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Information Today, Inc.

September 15, 2008

Table of Contents

Review: Western Digital My Passport II Mobile Hard Drive
Sony Creative Software Offers Free Vegas Pro Updates for Broadcast Workflows and 64-bit Video Editing
JVC Announces Alliance with Sony to Support XDCAM EX Professional Video File Format which Records on SxS Memory Cards
Adobe Advances Broadcast Solutions at IBC2008
Abaltat Ships Express 2.0
Vortex Media Releases New Instructional DVD, "Mastering the Sony PMW-EX3"
JVC Unveils MR-HD100 Camera Mounted Portable Hard Disk Drive Media Recorder with Wi-Fi and Metadata Capabilities
Noise Industries Exhibits New Visual Effects Products at IBC08
Media 100 Announces Version 13 at IBC 2008
Petrol Introduces Trolley/Backpack to Transport EX1 and More
Telestream Introduces Drive-in for Disc-Free DVD Storage on a Mac
Telestream Takes Episode Desktop Encoding Cross-Platform
ITN Source Unveils Clips On Demand in Website Re-launch
Sennheiser Sound Academy Goes Galactic
Magix Releases Xtreme PhotoStory on CD & DVD 7 Deluxe

Review: Western Digital My Passport II Mobile Hard Drive

I’m not a big fan of traveling, but we all must do it at some point for a client or to keep our spouses and in-laws happy. When I do go on the road I’m accompanied by a notebook PC with the Adobe Creative Suite, an external hard drive, and a DV Sony TRV900 DV or HDR-FX1 HDV camcorder, all stuffed into a nice Petrol backpack. Somehow all the gear, batteries, power supplies, and accessories wind up weighing 35 pounds.What I usually do is copy two or three projects that don’t require a lot of horsepower from one of my HP professional workstations to edit on my laptop during whatever free time I find on my vacation. The drive I have been using for the last 3 years has been a 7200 RPM, FireWire 800, 120GB G-Tech drive. It has a nearly indestructible aluminum housing that also acts as a heat sink. This drive has never missed a beat. The only issue I ever had with it had nothing to do with the G-Tech: My older HP laptop didn’t like any PCMCIA FW800 card I could find, so I wound up needing a FW800-to-4 pin FireWire 400 cable, and while it only had half the transfer rate, that turned out to be plenty for editing. On my newer (and heavier) laptop, the FW800 card works fine.

This year at NAB, I was invited to visit the Western Digital exhibit. Western Digital (WD) is a large company that sells its drives in computer stores and to manufacturers. Opening up a Mac Pro I’ve recently been reviewing revealed four WD 500GB drives. This year WD wanted to target creative professionals, mainly Mac users, with a couple of new products: the My Passport II portable drive and the My Book II Studio Addition. I was sent both, and here we’ll see how the My Passport II portable stacked up against my trusty G-Tech as an external editing drive to take on the road.

The first thing to note is that the slick, lightweight 320GB My Passport II (MSRP $219), while compatible with Windows PCs, is primarily aimed at Mac owners. It comes formatted for Mac, but it can be easily reformatted for Windows. It has two interfaces, USB 2.0 (mini) and FW400 (4-pin). WD supplies the standard-to-mini USB cable and a specialty FireWire/USB 2.0 hybrid cable. The USB-only cable powers the drive on its own. In order to use the FireWire port you must plug both the USB mini and FW400 4-pin cables into the drive and the 6-pin FW400 to the other end into the computer. The 6-pin FW connection can carry power when supplied. (In my case, this was a necessity, since my PCMCIA FW400 port is data only.)

The cable splits the power to the USB 2.0 miniport and the data to the 4-pin FW400. This is a really cool setup if you work on a workstation or a Macbook Pro that has a 6-pin FW400 connector. Most PC laptops only have an unpowered 4-pin. In order for this to work with PC notebooks, WD needs to do something similar, making a cable drawing power from the notebook’s USB 2.0 port to the mini USB on the drive, then a 4-pin to 4-pin for the data.

Not having this type of cable available, I did something generally considered a "no-no"—editing over a USB 2.0 cable. While technically USB 2.0 is faster (480Mbps) than FW 400 (400Mbps), USB has trouble sustaining the throughput. But I tried the USB, and it worked—sort of. While playing back long digital video timelines, it would occasionally drop frames. In my studio, hooked up to a workstation via FireWire, it dropped frames from analog video I was capturing through a Matrox RT.X100 card. My advice is that if you have no other choice but to edit over USB 2.0, do so, but don’t trust it for mastering back to tape or capture. I’d say wait until you have access to a FW-compatible machine to do that. But if you’re working on the road, as I have been, sometimes you have to make compromises.

I’ve found that there are definitely tradeoffs between the G-Tech and the Western Digital. The closest current G-Drive mini equivalents are either a 250GB, 5400 RPM ($239) or 200GB, 7200 RPM ($259) drives with 6-pin FW 400 and mini USB 2.0. By comparison, the 5400 RPM, 250GB WD My Passport II is $159. The G-Techs power from a common 6-pin to 6-pin FW400 cable (with optional and highly recommended external power supply if needed), so you don’t need to worry about losing a proprietary cable. If you aren’t planning to capture anything more than DV or edit a more demanding format on the road, the My Passport II is a good value, as long as you know its limitations. If you need to capture analog files, HDV, or other HD formats, and master a long file back to tape, you’ll probably do better with the faster G-Tech Minis.

Marc Franklin(marcfvp at yahoo.com) has been shooting video since 1982, and has run Franklin Video Productions since 1992. He has been featured in the Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, and TV Technology; has written for WEVA, Studio Monthly, and Student Filmmakers; served as technical advisor to The 4EVER Group; and is currently VP of Technology for the American Videographers Association near Los Angeles.

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Sony Creative Software Offers Free Vegas Pro Updates for Broadcast Workflows and 64-bit Video Editing

Sony Creative Software, a leading provider of professional video and audio editing applications, today announced the availability of Vegas Pro 8.0c and Vegas Pro 8.1 non-linear editing (NLE) software application updates. Vegas Pro 8.0c makes the transition from other NLE systems to Vegas Pro easier by enabling the user to customize the trimmer window to operate in an enhanced source/preview mode and provides additional support for new video cameras popular with broadcast users, as well as the new PDW-1500 XDCAM deck. As the first 64-bit editing application offered by a leading software developer, Vegas Pro 8.1 provides users increased editing power and flexibility to work with complex memory-hungry 3D projects and high-definition (HD) content.

"The broadcast production community has been eagerly awaiting an efficient and affordable solution for HD and 3D content," said Dave Chaimson, Sony Creative Software vice president of global marketing. "These two updates provide our users with comprehensive technological advancements for increasingly complicated and time-sensitive broadcast productions. With the demand for Vegas Pro growing rapidly in the worldwide broadcast market, the combination of a more familiar workflow, coupled with 64-bit support for increased throughput, provides an unrivaled solution not available in any other application."

Vegas Pro 8.0c
The Vegas Pro 8.0c software now features extensive support for the new PDW-1500 XDCAM deck and the newest Sony video camera formats including XDCAM HD 4:2:2. The Vegas Pro software scales intuitively on the user's system, ensuring that it takes full advantage of all hardware capabilities. The new Smart Render feature supports most news acquisition formats, providing the ability for news corporations to get content to air rapidly. Newly enhanced trimmer tools support broadcast editing workflows, while the new Fit-to-Fill function enables broadcasters to automate cuts to match content to the exact seconds allotted for their story. Vegas Pro 8.0c also now includes 24p support for those working with film framerate style content.

Key Vegas Pro 8.0c Features

  • Enhanced trimmer tools, improved source/preview workflow, Fit-to-Fill and paste/overwrite editing and video playback functionality
  • XDCAM HD 4:2:2 50 mb/s support
  • XDCAM EX rendering support
  • HVR-Z7 24p capture and high-performance editing
  • HVR-Z7 CF card import module
  • Optimized AVC encoding and decoding
Vegas Pro 8.1
Vegas Pro 8.1 has been engineered to take full advantage of the 64-bit operating system to enable users to work with multifaceted, memory-intensive projects. The Vegas Pro 8.1 64-bit program is a standalone application that does not require users to have Vegas Pro 8.0 preinstalled on their system. However, Vegas Pro 8.1 has been designed with backwards compatibility with the 32-bit Vegas Pro application so users can create a project in one platform and open it in the other. This provides users with the ability to work with a 64-bit version for the performance gains, but also work in the 32-bit system for continued broad hardware and codec support.

Benefits of Vegas Pro 8.1
Vegas Pro 8.1 has been designed to maximize the capabilities of the 64-bit system, providing:

  • Access to large amounts of memory not possible with 32-bit systems
  • Scalability for multicore processors
  • Faster overall performance and rendering
  • Vegas Pro 8.1 provides current users with more memory access which enables
  • Working with complex memory-hungry 3D projects
  • Working more efficiently with nested Vegas Pro projects
  • Running more multiple instances of Vegas Pro software
  • More open
  • Codecs
  • Filters and Effects
  • Cached Frames for Ram Previews
  • Features both improved rendering times and general performance optimizations
For optimal 64-bit performance, four factors need to align. The PC has to be designed for 64-bit, as does the operating system and the programs that run on it. In addition, supporting partner offerings must also be 64-bit capable. Sony Creative Software was one of the first developers to begin porting for 64-bit computing in direct collaboration with AMD, who developed the 64-bit extensions for the Windows operating system. Extensive testing with various partners, including Microsoft, Dell, Intel and AMD ensures Vegas Pro 8.1 is ready for immediate installation and use in production.

"AMD, congratulates Sony Creative Software on being the first major software developer to bring a 64-bit NLE to market with Vegas Pro 8.1," said Charlie Boswell, director of Digital Media and Entertainment for AMD. "Having worked closely with the Sony Creative team and having personally used Vegas Pro to produce DVD and broadcast content, I can say that 64-bit Vegas Pro 8.1 is a key milestone towards our shared goal of enabling content creators to work at the 'speed of thought', challenged only by the limits of one's own creativity."

Product Demos at IBC 2008 Trade Show
Vegas Pro 8.0c and Vegas Pro 8.1 software will be demonstrated at the Sony Creative Software booth in Hall 9, Stand A31 at the IBC 2008 tradeshow in Amsterdam, September 12-16. Visit the Sony Creative Software stand for a complete schedule and session overviews.

Price and Availability
Vegas Pro 8.0c and Vegas Pro 8.1 professional software are now available as free downloadable updates for Vegas Pro 8.0 users from the Sony Creative Software website: www.sonycreativesoftware.com. Localized versions of Vegas Pro 8.0c in German, French, Spanish and Japanese are also now available. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Vegas Pro 8.0 software is U.S. $699.95.


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JVC Announces Alliance with Sony to Support XDCAM EX Professional Video File Format which Records on SxS Memory Cards

Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. (JVC) announced today its alliance with Sony Corporation to support the XDCAM EX MPEG-2 professional video file format and SxS (S-By-S) solid state flash memory cards. JVC is committed to develop products based on the XDCAM EX file format utilizing SxS memory cards to bring this high quality, high bit rate recording option to JVC professional video product customers. The compact SxS memory card provides high speed data transfer capability designed especially for professional video camera applications.

"JVC is committed to collaborating with world-class partners to provide the best solutions and the widest range of options for our professional video customers," stated Hiroyuki Takekura, Managing Director, Professional Systems Business, Victor Company of Japan. "Our goal is to offer a variety of recording options including major video file formats and field-proven media. We are extremely pleased with our alliance with Sony Corporation to support the XDCAM EX file format and the SxS memory card and thereby expand our professional application capabilities."

"Sony is very pleased to license the XDCAM EX file format to JVC. Sony and JVC are both well-established companies in the professional video market and Sony has enjoyed a strong relationship with JVC over an extended period of time," said Yoshinori Onoue, Corporate Executive, SVP of Sony Corporation. "We see this announcement as a natural evolution of this relationship, which will help ensure the continued success of XDCAM EX.

JVC will launch the KA-MR100G docking media recorder as its first product featuring native XDCAM EX file recording and an SxS memory card slot. This device will record and playback XDCAM EX files on an SxS memory card. The KAMR100G will also attach to current JVC ProHD GY-HD200/250 series professional high definition camcorders via a specially designed adapter. Future products from JVC will attach directly to the KA-MR100G. The KA-MR100G will be available in March 2009 with a suggested retail price under 2,500 euro in Europe, and 3,000 dollars in the United States.


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Adobe Advances Broadcast Solutions at IBC2008

At IBC2008 Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) is showcasing advanced video and new media technologies that are enabling broadcasters and media professionals to create, deliver, and monetize dynamic media across disparate platforms and devices. Highlights of the show include previews of the next version of Adobe® Creative Suite® Production Premium and Adobe Flash® Media Server software, as well as the introduction of Adobe Flash Media Encoding Server software (see separate press release), a fast, scalable solution for converting multiple video file formats for delivery via Adobe Flash software, which has established itself as the premier  instant‐on video solution for media companies around the world.  Adobe will demonstrate its industry leadership in supporting efficient, tapeless workflows that leverage native, raw camera formats for producing high‐fidelity content. RED R3D and AVCHD join Panasonic P2 and Sony XDCAM EX and HD, as camera formats that are supported by Adobe Creative Suite software applications,   with no transcoding or rewrapping. Adobe’s booth at the IBC2008 Exhibition is Hall 7, Stand 721.  "We are committed to providing world‐class technology and forging industry initiatives that enable our customers to create rich, engaging content, deliver it to audiences on virtually any platform or device, and demonstrate lucrative new business models," said Jim Guerard, vice president and general manager of Dynamic Media at Adobe. "From content creation, to delivery and playback, Adobe and its broadcast and media customers are leading the industry and reshaping the digital video and interactive media lanscapes."

  Accelerated Industry Adoption by Broadcasters 
Adobe’s Emmy® Award winning Flash technology continues to be the standard worldwide for delivering high‐quality video experiences on the Web. According to comScore, 82 percent of online videos in the U.S. and 73 percent of online videos worldwide are viewed using Adobe Flash technology, making it the number one format for video on the Web.  In North America, the NFL recently announced its decision to use Adobe Flash technology to deliver live online video streaming of NBC’s Sunday Nght Football games on www.NFL.com and www.NBCSports.com. In addition, France's M6 (in partnership with Limelight Networks), recently announced  its decision to join major broadcasters worldwide in selecting Adobe Flash technology to stream video content online. OpenTV Corp., a leading provider of advanced digital television services, has also announced that it will integrate Adobe Flash technology into OpenTV middleware to enable the development of new user nterfaces and rich applications.

   Adobe Previews the Next Generation of Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium Software
  Adobe is giving attendees at IBC2008 an exclusive sneak preview of the next version of Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium oftware, a complete pre‐ and post‐production solution for creative professionals. The next version of Adobe’s industry‐leading software will help creative professionals deliver more valuable assets, reach new creative heights, and make the most of their time with huge gains in workflow efficiency.

    Faster, Easier Content Preparation for Delivery using Flash Technology 
Adobe Flash Media Encoding Server is a new scalable, high‐performance solution for converting multiple video file formats into the ubiquitous Flash format and the latest addition to theAdobe Flash Media Server family of products. At IBC2008, Adobe is also previewing new technologies that will be available in future versions of Adobe Flash Media Server. These include dynamic streaming for delivering the highest quality, uninterrupted viewing experience, and the ability to pause or rewind a live video stream.


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Abaltat Ships Express 2.0

Abaltat ™, a developer of innovative audio workflow solutions for postproduction and broadcast markets, announced today the release of Abaltat Express 2.0.

Based on the flagship Abaltat Muse application, Abaltat Express enables editors to compose royalty-free, multi-part soundtracks that are perfectly timed and aligned to video projects. Abaltat Express 2.0 ships with the brand new composition and analysis engine found in its big brother - Muse 2.0 - as well as seven stylized bands. Also new in the 2.0 release is a sleek new user interface that offers dials and prompts familiar to video editors.

"Abaltat Express is ideal for those users who are just getting their feet wet and want to limit their investment," said Mark Altekruse, Sales and Marketing Director, Abaltat. "Like Muse 2.0, Abaltat Express is designed so that users with little to no experience in developing soundtracks and compositions can hit the ground running. As they become familiar with the technology and concepts, they can graduate to more powerful composition tools such as Muse 2.0."

Abaltat Express 2.0 integrates the video and audio post workflows by providing a platform for users to create their initial soundtrack. Utilizing the audio engine and sounds native to the Mac, compositions can be tweaked using a number of Express controls or exported to industry standard audio editing applications such as Apple Logic and Garage Band or the Digidesign ProTools for finishing.

Abaltat Express 2.0 composes soundtracks by applying musical rules and custom algorithms with advanced video recognition software. The video recognition software analyzes the video and supplies information about color and duration of the clip. Musical rules, contained within the user's selected Band, are then applied to this analysis. After the initial Compose, the user can perform further editing and arranging of the soundtrack using familiar keyframing concepts and keyboard commands.

The final composition is always 100% royalty-free and can be used as-is, or, exported for further editing and recording in any modern Digital Audio Workstation application. The video is imported as a QuickTime file and the finished compositions can be exported as .AIFF or .WAV files, as MIDI files or as QuickTime. The Abaltat Express playout works with Mac's own soundcard or with the standard editing third party cards such as Blackmagic.

Highlights of Albatat Express 2.0 Abaltat Express 2.0 runs on Apple Macintosh X OS including Leopard. Feature highlights include:

  • Extensive Musical Range - Seven bands offering a range of soundtrack styles – from classical to hip-hop to dance to modern 21st century composition.
  • User Friendly Audio Editing Capabilities - Users can arrange soundtracks using familiar video editing concepts and controls such as keyframes and key commands common to many NLE’s.
  • Seamless Integration with Popular Video Applications – Abaltat Express 2.0 works with the world’s leading editing applications including:
    • Apple Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express
    • Avid editing applications
    • Adobe Premiere Pro
    • Media 100
  • Support for Professional Audio Workstations and formats - Exports general MIDI files that can be imported into;
    • Digidesign Pro Tools and Pro Tools LE
    • Apple Logic Studio, Logic Express and GarageBand
    • MOTU Digital Performer and more
    • Outputs audio in pro audio standards: .aiff, .wav or as MIDI Outputs combined or individual tracks
Abaltat Express 2.0 Pricing and Availability
Abaltat Express 2.0 is available today via the Abaltat web site (www.abaltat.com) and certified reseller channel for 230.00 USD. Existing Abaltat Express customers can upgrade to version 2.0 free of charge. A 14-day trial version of Abaltat Express and Muse 2.0 are available on www.abaltat.com.

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Vortex Media Releases New Instructional DVD, "Mastering the Sony PMW-EX3"

Vortex Media has released a new training DVD, Mastering the Sony PMW-EX3. Mastering the Sony PMW-EX3 is the easiest way to learn both the fundamentals and advanced features of the new Sony EX3 camcorder and its state-of-the-art tapeless workflow.

This 3-hour, 2-disc (DVD-Video) workshop includes tutorials, step-by-step examples, and detailed instructions covering the most important aspects of camera setup, menus, shooting techniques, clip naming, file management, clip importing, picture profile settings, basic editing, and even archiving.

This DVD will pay for itself many times over by saving you hours of time figuring out things on your own.

Mastering the Sony PMW-EX3 is a completely independent production with no participation, sponsorship, input, or approval from Sony -- so it delivers unbiased information and professional advice that can't be found in the owner's manual.

This video workshop is designed to help anyone, from a novice to an experienced ENG/EFP shooter, get the best results from their EX3. The DVD provides real-world examples and suggested techniques that are simple to put into practice.

Like all Vortex Media training DVDs, this workshop has been carefully researched, planned, and scripted (not presented as"live" or ad lib). This DVD was produced by professionals with years of broadcast-level experience who have the knowledge to recognize what's important about the EX3 and how to teach it without getting bogged down in jargon or unnecessary technical details.

Mastering the Sony PMW-EX3 is available for $125 from the Vortex Media online store.

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JVC Unveils MR-HD100 Camera Mounted Portable Hard Disk Drive Media Recorder with Wi-Fi and Metadata Capabilities

JVC announces the introduction of the MR-HD100U hard disk drive (HDD) that is Wi-Fi accessible to enable users to wirelessly log customized Metadata in real time while shooting in the field. The MR-HD100 is the latest addition to JVC’s ProHD line of products that provide the fastest and most efficient shoot-to-air HD workflow in the industry with its native file recording capability.

Through the use of any compatible wireless device, broadcast and video professionals can access the MR-HD100 to define metadata and assign it to video while recording. This capability saves hours spent reviewing, logging and tagging footage in post-production, further demonstrating JVC’s seamless shoot-to-air workflow.

"Metadata input in the field has been long sought after in the professional production community. The MR-HD100 is a revolutionary device that brings this time-saving capability to the marketplace at an exceptionally low cost," said Craig Yanagi, National Marketing Manager, Creation Products, JVC Professional Products Company. "Combined with JVC’s Native File Recording technology, the industry’s fastest and most efficient workflow has now become the most intuitive."

The MR-HD100 features an easy to use menu system and enables users to record in a wide range of HDV and DV formats. The MR-HD100 records natively as both .m2t file format and QuickTime .mov files in 720p24/25/30/50/60 and 1080i 50/60 frame rates, as well as .mxf 720p30 and 1080i 50/60 for Avid non-linear editing systems. By recording files in an editing-friendly native format, post-production can begin without file conversion, transcoding or rewrapping. With quick and seamless direct file access, the MR-HD100 is extremely beneficial for video production in time sensitive situations.

The lightweight, portable MR-HD100 can be easily mounted to JVC’s award-winning ProHD Series of professional camcorders to provide extended recording times of up to 10 hours. Additional features include support for UDF to enable recording up to 1.5 hours in a single DV/HDV file, a 1.8-inch internal disk drive that is extremely rugged and shock resistant, and a fan-less design for extremely quiet operation.

The suggested list price of the MR-HD100 is $2,495 and is scheduled to ship this month. For more information about JVC’s MR-HD100, visit JVC’s Web site at www.jvc.com/pro.

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Noise Industries Exhibits New Visual Effects Products at IBC08

Noise Industries, developer of visual effects tools for the post-production and broadcast markets announced that they will demonstrate new FxFactory powered plug-in products at the IBC 2008 conference held in Amsterdam from September 12 – 16, 2008 on stand 7.K21.

Visitors to the IBC conference can see the brand newFxFactory 2.0.4 release now offering native integration with Adobe® After Effects® CS3 software and Apple ® Final Cut Studio® and Final Cut® Express applications. FxFactory includes 300 plus award-winning visual effects plug-ins optimized for real-time performance on the Mac platform. Also new in the Noise Industries product portfolio and showcased on the stand is the recently released partner FxPackMotype; a 2D/3D text animation plug-in for Adobe and Apple editors.

In addition to exhibiting at IBC08 on stand 7.K21, Noise Industries will also be exhibiting at the Apple Final Cut Pro Super Meet held on September 14, 2008 at Culture Park Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam.

About Noise Industries Development Partners FxPacks are developed by Noise Industries and its partners using the Noise Industries FxFactory Pro plug-in manager. The FxFactory Pro Plug-in Manager provides broadcast designers a user-friendly development tool to create additional effects plug-in packages for the Apple Final Cut Studio and Final Cut Express products.

The following are Noise Industries partners who have developed plug-ins for the FxFactory product.

  • Noise Industries Partner - Core Melt
    • Editing FxPack
    • Motion FxPack
    • ImageFlowFxPack
    • Polychrome Transitions FxPack
    • VeeYouFxPack
  • Noise Industries Partner - DVShade
    • EasyLooks 2FxPack
  • Noise Industries Partner – Futurismo
    • Backgrounds FxPack
    • Titles FxPack
  • Noise Industries Partner – Idustrial Revolution
    • CoverFluxFxPack
    • IR Freebie FxPack
    • SupaWipeFxPack
    • VolumetrixFxPack
  • Noise Industries Partner – SUGARfx
  • Cine Fest FxPack
  • Design Tools FxPack
  • Drop In FxPack
  • MondiranesqueFxPack
  • Perf Motif FxPack
  • Portfolio FxPack
  • Slate Tools FxPack
  • Video Wall FxPack
  • World Cup FxPack
  • Noise Industries Partner – Yanobox
    • MotypeFxPack
      Adobe® After Effects CS3, Apple Final Cut Studio 2 and Apple Final Cut Express 4 users can test drive hundreds of FxFactory plug-ins by downloading the free 15-day trial version from http://www.noiseindustries.com.

      New in FxFactory Products
      Single Product, Multi-host Support: The new single product – multi-host support allows customers to use the highly popular FxFactory plug-ins such as Motypewith their favorite Mac-based editing and compositing applications. The move to provide multiple host support in a single product also provides a significant cost savings, as customers will not be charged for every host separately.

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      Media 100 Announces Version 13 at IBC 2008

      Media 100, a leading provider of advanced editing systems for the corporate, broadcast, postproduction, and new media industries, today announced Media 100 Version 13. The video editing system of choice for many generations of editors worldwide, Media 100 is the gold standard for ease-of-use, minimal learning curve, and consistent professional results.

      New in version 13 is XML Interchange Integration with Apple Final Cut Studio via importing and exporting of XML-based files. This new feature lets users share projects amongst Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Color, and Media 100 editing stations. For example, an editor can export legacy Media 100 projects to Final Cut Pro for further editing and revisions, export Final Cut Pro sequences for live broadcast from Media 100 systems, or export a Media 100 sequence to Apple Color for advanced color grading.

      New expanded audio output options allow assignment of audio tracks to virtual buses for individual processing and output to tape. This feature lets editors create projects in multiple languages and transfer up to 16 audio tracks to other systems for delivery or archival. Media 100 now provides the ultimate flexibility in audio handling throughout a project's life cycle, providing features comparable to dedicated audio workstations.

      "Integration of Media 100 with Apple Final Cut Pro has been a high priority for our customers," commented Boris Yamnitsky, president, Boris FX / Media 100. "With Media 100, Boris Continuum Complete FxPlug, Boris RED, and Final Effects Complete FxPlug, we offer a comprehensive toolset for video editing and graphics on the Mac platform and a perfect complement to Final Cut Studio."

      "I really think the engineers have done a great job on Version 13; I really love the new features and I think they are a great addition to the application," commented Floh Peters, Magic Eye (Cologne, Germany). "It is totally amazing to see the exchange with Final Cut Pro - seeing that your timeline migrates back and forth with all audio keyframes intact. And the multi-channel audio features really are a great time-saver for us, working on projects where we usually have at least two different audio mixes. Now we can bring them to tape easily."

      Media 100 Version 13 Feature Highlights

      • XML Interchange: Users can transfer projects to and from Apple Final Cut Studio via the industry-standard XML language format. Filtered clips and non-standard transitions and titles can be automatically pre-rendered for seamless integration with Final Cut Pro. Standard video transitions and audio cross-fades remain fully editable. They can work on the system of their choice within a larger workgroup or collaborate with Final Cut Pro editors on the same project, and bring their Media 100 timeline into Apple Color for color grading, keeping all of their edits intact and linking to their original media files.
      • Multi-Channel Audio Output; Users can now assign multiple audio tracks to virtual buses and process each bus separately in the timeline. Each bus can separately master to one or more output hardware channels. The new multi-channel audio mixing and output capabilities provides tools for complex mixing tasks with different language versions within their timeline. Through the use of multiple mixing buses users can easily create sub-mixes for voice and music and keep complex mixing sessions clearly arranged. Plus, when needed, they can output all the different mixes to tape or to a QuickTime file in a single pass, reducing the time needed to master multi-track projects. They can easily monitor and master surround mixes by using multiple outputs. The mixing capabilities with the ability to assign tracks to multiple buses and the option to apply audio effects both to individual clips as well as audio buses makes Media 100 audio features comparable to dedicated audio workstations.
      Other New Features include JKL keyboard control for video trimming and time-code support on imported BWF and WAV files, speeding up workflow.

      Recent Media 100 Releases
      Released in July 2008, Media 100 Version 12.7 provided integrated XDCAM import and AJA retail driver compatibility allowing Media 100 and Apple Final Cut Pro to operate on the same Mac OS boot volume.

      Pricing and Availability
      Media 100 Version 13 will ship in October 2008. Customers holding valid Media 100 Platinum Software Agreements will receive version 13 free of charge. Media 100 Suite customers can purchase a Media 100 Platinum Software Updates Agreement for $895 USD. Media 100 Producer customers can upgrade to version 13 for 295 USD. Media 100 Suite is now part of the Boris Box Set for Mac, available for $1995 USD.

      For more information, visit www.media100.com.

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      Petrol Introduces Trolley/Backpack to Transport EX1 and More

      Petrol, a Vitec Group brand, introduces the Camlap Trolley Backpack. This versatile new roll-along professional camera backpack has been specially designed to safely carry a Sony PMW-EX1, a laptop computer and plenty of accessories.

      The Camlap unzips quickly from top to bottom, offering an ultra-wide U-shaped opening for fast and easy access to contents while on the job. Inside the generous main chamber, internal adjustable binding straps and Petrol's proprietary sliding pipe system (SPS) secure the camera and keep it firmly - and safely - in place. Four removable rigid dividers can be custom configured into pockets for holding and organizing important accessories. The contents are protected on all sides by layers of durable cushioned fabric. A second, padded rear pocket cradles a laptop computer with up to a 17" screen.

      The Camlap's ergonomic backpack carrying system folds away and stores easily when not in use. Heavy-duty inline skate wheels and an adjustable trolley handle guarantee smooth-rolling, effortless toting. Polypropylene-injected legs lift and safeguard the bottom of the bag from damage from adverse elements such as dirt or water. Additional features include an open side pocket to hold a water bottle, an envelope-style zippered side pocket for additional storage, and an exterior zippered front pocket with personal organizer. The exterior is constructed of heavy-duty blue and black Cordura and ballistic nylon.

      The Camlap Trolley Backpack (#PCTB-3) measures 12.8" L x 14.2" W x 21.3" H (32.5cm x 36cm x 54cm) and is tailored to hold the Sony PMW-EX1 and HVR-Z1, Panasonic DVX100B, JVC JYE 300D, and similar size HDV/DV camcorders.


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      Telestream Introduces Drive-in for Disc-Free DVD Storage on a Mac

      Telestream, the provider of Flip4Mac Windows Media Components for QuickTime, today announced a new product for digital media enthusiasts. Drive-in™ is a first-of-its-kind software application that allows Mac users to create and store images of digital video discs (DVDs) on personal computer hard drives. Released Friday, September 5, Drive-in provides travelers and home theater enthusiasts with quick, easy access to personal DVD movie collections for playback on laptops, desktop computers and home entertainment systems. A Windows version is planned for future release.

      Drive-in provides all the benefits of DVDs, however disc-free hard drive storage offers a number of advantages over conventional physical DVD storage. Drive-in provides a richer user experience, for browsing, searching and accessing movies. Plus, the risk of misplacing or damaging physical discs is eliminated. Home theater users can consolidate their movie libraries onto a single, secure location. For travelers, drive-in saves battery life by removing the need to search and spin an optical disc, enabling viewing of several movies on a single laptop battery.

      "Any family that has a collection of DVDs is well aware of the hassles of losing and damaging personal DVD movie discs," said Dan Castles, CEO of Telestream. "Our goal with Drive-in is to preserve all the original content, while improving search, storage and retrieval. Drive-in provides a great playback experience on personal computers. It removes the hassles of the physical disc and allows users to store away their DVDs, so they are not lost or damaged."

      Under license by the DVD CCA and DVD FLLC, Drive-in creates an image that is an exact duplicate of the information that is on the owner's original DVD disc, thus preserving original content protection. In addition, Drive-in locks the software to the owner's computer and locks the images to the software. Drive-in allows users to play movie images on computers that they own, but it does not allow users to share their images with others.

      Drive-in also preserves the quality, navigation and special features of the original DVD. Additional helpful features include the ability to store thumbnails of cover art, names of actors, and movie descriptions which simplifies searching, browsing and selection of movies. Users can play Drive-in software using Apple's DVD Player or Front Row to further enhance the user experience.

      For more than a year, tens of thousands of users have participated in the Drive-in public beta. Digital media enthusiast, Jeff Puritz, reports, "I have been looking for exactly this program for a long time. I have no interest in stealing video but want to keep some DVDs on my hard drive for travel."

      In Dave Peterson's article, Building a Disc-Free DVD Library With Drive-in which appears on GadgetyTech.com, he says of Drive-in, "I like the idea of being able to load in all my DVDs for ease of access and still have all the features built into the disc. Picture quality of the video image is excellent, the same as if you were running it from the original disc, and all menu and special feature content is available as it would be on the disc."

      Michael Driskill writes, "I've been storing DVDs left and right. The saved movies are just like the original; no loading problems, nice product."

      Drive-in is now available in two versions; a single-seat and a multi-seat that enables users to image and playback DVDs on up to five computers in a household. The single-seat version is priced at $39, while the multi-seat version is $59. Drive-in is available for download and immediate online purchase at www.flip4mac.com.

      A quick video user tutorial is also available at www.flip4mac.com.

      More information about Telestream is available at www.telestream.net.  

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      Telestream Takes Episode Desktop Encoding Cross-Platform

      Telestream today announced that its highly recognized Episode® Series desktop media encoding products have expanded to offer cross-platform compatibility. With new support for both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, Telestream's Episode and Episode Pro applications encode media to virtually every video and audio file format, offering ultimate encoding flexibility in a single software package. Users and organizations no longer need to learn and support multiple encoding tools for multiple projects. Episode provides a complete encoding toolset for novices and experts alike. Known for its speed, quality and ease of use, Episode simplifies content repurposing for distribution to the growing number of digital media channels such as Web, DVD, IPTV, mobile phones and portable devices.

      "We've heard loud and clear from the market that Windows users want the powerful capabilities that Episode for the Mac provides," said Barbara DeHart, VP of Marketing at Telestream. "With availability on both platforms and support for all major formats, including Flash 8 as a standard feature – all in a single tool, Episode is well positioned to streamline any encoding workflow need."

      In addition to cross-platform compatibility, Telestream announced the addition of watch folders for Episode desktop products. This feature enables users to simply drop finished projects into folders for automatic encoding, which saves both time and effort. These are the latest major additions in Telestream's continually expanding Episode encoding workflow solutions.

      The complete Episode product family provides scalability from standalone desktop media encoding applications for individual users to very powerful, server-based encoding applications for larger organizations with higher volume needs. With ongoing support for both current and emerging video and audio file formats, Episode products provide a flexible, future-proof solution for virtually any SD or HD compression need. Episode desktop products have been praised for their extensive fine-tuning compression capabilities, batch encoding and many presets which enable users to quickly create extremely high-quality output files.

      Episode desktop encoders are available in two versions. Episode ($495) imports virtually any file format, including broadcast and professional formats and encodes media to all major Web, DVD authoring, mobile and portable device formats, including Flash 8/9, Windows Media, QuickTime, H.264, VC-1, 3GPP, MPEG-1/2/4 and more. Episode Pro ($995) includes all of the same features and formats plus encoding to high-end broadcast and professional formats such as GXF, MXF, High Profile DVCPRO HD, mobile multi-bit rate and more.

      The entire Episode family, including new desktop encoding software running on Mac and Windows platforms, is being featured in Telestream's stand 7.C19 at the International Broadcasters Convention (IBC) which opens this week in Amsterdam. Cross-platform Episode desktop products are slated for availability in the fourth quarter of 2008. Episode desktop encoding products are available at http://www.flip4mac.com and from Telestream's worldwide network of resellers. For more information about Telestream, visit http://www.telestream.net.  

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      ITN Source Unveils Clips On Demand in Website Re-launch

      ITN Source, one of the world’s leading providers of professional video content, today launches Clips on Demand, the world’s largest collection of broadcast-quality, "rights-ready" video clips available for purchase and download online for the first time in the archive video industry. Over 500,000 clips are currently offered, covering news, history, entertainment and wildlife categories selected from ITN Source’s vast range of video archives. Hundreds of clips will be added daily from ITN Source’s content partners including ITN, Reuters, FOX Movietone, Setanta Sports News and UTV.

      Clips on Demand is the key feature of a complete re-launch of ITNSource.com, the gateway to more than a million hours of video content. Clips on Demand enables users to search, browse, select, pay and download broadcast quality clips at an time day or night, for all types of media use. ITN Source is offering a 30 percent discount off standard clip pricing for all customers buying content through ITNSource.com.

      "ITN Source realizes that many of our customers are looking for specific clips that are easy to find on our Website. We’re bringing the ease of online shopping to the video archive industry and are proud to be the first to market online with broadcast quality clips," said Ian CheeWah, Vice President and Managing Director, ITN Source North American Operations. "We are constantly looking for ways we can enhance our customer service and Clips on Demand enables our customers to license rights-ready high-quality content at their convenience."

      This approach marks the first time that customers have been offered a full self- service e-commerce model that offers transparency throughout the entire licensing process. Customers can choose between either a single country or world license, and each license spans a range of uses including broadcast, new media, retail, advertising, corporate, internal communications and education.


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      Sennheiser Sound Academy Goes Galactic

      Over the past two years, Sennheiser's traveling series of one-day seminars have become requisites for professionals and students with keen interests in broadcast, theater, film and music. Focusing on both RF wireless techniques and studio recording practices, the Sound Academy sessions have visited nearly twenty cities throughout the U.S. thus far. The most recent Sound Academy was held at the world-famous Skywalker Sound Scoring Stage in northern California.

      Hosted in conjunction with Recording Magazine and led by Sennheiser's Senior Applications Engineer, Mike Pappas, the studio recording seminar demonstrated the basic microphone techniques and advanced recording practices in an exciting environment.

      Naturally, all studio recording concepts and techniques were demonstrated on a comprehensive array of Sennheiser and Neumann microphones, all of which will be on display at AES 2008.

      During the course, attendees learned how to place the Sennheiser MKH 8000 series microphones to obtain the best musical sound, while also tuning in to the subtle nuances between each of the other models that make up Sennheiser's renowned MKH line. Vocals were captured and accentuated with several industry-standard Neumann microphones, including the vintage-inspired TLM 49, the legendary U 87 large-diaphragm microphone, the cardioid KM 184 as well as the new TLM 67, which offers three switchable directional characteristics.

      Noted Leslie Ann Jones, director of music and scoring, Skywalker Sound. "We were pleased Sennheiser asked to have their Sound Academy here at Skywalker Sound. Our scoring stage was the perfect environment. There was much to learn, regardless of the level of the attendees' experience."

      Sennheiser will also be bringing its RF wireless seminar to San Francisco, Boston and Cleveland this fall. The RF seminar is designed to teach attendees how to plan for trouble-free operation of multi-channel wireless microphones and personal monitoring systems in even the toughest environments. Held in conjunction with Live Sound International, the seminar is taught by Volker Schmitt, who played a key role in the development of several Sennheiser products, including its line of evolution wireless microphones, and Joe Ciaudelli, Sennheiser's industry team manager for professional products.


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      Magix Releases Xtreme PhotoStory on CD & DVD 7 Deluxe

      MAGIX, Berlin's multimedia specialist, is releasing the seventh generation of its slideshow classic. MAGIX Xtreme PhotoStory on CD & DVD 7's new user interface now makes it even easier to access optimization features, effects, animations, or camera movement via the completely reworked Media Pool. And new functions like exact creation of panoramas using multiple photos can also be started via the Media Pool. Now photos from digital SLR cameras and scanned images in 3:2 format can also be displayed automatically on the entire screen without black edges. Your slideshow can be burned directly and without any steps in between using "EasyBurn mode", and it's just as easy to upload the slideshow to your MAGIX Online Album with complete start menus.

      Besides these additions to the operation (which can be switched from a light to a modern, dark interface as desired) a lot has been done below the surface. A deep reach into the program's effects (transitions, for example) has produced fluid and effortless full screen playback as a result of performance improvements. Starting from September 30, MAGIX Xtreme PhotoStory on CD & DVD 7 will be available from retailers for $29.99.

      Price and Availability:
      MAGIX Xtreme PhotoStory on CD & DVD 7 is available from 30th September at $29.99 from major US retailers and online partners.


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