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April 11, 2011

Table of Contents

Review: Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium
Canon Adds 3D Capabilities to XF300 and XF305 Pro Camcorders
Innovision Adds Spintec Rain Deflectors for HD DSLR cameras
NEC Display Solutuions Introduces V Series to Multimedia Projector Lineup
Pond5 Celebrates 5 Years With $100,000 Stock Media Giveaway At NAB

Review: Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium

CS5.5 Production Premium is the result of Adobe Systems' new product strategy that involves releasing annual fractional .5 update versions on select point products in fast-changing disciplines and full-integer .0 editions for the entire product line every 2 years. Unlike previous point upgrades that were free for registered users via the Adobe updater, .5 editions are not upgrades. Rather, they are full versions-meaning that you will have to pay for the new version. Updates to fix bugs and add support will still be free for registered users. Upgrade pricing for registered CS5 Production Premium users starts at $399; pricing for new users remains unchanged from previous full versions at $1,699. Premiere Pro, Audition (which returns to replace Soundbooth in Production Premium), After Effects, Flash Professional, Flash Catalyst, Device Central, Media Encoder, and Story appear in new 5.5 editions, while Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Encore, OnLocation, Bridge, Dynamic Link, and CS Live will be included in Production Premium CS5.5 in their CS5 versions. In 2012, Adobe plans to release CS6 suite with new versions of all Production Premium applications.

In addition to boxed and download versions, Adobe is introducing subscription pricing for users who want to subscribe on a monthly or annual basis but just pay monthly, rather than purchasing the suite outright. Subscription users can select individual programs or the entire suite, and depending on their contract, they can keep them activated for as little as a month. I can see this being very popular for studios that want to install CS5.5 applications on additional editing systems without the upfront investment, or those who want to activate more advanced programs only when the need arises. Monthly pricing for a 1-year commitment and month-to-month pricing on individual point products ranges from $19-$29 for Dreamweaver to $49-$75 for Photoshop Extended or After Effects. Prices also range from $85-$129 for the full Production Premium suite to $129-$195 for the entire Master Collection. One advantage of choosing the subscription option is that subscribers get automatic updates to the latest version, and that is included with their monthly rates. But enough with the strategy and pricing—let's have a look at the new point products.

Premiere Pro CS5.5
Perhaps the single most important feature of CS5 Production Premium was its new 64-bit Mercury Playback Engine, which delivered incredible GPU acceleration via a handful of supported NVIDIA CUDA cards. In version CS5.5, Adobe has further increased the number of supported NVIDIA CUDA cards to 20. This is good news all around if you are building a new editing system or upgrading an existing one, as it gives you more card options.

For this review, I'm testing two builds. The first is an upgrade from CS5 to CS5.5 on a system that I built in 2010, a first-generation Intel Core i7 920 on Asus P6T motherboard with a GeForce GTX 285 video card. I'm also testing a full new install on my latest build, a second-generation Intel Core i7 2600K on Asus P8P67 Deluxe motherboard with a NVIDIA Quadro FX4800 workstation graphics card. My upgrade process proved uneventful, which is a good thing, although I had to update my graphics driver in order to unlock the GPU acceleration. I probably should have taken this as a hint of additional performance improvements but, as I'll explain later, I didn't think much of it at the time.

Now, I really shouldn't call Premiere Pro CS5.5 an upgrade, as it's a full stand-alone version and CS5 was still available for me to use (much as CS4 was still available when I installed CS5 last year). Of more importance, because both CS5 and CS5.5 were available on the same system, I was able to easily test for performance improvements, if any. Because encoding and exporting tasks in Premiere Pro are handled by the stand-alone 64 bit Adobe Media Encoder, I'll discuss the improvements further on. So be sure not to skip that section, as it reveals some shocking results.

As part of the advance review process, Adobe provided me with a reviewer's guide that outlined updates to the individual point products (as Adobe calls its individual applications). Several of the new features in CS5.5 didn't seem that new to me, and when I checked, they were only newish, as they were also available in CS5. So I'll focus on a few of the authentically new features here, which include the new GPU-accelerated, real-time film dissolve that uses linear color blending to prevent edge and halo artifacts, such as fringing. Fringing can occur when high-contrast saturated colors are blended together. GPU support is also now available to accelerate several additional and previously available effects, such as blurs and the additive dissolve.

It's worth noting that Adobe Story, the script-writing program that Adobe launched in CS5, has also been updated. However, because it isn't as relevant to the corporate and event market as it is to filmmakers, I didn't review it. I also didn't review the closed captioning support, but I plan to at a later date, as I occasionally get demand for that feature. Premiere Pro can now import data in 608 and 708 formats. When used in conjunction with the improved speech analysis function, this feature allows editors to navigate based on words and creates metadata that, because of the tight integration of Adobe products, follows the video right through to its delivery format.

For me, by far the most exciting new feature in Premiere Pro CS5.5 is the new Merged Clips feature. At first, I thought this would be exciting only for DSLR shooters (and others who work with external recording devices), as it allows the editor to link multiple audio tracks with a video track. This is essential for working with DSLR footage, because DSLRs lack professional internal recording capabilities. But when I saw how Adobe linked the two media, I realized that the feature would also benefit multicam shooters working with traditional video cameras as well.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5

The new Merged Clips feature in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5

When you link a video track with one or more audio files, Premiere Pro creates a new linked file in the Project panel (which you can name), without any additional rendering or hard drive storage requirements. The new linked file acts like a regular linked video and audio file, and the original unlinked files can be archived in a bin or deleted from the project folder without deleting the new linked reference file. This is different from simply nesting a sequence; a nested sequence lacks the useful audio waveform display, and the original assets need to be preserved in the project window.

Video producers who frequently edit multiple camera angles on live events know that it's very common to split the responsibilities of recording the individual isolated audio feeds among the camera operators. On a basic two-camera shoot for a dance recital, this would mean that one camera operator would take a soundboard feed on one video camera's XLR inputs and run a shotgun microphone for ambient on the second. The other camera operator would then record the isolated stage microphone on one of her camera's inputs and possibly an isolated announcement and intro microphone feed on the second. When all of these feeds are dumped on a timeline, each of the two stereo audio feeds needs to be duplicated. Then, one audio channel needs to be filled to the right and the other filled to the left before the four audio inputs can then be mixed in preparation for the delivery format, which will either be a single stereo or mono audio track.

Does this approach sound inordinately confusing and complex? Even more complicated is that, with the old method, the fill channel effect doesn't update the waveform, so both the duplicated and cross-filled audio channels appear identical. If you want to use the peak amplitude reading on the audio gain function to raise the level of a track, it gives a reading for the peak of the loudest of the original audio tracks, even if you already filled one track to the other. It's possible to render and replace each audio track, but that takes time and hard drive space.

Premiere Pro's new Merged Clip feature does more than just link multiple audio tracks to a video track. To my pleasant surprise, when I dropped the merged clip reference file onto a timeline, the pair of stereo tracks dropped in as four individual mono audio tracks. Having individual isolated audio tracks, as opposed to a pair of mono tracks recorded as a stereo file, solves all of the problems attendant to the old CS5 workflow. The waveforms are visible for each track, the peak amplitude reading reflects the individual isolated audio track, and there is no more duplicating and filling.

Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5
Media Encoder, Adobe's stand-alone video encoder, received a makeover in CS5.5. Visually, the Watch Folders function gets promoted from being hidden in CS5 to being on the main interface in CS5.5. Though it's not a new feature per se, increased prominence brings much needed attention to this useful feature. Once a watch folder is created, editors can easily set it up to automatically create additional codec version encodes for every file they create or drop into the watched folder. This is useful for projects that require delivery across multiple formats, including the new presets that were created for tablets, mobile devices, desktops, and television.

Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5

Working with watch folders in Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5

The good part of this workflow is that, if done properly, it automatically creates a master copy for you to archive. The bad part is that your delivery encodes will be rendered from the master and not the timeline. Purists will argue that, theoretically, this is a step removed from the source, and the master is a second-generation file. To minimize potential theoretical generational loss, I recommend exporting master files by checking the Match Sequence Setting box instead of trying to match the codec yourself. I wish the entire watch folder process was one step easier and closer to a pure first-generation encode, but I tried dragging a Premiere Pro CS5.5 sequence directly into the watch folder and it wouldn't take. So add that to my wish list, Adobe, along with improvements to the preset export settings.

In my 2010 review of Adobe CS5 (http://bit.ly/Lam-Adobe-CS5), I ranted about the confusing and often incorrect frame rate settings that afflicted Adobe's export presets. The problem was that Adobe assigned frame rates in the presets to a seemingly random sampling of both drop and nondrop frame rates. Rendering a video away from either the source or sequence frame rate is a bad idea. Not only does it add significantly to the encode time (in one of my tests, it doubled the encode time), but it can also lead to some very undesirable effects when frames are being dropped or repeated. Unfortunately, Adobe has done nothing to correct this issue with CS5.5. Maybe we'll see an update in CS6. Rather than creating multiple presets for each possible frame rate, I'd like to see Adobe create a little check box called Match Frame Rate that allows users to modify the presets (that are fine otherwise) with the timeline frame rate. Adobe has already built in a Match Sequence Settings check box in the applications, so I don't think that's too much to ask.

Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5

Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5, like its CS5 predecessor, has a helpful Match Sequence check box for matching export settings to the sequence, but no check box for Match Frame Rate.

Speed Tests
Now, after participating in an advanced conference call, reading every page of my reviewer notes, and installing and using the final build of the CS5.5 Production Premium, I focused all of my initial review attention on new features. It wasn't until a few hours before my already-extended editorial deadline that I thought of testing CS5.5 for speed improvements. I admit that I wasn't expecting any. The reason is that neither my conference call nor my reviewer notes made any speed improvement claims, outside of a few new accelerated effects. So when I tested same-system performance against CS5, I was absolutely blown away by CS5.5's dramatic and unexpected performance improvements.

Shawn Lam Video
My current PC build

Much as in my CS5 review, I created two HD sequences, this time with XDCAM 1080 30p footage. The first timeline was 60 seconds of straight video with no effects. The second was 10 layers of video, including five HD video tracks, one SD video track, two logos in Illustrator format, and two white color mattes. I also added a color correction, four PiP scaling effects, some cropping, and some opacity adjustments. Needless to say, this turned out to be a pretty complex 60-second sequence and not something that I would likely ever create in a normal workflow. But the point was to push Premiere Pro's limits and see what happened.

On my year-old, first-generation Core i7 system, CS5 exported the single-layer timeline in 0:59 (minutes:seconds) and the 10-layer timeline in 3:22. As I wasn't expecting any substantial improvements over CS5--especially given that none of my timelines incorporated any of the newly accelerated effects that were noted in the reviewer's guide-I was shocked with the improvement that I saw with the CS5.5 render times on the same system. The CS5.5 results were 0:33 and 1:25-a 44% improvement on the single-layer render and a 58% speed jump on the 10-layer.

I can attribute some of the improvements to better use of the CUDA cores on NVIDIA's graphics cards, which offload some of the video processing from the computer's CPU to the parallel processing video card GPU. My Windows Task Manager confirmed the drop in CPU use.

When I was satisfied with my results that CS5.5 was faster than CS5, and in the interest in time, I almost skipped testing the same exports on my new system build (a second-generation Core i7 system). But curiosity got the better of me, and I continued the testing. The results were confusing. My single-layer time dropped from 0:33 to 0:24, but the 10-layer time increased from 1:25 to 2:06. This meant further benchmarking was required. In my CS5 testing, I concluded that it didn't make any difference which Adobe-approved NVIDIA CUDA card you used, because the results were all the same. So in my CS5.5 tests, I didn't initially bother to make sure I was using the same graphics card on both systems. In search of an explanation as to why my new build was providing slower results, I removed the ASUS GTX285 (a performance gaming card shipped in 2009) from my first-generation i7 system and installed both it and new drivers in my second-generation system. That system had previously housed a NVIDIA Quadro FX4800 workstation card. I reran the exports. My export time on the 10-layer sequence with the GTX285 on the new second-generation Core i7 build matched the 1:24 time with the same card in the older build.

As far as I can tell, the major differences between the two cards that I tested are that the FX4800 has 192 CUDA cores and draws only 150 watts, while the GTX285 has 240 cores and draws 249 watts. The cost is also a major difference but the performance-to-price ratio is the opposite of what you would expect. The GTX285 was listed at only $399 in 2009, although it was already discontinued when CS5 launched. I bought mine used for $200, while the FX4800 was listed at $1,500 in 2010. I asked Adobe to confirm my findings and the following statement: "When using an approved NVIDIA card, CS5.5 performs better using cards with more CUDA cores." A few days later I received a short but to-the-point email confirming that my statement is accurate.

Just in case you're wondering, in addition to eight models within the workstation Quadro line, and five mobile workstation Quadro models, CS5.5 will support the following GeForce consumer desktop graphics cards (prices quotes are from online retailers in April 2011):

• GTX 580, 512 cores, $500
• GTX 570, 480 cores, $330
• GTX 470, 448 cores, $250
• GTX 285, 240 cores (2009 model, unavailable)

So for 2011 and CS5.5, I'm going to change my CS5 recommendation of buying the least expensive graphics card you can find to buying a GTX 470 or 570, as I expect them to deliver the best performance-to-price ratio.

Sacrificing Image Stability for Bokeh
When video historians look back at 2011, they will probably shake their heads in disbelief at how many video production studios no longer own and operate video cameras. The rise of the video-capable DSLR can be traced back to 2009, but by late 2010, DSLRs reigned unchallenged by video cameras in producing the sought-after bokeh defocus. Largely, this is because achieving defocus requires a much larger sensor than the 1/3" or 1/2" varieties to which sub-$10,000 video cameras were limited. Fortunately for the future sales prospects of video cameras, DSLRs have two problems: They lack XLR audio inputs, and their form factor makes it difficult to get steady shots when operated handheld. Manufactures have rushed to fill the need for DSLR rigs, and producers with larger pockets can afford an arsenal of image-stabilized lenses, but many producers still need image stabilization software when working with DSLR footage.

Part of the solution comes from Panasonic, the first company out of the gate to offer a video camera with a DSLR-quality imager, the APSC sensor-based AF100. Sony followed with prototypes and a promise of a Q2 2011 release of its Super 35mm NEX FS100. Both of them share traditional camcorder form factors, which are easier to hold steady than a DSLR, but many of the lens options lack optical image stabilization. Regardless of which format will reign supreme, the trend is clear: Video cameras of the future will feature large sensors and interchangeable lenses. And because of the interchangeability of the lenses, image stabilization will shift to a problem that increasingly will be solved in post, and CS5.5 Production Premium introduces a great image stabilization solution.

Adobe After Effects CS5.5
I don't normally use After Effects in my studio on a daily basis. My editors and I usually reserve it for problem solving and complicated graphics work. This is about to change because of one feature, which alone is worth the upgrade price: the new Warp Stabilizer. Not only is this feature easy to use, even for non-After Effects users, but it works much better than anything I have ever seen for camera stabilization.

In true Adobe fashion, the Warp Stabilizer can be accessed in at least two ways. The first is from the drop-down menus (Animate then Stabilize) or by searching "Warp S" in the Search. In my recent EventDVLive feature Producing Conference Video (http://bit.ly/Lam-EDVLive-4), I hurriedly shot and edited an accompanying video moments before my client was set to arrive. Halfway through filming a handheld sequence, I realized that I hadn't engaged my video camera's optical image stabilizer, which I always turn off when shooting on a tripod. I didn't have any time to reshoot, so embarrassingly, the shaky footage made it into the finished product. Now Adobe has given me the tools to redeem myself, as that shaky video served as some great test footage for me to use in After Effects CS5.5 to test out the Warp Stabilizer.

After Effects CS5.5 Warp Stabilizer

After Effects CS5.5's Warp Stabilizer feature analyzing my handheld footage prior to stabilization

The default settings produced great results, but I decided to delve into the custom settings to see how much control I could have in case the default settings didn't stabilize my video or introduced undesired effects. The first option is to choose between Smooth Motion and No Motion. Smooth Motion is the default and, as the name implies, it stabilizes the video but leaves some camera motion; No Motion, by contrast, locks the image as if it was shot on a tripod. Then there are four method options, including the powerful Subspace Warp, and finally Framing. The Framing option controls the degree of scaling from none to some. If you select no scaling, a black border will appear, showing how much data was discarded in order to get a stable core image. If you don't want to scale, or have a black border, you can select Synthesize Edges and After Effects CS5.5 will fill the borders using information from adjacent frames. Be sure to watch the accompanying video for split screen examples of three different stabilization options and a sample of the new After Effects CS5.5 Camera Lens Blur feature.

Adobe After Effects CS5.5 Warp Stabilizer

Step 2: stabilizing the footage

Adobe, with its CS5.5 improvements in speed, postproduction fixes, and real-time creative effects, has done its part to free video editors worldwide from countless hours of isolation from the edit suite. Not only will the speed improve turnaround times, it will also provide editors with the luxury of experimenting, which is an important part of the creative process. Now, if only they'd fixed the frame rate preset problem ... well, I suppose they have to leave us something to wish for in CS6.

Shawn Lam (video at shawnlam.ca) runs Shawn Lam Video, a Vancouver video production studio. He specializes in stage event and corporate video production and has presented seminars at WEVA Expo 2005–9 and the Video 07. He won Creative Excellence Awards at WEVA 2010 and 2008 and an Emerald Artistic Achievement Award at Video 08.

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Canon Adds 3D Capabilities to XF300 and XF305 Pro Camcorders

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today announced significant enhancements to the Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders, including the ability to configure two units for 3D HD video capture. Canon’s new firmware upgrades the XF300-series camcorders to include Canon’s 3D Assist Function that allows two units to be easily set up for 3D HD video, as well as an updated Scan Reverse function, Double Slot Recording for instantaneous backup, and the option to disable Relay Recording.  Canon will be demonstrating a range of professional applications for the Canon XF305 and XF300, including 3D image recording, at the Company’s booth # C4325, at the 2011 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 11-14th.

 “Our professional imaging equipment continues to offer cutting-edge features and capabilities that professionals need in the field and helps open new doorways to endless possibilities for creative expression,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technology and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.

 3D Shooting Capability

Canon’s 3D Assist Function facilitates the setup of two XF305 or XF300 Professional Camcorders when used together to capture 3D HD video. The new firmware includes the ability to perform OIS Lens Shift to aid in optically aligning two XF305 or XF300 camcorders and a Focal Length Guide to display the zoom position of each camera in relation to each other and help calibrate zoom settings. This adjustment can be done through the menu system while the camcorders are mounted to a rig or tripod.  Once aligned, the amount of the angle-of-view change is displayed after zoom adjustment, preventing camera misalignment and simplifying adjustment.  This is similar to the 3D shooting functionality found in the Company’s XF105 and XF100 model professional camcorders.

 Scan Reverse

The new firmware updates the Scan Reverse functionality of XF300-series camcorders to allow for recorded images to be flipped on the horizontal axis, vertical axis, or both simultaneously to facilitate recording with 3D mirror rigs.

 Double-Slot Recording

This new function allows the camcorders to record footage simultaneously to both card slots for instant backup of important footage and files.  Ideal for use in production environments to ensure multiple copies are secured for each take.

 Relay Recording On/Off

Relay Recording, an innovative feature where footage is seamlessly recorded to the second CF card as the first fills up, can now be turned off to prevent capture data from automatically being recorded to the second card. This allows the second card to be protected from recording and used only when designated or to allow the user to only copy or back up select takes to the card.

 Professional Feature Set

The Company’s XF300-series camcorders employ Canon’s XF Codec, anMPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps codec fornative 1920 x 1080 HD video recording onto affordable, universally available Compact Flash (CF) cards. Uniting video, audio and metadata into a single file, the Canon XF305 and XF300 useanMXF (Material eXchange Format) File Wrapper, a widely supported open-source format, to maximize compatibility with existing industry infrastructure and non-linear editing (NLE) systems.

 The Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders include a Genuine Canon 18x HD
L-series lens, three Canon developed and designed native 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensors, and Canon’s own XF Codecthat delivers the extreme color detail required for accurate chroma-keying, color-grading and compositing for digital filmmaking.  In addition, Canon’s XF305 model features industry-standard HD-SDI output, genlock, and SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals for multi-camera, broadcasting or 3D production.

 Priced under $8,000 and $6,700 per model respectively, the Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders are designed for multiple production applications including broadcast news, documentary and independent filmmaking and event videography.

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Innovision Adds Spintec Rain Deflectors for HD DSLR cameras

Innovision Optics now offers the Spintec lightweight rain deflector for HDSLRs. This smart new tool allows for shooting in rain, snow or other heavy water conditions without a gyro effect when panning and tilting.

Spintec deflects rain and snow instantly by spinning a specially designed glass filter 3000 times per minute. Water splashes and raindrops are instantly removed through the centrifugal effect of the spinning filter. A vacuum effect removes any lighter show flakes that are not removed by the centrifugal movement.

The unit easily mounts on professional 75 to 105mm diameter lenses with either internal or external focus. For internal focus lenses the Spintec simply snaps on. External focus lenses are mounted via special brackets attached to standard 15mm rods.

The Spintec operates directly off the camera battery via a 12-volt power supply and draws just 700 amps, under 10 Watts. It can also run off 115V AC.

This revolutionary system has already proven its worth in a multitude of extreme conditions for projects such as the Original Productions series "Deadliest Catch" which airs on The Discovery Channel.

The RD105 kit includes sunshade, power cable and a special camera cover. It is available for rental or sale from Innovision Optics.

www.innovision-optics.com

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NEC Display Solutuions Introduces V Series to Multimedia Projector Lineup

NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading provider of commercial LCD display and projector solutions, announced today the introduction of its new V Series with the 3000-lumen V300X, an affordable XGA model that offers users the most essential features needed to display presentations in classrooms or small meeting rooms.

The V300X is designed to provide higher brightness through a small mobile projector to accommodate larger screen sizes or higher ambient lighting conditions. An abundance of cost-saving features provide customers with peace of mind never before found in a 5.5-pound mobile projector. With up to 5000 hours of lamp life with ECO ModeT technology, which also lowers audible noise, the total cost of ownership is reduced. Its unique power management capability enables the projector to automatically turn off when an incoming signal is not detected from any of the inputs. This model also offers quick start (3 seconds), auto power on via the RGB input connector and direct power-off with no cooling required after shutdown. Additionally, its filter-free design eliminates the hassle and time spent monitoring and changing filters.

"The lightweight V300X is ideal for users that require projection on-the-go, with sufficient features to quickly setup, easily present and swiftly shutdown," said Rich McPherson, Product Manager for projectors at NEC Display Solutions. "This model is packed with powerful technologies that greatly increase functionality without a high price tag. From its Plug and Play setup and BrilliantColorT technology to its built-in Crestron Roomview ConnectedT technology, the V300X is versatile and efficient for both classrooms and meeting rooms."

The V300X also includes the following features:

. Native resolution of 1024 x 768
. 3000 lumens
. 2000:1 contrast ratio with the latest DLP® engine from Texas Instruments®
. Lamp life up to 5000 hours (in ECO Mode)
. 3D capability increases interactivity and expands applications in educational settings
. BrilliantColor technology for improved color accuracy
. Color-coded and clearly labeled input panel, which includes HDMI, dual computer, composite video, S-Video and component video (using optional 15-pin adapter cable)
. Integrated RJ45 for quick connection to the LAN (10/100 base-T capability)
. Variable audio-out to connect the projector to an external speaker and control the volume with the projector's remote control
. 7-watt speaker
. Built-in wall color correction presets
. PC Control Utility Pro 4
. ECO Mode allows for multiple settings dependent upon the brightness required in the application and power savings desired by the user
. Virtual Remote (DDC/CI) allows users to control the projector directly from a computer without the need for additional control cables
. Carbon savings meter calculates the positive effects of operating the projector in ECO Mode, which is encouraged by an optional message at startup

The V300X ships with a 2-year limited parts and labor warranty and will be available in April 2011 at a minimum advertised price of $779. The lamp is covered for 1 year or 500 hours, whichever comes first. Education customers receive an additional year on their warranty, and Star Student customers receive an additional 2 years. To register for Star Student, visit www.necstarstudent.com for more information.

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Pond5 Celebrates 5 Years With $100,000 Stock Media Giveaway At NAB

Pond5, the world's fastest growing marketplace for creative components, is celebrating its five-year birthday at NAB in Las Vegas with a $100,000 stock media giveaway. One thousand coupons, each worth $100, will be awarded to NAB attendees.

Coupons will be good for purchasing any stock media on the site, which features the world's largest collection of royalty-free stock video footage, plus millions of stock photos, illustrations, music tracks, sound effects, and After Effects templates. Since Pond5's prices tend to be the lowest around, a $100 coupon can buy multiple HD clips and music tracks, with enough left over for photos and sound effects.

Pond5 stock media coupons will be given out each day of NAB at Pond5 booths SL7413 and SU2009, and free beer will be on tap beginning at 3pm at booth SL7413. To be eligible to win a coupon, you will need to be a "fan" of Pond5 on their Facebook page, which you can do at facebook.com/pond5. As always, Pond5 artists will earn their industry-leading 50% royalty on all purchases using coupons or discount codes, with Pond5 covering the costs of the promotion.

At NAB, the Pond5 crew will be on-hand to meet with media makers and demo new features, including the recent addition of more than 5 million stock photos and vector illustrations -- which, along with its extensive video, audio and AE libraries, make Pond5 a one-stop shop for virtually any media producer.

Pond5 will also be launching its new mobile application, which enables content creators to browse, preview, search and share Pond5 content on-the-go. The free app, which is in beta, was made using the HTML5 standard, and can be accessed from any smartphone or mobile device browser at http://m.pond5.com.

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