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November 25, 2008

Table of Contents

Gear & Now: Adapting to New Cinematic Power Options
Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 v.4.0.1 Announced
Sony Creative Software Introduces New Download Delivery Option For All Products In Its Royalty-Free Content Line
Blackmagic Design Collaborates with Adobe India to Showcase Video Solutions on Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium
TMPGEnc MovieStyle Video Converting Software Adds Support for iPhone 3G and Others
NewTek Enhances Customer Experience through Extended Technical Support Hours
Eye Scream Factory Launches DVD Clips

Gear & Now: Adapting to New Cinematic Power Options

Included in some of the recent new announcements about portable power supplies for pro videographers is talk about the “high current demands of HD cameras.” You will also hear phrases describing “the convergence of 24V film and 14V video” gear.

As high definition and high-end cameras such as those from RED Digital Cinema, Arri, and Sony become more popular among feature filmmakers and wedding videographers alike, we need more power for location shooting of almost any kind, but particularly for long-form HD production—and the manufacturers are responding.

Even without “HD power demands,” the need to drive not just the camera but also accessories such as wireless mics, outboard monitors, on-camera lights, and so on makes us all want to do more with less. For wedding and event videographers who endure lengthy shoots, often at multiple locations in the same day, that usually means trying to get more power with less weight.

Coco Converter Adapts to Situation
Adding new functions to old tools can be a handy idea when the situation demands, so the folks at Bebob Broadcast Engineering have unveiled a new power adapter that powers the camera as well as a camera light and a wireless lavaliere off a single high-capacity L Series battery, such as an NP-F970. The estimated runtime is just over an hour with a 15W, 12V light and a wireless system during recording.

The Coco I-DVL DC power converter (designed for Sony L Series camcorders from 7.2V to 12V) also boasts external power taps, including one Anton/Bauer dual-angle tap for 12V up to 35W and one 4-pin 7.2V output port. For those shooting with the PMW-EX1 with the new BP-U60 batteries, there’s the Coco-EX, which acts as an adapter between the battery and the camera and its accessories. The adapter is attached to the camera in place of the battery, with the battery itself then mounted on the Coco-EX. It includes two 4-pin connectors and an Anton/Bauer Twist D-Tap, each with 14.4V outputs for the BP-U60 battery to supply a camera light or external LCD monitor. The matching plug is a regular D-Tap that can be mounted in both directions with the cable facing either up or down for convenience. The I-DVL is priced around $275; the EX sells for roughly $335.


Dolgin vDoubler
Dolgin Doubles Up on Power
Another way to get more from the gear you already have is to extend the runtime of common 7.2V batteries, such as those from Panasonic, Sony, and Canon. By doubling up, you can use the same power source to drive outboard accessories.

Dolgin’s vDoubler (Figure 1, left) can produce 14.4V DC output to power 14.4V cameras, as well as portable monitors or any other 12V–16V accessories. It accepts two Sony L, Panasonic CGR, or Canon BP batteries in a relatively lightweight unit (the adapter itself weighs about 14 oz.; two batteries more than double the weight, with two added 5400mAh batteries and an adapter weighing in at 31 oz.).

The unit has LED voltage monitors and an XLR 4-pin output, and it is described by Dolgin as “Anton Bauer Gold/V-Mount ready.” Dolgin reports that the unit can power a BT-LH80W Panasonic monitor for 4–6 hours using 5400mAh batteries. Monitors or cameras rated at 12W can be powered for up to 9 hours with a pair of 7800mAh batteries, according to Dolgin.


Anton/Bauer CINE-VCLX
Anton/Bauer Ups the Voltage
Anton/Bauer, Inc., addressing the higher demands of the HD shooter, expanded its line of power products with the new CINE-VCLX and CINE-VCLX/2 batteries (Figure 2, left), offering dual simultaneous output voltages. Based on the company’s NiMH technology and HyTRON video batteries, the new products can push out up to 32 amps of total power, 12 amps from the regulated 28V channel and 20 amps from the 14V channel.

According to Anton/Bauer, the CINE-VCLX offers 560Wh and the CINE-VCLX/2 delivers 280Wh. Both batteries feature the RealTime capacity display and a visual LED battery change warning so you can track the time yourself.

Anton/Bauer’s ElipZ 10k battery system is more for the DV or HDV shooter, especially those who shoot hand-held and regularly use an on-camera light. The ElipZ delivers as much as 9 hours of runtime to the most popular hand-held camera models, including the Sony HVR-Z1U, the Canon GL2, and Panasonic’s AG-DVX100 and AG-HVX200. The battery alone is street priced at less than $200.

Putting out the big juice is Anton/Bauer’s SPS-150 150W power supply, with a 15V output for 150W of power with a 10-amp max via two 4-pin XLR connectors. In addition, this hefty unit (almost 3 lbs.) is compatible with an AC input range of 100V to 240V, accommodating 50 Hz and 60 Hz systems, for great shooting location flexibility.

The SPS-150 mounts to any Anton/Bauer Gold Mount, and power is automatically supplied to the camera, so there’s no on/off switch.


Sachtler FSB Cell
Batteries Give Camera Support
Last year, Sachtler introduced its FSB CELL (Figure 3, left), designed for DV and HDV shooters.

Following some tweaks and adjustments to the product, it’s now shipping and is available in camera support packages (with a tripod head and legs) or as a stand-alone product.

The 7.2V lithium-ion FSB CELL’s underside is actually fashioned like a camera plate, so it fastens onto a compatible fluid head such as the FSB 2 and the FSB 6, adding about 1.5 lbs. of weight but bringing some extra stability as well. Shooters can still execute smooth tilts and pans with the battery attached.

Depending on the camera the FSB CELL is powering, Sachtler guarantees an operating time of up to 8 hours. The battery will also power additional equipment, such as Sachtler’s own on-camera LED light. The FSB CELL has a maximum capacity of 75Wh.

In a kit with the FSB-2 fluid head, 75 CF Speed Lock tripod, spreader, and accessories, the FSB Cell is street priced at $1,548.

IDX Ups Its ENDURA Line
IDX System Technology, Inc. is now shipping the AC-100HD, its new multifunction power adapter designed to meet the high demands of current HD cameras. It’s compatible with SD cameras as well. It offers up to 100W DC to power a camera and associated equipment. Regulated DC outputs are provided on two Hirose 12V outputs and one XLR 14.5V output for gear such as LCD monitors, camera lights, and audio accessories.

The compact, rugged AC-100HD accepts a “universal” input range of 100V–240V AC 50/60Hz. With its new Power Base mode, two of the company’s ENDURA batteries (with PowerLink) provide portable power independent of the main supply, ensuring continuous operation.

First introduced in 2000, the ENDURA line now includes a high-powered ELITE battery for next-gen HD EFP cameras with a 136Wh capacity. ENDURA lithium-ion batteries and charging systems are reasonably street-priced: An EC-7SP kit sells for $450, while the EC-1 single channel portable charger costs $170.

The latter has a quick-charge current of 1.6A, good for about 90% of the battery’s native capacity, and the input voltage AC 100V–240V 50/60 Hz is widely compatible. It’s about the size of a deck of cards, and it weighs about half a pound, which means it’s well-suited for a quick, single recharge in the field.

Green for Green’s Sake
Mentioned here before, Jadoo Power’s specialty products meet the needs of a variety of applications with power requirements between 50W and 1 kW. It will work with broadcast cameras, but the company is also focused now on military applications and providing power to soldiers in the field. As such, long, continuous, and predictable runtimes are crucial.

The company says its specialty products outperform traditional batteries every time, with more than 11 hours of runtime from one N-Stor cartridge. Wedding videographers can certainly appreciate that kind of endurance, although they may be less happy with the costs.

The company’s fuel cartridges alone, offering 130Wh and 360Wh of runtime, are priced at $449 and $849, respectively. The units feature “state-of-fill” displays, so the user can quickly see how much power is available.

Another great attraction for Jadoo Power is environmental. The only byproducts of hydrogen fuel cell power generation are heat and water in the form of electricity and water vapor. No pollutants are discharged into the atmosphere, and there are zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Because of their construction and fuel-to-power process, these units have what can only be called a remarkable shelf life. The batteries can actually remain in standby for years, so they are handy for both feature filmmakers, who are used to standing around on set for ages, and for wedding videographers—dare we say, used to waiting for the bridal party?

Lee Rickwood (lrickwood at goodmedia.com) is a freelance writer and media consultant.

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Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 v.4.0.1 Announced

Today, Adobe Systems Incorporated introduced Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.0.1 software, a major update to the leading start-to-finish professional video production solution.

A pivotal component of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.0.1 leads the way in delivering open, flexible post-production workflows by providing virtually seamless project exchange with Final Cut Pro, Digidesign Pro Tools, and Avid workflows. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.0.1 enables users to import Final Cut Pro projects via XML interchange, export to Open Media Framework (OMF) format, and import and export projects in Advanced Authoring Format (AAF). Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.0.1 also offers significant performance and stability enhancements, including full support for 64-bit computing platforms to accelerate compute-intensive post-production tasks.

Top new features in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.0.1 include:

  • More flexible, open workflows: Editors who are using Final Cut Pro, Digidesign Pro Tools, and Avid solutions can now more easily tap the high level of integration and unique features offered in Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium. Final Cut Pro users can transfer projects directly to Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.0.1 without conversions or re-rendering, preserving commonly used effects and transitions. Once files are in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, features such as Adobe Dynamic Link provide tighter-than-ever integration when moving assets among Adobe After Effects CS4, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, and Soundbooth CS4, saving invaluable time that would otherwise be spent in intermediate rendering. To help users manage footage, Speech Search in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 turns spoken dialog into text-based metadata that makes video searchable. Project output can be delivered virtually anywhere, including exporting through Adobe Encore CS4 to Blu-ray, DVD, and the Web. Customers can also streamline audio editing by exporting audio in OMF for interchange with audio workstations, and then importing the final mix back into Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.0.1 also includes enhanced AAF project interchange for improved integration with high-end workflows and tools.

  • Native RED R3D support: Both Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.0.1 and Adobe After Effects CS4 version 9.0.1 provide a true file-based workflow for RED R3D files, without transcoding or rewrapping, via RED’s beta plug-in available at www.red.com/support. Native handling of RED R3D augments Adobe’s existing support of Sony XDCAM EX, Panasonic P2, and AVCHD tapeless formats, providing users with software-only HD workflows from capture to output. In addition to downloading the RED plug-in, customer must update their software to Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.0.1 and Adobe After Effects CS4 version 9.0.1, accessible for free throughout the Adobe update manager in the Help menu of the applications. To learn more about RED workflows with Adobe video solutions go to: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/pdfs/red_adobe_cs4_beta.pdf

  • Faster performance and responsiveness, with full support for 64-bit computing platforms to accelerate compute-intensive post-production tasks. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 version 4.0.1 is architected to take advantage of the additional memory available in 64-bit systems. In addition, version 4.0.1 includes numerous performance enhancements in all areas of the workflow.

www.adobe.com

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Sony Creative Software Introduces New Download Delivery Option For All Products In Its Royalty-Free Content Line

Sony Creative Software, a leading provider of professional video and audio production applications, has introduced a download delivery option for its entire royalty-free content catalog. All Sony Creative Software loop libraries, Cinescore Themes, sound effects and Vision Series content collections, including previously discontinued titles, are now available for purchase via download at discounted prices. Instant access to Sony Creative Software's popular content collections will help producers to rapidly get the production assets they need to beat deadlines while saving on production costs.

"Providing this content download option is a natural progression for Sony Creative Software as it offers additional value and convenience to our user community who have told us that having immediate access to royalty-free music and video content is critical to their creative workflow," said Dave Chaimson, Sony Creative Software vice president of global marketing. "No matter what part of the world they are from, producers can now browse, audition, purchase, and download Sony Creative Software content anytime they desire without having to interrupt the production process. Due to the lower costs of digital delivery, we can also offer our users discounted pricing while compounding their savings on shipping costs."

Available exclusively on the Sony Creative Software Web site, users can purchase content via download by clicking on the "Download" option button next to the titles they would like to buy. Users can also audition content by genre, artist, or collection before purchasing.

First Download-Only Loop Library Also Now Available
Announced in conjunction with the new download delivery feature is Sony Creative Software's first download-only loop library title, "Latin Hip-Hop: The Hybrid Series."  This new title is a celebration of the vibrant and eclectic Latin/Hip-Hop genre and features content drawn from Sony's archive to create an essential resource for producers that seek these distinctive sounds. Extensive auditioning and experimentation has yielded more than 700 loops and ten sophisticated, royalty-free ACID projects that make up this high-energy loop library, available at http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/latinhiphop. Additional new download-only titles will be added to the online catalog on a regular basis.

International Downloads
Downloadable content is now available as a purchase option on the English version of the Sony Creative Software website. Sony Creative Software plans to launch the downloadable content section of its French, German, Spanish and Japanese websites in Q1 2009.

About Sony Creative Software
Sony Creative Software inspires artistic expression with its award-winning line of products for digital video, music, DVD, and audio production. As a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the company also develops applications that enhance the experience for users of Sony hardware devices. Sony Creative Software customers span the globe and include seasoned professionals in the film, television, video game, and recording industries, as well as students, educators, hobbyists and enthusiasts. For more information, visit http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com.



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Blackmagic Design Collaborates with Adobe India to Showcase Video Solutions on Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium

Blackmagic Design today announced the upcoming HD Workflow Tour with Adobe India in four cities. This free, one hour session will focus on film editors and cover exciting new high-quality hardware from Blackmagic Design and Adobe® Creative Suite® 4 Production Premium, a complete solution for creative professionals who craft world-class video, audio, and interactive media—for delivery on-air, online, and on device.

The session will also highlight how the combination of solutions from Blackmagic and Adobe improves and facilitates the post production workflow.

“We’re very excited to support Adobe on this HD Workflow Tour,” said Richard Lim, Director of Blackmagic Design Asia. “Blackmagic has always emphasized close collaboration with its industry partners and this road show reinforces our close relationship with Adobe. Blackmagic’s emphasis on HD quality workflow is another example of our industry-leading technology with our partners.”

“This tour is designed to provide media professionals in India with an overview of the benefits and new workflows in Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium software and the synergies with Blackmagic Design hardware,” said Sandep Mehrotra, director of sales for Adobe India. “Adobe experts and representatives will demonstrate how to use the exciting new Speech Search technology for creating searchable video content and creating more value for film and broadcast projects.”

Come and witness Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium and Blackmagic Design's video solutions. Adobe will discuss streamlining the capturing, editing, motion graphics creation and compositing processes using Adobe Creative Suite 4 software.

Attend any of the following events to be eligible to win software and prizes.

18th November ITC Kakatiya
6-3-1187, Begumpet
Hyderabad
Andhra Pradesh - 500016
19th November GRT Grand
120, Sri Thyagaraya Road
T Nagar, Chennai - 600017
21st November The Chancery Pavilion
135, Residency Road
Bangalore - 560 025

www.blackmagic-design.com

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TMPGEnc MovieStyle Video Converting Software Adds Support for iPhone 3G and Others

PEGASYS, Inc. (www.pegasys-inc.com), the company that makes digital video easy, has added more video format compatibility with popular digital devices such as the latest iPod Nano® (4th generation), iPhone® 3G and Sony Walkman® to its TMPGEnc MovieStyle software. The new update allows users to easily convert video clips from one format to another for use on popular portable digital devices to full HD devices such as the Playstation 3. The update is free to download for current registered users. A free trial download and the updated full version for $39.95 per license are also now available at www.tmpg-inc.com.
 
Now users can drag and drop video to play in many popular digital devices, such as the latest iPod Nano®, the popular iPhone® 3G, Sony’s video Walkman®, Nintendo® Wii™, Playstation® 3 and much more. MovieStyle allows users of any age to quickly and easily convert video clips for these devices without any prior video encoding knowledge.
 
TMPGEnc MovieStyle converts video clips to portable and high definition formats compatible with popular digital devices, including: iPod®/iPhone®/iPod Nano®, Apple® TV, Sony® mylo™ COM-2, PSP™, Playstation® 3, Sony Walkman®, Zune™, Xbox 360™, Nintendo DS™ with PLAY-YAN, Nintendo® Wii™, PDA's with Windows Media Player, and DivX®.
 
Accepted input formats include AVI, MPEG, MPEG4, Windows Media Video (wmv), QuickTime, H.264, DivX®, DVD-Video/DVD-VR, Media Center PC (DVR-MS), and MOD (a file format used by JVC Everio HDD camcorders). HDV camcorder files are also supported.
 
Just drag 'n drop! MovieStyle's intuitive interface makes converting video clips fast and easy. Select the device, then drag and drop video clips to start converting. The included converting templates eliminate guesswork and saves time. Also included is the TMPGEnc TransManager™, which organizes and transfers clips to the selected device.
 
The Quick Encode feature allows users to convert video clips without opening the MovieStyle software program. Just right-click on the video clip, then choose a digital device from the drop-down menu to begin converting. The Drop Folder feature allows users to specify a folder for MovieStyle to monitor. Save a video clip to the Drop Folder, then the software will automatically convert it for the user-specified digital device.
 
Other features allow users more control over the converting process. The Cinema Mode option converts video to 24 frames per second (fps). For PSP users, the PSP Overdrive option uses the PSP LCD driver to improve video display quality. Users can also enable Karaoke Mode, which cancels vocals from the audio track, and use the Pitch Changer settings to alter the audio pitch. The Audio Only option (not available for all devices) can also convert video into an audio file.
 
The Time Stretch feature converts video to play at up to 1.5 times normal speed with fully understandable audio, users can watch a one-hour video in about 40 minutes. Time Stretch can also convert video to play up to 50% slower, making a one-hour video into an approximately two-hour video.
 
 

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NewTek Enhances Customer Experience through Extended Technical Support Hours

NewTek Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, today announced that it has extended its superior technical support hours. Customers using innovative NewTek solutions for portable live production and 3D animation and effects can now access highly-trained in-house experts every day for assistance.

"NewTek understands that producers and artists do not hold regular hours, and much of their work is done on weekends," said Pat Grogan, vice president of operations, NewTek Inc. "By extending customers’ access to the support that they have come to trust and rely on, we increase the already great return on investment of NewTek products. Unlike many companies in the technology industry, all technical support will continue to be provided in-house at no charge."

"You won't find a better support staff for a product than NewTek. They have proven that many times to me," said Ted Ruiz, ADVenture Video. "Our company’s reputation depends on the companies that make and support our production tools. NewTek has proven that our success is their top priority, even when it was user error."

NewTek technical support is available from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. CST at 210-341-8444 or through www.newtek.com.

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Eye Scream Factory Launches DVD Clips

Eye Scream Factory, the Boston-based creative team providing automation design templates and royalty-free content for media hobbyists and professionals, today announced the availability of Eye Scream Factory DVD Clips, royalty-free animated backgrounds designed specifically for DVD menus.

Backgrounds include Fire, Rain, Snow, Fog, Bubbles, Caustics, Curtains, and a wide-variety of multi-purpose content for DVD projects. Each clip is provided as a 20-second QuickTime movie compatible with most any DVD authoring, video editing, or compositing software application. 24 animated backgrounds are available immediately in NTSC and PAL format for just $9.99 USD per clip.

“We created DVD Clips to give videographers a fast, professional solution for animated DVD menu backgrounds,” said Rich D’Angelo, Founder and President, Eye Scream Factory. “Each high-quality animation is specifically designed for use with DVD menus. Available via download for $9.99 per clip, DVD Clips provides an immediate, affordable solution to dramatically enhance any DVD presentation.”

Eye Scream Factory’s DVD Clips are available for immediate download from www.eyescreamfactory.com for $9.99 USD per clip. Each clip is available in NTSC or PAL.

About Eye Scream Factory, Inc.
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Eye Scream Factory is a provider of royalty-free animations and time-saving design templates for DVD menus, disc labels, and case inserts. By using Eye Scream Factory's professional, high-quality DVD art, videographers are able to create eye-catching, polished DVD menus and packaging in minutes. The company's products are ideal for wedding, event, and corporate videographers as well as hobbyists.

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