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Copyright © 2004 -
Information Today, Inc.



May 02, 2005

Table of Contents

HDV: What You NEED to Know by Douglas Spotted Eagle and Mark Dileo--Book Review by Doug Graham
Adobe Video Collection Professional 2.5 Now Shipping with Photoshop CS 2
FastForward Video Issues InfoComm Preview, Including Three New DVRs
SOYO Group Launches Dymond LCD Monitors
Alera Announces 1:3 DVD/CD Auto Loading Duplicator
OceanFootage.com Debuts New Big Waves Collection
EventDV Spotlight Survey #14: Where do you typically meet with clients to show/discuss work?

HDV: What You NEED to Know by Douglas Spotted Eagle and Mark Dileo--Book Review by Doug Graham

Not since the introduction of the DV format and the FireWire interface has there been so much talk about a new technical development in video. Since the introduction of Sony's breakthrough HDR-FX1 HDV camera, HDV seems to show up everywhere you look-on the Web, in seminars, on show floors, and in the trade magazines.

According to its proponents, this new format is designed to bring high-definition video within reach of the small producer and dedicated video hobbyist. According to its detractors, it's not "true" HD, having made too many compromises to fit the required data for high definition into the 25 megabit per second (Mbps) limitation of DV tape. Who's right? Who can give you the straight dope?

Here's a little book (128 pages) that purports to do just that. The authors, Douglas Spotted Eagle and Mark Dileo, are recognized experts in video technology. Douglas is a composer, performer, videographer, writer, and lecturer. What he really is, though, is a teacher-and he and Mark have assembled this book to teach you about the new HDV technology.

The book can't help but be biased, of course. Its publishers, VASST and the Sundance Media Group, have close ties to Sony, offering seminars and books aimed at helping users get the most out of Sony media software. But Douglas and Mark do a good job of pointing out both HDV's good and bad points.

What You NEED to Know first lays out the DV and HDV specs so you can compare. Then the discussion moves quickly to other factors that are important to consider, such as interlacing vs. progressive scanning, frame rates, colors space, and picture resolution. In the next chapter, the authors cover both screen and pixel aspect ratio, and compare DV and HDV audio.

Next, we have a discussion of FireWire cards, then the book moves on to more meaty fare: the production chain from shooting to distribution. The authors discuss the problems of shooting in the widescreen HDV format, and audio acquisition, and suggest ways to view HDV in the field and in the studio without spending $6,000 for an HD monitor. Much of the remainder of the book consists of a fairly detailed overview of the current crop of HDV camcorders and editing software. Some may say that the authors' pro-Sony bias shows here, in their very favorable review of the Sony HDR-FX1 and HVR-Z1U … but on the other hand, they are two terrific camcorders. I think Douglas and Mark have given a fair shake to all the major products.

It's those "major products" that are the book's unavoidable shortcoming. In a few months, there will be a whole new crop of HDV products and software upgrades, and this section will be out of date. But the value of the rest of the book will sustain it, and continue to serve its readers even as the relevant products give way to successive generations. So my advice is to order your copy now, if you're even considering moving into HDV in the next year or so.

HDV: What You Need to Know will get you up to speed on the new format, and—at least for the time being—provide a timely overview of what's on the market today. Then, if you follow the product reviews here in EventDV and other trade publications as new items appear, you'll be able to wade through the jargon, the techno-speak, and the hype and make an informed choice about HDV and where it fits into your own work.

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Adobe Video Collection Professional 2.5 Now Shipping with Photoshop CS 2

Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced the Adobe Video Collection 2.5 Professional edition will now include Adobe Photoshop CS 2 software, a major upgrade to the professional industry standard for digital image editing and creation. Adobe Video Collection 2.5 Professional edition includes Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5, Adobe After Effects 6.5, Adobe Audition 1.5, Adobe Encore DVD 1.5, and now Adobe Photoshop CS 2 software.

Adobe Photoshop CS 2 adds powerful new features to the Adobe Video Collection Professional edition to minimize tedious graphic and photo retouching time. The new Vanishing Point tool enables users to clone, paint and transform image objects while retaining visual perspective, dramatically reducing the number of steps needed to create realistic effects. Users can take advantage of 32-bit HDR color, YUV processing, and support for 16-bit Photoshop color images to achieve the highest color fidelity possible when working on HD or film projects.

FireWire Preview makes it possible to view projects on a television monitor through a new direct export feature during the creation process. With Smart Objects, users can scale and transform images and vector illustrations without losing image quality — as well as create linked duplicates of embedded graphics — so that a single edit updates across multiple iterations. In addition, the new Adobe Bridge, included with Photoshop CS2, makes it easy to organize, find and preview a wide range of media formats, including video. 

Adobe Video Collection Professional edition for Microsoft Windows XP is immediately available to customers in the United States and Canada through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store. International versions are expected to begin shipping in late May and early June. Adobe Video Collection Professional edition is available at an estimated street price of US$1499. Customers who own the previous version of Adobe Video Collection Professional edition will be eligible to upgrade for an estimated street price of US$399. Adobe Video Collection Standard customers can upgrade to Adobe Video Collection Professional for an estimated street price of US$799.

www.adobe.com/products/dvcoll

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FastForward Video Issues InfoComm Preview, Including Three New DVRs

FastForward Video has issued an InfoComm preview replete with information on three forthcoming digital video recorders (DVRs).

First is FFV's new FieldPro DVR with IDE hard drive, a portable DVR designed for a wide range of uses including security, surveillance, military, law enforcement, broadcast, and industrial users. The FieldPro DVR measures 5.0 in by 1.35 in by 3.21 in with an internal 2.5 in. hard drive and a USB 2.0 download port. This DVR is powered by an external 12-VDC power adapter and features video capture and playback at 60 frames per second, resolution greater than 550 lines at 4:1 compression, user-selectable compression ratios ranging from 4:1 to 20:1, and recording times averaging from four to 20 minutes per gigabyte. The recorder offers scalable MJPEG compression and 720 x 486 pixel image resolution. The control panel's features include record, seek or scan forward/backward, single-frame forward/reverse, delete clips, and play/pause.

The Mini DVR Pro On-Body DVR (Compact Flash Media) is a standalone, handheld, pocket-sized DVR with exceptional image quality. Like the new FieldPro DVR, it features scalable MJPEG compression and an outstanding 720 x 486 pixel image resolution and is ideal for remote and on-body applications. Measuring 5.2 in. by 0.8 in. by 3.7 in., this DVR is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, slip into a pocket, or hang on a belt, according to FFV. It can record up to two hours at 20:1 compression with Compact Flash cards. The Mini DVR Pro On-Body DVR is powered by four AA batteries or a low-voltage DC power input.

Part of the DigiDeck digital video recorder family, DigiDeck PC maintains analog composite and Y/C outputs, with optional RGB/component outputs, while allowing users to record video as QuickTime files and view those files simply by connecting the DigiDeck's removable drives to a PC.

www.ffv.com

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SOYO Group Launches Dymond LCD Monitors

SOYO Group, Inc. has announced its Dymond LCD Monitor series, a family of flat-panel 17- and 19-inch LCD monitors, which incorporate TFT (Thin Film Transistor) display technology to deliver brilliant colors, fast display times and TV watching capabilities for consumers, corporate users and gamers. The SOYO Dymond Series LCD monitors mark the company's first venture into display technology, which compliment a long and successful history as a developer of motherboards and graphics-related peripherals.

Both the Dymond 17- and 19-inch models are available in stylish black and silver enclosures and feature 1280 x 1024 native resolution, 16.8 million colors and 250 nit of brightness and 450/500:1 contrast ratios for detailed images. Both models also deliver fast response time of 16ms, eliminating trails for fast-moving images for game playing, as well as providing an ideal solution for graphics intensive applications such as preparing presentations, watching movies, or surfing the Internet. SOYO's Dymond series monitors are also the perfect upgrade from older and bulkier CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors. The picture doesn't flicker on LCD monitors because every individual point of the image is depicted through its own pixel element. The pixels on the Dymond series are rear-illuminated, with each pixel further divided into red, blue and green sub pixels. An individual transistor for every single sub pixel determines how much light is allowed through. The advantage over CRT displays is higher brightness, sharper contrast and more vivid colors for hours of comfortable viewing. Both models feature built-in stereo speakers and a front panel with auto adjustment, menu and volume controls. The Dymond 19-inch models support TV input and include a DVI cable, which allows users to watch broadcast TV stations on the monitor. All models include a VGA signal cable, AC power cord, audio cable and user manual, and come with a two-year limited warranty.

The Dymond 17-inch monitors have an MSRP of $269.99, and list price for the 19-inch models is $399.99. Both models will ship to SOYO authorized dealers and distributors in mid-May.

www.soyo.com

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Alera Announces 1:3 DVD/CD Auto Loading Duplicator

Alera Technologies has introduced its new 1:3 DVD/CD Auto Copy Tower standalone DVD/CD Auto Loading Duplicators that copy up to 180 DVDs at up to 16X, unattended, with no computer required. The new Aleratec Auto Copy Tower includes a fast and reliable robotic loading mechanism, a 120GB Hard Disk Drive to store frequently used source material, and three of the latest technology 16 x 16 DVD/CD Recorders to assure the fastest possible copies. The new Auto Copy Tower also supports DVD Double Layer recording technology so users can copy 8.5GB DVDs using Double Layer media.

The 1:3 DVD/CD Auto Copy Tower has an advanced robotic loading mechanism and controller designed specifically for reliable, unattended loading and unloading of DVDs and CDs into the Auto Copy Tower's DVD/CD recorders. The 1:3 DVD/CD Auto Copy Tower incorporates a fast, built in 120GB hard disk drive to store up to 24 frequently used 4.7GB DVD images. The hard disk also maximizes copying stability especially in high speed copying operations. The advanced DVD/CD recording technology in the Auto Copy Tower is the highest speed available. The 1:3 DVD/CD Auto Copy Tower will copy at up to 16x on both DVD+R and DVD-R media. The rewrite speeds are up to 8x with DVD+RW and 4x with DVD-RW media. The DVD read speed is 16x. The CD speeds are CD-R 48x, CD-RW 24x, and CD read is 48x. The 1:3 DVD/CD Auto Copy Tower also supports Double Layer technology that can copy 8.5GB Double Layer DVDs at up to 4x.

The 1:3 DVD/CD Auto Copy Tower (Aleratec Part # 280103, Ingram Micro SKU # F93957) carries an estimated street price of $3,499.

www.aleratec.com

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OceanFootage.com Debuts New Big Waves Collection

Oceanfootage.com has announced an exciting new collection of "Big Waves" from acclaimed filmmaker Mike Prickett. Prickett, with over 20 years of experience to his credit, specializes in adrenaline-soaked footage of surfers, climbers, and adventure seekers. The new "Big Waves" collection is the next best thing to actually being on a surfboard and is only available at OceanFootage.com--the world's most comprehensive provider of ocean footage, according to OceanFootage.com.

The new footage, available now for immediate preview at www.OceanFootage.com, is an expansive and exhilarating look at the beauty, ferocity, and drama of the ocean wave -- from both below and above the ocean surface The collection offers an unforgettable glimpse of big waves from the experience of the surfer: the swell, the break, the curl, and the "green room." On location from the big wave surf mecca, Jaws (Maui, Hawaii), Prickett captures the dangerous waves and the brave, yet graceful surfers who successfully catch the ride. No matter what kind of surf or wave a footage seeker may need, the new collection is sure to satisfy. "

The new "Big Waves" collection at OceanFootage.com is all sourced on Super 16, 35mm Film, or High-Definition (HD) formats. This latest acquisition introduces a new series of content in the works from OceanFootage.com, including more "action sports" in its collection. Upcoming subjects will include even more ocean sport footage of various kinds, as well as additional superb footage from Prickett, who will be traveling over the next six months to some of the world's most famous surf meccas -- and then providing the footage directly to OceanFootage.com and its clients. And, as always, if a certain subject is not readily available online, OceanFootage.com can submit a Shot Request to their network of over 150 talented cinematographers worldwide in order to track down almost any shot imaginable, and in the exact format the customer needs.

www.OceanFootage.com

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EventDV Spotlight Survey #14: Where do you typically meet with clients to show/discuss work?

results

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