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Information Today, Inc.



August 13, 2009

Table of Contents

Book Excerpt: Building a Successful Brand
Footage Firm Offers Free Looping Backgrounds
Noise Industries and Development Partners Add Support for Newly Released Apple Final Cut Studio
Asetek Adds Liquid Cooling To HP Z Workstations
Ross Video Now Shipping CrossOver 16
Verbatim Shipping New TUFF-CLIP USB Drives

Book Excerpt: Building a Successful Brand

In the video world, particularly on the event video side, branding is one of the most challenging areas for many studios. Part of the problem is identity. You can't create a brand until you know who you are and what makes you and your business remarkable. In this article, we'll cover some of the key areas video producers and any small business owners can focus on in order to make quick and substantial changes in their approach to branding.

The Branding Experience
What is the experience that your clients have when they work with you? Have you ever thought through that experience from start to finish?

In his book, The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary, Dr. Joseph Michelli talks about touchpoints. Touchpoints are the various points in your business that a prospect or a client will encounter when doing business with you, from their first visit to your website to their first email inquiry and your response to that inquiry to their initial phone contact with you or your staff to the
in-studio consultation to the experience you have on the shoot to the way you deliver the final product (packaging, presentation, extras, etc.).

All these different touchpoints are the experience-builders that clients will have when they are dealing with you. It's important for you to look at every touchpoint in your business and make sure that it maximizes the desired brand experience you want to create for your client.

Getting Branded
Perhaps the most efficient way to create a distinctive brand is to hire a professional. Unless you come from a design, branding, or marketing background, there are many elements that go into a brand, and you probably don't have the experience that a professional branding consultant would. A consultant will bring expertise in market demographics, psychographics, how people respond to colors and shapes, what is currently in vogue and what is not, and the difference between art (aesthetic and subjective) and design (functional and purposeful).

All these elements go into creating a brand that will speak to your prospects. Hiring a professional who has experience dealing with these components will be a valuable investment in your business. The value proposition is similar to the pitch you make to clients for your video services: The investment will appreciate in value. Done right, it will stand the test of time. Done wrong, it will leave you constantly changing and tweaking what you've done, which essentially causes you to start over every time in building brand recognition and value.

That said, we do understand the reality that small businesses may not be able to invest in a solid branding or design company. It's not unheard of to spend $5,000-$20,000 on a branding experience, from websites to cards to creating a positioning statement and logo (Figure 1, below). Even at the $5,000 level, there are many small businesses that don't have the financial wherewithal to make that happen.

Dare Dreamer Media

First Steps
So now the question becomes, "What can I do now?"

First, do your homework. Identify the kind of client that you want to attract and the kind of companies that you know are successfully attracting that type of client. If you're in the wedding and event world and you're looking to attract a high-end bride, find local photographers, coordinators, or florists who are successfully reaching that bride and look at their branding. Look at their websites, collateral, and position statements. See if you can have lunch with one of them and talk with them about the touchpoints that they go through.

(Note that there are some companies that are successful despite their branding, rather than because of it, so you want to make sure that you are talking with someone who is successful in their business and their field and also has a strong sense of branding.)

Second, there are workshops and seminars held throughout the year that have professionals who address the issue of branding. You may not have five grand or more to spend on a branding campaign, but maybe you do have $750 or even $1,000 to spend in a one or two-day workshop with a vendor who has expertise in that field.

Third, do market research. One assignment Ron gives to his business coaching clients is to have them go to the mall and look at companies who are reaching the kind of demographic his coaching clients want to reach. He has them look at their logo and typeface designs and the experiences that they are creating in their stores for the clients that they want to serve. It seems like a simple assignment, but it gives you an idea of what that clientele expects and will be looking for.

Fourth, read. As Charles Jones said, "You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read." Too many small business owners don't take advantage of the vast wealth of knowledge on every topic imaginable. Branding is no different.

Do a search for some of the bestselling branding books, buy some, and set aside reading time. If you're reading this article, you're already one of a unique group of go-getters, willing to invest in your learning and education. Your business will be transformed because of the investment of time. Don't like reading? Get audio or video versions of popular books. There really is no longer any excuse not to get the information that is so widely available. Start with Seth Godin's Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable (Figure 2, below). As Godin explains in the book, "You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or you're invisible. Make your choice."

Seth Godin's Purple Cow

Leaving a Mark
Once you've got the differentiation part down, you'll start leaving a trail of "lovemarks," as Kevin Roberts describes in Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands. Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, shows that by building respect and inspiring love, businesses can change the world. Wouldn't you like your business to do that? More than just paying the bills, wouldn't you like to change the world, your industry, and the world of your client? Companies that get it right don't just have loyal followings, they have fanatic followings.

One of those most popular lovemarks in the world of technology is Apple, Inc. It consistently posts record increases in profit, even when competitors are posting losses. They are definitely high-end in the technology field. You can get a network computer for a few hundred dollars, but if you get something with similar capability from Apple, you will spend at least three times that. And people are willing to pay because of the love that they have for the brand.

These fanatical fan bases support the companies with powerful word of mouth. Customers become evangelists. Think about the battles of Mac versus PC on popular video discussion boards. People are passionate and willing to defend the brands they love. That emotional connection people make with your brand will differentiate you from every competitor in your marketplace.

While you may have heard or read about some of these ideas before, are you doing them? Have you taken action on the things you know would make a difference in your brand experience and, likewise, in your bottom line?

Here are seven things you can do today to start leaving your mark:

  • Deliver quality. Don't let anything out the door that isn't up to the highest standards possible. If it's going to be late because it doesn't meet QA standards, let the client know. Chances are they'll be thrilled you are going to such great lengths to give them an exceptional product.
  • Offer service. Even though you're busy and your email box is overflowing, take the time to respond to requests with consideration. Remember that you're building relationships and creating fans. That won't happen if you ignore legitimate requests.
  • Build (or rebuild) trust. If you're late on a project, communicate clearly with the client without excuse. Give them a new deadline you can meet and make that deadline no matter what. Keep your word and commitments by under-promising and over-delivering. It's better to say that you will have a turnaround time of two months and deliver in six weeks than it is to say that you will have a turnaround time of four weeks and deliver in six weeks. Set an expectation and then exceed that expectation.
  • Be honest. Mistakes happen. Equipment malfunctions. Audio gets garbled. Tapes get lost. It's a reality of doing business after any amount of time. Expect it. Be prepared for it. Be honest about it with your client.
  • Be open. If you haven't been asking for honest feedback from your clients, now is the time to start. Send a survey in exchange for a gift card. Ask the hard questions that you're afraid of getting answers to. Find out where you really stand. Knowing the truth of how you are perceived is the beginning of setting your business on a new path.
  • Educate and inform. Offer your clients and prospects relevant and timely information through your blog. Post links to articles, special deals, and items of interest to them. Give them something for nothing. Share your knowledge. The more you give, the more you'll get back. It's a principle that never changes.
  • Create a community. Use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and newsletters to keep in contact with your client base. Connect them to you with timely information and connect them to each other with common ideas and solutions to their problems.

Creating a Website that Exemplifies Your Branding
So let's talk about some of the things that make up your branding experience. However, remember that these things by themselves are not your brand; they're aspects of your brand. Each one needs to communicate a consistent message about who your company is and what it is all about.

We'll start with websites because your website is often the first touchpoint that your prospect has when they come across your business. Since much searching for your service will be done online, at work, the way you present your portfolio and brand online is extremely important. This is something that Ron has written extensively about on his blog at bladeronner.com.

Your website must stand out as being something that communicates a unique brand. When prospects visit your website, you don't want them to have the feeling that they've been there before because your website looks like every other website they've seen.

We understand that, due to financial limitations, you may not have the resources for a professionally designed website. In that case, you may be inclined to opt for a template site. If you do decide to go the template route, choose a template that is not the most popular. Usually, sites that have templates will have dozens, if not hundreds, to choose from. You'll find, particularly if you've done research online, that a few of those templates seem to be the most popular. Templates themselves aren't bad; it depends on how much energy you put into customizing it.

However, if you do have the financial capability to invest in a website designer, then that is something that can be very beneficial. With respect to branding, the biggest advantage of a custom site is its uniqueness and the ability to create it in such a way that it fits your needs.

Showit Sites, created by photographer and speaker David Jay, is a website creation service that allows you to easily publish a dynamic, media-rich website with no coding (Figure 3, below). It's an ideal blending of the two options, an effective combination of template-based and professionally designed.

ShowIt Sites

Showit Sites gives you the flexibility and freedom to completely change your site any time, custom design your pages, and set yourself apart from your competition (Figure 4, below). You can download a free trial at www. showitfast.com/#/showit-sites. Mention our book, ReFocus, and get two months free when you sign up for one year.

ShowIt Sites
When looking at the creation of your website, remember to consider design and functionality. Some of the things that diminish the effectiveness of a website are being too hard to navigate, being too cluttered, or being designed in such a way that the user experience is negative. Simplicity, simple navigation, adequate white space, colors, and shapes consistent with your brand are all important considerations.

We highly suggest looking at other websites from companies in other industries. For example, Apple is a good site to look at because it is very clean and has a lot of white space. You can see the minimal use of words and text and the focus on the graphics because that's what draws people in and catches their eye. Look outside of the photo and video world and see what companies in other industries are doing on their sites, whether they are graphic designers, computer companies, or even bookstores.

Which websites draw your attention? Which do you enjoy visiting and return to again and again? Draw some lessons from those sites instead of limiting yourself to the sites of other videographers or people in your industry or vicinity.

Back in the early days of Cinematic Studios, Inc., we actually made it a point not to look at other videographers' sites. The main reason was because we felt that so many of them were not targeting their market correctly. They had pictures of the videographer smiling in his tuxedo with the camera on his shoulder or had images of camera gear spinning. Intuitively, we knew that these sites were not designed to attract the market clientele we were going after, which in our case was high-end brides.

The inspiration that we got early on was from photographers who were designing their sites like online fashion magazines, in terms of the photos they used and the way they wrote the copy. You never saw a picture of a Hasselblad, a Canon telephoto lens, or anything of that sort on a photographer's website. It was always stunning imagery telling the story.

When you're adding images to your site, don't feel like you always have to use video stills. Feel free to work with local or non-local photographers. On our first website, when our focus was high-end wedding videography, we made a point to only have video stills on our website. We felt that our work was just as good as photographers' work, and there was no reason why we shouldn't have video stills instead of photos.

As we worked on reaching a higher-end clientele, we received feedback from other designers who said that our video grabs were poor quality relative to the full size that we were blowing them up to on the site. It was at that point we reached out to photographers in our network.

This worked for two reasons. We had clean, crisp images from photographers to improve the aesthetic of our site. And we communicated to our prospects what type of vendors we worked with. If they saw their photographer's photos on our site, it built a level of trust in their mind that we were on par with that vendor and gave us credibility by association. It doesn't take away from your art as a filmmaker or video producer when you have photographs as opposed to video stills. Prospects will still see your portfolio and your work, but it will be the photographs (and the branding they help to create) that draw them in.

Business Cards
Business cards are another aspect of the branding experience that you provide to clients. And again, you need to ask yourself, "What kind of client am I going after?" If you're going after a luxurious, high-end client, then you need a business card that suggests that.

If you're going after a high-end client that has an eye for design and quality and then you give them a flimsy, cheap business card-or, worse yet, you hand them a business card that you created from one of those perforated sheets of stock that you get from an office supply store-that will send the wrong message about who you are and the quality of service you offer.

If you've seen the movie Hitch, you'll remember Will Smith's distinct black business card. It set him apart and differentiated his service and company. How could you adapt that idea for your own business cards?
Back in our first year in the business, I (Ron) met Philadelphia-based EventDV 25 honoree Tim Sudall (www.videoone.tv). I was in line with him at WEVA Expo and was sharing with him my business cards which I had created from those perforated office supply store cards printed on my inkjet printer.

He made a point to tell me that the quality wasn't there and that I needed to go out and get a business card that reflected the quality of the business that I was trying to put forth. With regard to business cards, it didn't really have to be that expensive either, and he gave me some resources that I could pursue.

That's exactly what I did, and I have never looked back.

Packaging
A similar event happened when I met four-time EventDV 25 honoree Trisha Von Lanken (www.vonweddingfilms.com) for the first time, just after she gave a presentation. I was new to the business and was excited to meet her and give her a demo DVD of my work to get her feedback on my videos. The DVD I gave her was packaged in one of those cheap plastic slim CD cases. She immediately told me that the packaging didn't work. If I wanted to grab the high-end bride, she said, that wasn't going to happen if I gave her a DVD in a cheap, plastic case. (It's funny how I had a knack for getting feedback on things I didn't ask for. But I'm so thankful I did.)

When I got back to our studio, we immediately started work on putting our DVDs in custom made cards. It made a huge difference in the way we presented ourselves. From there we moved to traditional cases and designed custom covers that looked like real movies. Our clients loved them, and it fit the brand we were selling, which was about having the experience of starring in your own movie (Figure 5, below).

Dare Dreamer Media packaging

As we became more educated in branding and the importance of standing out, one thing we decided to do was to move away from using traditional Amaray cases for our DVDs. Instead, we purchased tin cases that had clear covers. They looked and felt like film cans. They were round and had a cool, retro look, which fit perfectly with the fun, creative style that the Cinematic Studios brand represented.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and our colleague and friend, Joshua Smith of Cinematic Bride (www.cine maticbride.com), created an entire company around this need for inspired packaging. Loktah (www.loktah.com) is a natural media packaging company, "inspired by the natural beauty of the earth, featuring products that recall the planet's majestic form" (Figure 6, below).

Loktah.com natural DVD packaging

It was Smith's desire to be creative and present something different to his clients that forced him to undertake this venture. In his search, he found that there was a need within the video and photographic industry, and he aimed to meet that need with Loktah.

This packaging solution won't fit every brand, but it is a clear example of how being tuned in to your brand will force you to get creative with every aspect of your business and every touchpoint for your clients.
Think about creative ways in which your final presentation can be used to communicate and continue to advertise your company even when the product is sitting on your client's coffee table or shelf.

Final Thoughts
Having a consistent look and feel throughout your website that matches your collateral (business cards, stationery, brochures) and continues through your packaging is critical. All these elements contribute to the brand that reaches the client that you want.

Branding isn't just for studios pursuing high-end clients either.

Even if you're going after volume and clients who are more budget conscious, that does not mean that you can ignore branding. In many ways, it is just as important on the low end because you are going to be dealing with clients who are easily moved by price, so you need to have something that they can grab on to and develop an affinity for. If you're competing on price, it is going to be harder for you to stand out in the crowd because people can always undercut you. So having a unique brand is going to be that much more important for you.

Whether you're going after a high-end clientele or a more budget-conscious customer, your brand and the branding experience that you provide can make or break your company and determine your impact on everyone who encounters you.

If you haven't already figured it out, a running theme in this article has been experience. Above everything else, experience will determine how a client or prospect interprets your brand. As mentioned previously, one of the best books written about the client experience is Dr. Joseph Michelli's The Starbucks Experience.

We had an opportunity to see Michelli speak at an event that we filmed in January 2009. During the event, he talked about how raw coffee beans cost about four cents per cup. But by adding hot water and filtering those coffee beans through a thin sheet of paper, you can sell it for one dollar per cup. If you package it right, you could sell it in the store for two dollars a cup. But if you add an experience to it-say, sitting in a nice lounge area with good music, good food, good smell, and the opportunity to get online and do some work-you can sell those coffee beans for four dollars per cup.

Starbucks is a great example of what can be done when a brand really focuses on the experience. However distinctive you consider the coffee itself, it's the experience that engulfs the tasting. It's not just the coffee but the relaxing and inviting experiences that typify the Starbucks experience.

So, with all that in mind, what experience do you give your clients? When they see your logo, are they drawn to it or repelled by it? When they enter your studio, are they blasted with rock music and the smell of leftovers for lunch? Or are you deliberate with the music you choose and the smells that you allow your visitors to experience when they enter your place of business? Is there an inviting atmosphere with comfortable chairs, inviting decor, and a customer-focused staff?

Is it just about the experience? Of course not. You need to deliver a great product too. But the difference between creating an unforgettable experience and just delivering the product is the difference between four cents a cup and four dollars a cup.

Which would you prefer?

The material in this article is excerpted from ReFocus: Cutting-Edge Strategies to Evolve Your Video Business by Ron Dawson and Tasra Dawson. Copyright © 2010. Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Peachpit Press. The book will be published July 20, 2009. To order ReFocus from Amazon.com, click here.

Ron & Tasra Dawson (info at daredreamer.net) are co-founders of Dare Dreamer Media (formerly Cinematic Studios), a new media marketing agency. Accomplished writers and award-winning producers, speakers, video business coaches, and instructors, Ron and Tasra are authors of the forthcoming Peachpit Press book, ReFocus: Cutting-Edge Strategies to Evolve Your Business. Ron is a two-time EventDV 25 honoree. They live in a suburb of Atlanta.

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Footage Firm Offers Free Looping Backgrounds

To create exposure and awareness for its new HD backgrounds product line, Footage Firm (http://www.footagefirm.com/free-hd-looping-backgrounds) is giving away copies of its 11 new collections on DVD. Terms are as follows:

  • Pay only $8.41 S&H for each DVD you request.
  • Request all 11 free DVDs, regularly $2,379 + S & H, you pay only $92.51
  • There is no catch! Just keep us in mind for future stock footage needs.
  • Hurry, there are only 500 copies available!

Users may select one or more of the following collections of 25 HD & SD backgrounds for only $8.41 S & H each:

  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Borders, Explosions
  • Colorful Moods
  • Digital Electricity
  • Fluid Shapes
  • Game Time
  • Brilliant Light
  • Love and Marriage
  • Outer Space
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Travel and Transportation

Go to http://www.footagefirm.com/free-hd-looping-backgrounds for details.

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Noise Industries and Development Partners Add Support for Newly Released Apple Final Cut Studio

Noise Industries, developer of visual effects tools for the postproduction and broadcast markets, announced FxFactory® compatibility for new Apple® Final Cut® Studio release. The FxFactory product line includes over 200 award-winning visual effects plug-ins optimized for real-time performance on the Mac platform. "We were anticipating the next major release of Final Cut and were adamant in providing immediate support for all FxFactory powered plug-ins," comments Niclas Bahn, director of business development, Noise Industries. "The winning-combination of Final Cut and Motion's innovative new features, coupled with the visual effects power of FxFactory products, will undoubtedly yield even more creative content. We are looking forward to our upcoming releases, which will compliment this Final Cut Studio release."

High-Performance Visual Effects Tools
Developed for Adobe® After Effects® and Apple Final Cut Pro and Motion®, FxFactory leverages a high precision, hardware-accelerated rendering engine that enables users to push the limits of effects creation; producing radically unique and realistically organic looks with stunning image quality. FxFactory plug-ins span a wide range of categories that include: blurs, color correction, distortions, glows, half-tones and stylization filters, as well as generators and transitions. Each plug-in is complimented with a forward-thinking approach to design and development:

• Hardware Acceleration: Plug-ins developed to take advantage of the systems graphics card providing unbeatable previewing and rendering performance.
• Highly Customizable, Contextual UI: FxFactory presents users with minimal parameters and intuitively reacts and displays additional parameters based on user action. Parameters can be fully expanded allowing any effect element to be manipulated.
• Plug-in Development Engine: Unique in the industry, the FxFactory plug-in management interface provides broadcast designers a user-friendly development tool to design additional visual effects for Apple and Adobe video solutions.
• Integrated Help Desk: Plug-in documentation, support resources and tutorials are accessible in one click from the parameter inspector.
• Hundreds of Presets: Built-in presets are a timesaving feature, which allows users to explore new looks with minimal effort. Users can easily create their own presets and subsequently replicate the look.

Compatibility of FxFactory Powered Plug-ins
All Noise Industries plug-ins qualify for the new Final Cut Studio release, in conjunction with plug-ins from FxPack development partners that include:

Boinx
• FxTiles
o 3D filters and transitions with flexible animation controls and many built-in presets to achieve great results with
minimal effort

DV Shade
• EasyLooks
o Color grading plug-in that gives complete control over the final look of the completed video

• Futurismo
o 8 animation-capable title generators with particle explosions, letter trails and more

• Backgrounds
o A stunning collection of 8 animated generators, great as backgrounds for DVD projects and PIP

Idustrial Revolution
• CoverFlux
o Scrolling still-image generator plug-in displaying up to 25 images in a dazzling 3D stack effect

• Decimal Counter
o An easy to use counter that works with mono-spaced as well as proportional fonts without jitter

• ParticleMetrix
o Easy-to-use particle explosions, shatters, builds, reveals and transitions

• SupaWipe
o Object transition plug-in for Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express, designed by Peter Wiggins

• Volumetrix
o Stunning light effects and transitions with glows, glints and distortions

SUGARfx
• Cine Fest
o Film festival look with 12 theme elements, customizable colors, background media and titles.

• Design Tools
o Plug-ins that help constrain a project to specific layouts or color palettes; examples include client branding.

•Drop In
o A highly configurable 3D theme with multiple animating title and media elements.

• Folding Cards
o A dynamic, uncluttered 3D theme with 8 elements and a customizable color palette.

• Heads Up Display (H.U.D.)
o A unique set of plug-ins to make your video look like it's being seen through binoculars, weapon sights, old
cameras and a wide range of high-tech gadgetry.

• Light Pack
o Fun and useful filters including Marquee, Paparazzi and Lens Flare.

• Mondrianesque Complete
o Includes 8 plug-ins with powerful customization and animation options to enhance the look of an edited piece.

• Perf Motif
o 7 elegantly animated generators with a full set of parameters to quickly adapt the theme to your project.

• Portfolio
o Showcase up to seven photos and videos at once with this elegant theme sporting vintage and modern looks.

• Radical Wave
o Hypnotic wave filter with numerous options to customize images, animation and secondary effects. Explore various
looks with the 14 built-in presets.

• Slate Tools
o Slate Tools plug-ins assist in creating slates and copyright notices commonly used in the broadcast industry.

• Urban
o Media composition options within urban environments.

• Video Wall
o Video wall construction with 3D space effects.

• World Cup
o Stunning 3D animator that adds a configurable newscast finish to any project

Yanobox
• Motype
o Text animation capabilities complete with integrated motion mixers, character randomizations, motion blurs, letter
particles, 3D cameras and background assortments

Users must install the Noise Industries FxFactory engine to operate FxPacks. FxFactory is free and can be downloaded from http://www.noiseindustries.com/products/fxfactory/index.html.

Availability and Pricing
FxFactory Pro is available today for $399.00 USD. Additional plug-in packages are available for free or commercially starting at a price point of 29.00 USD. FxFactory plug-ins vary in price and can be purchased via the Noise Industries website (http://www.noiseindustries.com) or through select resellers. Adobe® After Effects CS3, Apple Final Cut Studio 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/fxfactory.

About Noise Industries, LLC
Established in 2004, Boston, Massachusetts-based Noise Industries is an innovative developer of visual effects tools for the postproduction and broadcast community. Their products are integrated with popular non-linear editing and compositing products from Apple, Adobe and Avid. For more information about Noise Industries, please visit: http://www.noiseindustries.com.

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Asetek Adds Liquid Cooling To HP Z Workstations

Asetek, the industry leading supplier of liquid cooling systems for computers, announced today it has added its liquid cooling technology to the high performance HP Z400 and HP Z800 Workstations. These ultra quiet, liquid cooled models expand upon the low noise line of Z Workstations, noted for its breakthrough design, performance and reliability. 

"Liquid cooling enables a new world of enhanced user productivity enabled by whisper quiet computing. The ultra quiet Z400 and Z800 liquid cooled models are representative of an important new trend in performance computing - improving user productivity through low noise," said Gary Baum, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Asetek. "Asetek liquid cooling is the enabling technology for achieving quiet computing and high system performance."

The HP Z400 and HP Z800 Workstations with liquid cooling are available at www.hp.com/go/workstations.

"HP is committed to designing breakthrough technologies into our award-winning HP Z Workstation line to deliver industry leading customer experience," said Jeff Wood, director, Worldwide Marketing, Workstations, HP. "Asetek has provided a new standard for achieving low acoustics that perform at the high levels our customers demand."

Noise is frequently associated with loud sounds; however, sounds need not be loud to be disturbing, intrusive, and bothersome. Noise is better defined as unwanted, uncontrollable or unpredictable sounds that intrude upon human activities.

Cognitive Impact
Research has shown that common office noises, including computer noises, disrupt cognitive function and induce stress and fatigue. "The idea that people get used to noise is a myth," the Environmental Protection Agency has frequently reported. "Even when we think we have become accustomed to noise, biological changes still take place inside us."

An important consequence of noise relates to task performance. Office noise exposure has been shown to disrupt short term memory, interfere with mathematical computation and negatively impact the choice of strategies for carrying out tasks. The magnitude of the disruption is significant. The impact of office noise during both memory learning and recall phases reduces performance to about one-third of the level of a quiet environment.

While new to the mainstream workstation market, liquid cooling has long been a popular technology for performance enhancement in the enthusiast and gaming markets. Reliable and maintenance-free, Asetek liquid cooling systems have established themselves as the industry leading solution for commercially built PCs serving these markets.

About Asetek
Asetek is the world leading system thermal and acoustic management solution provider to OEMs servicing the gaming, workstation and performance PC markets. The company's liquid thermal management system delivers superior thermal and acoustic performance in a factory sealed unit that sets new standards for reliability and suitability for large volume production. Leading OEMs use Asetek's liquid cooling products in systems where end users demand exceptional performance, low noise and maximum reliability. Asetek's strong brand name products are often the favorite choice of enthusiast grade system builders having obtained more than 200 international press awards in the past decade.

Founded in 2000, Asetek has offices in San Jose, California, Denmark and Asia. For more information, please visit www.asetek.com.

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Ross Video Now Shipping CrossOver 16

Ross Video today announced the full customer shipments of CrossOver 16 HD/SD Production Switchers. This marks the latest addition to the CrossOver family of multi-definition compact production switchers.

The CrossOver 16 feature set includes:
*12 Multi-Definition Inputs
* 6 Multi-Definition Outputs
* 1 Analog Down Converted Output
* 4 Assignable Frame Syncs with Format Conversion
* 2 Media Stores with Animation Capability
* 2 Channels of 2D DVE for PinP and 2D Transitions
* High Quality UltraChrome™ Chroma Keyer available in any Keyer
* 3 Fully Featured Keyers
* Standard Source and Keyer Mnemonics
* Custom Control Macros
* 24 GPI
* Dedicated Keyer Cut and Auto Transitions Buttons
* A High End 3-Axis Joystick
* AI Memory Recalls (Patent Pending)

“CrossOver 16 launched at NAB 2009 with praise from industry professionals across all live production markets and is now in full production and shipping to our customers,” said David Ross, CEO.“CrossOver 16 enables customers to produce high end productions from a compact studio, flight pack, or ENG truck. This is definitely a new class of compact production switchers that offers some of the same sophisticated functionality found in our Vision series.”

Ross Video has created a cost effective trade up program for existing CrossOver customers,and CrossOver 12 models can be upgraded to CrossOver 16 with the swap of their panels.

The CrossOver 16 models run on the new release of version 1.4 software offering many enhancements and features to all CrossOver users at no charge. This keeps with Ross Video’s policy of free production switcher software upgrades for the life of the product. Visit www.rossvideo.com to download your free upgrade now.

About Ross Video
Ross Video designs, manufactures and supports a wide range of innovative products for use in live production applications in over 100 countries.Over the past 15 years Ross has grown an average of 20% year over year.Ross’ award winning product line includes Vision, CrossOver, Octane and Synergy Multi-Definition Video Production Switchers, openGear, RossGear and GearLite Terminal Equipment, SoftMetal Video Servers, OverDrive Production Control System and XPression Character Generator. News and information are available at www.rossvideo.com.

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Verbatim Shipping New TUFF-CLIP USB Drives

Verbatim(TM) Americas, LLC an industry innovator in the data storage industry for 40 years, announced today its new TUFF-CLIP(TM) USB Drives. Available now with capacities of 4GB in turquoise and 8GB in black, the new flash drives combine clip-and-go convenience with industrial strength toughness. Verbatim's TUFF-CLIP USB drives feature an ultra-rugged plastic enclosure with a convenient retractable slider that protects the USB connector. Tough enough for active users to carry their data wherever they go, the innovative design also has an integrated carabineer clip that can be securely fastened onto a backpack, key chain, belt loop or notebook. The drives come pre-loaded with password security software for Windows systems that protects sensitive data in a user-defined private zone, while allowing a public zone for open access and sharing of non-sensitive content.

“The TUFF-CLIP drive's enclosure is made of ABS plastic and built to take everyday knocks in stride” explained Mark Rogers, Verbatim Product Manager. “With the clip-on design, the drives are also less likely to get lost or misplaced; and with the retractable cover, there is no cap to lose.”

The features that make the TUFF-CLIP USB drives both tough and convenient, also make them ideal for young, active users who want to share data files, music, photos or videos; and students who want to transport research and project files between school and home. The drives will also appeal to on the go business users who must have current files with them wherever they go.

With support for Windows®, Mac® and Linux® systems, the TUFF-CLIP USB Drives also provide true cross-platform compatibility and a convenient way to transfer files between systems.

Certified for Windows Vista™, TUFF-CLIP USB Drives support Windows ReadyBoost™, a feature that allows Vista PC users to allocate a portion of the device's unused flash memory to speed system performance.

Verbatim's new TUFF-CLIP USB Drives measure 2.90” x .45” x 0.90” and weigh less than 2 ounces. When connected to a USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 port of a desktop or notebook computer, the system automatically recognizes the drive as a new removable drive. With its solid-state design (no moving parts) and non-volatile flash memory, the drives will retain data for 10 years or more.

Availability and Pricing
Designed for Windows Vista, XP or 2000; Mac OS 9.x or higher and Linux kernel 2.6x or higher systems, Verbatim TUFF-CLIP USB Drives are available through Verbatim retail partners and distribution channels. The suggested list prices are US$29.99 for the 4GB drive and US$49.99 for the 8GB drive. The complete package includes the TUFF-CLIP USB Drive, pre-loaded password security software for Windows systems and a Quick Start Guide.

About Verbatim
Verbatim's businesses in the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia Pacific regions are wholly owned subsidiaries of Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Kagaku Media Co., Ltd. MKM's parent company, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC), is Japan's largest chemical company.

Verbatim develops and markets innovative, high-quality products for storing, moving and using digital content. Known for its leadership in the optical, magnetic and flash storage and related accessories markets, the company provides reliable, unique technologies and products that are highly sought after and broadly distributed worldwide. For more information, contact Verbatim Americas, LLC, 1200 W.T. Harris Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28262, (800) 421-4188. In Europe, Verbatim Ltd., Prestige House, 23-26 High Street, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9DU, UK, (+44) 1784 439 781. In Japan, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media Co., Ltd., 31-19, Shiba 5-Chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0014, (+81) 3-5454-3972. Or visit the web site at http://www.verbatim.com and select the country of your location.

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