At least there will be some way to actually see your screen while you fly, which is more than can be said of an iPad screen being exposed to sunlight. In a follow-up press release, DJI announced that there will be three versions of the monitors. The bright 5.5-inch and 7.85-inch monitors will set you back $469 and $699 respectively, while an even brighter 7.85-inch version will be available for $999.
I’ll make this real quick. If you are an elite videographer you can now pay $4699 per year to have a personal DJI “concierge” and batteries mailed to all of your filming locations. They’ll provide backup drones if you need it, but for $4699 I’m guessing you can buy your own backup. We’ll have to look into this a little more…
And that’s it?
Unfortunately, that was it from DJI this time. We can excuse them for pitching broadcasting equipment at a broadcasting convention, even if the hoards of angry viewers won’t do the same. It makes sense as NAB isn’t the right venue to release consumer drones. Consumers should have seen this coming. There was still a lot of awesome equipment released by DJI. We will just have to wait to learn more about the Spark and Phantom 5.
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