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Information Today, Inc.

February 21, 2006

Table of Contents

Inside the World Record Wedding
Blackmagic Design Announces the Immediate Availability of a New Low Cost Uncompressed 4:4:4/4:2:2 Capture Card
Wedding Video Channel to Debut with help from 4EVER Group and Elysium Productions
Panasonic Introduces Fully Equipped 26" BT-LH2600W Widescreen HD/SD Production LCD Monitor
Telemetrics Offers Portable Motorized Elevating Tripod
Matrox Announces Matrox Axio LE Realtime HD/SD Editing Platform at a Breakthrough Price
Telestream FlipFactory V4.1 Automates Transcoding for QuickTime 7 and iPod Video Formats
ADS Tech Shipping DVD Xpress DX2

Inside the World Record Wedding

The Sacramento Professional Videographers Association (SPVA) has been around for only one year, but their mission statement says it all: "This Association is dedicated to raising the level and perception of professional videography in the greater Sacramento area." With the World Record Wedding Video Event held on February 15, 2006, the SPVA set out to do just that.
(Photo by John Zale, WEVA International)

Mike Jensen, president of SPVA, says only 20 percent of Sacramento brides include videography in their wedding budgets. Last year, SPVA members began brainstorming on ways to address this issue and bring video to the attention of brides. They asked themselves, what assets do all videographers have? Video cameras! They thought it would be great to get the videography community together to videotape a wedding, and create some publicity for the event around the idea of having over 100 cameras, potentially the most cameras ever assembled to shoot a single wedding. Thus, the idea for the World Record Wedding Video Event was born.

Choosing a location was very important, and the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in Sacramento fit the bill. There is a wrap-around second floor balcony where the majority of cameras could be placed to capture the ceremony without becoming obtrusive. Not all of the 100-plus cameras used were manned, but 65 professional videographers (approximately 10% of whom were women) participated in the event. They came from a dozen states and two continents, including California, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, Massachusetts, and one from Australia. Jensen contacted the UK-based Guinness World Records prior to the event about securing recognition as an "official" world record, but was told that the British royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981 involved more video cameras, although Guinness refused to divulge the actual number.

Formal world-record issues aside, the purpose of the event was to bring local and national attention to the importance and value of professionally produced wedding video. In addition, it provided a unique educational experience to the videographers by letting them view some of our field's finest videographers "in action" as they documented the day. Here's how the World Record Wedding looked from the videographers' perspective—on the inside looking in, as it were.

This event was organized by members of the Sacramento Professional Videographers Association and co-sponsored by the Wedding & Event Videography Association (WEVA). WEVA Chairman Roy Chapman said the association's involvement began at last year's Expo when the idea was presented at the local association presidents meeting. Roy liked their concept, and WEVA began working with the SPVA to build educational programming around the event.

Where does one find a fun-loving couple to become part of video history? Sacramento Bride & Groom magazine did a casting call through an email blast. 15 couples expressed interest. Five were chosen to participate in a round of interviews--including one with a marriage therapist—with Alysia Thomas and Farai Melton emerging as the couple of choice. For their participation they received $16,000 in free services including videography, photography, a judge, a cake, flowers, a limo, and more.

It was quite obvious from the beginning that this event was well-organized and well-thought out. Members checked in and had to show serial numbers on their cameras. We received a commemorative black polo-shirt with the logo, name tag, and an agenda for the day. A security guard was even hired to watch our equipment. Everyone was pre-assigned a shooting position and we all had different angles to shoot. I was number 82, and my assignment was to shoot the close-ups of all the groomsmen. My husband, Bob, was number 83, and his assignment was to shoot the close-up of the Judge. And so it went on around the entire balcony with specific assignments for the videographers. The majority of the cameras were up 30 feet in the second-story balcony.

In addition, WEVA and the SPVA provided educational videography seminars and demonstrations for the professional videographers in attendance. After the rehearsal at the Galleria Library, we rode a bus over to the Julia Morgan House where David Robin of Encino, California-based Boulevard Video Productions shot the bridal preparations. Over lunch we watched some of David's previous work until the bride was ready.

There were two Grizzly Pro r-Three remote cameras and a live feed from David's HD camera. Videographers watched the three-camera live feed videographers in another room on two side-by-side screens. David was relaxed and professional as he shot the bridal preparation. He wore a microphone so we could hear his lively commentary as the shoot progressed.

Dave Williams, president of Philadelphia-based DVideography and a Glidecam retailer taught Glidecam techniques and answered questions from videographers on the Capitol steps. Dave had the Glidecam 4000 Pro with Smooth Shooter body-mount connected to the Glidecam vest he was wearing. Dave has been using the Glidecam for five years, and he demonstrated how easy it is to set up, balance, and use. The footage is so smooth it is like the camera is floating on air.

Mark Von Lanken of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Picture This Productions joined Williams to document the photo/video session of the bridal party and family on the grassy area next to the Capitol building for the same-day edit that Mark and his wife, Trisha, would produce later in the day.

Among the visual highlights—and technical challenges--of the wedding day were two dove releases. Both were captured with a 24-camera Matrix shot (a 180-degree panoramic movement around a single subject), organized by Eric Leis of the SPVA, who placed the 24 cameras in a semi-circle. Each camera had to be a VX2000, VX2100, PD150, or PD170 since they all have the same optic lens. The cameras were measured for the same distance. The first shot was a tight shot which focused on the couple each releasing their single dove. The second shot was a wide-angle view showing all the doves being released. On the second-day seminar, Eric showed us a rough-cut of the Matrix tight-shot, edited with Adobe Premiere using four frames of video per second.

Throughout the entire day, Kathy and Al Ritondo recorded comments and happenings for their Wedding Video Talk podcast show. This was truly coverage in the field as they wore their equipment and carried multiple microphones to all the different locations of the day.

The events were also videotaped and edited by Bruce Himmelblau and Sue Lawson of Chicago-area Blue Sky Video Productions for the WEVA News Minute. In addition, the wedding was broadcast over the Internet by a live-switched webcast by Alan Fitch of Life Events Video and Pacific Clearstream Media Group.

The many videographers on hand to shadow the major players virtually joined the bride and groom to watch the Von Lankens' Same-Day Edit (SDE) in another room as the couple watched it in the reception hall. The showing of the SDE was scheduled for 8:30pm but it was delayed one hour as Mark and Trisha finished up the edit (given the nature of the event, they had to go through more pre-ceremony footage than they're accustomed to for a typical SDE). It was certainly worth the wait. We watched the SDE on a screen and watched the couple's reaction on another as a separate camera was trained on them. How touching it was to see the bride reach over and wipe the tears off of her husband's cheeks. It was a priceless moment as all of us in that room fully realized the emotional impact that a Same-Day Edit can make. Seeing this has certainly inspired me to want to do one.

Later in the evening, Alysia and Farai Melton couldn't have been more appreciative and articulate in their words as they expressed the value of their wedding video experience with the Von Lankens. Some of their comments included, "I am truly blessed that we got to do this; I'm so honored that you picked us. When you add the other dimensions such as sound and the different trick shots, when we actually look at the other parts of the wedding and not just ourselves, it really brings it all together in a way that a still picture doesn't show."

Brett Culp of Creative Video Productions (CVP) also documented the day in a "behind-the-scenes" style interviewing the bride and groom, the bridal party, the florist, the security guard, etc. John Goolsby of Cannon Video Productions, who referred to himself as Brett's assistant, also helped document the day.

The second day of the event included seminars and a luncheon buffet. Kevin Shaw showed footage from the latest HD cameras including the Sony FX1/Z1U, JVC HD100U, Canon XL H1, and Panasonic HVX200. When asked which camera had the cleanest image in low-light, Kevin said the Sony FX1 and Z1. However, he said each camera has its pros and cons and based on your needs, you would choose different cameras, and that there are additional issues to consider if you plan to edit in widescreen. Jim Faust discussed the audio systems used on the Judge and asked videographers to choose which audio piece sounded the best.

That's mostly what the event looked like from the inside; keep in mind that half the purpose of the "World Record Wedding" was to heighten the profile of wedding videography outside the industry. The local CBS affiliate dedicated a segment of its late-night news program to the event, as did local TV station KCRA. There will be a feature story on this World Record Event in the next issue of Sacramento Bride & Groom magazine. The WEVA Public Relations Committee will be releasing a Press Release template that participants can use to publicize their own participation in this event.

Some professional wedding videographers voiced concern in the weeks preceding the "World Record" event that it would devolve into a circus atmosphere and add to the public perception of wedding videographers as an obtrusive presence. And on popular videography forums like Video University, the response to the first public presentation of the event—the Webcast—was generally less than positive (although a misunderstanding of the purpose of the Webcast--to present a finished product, which it did not purport to do--may have contributed to that impression).

By contrast, wedding professionals and other brides in the Sacramento area expressed excitement about this event. In fact, one bridal consultant, Jackie Young of Every Little Detail, even postponed her vacation by two days so she could be at this event. And a subsequent Web posting of the Von Lankens' SDE drew mostly rave reviews in the same online forums.

Extensive coverage from this World Record Event can be found on the official World Record Wedding Video Event Web site. There you can watch the full testimonial from Alysia and Farai Melton, the Von Lankens' Same-Day Edit, the webcast, the WEVA News Minute, and an online photo album, and download the podcasts.

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Blackmagic Design Announces the Immediate Availability of a New Low Cost Uncompressed 4:4:4/4:2:2 Capture Card

Blackmagic Design has announced the immediate availability of a new low-cost Dual Link HDTV 4:4:4 12 bit SDI capture card with high-quality 14-bit analog video monitoring. The DeckLink HD Pro PCIe instantly switches between HDTV and standard definition modes, giving editors greater flexibility and choice when working in a variety of formats. Due to its Dual Link 4:4:4 video quality and unique Blackmagic-designed 14 bit analog video outputs, DeckLink HD Pro PCIe is the highest quality broadcast video card available, perfect for the most demanding high-end television and feature film post production.

DeckLink HD Pro PCIe features twin HD-SDI inputs and outputs for 4:4:4 high-definition connections, or it can instantly switch to 4:2:2 HD-SDI or standard definition SDI. DeckLink HD Pro PCIe also includes high quality 14-bit analog video monitoring output that also switches between high definition and standard definition so users don't need to reconnect cables when switching standards. With all high definition and standard definition standards supported, DeckLink HD Pro PCIe will connect to all broadcast and post production systems.

For additional connectivity, DeckLink HD Pro PCIe also features SPDIF/unbalanced AES audio input and SPDIF/unbalanced AES audio out, word-clock out, Tri-Sync/Black Burst reference input and a built in RS-422 remote control port for broadcast deck control. DeckLink HD Pro features a new high-speed PCI Express 4 lane interface for the latest Apple PowerMac G5 that features all PCI Express slots. DeckLink HD Pro PCIe supports both Mac OS X and Windows XP with the same hardware card, and is immediately compatible with Apple Final Cut Pro HD, Premiere Pro 2.0, and many other applications on both platforms.

The DeckLink HD Pro PCIe is available now for $1,195 U.S. from authorized Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide. Additional information is available at the Blackmagic Design Web site located at www.blackmagic-design.com/products.

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Wedding Video Channel to Debut with help from 4EVER Group and Elysium Productions

In a cooperative effort that includes The 4EVER Group, Elysium Productions (Julie and Alex Hill, with Jeff Deutsch), and many others, the Wedding Video Channel will soon be up and running.
     Found on the Internet at www.weddingvideochannel.com, this site is designed to educate brides about wedding videography, and provide content for consumers. According to Alex Hill, "This Web site would be positioned as a purely ‘for brides' site," where editorial content and video clips will be available to the bride. Weddingvideochannel.com will be an advertising medium, allowing videographers to reach brides who are seeking their services.
     "The best part of the design of weddingvideochannel.com is that it is vendor-specific. Brides will come to the site because they want video, and information about video," said Steve Wernick, the Director of Development for The 4EVER Group. Advertising rates and placements will be available shortly. A nationwide awareness campaign will be a part of the business plan for weddingvideochannel.com.

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Panasonic Introduces Fully Equipped 26" BT-LH2600W Widescreen HD/SD Production LCD Monitor

Panasonic will unveil at NAB 2006 a 26" production quality LCD monitor, the BT-LH2600W. Innovations that differentiate the versatile 26" display from others in its size category include a true widescreen panel, one-piece design, higher resolution, low delay, and standard HD-SDI/SDI with embedded audio. Combining low weight, a small, space-saving footprint, and affordability, the BT-LH2600W will serve as the essential main monitor in production environments such as studios, edit rooms, newsrooms, NLE suites, and master control.

Incorporating the performance characteristics introduced in the 17" model, the BT-LH2600W features two auto switching SDI/HD-SDI inputs, a high-speed response with no blurring; the industry's lowest delay realized by an image processing circuit that converts interlaced into progressive signals with no visible delays; a Waveform Monitor that graphically displays luminance levels from zero to 108 IRE in any of the monitor's four corners; and a Split Screen/Freeze Frame function for scene comparison and critical color matching (live input vs. freeze frame).

Functionality new to the BT-LH2600W includes increased resolution (1366x768), pixel mapping of any of five areas of the screen for superior camera focusing, audio level meters superimposed and translucent (up to eight channels), and an 80% (of 4:3) "safe-area" frame marker in 16:9 mode. Also, the 26" diagonal screen yields four 13" pictures when used with a quad splitter. The monitor offers a 700:1 contrast ratio (panel's spec) and is compatible with multiple HD/SD formats including 1080/24PsF, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Closely matching the chromatic ranges of CRT monitors, the BT-LH2600W faithfully reproduces up to 16.7 million colors. With selectable Color Temperature, the monitor makes it easy to match the user's standard. Gamma is likewise adjustable and Cine Gamma (Film-Rec) compensation is included, expressly for monitoring with Panasonic's VariCam HD Cinema™ Camera.

The monitor's all-in-one design eliminates the need for an umbilical cord or separate AC power supply. The model is equipped with intuitive, broadcast-grade controls, including a menu that can be positioned in five different screen locations; five user-defined buttons that can be set to Waveform Monitor, Blue Only, H, V, H/V Delay, Monochrome, Aspect, Gamma and more; and preset/manual picture adjustments with indicator lights. Frame marker lines (including 4:3, 16:9, 2.35:1), or background shading at 0%, 50% or 100% can be displayed. In addition to its dual SDI inputs, the BT-LH2600W is equipped with one SDI output and component (Y/Pb/Pr), PC RGB, Y/C and composite inputs/outputs.

It has a wide vertical and horizontal viewing angle of 176 degrees. Diagonal Line Compensation reduces the occurrence of jagged noise in the diagonal direction for improved SD response. Other valuable features include GPI and RS-232C ports for external control of many functions; built-in, amplified stereo speakers; and a red/green/amber tally lamp. The BT-LH2600W comes complete with a desk stand, and an optional wall mount (TY-WK32LR1S) is available.

The BT-LH2600W will be available in June at a suggested list price of $4,950.


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Telemetrics Offers Portable Motorized Elevating Tripod

Telemetrics' TelePod, a Motorized Elevating Tripod provides professional videographers with an economical camera mounting solution and remote control capability. The new unit supports small compact cameras and pan/tilt heads, and interfaces with Telemetrics' CP-ITV control panel for RS-232 control of the camera, pan/tilt/zoom/focus, iris and elevation as well as the complete Telemetrics' robotics product line.

The TelePod consists of a motorized column with collapsible legs that enable the unit to rise to a manual height of 46", with an additional motorized elevation range of 26 inches, for a total height of 72 inches. The smooth and quiet movement (two inches/second) can be controlled remotely from a control panel or locally with a manual up/down switch on the power supply.

Constructed in all aluminum and weighing only 35 pounds, the tripod will support a load of 25 pounds and is the industries first motorized elevating tripod.

For more information on Telemetrics' camera control systems call 201-848-9818, fax 201-848-9819, or visit www.telemetricsinc.com.

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Matrox Announces Matrox Axio LE Realtime HD/SD Editing Platform at a Breakthrough Price

Matrox Video Products Group has announced Matrox Axio LE, a high-performance realtime HD/SD editing platform at the breakthrough price of $4,495 US in North America. Matrox Axio LE will be demonstrated at NAB 2006 in booth SL 1137.

Matrox Axio LE is the latest entry in the Matrox Axio family of products that makes Adobe® Premiere® Pro the foremost realtime HD and SD editor for demanding broadcast and post-production environments. It features no-render HD and SD finishing in compressed and uncompressed formats, superior realtime color correction tools, advanced realtime effects, and a full complement of analog and digital audio and video inputs and outputs.

It also lets users work seamlessly with the other Adobe Production Studio applications, fully supporting Adobe Dynamic Link and providing WYSIWYG video output support for Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop CS2, as well as other industry-leading animation and compositing packages. Matrox Axio LE incorporates Matrox Flex and Power of X technologies to leverage CPU and GPU power to provide the ultimate HD and SD post-production experience.

Key features of Matrox Axio LE include the following:

  • Full-resolution multi-layer realtime editing of HD and SD video, graphics, and effects
  • Realtime CPU-based effects such as color correction, speed changes, and chroma/luma keying
  • Realtime and accelerated Matrox Flex effects such as 2D/3D DVE, blur/glow/ soft focus, and shine
  • Uncompressed HD and SD editing
  • Native HDV and DVCPRO HD editing
  • Compressed HD editing (offline and online finishing-quality MPEG-2 I-frame)
  • DV, DVCPRO, DV50, and MPEG-2 I-frame SD editing
  • Realtime mixing of HD codecs or SD codecs on the timeline
  • Realtime playback of SD clips in a 1080i HD timeline
  • Realtime mixed-format multi-cam
  • 24fps editing in HD and SD with pull down and reverse pull-down
  • Accelerated export to DVD, multimedia formats including Flash Video, and Adobe Clip Notes
  • WYSIWYG for Adobe After Effects and Photoshop, Autodesk Combustion and 3ds Max, eyeon Fusion, and NewTek LightWave 3D
  • DV-1394, composite, Y/C, HD/SD analog component, and HD/SD SDI input and output
  • Realtime high-quality downscaling from HD to SD - Simultaneous HD and SD output
  • 2-in/6-out AES/EBU audio, 2-in/6-out XLR audio, 2-in/6-out SDI embedded audio, 1/4" output jack for stereo monitoring

Priced at $4,495 US in North America, Matrox Axio LE is available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. Matrox Axio LE system prices vary depending on workflow requirements. System selection guidelines and lists of validated workstation-class PCI-X computers and motherboards, as well as recommended GPUs and storage devices will be posted in the support section of the Matrox website. Complete Axio LE-based turnkey systems are also available from Matrox Axio LE authorized dealers.


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Telestream FlipFactory V4.1 Automates Transcoding for QuickTime 7 and iPod Video Formats

Telestream, the leading provider of digital media transcoding and workflow automation solutions, today announced availability of Version 4.1 for its FlipFactory software products. FlipFactory automates conversion and file transfer between more video/audio formats and professional systems than any other transcoding workflow automation application. With Version 4.1 FlipFactory continues to stay at the forefront by adding the latest formats, as well as deeper levels of format and system support, ultimately enabling and simplifying workflows in today's increasingly complex, network-centric media environments.

FlipFactory V4.1 adds support for QuickTime 7 video and audio formats and iPod video format. Included in both is encoding support for the state-of-the-art H.264 worldwide video standard. Ratified as part of the MPEG-4 standard, the H.264 video codec provides efficient delivery of pristine quality video across a broad range of bandwidths, from 3G for mobile devices to HD for broadcast and DVD. With QuickTime 7 FlipFactory 4.1 also offers support for more channels of audio. 

Additional new features include two-pass encoding of constant bit rate (CBR) and variable bit rate (VBR) Windows Media to achieve very high quality output files. FlipFactory now supports decoding of the Avid DNxHD long-form content format. FlipFactory also supports OMF and AAF/MXF for DV25, DV50, and IMX formats via Avid Transfer Manager. More MXF support has been added for Quantel and SGI. Macromedia's new Flash 8 format is now supported through the On2 Technologies Flix Exporter encoder. In addition, new Telecine and Inverse Telecine features in V4.1 add support for automated film-to-video and video-to-film transfers. 

New system support has been added to FlipFactory TrafficManager, Telestream's workflow application which automatically transfers commercials and syndicated content files from digital delivery services to on-air servers and provides notification to stations' automation systems. Version 4.1 adds monitoring and automated ingest from Spottraffic's catch server as well as notification support for Pro-Bel's station automation system. 

FlipFactory Version 4.1 is available immediately through Telestream's worldwide sales distribution channels. Free upgrades are available at http://www.telestream.net/support/support.htm for customers with current maintenance and support agreements.  

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ADS Tech Shipping DVD Xpress DX2

ADS Tech has announced that it is now shipping DVD Xpress DX2, a USB 2.0 external audio/video capture device that is so easy to use, even consumers who aren't technically savvy can convert analog audio/video content to a digital format. With support for all of the leading video formats, the plug-and-play device can be used to create high-quality videos that can be enjoyed on the road with portable video players such as a Sony PSP, Apple iPod or Creative Technology's new Zen Vision or viewed on a TV with a home DVD player.

DVD Xpress DX2 is the first of ADS Tech's exciting new family of Video To Go products that make it simple to capture, convert, enjoy and share favorite videos, TV shows and sporting events anytime, anywhere. It is also the only hardware-based iPod video and PSP format capture device on the market. By incorporating a powerful hardware encoder, the new audio/video capture device does all the work instead of the PC. Real-time hardware conversion produces the best DVD quality. ADS Tech's new capture device connects to a PC USB port to transfer video and audio signals from any analog source such as VHS tapes, analog camcorders, set-top boxes or VCRs using the RCA (Composite) or S-Video video inputs. The signals are automatically converted into MPEG-1 or MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and the DivX® video files that can be archived directly to disc or stored on a PC's hard drive for editing. When the DivX format is selected, users can compress video files to nearly one-tenth the original size without noticeable loss in quality. W

ith analog support, users can quickly preserve their old VHS tapes (which deteriorate after only 10 to 15 years), by converting them to a digital format and archiving them on CDs or DVDs that can last nearly 100 years. To provide the highest-quality video, DVD XPress DX2 utilizes the latest in video conversion and filtering technology and a 10-bit video digitizer with 2x oversampling and 4-line comb filter.

DVD Xpress DX2 also offers exclusive "Audio-Lock" technology to provide perfect lip synch all the way through the capture, edit and disc burning process. Brightness, contrast, chroma, saturation and hue controls are also included. The ADS Tech Capture Wizard™ software included with DVD Xpress DX2 makes capture so easy, anyone can do it in just minutes. Using the CapWiz "Direct-to-Disc Wizard," users can burn their video to a high-quality VCD, SVCD, DVD video disc with just a few easy clicks. For added convenience, Capture Wizard gives users the option of previewing their video at full resolution, the ability to choose their bit video quality and the use of advanced settings for capturing video.

For consumers that want to do more than straight archiving to disc, DVD XPress DX2 includes Ulead® VideoStudio 9 SE DVD. VideoStudio can be used to instantly create video, slideshow, music, or data discs through a convenient, wizard-type process. Other features enable users to easily trim out the parts of the video they don't want; add transitions, video filters, animated titles and background music; and then author their content for a professional-looking video production.

Instant DVD Xpress DX2 is available for immediate delivery from leading video dealers, e-tailers and distributors with an MSRP of US$109. A complete hardware/software solution, the USB 2.0 audio/video capture solution is compatible with Microsoft, 2000 and XP (Home and Professional) systems. The external device comes with audio/video and USB cables, a CD containing ADS Tech's Capture Wizard 4.0, Ulead VideoStudio 9 SE DVD and a user guide.


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