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Information Today, Inc.

January 14, 2010

Table of Contents

Sony Unveils New HXR-NX5U Solid State Camcorders
Blackmagic Design Adds Digitally Synthesized Composite Waveform View to UltraScope
Frameline Updates MPEG-7 Video Logging and Media Asset Software for MAC OS X

Sony Unveils New HXR-NX5U Solid State Camcorders

Sony Electronics is expanding its line of solid state camcorders, introducing its first professional camcorder that implements the AVCHD format, the HXR-NX5U.

The professional HXR-NX5U model is part of Sony's NXCAM family of video products for professionals. It features Sony's ExmorTM CMOS sensor with ClearVidTM array, to deliver full high-definition resolution and low light sensitivity with low noise. The camcorder will record AVCHD up to 24Mbps, delivering 1920x1080 high definition images with both interlace and progressive modes along with native 1080/24P, 720/60p and MPEG-2 standard definition recording.

Sony has also introduced a "prosumer" camcorder, the HDR-AX2000 Handycam® camcorder. However, there are key distinctions between each model. Only the professional NX5U camcorder includes both HD-SDI and HDMITM outputs, as well as two-channel linear PCM audio capabilities. Other unique features for the professional NX5U camcorder include 720/60P recording, built-in GPS function, SMPTE Time Code I/O and an upgrade option for 60i/50i switchable.

AVCHD technology has been widely adopted in Sony's consumer camcorder line. In the professional market, Sony has already introduced one AVCHD-based model: the compact point-of-view (POV) camera and solid-state recorder combination, model HXR-MC1.

According to Sony, AVCHD is a highly efficient long-GOP codec based on MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Long-GOP image compression, a member of the MPEG family of codecs. This approach is consistent with Sony's current line-up of MPEG professional camcorders, including the HDVTM, XDCAM® HD optical and XDCAM EXTM series.

The new NXCAM model also shares the 20x optical zoom G lens used in Sony's HVR-Z5U professional camcorder. The camcorder uses two types of consumer media along with an optional HXR-FMU128 128GB Flash Memory Unit for more than 11 hours of recording time at 24 Mbps. The HXR-FMU128 unit can be easily removed and simply powered through a computer's USB connection, to make file downloading or editing easier and faster. Besides the Memory Stick PRO DuoTM media, users are also able to record HD content on class 4 or higher SDHC cards. Sony is also expanding its industry leading line of consumer media with the addition of five new SD/SDHC memory cards for digital imaging products, including camcorders.

The new HXR-NX5U will be available this month, at a suggested list price of $4,950, which is the same as Sony's highly successful HVR-Z5U. The HXR-FMU128 unit will also be available this month, at a suggested list price of $800. It can only be used with the professional model HXR-NX5U, not with the HDR-AX2000.


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Blackmagic Design Adds Digitally Synthesized Composite Waveform View to UltraScope

Blackmagic Design Inc today announced a new software update for Blackmagic UltraScope, the world's first 3Gb/s SDI waveform monitor that combines broadcast technical accuracy with an elegant design specifically designed for creative video editors and colorists.

Blackmagic UltraScope 1.1 now adds a new composite waveform view and is available to download now free of charge for all Blackmagic UltraScope customers.

The new composite waveform view is digitally synthesized from the SD or HD video input, and allows editors to align video levels in a more familiar and traditional way. Many video professionals have been using composite waveform monitors for decades to align video levels, and now with Blackmagic UltraScope's latest update to its composite waveform views they can monitor levels in a fast and familiar workflow that's also technically accurate.

Composite waveform view is also critical for color correction. Blackmagic UltraScope can show luminance, composite, or both luminance and composite displayed side by side. This side by side view allows colorists to see if objects in their images have color simply by comparing the luminance and composite views. If an object in a video image has color on it, then it's easy to see the chroma on the composite view, compared to the luminance only view. This lets colorists easily see any object in the image, in either blacks, mid grey or whites, and then adjust color to quickly neutralize the color of that object. Then once they have a numeral color starting point they can then add color as they need.

Neutralizing color from objects can be a hard task when color correcting video. RGB parade can be used, but its often hard to see and difficult to use on vector scope displays which show entire picture color instead of specific objects. Only composite and luminance displayed side by side makes it fast and easy to neutralize color in individual objects within the video image. Other waveform products try to use overlaid RGB waveforms, however these displays are so cluttered, it's often impossible to see objects clearly in the waveform monitor view. Blackmagic UltraScope now solves this problem.

Many color correction suites in post production facilities have three waveform monitors for accurate display of video levels for color correction work. These are normally RGB parade, luma plus composite display and vector scope. Now Blackmagic UltraScope includes all these views.

Video editors will love being able to use a traditional waveform monitor experience for setting video levels, even when using a modern SDI/HD-SDI digital based facility. With the move from composite to SDI, some easy to use workflow's were lost, however now with digital synthesized composite waveform view, these easy and fast to use composite workflows can be retained, even though composite may no longer be used in the facility!

About Blackmagic UltraScope
Blackmagic UltraScope is a combination PCI Express card and software package designed to work in a low cost PC with 24-inch monitor for display. The large 24 inch monitor allows simultaneous display of 6 waveform monitor displays that can show RGB and YUV parade, luminance, digitally synthesized composite, luminance & composite, vector-scope, histogram, 8 channel audio metering, 2D audio scope, and picture view with video standard display and HD RP-188/SD VITC reader display.

Blackmagic UltraScope is like having 6 independent waveform monitors combined into one product. UltraScope automatically detects between SD, HD and 3Gb/s HD-SDI video standards and includes both traditional copper BNC SDI inputs as well as optical fiber SDI inputs. SDI input is available as a relocked SDI loop through on both optical and copper SDI outputs. Blackmagic UltraScope is the worlds first PC based waveform monitor that's technically accurate and combined with an elegant design. This combination makes it perfect for master monitoring, quality control, edit suites, color correction, equipment rooms and video engineers.

Availability and Price
This new Blackmagic UltraScope 1.1 software update is available now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website to all registered Blackmagic UltraScope customers. Download at http://www.blackmagic-design.com/support

About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world's most advanced video editing products, video converters, routers, color correctors, film restoration software and waveform monitors for the feature film, post-production and broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design's DeckLink, Mini Converters, Videohub routers and UltraScope waveform monitoring products revolutionize the television industry by making advanced post production tools affordable to thousands of creative professionals. Blackmagic Design's DaVinci EmmyTM award winning color correction products continue to dominate and lead the industry with ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia.


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Frameline Updates MPEG-7 Video Logging and Media Asset Software for MAC OS X

Frameline has announced a significant update to their MPEG7 video logging and media asset management software for Mac OS X. It's available for £89 (US$139); upgrades are free for existing customers.

Frameline 47 is especially designed to work with video. It scans drives for video files, extracts their metadata and builds an SQL Database. It features file management, editing and annotation tools as well as a Capture interface. The application can be used alone or as part of a network-based video editing and media cataloging workflow.

The new release of Frameline 47 features a completely re-written file scanning mechanism, which enables users to specify exactly which locations they wish to include or exclude in the scan. The application now finally enables full ‘finder' type behaviors, such as drag and drop, and gets a new batch file management and tagging tool called ‘move'. The Capture tool also gets updated, enabling tagging and editing during capture. A lossless file splitting tool, shared annotation library, new export and import options, plus support for Snow Leopard complete the update.

System requirements call for Mac OS X 10.4 or later, 1GB RAM, (Frameline 47 is a Universal binary.)

Educational discounts are also available on request. A 30 day trial of the application is available for download from the Frameline website.

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