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Copyright © 2004 -
Information Today, Inc.

March 20, 2006

Table of Contents

WeddingVideoExperience.com Promotes Value of Video
Stock20.com Offers Free Production Music
Canopus Offers Trial Version of EDIUS Pro 3 Realtime Video Editing Software
Sharp Launches "World's Largest" Professional LCD Monitor in United States
Sony Enhances High-Definition Experience With Introduction Of First Blu-ray Disc Products
Procon Announces Alpha DVD/CD Burn & Print Duplication System
Verbatim Announces 4GB and 8GB Store ‘n’ Go USB HD Drives
SpringWorks Invests in YesVideo to Simplify Pro-Quality DVD Production

WeddingVideoExperience.com Promotes Value of Video

How valuable is wedding video? Much more so than public perception suggests, according to a host of dedicated videographers who have made promoting the wedding video industry a cause célèbre. But how can videographers align perception with reality, and convince brides of the "true" value of wedding video before they exhaust their budgets on other, better-understood services?
     Alex Hill of award-winning southern California studio Elysium Productions believes he has an answer: WeddingVideoExperience.com, which will launch later this month. Unlike many other sites designed to promote wedding videography, Hill's won't be making the argument with words. It's all about video

"We want it to be very visual," Hill says, "and do a kind of gallery approach so that brides could come online and look through videos of all the vendors that are going to be advertising," Hill says. "It won't be like The Knot or the Wedding Channel where there's just a ton of text. We won't have message boards or anything like that—just photos and video."

WeddingVideoExperience.com is the online portion of a broader project co-developed by Elysium and other vendors in their region. Called the Southern California Wedding Experience, it will include not just the Web site but an "upscale bridal center—like a year-round bridal show" and a weekly local cable TV program. The TV show will be similar, Hill says, to the New Orleans Wedding Planning Experience program produced by Julian St. Pierre and Terry and Joe Taravella of Studio VieuxCarré. "We flew them out here after Katrina hit so we could pick their brains about what they've done," he says. "Our show will be similar in format and in the way we market it, but our market is different. We have a lot more vendors in southern California than they have in New Orleans."

While the TV show and showroom will target So Cal brides at first (both local brides and others who have chosen southern California as a wedding destination), the idea for WeddingVideoExperience.com is to take the site national as quickly as possible. "Brides will be able to go on this site and get a lot of info about their area and what everything looks like, get tours of locations and see what they look like decorated for weddings," he says. "We're going to start here in Orange County and build it into a nationwide thing."

The revenue model for the site is entirely based on the participation of videographers, who will pay to advertise on the site based on the number of video clips served (via streaming) from the site, and the number of regions in which they want their work to appear when brides visit the site and click on particular locales throughout the U.S. and Canada. Videographers will pay $185 per year for one clip, $285 for three clips, and $385 for five clips, with one region of exposure. The prices in increments of $100 for each region added. "If you break it down by a monthly rate, it's not very much money at all," Hill says. "But we're just trying to get people to jump on board."

Hill says WeddingVideoExperience.com will advertise on Video University to get videographers involved and The Knot and other wedding sites to attract brides. They will also develop some search engine optimization to build traffic from brides. As revenue grows, they hope to place some print ads in bridal magazines as well.

Another strategy for attracting videographers to advertise on the site and advancing its primary goal—educating brides about the value of wedding video--is the inclusion of a handful of clips designed by leading videographers specifically for the promotion of wedding video. Producers of these videos include such luminaries as LaDonna Moore, Donna and Robin Greenwood, Ken Ehrhart, Steve and Laura Moses, and Alex and Julie Hill's own Elysium Productions. "These were clips that the 4EVER Group asked people to put together to royalty-free music," Hill says, "stuff that they could use to promote our industry."

The 4EVER Group's involvement with the site doesn't end with coordinating those promotional videos. "They'll be marketing the site on our behalf," Hill says, and working closely with WeddingVideoExperience.com to increase videographer involvement and increase the site's visibility around the country as Wedding Video Experience extends its reach.

One of the challenges the site may face is straddling the line between promoting the work of as many videographers as possible—i.e., hosting clips from everyone who wants to advertise—and fashioning the site in a way that promotes the industry as a whole, and at its best. "Initially, the business plan is that any videographer who wants to be on Wedding Video Experience can be," Hill says. "We're trying not to make it exclusionary. Ultimately, we'd like to create an area of the site where we have some kind of a ranking system, a place where we can trumpet the best of the best. A passion of ours is promoting the video industry as a whole and getting people to understand the importance of wedding video. But also, in doing that," he explains, "we don't want to trumpet sub-standard work."

Hill says his long-term goals for the site are more concerned with promoting the wedding video industry than developing a revenue stream for his own company. "We'd like to take the money that we generate from this Web site and create a national video advertising budget," he says. "If it was really successful, I'd love to be able to hire a PR firm to get a wedding videographer on Oprah Winfrey or run a Super Bowl ad. I see this site as building a financial pool that can be drawn from to do more creative things to promote our industry."

For more information about the Wedding Video Experience, including advertising, contact Alex Hill at info@weddingvideoexperience.com.


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Stock20.com Offers Free Production Music

For a limited time, royalty-free music provider Stock20.com is offering one free selection to everyone who creates an account.
     Stock20 offers original, high quality, production music for $7 per song, with a worry-free, unlimited use license. New tracks are released every month. You'll never have to worry about ongoing fees, reporting, or expensive subscriptions. Select, preview, purchase, and download instantly.
     To get your $7 gift certificate now by creating a free account, click here.

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Canopus Offers Trial Version of EDIUS Pro 3 Realtime Video Editing Software

Canopus, a part of the Grass Valley business within Thomson, today launched a new 30-day trial of its EDIUS NLE software, which gives customers access to EDIUS Pro 3 v3.6.1 features, including native 1080i, 1080p and 720p HDV support and realtime mixed-format editing.

This trial version also offers a sample of EDIUS Broadcast features, such as advanced metadata support, realtime native editing and I/O support for standard definition Sony XDCAM and standard, as well as high definition, Panasonic DVCPRO P2, the format used in the popular Panasonic AG-HVX200 camera. Customers can download the software trial (also available on CD) from the company's Web site at www.canopus.com.

EDIUS Pro 3 nonlinear editing software provides native editing and realtime processing of uncompressed SD, HD, HDV, DV, MPEG-2, and MPEG-1 formats. With its seamless realtime workflow, EDIUS Pro 3 lets professionals mix and share video content in multiple HD and SD formats and work with unlimited video, audio and effects layers, while providing realtime high-quality, on-screen display. EDIUS Pro 3 delivers increased quality and realtime performance through the company's acclaimed variable-bitrate Canopus HQ codec.

EDIUS Pro 3 includes professional features, such as realtime batch capture from 1080i HDV cameras and decks, advanced audio tools and precise color correction controls, designed to help editors create the highest quality productions. EDIUS Pro 3 is also included with Canopus's line of EDIUS hardware and software editing solutions, including EDIUS NX.


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Sharp Launches "World's Largest" Professional LCD Monitor in United States

Sharp has announced that the "world's largest" professional LCD monitor, the 65-inch model PN-655, will be available in the U.S. in June. This robust 65-inch monitor has a full 1920 x 1080 two-megapixel high-definition (HD) resolution for accurate and precise image reproduction.

With commercial design and components, the PN-655 offers reliability for extended-use applications, complementing Sharp's line of professional LCD video/data monitors. The PN-655 monitor is designed for for use in diverse commercial settings such as digital signage, medical imaging, CAD/CAM and flight information displays.

To show multiple types of content sources in high definition, the PN-655 utilizes DFE (Dual-Fine Engine) technology, which enables the customer to display both computer and video content flawlessly. The monitor has a full complement of input and output connectors to show all types of content, from DVD to varying PC resolutions up through 1920 x 1080 native mode from both analog and digital (DVI) sources.

To serve the discriminating image-quality needs of the commercial market better, the PN-655 has a four-wavelength spectrum, cold-cathode fluorescent backlight that provides an enhanced color spectrum including deeper, more vibrant and vivid reds. Sharp's proprietary Advanced Super View (ASV) panel provides stellar picture quality for fast-moving video through its fast pixel response time of less than 6 months. Thanks to its long-life backlight and lower power consumption rate than comparable models, the PN-655 monitor provides customers with a lower total cost of ownership.

The PN-655's new "fan-less" architecture enables extended usage with lower power consumption and better ventilation for quieter operation, which is critical for corporate settings. Sharp's LCD monitors have several proprietary technologies and features that ensure unparalleled image quality for a professional presentation of information, data and images. The line has anti-glare and low-reflection properties, enabling Sharp monitors to be placed in brighter areas where other screens might appear washed out.

Higher contrast lets viewers discern details they might otherwise miss, particularly when viewing darker content. The 170-degree viewing angles help the monitors display a crisp picture that can be seen from virtually anywhere in the room. A Black TFT/Bright Pixel Elimination ensures that if a pixel fails, it is effectively invisible to the viewer.

The PN-655 will be available in June. All professional LCD monitors are available through Sharp authorized dealers and value-added resellers.

For more information about Sharp displays, click here.

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Sony Enhances High-Definition Experience With Introduction Of First Blu-ray Disc Products

Sony Electronics today debuted its first Blu-ray Disc (BD) products in the U.S., along with details on suggested pricing and availability for some of the new offerings. These next-generation devices include a home player, VAIO desktop and notebook computers, an aftermarket internal computer drive, and recordable/rewritable media. All offer one of the highest-definition experiences available from a five-inch optical disc.

Headlining Sony's new product debuts are the BDP-S1 Blu-ray Disc player and the VAIO RC desktop computer. The player is targeted to ship in July for about $1,000. The VAIO PC with Blu-ray Disc will be available for about $2,300. Both the VAIO RC desktop and notebook with a Blu-ray Disc drive will be available by early summer. In April, Sony plans to begin shipping 25GB BD-R (write once) and BD-RE (rewritable) discs for about $20 and $25 respectively. The 50GB BD-R and BD-RE dual-layer discs will come in subsequent months for about $48 and $60 respectively.

The BD player is designed to deliver 1920x1080p output, the highest HD signal output currently available through an HDMI connection. The player supports various high quality video codecs, including MPEG2, MPEG4-AVC and VC1. Analog component output for 1080i has been included so people who own HD-capable televisions without HDMI can enjoy the Blu-ray Disc experience.

The new BDP-S1 model is compatible with standard DVDs with the added feature of 1080p upscaling through HDMI, which gives new life to existing DVDs libraries. Enhancing the BD entertainment experience further, BD-Java interactivity has been incorporated, allowing for the design of advanced interactive features. The BDP-S1 player offers uncompressed multi-channel linear PCM digital audio output via HDMI, delivering optimum surround sound to an HDMI- equipped receiver. The player also has optical digital audio out and 5.1 channel decoding capability for backward compatibility with existing receivers. In addition, the unit has a separate audio circuit board, finely tuned audio components, rigid beam chassis construction, drive brackets and off center insulator feet. This robust BD-ROM/R/RE player supports DVD playback from DVD/DVD+R/+RW encoded discs, as well as MP3 audio files and JPEG images stored on DVD+R/+RW discs.

The VAIO RC Series computers, Sony's first Blu-ray desktops, combine BD recording technology with high-octane performance, allowing aspiring moviemakers and videographers to capture and burn their high-definition content. Consumers can edit high-definition footage with a comprehensive suite of software applications. They can then archive and share it on Sony high-capacity BD-R and BD-RE Blu-ray Discs or downconverted to standard definition DVD+R/+RW dual layer discs, capitalizing on flexibility in storage, playback and recording.

The VAIO RC Series will be shipped with a 25GB Blank BD-RE (rewritable) blank disc.

The BWU-100A, an aftermarket internal Blu-ray Disc drive for computer use, will support recording of 25GB and 50GB BD-R (write once) or BD-RE (rewritable) discs at 2X max speed. It is capable of burning a full 25GB disc in about 30 minutes. The drive will also support recording of standard single layer 4.7GB DVD+R/+RW, Double/Dual Layer 8.5GB DVD+R, DVD-RAM and CD-R/-RW media, making it a true all-in-one "tri-mode" recorder/reader.

The new drive can be installed in a standard half-height computer bay with a parallel ATAPI (P-ATA) interface. Comprehensive authoring software will be included for capturing, editing, and burning high-definition personal content captured by an HDV format camcorder, keeping the video in native 1080i HD format for playback on a Blu-ray Disc player. Video can also be "down-converted" to standard-definition (SD) resolution for burning onto a DVD disc. The BD drive will be available this year with pricing to be announced prior to product shipments.

Sony's AccuCORE technology, which was integrated into recordable DVD discs more than a year ago, has been re-engineered for Blu-ray Disc media to deliver enhanced accuracy, compatibility and reliability. The BD recordable and rewritable media offer the following:

• Scratch Guard - hard coating that resists scratches, dust and static
• Archival Reliability - special material design that prevents data and image corruption and deterioration to ensure quality playback
• Stable Writing - a uniform and precise cover layer that reduces fluctuation as the disc spins
• Temperature Durability - for the disc structure helps prevent warping during severe changes in temperature and humidity.

Blu-ray Disc is an ideal format for recording and sharing personal content captured by an HDV format camcorder. The original high definition content can be recorded to BD-R or BD-RE discs and played by a compatible Blu-ray Disc player connected to a TV, or a BD-equipped personal computer. Sony Style Stores and SonyStyle.com go "Blu" On the Sonystyle.com web site, Sony Electronics is currently running a pre-launch campaign designed to educate early adopters and enthusiasts about Blu-ray Disc technology.

Throughout the summer months, all 32 Sony Style retail stores across the country will go "Blu" - Blu-ray, that is. With in-store product seminars by trained Blu-ray experts and the opportunity to see BD high-definition content on Sony's high-end HDTVs, the stores will be ideal venues for people to experience the impact of Blu-ray Disc. And because seeing is believing, the stores will prominently display Blu-ray Disc banners, informational materials and even blue-tinted windows in select locations to ensure that even the casual passers-by understand that Blu-ray Disc is the next significant leap in digital entertainment.

Consumers can receive more information about Blu-ray Disc products, technology and related events by signing up at www.sony.com/bd. Additionally, pre-orders for the BDP-S1 player will be available through Sonystyle.com and Sony Style retail stores, beginning on March 17. The player will also be available for pre-order at the same time through authorized internet dealers, which include: Bestbuy.com, Circuitcity.com, Sears.com, Ultimateelectronics.com, Tweeter.com. Amazon.com, Crutchfield.com, Bjorns.com, Abtelectronics.com, Listenup.com, Vac2buy.com, JR.com, and Electronicexpress.com.

Sony Pictures' Home Entertainment division recently announced it will be shipping eight movies on BD-Rom discs beginning on May 23 with an additional eight titles being released in June, spanning from recent hits to classic favorites. In total there will be close to 100 titles made available by all of the Blu-ray Disc supporting studios by the end of the year.


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Procon Announces Alpha DVD/CD Burn & Print Duplication System

ProCon Digital has announced the Alpha DVD/CD Burn & Print Duplication System, which enables users to burn and print 50 discs per session with hands-free unattended operation. The system offers professional printing via the ProCon PC-ALPHA featuring 4-color, 4800dpi inkjet technology. The PC-ALPHA uses non-proprietary inkjet cartridges available at virtually any office products store.

The PC-ALPHA is an all in one production package controlled from your PC over a single USB 2.0 cable using the included software suite. The ProCon Alpha allows users to easily setup multiple burn and print jobs all in a compact, attractive desktop unit. The PC-ALPHA Disc Publisher is ideal for businesses and organizations requiring frequent short runs of discs. Videographers, Houses of Worship, Schools, Offices, Home Offices, Sales and Marketing Departments, Post Production Facilities and Recording Studios will benefit from its innovative design and low price point.

Features, advantages, and benefits of the PC- ALPHA include the following:

  • Independent Disc Transport Robotics
  • Non Proprietary Ink Cartridges (Low Cost of Ownership)
  • 50 Disc Capacity
  • 4800dpi Print Resolution
  • Plextor 16x DVD Recorder (Supports all DVD & CD Formats)
  • Customized Software GUI for Ease of Use
  • Business Card and Mini CD Adapter
  • Audio Alert for Errors or Bad Media
  • Create Discs for Product Catalogs, Manuals, Power Point Presentations, Training Videos
  • Create Discs for Trade Show Handouts, Press Kits, Photos, Music, Event Videos, Software Releases, and more. 

The PC-ALPHA, which comes with a two-year warranty,  weighs at 16lbs., with dimensions: 9.3"H x 19.3"W x 17.3"D.

List price is $2499 Users can call 1-800-631-0868, extension 1044 to receive an introductory discounted price. Direct orders for PC-ALPHA units received before the end of March 2006 will include 100 white photo quality inkjet printable blank DVDs, an extra set of ink cartridges, and free UPS Ground Shipping.

Click here to request an in-house product demonstration and/or to order a ProCon Digital Systems catalog.


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Verbatim Announces 4GB and 8GB Store ‘n’ Go USB HD Drives

Verbatim Corporation announced today the availability of its new 4GB and 8GB Store ‘n' Go USB HD Drives, the latest additions to its award-winning family of USB drives. Designed for portability and style, these lightweight drives have the capacity to meet the needs of people who want to carry volumes of digital data, video, and audio with them or for keeping key information such as emails, photos, or personal calendars available at any time.

The new Store ‘n' Go HD Drives come pre-loaded with Mobile Launchpad, a utility providing users with the ability to download applications for running directly from the USB HD Drive. Mobile Launchpad also allows users to have complete access to personal files and data without loading the content on a guest system. For quick and immediate access, the drives can also be used in regular drag 'n' drop mode.

The tremendous capacity of the Store ‘n' Go USB HD Drive, combined with Mobile Launchpad, gives users the convenience of having mobile applications stored on the drive, ready to use wherever they go. Many applications specifically designed to enhance the portable experience are available for download online. Programs include mobile photo databases, ID/Password management tools, and applications which use the drive to log in from any computer and make Internet phone calls or have online chats.

A stand-out in both design innovation and durability, the 4GB and 8GB Store ‘n' Go HD Drives have a polymer enclosure to provide shock resistance to the hard disc inside. With gently rounded corners, the slender case fits comfortably in the hand. When moving between different locations, the drive can be placed in its stylishly designed travel wallet and slipped into your pocket, purse, attaché or backpack. Using the attached USB 2.0 cable, the hot-pluggable Store ‘n' Go HD Drives can be easily moved from computer to computer without having to shut down or reboot the system. The USB cable conveniently swings out to make it easy to connect to your personal or guest computer and tucks away for convenience when not in use.

When connected to a computer the blue center area of the drive lights up, showing the drive is connected and powered, and blinks when information is being transferred between drive and computer. The drive's compact size makes it easy for students to carry research and class project files from school to home. Consumers can plug the device into a friend's or family member's computer and instantly share slideshows of family photos, vacation videos and personal MP3 selections.

Busy executives who are constantly on-the-go can use a Store ‘n' Go USB HD Drive to keep the latest company presentations, customer and partner contact information, databases, spreadsheets and key business files with them at all times, without having to carry their notebook systems. And, with the convenience of being able to carry diagnostic/repair, configuration and application files in their pocket, Verbatim's Store ‘n' Go USB HD Drive is also a compelling storage solution for IT personnel and service technicians.

Weighing just 1.8 oz, the Verbatim Store ‘n' Go USB HD Drive measures a mere 2.75 x 2.125 x 0.5 inches. The drive is fully compatible with Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, CE 3.0 and higher; Mac OS 9X and higher; Linux 2.40 and higher systems. Mobile Launchpad is compatible with 98SE, ME, 2000, XP and higher systems.

The Verbatim 4GB and 8GB Store ‘n' Go USB HD Drives will be available in March through authorized Verbatim retailers with an approximate street price of $129 & $199 respectively. The complete package includes a travel wallet, USB extension cable and a quick start users guide. For more information on the new Store ‘n' Go USB HD Drives and the full range of Verbatim storage solutions, visit www.verbatim.com/hddrive.

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SpringWorks Invests in YesVideo to Simplify Pro-Quality DVD Production

SpringWorks, LLC has invested in YesVideo, Inc., a leader in automated media content indexing and digital authoring. This round of capital will be used by YesVideo to expand its line of embedded software applications, branded as YesDVD, aimed at making DVD recorders produce professionally featured DVDs with the push of one button. YesVideo has developed core competencies in applying computer vision technology to help consumers view and organize their video and photo content.

Through the YesDVD software, a DVD is automatically produced from videotapes and photos. The content is logically organized into chapters based on new scenes and photos are placed into logical slideshow clusters based on similar images of an event. YesDVD includes Hollywood style navigation menus to the content as well as computer edited "music highlights" of the best scenes. In addition, YesDVD has a custom contact sheet with thumbnail images of all the key chapters or photo groups which serves as an index guide to the content on the DVD disc.

YesVideo provides a line of professionally featured products through a variety of photofinishing retailers including Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Ritz, and Wolf Camera Stores, Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, and Brooks/Eckerd Drug. In addition, through the YesDVD" software, retailers like Best Buy and Ritz/Wolf Camera stores are beginning to offer consumers the ability to produce professional style DVDs as an in-store service at select locations. The company recently announced that it has ported the YesDVD software application that produces the professional style DVDs to fit into a consumer DVD recorder.


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