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Copyright © 2004 -
Information Today, Inc.

March 07, 2005

Table of Contents

HomeMovie.com Partners with WeddingChannel.com to Promote Videographers to Brides
Adobe Premiere Pro HDV Plug-in Now Available
Primera Technology Introduces Accent II Disc Laminator
16x9 Inc Announces 0.7X Wide Converter for HDV
VFGadgets.com Introduces the Mini HDV Handle
Samsung Introduces 19" All-in-One Display
Nattress Announces Updated Film Effects for Apple's Final Cut Pro
EventDV Reader Survey #6 RESULTS

HomeMovie.com Partners with WeddingChannel.com to Promote Videographers to Brides

In February, HomeMovie.com announced a partnership with WeddingChannel.com "where we're promoting our network of professional videographer partners through a series of articles and banner ads," says Lars Crumme, CTO of HomeMovie.com. Silver and Gold-level customers will also receive a free studio listing in the WeddingChannel.com's local videographer directory, which otherwise costs $900. The WeddingChannel.com boasts over 800,000 registered users—and potential customers.

HomeMovie.com is an online service that provides a way for consumers to preserve, manage, and distribute their old home movies before they fade away to static on antiquated tapes. "We initially started our business to bring the benefits of our services to people for their home movies," says John Larsen, HomeMovie.com's CEO. But they discovered quickly that the consumer market wasn't a particularly good fit for their services. "They weren't really ready for streaming or DVD."

So Larsen and Crumme looked elsewhere for an audience that had a more vested interest in staying on top of the latest technologies. "When we first started with DVD five years ago, videographers were new to it, but we saw that they could be a great test market for our product," says Larsen. HomeMovie.com became an even bigger player in the videographer DVD production space when it acquired Moore Digital's wedding and event videography unit in 2003.

Today, HomeMovie.com offers the ability to create customized DVDs from 100 different menu templates, complete with illustrated packaging--all from within Java-based interface. Their videographer customers, dubbed Professional Partners, send in their completed videos on tape. The video is then imported, transcoded, and made available via HomeMovie.com's Afiniti player. "Once they've gotten into the system," Crumme says, "it takes 15-20 minutes to create a DVD." Complete with chapters and interactive menus, a master DVD costs $35 per disc. Additional fully packaged copies of the same project go for $15.

"From a videographer's perspective, there are two things they want from us," says Larsen. First is "labor-saving" on the production end: "They want the hassle of creating a DVD taken out." More important is the delivery engine: "Sure, they can produce a DVD themselves," Larsen explains. "But they can't produce one that then would be automatically streamed onto the Internet from a secure server."

One of the most important components of HomeMovie.com's services is its StreamingDVD format. "StreamingDVD exactly duplicates the DVD they'll get," says Larsen--but it does so over the Internet via streaming media. "When we looked at how we were going to allow people to share video online, it seemed like they'd want to do it the same way they use a DVD. We believe that the DVD is the driving technology behind how people will want to watch video."

HomeMovie.com will stream all of a videographer's DVD productions for 30 days with a $19.99-a-month Silver Partnership level and for a year with a $39.99-a-month Gold Partnership. Silver allows for the streaming of a two-hour demo reel at 150Kbps with a frame size of 320x240 from a videographer's HomeMovie.com listing as well as their from their free WeddingChannel.com listing. The Gold partnership ups the bandwidth allocation to 250Kbps, and a DVD-sized 4:3 frame of 640x480.

For lower-bandwidth clients, Gold partner videographers can still elect to deliver selected content at 150Kbps. To stream content from HomeMovie.com at either bitrate, end users must be running Windows PCs with Internet Explorer 5.0+ or Netscape 7.1+, and Windows Media Player 7.1+. The Afiniti player will also run on Macs with OS X and a comparable browser and WMV support. All HomeMovie.com content is delivered via streaming; unlike some other consumer video hosting sites, the service does not use any progressive downloading to deliver video.

"Videographers are out there trying to figure out what are the best tools for reaching their customers," says Larsen. "We've found that this StreamingDVD allows them to get out there and market their services in ways they couldn't have otherwise." Some of this has to do with the dynamic monitoring capabilities of streaming media. "We're able to track usage of individual chapters within a StreamingDVD," Larsen explains. "Every two weeks we send out an email to all of our videographers so that they can also see what parts of their video is the most interesting to their audience."

Despite their initial trouble establishing a consumer audience, HomeMovie.com is hoping to capitalize on its event videography business as a springboard into that larger customer base. "We're providing every bride in America a free 30-day StreamingDVD of their wedding," says Larsen. "We figured that for brides, their wedding's probably the first event that they may have on tape. We want to develop relationships with these people by allowing them to come in and interact with the system."

Another interesting HomeMovie.com undertaking that will soon offer opportunities to videographers is its streaming videos-to-troops project. The company is currently working on expanding the project by inviting videographers to sign up on HomeMovie.com to help families that don't have cameras participate in the project. "By signing up, what they're offering is to make themselves available for someone to come to their studio and do a 30-minute shoot," says Crumme. The families can then mail those tapes in to HomeMovie.com so that their loved ones overseas can watch a professionally produced, streamed slice of home from their outpost on the battlefield. (See related story: http://www.streamingmedia.com/article.asp?id=9037.)

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Adobe Premiere Pro HDV Plug-in Now Available

Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced the availability of a free HDV plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5, its professional video editing software. The HDV plug-in expands IEEE-1394 support in Adobe Premiere Pro, enabling the software to work directly with the HDV format and HDV-capable cameras such as Sony's HDR-Z1 and HDR-FX1. Adobe Premiere Pro users can now capture, edit, and output HDV video.

Adobe Premiere Pro supports editing in DV, SD, HD and now HDV formats, giving editors greater flexibility. With this new HDV plug-in Adobe Premiere Pro is now able to handle real-time editing of high-definition video. Using the same IEEE-1394 (iLink, Firewire) connector natively supported in Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5, this plug-in provides direct HDV format device control and video capture without the need for additional hardware. HDV format projects in Adobe Premiere Pro can be delivered for high-definition broadcast, film prints, high-definition Windows Media, and DVD. 

Registered Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 customers can download the free HDV plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro from the Adobe Premiere Pro page of the company web site at www.adobe.com/premierepro. Users of earlier versions of Premiere can upgrade to Premiere Pro 1.5 for $199.


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Primera Technology Introduces Accent II Disc Laminator

Primera Technology, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of CD/DVD duplication and printing equipment, has announced its new Accent II Disc Laminator. Accent II lays down a thin layer of glossy transparent or holographic film over inkjet-printed CDs and DVDs. Accent II's overlaminate protects inkjet-printed discs from water, scratching, sunlight, smudging and rough handling.

Accent II replaces the original Accent Disc Laminator and includes many new and improved features, including the following:

  • Increased speed--Accent II now laminates 2.2 inches per second and completes a full disc in 7 seconds. The original Accent model laminated at 1.5 inches per second.
  • More robust construction--Several key mechanical components have been strengthened for heavier-duty, higher-volume use.
  • More disc formats--An adapter for laminating 80mm round CDs and DVDs as well as "hockey rink" business cards is included with every Accent II at no additional cost.
  • More media--Some brands of inkjet printable-surface discs, depending upon relative humidity, can become slightly warped or "cupped." Accent II's new laminating tray and disc clamping mechanism handles virtually all of these discs with ease.

Accent's ClearCoat overlaminate film protects discs with a clear laminate that is highly water and scratch-resistant. With ClearCoat, printed colors become brighter, more vibrant and have a professional-looking, high-gloss finish, according to Primera. Primera's exclusive AuthentiCoat overlaminate film provides the same environmental protection as ClearCoat, but also includes holographic images embedded in the film substrate that are transferred to the surface of the discs. Both standard and custom holographic patterns are available. Custom holograms can include company logos, product logos, graphics and text for authentic discs. Holographic images not only impart a unique, high-end decorative feature to the discs, but also confirm that the disc is an original or an authorized copy. This helps to prevent and discourage theft of content.

Accent II can be used as a stand-alone laminator or connected with Primera's ADL-100 High-Speed Autoloader. The ADL-100 loads and unloads up to 100 preprinted and prerecorded discs. For completely automatic burn, print and laminate operation, Accent II attaches to Primera's ComposerMAX CD/DVD Duplicator.

Accent II has an MSRP of $3,495 (2995 Euro). The ADL-100 High-Speed Autoloader is priced at $1395 (1195 Euro). Lamination film pricing varies depending upon the type selected. ClearCoat lamination film has an MSRP of at $0.10 per disc.


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16x9 Inc Announces 0.7X Wide Converter for HDV

16x9 Inc has announced a new optical solution for getting wider angles with Sony's HVR-Z1U and HDR-FX1 HDV camcorders. The new 16x9 Inc 0.7X Wide Angle Converter threads on to add 30% wider angle of view, while maintaining full zoom capability. With its addition, the original 4.5-54mm lens becomes a 3.2-38.5mm. Three multi-coated optical glass elements are designed to yield clean, high-definition pictures.

The new Wide Angle Converter weighs 22.9 oz. (650g) and measures 45mm in length. Its standard 72mm rear thread guarantees compatibility with other camcorders like the Panasonic DVX100/A and Canon XL series, according to 16x9. Featuring a 95mm front thread, the 0.7X facilitates direct mounting of glass filters. In addition, the Converter integrates with mattebox systems such as those from Alfred Chrosziel.  

Suggested U.S. price for the 16x9 Inc 0.7X Wide Angle Converter is $707.


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VFGadgets.com Introduces the Mini HDV Handle

VFGadgets Inc. has introduced the mini HDV handle bracket for the new Sony HVR-Z1U-HDV Handycam (also works with FX1-HDV Handycam). This handle bracket is an extension to the line of heavy-duty broadcast handles developed by Precision Camera. The full series of handles will be on display at NAB.

This new mini HDV handle bracket is designed for adding extra mini LCD monitors, audio transmitters, or other devices to a Sony HDV Handycam. The bracket's design is flat on top for direct mounting of mini SteadyCam's for low angle set shots. With this bracket, you can also mount your camera to a fluid head that is upside down on a mini jib for low angle shooting, or just use a mono-pod for the quick low shots needed.

The mini HDV handle bracket can support up to 77.16 lbs (35 Kg) and is made of tough polymer plastic with 2 x 1/4" and 2 x 3/8" brass threads molded directly into the bracket. It weighs in at 1.6 oz (45 grams).


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Samsung Introduces 19" All-in-One Display

Samsung, a leading manufacturer of computer monitors, has introduced its new SyncMaster 930mp display. The all-in-one SyncMaster 930mp is a high-end 19-inch LCD computer monitor, a full-featured standalone TV, and a built-in FM radio.

The SyncMaster 930mp also features built-in Dolby speakers, and multiple video inputs including component, composite, and S-Video for direct hook up to a DVD player, camcorder, VCR, security camera, or other video source. The monitor is also HDTV-Ready, sports both analog and digital inputs, and features picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture capability, allowing users to view two sources of video at the same time.

The SyncMaster 930mp functions as a high-performance LCD monitor as well as a full-featured TV. The monitor utilizes Samsung's Patterned Vertical Alignment (PVA) liquid crystal cell structure for improved viewing. The monitor features a 1000:1 contrast ratio and offers a 178 ° viewing angle. The display offers a brightness rate of 250cd/m2, a fine pixel pitch of 0.294mm, and a native resolution of 1280x1024. In addition, the SyncMaster 930mp includes a built-in power supply.

The SyncMaster 930mp is currently shipping nationwide with an estimated street price of $649.  


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Nattress Announces Updated Film Effects for Apple's Final Cut Pro

Nattress has released Film Effects 2.0, a new update to the popular plug-in package for Apple's Final Cut Pro. Film Effects is designed to give the user additional control over how their video looks, and the ability to make it look like film, according to Nattress.

Film Effects is based around a 60i-to-24p simulation plug-in and also includes over 20 configurable, preset looks, and eight other plug-ins designed to help make the user's video more filmic. Included in the package is a plug-in, G Nicer, which can increase the quality of the chroma in DV NTSC video by use of a proprietary chroma reconstruction algorithm. The algorithm improves the creation of 4:4:4 from NTSC DV's 4:1:1 chroma.

Film Effects 2.0 also includes 24p Simulation, which now allows for variable motion blur; G Film Extra and G RGB Colour Mixer, a new Film Effect that combines the newly improved 24p effect with a new method of altering video to look like film; G Widescreen Matte Filter for improved letterboxing of 4:3 video. New presets include improved Bleach Bypass, a new G Chroma blur plug-in, and G Vignette with new custom shapes and dithering optons.

Film Effects 2.0 is available now with an MSRP of $100.


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EventDV Reader Survey #6 RESULTS


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