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Information Today, Inc.

April 16, 2007

Table of Contents

New Features for Matrox MXO Announced at NAB 2007
Blackmagic Design's DeckLink HD Extreme and DeckLink HD Pro Qualified for Final Cut Studio 5.1
Safe Harbor Computers Exclusive US Retailer for ShowStoppersFX’s “Animated Title Construction Kit”
16x9 Inc introduces EX Super Fisheye for Panasonic HVX200 and More
Anton/Bauer Power from Mini to Cine at NAB 2007
Adobe Chooses lynda.com as Exclusive Producer of In-the-Box Training Solution for Creative Suite 3
Zacuto.com Announces the Q-Release Shoulder Pad Mount for HD Video Cameras
Focus Enhancements Revolutionizes High Definition Workflow at NAB 2007
Sonic Unveils CineVision 2.0 World-Class Cinematic Encoding System
Go Green with Toon Boom Storyboard Pro
SmartSound Introduces Sonicfire Pro 4.5 and BackStage Website at NAB 2007
Eclipse Announces V-Series Panels for Clear-Com Digital Matrix Intercom
Canon U.S.A. And Vinten Announce Collaboration To Maximize Image-Stabilization Performance During HDTV Production
XLNT Idea, Inc is now shipping Nexis DVD / CD Publishers with New Version of DiscWorks Software

New Features for Matrox MXO Announced at NAB 2007

Matrox Video Products Group today announced that the Matrox MXO 2.0 release will be demonstrated at NAB 2007 in booth SL2015. "We listened to our customers and added important new functionality to MXO that will truly eliminate the need for Final Cut Pro users to invest in expensive HD monitors," said Wayne Andrews, Matrox MXO product manager. "DVI monitor calibration, super black and super white support, one-to-one pixel mapping and the other features we've added in release 2.0 make Matrox MXO a must-have for video editors on the Mac. Apple Cinema Displays or other DVI monitors can now be used reliably for monitoring detailed editing work, even color grading."

New features in the Matrox MXO 2.0 release include the following:

  • DVI monitor calibration - hue, chroma, contrast, brightness, and blue-only adjustments
  • Super black and super white monitoring on the DVI display
  • Pixel-to-pixel mapping on the DVI display
  • "Virtual bezel" on the DVI display
  • New HD editing resolutions - 1080p at 23.98, 25, and 29.97 fps; and 720p at 25 and 50 fps \
  • New DVI output resolution - 1024x768 at 59.94 fps
  • Region of interest output selection in Presentation Mode
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 support
  • "Leopard" support

Key features of Matrox MXO include the following: 

  • Inexpensive HD monitoring -Frame-accurate, broadcast-quality HD/SD output
  • Realtime HD to SD downscaling
  • WYSIWYG video output from QuickTime-based applications
  • Flicker-free video output of computer desktop
  • Portable, hot-swappable versatility

Priced at $995 US in North America (£619, €899), Matrox MXO is available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. Release 2.0 will available to registered users as a free download from the Matrox website in May 2007.


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Blackmagic Design's DeckLink HD Extreme and DeckLink HD Pro Qualified for Final Cut Studio 5.1

Blackmagic Design Inc. today announced qualification of DeckLink HD Extreme and DeckLink HD Pro by Apple for use with its Final Cut Studio 5.1 software. Apple qualification of capture cards is achieved through rigorous testing and analysis to ensure that devices such as DeckLink HD Extreme and Pro are compatible with current Apple hardware and software.

"We are extremely proud that our video capture products have been qualified for Final Cut Studio 5.1," said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. "Being the first capture card to receive qualification for Apple's Final Cut Studio 5.1 is testament to the high standards of quality and reliability we build into our products. Meeting Apple's high level of quality means our customers have the highest level of interoperability and performance and the best solutions for their projects."

DeckLink HD Extreme and DeckLink HD Pro, along with Final Cut Studio 5.1, provide professional video editors with a tremendous professional desktop editing solution. Blackmagic Design's support for Final Cut Studio offers new opportunities for Mac users worldwide.

DeckLink HD Extreme is the world's first PCIe HDTV capture card to feature both SDI and analog connections, combined with full HD and SD compatibility at an SD-only price. DeckLink HD Extreme switches between HD and SD instantly, so it is the ideal solution for customers who still work exclusively in SD, but are transitioning to HDTV production. MSRP is US$995.

DeckLink HD Pro is the highest quality HDTV capture card to feature the pristine quality of dual link 4:4:4 video. DeckLink HD Pro supports dual link SDI, so users can work natively in 4:4:4 10 bit RGB for high end effects and feature film work. 10 bit RGB 4:4:4 is compatible with the Sony HDCAM-SR 4:4:4 deck, and allows full color resolution for amazing quality. DeckLink HD Pro features both dual link 4:4:4 SDI, 4:2:2 HD/SD-SDI and 14 bit analog monitoring for greater flexibility. MSRP is US$1,195.

DeckLink HD Extreme, DeckLink HD Pro are available via authorized Blackmagic Design resellers. All Blackmagic Design products are software upgradeable, enabling new video formats and features to be added via free software updates from the Blackmagic Design website located at www.blackmagic-design.com/support/software.

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Safe Harbor Computers Exclusive US Retailer for ShowStoppersFX’s “Animated Title Construction Kit”

Safe Harbor Computers, a leading supplier to professional videographers, today announced they have been chosen as the exclusive US reseller for the "Animated Title Construction Kit", the latest video animation offering from ShowStoppersFX.

This unique offering allows video editors to construct custom elegant titles that write themselves onto the screen.
The "Animated Title Construction Kit" works with most major NLE programs, provides 85 animated characters including the entire alphabet in both lower and upper case, numbers 0 through 9, punctuation and accents, plus 5 animated overlays (writing instruments and particle effects) for each of the 85 animated characters.

Highlights include:

  • Create "write on" titles with your own choice of words, including foreign languages like Spanish and French
  • Position text anywhere on the screen
  • Scale and justify individual characters as you want
  • Save your favorite words, build a title animation library as you use it
  • "Write" text using 3 styles of particle effects, plus wand and pen animations
  • Characters have attractive gold gradient with soft drop shadow
  • Change the color of the characters and the particle effects as desired
  • Use Alpha Channel transparency to place over any video
  • Available in 4:3, 16:9 and Hi Def

Animated Title Construction Kit is available now from Safe Harbor Computers. The SD version (in both 4:3 and 16:9) is priced at $239.99, the HD version at $279.99, and the SD/HD bundle at $359.99.

For more information or to order, visit www.sharbor.com.

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16x9 Inc introduces EX Super Fisheye for Panasonic HVX200 and More

16x9 Inc. has introduced EX Super Fisheye, its premier lens accessory for the Panasonic HVX200 and other compact HD camcorders. A favorite of skateboarders and extreme sports photographers, fisheyes expand the view of the lens, providing a wide-eyed perspective that pulls the eye close to the center of the action. Images appear convex with exaggerated angles and extreme barrel distortion.

With a whopping .45X magnification, the new EX Super Fisheye is the widest single-element fisheye adapter on the market. Added to the HVX200 lens, it delivers a 115-degree horizontal and 135-degree diagonal field of view. The EX Super Fisheye Weighs 13.75 oz. (390g) and has a front diameter of 120mm. It comes outfitted with a 72:82mm step-up ring for attachment to the HVX200.

Anchored by a single set screw, the ring is mounted to the back of the adapter. With the ring removed, the Super Fisheye's 72mm rear thread fits neatly to the front of the Sony HVR-Z1U, Canon XH A1, XH G1, or Panasonic DVX100B lens. For mounting to the Sony HVR-V1U/HDR-FX7, an optional 72-62mm step-down ring is available.

Engineered and built in Japan for optimum optical performance, 16x9 Inc.'s HD-quality EX lens add-ons are meticulously crafted of the finest grade materials and feature a innovative, technically advanced design. Suggested U.S. price for the EX Super Fisheye is $695.


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Anton/Bauer Power from Mini to Cine at NAB 2007

Anton/Bauer extended its product range at the NAB 2007 exhibition in Las Vegas with innovative new power solutions from handheld HDV cameras to all new digital cinema cameras. Handheld camera operators have enthusiastically received Anton/Bauer's patent-pending and economical ElipZ system - battery, light and flexible grip.

Introduced in 2006, ElipZ recently successfully powered the handheld Panasonic P2 cameras used by the video team capturing the entire 1500-mile Iditarod dog sled race under the most challenging conditions. The ElipZ design approach dramatically improves the ergonomics of handheld cameras as well as operating times and performance. With a rule-breaking under-the-camera quick release design, the ElipZ 10k battery weighs only 20 ounces yet provides up to 10 hours of runtime for a typical DV/HDV handheld camera.

The ElightZ, weighing merely 6 ounces, delivers efficient fill light without adding weight to the top of the camera and a new accessory wide-angle lens doubles the beam spread.

The EgripZ handheld support flexes into an endless array of positions enhancing camera handling without unecessary weight or tethering the camera with cumbersome belts, tubes or braces. Accessories - from audio receivers to hard drives to monitors - can now be mounted securely and accessibly to space-limited handheld cameras. The new HubZ is a 4 oz. polycarbonate base that mounts directly to the camera base (or the ElipZ battery base) through the standard 1/4-20 screw threads. Formable arms (SpokeZ) secure easily to the HubZ to support the accessory device which can be mounted in any number of positions. HubZ can then be mounted on a tripod through its 1/4-20 thread mount.

For the high power demands of "Digital Cinema", Anton/Bauer leveraged its experience in developing the exclusive power system for the Panavision Genesis Digital Camera, into its new CINE-VCLX - a multi-purpose 560 watt hour power source for digital cine cameras such as the new Sony F-23 CineAlta. CINE-VCLX has 2 regulated 28v outputs (3-pin XLR) and a 14 volt output (4-pin XLR) which can be used simultaneously and without switches. The CINE-VCLX will power virtually all film cameras including most models from Arriflex, Panavision and Aaton and fits all dollies - including Chapman-Leonard and J.L. Fisher.

CINE-VCLX features an Anton/Bauer RealTime display for accurate remaining runtime indication. The simultaneous 28 volt outputs provide the ability to operate 2 film cameras or a film camera with a Preston lens control system from a single VCLX. High rate NiMH cell chemistry provides up to 10 amps from the 28 volt channel and 20 amps from the 14 volt channel. With its high drain high capability and precision voltage regulation, CINE VCLX prevents voltage drops thereby eliminating start-up problems for high speed cameras such as the Arri 435.

A specialized CINE-VCLX-CA version, for use with the Sony F-23 Cine Alta camera, supplies both 28 and 14 volts on a single cable, via an 8-pin Lemo connector and along with a single 28 volt 3-pin and a 14 volt 4-pin XLR. A companion wide range mains input charger (100-240VAC) cuts typical charge time of less capable "film block" batteries by half - to a mere 6-1/2 hours.


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Adobe Chooses lynda.com as Exclusive Producer of In-the-Box Training Solution for Creative Suite 3

lynda.com, the company specializing in self-paced career and computer training in digital media and design, announced today that it has been chosen as the exclusive producer of in-the-box video training for the new Adobe Creative Suite 3. More than 200 lynda.com-produced training videos will be included with all of the new Creative Suite 3 products. Additional Creative Suite 3 training courses, created by lynda.com, will be on display during the NAB conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center, booth number SL2028, April 16-19, 2007.

lynda.com, publisher of the most video-based training for Adobe products in the market, assembled top industry experts to demonstrate the new features in the Adobe Creative Suite 3. These informative sessions will be featured in a Video Workshop DVD that will be included in product boxes and on Adobe.com. Training topics include Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, InDesign CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Dreamweaver CS3, Fireworks CS3, Contribute CS3, Bridge CS3 and Adobe Version Cue CS3.

"The lynda.com training and tutorials provide an exceptional introductory learning experience for our customers," said Caleb Belohlavek, director of product management for Adobe's Creative Solutions. "This video training is an ideal introduction to our new Creative Suite offering and will enable our customers to see essential techniques in action."

Adobe and lynda.com collaborated on a new model for training that reflects the expertise of the broader Adobe community. Forty-five different product experts collaborated and shared their favorite tips and techniques. "It's an honor to be selected by Adobe to produce the in-box training for the Adobe CS3 products," states Lynda Weinman, president of lynda.com. "We've incorporated input from the Adobe community and worked closely with the Adobe Instructional Design team to create training resources. With the Video Workshop, getting up and running quickly will be right at users' fingertips."

The Video Workshop training also serves as a preview for the additional video-based training lynda.com will publish to support all updates to Creative Suite 3 software products. Every Adobe customer who registers a Creative Suite 3 product will be offered a free one-month subscription to the lynda.com Online Training Library, which provides access to all of the video-based training available from lynda.com, including many new courses covering the new CS3 product line.

For more information on lynda.com products, visit http://www.lynda.com.

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Zacuto.com Announces the Q-Release Shoulder Pad Mount for HD Video Cameras

Zacuto, a leading provider of HD video camera accessories will be announcing its much anticipated Q-ReleaseT for mounting a shoulder pad on your HD video camera package. Visit Zacuto at NAB, booth C11413.

The Zacuto Q-Release is the new standard for mounting a shoulder pad to the baseplate of a HD video camera package. The Q-Release allows you to mount a shoulder pad underneath your camera for better camera system balance when using a DOF (Depth of Field) adapter or have camera package lengths up to 36 inches. It allows you to move the center of gravity forward. It also has a handy quick release to mount and un-mount quickly without having to remove other gear on the rods.

The Zacuto Q-Release is used in conjunction with owners existing Zacuto Baseplate & Zacuto Shoulder pad and offers the following advantages:

  • Adjustable center of gravity forward for best balance
  • Can be used with DOF adapter
  • Can shorten camera package length buy 1 foot by moving center of balance forward.
  • Quick Release for easy mount or un-mount with a flip of the lever
  • Rock solid and comfortable

"With Q-Release virtually any camera can be operated comfortably - with just the right balance - for tireless all-day use," stated Zacuto Marketing Director Steve Weiss. See Q-Release and the whole line of Zacuto products at NAB booth C11413.

Zacuto Q-Release is now available for $175 at Zacuto's online store. http://store.zacuto.com/product.php?productid=195&cat=0&page=1.

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Focus Enhancements Revolutionizes High Definition Workflow at NAB 2007

Focus Enhancements Inc, a worldwide leader in media management and Ultra Wideband (UWB) wireless technology, announced that it will showcase its revolutionary HD workflow, from acquisition and editing to distribution, display, and management at NAB2007. The new HD workflow will be on display in Focus Enhancements' booth, SL2605, at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 16-19, 2007.

Focus Enhancements will present a seamless, end-to-end HD workflow, featuring its industry-standard Direct To EditÒ DTE disk recorders combined with multiple camcorders from Panasonic, JVC, Canon, and Sony. The company will also debut its new HX-1 and HX-2 Portable HD Video Switchers sourced via the Focus MCSDI-1 Portable HD/SD SDI Portable Converter. Media will be captured live and managed by the new, industry-first ProxSys PX-1 Production Media Asset Management (MAM) Server, designed for production professionals and broadcasters. "We completed our SD-to-HD transition across all product lines and now all models of our award-winning FS-4 Portable DTE recorders ship with standard HD format support," said Michael Conway, senior vice president of corporate strategy for Focus Enhancements.

"All efforts in our systems group product development are concentrated on streamlining HD workflow. Our customers will benefit from our products' common I/O formats, increased modularity, and deep file format support. Spearheaded by our industry-leading DTE recorders, this extensive file format support has continued across our media acquisition, management, conversion, and delivery families."

New Focus products at NAB 2007 include the following:

  • ProxSys PX-1 Production Media Server: Turnkey, out-of-the-box-ready Media Asset Management solution for acquisition, storage, and retrieval of digital media content for video production professionals.
  • MMC-1/2/3/4 Media Codecs: Broadcast quality PCI cards including hardware MPEG/DV codecs and a range of I/O options.
  • HX-1 and HX-2 Portable HD Video Switchers: Four channel (HX-1) and eight channel (HX-2) SD/HD video switcher with powerful live switching and effects for broadcasters and video professionals.
  • MCSDI-1 Portable HD/SD-SDI Media Converter: Analog and HDMI input to HD/SD-SDI converter with two channel embedded audio.

For more information on Focus Enhancements and its products, please visit www.focusinfo.com.

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Sonic Unveils CineVision 2.0 World-Class Cinematic Encoding System

Sonic Solutions, the leader in digital media software, today unveiled CineVision 2.0, a major upgrade to the company's professional encoding system that has been enhanced to tackle the complex encoding challenges of next-generation Blu-ray Disc (BD) and HD DVD optical disc formats. The latest version sets a new standard for control and workflow efficiency with a range of features and enhancements including the integration of best-of-class Digital Vision image enhancement technologies, advanced segment-based editing functionality with multi-take capabilities, and dual-format legalization control.

CineVision 2 also further improves encoding quality of all three next-generation HD video codecs: H.264 (AVC), VC-1, and MPEG-2. Sonic will be demonstrating CineVision 2 at NAB (Stand SL4314), April 16th to the 19th in Las Vegas Nevada.

CineVision 2.0 will be released in May as a full workstation featuring all codecs and tools; single codec product configurations will also be available. "To keep pace with the growing demands of our high-definition services, it is critical that the tools we use are not only extremely proficient, but also allow us to work more efficiently," said Jeff Huang, VP of New Media at Elektrofilm Digital Studios. "With CineVision 2.0, Sonic is not only releasing an outstanding application, but perhaps more importantly, they are applying their deep understanding of all aspects of the high-definition title workflow to deliver a solution that empowers us to increase productivity so that we may better serve our clients' needs."

CineVision 2 has been optimized for professionals requiring comprehensive support for a wide range of input types, including QuickTime, AVI, and DPX image sequences. As part of Sonic's collaboration with advanced digital media application developer Digital Vision, CineVision 2.0 now also incorporates Digital Vision Optics (DVO), a collection of resolution-independent, software-based image enhancement tools. With the inclusion, compressionists will be able to fine-tune image quality including reducing unwanted electronic noise and increasing picture sharpness during the encoding process. Becoming the first application in its class to offer a multi-take system for advanced segment editing, CineVision enables users to save significant time by making changes to a particular segment without having to re-encode an entire feature.

In addition, CineVision 2.0 supports full legalization of all aspects of Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD video encoding including the ability to encode a single file for dual-format output. CineVision 2.0 also allows users to modify more encoding parameters including adaptive quantization, black level normalization, and maximum quantization control. "Encoding demands are escalating as title capacity has begun to increase for HD DVD and BD title releases.

To meet the industry demands of quality and quantity, CineVision 2.0 is arriving at exactly the right moment with its streamlined workflow and hyper-quality enhancements," said Rolf Hartley, senior vice president and general manager of Sonic's Professional Products Group. "CineVision is the right platform for content creators who need the very best asset encoding and a refined workflow to maximize their HD authoring business potential immediately."

CineVision 2.0 is part of Sonic's Scenarist Workgroup, a comprehensive collection of interoperable applications that enable major motion picture studios and professional authoring facilities to efficiently encode, author, proof, and release Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD commercial titles that feature high-definition video and rich interactivity. In addition to CineVision 2.0, the Workgroup also features Scenarist BD Edition and Scenarist HD DVD Edition, Sonic's professional authoring solutions for next-generation optical disc formats that offer maximum playback compatibility and complete cell-level control for standard and advanced interactive content development. The Workgroup also includes as well Scenarist Designer PS 2.0 for streamlined HD DVD and BD menu creation.


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Go Green with Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

Emmy award-winning Toon Boom Animation Inc. today announced the release of Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, the only digital storyboarding software for films, documentaries, gaming, advertising, and animation projects. Storyboard Pro is entirely paperless enabling storyboard artists, directors and producers to save significant time and costs while helping to preserve the Earth's natural resources.

Easy to learn and user-friendly, Storyboard Pro mimics the traditional storyboarding process digitally using a graphic tablet and pen. Storyboard Pro offers advanced features for quality storyboarding, integrated simultaneous animatic creation and effective pre-production management.

The Pro version includes the following:

  • True WYSIWYG multi-layer drawing engine
  • Total pipeline integration with AAF, CSV, PSD and PDF file format support
  • Powerful animatic features with dynamic camera moves and synchronized audio files
  • Flexible platforms with Windows Tablet PC and Vista as well as Mac Intel

Toon Boom Storyboard Pro will be showcased during NAB 2007 at booth SL2622 and at MIPTV 2007, at booth C1.05. Storyboard Pro is offered at a Launch Special of $799.99 US (MSRP $899.99 US) and is now available online at www.toonboom.com/products/storyboardpro/.

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SmartSound Introduces Sonicfire Pro 4.5 and BackStage Website at NAB 2007

SmartSound Software, Inc., the leading provider of music and scoring technology for film and video professionals, today announced the release of Sonicfire Pro 4.5, the latest version of its award-winning music scoring software. It is available in two versions: a standalone version for single-user installations and a network version that includes several breakthrough workflow enhancements for film and video professionals and can be seen at SmartSound's booth at NAB 2007 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (#SL3710).

A major new feature available to all Sonicfire Pro 4.5 users is Smart Recall, which brings new customization options to music tracks exported as standard audio file formats. Sonicfire Pro music scores which have been exported as .WAV or .AIFF files are now embedded with the project information used to create the track. In addition to being editable with any audio software, Smart Recall files have the added benefit of being opened in Sonicfire Pro 4.5 to make changes to the length, arrangement and mix of the score before exporting the new, edited audio file.

"Smart Recall gives Sonicfire Pro 4.5 customers a clear advantage over using any other music solution," said Kevin Klingler, president and CEO of SmartSound Software, Inc. "Sonicfire Pro 4.5 now makes it easy for editors to access powerful customization features such as the award-winning Mood Mapping and immediately make changes to their score as their production evolves. This ability to update their score instantly is not available from any other source."

SmartSound has also announced the release of Sonicfire Pro 4.5 Network Edition. This new edition boasts features which improve the workflow in a collaborative environment. For just $299 per seat, every editor can enjoy the benefits of SmartSound at their workstation while the entire SmartSound music library is centrally located on a network drive. Having the searching and customization tools on each editor's desktop allows the editor to find and fit the perfect track without having to leave their desktop or disrupt their workflow.

Additional features include the new Express Track program, which provides the fastest interface possible to find customized music. Express Track is perfect for editors who want the simplicity of their current music searching tools and the customization power of SmartSound with no learning curve. Another aspect of the Network Edition is an option to prefix every music track with a unique ID number that accelerates the creation of music cue sheets and aids in project file management for broadcast content producers. "We are thankful to our high-end customers and advisors for helping us assemble a feature set that addresses the needs of professional production companies better than any product on the market," said Klingler. "Adding this level of capability makes Sonicfire Pro 4.5 an ideal choice for big and small production companies alike."

Existing owners of Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 4 can receive Sonicfire Pro 4.5 Standard Edition as a free upgrade or receive a limited-time discount price of $49.50 per seat to upgrade to the Network Edition. This discounted price is limited to two seats. Owners of other SmartSound products may also qualify for discounts when upgrading to Sonicfire Pro 4.5. Check www.smartsound.com/sonicfire for details and pricing.

SmartSound has also announced the launch of BackStage, a new Web site open exclusively to registered users of Sonicfire® Pro 4 (www.smartsound.com/backstage). BackStage leverages SmartSound's unique technology leadership among music libraries to deliver creative new music content and automated solutions to production companies that have adopted this exciting new music library platform.

The new Automatic Cue Sheet service in BackStage virtually eliminates the tedious and time-consuming task of creating accurate cue sheets from Edit Decision Lists (EDLs). Cue sheets are generated from user-imported EDLs which automatically include the cue name, length, composer and licensing information for any SmartSound track along with a growing database of more than 160,000 music cues from other libraries.

"Traditionally, it could take up to four hours to create cue sheets based on EDLs," said Kevin Klingler, President and CEO of SmartSound Software, Inc. "Our new Automatic Cue Sheet service slashes the amount of time needed to perform this task, saving production companies huge amounts of time and money. Our ability to recognize music cues from other libraries as well as from our own allows production companies to get a high level of value from our service regardless of the source of the music tracks used in their projects."

The Automatic Cue Sheet service is scheduled to be live on June 1, and will be available to all BackStage Pass holders for a yearly fee of only $995 for unlimited cue sheets. Anyone can request one-on-one demo of the Automatic Cue Sheet service at www.smartsound.com/backstage. BackStage also presents several new options for customers who wish to expand their libraries to include unique music content. SmartSound has increased its monthly output of music since the launch of Sonicfire Pro 4 last year to meet the demand for content that works with the award-winning Mood Mapping feature. SmartSound will limit its public music releases to about one per month and make all the additional music available exclusively through BackStage at a cost of $199 per disc.

"BackStage delivers music with the quality and exclusivity of more expensive libraries but with the key advantage of SmartSound's technology," said Klingler. "And with our flat-rate royalty-free licensing, post-production professionals can own our music without the hassles of annual license contracts or needledrop fees."

Customers who experience the power and efficiency of SmartSound's music tracks increasingly want the same benefits from their own private music collections. SmartSound is making this possible for the first time through BackStage by enabling customer-owned music to have the same functionality as music in the SmartSound library. Starting at $250 per track, this service gives professionals the advantages of SmartSound's level of customization and control through their own personal music libraries, greatly enhancing their creativity and productivity on every production. "This makes sense for producers who find that they are reusing certain tracks for a variety of reasons or projects," said Klingler.

SmartSound is also offering a custom-composing service that is unique to the industry. Customers can hire SmartSound's composers to create a custom music track and SmartSound will enable that track to work with the customer's Sonicfire Pro software. Delivering music in a SmartSound-enabled format gives the customer instant access to every possible length, variation and instrument mix for the track. Registered users of Sonicfire Pro 4 can sign up for a free BackStage Pass at www.smartsound.com/backstage. Every new BackStage Pass comes with free single-track download of your choice from SmartSound's music library as the first benefit. All BackStage Pass holders enjoy the privilege of accessing the exclusive new premium music content and services.


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Eclipse Announces V-Series Panels for Clear-Com Digital Matrix Intercom

Clear-Com, a Vitec Group brand, has debuted a range of new V-Series panels for the industry-leading Eclipse Digital Matrix intercom systems. The new 12 and 24-key panels feature unparalleled audio digital signal processing (DSP), audio clarity and intuitive operator ease of use. The new Eclipse V-Series panels include push-button and lever key variants and a range of full display extension panels. Panel keys offer individual mix level control, allowing users to set personal audio levels to suit individual workflows.

Clear-Com's V-Series panels are the first in the industry to provide 10-character graphic displays. The new displays provide greater flexibility in the naming of sources and destinations, and offer multi-language capabilities to support a variety of international fonts, including Kanji and Katakana. DSP audio incorporates advantages like Internal Audio Routing, EQ, improved audio control (such as mic limiting and automatic gain), as well as intelligent dimming and sidetone.

The new Supervisor Functionality feature allows a central user to remotely control any panel in the system and configure it in parallel control with the local user. This allows the supervisor to listen to the same audio as the user to help make complex level adjustments.

Yet another revolutionary V-Series panels feature is Clear-Com's "Listen Again" technology that employs digital audio memory to allow the user to replay the last 10 seconds of communications, aiding clarity in noisy and demanding environments. This benefits occupied users who no longer need to repeat commands.

V-Series Panels are available through local distributors or the Clear-Com sales office. For more information go to www.clearcom.com.

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Canon U.S.A. And Vinten Announce Collaboration To Maximize Image-Stabilization Performance During HDTV Production

Canon U.S.A., Inc.'s DIGISUPER 100xs and DIGISUPER 86xs long-field zoom lenses are world famous for their Optical Shift Image Stabilizer ("Shift-IS") technology, which capture rock-solid images in crystal-clear HD even at telephoto distances. Now the capabilities of these advanced HD lenses have been further maximized by an exclusive technology collaboration between Canon and Vinten, a leading manufacturer of tripods, pedestals, pan/tilt heads, camera robotics, and other innovative camera-support solutions. Benefits and applications of these shared technologies will be highlighted at NAB2007, the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters, held April 14-19 in Las Vegas (Canon booth #SU 3020).

The Canon-Vinten collaboration integrates the advanced capabilities of Canon's Shift-IS lens technology with the high-resolution optical encoders built into Vinten's new Vector 950 Active pan/tilt heads. The special encoders in the Vector 950 Active provide output that is fully compatible with the Canon HD lenses. The result is the elimination of any trace of lag after fast pan or tilt shots - a great advantage in the production of fast-paced HDTV sporting and entertainment events.

"We are very excited to be collaborating with Canon's Broadcast Division to once again bring the tools of the trade to the next level of technology," said Ali Ahmadi, product and marketing manager for Vinten products for the Americas. "Just as Canon continually pushes the technology envelope to provide ever-greater product performance for its customers, so too does Vinten. Both companies emphasize quality and technology in their products."

The Vinten-Canon technology collaboration debuted at this year's Super Bowl when a Sony HD camera, supported by Vinten's new Vector 950 Active pan/tilt head and outfitted with Canon's DIGISUPER100xs (model XJ100x9.3BIE-D) long-field HD zoom lens, was used to capture the exciting, fast-paced action. "The exclusive technology collaboration between Canon and Vinten takes Canon's superior Shift IS Image-Stabilizer system and makes it an even greater tool for camera operators when combined with Vinten's Vector 950 Active head," said Gordon Tubbs, director, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon U.S.A. "We are honored to participate in this exclusive technology collaboration with Vinten, a company that is so highly respected in the broadcast and production industry."

Currently two of Canon's most popular field lenses - the DIGISUPER 100xs and DIGISUPER 86xs - are compatible with the new Vinten Vector 950 Active. This compatibility is a no-cost, built-in standard feature of Canon's DIGISUPER 100xs and DIGISUPER 86xs lenses. "Canon's Shift-IS Image-Stabilizer system is an important advancement that has been applauded by the broadcast community and this collaboration just makes it better," noted Tubbs.

Vinten's Vector 950 Active pan/tilt head offers camera operators improved picture control and better performance in a smaller and more robust package. The Vector 950 Active features infinitely adjustable TF drag, tilt-axis deadlock, an illuminated leveling bubble and pan-and-tilt brake levers positioned for ease of use. In addition, a new spring counterbalance system allows up to ±90° of perfectly counterbalanced camera tilt.

The Vector 950 Active is relatively light and compact, allowing for easier set-up, repositioning and minimal storage space. Canon's DIGISUPER 100xs and DIGISUPER 86xs long-field HD zoom lenses are the most widely used lenses in HD sports and entertainment production. (The DIGISUPER 100xs was the world's first triple-digit HD zoom lens).

At NAB2007, Canon will add to its DIGISUPER product line with the introduction of the DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF Auto Focus models. All Canon DIGISUPER lenses feature the HD optical precision and heightened long-range zoom capabilities that have made Canon a global leader. All of Canon's DIGISUPER HD field lenses also feature Canon's unique XS technology for improved optical performance and lighter weight.


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XLNT Idea, Inc is now shipping Nexis DVD / CD Publishers with New Version of DiscWorks Software

XLNT Idea Inc., a leading US Based manufacturer of DVD and CD Duplication, Direct to Disc Printing, and Autoloader Systems, is now shipping the Nexis 50 and 100AP Publishing Systems and Autoprinter with a new version of DiscWorks, XLNT Idea's cutting edge DVD / CD autoloader burn and label creation software. Created by XLNT Idea's experienced software engineering team, DiscWorks now provides endusers with superior job creation and direct to disc printing capability. DiscWorks now features two applications embedded in the application, Disc Direct and Disc Studio, that allow for such features as fast multiple job cueing, easy job set up and disc labeling functions with numerous background images and image import capabilities.

Chuck Alcon Jr, Director of Sales / Marketing added, "XLNT Idea has the unique company profile of designing both our own hardware and software in house. This provides exceptional value to the enduser customer. Furthermore, DiscWorks is extremely functional while being intuitive and easy to use. Disc Studio, our label editing application, provides unmatched customized design and direct to disc printing for Nexis users."

DiscWorks is now shipping in all XLNT Idea DVD / CD Publishing solutions, and is available from an XLNT Idea authorized VAR, Dealer or OEM partner.


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