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Information Today, Inc.

September 08, 2009

Table of Contents

The Nonlinear Editor: Snow in August
Canon USA Redefines Mid-Range DSLR Category with New EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera
Noise Industries Visual Effects Development Partner Idustrial Revolution Wins Award Of Superiority For New Transitional Particle Plug-In
Matrox Announces Matrox Convert DVI – Inexpensive SD/HD SDI Scan Converter with Genlock
Sony Sound Forge Pro 10 Software Provides Comprehensive New Tools for Professional Digital Audio Production
AJA Ships Ki Pro Portable Digital Disk Recorder
Boris FX Product Line Supports Mac OS X Snow Leopard
Vinpower Digital Announces Industry's First Complete Labelflash Standalone DVD Publishing System
Sonic Launches BD PowerStation
Sony Brings 3D Home in 2010
Panasonic Launches Full HD 3D Home Theater Truck Tour

The Nonlinear Editor: Snow in August

Megan + Narbeh's Sweden Thriller Concept "Snow" from PACIFIC PICTURES on Vimeo.

Back in the late '90s, I saw the great indie filmmaker Richard Linklater interviewed on The Independent Film Channel (IFC). Although it had been at least half a decade since his breakthrough films, Slacker and Dazed and Confused, had made their initial splash, Linklater still enjoyed a great deal of outsider cred as a hip, young filmmaking voice in an industry that was trying to leverage the marketability of its insurgent indie icons. When the IFC interviewer asked him if he had any advice for students who wanted to build careers outside the Hollywood system, Linklater said that technically, he hadn't been an "indie" filmmaker since Slacker; all his subsequent films had had mainstream studio support. What makes you an independent filmmaker, he said, is making your own films, and-regardless of who's backing and distributing your work-producing the movies you want to make.

Naturally, that's easier said than done, and not everyone gets the chance to come in from the Rebel Without a Crew cold and become a rebel with a budget and mass distribution. People will tell you there are always compromises that must be made; it's a cruel irony that backers don't always have your back and don't always share your vision of the film you want to make. (I'll never forget the Star Wars making-of documentary I saw in which George Lucas said the Fox execs dismissed an early cut of the movie with a single comment: "The bear needs to wear pants." Anyone there got a pulse?)

In the traditional world of wedding videography, it wasn't really about making the film you wanted to make; issues of vision and artistic identity and conviction rarely came into play. You got hired, showed up, shot what you saw, and made it look as polished and elegant as you could while doing your best to capture the authentic emotion of the moment. Then you delivered your product, collected your fee, and moved on to the next project. Questions of filmmaking, vision, and compromise or no compromise never entered into the equation.

Over the last year, we've thrown the spotlight on a number of "wedding filmmakers" who approach wedding projects as opportunities to produce films, whether it's a subjective artist's rendering of the day or a "concept" film that stands apart from the event itself. Meanwhile, we've seen studios such as StillMotion—who insist that they audition their prospective clients as much as their prospects audition them, lest they commit to a project that doesn't inspire them—emerge as the most influential voices in the industry.

We've also begun seeing work of unprecedented ambition and scope. Arguably, the most ambitious concept filmmaker working in the business today is Kevin Shahinian of Pacific Pictures, whom we featured on the cover of the January issue with an article on his mind-blowing Bollywood debut ("Hooray for Bollywood"). In the intervening months, Kevin has been tapped to speak at two major industry events—WEVA Expo and Re:Frame—and is touring with another (In[Focus]). He's also begun developing a four-part EventDV-TV series called The Language of Film that will debut this December. He's followed up his initial Bollywood film, Tum Hi Ho, with similarly themed films that have made him the toast of the industry blogosphere, and he's undertaken an epic concept project in India this fall. Most recently (at this writing), Kevin has unveiled Snö (Snow), a new film shot in Uppsala, Sweden, back in March of this year, and finally premiered at an August wedding in L.A.

I saw a teaser from Snö online several months ago and was mesmerized by the intensity and epic feel of the piece, which is both an homage to the great international suspense thrillers and also a compelling love story that closely parallels the parabola of the wedding couple's own romance. Now that I've seen the entire 12-minute film (which appeared online in late August), I'm awed by the way it sustains the drama and emotional resonance of the teaser Kevin leaked a few months ago. It's especially remarkable given that the first scene I saw benefited from the services of a leading Swedish film actor (not to mention some stunning aerial shots captured via gyro and helicopter). The professional actor continues to anchor much of the film, but Kevin gets stirring and true-to-life performances from the bride and groom, a talent that has already become one of the hallmarks of his work.

Pacific Pictures' Sno

As the father of a 5-year-old, I don't get out to a lot of art house theaters or see many foreign-language films these days. But there are two movies I've seen this year that remind me of how tense and taut the dialogue of the classic European filmmakers can be when as much is left unstated as spoken explicitly: the opening scene of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (which only intermittently feels like an American-made film) and Kevin Shahinian's Snö.

Granted, Inglourious Basterds is a masterful feature film that fuses a number of styles and works almost as powerfully over its full 150 minutes as it does for those first 15, and Snö is a short that only has to hold one's attention for 12 minutes. But what's really exciting about Kevin's film is that it feels perfectly reasonable to discuss it in these terms and to make these sorts of comparisons. That said, Snö is such a different film from the other Pacific Pictures joints I've seen—his first two Bollywood shorts—that it doesn't make a lot of sense to compare it with them, at least cinematically. Though not necessarily more ambitious or accomplished than its predecessors, what distinguishes Snö is that it demands so much more of its audience—a serious, and possibly unprecedented risk for a wedding-day presentation to take.

Besides Inglourious Basterds, the other big-screen movie that's really floored me this year is the Pixar CGI feature Up. The opening sequence of Up is utterly breathtaking and uncharacteristically, maturely devastating (to put it mildly) for a CGI release. Major-studio CGI movies—even those with adults in their crosshairs—are supposed to be wild, madcap romps. Up and its Pixar predecessor, Wall-E, demonstrate how difficult it is for even the most ambitious and visionary CGI filmmakers to transcend the presumptive limitations of the genre and make films that don't always leave 'em laughing. Both of these features have started out by taking viewers to unsettling, aching, tragic places and then beaten hasty, hijinks-packed retreats.

Snö makes no such compromises and remains stylistically and emotionally consistent throughout—which, I'll admit, came as a welcome surprise to me. Putting the bride and groom on the big screen is inherently crowd-pleasing. But that's not always enough to hold the attention of a crowd for 12 minutes that would otherwise be devoted to drinking, dancing, and socializing. Weddings are often serious and solemn, but receptions are party time. Tum Hi Ho and Dil Jaanta Hai (Kevin's first two Bollywood shorts), for all their ambition, artistry, and genre authenticity, featured comedy, fabulous dance sequences, and their fair share of glamour and glitter. Simply by remaining true to the Bollywood style (and the music-video concept from which Tum Hi Ho grew), these films were all but guaranteed to maintain or heighten the party atmosphere of the reception.

Snö, while not exactly a downer (true love does triumph, after all), is the kind of movie that can be a bit tough on a party crowd. The fact that Kevin was bold enough to challenge his audience and make a film compelling enough to get them to rise to the challenge (check out the reaction here) is a watershed moment for our industry.

Pacific Pictures' Sno

Is Snö the film Kevin's clients hired him to make? Is it the film they expected him to make? I suspect the answer to both those questions is yes and no. But Kevin says it is, in the most important ways, their story, and that explains a lot about why the film worked and why it resonated so much for the couple and their guests, even if it was the kind of film they never dreamed would screen at their reception.

As for the free rein Kevin obviously had with the production, I imagine there was a great deal of respect and trust involved there, the kind of trust that makes a hired videographer about as close to an independent filmmaker as anyone could reasonably expect to be-and very much an independent filmmaker in the way Richard Linklater used the term: making the movies you want to make.

Best of all, I'm happy to report that Kevin's film got worldwide distribution. If you haven't seen it yet, scroll back up to the embedded version from Vimeo at the top of this page, and check it out for yourself. As the Swedish Air Force MP in the film says, "What makes a moment unforgettable? A sight? A sound? A feeling?" The answer, as all great wedding filmmakers know: all of the above.

Stephen Nathans-Kelly (stephen.nathans at infotoday.com) is editor-in-chief of EventDV and program director of EventDV-TV.com.

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Canon USA Redefines Mid-Range DSLR Category with New EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today introduced a revolutionary camera that redefines the highly competitive mid-range DSLR product category: the Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera. Professional photographers and advanced amateurs have been demanding higher performance and more diverse functions in their cameras, and Canon has answered - with the new EOS 7D. Far more than a slight improvement from a previous model, the EOS 7D DSLR is a brand new product that stands on its own with new features never before seen in any Canon camera. Whether it's shooting at eight frames per second (fps), focusing with the new Zone AF mode or recording 24p Full HD video, the EOS 7D DSLR camera satisfies the most rigorous professional requirements with durability, flexibility, high-resolution images and customizable controls. With its unprecedented out-of-the-box performance and high-end feature set, the EOS 7D is poised as the ultimate step-up camera for serious photographers or a second camera for professionals in the field.

The EOS 7D boasts significant EOS advancements including a completely new 19-point Autofocus system, a new Canon iFCL Metering System (Intelligent Focus, Color, Luminance) and a new Intelligent Viewfinder. An 18-megapixel Canon CMOS sensor and Dual DIGIC 4 Imaging Processors fuel the EOS 7D's 14-bit A/D data conversion and its ability to freeze fast motion in high-resolution with eight fps continuous shooting up to 126 Large JPEGS using a UDMA CF card, positioning this camera for the studio as well as the sideline. The EOS 7D captures beautiful low-light images with or without a flash, at occasions such as a dance recital or wedding reception, thanks to a wide range of ISO speed settings from 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800). In addition to its new still capture capabilities, the EOS 7D features Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 resolution with selectable frame rates of 24p, 25p or 30p. Native 24p recording helps videographers achieve a more cinema-style look for their footage without the need for post-processing.

"The EOS 7D represents a completely new chapter in digital photography and Canon product development. This camera stands alone as the most functional and innovative DSLR Canon has released to-date, bringing together all of the best professional features offered, along with numerous user requests at a price-point everyone can appreciate," stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.

The Evolution of Vision, the EOS 7D's New Autofocus System
The Canon EOS 7D boasts the most advanced AF system ever seen in an EOS SLR. The completely re-designed system includes a new multi-axis cross-type 19-point AF grid, where the focusing points are evenly spread out across the image plane and clearly displayed through Canon's new Intelligent Viewfinder. All 19 points are f/5.6-sensitive for both horizontal and vertical cross-type focusing, while the center AF point adds high-precision diagonal cross-type sensitivity for f/2.8 and larger aperture lenses. The Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera is the first EOS SLR to feature 19 cross-type focusing points that remain fully functional with maximum apertures as small as f/5.6, which brings the performance of the AF system to unprecedented levels for assignments as varied as fast-moving sports action or low-light wedding ceremonies.

The Canon EOS 7D's AF system allows numerous AF area selection modes never seen before in an EOS SLR camera. New modes include:

· Spot AF mode reduces the size of a single AF point to focus on small subjects like an animal in a cage.
· AF Point Expansion mode uses a cluster of AF points adjacent to the selected AF point to automatically assist focusing on moving subjects, such as an athlete on the run.
· Zone AF divides the 19 AF points into five selectable focusing zones and makes it easier to achieve focus with subjects that are difficult to track with Single Point AF or AF point expansion, such as birds in flight.

Additional AF improvements include a revised Automatic AF point selection sequence that allows a user to pick any one of the 19 AF points as a starting point for tracking moving subjects in AI Servo mode. (Previous EOS models required the subject to first be acquired by the center focusing point.) If the subject moves away, the camera will continue to track the movement with the remaining points and display the active focusing point in the viewfinder. Also, a time-saving feature is AF Point Switching, which allows photographers to select and register one AF point for horizontal compositions and a second AF point for vertical shooting, ideal for studio and portrait photographers.

To complement the new AF system, the exposure metering system for the EOS 7D has been completely re-designed to take color information into account, another first for an EOS system. Canon's iFCL metering includes a 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor that reads both illumination and color for consistent results in all lighting conditions, keeping exposure levels stable from shot to shot, even as the light source changes.

Canon's new Intelligent Viewfinder uses a liquid crystal overlay to provide clear and precise displays of focusing points and zones, on-demand grid lines and a spot metering circle. The LCD overlay can also be illuminated in extreme low-light situations or turned off completely. The EOS 7D camera's viewfinder includes a large all-glass pentaprism with an antireflective coating to maximize clarity and provide a brighter display. The EOS 7D's Intelligent Viewfinder features 1.0x magnification with 100 percent coverage for accurate composition and checking of detail.

EOS HD Movie: Empowering the World of Videography
Canon has blazed new trails in HD video capture with the 5D Mark II. Now, the EOS 7D takes DSLR video to new heights with Full HD capture featuring fully manual exposure control, and selectable cinematic frame rates for both NTSC (National Television System Committee) and PAL (Phase Altering Line) standards. Compatible with more than 60 Canon EF and EF-S lenses, the EOS 7D lets videographers take full advantage of the camera's large CMOS sensor to achieve the dramatic frame composition they desire. At the heart of the EOS 7D are two key proprietary Canon technologies, Dual DIGIC 4 Imaging Processors and a large APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, helping to render stunning color reproduction, amazing depth of field and fine detail, even in low-light conditions. The Canon EOS 7D allows for three video recording modes - Full HD and HD in a 16:9 aspect ratio and Standard Definition (SD) in a 4:3 aspect ratio, all at selectable frame rates. The EOS 7D Digital SLR camera will record Full HD at 1920 x 1080 pixels in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); 720p HD recording at 50p or 60p (59.94) and SD video at frame rates of 50p or 60p (59.94). The EOS 7D features a new dedicated button to initiate live view for both video and still shooting. Once engaged, the same dedicated button will start and stop video recording. Like the EOS 5D Mark II, the Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera provides users with the capability to use an external stereo microphone for professional audio effects or a built-in monaural microphone for convenience.

The Features You Asked For
A helpful new tool for architectural and landscape photography where angles and perspective are critical is Canon's new built-in Dual Axis Electronic Level, featuring an artificial horizon over the image on the rear LCD screen in Live View or in the viewfinder using illuminated AF points for easy leveling while shooting. The dual axis electronic level shows both horizontal roll and vertical pitch, making it easy to identify when the camera is in a fixed level shooting position and ready to take the shot.

The EOS 7D's pop-up flash features a built-in Integrated Speedlite Transmitter for control of multiple off-camera EOS Speedlites without the need for an external transmitter. This built-in wireless option is a compact and economical solution for studio and wedding photography with multiple flash set-ups.

A new Intelligent Macro Tracking function helps reduce blur during macro shooting by recognizing when a macro lens is attached and automatically adjusting the AI Servo sampling frequency. This AI Servo adjustment accounts for camera movement forward and back, a typical occurrence when moving in close for a macro shot as photographers rock back and forth, or a flower blows in the wind.

Once in your hands, you can immediately feel the ergonomic improvements of the Canon EOS 7D camera, starting with a new super-fluid body design with continuous curves outlining the top of the camera and a revised grip that fits better in a user's hand. The camera has a new Quick Control Button, which opens an easy-to-navigate menu on the camera's LCD screen. From this menu, users can adjust all camera settings including AF modes as well as set custom button functions, an insightful new feature that can easily customize each button's function to the photographer's preference. Another new feature is the RAW/JPEG toggle button providing quick dual-format shooting, allowing photographers to quickly add large JPEG or RAW file formats to their already selected shooting mode at the touch of a button.

The Canon EOS 7D camera also features a new large, clear 3.0-inch solid structure Clear View II LCD screen with 920,000 dot/VGA resolution for enhanced clarity and color when viewing images. The camera's nine internal seals enhance weather resistance, and its 150,000-cycle shutter durability positions the EOS 7D as a "workhorse" for professionals in any photography discipline.

New Wireless Connectivity
Canon is announcing the availability of the new WFT-E5A wireless file transmitter (WFT) exclusively for the EOS 7D Digital SLR camera. The WFT-E5A wireless transmitter offers professional photographers a wide range of digital connectivity options including IEEE802.11a/b/g and Ethernet, ideal for commercial and studio work. The WFT-E5A wireless file transmitter opens the door to new possibilities in remote and Geotagged shooting applications. Photographers can fire up to 10 cameras simultaneously from across the room or across the country while maintaining control over camera settings and remote live view on a laptop or smart phone. The WFT-E5A wireless transmitter can also transfer and display images on DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compatible televisions and photo frames. Geotagging is now possible via Bluetooth, using compatible GPS devices to append coordinate data to the images.

Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera is scheduled to be delivered to U.S. dealers at the end of September, and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $1,699.00. It will also be offered in a kit version with Canon's EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens at an estimated retail price of $1,899.00. The Canon WFT-E5A wireless file transmitter is scheduled to be available in early November and sell at an estimated retail price of $699.99.

Canon Digital Learning Center
Online visitors and Web surfers are encouraged to browse the Canon Digital Learning Center and take advantage of the various educational resources that Canon has to offer for novices and advanced photographers alike. The Canon Digital Learning Center provides a schedule for a wide variety of Live Learning classes across the country with renowned photographers as well as online resources and tips. The site also features online tutorials for beginners and professionals to learn their way around a digital SLR camera and inkjet printer and unlock the full creative control of digital photography. To learn more about each program and register, please visit: www.usa.canon.com/canonlivelearning.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranked third overall in the U.S. in 2008†, with global revenues of US $45 billion, is listed as number four in the computer industry on Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies 2009 list, and is on the 2008 BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." At Canon, we care because caring is essential to living together in harmony. Founded upon a corporate philosophy of Kyosei - "all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future" - Canon U.S.A. supports a number of social, youth, educational and other programs, including environmental and recycling initiatives. Additional information about these programs can be found at www.usa.canon.com/kyosei. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/RSS.

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Noise Industries Visual Effects Development Partner Idustrial Revolution Wins Award Of Superiority For New Transitional Particle Plug-In

Noise Industries, developer of visual effects tools for the postproduction and broadcast markets, announced that development partner idustrial revolution has won Microfilmmaker's prestigious Award of Superiority for the new ParticleMetrix FxFactory® powered plug-in.

FxFactory powered FxPacks are designed by Noise Industries and their development partners to extend the visual effects capabilities of Adobe® After Effects® CS3 / CS4, Apple® Final Cut Pro®, Apple Motion® and Apple Final Cut® Express applications.

"Since the June release, ParticleMetrix has become a favorite among the FxFactory user-base," comments Niclas Bahn, director of business development, Noise Industries. "Aside from customizable particle transitions, the ease-of-use and unbeatable rendering speeds reinforce its ever-growing reputation. I want to thank Mark Bremmer at Microfilmmaker for once again recognizing a development partner's creative efforts and idustrial revolution for this spectacular addition to our flagship product."

Idustrial Revolution founder and broadcast editor Peter Wiggins has worked with a variety of cable networks including: BBC, CBS and CNN. A 25-year industry veteran, his past projects include covering the Winter Olympics and working alongside Michael Jackson editing his segment for the World Music Awards. Since joining the Noise Industries development program in 2006, Peter has designed dazzling transition plug-ins and popular image generators for the FxFactory platform. "ParticleMetrix generated quite a bit of buzz when it appeared in the Noise Industries promotional video at NAB. It was not officially released at the time, but it made such an impact that I received daily e-mails from customers asking when it would be made available. It was already popular and we had not even shipped the first copy," comments Wiggins. "When people come to you because they see what your technology can help them create, you know you have hit your mark. My thanks to the reviewers at Microfilmmaker for acknowledging ParticleMetrix."

Microfilmmaker reviews are scored based on the breakdown of four categories: ease of use, depth of options, performance and value. In his review, industry guru Mark Bremmer gave ParticleMetrix an overall 9.3/10, prompting the award's conveyance. Bremmer comments: "...PM lets users concentrate on the final visual presentation instead of trying to figure out how to generate the effect in the first place. This plug-in provides for programmable sophistication and is very smart and easy to use."

To learn more about Microfilmmaker and read Mark Bremmer's review, please visit http://www.microfilmmaker.com/reviews/Issue46/Particle1.html.  

About Noise Industries Development Partners
FxPacks are developed by Noise Industries and its partners using the Noise Industries FxFactory Pro plug-in manager. The FxFactory Pro Plug-in Manager provides broadcast designers a user-friendly development tool to create additional effects plug-in packages for Adobe After Effects, Apple Final Cut Studio and Final Cut Express applications. All FxFactory plug-ins are now compatible with the new Final Cut 7 and Motion 4 releases.

Availability and Pricing of idustrial revolution ParticleMetrix
ParticleMetrix is available for purchase at $99.00 USD from the Noise Industries or idustrial revolution websites (http://www.idustrialrevolution.com/). Adobe After Effects CS3, Apple Final Cut Studio 2 and Apple Final Cut Express 4 users can also sample hundreds of other FxFactory plug-ins by downloading the free 15-day trial version of FxFactory 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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Matrox Announces Matrox Convert DVI – Inexpensive SD/HD SDI Scan Converter with Genlock

Matrox® Video Products Group today announced Matrox Convert DVI, an SD/HD SDI scan converter with high-end features priced at just $995 US. Matrox Convert DVI lets users convert high-resolution DVI sources into HD or SD video for broadcast, display, and recording. It outputs the entire computer screen or lets the user focus on details in a region of interest of any size within the larger resolution. Premium features such as genlock with timing offset controls, an advanced downscaling algorithm, a flicker reduction filter, and one-to-one pixel mapping ensure optimal quality and flexibility.

"Matrox Convert DVI is a multi-purpose device," said Chris Yigit, Matrox technical marketing manager. "It's ideal for creating broadcast video from computer applications such as video games, PowerPoint presentations, YouTube videos, Google Earth animations, and web browser sessions. It's a user-friendly way to create software application training videos. It's the perfect appliance to drive projectors and large displays at live events and in houses of worship. And it's a very low-cost HD preview monitoring solution for video editors using applications such as Avid Media Composer."

Matrox Convert DVI will be demonstrated at IBC 2009 on stand 7.B29. 

Key features of Matrox Convert DVI

  • DVI input up to 1920 x 1200
  • Digital outputs: HD/SD SDI
  • Stereo audio input can be embedded into the SDI output signal
  • Analog outputs: HD/SD analog component, S-Video, and composite
  • Simultaneous analog and digital output
  • SD analog black burst (bi-level) or HD tri-level genlock with timing offset controls
  • Realtime HD to SD hardware downscaling with proper color space and aspect ratio conversion
  • Region of interest output support
  • Anti-flicker filter
  • Can operate as a stand-alone appliance

Price and availability
Matrox Convert DVI, priced at $995 US (£649, €799) not including local taxes, will be available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers in November 2009.

About Matrox
Matrox Video Products Group is a technology and market leader in the field of HD and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, DVD/Blu-ray authoring, scan conversion, capture/playout servers, clip/still stores, and CGs. Matrox's Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, post-production facilities, project studios, corporate communicators, and videographers worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information visit www.matrox.com/video.

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Sony Sound Forge Pro 10 Software Provides Comprehensive New Tools for Professional Digital Audio Production

Sony Creative Software, a leading provider of professional video and audio production applications, today announced the availability of Sound ForgeTM Pro 10 digital audio production suite. Sound Forge Pro 10 new features include event-based editing, disc-at-once CD burning, iZotopeTM 64-bit SRCTM (sample rate conversion), MBIT+TM dither (bit-depth conversion), musical instrument file processing, and the élastique Pro timestretch/pitch shift plug-in. In addition, Sound Forge Pro 10 software provides exclusive new enhancements, including customizable window layouts, metadata editing, performance optimizations, and interactive tutorials. These new features create a powerful and flexible audio production environment, increasing workflow and efficiency while consistently delivering the pristine audio quality the recording industry has come to expect from Sound Forge software.

"Digital audio production is a staple of not only the traditional recording industry, but also video game developers, post-production houses, video producers, web media creators, sound designers, and mobile device content producers. While developing this new version, we took into account the specific challenges each one of these industries face and incorporated many new features that provide unique solutions for these diverse professional needs," said Dave Chaimson, Sony Creative Software vice president of global marketing. "Extensive customer feedback and industry input ensure that the enhancements in Sound Forge Pro 10 software will intuitively handle the most complex projects of professional producers in today's varied digital audio fields."

"I use Sound Forge Pro software for scoring film, TV and game projects as well as producing artist CDs and making film soundtracks, and am truly excited to begin using version 10," said Chris Brickler, head of production for Xlantic America, music producer, film director and former technology executive who recently produced the Emmy-nominated documentary series HowWillWeLove.com "I can always count on Sound Forge Pro's powerful functionality to efficiently handle my complex projects and consistently produce the high-quality results I require. The new features in this version will definitely speed up my workflow allowing me to focus more on the creative aspects of my audio production."

New Sound Forge Pro 10 Feature Highlights
Key new features in Sound Forge Pro 10 include:

  • Event-based editing
    Event-based editing is ideal for precise audio mastering, assembling project sketches, or laying out tracks for authoring disc-at-once CDs. In Sound Forge 10, users can quickly move, split, slip, and trim events, create fades, apply ASR envelopes and crossfades within in a single data window for more precise audio control.
  • Integrated Disc-at-Once (DAO) CD burning
    Integrated disc-at-once CD burning results in time savings and provides a more efficient workflow when generating Red Book compliant disc-at-once premasters of music suitable for professional replication. Perform full PQ code editing, create live-style CDs, add CD text and metadata, and use high-resolution source audio with precise conversion to Red Book audio.
  • Zplane élastique Pro Timestretch DirectX® plug-in
    The élastique time stretch and pitch shift plug-in provides better sounding audio when processing audio files. Users can also monitor and adjust settings while previewing in real-time, and select from various stretching methods that are tailored to their source audio including Pro, Soloist, and Efficient modes.
  • iZotope 64-bit SRC (sample rate conversion) and MBIT+ dither (bit-depth conversion)
    The iZotope 64-bit SRC utilizes a hybrid low pass filter design, resulting in pristine audio with less aliasing converting material from one sampling rate to another. The iZotope MBIT+ dither employs psychoacoustic methods to distribute noise into less audible ranges, resulting in improved audio and smoother fades when converting the bit rates of audio files.
  • Musical instrument file processing (.DLS, .SF2, .GIG)
    Sound Forge Pro 10 software opens, processes, and saves DLS, GigaStudio/GigaSampler, and SoundFont 2.0 musical instrument files. Users can view bank, instrument, note range, and sample information. Effects and processes can easily be added directly to samples.
  • Customizable window layouts
    Customizable window layouts are designed to maximize productivity by allowing users to create and save multiple unique interface layout configurations for single and dual monitor systems, and recall a window layout for specific editing tasks such as audio editing, CD layout, and multichannel file editing.
  • Mastering Effects Bundle 2 powered by iZotopeTM
    The powerful bundle of audio mastering tools included with Sound Forge 10 is valued at over $200 and includes six professional plug-ins to expertly master and enhance audio production: Mastering EQ, Mastering Reverb, Multiband Compressor, Mastering Limiter, Stereo Imager, and Harmonic Exciter.
  • Interactive tutorials
    Sony Creative Software's unique interactive tutorials provide walkthrough demonstrations of common features and functionality, including DAO CD burning, vinyl recording and restoration in order to help users spend less time learning and more time editing and mastering audio projects.

Price and Availability
The Sound Forge Pro 10 digital audio production software is now available in English and Japanese from www.sonycreativesoftware.com and select retailers and e-tailers worldwide. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for Sound Forge Pro 10 software is U.S. $499.

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AJA Ships Ki Pro Portable Digital Disk Recorder

AJA Video Systems, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, today released Ki Pro, a portable tapeless video device that records files to the Apple ProRes 422 codec directly from camera.

AJA will be demonstrating Ki Pro at IBC 2009 from Sept. 11-15, 2009 at the RAI Convention Center in Amsterdam in Hall 7, Stand F-11.

Ki Pro provides a new way of connecting production and post with its extensive analog and digital connectivity; virtually any video and audio source can be fed into Ki Pro to record pristine 10-bit ProRes 422 media that is then immediately available to edit within Apple's Final Cut Studio.

"We have had unprecedented interest in this product, and remarkable pre-release sales coming off of our recent 24-city Ki Pro global road show," said Nick Rashby, president, AJA Video Systems. "We're pleased to be shipping a very robust 1.0 version, and will be supporting our customers with frequent software updates and additions. Ki Pro provides significant workflow efficiencies for everyone from cinematographers and filmmakers to editors and post professionals."

Ki Pro allows filmmakers, broadcasters, video professionals and prosumers to skip the process of re-rendering to an editing codec by giving immediate access to full raster edit-ready Apple ProRes 422 files directly from camera. Ki Pro records hours of media to a removable storage module. The device is a small, portable unit that can sit on a table, in a bay or mounted between a camera and tripod. Ki Pro is also ideal for on-set monitoring, providing instant access to multiple display devices simultaneously.

Core Ki Pro Features:

  • Record hours of pristine Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime media to a removable storage module that offers built-in FireWire800 for immediate editing and file access on OS X.
  • Record natively to Apple ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 HQ for full raster 10-bit 4:2:2 HD and SD.
  • Bridge proprietary compression schemes by recording to the edit- friendly Apple ProRes 422 codec.
  • Connect any digital camera via SDI or HDMI, or any analog camera with multiple input options.
  • Convert in real time from SD to HD, or 720 to/from 1080, in full 10-bit quality.
  • Extend client review capabilities with simultaneous recording to camera and to Ki Pro.
  • Extend productive life of existing cameras and embrace future workflows with powerful conversion capabilities.
  • Built-in WiFi and Ethernet for complete control via a web-browser, or iPhone.

For a complete set of features and technical specifications, please visit http://www.aja.com. Ki Pro is available now via AJA's network of worldwide resellers for an MSRP of US$3995.

About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion and Desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post- production markets. With headquarters in Grass Valley, California, AJA maintains an extensive sales channel of dealers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website http://www.aja.com.

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Boris FX Product Line Supports Mac OS X Snow Leopard

September 1, 2009 - Boris FX, the leading developer of integrated effects technology for video and film, today announced that the entire Boris FX product line is available for the new Mac OS X Snow Leopard release.

The following Boris FX products support Snow Leopard:

• Boris Continuum Complete 6.0.4 FxPlug: a free update for BCC 6.x FxPlug customers

• Boris Continuum Complete 6.0.3 AE: a free update for BCC 6.x AE customers

• All Boris Continuum Units support Mac OS X Snow Leopard

• Final Effects Complete 5.0.2 FxPlug: a free update for FEC 5.x FxPlug customers

• Final Effects Complete 5.0.1 AE: a free update for FEC 5.x AE customers

• Boris RED 4.3.4: a free update for RED 4.x customers

• Boris FX 9.3.4: a free update for Boris FX 9.x customers

• Boris Graffiti 5.3.4: a free update for Graffiti 5.x customers

Software updates, upgrade information, and full-functioning 14-day trial versions are available from the Boris FX web site at http://www.borisfx.com/.

About Boris FX
Founded in 1995, Boris FX is the leading developer of integrated graphics and effects technology, delivering 3D compositing and vector graphic products for the broadcast, post production, film and multimedia markets. Boris products have grown to serve over 200,000 artists worldwide. The company's success lies in its ability to tightly integrate and leverage technologies through strong partnerships with industry-leading manufacturers such as Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Grass Valley, Media 100, and Sony. For more information, visit www.borisfx.com.

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Vinpower Digital Announces Industry's First Complete Labelflash Standalone DVD Publishing System

Vinpower Digital announced today the release of the SharkCopier LF standalone manual tower DVD publishing systems. In a collaborative effort between Vinpower Digital and Labelflash, the new SharkCopier LF models offer an array of improved features, most notably the ability to inscribe text or full graphic labels directly onto DVDs without being connected to a computer.

The SharkCopier LF can be used as a publishing system by first creating the disc image art on a computer, then loading the image onto the standalone duplicator for disc label duplication. Vinpower Digital offers a simple Labelflash design software which allows the user to create their own custom labels or choose from existing template files. The duplicator can be used anywhere there is a suitable electrical outlet without being tied to a computer with these simple steps:

1) Load the Labelflash capable DVDs into the drives
a. Put the label side face down to print
2) The duplicator will laser-inscribe the programmed image onto the discs
3) Flip the disc over in the same drive onto the data duplicating side
4) The duplicator will copy the selected data
5) The duplicated discs will now have a label design and the specified data content

"Yamaha Corporation is pleased to work with Vinpower Digital in developing the world's first standalone Labelflash publishing systems, states Tatsuo Fushiki, Manager, AV Products Division at Yamaha Corporation. After years of effort and cooperation between our companies, the resulting products will make a positive impact on the DVD duplication and publishing market."

The Labelflash labeling process offers the ability to print and burn in one standalone system, no longer tying the user to a PC or limiting them to a mere 2 or 4 drive maximum capacity. The SharkCopier LF is available in various sizes and prints all discs simultaneously from 1-to-1 up to 1-to-15 to fit the needs of even the most demanding duplication job.

"The SharkCopier LF is an extension to our popular laser labeling standalone duplication products which will increase the demand for such products especially as we grow the marketplace in regions where Labelflash is more commonly used and recognized," proclaims Ryan Swerdloff, VP of Marketing at Vinpower Digital.

In addition to the data and label duplication features, all SharkCopier models offer dynamic hard drive partitions and the new Simultaneous Load & Copy feature. They still offer exceptional duplication capability at lightning fast speed along with market leading features for which the SharkCopier has been known, like Account Management, Auto Counter, Multi-language support, Drive firmware upgrade ability, and so much more that helped make the SharkCopier the preferred duplicator.

About Vinpower Digital
Vinpower Digital is the leading manufacturer of standalone optical disc duplication equipment. With our corporate office in Los Angeles, California, USA and production offices in Taipei, Taiwan, we have the ability to deliver the most advanced and reliable standalone optical disc duplication controllers, manual towers, and robotic autoloaders anywhere in the world. As a true manufacture, Vinpower Digital has the ability to OEM/ODM customized applications and equipment for qualified vendors on a number of levels. Never satisfied with good enough, Vinpower Digital constantly pushes the envelope to develop new features and enhance their existing product to stay in tune with the customers' needs and expectations.

For further information on any or all of Vinpower Digital's line of duplicators please visit our website at www.vinpowerdigital.com.

About Labelflash
LabelflashTM was developed through a joint cooperation between YAMAHA CORPORATION and FUJIFILM Corporation. It allows you to burn monochrome, multi-gradated pictures and/or write titles on the label side of DVD discs that utilize the special writing dye developed by FUJIFILM Corporation through the use of DVD writers with the LabelflashTM function. The quality of labels printed with inkjet printers easily deteriorate due to blemishes, scratches, blurring, and browning over time. On the other hand, in the LabelflashTM system, the imaging dye layer is located 0.6mm below the surface of the labeling side. Images last longer since the dye cannot be touched directly. These features tremendously improve durability for long-term storage.

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Sonic Launches BD PowerStation

Sonic Solutions(R) (Nasdaq: SNIC) today released the Sonic BD PowerStation(TM), a new cost-effective Blu-ray Disc (BD) production suite for professional videographers that's built on Sonic's Hollywood-standard CineVision(R) HD video encoding and Scenarist(R) authoring products, which have been used to create millions of DVD and BD titles worldwide.

Configured and priced to meet the needs of professional videographers, independent film and corporate video producers, Sonic BD PowerStation includes a special version of CineVision featuring multi-codec and segment controls, as well as DVDit!(R) Pro HD for authoring BD and DVD titles and Scenarist QC(TM) Studio, a specialized BD emulation system that provides a detailed title proofing step during the authoring process. The result is the world's first truly focused BD authoring solution for desktop video professionals that delivers the ease of use, quality, speed and the dependability required for meeting tough production schedules.

Priced at $2,499.00, the Sonic BD PowerStation breaks the financial barrier-to-entry and immediately expands the availability of high-quality HD title creation solutions to a broader range of post-production facilities and specialized content owners looking to enter the Blu-ray Disc market. In concert with the recent reduction in AACS-LA licensing costs, Sonic's introduction of the BD PowerStation is perfectly timed to energize a hungry high-definition content creation industry and initiate a new wave of BD title production beyond the traditional Hollywood community.

"Sonic's BD PowerStation is the perfect combination of technology, product and price positioning that independent producers and small production houses have been waiting for to start offering BD production services. Until now, producing reliable replication-ready BD masters has been financially out-of-reach of most businesses," said Gary Bettan, VP of Business Development at Broadfield Distributing a leading distributor of desktop production solutions. "Sonic is the standard in Hollywood and since BD PowerStation is based on that same proven technology we feel confident that this is going to be a very important product for our market."

The Sonic BD PowerStation leverages the same exclusive video encoding and title multiplexing engines used in Sonic's industry-leading products for high-end facilities, which are responsible for the vast majority of commercially released BD titles. Capabilities include: support for MPEG-2 HD, VC-1 encoding with segment re-encoding that provides significant video encoding image quality controls; simple-to-learn and use authoring application that offers HD motion menus and interactive navigation programming without the need to understand the BD specification; and detailed title proofing based on Sonic's BD and DVD navigation engine that is used by leading CE vendors worldwide for set-top and in-car playback devices.

"BD PowerStation is another example of Sonic's unprecedented tradition of constant development and investment in the growth of the professional content production and delivery industry. We've combined our expertise in video encoding, authoring and playback with our clear understanding of 'what's important' to content owners, videographers and producers and delivered an amazing new suite to jump-start their BD title production," said Rolf Hartley, senior vice president and general manager, Sonic's Premium Content Applications Group. "With tried-and-true technology and break-through-pricing, BD PowerStation makes it possible for post-production facilities, independent and specialized film creators, event and corporate videographers to increase their services and use BD to showcase HD content."

Sonic will be demonstrating the Sonic BD PowerStation at the IBC convention, Hall 7, Stand 7.J38, September 11 to 15, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Sonic BD PowerStation is available now from Sonic's professional products reseller network and appointed distributors. For more information visit: www.sonic.com/go/bdpowerstation.

About Sonic Solutions
Sonic Solutions(R) (NASDAQ: SNIC) is powering the digital media ecosystem through its complete range of Hollywood to Home(TM) applications, services, and technologies. Sonic's Roxio(R) products enable consumers to easily manage and enjoy personal digital media content and, through Roxio CinemaNow(TM), access premium Hollywood entertainment on a broad range of connected devices. A wide array of leading technology firms, professionals, and developers rely on Sonic to bring innovative digital media functionality to next-generation devices and platforms. Sonic Solutions is headquartered in Marin County, California.

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Sony Brings 3D Home in 2010

At its press conference on the eve of IFA, Sony today said that it would lead the commercialisation of 3D by bringing 3D to the Home in 2010.

Sony announced that it would introduce a 3D compatible BRAVIA LCD TV in 2010. Incorporating frame sequential display and active-shutter glass systems1, Sony's proprietary high frame rate technology will enable the reproduction of full High Definition2 high-quality 3D images, and will form the centerpiece of Sony's 3D entertainment experience for the home.

In addition to 3D compatible BRAVIA LCD TVs, Sony will also develop 3D compatibility into many more of its devices, such as Blu-ray Disc products, VAIO and PlayStation®3, to provide a multitude of ways in which 3D content - from 3D movies to stereoscopic 3D games - can be enjoyed in the home.

In the growing industry of 3D cinema, Sony has supported and driven the expansion of 3D by providing a wide variety of professional equipment for the shooting, production and screening of movies in 3D. The number of digital 3D screens is increasing rapidly, and is expected to reach 7,000 by the end of 20093. In addition to 3D movies, Sony's range of professional 3D products is also driving the growth of 3D production and distribution across a range of entertainment industries, from theatre and music performances to sport and beyond.

Embracing the ‘make.believe' philosophy, which signifies the company's ability to "turn ideas into reality", Sony will strive to further enhance synergies across its group companies. Sony will leverage its wealth of technology and engineering resources spanning both professional and consumer markets to bring the optimum 3D viewing experience to the home, from 2010 and beyond.

On the Sony booth visitors will be treated to a showcase of stunning 3D imagery, made possible by the high frame rate, full 1080P High Definition BRAVIA TV. The presentation highlights the breadth of Sony's video games, movies, football action and sport entertainment content that will make 3D such a compelling experience and will bring 3D Home in 2010.

About Sony
Sony is a leading global innovator of audio, video, communications and information technology products for both the consumer and professional markets. Sony is renowned for its audio-visual products, such as the BRAVIATM LCD high-definition television, Cyber-shotTM digital camera, Handycam® camcorder and Walkman® MP3 player as well as its VAIOTM personal computers and high-definition (HD) professional broadcast equipment, highlighted by the XDCAM® HD. Offering a complete end-to-end HD value chain and with its electronics, music, pictures, game and online businesses, Sony is one of the world's leading digital entertainment brands, employing approximately 170,000 people worldwide.

Through its long-term football partnerships as an official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League until 2012, Official FIFA Partner until 2014 and global sponsor of the FIFA World CupTM in 2010 and 2014, Sony is inspiring a sense of excitement for the millions of football fans around the world.

For more information on Sony Europe, please visit www.sony-europe.com.

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Panasonic Launches Full HD 3D Home Theater Truck Tour

Panasonic, a leader in High Definition TV technology, today announced the start of a nationwide truck tour which will give the public their first look at Panasonic's Full HD 3D Home Theater System. The Full HD 3D system, which was first introduced to industry insiders and media in the U.S. at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009, utilizes Plasma technology and a prototype Blu-ray Disc player to deliver true 1080p Full HD 3D entertainment in the home.

The Panasonic Full HD 3D Home Theater Tour will be powered by three custom-built, expandable tractor trailers, each of which will house a Full HD 3D Home Theater environment. Each of the trucks can accommodate between 25 and 35 people per demonstration. The Tour will visit corporate headquarters of retailers, trade shows, industry conferences, universities and athletic events. One of the trucks will also be featured inside Panasonic's booth at CEDIA Expo 2009, which runs from September 9-13 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

"Panasonic is proud to once again lead the way into the next frontier in home entertainment," said Bob Perry, Executive Vice President, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "Through our Full HD 3D Home Theater Truck Tour, consumers will, for the first time, have a chance to experience the immersive world of Full HD 3D TV for themselves, and we have no doubt that they will love what they see."

A key part of the Panasonic Full HD 3D Home Theater Tour is to help consumers understand 3D TV technology and the differences between the Full HD 3D experience for the home and other technologies developed for that purpose.

"Panasonic's Full HD 3D represents the next stage of audio-visual technologies for the home beyond High Definition," said Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, Panasonic Corporation of North America's Chief Technology Officer. "Full HD 3D enables virtually the same quality and immersive experience as in 3D theaters. We also hope through our 3D TV truck tour to assure consumers that Panasonic is working diligently with fellow consumer electronics leaders and Hollywood to create a single open Full HD 3D TV standard."

In addition, Panasonic recently announced its collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Lightstorm Entertainment on the global promotion of director James Cameron's film AVATAR. This will be the first live-action 3D movie to be released when it hits screens on December 18, 2009. As the film's exclusive audio-visual partner, Panasonic has provided some of its latest AV technology products to help create the eagerly awaited film, which will debut in theaters worldwide in both 2D and 3D. As part of the collaboration agreement, Panasonic will launch a global advertising campaign tied to AVATAR, which will promote numerous Panasonic AV products, including 3D. It will mark the first time Panasonic has run a worldwide advertising campaign focused on a single film.

The initial stage of the Panasonic Full HD 3D Home Theater Truck Tour is expected to run through March 2010, and will allow more than 500,000 people to experience the immersive world of Full HD 3D Home Theater for themselves. While the complete truck tour schedule will be released at a later date, the tour is expected to play for an extended stay at the Staples Center & LA Live, in conjunction with Los Angeles Lakers games this fall and winter, as well as other high-profile public appearances.

More information on Panasonic's Full HD 3D Home Theater and the Full HD 3D Home Theater Truck Tour is available at Panasonic's newly-launched Full HD 3D Home Theater website www.panasonic.com/3D.

About Panasonic Full HD 3D
Panasonic Corporation first debuted its Full HD 3D technology in the US at CES 2009 (January) to very strong positive reviews. At CES 2009, Panasonic also announced the creation of the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory Advanced Authoring Center (PHL-AC) which is located within Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL) in Universal City, CA, and works to accelerate Full HD 3D Blu-ray format-establishment and development and is working directly with Hollywood studios providing 3D title development services for Full HD 3D Blu-ray titles. At NAB 2009 (April), Panasonic announced the start of development of a professional Full HD 3D production system. The system, which is expected to be the first of its kind in the industry, consists of a twin-lens P2 professional camera recorder and a 3D-compatible High Definition Plasma display. More information on Panasonic's Full HD 3D technology can be found at www.panasonic.com/3D.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC), a market and technology leader in High Definition television, is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company's Eco Ideas programs. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com.

For more than 20 years, Panasonic has been proud to support the Olympic Movement as an Official Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Audio and Visual Equipment category and, beginning in 2009, in the Digital Imaging category as well. Panasonic has also renewed its partnership with the International Olympic Committee for an additional eight years through the 2016 Summer Games. For more information, visit http://panasonic.net/olympic/.  

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