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June 30, 2008

Table of Contents

Cut Lines: Using Apple Keynote as a Motion Graphics Tool
NewBlue and VASST Improve AVCHD Performance with AVCHD UpShift
Thomson Grass Valley Indigo AV Mixer Adds More HD Inputs
New Vegas Movie Studio 9 From Sony Provides Tools For Producing Hollywood Quality Movies At Home
Add Character to Your Next Production--NewTek LiveText Now Shipping
WEVA EXPO 2008 Registration Opens Online
Expand Your TriCaster Capabilities: NewTek Now Shipping Major Software Upgrade
Disc Makers Gives Away 50 Discs with Every New Order This Summer
TapeOnline Now Offering Sony Tapeless Media and LaCie Hard Drives
NewerTech Announces New Guardian Maximus –Fastest, Most Reliable Plug & Play RAID-1 External Storage Solution
Digital Hotcakes Delivers "Bundle of Joy" for Baby Videos

Cut Lines: Using Apple Keynote as a Motion Graphics Tool

Keynote is the application in Apple’s iWork ’08 software suite that does presentations based on the slideshow model. It’s very similar to PowerPoint, but it’s easier to use. It does powerful graphics work that is automated to make creating a presentation very fast and easy; other key benefits include its ability to output to QuickTime files (as well as many other formats) and the variety of third-party add-on components available.

In this installment of Cut Lines, we’ll look at a growing trend among Final Cut users: utilizing Keynote as a quick-and-easy motion graphics tool. Everything you can do with graphics in Keynote can also be done in LiveType or Motion or directly in Final Cut Pro, and those larger apps can do much more than Keynote. The value in Keynote is that what it can do is really cool, really fast, and really easy. I’ve found I can do some graphical elements in Keynote faster and easier than I can in any of the Final Cut Studio (FCS) apps. Even with its limited abilities in this area, it’s still a valued part of my video graphics arsenal.

To give you a general idea of what’s possible, I’ll throw together a super-fast-and-easy DVD motion menu using Keynote. This DVD menu will be for an Earth Day river cleanup event. I’ll have a spinning globe off to the left, a title on top, a video loop of the river in the middle, and my three buttons below that. It’s very simple and very fast to create with Keynote.

Step 1: Import Background Element To begin, I open Keynote and create a new project using the generic Black theme (Figure 1, below), then I highlight and delete the default text boxes. In the Inspector window, the second button from the left at the top, is the Slide Inspector button. In this section of the Inspector window, I set this slide’s Effect to Dissolve, Duration to 1 second, and Start Transition to Automatically.

figure 1

Next, I create a new slide by clicking the New button at the top left of the Keynote screen. I then import my background image in that slide. I’ve added the SuperSet 2 Keynote Theme Park from Wow You Design) to my system. It’s a third-party add-on that gives you more slide themes, layouts, elements, and more. So I’m using the Forrest1024.jpg file from the Backgrounds included with SuperSet 2.

From the Insert menu I select Choose, navigate to the file I want to use, and click the Insert button in that window. Next, I click the file to select it and open the Inspector from its button in the toolbar. The Build Inspector is the third button from the left, and I click the Build In button. From the Effect drop-down menu, I choose Scale and set the Order to 1, Scale to 200%, and Duration to 45 seconds. My loop will be only 30 seconds long, but I’ll also have a 15-second intro that will not be included in the loop. (I’ll explain DVD Studio Pro’s Loop Point function toward the end of this tutorial.)

Finally, I click the More Options button at the bottom of the Inspector window to open a drawer. I select my background graphic’s Build In from that list, and at the bottom, I set Start Build to Automatically after transition. Finally, in the Graphic section of the Inspector, I’ll set its Opacity to 25%.

Next, I add my globe. You can obtain spinning globes from a variety of places, but I’ll use one that came with my SuperSet 2 Theme Park. To import it, I select Open from the File menu, navigate to the file Global Cool Extras.key, and open it. Next, I go to the Aqua Movies slide, highlight the large spinning globe (Wow You includes detailed instructions for using elements right there on the slides), copy it, close that Keynote project without saving, and paste it into my DVD menu Keynote project. I move it off to the left so that only half of the globe is visible in the slide. I then go to the Metrics section of the Inspector window (Metrics looks like a little yellow ruler) and perform a horizontal flip. (Because there is a glow on the left side of the globe, I prefer to show its right side.) My background elements are done quickly and easily—more so than any of the FCS apps alone.

Step 2: Work with the Clip in the Video Pane
Next, I return to the Insert menu, select Choose (Figure 2, below), and navigate to my Blind River video clip. Once the clip is imported, I go to the Graphics section of the Inspector window and select Stroke, open its drop-down menu, and set it to Picture Frame. Next, from the frame’s drop-down menu, I select the bottom-left option, which gives my video clip soft, faded edges. Next, I set the Scale to 27%.

figure 2
Once I’ve positioned this clip in the middle of the slide, I move it to about one-third of the way from the right edge, I go to the Build Inspector, set Effect to Start Movie, and set the Order to 2. In the drawer I set Start Build to Automatically with build 1.

Switching to the Build Out section, I’ll set Effect to Scale, Scale to 180%, and Duration to 15 seconds (the length of my menu’s intro before the loop point). I won’t bother with the Order number or Start Build for this "build out" of the video clip just yet.

Step 3: Build Titles and Button Text in the Text Box
Next, I go to the toolbar at the top of the Keynote screen and click on Text Box. A text box appears on my slide and I type in three lines of text: Earth Day, River Clean Up, and April 2008. While in text edit mode, I drag to highlight Earth Day, click the Fonts button in Keynote’s toolbar, and set the font to Bank Gothic, Medium, 84 point. I’ll set all my text to the same font type and style, but the sizes will vary: My second line will be 17 point, and my third will be 48 point size.

Next, I click out of the text box to deselect it and click back on it to select it as a box, not in text-edit mode. In the Build Inspector I set it for Swoosh, Left, Order 3, 5 seconds. Automatically, after build 2, I set a Shadow for black, 315 degrees, offset and blur to 4 px, at 100% Opacity in the Graphic Inspector.

Next, with my text box still selected, I go to Build Inspector and, in the Action section, I set Effect to Scale, Order 4, 85%, 5 seconds (Figure 3, below). At the bottom of this window, I click the Plus symbol button to add an Action. This next Action will be set to Opacity, Order 5, 25%, 5 seconds. To wrap up, I set all three of the Title events I just created in the Build Inspector’s drawer to Start Build "Automatically after build #," with the build number being the number of the build event just before it. This way they all work with the timing I’m after—one right after the other, not all at the same time.

figure 3
A quick note here: With every Build and Action I add to the drawer in the Build Inspector, I keep moving my video clip’s Scale to the last event in the Order list. This action will be the very last one we want throughout this entire tutorial. You can simply highlight it in the Build list (More Options button) and change its Order number in the Build Inspector to make sure it remains the last one in the sequence.

Next, I save the work I’ve done so far and click the Play button in the upper left of the Keynote screen. My globe, background, and video clip appear right away. The background is growing very slowly, almost imperceptibly for effect, the globe is spinning, and my video clips grow out as my title text comes swooping into place, then shrinks slightly, then fades slightly. The thing to bear in mind here is how fast and easy this has been so far to put together. Having to manually add and adjust keyframes in the Final Cut Studio apps for such simple graphics would have been much more involved and time-consuming.

Now we move on to button text. I begin by clicking the Text Box tool in my toolbar to create a new text box. I type in Play Video, and in the Fonts window, I set the font for this text to Bank Gothic, Medium, 34 point size.

Then, I switch to the Text Inspector, and in the Bullets section, I set Indent Level to 1 and Bullets & Numbering to Text Bullets, and I put a check mark in the Scale with the text check box. Then, from the Text Bullets drop-down menu, I select my right-pointing arrowhead shape. Next, I click outside of the text box to deselect and get out of Text Edit mode. I place this text box below my video clip, aligning the left edges.

Step 4: Create Advanced Animation
Now I’ll do some advanced animation in Keynote. I begin by moving my Play Movie text box to the upper-right corner of my slide, just outside of the viewable area. I use the drop-down menu at the bottom left of the Keynote screen to change my view to 50%. Then, I set an Action in the Build Inspector with the following settings: Move, Order 6, Acceleration to Ease In & Ease Out, Path to the curve symbol, Duration to 6 seconds.

When you set the Path to the curve, you’ll see a red keyframe path. I’ll add some keyframe points to this and adjust their curves by holding the Option key, hovering the mouse over a spot in the keyframe line and clicking. To move these points, mouse over the line, and when the mouse cursor changes to an arrowhead, click and drag. Each point also has Bezier handles to adjust its curve. Be sure to set the keyframe points to ones that will show movement in the viewable area. I set mine to the path shown in Figure 4, below.

figure 4
Then, in the Build Start drop-down, select Automatically with build 5. This sets it to trigger off just as our title text is beginning to fade. To finish out this text box, with the text selected, I go to the Build Inspector’s Action section and click the Add Action button and apply the following settings: Opacity, Order 7, Opacity 50%, 6 seconds. The Start Build setting for this action is Automatically with build 5 (Figure 4, above).

I need two more button text boxes, so I simply highlight the one I just made, hit the Cmd+D keyboard shortcut, and Keynote duplicates it. I align it just below the first text box and click inside it to type new text: Slideshow. Next, I press Cmd+D to duplicate the text box, move it down so it falls third in our column, and change the text to Interviews.

Finally, I Cmd+Click each to select them all together, and in the Alignment menu, I go to Distribute Objects and chose Vertically. When I duplicate a text box, its keyframes and actions are copied with it so that all the boxes remain aligned. And I’m sure to make the video clip’s Scale action the last in the Build Inspector’s order list, as mentioned earlier.

Step 5: Export the Menu and Apply it in DVD Studio Pro
To get the menu I’ve created into DVD Studio Pro for authoring to DVD, I go select File > Export, and in the Export window, I choose QuickTime. I set Playback to Manual Advance and set Formats to Full Quality Large. All the check boxes can be left blank. Then I click Next, give it a name, choose a destination, and save (Figure 5, below).

figure 5
After the file is exported, I open it in DVD SP, apply it as a menu background, and set that menu’s Loop Point to 00:00:15:00. This will cause the menu to start the video at the beginning when it first comes up. Then, when it hits the end, it will jump to the Loop point for the repeating loop behavior, not the very beginning of the whole menu.

Setting up a simple or overlay highlight for active buttons is a whole other tutorial for another time, so let’s stick with what we’ve created here for now. I simply wanted to show you how useful Keynote can be for doing basic graphics work in conjunction with Final Cut Studio.

I hope this article gives you some insights and inspiration for your own work. To see the final video created in this tutorial, click here.

And until next time, happy editing!

Ben Balser (benb at bbalser.com) is an Apple Certified Trainer based in New Orleans. He specializes in training and consulting and also produces documentaries, educational material, and commercial work. Contact Ben with Final Cut Studio questions and he will try to address them in future tutorials.

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NewBlue and VASST Improve AVCHD Performance with AVCHD UpShift

Video editors no longer have to wrestle with unwieldy AVCHD files thanks to AVCHD UpShift, software to assist video editors in AVCHD editing and process the latest generation of high definition video. A joint product from NewBlue, Inc., makers of NewBlueFX and VASST (Video, Audio, Software, Support, Training), AVCHD UpShift speeds workflow by converting AVCHD format files into HDV format files and allows for significant performance gains when editing AVCHD media on today’s PC-based video editing platforms.

"This application will make a tremendous difference in the AVCHD editing workflow of every editor. Compared to working with native AVCHD files, the workflow from AVCHD UpShift transcoded files is much faster and smoother." commented Douglas Spotted Eagle, Managing Producer of VASST.

AVCHD UpShift easily converts AVCHD (.mts) files into high quality HDV (.m2t) files, compatible with HD enabled video editors on the PC platform. Additionally, users can batch convert AVCHD files directly from the MSPD, CF, SDHC, CF cards, or DVD/HDD-based camcorder storage.

UpShift files are not constrained by storage system limitations; a Higher Bitrate file may be generated, assuring high-quality throughput and recompression in the editing suite. In addition, AVCHD Upshift offers user-selectable bitrate and ability to convert single files. Files may be converted for best speed, best quality, or a combination of both and stored files may be converted for best editing speed/workflow, and re-converted later (from original AVCHD files) for higher quality output. AVCHD Upshift help avoids the pitfalls of a slow AVCHD editor.

AVCHD Upshift is the first collaboration between VASST and NewBlue, Inc. The joint effort brings video editors a strong combination of experience in both technology and technique.

Remarks Todor Fay, Chief Technical Officer of NewBlue, Inc. , "NewBlue is excited about the release of AVCHD UpShift and the opportunity to work with VASST. Our experience developing the NewBlueFX line of video effects complements VASST’s market reach and knowledge. Together, we created AVCHD UpShift as a tool as easy-to-use and powerful as our current effects and transitions for non-linear editors."

AVCHD UpShift is priced competitively at $49.95 and is available on both the VASST www.vasst.com and NewBlue website for immediate purchase.

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Thomson Grass Valley Indigo AV Mixer Adds More HD Inputs

Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) has announced a brand new option for its Thomson Grass Valley™ Indigo™ AV Mixer that offers the ability for users to input up to eight HD-SDI sources. With the new expansion option, users can connect up to eight HD devices (cameras, media players, etc.) into the switcher, which can then be easily mixed in real time. The Indigo HD-SDI option also allows two outputs to be used as auxiliary outputs. And, like the SD auxes on the switcher panel, the HD outputs are completely separate, single feed auxiliary outputs. This provides more creative freedom to develop unique effects and present images in innovative ways.

"We developed the Indigo switcher to give the professional AV community unprecedented functionality and uncompromised quality at an affordable price," said Jeff Rosica, Senior Vice President of Thomson’s Broadcast & Professional Solutions within the Systems division. "We are listening to requests from our user base and continuing to add the facilities they need. This new option is typical of that process: people told us that HD is now common and they needed to bring in more sources."

As multimedia presentations and live staging events get more complex, Thomson is answering the call for integrated systems that can handle more sources, including full motion, high-definition(HD-SDI) video. AV professionals want to manage their productions cost-effectively and with the greatest amount of ease. For under $20,000 the Thomson Grass Valley Indigo AV Mixer does this and more by combining the ability to manage video, high-resolution computer images and audio control in a single, compact unit.

Used with increasing regularity for a variety of AV productions, the Indigo AV Mixer accepts analog and digital SD and HD video and audio inputs, plus high-resolution computer inputs. Indigo also features internal seamless technology, allowing a variety of input resolutions to be scaled and mixed. Outputs are also available in multiple formats simultaneously, including DVI and SD-SDI for direct control of displays, projectors and for digital recording.

The functionality of the Indigo AV Mixer matches that of a broadcast production switcher, with E-MEM™ effects memory, digital video effects (DVE), keyers allowing a number of picture-in-picture elements to be layered, color correction on every input, and mixes, dissolves and wipes between any source-including high-quality computer graphics created with programs like PowerPoint™ whatever the input resolution. Complementing the video switcher component is an audio mixer with motorized faders, capable of mixing multiple audio sources, with audio-follow-video (automated audio fading to match picture selection) and automatic audio delay to compensate for video processing.

http://www.thomsongrassvalley.com/products/switchers/indigo/

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New Vegas Movie Studio 9 From Sony Provides Tools For Producing Hollywood Quality Movies At Home

Sony Creative Software, a leading worldwide provider of professional video and audio production applications, today announced new versions of its award-winning Vegas Movie Studio consumer video production software. Vegas Movie Studio 9, Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition and Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Pro Pack for the PC will be available in stores and online this August. Sony Creative Software is also introducing Vegas Movie Studio 9 and Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition at new lower prices.

"As video has become a popular medium for all age groups to enjoy and share on the Internet, the Vegas Movie Studio 9 line of products was designed to address customer demand for simple, end-to-end video production at home that works seamlessly from the camcorder, to the software and ultimately to a variety of destinations for sharing," said Dave Chaimson, vice president of global marketing for Sony Creative Software. Whether it's a camera full of still photos, or footage from your cell phone, our products provide the best solution for creating the perfect montage from all of your media in one, easy-to-use, reliable application."

"With the high-definition (HD) workflow application in Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition, our unique Sony synergy ensures that working with HD is simplified from start to finish whether it's working with native AVCHD footage direct from the camcorder, or burning movies to Blu-ray Discs directly from the project timeline," Chaimson continued.

Enhanced Project Wizards Speed Movie Creation and Sharing
Vegas Movie Studio 9 software contains new import and export project wizards to help consumers get started making their movies even faster and also helps with outputting projects to the proper formats for sharing across a range of delivery options. Sony Creative Software's exclusive Show Me How interactive tutorials are also included to help users learn the software more efficiently while completing the task at hand. The Show Me How tutorials make it easy to complete a project step-by-step and are not found in any other consumer video editing product.

Cinescore Studio Soundtrack Creation
Developed from the professional version of Cinescore software, the Cinescore Studio royalty-free soundtrack application is now available exclusively in the Vegas Movie Studio 9 product releases to help consumers create the perfect mood for every movie. A breakthrough in soundtrack creation, Cinescore Studio software provides customizable capabilities to automatically create your own music for videos. Cinescore Studio software is an easy way for moviemakers to match a musical theme to their project without needing to worry about any copyright issues. A number of themes and variations are included with the software for infinite ways in which to create the perfect score.

Click and Share Online and on DVD
Vegas Movie Studio 9 and Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition software offer users their own integrated home desktop production studio as they create and share video that can be output to numerous media formats, which includes direct publishing to YouTubeTM, direct output to an email attachment and formatting for portable music and media players to share creations easily on screens large and small. DVD Architect Studio 4.5 software is also included with the Vegas Movie Studio 9 applications to make creating professional-looking standard definition DVDs and widescreen productions fun and easy.

Full HD from Start to Finish
Optimized for complete high-definition home studio production, Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition can burn Blu-ray Discs directly from the project for easy Blu-ray Disc publishing. The application also features tools for importing high-definition footage, including native import functionality for Sony, Canon and Panasonic AVCHD camcorders and expanded import options for the newest high-resolution Sony AVCHD 1920 format. Additional format support in Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition includes MPEG-2 smart rendering for faster output, high quality audio compression for Sony Walkman and Apple iPod, as well as support for tapeless HDV footage transfers.

Pro Pack Offers Advanced Tools for the Home Studio
In addition to the Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition software, the new Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Pro Pack features software and content for enhanced professional production, including applications for audio mastering, video transitions and special effects. Additional Sony Creative Software applications featured in the Pro Pack are Sound Forge Audio Studio, additional Cinescore themes, and 1001 Sound Effects. Also included are NewBlue 3D Transitions and Effects and for a limited time, a 2 GB Sony Microvault USB flash drive.

Price and Availability
Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Pro Pack (MSRP U.S. $129.95), Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition (MSRP U.S. $99.95), Vegas Movie Studio 9 (MSRP U.S. $69.95) will be available this August in North America. Localized versions of all products for Japan, Germany, France, Spain, and the UK will be available later this fall.

For more information about these software applications or any of Sony Creative Software's leading audio or video editing solutions, please visit www.sonycreativesoftware.com.

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Add Character to Your Next Production--NewTek LiveText Now Shipping

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, today announces that its new LiveText™ optional titling accessory for the line of TriCaster™ portable live production and virtual set systems is now shipping. LiveText allows a dedicated graphics operator access to hundreds of ready-to-use professional titles for their live web stream and video projects. Installed on a laptop, the system provides an operator direct control of full pages, lower thirds, scrolls and crawls "on the fly" as video content is being streamed live. The results can be previewed for director approval or sent immediately to air.

By allowing a dedicated person to control all titling aspects of a production, LiveText lets the director focus on the flow of a live web stream or video project and improves the reaction time and accuracy of new titles added in show.

"LiveText boosts the quality of any producer’s output with advanced, flexible and easy to implement titling options that can be performed live," said Andrew Cross, NewTek’s Executive VP, Software Engineering. "Anyone who has produced a live program, from sporting events to news, knows the creation and management of titles can be stressful. LiveText greatly improves this aspect of the live production experience."

Pricing and Availability
NewTek LiveText is available for $995US.

www.newtek.com

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WEVA EXPO 2008 Registration Opens Online

Registration has opened at www.wevaexpo.com for the WEVA 18th Annual Wedding & Event Video Expo August 11-14, 2008. Just a glance at WEVA EXPO 2008 Sessions, Events, Trade Show, Podcasts and VIDEO on the newly-unveiled EXPO site shows how far, and fast, our industry is progressing!

For Monday -- An exclusive, behind-the-scenes Pro Tour of Universal Studios production facilities is among the new Pre-EXPO programs. Tour participation is limited, and on a first-come basis. If you want to be on this "industry-first" Tour inside the largest working studios on the East Coast, register now at www.wevaexpo.com.

WEVA Tour buses will depart the JW Marriott on Monday morning, August 11th at 9:00 am and again in the afternoon. There is no Tour admission cost, only a round-trip transportation fee of $12.

WEVA EXPO 2008, the wedding and event video industry's biggest convention and trade show will be held at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes Resort, just 10 minutes from Universal Studios, Sea World & The Hard Rock.

Look what’s new for WEVA EXPO 2008:

  • Over 70 Sessions for Wedding & Event Videographers
  • 2-Day Trade Show With Hands-On System Training
  • New WEVA Blu-ray Theater – Wedding Video & More
  • Top Presenters - from US, Australia, Mexico, & Canada
  • Battle of the Videographers - New Shooters, New Gear
  • WEVA LIVE! – Mock Wedding Day Events Shot Live!
  • New HD Workflow Sessions – For Mac & PC
  • Documentary Film & TV Producers – With All-New Sessions
  • 2008 WEVA Creative Excellence Film Fest & Awards

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Expand Your TriCaster Capabilities: NewTek Now Shipping Major Software Upgrade

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, today announced that the NewTek TriCaster™ Software Upgrade 2.0 is shipping to customers beginning today. Included in the upgrade for the award-winning TriCaster family is MPEG-2 recording during live shows, which allows files to be used on any editing system. Major upgrades for TriCaster STUDIO™ and TriCaster PRO™ includes Adobe® Flash® streaming and archiving ability, supporting the most popular means of online video distribution. NewTek’s proprietary LiveSet™ technology for network style virtual sets has been added to TriCaster PRO; as well as support for multiple iVGA sources and additional output enhancements. The TriCaster™ model that retails for $4,995 will now feature Windows Media® push streaming, to dramatically simplify the ability to stream live productions.

"We have updated our TriCaster family to deliver a better performing, more efficient product to our customers," said Andrew Cross, NewTek’s Executive VP, Software Engineering. "By adding improved streaming, virtual sets, editing capabilities and support for other applications, the TriCaster family continues to be the best portable live production and web streaming products available."

With the TriCaster software upgrade, all TriCaster models (TriCaster STUDIO, TriCaster PRO/PRO FX and TriCaster) now offer these additional benefits:

  • MPEG-2 recording at 25mbs/sec
  • Fully integrated character generator for the creation of custom titles, scrolls and crawls
  • Switching support for both 16:9 and 4:3 video for greater flexibility in live production
  • The ability to create up-stream keys for LiveSet
  • IEEE HDV and DV importing with auto-chop and real-time print to DV
  • LiveMatte™ keying and frame-sync technology, including an advanced new keyer, garbage mattes and spill suppression
  • Support for the new line of TriCaster accessories from NewTek allows TriCaster users the flexibility to work independently or expand their production team by offering a range of new capabilities in production:
  • LiveControl™ ($1,995US) provides a physical control surface that allows for transition between sources without the use of a keyboard or mouse.
  • TimeWarp™ ($995US) provides the ability to assign a dedicated operator for incorporating slow motion and replay in live production.
  • LiveText™ ($995US) provides the ability for a dedicated graphics operator to use a remote laptop or other computer system for pre-production of title pages, scrolls and crawls or for updates on the fly during live production.
  • DataLink™ ($995US) provides compatibility with external sources for real-time updates of title pages including information from scoreboards and databases.

A complete list of upgrade features to all TriCaster models can be found at www.newtek.com/tricaster.

Pricing and Availability
TriCaster 2.0 software upgrades for TriCaster, TriCaster PRO FX and TriCaster STUDIO models previously purchased will be available on NewTek customized USB thumb drives $495US. The upgrade for TriCaster PRO models will also be available on a USB thumb for $995US.

For more information, please visit www.NewTek.com.

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Disc Makers Gives Away 50 Discs with Every New Order This Summer

Disc Makers, the leader in optical disc manufacturing for independent artists, filmmakers, and businesses, is pleased to announce its 2008 Summer Special -- 50 Free Discs Promotion. Every customer who orders at least 300 replicated CDs, DVDs or CD-ROMs will receive an additional 50 discs for no extra charge. The special applies to all replication orders of 300 or more discs placed between 7/1/08 and 8/29/08.

"Everyone loves a good deal, especially when the economy is so unstable "said Tony van Veen, President of Disc Makers. "That’s why we want to help our customers by offering 50 extra discs to sell, giveaway, or use for promotional purposes. If an artist sells these extra 50 discs for just ten bucks each, it’s an additional $500 in their pocket!"

Disc Makers’ ran a similar promotion a few years ago to celebrate its 60th anniversary. The response was overwhelmingly positive as independent musicians and filmmakers throughout the US took advantage of the free discs to sell or give away.

Disc Makers’ 50 Free Discs promotion can be combined with all other replication specials, including 300 posters for $99 or 24 T-Shirts for just $99, allowing all Disc Makers independent artists the tools to promote their work.

www.discmakers.com

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TapeOnline Now Offering Sony Tapeless Media and LaCie Hard Drives

TapeOnline, an online leader for blank recording media, adds LaCie hard drives and Sony SxS solid-state memory cards and accessories to their online store. TapeOnline has added Sony flash memory cards and LaCie hard drives to their extensive inventory of recording media related products -- blank DVDs, MiniDV tape, Blu-ray Media, professional videotape, data backup tape, disc publishers, and others. The new products can be found on TapeOnline’s website (www.tapeonline.com.

SxS Pro Memory, Sony’s new tapeless media, is a flash memory card based on the ExpressCard standard, a new and improved version of the PC card. SxS cards are compatible with Sony’s new XDCAM EX series professional camcorders and provide HD recording, fast transfer rates, and increased workflow efficiency. Currently, TapeOnline sells 8 and 16 gigabyte capacity cards, and a 32 gigabyte version will be available soon. TapeOnline also sells the SxS ExpressCard reader that hooks up the solid-state cards to any computer via USB.

"We’re always on the lookout for new technology," says Emily Feller, Purchasing Manager at TapeOnline. "The new LaCie drives and Sony cards are just the latest in a long line of high-tech products that we carry in addition to our traditional media offerings."

New LaCie items at TapeOnline include the Rugged Hard Drives, d2 Quadra Hard Disks, and the Ethernet Big Disks. Rugged Hard Drives provide anywhere from 160 to 320 gigabytes of storage space. These portable hard drives combine both form and function. They’re extremely durable, compact, and stylish. They can easily fit in a purse or computer bag.

The d2 Quadra hard disks have a vast storage capacity, up to 1 terabyte with the model 301827U. Weighing less than four pounds, the d2 Quadra drives offer 4 interfaces, eSATA, FireWire 400/800, and USB 2.0, for maximum compatibility. Plus, the drive is extremely quiet because of its fanless cooling system.

The Ethernet Big Disks live up to their name with enormous capacity, up to 2 terabytes, that’s fully networkable at gigabit speeds. They’re easily managed from any compatible browser to allow authorized access to multiple users and shared data folders.

Reasonably priced, the 160GB Rugged Hard Drive is $125, while the 2 terabyte Ethernet Hard Disk is only $573. Sony SxS cards start at $476 for the 8 gig version and $855 for the 16 gig model.

About TapeOnline.com
TapeOnline.com is an authorized dealer for Sony, Fujifilm, Maxell, Imation, Microboards, Rimage, and others. TapeOnline provides an extensive inventory of blank media, audio, video, data products, duplicators, burners, labels, bulbs, batteries, and related accessories at competitive prices locally and worldwide. With warehouses in both Dallas and Nashville, TapeOnline is able to keep costs low and ship products fast.

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NewerTech Announces New Guardian Maximus –Fastest, Most Reliable Plug & Play RAID-1 External Storage Solution

Newer Technology, Inc. (NewerTech), the leading developer of PC, Macintosh®, iPod®, and iPhone® performance upgrades and accessories, today announced the new Guardian MAXimus 300GB 10,000RPM "Triple Interface" FireWire 800/400/USB 2.0 model, the fastest and most reliable Plug & Play RAID-1 mirror external storage solution available on the market for consumers and business professionals alike.

Delivers Fastest Data Backup/Protection
The new Guardian MAXimus 300GB 10,000RPM offers users of all levels and operating systems the fastest, most reliable method to back-up and store critical data with Plug & Play ease. Always guarding against data loss and costly system downtime, Guardian MAXimus writes the same information in real-time "live activity" to two 300GB 10,000RPM drives for a "mirrored" copy. The Guardian MAXimus 300GB 10,000RPM utilizes the Western Digital VelociRaptor™, the fastest SATA drive on the market, with data transfer rates up to 100MB/s, OS X "Leopard™" Time Machine readiness, and a "Triple Interface" of two FireWire 800, one FireWire 400, and one USB 2.0 ports to provide the performance, flexibility, and reliability required for demanding audio/video, photo-editing, and 3D rendering applications.

Exceeds Enterprise-Class Quality with Highest Reliability Rating
With its two mirrored 300GB drives, each offering up to 1.4 million hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure), the Guardian MAXimus exceeds enterprise-class standards with the highest reliability rating found in high capacity SATA drives. Additionally, the 300GB 10,000RPM model is covered by a two year warranty on the complete solution and an additional 3 year warranty on each drive.

Plug & Play Simplicity
Guardian MAXimus provides the security of a highly reliable RAID 1 hardware-based storage solution at a low price. And unlike high-priced, hard to configure RAID 1 corporate storage common in high-end servers, Guardian MAXimus is FireWire/USB Plug & Play easy, so no controller cards, software configuration, or driver downloading is required. Guardian MAXimus can access data via any of its supported interfaces or move between different computers utilizing those interfaces with complete interoperability.

Guardian MAXimus 300GB 10,000RPM Features:

  • 300GB, 10,000RPM Dual-Drive Solution.
  • 32MB of drive cache (16MB per drive).
  • Custom Oxford 924 Based Bridge Solution.
  • 2 FireWire 800 9 pin ports.
  • 1 FireWire 400 6 pin port.
  • 1 USB 2.0 "B" port - backwards compatible with USB 1.1.
  • Front panel drive status LEDs.
  • Quiet operation.
  • RoHS certified.
  • 9.3" x 2.8" x 5.6" size, shock-resistant for maximum portability.
  • US/International 90~240V 4.2A UL-listed power supply.
  • FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0/1.1 double shielded connecting cables included.
  • Compatible with Apple OS 8.6 to 9.2.2, OS X 10.1.x and later (10.2 or later required for FW800 and USB 2.0), and Windows ME and later operating systems.
  • Includes ProSoft Engineering® Data Backup 3, NovaStor NovaBACKUP®, and Intech® SpeedTools Utilities™ software (a $200 retail value).
Complete Guardian MAXimus line Pricing:
  • 250GB Mirror (250 + 250) 7200RPM w/32MB total buffer $259.99
  • 320GB Mirror (320 + 320) 7200RPM w/32MB total buffer $289.99
  • 400GB Mirror (400 + 400) 7200RPM w/32MB total buffer $329.99
  • 500GB Mirror (500 + 500) 7200RPM w/32MB total buffer $379.99
  • 750GB Mirror (750 + 750) 7200RPM w/64MB total buffer $439.99
  • 1.0TB "eMax" Mirror (1.0TB + 1.0TB) 5400RPM w/64MB total buffer $549.99
  • 1.0TB Mirror (1.0TB + 1.0TB) 7200RPM w/64MB total buffer $639.99
  • 300GB Mirror (300 + 300) 10,000RPM w/32MB total buffer $899.99

Guardian MAXimus 300GB 10,000RPM is available immediately, priced at $899.99 MSRP from NewerTech’s exclusive distributor, Other World Computing, as well as through the retail channel. For more information, see http://www.newertech.com/products/gmax.php.

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Digital Hotcakes Delivers "Bundle of Joy" for Baby Videos

TriLab Productions announces the fourth installment to their highly useful Home Movie Essentials series. Volume 4 Bundle of Joy contains 50 imaginative animations covering everything from birthdays to bath time. It also features Ted E. Behr, a Hollywood style animated teddy bear who exemplifies the volume’s innovative flair.

File types are AVI and Quicktime movie files. All animations are included in both standard (4:3) and widescreen (16:9) format and feature synchronized sound effects.

Pricing and Availability
The Home Movie Essentials series is offered at a price of $119 per volume. Bundle pricing includes any 3 volumes for $197 or all 4 for $239. They can be purchased directly from Digital Hotcakes. For more information, go to www.animationsforvideo.com.

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