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Copyright © 2004 -
Information Today, Inc.

October 10, 2005

Table of Contents

Strictly Business: Image is Everything
TMG Releases Wedding and Event Ammo Pack
Ultrasone & DPA Microphones Team up to Create “Ultimate Broadcaster’s Headset”
Abcron Introduces The PlayO Brand Inkjet White, Hub-Printable DVD±R and 52X CD-R Series
Alienware Offers Liquid Cooling for Desktop Workstations
Roxio MyDVD Powers New Canon DVD Camcorders
Anchor Bay Technologies Unveils the DVDO iScan VP30 Video Processor Featuring HDMI I/O to 1080p
InterVideo-Ulead to Unleash HD DVD Support for Consumers

Strictly Business: Image is Everything

Whether you're a one-person band operating out of your spare bedroom, or you're a Big Dog with your own building and staff, establishing and maintaining your "corporate look" is of critical importance in your marketplace—whether you're working on a local, regional, or national scale.

Lots of our business is conducted at the customer or client's home, office, or at a local eatery. It's expected that we'll bring our services to them; rarely, in our business, do clients prefer to meet us in our office. That means you're "carrying your office"--your entire corporate image--with you wherever you go to do business. Your image is a multi-faceted thing, too complex to address in a single column.

Let's talk about a small but important part of that image: your logo.

My logo?

Yes indeed. You spend a lot of time talking to potential customers, and who knows when they'll call you back to schedule a video job? Sometimes it's a year or more from your initial meeting. Meeting with them, even if it's for five minutes, is an opportunity. Which means it's your opportunity to leave them with a favorable image of you--your business card, complete with stunning logo.

Why is your logo so important? Essentially, it's a graphic shortcut that helps people remember you. (Think of the Nike swoosh, the McDonald's golden arches, the CBS "eye.") Sometimes it's a symbol. Other times, it's your name, done in a neat typestyle (we call these "logotypes.") Sometimes, it's both a symbol and a name. As I've said before, there are many factors to consider when you're trying to establish yourself as a professional and trusted resource for video services. Having a good corporate image is one of these, and it's a critical one.

Look at your logo objectively. Does it intrigue you? You wouldn't use outdated equipment; don't let an outdated corporate image let you down, either. One of my pet peeves is so many videographers use a big image of a camera on their business cards and their promotional materials. It says what you do, but who cares about camcorders (particularly which one you use), except video producers and tech-heads?

Does your logo say something besides "Here's a camera"? A bride isn't purchasing a camcorder from you-she's asking for terrific wedding memories. Incorporate some element of what you do into your logo, or some aspect of your personality. Maybe it's a star; maybe stylized wedding bands; maybe it's a photograph or even an illustration of you at work.

If you've got good design skills and the software to do the job, you can always come up with your own company logo. But be sure to show your results to a few friends-both male and female-and get their input. If you get negative feedback, don't take it personally. Design is subjective. But keep in mind it's not all about what you like; you're not the one that your logo needs to impress.

If you can't do the design yourself, hire it out. Find a local graphic designer who specializes in logos. Ask to see some samples before you commit. Designers vary widely in their competence levels, as well as their prices. Do a little online research, check out the phone book, or call a fellow local businessperson to get a reference.

Find a designer that you feel you can work with easily so you can communicate your ideas. A lot of designers listen carefully to your best ideas, then go off on their own and do what they think you should have. If you're unsure, ask a few other people for their opinions of your logo-in-process.

Expect to pay from $100 to $500 for a custom-designed logo. Rates vary widely. Designers often will trade graphic services for video services, or give a generous discount if you can pass work along to them. I keep my ears open when working with clients to see if there's something else they need for marketing—Web site design, brochures, postcards, packaging--and I pass those jobs along to good designers who've helped me out in the past.

As with any aspect of your business, outsourcing logo design is partly dictated by what you can afford. I'm on a budget like most everyone else. I'd rather be spending my money on new equipment, too-so even though I understand the importance of this type of investment, I try to buy smart when I'm upgrading my professional image.

Terrific, inexpensive logo-designing services abound online. For example, www.gotlogos.com will create your personalized logo for under $60, including providing you a high-resolution TIF file. Or try www.logoeyes.com, a fun and easy online logo design wizard that helps you build your own logo instantly for just $99. Logo design software like that found on www.thelogocreator.com will enable you to produce quality logos with that Photoshop-guru look, with prices starting at $14.95.

Once you've got a good logo, flaunt it. Make sure it goes everywhere-your equipment decals, your vehicle signage, your business cards, your Web site, your letterhead and envelopes, and your contracts. Consider getting a jacket or shirt with your logo embroidered over the breast pocket, too. There's nothing worse than building a good image for your videography business utilizing that great image-building identity to the fullest extent.

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TMG Releases Wedding and Event Ammo Pack

TMG Productions, LLC, developers of 3D content packages for LightWave 3D, has announced the release of the Wedding and Event Ammo Pack (WEAP), a collection of content specifically designed for event videographers. This content integrates seamlessly into the 3D Arsenal Creation Theater and can also be used with any copy of LightWave 3D [7.5] or higher. "

NewTek's LightWave 3D combines a photo-realistic renderer with intuitive and powerful modeling and animation tools. TMG Productions' Wedding and Event Ammo Pack is the first add-on content pack offered for the 3D Arsenal Creation Theater. When used together these packages allow anyone to create high-quality 3D animation, specific and customized to your needs. Using the included training and support materials makes it simple to turn out 3D animation that can be used with any NLE system, according to TMG.

The Wedding and Event Ammo Pack sells for 199.00 USD and is available from any Toasterdudes.com reseller. The Wedding Event Ammo Pack is available now for MAC and PC. The 3D Arsenal Creation Theater offers 3D Arsenal and Logo Arsenal integrated with training and new plug-ins for $599.00.


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Ultrasone & DPA Microphones Team up to Create “Ultimate Broadcaster’s Headset”

Ultrasone of America, the United States distributor for German headphone manufacturer Ultrasone AG, has announced the development of the HFI-700 HSD, touted as the ultimate broadcaster's headset. The HFI-700 HSD combines the Ultrasone's patented S-Logic technology with a high-quality sounding head-worn directional microphone, DPA's 4088.

Ultrasone's driver positioning allows professionals to listen at lower sound pressure levels, significantly reducing fatigue and protecting your ears, according to Ultrasone. The microphone portion of the headset utilizes a DPA miniature head-worn microphone. The DPA 4088 (cardioid) or DPA 4066 (omni) microphone is joined to the headphone with an articulating mount and disconnect that allows for stable positioning and quick field changes.

The six-foot cable terminates to a fan out with a ¼" stereo plug for monitoring and a 3-pin female XLR for the microphone. 5V - 50V phantom power is required for the microphone. Custom cable length and connector termination is available. ULTRASONE's headphones are also designed to significantly reduce sound pressure on the human ear by up to 40%. Moreover, ULTRASONE's patented PROline technology blocks up to 98% of harmful EMF (electro-magnetic frequencies) radiation, Ultrasone reports.

The HFI-700 HSD will be available for $750 USD MSRP.


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Abcron Introduces The PlayO Brand Inkjet White, Hub-Printable DVD±R and 52X CD-R Series

Abcron Corporation has announced a series of its White Inkjet Hub Printable DVD±R and CD-R products. These PlayO 8X DVD+/-R and 52X CD-R discs allow users to quickly record and then print directly onto the full surface of the discs.

PlayO discs are compatible with a wide range of leading inkjet printers. Currently available in 8X speeds, the PlayO inkjet printable DVD±R disc features a 4.7GB storage capacity.

The discs feature a high-quality white printable surface right down to the hub. Each PlayO disc is rigorously tested to ensure reliability in a variety of recording situations. In addition to having a very low error and jitter rate, the discs are UV and heat resistant and conform to industry standards. The discs are also tested for superior colorfastness and fast ink drying times, according to Abcron.


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Alienware Offers Liquid Cooling for Desktop Workstations

Alienware, a leading manufacturer of high-performance desktop, notebook, media center, and professional systems, has launched its new Alienware Liquid Cooling technology across its complete line of desktop workstations for creative professionals.

Alienware Liquid Cooling technology is an exclusive new innovation designed to substantially reduce overall system noise levels. By reducing the need for internal fans, Alienware Liquid Cooling allows systems to operate at less than 35 dB, and also features a maintenance-free design that ensures reliable and long-lasting operation without any hassles (such as checking or refilling the fluid level), according to Alienware. 

The Alienware Liquid Cooling system also help to keep system components cool and running at optimum performance at all times, Alienware reports, delivering up to a 30% improvement in thermal performance (15-20 degrees). This performance benefit is critical for creative professionals that use highly complex and power-intensive applications.


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Roxio MyDVD Powers New Canon DVD Camcorders

Sonic has announced that Roxio MyDVD for Canon, developed on Roxio MyDVD 6 software, has been chosen by Canon for bundling with their new Canon DVD camcorders, the 2.2 Megapixel DC20 and the 1.33 Megapixel DC10.

The camcorders are small enough to fit in a jacket pocket and record video directly to 3-inch (8cm) diameter DVD-R/RW discs, and include the ability to locate scenes without having to rewind or fast forward, to create playlists of favorite scenes, and to do some quick editing. Once finalized (closed to further recording), the recorded discs are compatible with most DVD players, both old and new, according to Sonic.

With the included MyDVD software, users will be able to take advantage of two ways to transfer recorded footage from a PC-connected DC20 or DC10 to a settop or desktop-playable DVD. Using the exclusive One-Touch Dubbing feature, MyDVD will make a straight dub of the recorded footage with a single press of the camcorder's Print and Share button. Alternatively, the recorded footage may be imported into MyDVD for quick-and-easy creation of Hollywood-style menu-driven DVDs using features such as integrated video editing, motion-video menus, animated buttons, and slideshows with transitions and soundtracks.

MyDVD is also OpenDVD-compliant, enabling previously burned DVDs to be opened, re-edited, updated with new content, and re-burned to DVD and CD recordable/re-writable media. The Canon DC20 and DC10 DVD camcorders with bundled Roxio MyDVD for Canon software are currently available worldwide.


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Anchor Bay Technologies Unveils the DVDO iScan VP30 Video Processor Featuring HDMI I/O to 1080p

DVDO, powered by Anchor Bay Technologies, has announced the release of their next generation high-definition video scaling processor, the DVDO iScan VP30. This third-generation, 1080p-capable video processor builds on the iScan HD and iScan HD+ and is the first standalone high-definition video processor offered by DVDO with four HDMI inputs.

ABT's Precision Video Scaling II technology, which incorporates 10-bit scaling, enhanced sharpness controls and non-linear scaling, appears for the first time in the iScan VP30. Analog transcoding and analog HD processing allow connections to be "anything in, anything out," thereby reducing the amount of cables needed to connect all video sources, current and legacy, to a high-definition display. This affords the maximum connectivity options for consumers who wish to incorporate their legacy analog sources into a theater setup with new digital based receivers and displays.

The iScan VP30 offers the greatest flexibility of any processor currently available by allowing the user to precisely match their display's native resolution to any resolution between 480p and 1080p, including 720p or 1080i, and has many preset output resolutions for plasmas, LCD, DLP, LCOS and CRT-based displays.

The iScan VP30 features 11 video inputs: four HDMI, two Component, two S-Video, two Composite, and an RGBHV input along with an optional SD-SDI input. Each input has separate picture controls allowing the user to set their own parameters for each input to achieve the best picture from every source. Standard and custom aspect ratios can also be setup and then "one button selected" giving users many options for fitting and viewing an image on their display. It also provides complete pan and zoom capability to position and/or stretch your image on the screen with overscan, underscan, and border controls to eliminate "black-bars" and fill the entire screen.

The iScan VP30 also functions as an audio switcher and router, featuring four digital audio inputs and one analog that can be assigned to any of the video inputs to allow one button switching of both audio and video together. Each one of the audio inputs on the iScan VP30 employs ABT's Precision A/V Lipsync, which eliminates the annoying audio/video delay common on many displays. The four HDMI inputs accept both audio and video, allowing one simple connection for sources like a DVD player, high-definition set-top box, D-VHS, or next-generation game consoles.

The iScan VP30 provides simultaneous audio/video switching with "any rez in/any rez out" video up-conversion and one simple wire to the display. An elegant front panel designed to complement the most sophisticated home theater systems will allow the iScan VP30 to blend seamlessly with other components, according to Anchor Bay. For home theater systems that utilize an equipment rack, an optional rackmount kit is available.

The iScan VP30 will be available for volume shipment to authorized DVDO Resellers in fall 2005 and will have a price of $1,999 USD MSRP.


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InterVideo-Ulead to Unleash HD DVD Support for Consumers

InterVideo and its partner Ulead Systems have announced their HD DVD product offerings for DVD playback and multimedia creation will feature DTS-HD audio support and support for content encoded in VC1, Microsoft Windows Media-based format.

Microsoft's VC1 video codec is a fully scalable video technology that produces high-quality video at low data rates. With VC1 support, InterVideo-Ulead customers can enjoy video resolutions of up to 1080p--approximately six times the resolution of today's DVD video. The HD DVD format also provides higher disc capacities than the current 4.7GB DVD formats--an HD DVD disc will provide up to 30GB (15GB per layer).

DTS-HD provides audio for new HD DVD format standard, while offering playback in legacy equipment, such as existing home theater systems. In addition to being able to support a virtually unlimited number of discrete surround sound channels, it can downmix to 5.1- and two-channel, and can deliver audio quality at bit rates extending from DTS Digital Surround up to lossless.

The InterVideo-Ulead HD DVD Authoring Tool and WinDVD HD DVD, InterVideo's high-definition DVD content playback software, were made possible through the combined efforts of Microsoft, DTS, InterVideo, and Ulead. For navigation and playback of content on an HD-DVD and BD disc, users will be able to use InterVideo's flagship product, WinDVD HD. The next release of WinDVD HD will be available in the near future, according to InterVideo.


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