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March 25, 2009

Table of Contents

Jan Ozer's Streaming Video Peer Review, Part 1
Gear & Now: LEDs and Fluorescent Lighting Bring New Options
Aleratec Reduces Blu-ray Prices up to 65%
NewBlueFX Launches "Sampler Pack" Video Effects Plugin Suite
Illinois Videographers Association (IVA) Announces Third Annual Midwest Expo
Sony Highlights Full Line of HD Camcordes at NAB
Sachtler Introduces FSB8 Fluid Head
Pyro AV Launches VT600 Cloud Video Encoder
Petrol Introduces Courier Messenger-Style Bag
NewTek TriCaster Upgrade 2.5 Increases Recording Fidelity and Supports Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder 3

Jan Ozer's Streaming Video Peer Review, Part 1

Overview: McKinsey & Company is a leading international consulting firm who publishes the McKinsey Quarterly. McKinsey recently started posting video interviews on their web site. In this issue of Peer Review, we analyze video from the McKinsey Quarterly web site, specifically an interview with Hal Varian, Google's chief economist. As of the time of this writing, you could view the video here.

The producers of this video did a lot right throughout, most impressively with the Flash Player, which provides text preview of relevant sections, allowing viewers direct access to the sections most important to them. On the other hand, McKinsey made some interesting choices throughout the work flow that other producers may not care to follow. Overall, according to our rating system, the video scored a 33 out of 45.

By way of background, I captured the FLV file containing the McKinsey video using a Firefox utility called Download Helper, and then analyzed the file in a number of programs, including Adobe Premiere Pro, Inlet Semaphore, and Jerome Martinez's MediaInfo. You'll see images from these applications scattered throughout the analysis.

To read more of this article, click here to go to Jan Ozer's Streaming Learning Center.

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Gear & Now: LEDs and Fluorescent Lighting Bring New Options

The creative options for in-studio or fixed-location lighting for professional videographers will expand tremendously this year, as new LED and fluorescent fixtures become available. We will see new and enhanced products that offer extra control mechanisms and advanced color matching and correction tools, as well as more economical operation overall based on lower-energy requirements and longer-expected lamp life. Advances in both technologies will bring some higher-end prices down and allow others to deliver useful products at still lower prices than today. With all the new features, however, come some important decision-making moments. The new fluorescents, for example, come in a wide range of configurations-total output strength as lux or watts; housing options for two, four, or more bulbs; dimmers or not; reflective coatings; and more.

Having a good handle on the kind of production you do, and anticipate doing, will help you make any usage or purchase decisions. I do some work in a small greenscreen-outfitted studio, for example, where a nice, flat wash of even lighting is our starting point for one person on camera. That comes from a couple of basic four-tube fluorescent lights. A low-output focusing spot or two act as kickers or highlights; the total output is barely 1,400 lumens in total! There are single lamps that do that, but each one is almost twice the price of our full-lighting setup.

Here's a look at the newest options for creating similar and other types of fluorescent- and LED-based lighting setups.

Existing and new fluorescent products from Balcar are known for putting out a quality light, with even dispersal and a very slow fall-off. With model names such as Duolite, Quadlite, and Octalite, you can begin to see the differences in the number of actual bulbs in the housing.

The Duo unit (below) has two 55W bulbs, for example, with a rated output of about 950 lux at around 6'. Good lights will provide good light-controlling features, such as Balcar's four rectangular and removable mirrored flaps, helping to spread or direct the light output as necessary.

Balcar Duolite

Wide-dispersal fill, flood, or cyc lights like these are often used alongside more directional spot or focused lights, which bring shadow, depth, and contrast to the scene. Balcar's unique Spotflux is a focusable fluorescent fixture that pumps out a beam that is narrower than normal fluorescents.

Kino Flo
Kino Flo has long been known for its fluorescents and for the BarFly lineup of super-thin fixtures in which the bulb itself can be swapped for daylight and tungsten color balances. Again, model names such as 100, 200, and 400 indicate the number of bulbs in the housing (one, two, or four, that is-not hundreds!).

The units put out a soft, cool, even light that HD cameras love. Using Kino Flo's new True Match 55W daylight and tungsten lamps, you can have the best of color reproduction and light-matching capabilities, as well as brightness equivalent to a 1,000W tungsten, on just four amps at 120VAC. 

Kino Flo's BarFly 400 system (below; it is a system, with lamp fixture, mounting plate, ballast, and cable included) is priced at about $1,200. Up to 75' (3 x 25' extensions) of cable can be run between the fixture and the ballast, so most studios and fixed locations are easily accommodated. What's more, four lights can be driven from the ballast.

Kino Flo BarFly

Like many broad-fill or wide-dispersal lights, the BarFly family is often used in a small two- or three-point light kit along with a more directional spotlight; from this manufacturer, that could be a Kino Flo Diva light.

Lowel, having well-established its range of tungsten-halogen lights, is also playing in the fluorescent space. The company has recently added its new TRIO and SoftCore lineup to existing location solutions such as the Caselight system. The Caselight 2, with its two-lamp housing, is list priced at $1,295 with case, stand, and light.

TRIO (below) is a location or studio fluorescent fixture, available in one- or three-lamp kits. As will become more common with such units, daylight or tungsten 55W lamps will be available so that the TRIO can be matched well with other, existing lighting sources you may use.

Lowel TRIO

Barndoors and egg-crate light control tools are included with the TRIO, as is the auto voltage ballast, which is compatible with 120-240V power supply.

Lowel, as you may have heard, recently signed a deal with Tiffen, which will take over the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of all Lowel products. Combining these two powerhouses will certainly have an effect on the products they provide.

Litepanels will introduce new LED lights for DV applications later in the year, the company has already confirmed. But for now, its existing lineup of very cool LED lights has been supplemented by the new 1x1 Bi-Color. Addressing that common issue of changing lighting conditions and shooting scenarios, Litepanels' Bi-Color provides a single fixture able to generate either 3,200°K tungsten or 5,600°K daylight-or an infinite range of color temperatures in between. Maybe it should be called Multi-Color, as color temps can be dialed in, using onboard dial or digital color temperature settings or via a built-in DMX lighting controller. 

Like the standard "white" 1x1 unit, the Bi-Color is very power-efficient, using much less electricity than standard lights and, therefore, generating much less heat as well. The Bi-Color can be powered from a variety of 12V-30V sources, including an optional battery, a car battery, or an AC adapter. There is an optional, onboard 1.75 hour Lithium-ion battery pack for mobile use as well as for fixed use. Prices start at about the $2,000 mark.

Some wedding and event videographers find that kind of pricing understandably high, and there are nice LED and fluorescent solutions at lower prices. Check out the fluorescents from Studio Lighting Systems (SLS). SLS has two- and four-lamp light banks, as well as the small circular Macrolite. Designed to wrap around the lens of digital still cameras, the Macrolite can be used in video settings too. SLS banks are priced in the $300-$800 neighborhood, and the Macrolite costs about $100.

The SLS four-lamp bank offers 5,200K high-frequency, flicker-free light and digital control over brightness, which can be dialed in at significantly more than 200 different levels. Digital mode accommodates up to 512 addresses, while the brightness can be adjusted in 256 steps. Full output is rated at 1,400 lumens at about 12'.

Also new this year will be additions to the Zylight lineup of well-regarded LED lights for on-camera use, which currently includes the Z50 and Z90.

The new product, to be shown at NAB next month, is much larger than the company's current offerings, measuring about 18" x 12" but only 1.5" thick. With those dimensions, it should have studio as well as location uses, and it will provide a nice, broad base light to support any other creative lighting ideas you want to apply. But it will also have spotlight-type control and functions. No output specs were available at presstime, but the company says it will be "four times brighter than our closest competitor."

The details, though, prove just as promising: The new Zylight will have adjustable color temperature and adjustable color correction control (plus or minus on the "green" side). Such creative and operational flexibility holds terrific promise for video shooters, as they can keep using older equipment as necessary while still having the best of the newest features at hand-literally. Zylight was showing its remote control units last year, and the company is now shipping those in volume. These handy, palm-sized devices bring wireless control over important lighting parameters and can bring extra control to the one-person band. The new light will be AC- and/or battery-powered; no pricing information available just yet.

Finally, there is word of another new source for lighting sources: Philips. Known widely for any number of consumer and professional electronic products (such as the Compact Disc), Philips also sports a Color Kinetics division, which is a leader in LED lighting technology.

Color Kinetics recently introduced IntelliWhite LED technology, Color Blast LED lights, and other lighting systems to its underlying Chromacore LED lighting technology. Chromacore provides control of warm white and cool white LEDs to produce output of color temperatures within the range of 3,000K-6,500K from within a single fixture. These products allow independent adjustment of brightness, color temperature, or both. Color Kinetics technology is said to deliver high-intensity, low-voltage light sources that will provide fully dimmable control over intensity and consistency at various color temperatures-and, dare we say, at various shades of "green."

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

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Aleratec Reduces Blu-ray Prices up to 65%

Aleratec Inc., leading developer and manufacturer of "Prosumers' Choice" solutions for the Blu-ray, DVD/CD, Flash, HDD, USB duplicating, and DVD/CD publishing markets, announces
dramatic price reductions for its Blu-ray products. The 1:3 Copy Cruiser Blu LS(tm), a LightScribe-enabled disc publisher supporting Blu-ray recording has been reduced 25% to a new low estimated retail price of $1575 and Aleratec's new 4x BD-R Blu-ray recording media has been reduced 65% to $57.99. The 1:3 Copy Cruiser Blu LS incorporates three, 6x, SATA Blu-ray drives that can simultaneously produce up to 3 silkscreen quality, direct to disc DVD or CD LightScribe labels or up to 3 Blu-ray, DVD or CD disc copies in record time. The 1:3 Copy Cruiser Blu LS has an eSATA connection to your computer for the most stable labeling and duplicating processes. For those that do not have an eSATA port on their computer, a dual channel eSATA host adapter is included FREE with purchase. The powerful Aleratec Disc Publishing Software Suite -- ideal all in one package for music, photos, video, data, and backup -- is also included FREE with purchase.

"In challenging times like these, we are excited to be able to offer serious cost reductions to our Prosumer users. We created our successful Blu-ray 1:3 Copy Cruiser Blu LS in direct response to the growing demand for the higher capacities required for high definition video quality. Slashing prices on LightScribe enabled Blu-ray disc publishers and Aleratec BD-R media paves the way to the use of high speed, high capacity Blu-ray technology to a much broader range of applications, including government, education and all sizes of businesses," stated Perry Solomon, Aleratec President and CEO.

LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling is an integrated system that combines LightScribe-enabled DVD/CD recorders with specially coated LightScribe compliant media and the powerful Aleratec Disc Publishing Software Suite to produce precise, laser-etched, silkscreen quality labels with superior sharpness and clarity. LightScribe creates professional-looking CD and DVD labels right in the drive -- no messy markers or additional printing supplies required. Small and medium businesses can burn a few discs or many and complement each with descriptive titles, content
lists, graphics or company logos on their labels.

The 1:3 Copy Cruiser Blu LS supports 50GB capacity double layer BD media. To take full advantage of Blu-ray's BD disc capacity, the unique Aleratec Blu-ray system supports 6x BD recording speeds and has an eSATA interface to the computer improving data transfer characteristics during recording or copying. With the Aleratec Disc Duplicating and Disc Recording Software Suite, you can make up to 50GB compilations on your hard drive and quickly make 3 simultaneous copies. And with up to 50GB disc capacity, the 1:3 Copy Cruiser Blu LS is an excellent back up

Making the highest performance disc publishing solutions affordable for everyone has always been a goal for Aleratec. With a Estimated Retail Price reduced 25% to $1575, the 1:3 Copy Cruiser Blu LS, proudly assembled in the USA from components sourced globally (Aleratec Part #260163, Ingram Micro SKU N69467), has the BD high per disc capacity needed for the latest high definition applications.

Aleratec also offers Aleratec brand Blu-ray 4x BD-R 25GB Duplicator Grade 10-Pack media (Aleratec Part # 370101, Ingram Micro SKU Q68952) optimized for delivering higher definition picture and sound quality. Aleratec BD-R media can hold 25GB, for recording over 2 hours of HD video or 23 hours of standard definition video or just PC data storage. The duplicator grade 10-Pack of BD-R media has a new low Estimated Retail Price of $57.99, a 65% reduction over the previous price.

The full line of Aleratec solutions, and accessories is featured at AAFES, Amazon.com, B&H Photo Video, Best Buy, Buy.com, CDW, Dell, HP, Insight, J & R, Mac Connection, MacMall, Micro Center, Office Depot, PC Connection, PC Mall, QVC.com, Staples, Tech Depot and Wal-Mart in addition to other leading U.S. retailers. Government and Education customers may purchase from Government and Education Specialists including AAFES, B&H Photo Video Gov, Best Buy Gov/Ed, CDW-G, CompuCom, EnPointe, GovConnection, GTSI, Insight Gov, PC Mall Gov, Pomeroy,
Shi.com, Softchoice, telcobuy, TIG, and Unisys. All products are available to resellers in the U.S. through D&H Distributing, Ingram Micro, and Tech Data; in Canada through D&H Canada and Ingram Micro Canada; in Latin America and the Caribbean through Tech Data Miami. Complete information available at http://www.aleratec.com.

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NewBlueFX Launches "Sampler Pack" Video Effects Plugin Suite

NewBlue, Inc., the fastest-growing developer of integrated effects technology for video, rolled out the NewBlue Sampler Pack today. This collection of video effects and transitions presents video editors with a selection of plugins from its best-selling NewBlueFX collections, competitively-priced at $49.95.

Included in the Sampler Pack are 10 video effects and transitions chosen by the company to best illustrate the capabilities of its leading NewBlueFX effects collections and includes the 3D Confetti, 3D Pizza Boxes, Active Camera, Air Brush, Color Melt, Detail Enhancer, Film Look, Paper Collage, Smear, and Water Color plugins.

Explains Melissa Jordan Grey, chief strategic officer, "The NewBlue Sampler Pack introduces a great way to experience NewBlueFX and discover what our product line is all about. Best of all, video editing enthusiasts can sample our leading video effects and transitions packages at a fraction of the price."

The NewBlue Sampler Pack joins the company's highly-regarded product line of 16 exclusive video effects plugins, video transitions and audio filters packages. The product is available for all major video editing software platforms, including Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Final Cut Express, Avid Media Composer, Avid NewsCutter, Avid Symphony, Avid Xpress, Avid Liquid, Corel (formerly Ulead) VideoStudio, Pinnacle Studio, Sony Vegas,

Sony Vegas Movie Studio and Thomson Grass Valley EDIUS. The collection is value-priced at $49.95.
Featured in the NewBlue Sampler Pack are:

  • 3D Confetti (Transition) from NewBlue 3D Explosions, which turns the first scene into bits of three-dimensional confetti that blow off the screen to reveal the second scene
  • 3D Pizza Boxes (Transition) from NewBlue 3D Transformations, which builds a stack of spinning boxes with the sides alternating between the first and second scene. The boxes eventually settle together and combine to create the second scene.
  • Active Camera (Effect) from NewBlue Motion Effects, which simulates every variety of camera jitter, from agitated hand-held to jack hammer or a gentle train ride.
  • Air Brush (Effect) from NewBlue Art Effects, which creates an air brushed effect by smoothing colors while maintaining sharp edges.
  • Color Melt (Transition) from NewBlue Art Blends, which morphs between two clips by expanding and softening the colors.
  • Detail Enhancer (Effect) from NewBlue Video Essentials, which strengthens the lines and edges in the video image, bringing out detail in a dull or foggy scene and resulting in a clearer picture.
  • Film Look (Effect) from NewBlue Film Effects, which modifies the video's color characteristics and lighting to reproduce a particular film stock or create a unique mood or look.
  • Paper Collage (Transition) from NewBlue Paint Blends, which blends between two clips as it builds the video image from layers of colored paper.
  • Smear (Transition) from NewBlue Motion Blends, which blurs the first clip along a motion axis, then clears the blur to reveal the second clip.
  • Water Color (Effect) from NewBlue Paint Effects, which repaints the video scene so that it resembles a water color painting.

Users can purchase the NewBlue Sampler Pack directly from the company's website at www.newbluefx.com/sampler-pack.html.

A fully functional trial version is available for download, as well.

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Illinois Videographers Association (IVA) Announces Third Annual Midwest Expo

IVA Midwest Expo 2009The Illinois Videographers Association is holding the third annual Midwest Expo on May 20th at the William Tell Holiday Inn in Countryside, Illinois. This year's event features a blockbuster lineup of nationally known speakers. Scheduled to conduct the information packed seminars are Chris Chibucos of Furla Vision in Bannockburn, Ill.; Patrick Moreau and Michael Wong of StillMotion Cinema in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; Kevin Shahinian, of Pacific Pictures in Los Angeles, Ca.; Lance Gray of PixelPops Design in Richardson, TX., and Keith Kelly of Innovative Communications in Naperville, Ill.

Our curriculum offers something for everyone. Each speaker was chosen based on their expertise in their respective fields. If you have not seen the work that these incredibly talented people produce, please take a moment to get acquainted with some of the best producers on the planet!

  • Patrick Moreau and Michael Wong - Topic: The Art of Wedding Cinema
  • Lance Gray - Topic: Corporate Video Productions
  • Chris Chibucos - Topic: Hi-Def in the Real World
  • Kevin Shahinian - Topic: Concept Video Productions
  • Keith Kelly - Topic: How to Book Your Top Package Every Time

The cost is $75.00 for early bird admission and includes a full lunch buffet featuring hot entrees. However, after April 21st the rate will be $90.00. Pay online securely at https://qs1811.pair.com/v2scribe/ivavideo/midwestExpo.2009.html or simply mail a check (payable to the IVA) to:
Barb Scheman
4400 S. Gage Ave
Lyons, IL 60534

An early bird room rate is also available for only $102 per night and includes a full hot breakfast buffet. (Mention IVA when making reservation.) The special early bird rates are only available through April 21st--ith limited seating and big savings you should act quickly! This year's event features a great location with a multitude of amenities. The William Tell Holiday Inn offers an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, game room, restaurant, lounge and free internet access. The close proximity to downtown Chicago is sure to attract attendees from throughout the Midwest.

There also will be a mini-trade show . Sponsors and exhibitors are encouraged to apply immediately as space will be limited! Special pricing on equipment and supplies will be available to attendees.

You have been given the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business! Will you jump at the chance or will you simply go back to your everyday activities and just try to survive? If you want to take your business to the next level, the 3rd annual IVA Midwest Expo is a day you simply can't afford to miss. Five gifted producers will openly share priceless information in an intimate learning environment. This is the must attend video event of the spring!


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Sony Highlights Full Line of HD Camcordes at NAB

At NAB 2009, Sony is highlighting its full line of high-definition camcorders, including the XDCAM EX™ PMW-EX1 and PMW-EX3 camcorders, as well as the HVR-Z7U, HVR-S270U and other HDV™ camcorders.  Sony’s newest HDV camera expands its industry leading line-up of high-definition video products designed to meet the needs of professional videographers.

The  HVR-Z5U camcorder offers native 24P recording and other professional features—all for a suggested list price of less than $5,000—as well as tapeless recording capability through an optional CompactFlash™ adapter. 

“Professionals need features like balanced audio, XLR inputs, timecode and more,” said Bob Ott, vice president of professional audio and video products at Sony Electronics. “They also need access to technical resources to help them with issues like integrating with non-linear editing systems.”

The camcorder uses three of Sony’s ClearVid™ 1/3-inch CMOS sensor chips, which are designed to provide high sensitivity, deep resolution, high-speed reading, low noise and a wider dynamic range. The CMOS sensors capture full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, resulting in better picture quality when recorded onto miniDV tape in the HDV format (1440 pixels x 1080 lines). Each of the three sensors is dedicated to one color—red, blue and green—for natural, more accurate color reproduction. 

With a 45-degree rotated pixel layout, the ClearVid CMOS sensor system offers outstanding pixel surface area while maintaining high resolution. The camcorder’s Exmor™ technology features a unique column-parallel analog-to-digital conversion technique and dual noise canceling, resulting in digital signals with extremely low noise. The technologies combine to allow the new camcorders to perform significantly better in low-light environments with sensitivity of 1.5 lux.

The HVR-Z5U uses Sony’s XtraFine LCD™ (3.2-inch, 921,000 dots) and XtraFine electronic viewfinder (0.45-inch, 1,227,000 dots) for high-resolution and high-contrast images with remarkable color reproduction. 

The HVR-Z5U is Sony’s first professional camcorder to have a Sony G lens with a 29.5mm wide-end viewing angle, extra-low dispersion glass and 20x optical zoom. The fixed lens is optimized to perfectly complement the camera’s advanced image sensor and image-processing technology.

The HVR-Z5U camcorder also offers several features specifically designed for professional video production, such as progressive scan shooting at 1080/24P and 30P, DVCAM™ recording, timecode support and two XLR balanced audio inputs. 

Professionals can record the native 24P/30P signal on to the videotape used in the camcorder or to CompactFlash cards – simultaneously or separately – with the optional HVR-MRC1K recording unit. This unit attaches directly to the back of the camcorder, eliminates the need for cables and automatically synchronizes with the recording action of the camcorder.

The recording unit can be directly attached to the new HVR-Z5U camera, as well as to Sony’s HVR-Z7U and HVR-S270U models. It will also work with other HDV camcorders using a supplied iLINK® (IEEE-1394) cable and shoe adapter. 

The camcorder and the HVR-MRC1K adapter are compatible with Sony’s Professional 306x CompactFlash card. The recording times on an 8 and 16 GB CompactFlash card in HDV, DVCAM and DV format are approximately 36 and 72 minutes, respectively.


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Sachtler Introduces FSB8 Fluid Head

Sachtler, a Vitec Group brand, introduces the new FSB 8 75mm fluid head, which answers the call for a larger capacity (20 lb max payload) head employing Sachtler's FSB technology. The new head joins the existing FSB 2, FSB 6, and the new FSB 4.

By incorporating Sachtler's proprietary Speed Balance (SB) system, the FSB 8 provides high-precision and fast counterbalance for digital camcorder operators. Additionally, Speed Balance reduces the minimum payload for a head, which allows the FSB 8 user to smoothly operate the head with camera packages weighing as little as two pounds, well-suited for lightweight DVCAM and (H)DV camcorders.

"The new FSB 8 has a 10-step counterbalance as well as five grades of drag - horizontal and vertical," said Sachtler designer Thomas Wermann. "It operates with reliable Sachtler features such as a self-illuminating Touch Bubble. The FSB 8 is the ideal head for professional (H)DV users."

Along with the rest of the heads in the FSB range, the FSB 8 is part of the high quality "Works with SOOM" products, allowing it to be paired with Sachtler's multifunctional tripod system SOOM, capable of height ranges from 8 inches to 8 feet (20cm to 250cm). Another accessory that enhances FSB 8 functionality is the FSB CELL power supply. This 7.2 V battery with a storage capacity of 10.5 Ah, mounts directly between the camera and the FSB8.

For further information, please go to www.sachtler.us.

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Pyro AV Launches VT600 Cloud Video Encoder

Pyro AV® (www.pyroav.com) today announced that it is now shipping its VT600 USB video capture solution which allows you to record and stream SDI video from any broadcast deck, camera or other analog source over the Internet with Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight and even to YouTube. Unlike traditional internal solutions, VT600 connects to your workstation via USB 2.0 giving professionals the flexibility to use it with a desktop or notebook.

VT600 features 10-bit SDI, YUV/RGB component, S-Video and composite video inputs, bringing in audio via embedded SDI, 4 channel balanced audio or stereo AES/EBU inputs. Designed for Windows 2000, XP and Vista, VT600 installs in seconds via USB 2.0. With full support for Adobe Flash Media Encoder and Microsoft Expression Encoder, VT600 also includes VideoTizer, an application which allows you to stream live video or record the video for future editing, VOD or other needs. Within these applications, you can manipulate settings such as video resolution, frame rate, color correction, compression formats and more, directly from the GUI.

"VT600 offers incredible flexibility," explains Alfred Bantug, Pyro AV Director of Sales. "It streamlines broadcasters' ingestion needs, capturing video through analog composite, S-Video, YUV and SDI, all in one external capture device. This will allow news organizations, religious broadcasters, educational institutions and other broadcasters to deliver their media more efficiently."


• Full frame, live motion video capture
• 10-bit digital video processing
• Adaptive de-interlacing
• Adaptive median filter
• 48KHz 16-bit stereo dual independent audio channels
• USB 2.0 connectivity
• Rackmountable design fits any environment
• VideoTizer software included for local encoding and network streaming
• Support for Adobe Flash Media Encoder, Windows Media Encoder, Microsoft Expression Encoder 2 and other popular streaming solutions

Pricing and Availability

VT600 is now shipping and is available through Pyro AV's network of dealers and distributors, with an MSRP of $1299.95. A total solution, VT600 includes the VT600 USB video capture device, a 6' USB A to B cable, a 12V DC power supply, a rackmount kit including easy to install mounting brackets and screws and an installation CD containing device drivers and VideoTizer media streaming application as well as Pyro AV's 2-year warranty.

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Petrol Introduces Courier Messenger-Style Bag

Petrol, a Vitec Group brand, introduces the Petrol Courier Bag. This durable, smartly designed messenger bag is the ideal method for comfortably carrying a 17" screen portable laptop computer, cell phone, and more.

The Courier's padded envelope-style front flap unclasps quickly to reveal the generous cushioned interior. Inside, a rear pocket has room enough to cradle a laptop with up to a 17" screen, plus accessories. The internal organizer pocket is optimally designed to hold pens, a calculator, even a small notebook. A third compartment is ideal for storing personal papers. Outside, a convenient top zipper provides quick and easy access through the flap to the Courier's contents, even when the bag is buckled shut. Additional features include exterior front and rear zippered pockets for additional storage, and Petrol's ergonomic, adjustable shoulder strap. The bag's exterior is constructed of heavy duty black and blue Cordura and black ballistic nylon.

U.S. List Price for the Petrol Courier (#PCRB-2) is $129. For further information on other Petrol products please go to http://www.petrolbags.com.

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NewTek TriCaster Upgrade 2.5 Increases Recording Fidelity and Supports Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder 3

NewTek Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, today announced the release of TriCasterTM Upgrade 2.5, a software update to its TriCaster BROADCASTTM, TriCaster STUDIOTM TriCaster PROTM and TriCaster portable live production systems. This upgrade adds the ability to record all video in the broadcast industry MPEG-2 Studio Profile, capturing with full 4:2:2 color sampling, which is important when recording chroma key footage. In addition, enhancements to the real-time MPEG2 encoding technology yield significant improvements in quality with a lower compression rate for broadcast quality video recording.

This upgrade keeps TriCaster on the cutting edge of live streaming technologies and improves the user experience for both live and on-demand content with support for Adobe® Flash® Media Live Encoder 3. It also offers a greatly enhanced user experience with H.264 streaming format, simultaneous streams at multiple bit rates and improved streaming quality at reduced bit-rates.

"This upgrade to the TriCaster family of products further solidifies NewTek's leadership position in the video production marketplace," said Michael Kornet, chief marketing officer, NewTek Inc. "Now it is even easier to reach worldwide audiences with well-produced live content at an unrivaled price point."

NewTek TriCaster Upgrade 2.5 also offers a customized Flash® streaming profile for easier Ustream connectivity.

"Ustream.tv shares NewTek's belief that anyone with the desire to get content out to a wide audience should be able to pursue it without the traditional roadblocks of production costs and advanced technical experience," said Brad Hunstable, founder and president, Ustream.tv. "We are confident that producers will see the many benefits of choosing Ustream.tv and NewTek for their streaming projects."

TriCaster Upgrade 2.5 is available at http://register.newtek.com as a free download for TriCaster 2.0 users. This update, including all other 2.0 features, is available to TriCaster 1.0 users at http://shop.newtek.com, starting at US$495.

About TriCaster
With TriCaster, anyone can produce network-style live video, and distribute the event simultaneously to Web, video and projector. A single operator or small team can produce a live show while switching between as many as six cameras with two VCR's, multi-channel effects and NewTek's proprietary LiveSetTM virtual sets. TriCaster is used by sports organizations, broadcasters, schools, government agencies, corporate communications departments and others to provide a new level of extended programming and content to their audiences.

Pricing and Availability
The TriCaster family of products in NTSC is available in North America starting at US$3,995. The TriCaster family of products is available in multi-standard internationally beginning at US$5,995. Educational pricing is also available. For more information, please visit www.newtek.com.

About Ustream.tv
Ustream.tv is the live interactive video destination that enables anyone with a camera and an Internet connection to quickly and easily broadcast to a global audience of unlimited size. In less than two minutes, you can become a professional broadcaster by creating your own channel on Ustream, live streaming content through your own site, empowering engagement with your audience and building your brand. Click here to start a broadcast now or learn more about broadcasting. www.ustream.tv.

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