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May 07, 2007

Table of Contents

Continuing Education: VASST's Inside the Sony HVR-V1U and HDR-FX7
4th Annual GraVT Expo Scheduled for May 11, 2007 in Atlanta
New Schneider Optics Filter Kit for DV Cameras
Sachtler Unveils artemis DV PRO FX Camera Stabilization System
16x9 Inc. Introduces New Single-Filter 4x4 Sunshade
Corel Introduces Ulead VideoStudio 11 for Easy and Powerful Desktop Video Editing and DVD Authoring
RITEK Announces Blu-ray Discs Along with the New Era of High-Definition Entertainment
OWC Announces Availability of First and Only Terabyte Quad Interface Single-Drive Solution

Continuing Education: VASST's Inside the Sony HVR-V1U and HDR-FX7

VASST's Inside the Sony HVR-V1U and HDR-FX7 ($79) features noted industry expert, musician, video producer, and HDV advocate Douglas Spotted Eagle as he gives us a run-down of the features of these latest-generation Sony HDV camcorders. The camera used in the video is the HVR-V1U, from Sony's Professional HDV lineup, but Spot also points out the areas where the less-expensive FX7 differs from its cousin.

The disc starts out with a tour of the camera's external controls, beginning at the left front of the unit and working methodically around to the back and the right side. There are quite a few interesting points here, such as the ergonomics of the most frequently used controls. Controls that are new or improved over previous Sony HDV models are highlighted. Spotted Eagle also provides some tips on how to use the camera efficiently, and tells us about some of his favorite camera settings and button assignments.

Next, the video delves deeper into the camera's menu settings. This is where the real power of the camera lies, and is the most interesting section of the DVD. All of the menu settings are explored, including Cinegamma, Black Stretch/Compress, and Skin Detail. There's also a detailed illustration of how to set up and use the Shot Transition feature (I never understood how to use this until Spoted Eagle's explanation). In most cases where settings affect the recorded image, VASST has included shots from the camcorder to illustrate the changes. However, I found that in some of these—the small picture-in-picture, and/or the decrease in quality inherent in going from HDV to a standard definition DVD—made subtle differences in the image that were hard to make out.

One of the best parts of this video isn't about the V1U/FX7 at all, at least not directly. It's an "extra added feature" in which Spotted Eagle gives viewers a rapid-fire lecture on the HDV format itself, including its advantages and its weaknesses. He discusses in some detail how to shoot with HDV for the best results, and how to capture and edit with it. He also debunks a lot of what he calls "HDV Myths" that you'll find floating around the web and elsewhere. There is so much information in this section that it seemed to be a video version of Spot's excellent VASST-published book, HDV—What You NEED to Know, The Complete Guide (see Stephen F. Nathans's review).

You won't find any camera comparisons between the V1U and HDV camcorders from other manufacturers on this video, nor does it have any kind of detailed test results, such as, for example, low-light performance data or resolution charts. The video is best suited for those who are just getting into HDV and need a lot of general information about the format, as well as some specifics about these new Sony camcorders they may be considering or have already purchased. It's a great way to "get your hands on" these camcorders if you don't happen to have a local dealer who has one for you to try. It's also a highly effective tool for training a shooter in the use of these cameras, much more quickly and thoroughly than having them read the factory users' manual.

For more information, or to order Inside the Sony HVR-V1U and HDR-FX7 from the VASST store, click here.

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4th Annual GraVT Expo Scheduled for May 11, 2007 in Atlanta

GraVT Expo 2007 is the Southeastern computer graphics and video editing event you don't want to miss! The 4th Annual GraVT Expo is promoted and hosted by TheDVshop.com, Atlanta, Ga. Showcase Inc, Atlanta, Ga. and Tape Warehouse, Atlanta, Ga. This event will feature product demonstrations from some of the most respected presenters in the industry. GraVT Expo is for everyone, weather you are producing home movies, wedding videos, corporate, or broadcast video, SD or HD you will see a product that works for you. Review the list of free seminars below.

Don't miss this opportunity to see and learn about this great lineup of products. This is a list of the manufacturers that have already signed up to participate, TheDVShop, Showcase, TapeWarehouse, Adobe, Matrox, Grass Valley, Intel, Samsung, Lacie, PNY (Nvidia), Wacom, HAI, Colorgraphics, The Forever Group, Cingular/AT&T, Sony, Canon, Bogen, Sennheiser, Westcott Lighting, Vinten/Sachtler, ,and Optima and the list continues to grow. Over $1000 in prizes will be given away during the event.

This exciting event will be held May 11 at theDVshop.com headquarters located at 1135 Sheridan Rd. Atlanta, GA 30324. Admission to the GraVT EXPO is free to those who pre-register.

  • 9:30am-10:30am Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium
  • 10:30am-11:30am Matrox RT.X2
  • 11:30am-12:00pm Canon Camcorders
  • 12:00pm-12:30pm PNY (Nvidia) Graphics Technology
  • 12:30pm-1:00pm Intel Core Technology
  • 1:00pm-1:30pm My DVShop Family/Corporate Video Streaming Services
  • 1:30pm-2:00pm Sony Camcorders
  • 2:30pm-3:30pm Grass Valley Edius Pro4, Edius Pro4 Broadcast, ProCoder
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm Lacie Data Storage Solutions
  • 4:30pm-5:30pm Matrox RT.X2
  • 5:30pm-6:00pm Canon Projectors
  • 6:00pm-7:00pm Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium
  • 7:00pm-8:00pm AVA/Forever Group

The trade show runs from 9:00am-8:00pm. For more information, visit www.thedvshop.com. To register for GraVT Expo, click here.

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New Schneider Optics Filter Kit for DV Cameras

For a limited time, Schneider Optics is offering a screw-on dual filter package custom-tailored to enhance the optical performance of popular DV camcorders.

Available in 3 sizes -- for 62mm, 72mm, and 82mm lens front cameras -- the Schneider Dual-Pak DV Filter Kit contains one round screw-on B+W UV filter and one Schneider Top-Pol polarizing filter. Threading neatly onto the front of the lens, B+W UV filters effectively block the invisible UV component of light from the sky. Pictures gain brilliance, and the disturbing blue cast that can occur with many color films is avoided. Schneider Top-Pols are unmatched in their ability to reduce glare and unwanted reflections, saturate colors, deepen blue skies, improve contrast and penetrate haze.

MSRP for this special is $75.00 for the 62mm Dual-Pak, $100 for the 72mm, and $195.00 for the 82mm kit, for a savings of up to $96.

www.schneideroptics.com

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Sachtler Unveils artemis DV PRO FX Camera Stabilization System

Sachtler, a Vitec Group brand, introduces the artemis DV Pro FX camera stabilization system, the lightest and most cost-effective stabilizer in the artemis family. Complete with a sled, vest and arm, the DV Pro FX provides many advantages of the top-of-the-line artemis systems--scaled down to fit the new breed of handheld DV and HDV camcorders.

The DV Pro FX offers a range of professional advantages, including complete control of all adjustments and the flexibility needed for smooth camera movements. Engineered to optimize the mass and add the appropriate amount of inertia to precisely stabilize lightweight professional camcorders, the system facilitates fast and true dynamic balance, providing the operator with continuous control of every move. The result is smooth camera moves while walking, running or riding a moving vehicle or platform.

The streamlined black FX sled features a central post topped with a quick-release camera mounting system. At the bottom of the post is the battery compartment, which accepts standard 14.4V batteries from Anton Bauer or other makes for ultimate compatibility.

An integrated 7-inch professional LCD monitor slides and tilts to optimize viewing and aid dynamic balance. It offers 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios and the smart monitor automatically switches between NTSC and PAL depending on signal input.

The DV Pro FX's advanced arm features easily interchangeable gas-spring cartridges, in a choice of three payloads: 11.0 - 17.6 lbs. (5-8 kg), 17.6 - 24.2 lbs. (8-11 kg), and 22.0 - 28.6 lbs (10-13 kg). Easy to reach adjustments for tension and arm angle are accomplished via a single 4mm/5-32" Allen wrench (included).

The lightweight back-mount-style vest offers ample cushioning and a rugged Cordura skin. It has been designed for maximum adjustability in both height and width to fit a multitude of human frames. Operators will also appreciate that the arm support is fully reversible for operation on either left or right side of the body.

The DV Pro FX has been modularly designed for ultimate flexibility and easy upgrade to the more feature-packed artemis DV Pro MD. "The philosophy of artemis is modularity," said Ali Ahmadi, Product and Marketing Manager for Sachtler products for the Americas. "It's a big advantage because rather than investing in a whole new rig, an operator can simply upgrade, as their business grows."

The development, production and assembly of all Sachtler artemis systems are carried out at the company's headquarters near Munich, Germany. The company expects the DV Pro FX system to retail under $6500. The product is available through the Sachtler dealer network.

www.artemis-hd.com

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16x9 Inc. Introduces New Single-Filter 4x4 Sunshade

Now there's a shading solution for shooters who need a top of the line, quality sunshade with only one filterholder. The new Chrosziel 455-R1 Single-Filter 4x4 Sunshade is designed and constructed with the same meticulous craftsmanship, technical innovation, and unsurpassed quality that have established their systems as the industry standard.

The sunshade's lightweight, durable dual-molded true 16:9 housing sports a sleek rectangular design, grey exterior, and interior flat black powder coating. Housing and filterholder are precision engineered and machined to fit seamlessly and securely together -- the single 4x4 rotating filterstage glides in and out with ease. Operators have the option of adding a full-size French Flag (with integrated pivot mechanism for the use of sidewings) for more precise manipulation of light. Protection against flair and loss of contrast is provided by an optional 16:9 insert mask.

This lightweight (12 oz.), compact (8" W x 5" H x 2 1/2" D) clamp-on sunshade comes fitted with a 110mm rear plate and works beautifully with popular compact HD cameras like the Sony HVR-V1U and HDR-FX1, Canon XH A1, XH G1, XL H1 and XL2, and Panasonic HVX200 and DVX100B. In addition, the system is fully compatible with most full-sized camcorders featuring broadcast or HD/SD camera lenses with up to a 5.2mm focal length. A comprehensive line of optional step-down rings is available to accommodate lens diameters of 80mm, 85mm, 86mm, 95mm, 96mm, 98mm, 100mm and 105mm.

U.S. MSRP for the 455-R1 is $715, with an introductory promotional price of $615.

www.16x9inc.com

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Corel Introduces Ulead VideoStudio 11 for Easy and Powerful Desktop Video Editing and DVD Authoring

Corel Corporation (NASDAQ:CREL; TSX:CRE), a leading developer of graphics, productivity and digital media software, today announced the availability of Ulead® VideoStudio 11 and Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus, the newest versions of its award-winning consumer video editing and DVD authoring software. Widely regarded for its powerful features and unmatched ease of use, VideoStudio now includes the industry's first AVCHD editing solution, enhanced DV-to-DVD Wizard and Movie Wizard features, more title/subtitle and overlay tools and a host of quick-fix solutions for common video problems, including automatic color/tone correction. With the new Plus version, consumers also have a complete, end-to-end solution for capturing, editing, authoring and burning HD DVD videos.

Ulead VideoStudio 11 is an all-in-one solution for producing professional-looking videos, slideshows and DVDs with Dolby® Digital sound. More than just an upgrade of the previous version, the Works with Windows Vista-certified software makes a quantum leap forward in delivering today's most-wanted features while maintaining the performance and ease-of-use that have made Ulead VideoStudio so popular.

"AVCHD camcorders are being positioned as the best choice for consumers who want the higher quality that can be achieved with high-definition (HD) video, but until now, no software packages were available to edit AVCHD," said Blaine Mathieu, Vice President and General Manager, Products and Strategy, Digital Media at Corel. "VideoStudio 11 changes all that. Now, consumers have an easy-to-use solution for capturing video from the new crop of AVCHD camcorders; editing without quality loss; and outputting to disc, tape or the Web to share with friends and family."

Features that set VideoStudio 11 apart from the competition include the new MPEG Optimizer. An industry first, the MPEG Optimizer helps users choose the best MPEG settings for rendering video when combining clips in multiple formats. It analyzes the bitrates of all clips on the timeline and suggests encoding settings to ensure the least re-rendering for the best quality and speed. Users can now Safely Pause rendering at any time when they need to do something that requires more PC resources.

Also unique to its product category, the Plus version of VideoStudio includes Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator Technology. This solution quickly and easily converts 2 channel stereo sound to Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, and then further enhances that sound to take advantage of increasingly popular home theater systems. Competing products offering 5.1 support require users to purchase a plug-in.

The most complete video solution on the market, VideoStudio 11 supports all popular formats, including standard and high-definition video, images and audio. Video can be captured from virtually any video source: DV camcorders (including HDV and AVCHD camcorders), hard drive camcorders (MOD file format), USB camcorder devices, mobile phones, set-top DVD recorders, digital and analog TV tuners, VCRs and Webcams.

With the convenient DV-to-DVD Wizard, consumers have the fastest and easiest way to convert DV from their camcorder to a DVD. In fact, VideoStudio includes complete DVD authoring functionality, enabling users to create both DVDs and HD-DVDs with multimedia menus in just a few clicks. The more advanced user is provided with the ability to customize and create powerful and exciting DVD menus that include Corel's SmartScene technology, bringing true interactivity to DVD menus.

With the new, advanced templates in the Movie Wizard, users can now create their own Hollywood-style openings using their personal video clips in multiple animated frames. And with the expanded sharing options, VideoStudio users can now share their videos on-the-go with a Microsoft Zune as well as the leading smartphones and other popular mobile devices. VideoStudio Plus customers also have support for the Apple® iPod®, Sony® PSP®, YouTube™ and Nokia® mobile phones.

Already equipped with an Anti-shake filter and Enhance Lighting filter, VideoStudio now offers a broad range of features for consumers who are new to creating videos and experienced users who want to save time. Based on new image correction algorithms that set the standard in color correction technology, the new Auto Color & Tone feature auto-corrects the color and tone of videos recorded in low light or less-than-perfect white balance conditions. A DeBlock Filter has been added to clean up videos with blocky compression artifacts, such as those downloaded from the Web. A new DeSnow Filter reduces noise found in video digitized from analog sources, such as VHS tapes.

To give consumers the freedom to celebrate their creativity, Ulead VideoStudio 11 also provides Overlay Video Tools for combining transparency with mask or chroma key effects and for cropping the results on-screen to remove any unwanted elements. The new Preview Window for Overlays shows the original overlay image, making it easier to adjust chroma key settings. With the Plus version's new Expanded Timeline, users who work on projects with more than one overlay will also benefit from being able to view multiple overlay tracks and audio tracks without having to scroll.

In addition to offering all of the features included in the standard version, Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus is a complete, end-to-end HD DVD solution. Users can import high-definition video from hard drive and disc-based AVCHD camcorders and can edit HD in real time without proxies on high-spec systems. Using Corel's advanced PureHD™ technology, HD content can be edited in real time as easily as DV, even on mid-range machines. Or, for fast and easy HD video creation, the newly enhanced Movie Wizard can be used to capture, edit and output full-resolution HD movies with immersive Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Authored projects or folders can be burned to HD DVD-R/RW or even standard DVD discs. For added value, VideoStudio 11 Plus includes InterVideo® WinDVD® 8 Silver, the first universal playback software to achieve AVCHD certification.

"With the increasing interest in HD video editing tied largely to both the massive increase in HD TVs and massive decrease in HD video camera prices the market was ripe for a product that could take professional quality video editing and make the related tools consumer easy," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group. "The Ulead VideoStudio product family contains powerful updates to a line that now helps drive the video market into the High Definition generation of video enthusiasts and further the dramatic growth of this technology segment."

Ulead VideoStudio 11 Standard and Plus editions are available today from www.corel.com and www.ulead.com. The product will be widely available at major resellers and retailers in North America beginning in May 2007. Suggested retail pricing is $89.99 USD for the standard version and $129.99 USD for the Plus version. Upgrade pricing is also available for registered users of previous versions. For more information on Ulead VideoStudio 11, visit www.corel.com or www.ulead.com.

 

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RITEK Announces Blu-ray Discs Along with the New Era of High-Definition Entertainment

RITEK's revolutionary Blu-ray disc range is now officially on the market. The product lineups utilize blue laser technology for high-definition recording, thus providing the users with the ultimate digital entertainment experience.

With the expansion of digital entertainment, the storage capacity of a traditional DVD is no longer enough. RITEK manufactures Blu-ray discs with its state of the art production technology, which meet the Blu-ray Disc Association standards.

RITEK BD-R and BD-RE discs are quality, compatible, and extremely stable during data recording and play back. Its impressive 25GB storage capacity is 5 times of the capacity of a conventional DVD and 3 times of the capacity of a Double Layer DVD. It is not only able to store over 4.5 hours of 1080P HD video data, but is also suitable for backing-up extensive amounts of data. RITEK's BD-R and BD-RE perform stunningly in terms of data transfer rate; the 72Mbps transfer rate greatly reduces the burning elapsed time, and eliminates the insufficient space limit.

The HardCoat protection layer of BD-R and BD-RE discs are standard specification and it can prevent the data loss due to inadequate temperature, humidity, fingerprints and scratches.

RITEK's BD-R and BD-RE discs are compatible with most of the Blu-ray burners available on the market, such as the SONY BWU-100A, Panasonic LF-MB121, LITE-ON LH-2B1S, etc. For a detailed drive list, please log on RITEK website at www.ritek.com.

Out of its new generation of Blu-ray Disc products, RITEK's 50GB dual-layer BD-R and BD-RE will also be available soon.

RITEK's revolutionary Blu-ray disc range is now officially on the market. The product lineups utilize blue laser technology for high-definition recording, thus providing the users with the ultimate digital entertainment experience.

With the expansion of digital entertainment, the storage capacity of a traditional DVD is no longer enough. RITEK manufactures Blu-ray discs with its state of the art production technology, which meet the Blu-ray Disc Association standards. RITEK BD-R and BD-RE discs are quality, compatible, and extremely stable during data recording and play back.

Its impressive 25GB storage capacity is 5 times of the capacity of a conventional DVD and 3 times of the capacity of a Double Layer DVD. It is not only able to store over 4.5 hours of 1080P HD video data, but is also suitable for backing-up extensive amounts of data. RITEK's BD-R and BD-RE perform stunningly in terms of data transfer rate; the 72 bps transfer rate greatly reduces the burning elapsed time, and eliminates the insufficient space limit. The HardCoat protection layer of BD-R and BD-RE discs are standard specification and it can prevent the data loss due to inadequate temperature, humidity, fingerprints and scratches.

RITEK's BD-R and BD-RE discs are compatible with most of the Blu-ray burners available on the market, such as the SONY BWU-100A, Panasonic LF-MB121, LITE-ON LH-2B1S, etc. For a detailed drive list, please log on RITEK website at www.ritek.com. Out of its new generation of Blu-ray Disc products, RITEK's 50GB dual-layer BD-R and BD-RE will also be available soon.

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OWC Announces Availability of First and Only Terabyte Quad Interface Single-Drive Solution

Other World Computing (OWC), a leading Mac and PC technology company, announced today the availability of the first and only 1.0TB Quad Interface single drive solution on the market, the new OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro "Quad Interface" 1.0TB External Drive Solution. The drive solution is a high-speed maximum performance system with a wide selection of connectivity options for FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA ports. Accessibility to the data is completely transparent to which port interface is used, so the user can take the drive to virtually any computer and use whichever interface is the best available on that computer.

Available immediately in the OWC online store for $599 SRP, the OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro "Quad Interface" 1.0TB External Solution is geared to those that want the convenience of a single drive-based, compact solution with a selection of interface options. The drive solution is ideally designed for audio, video, digital photography, professional music, graphics, and general data. EMC® Retrospect® Backup Certified, it is also perfect for back-up applications. The 1.0TB drive solution is compatible with all Apple® OS Versions 8.5 through 9.2.x; Apple OS X 10.0.3 and higher (including OS X "Tiger™" 10.4.x), Microsoft® Windows® ME, 2000, XP, Vista; and any OS or device with standard FireWire®, USB, or eSATA.

Mercury Elite-AL Pro "Quad Interface" 1.0TB External Drive Solution Features include the following:

· High Performance: Employs the next-generation high-speed Oxford 924 chipset combined with the fastest drive mechanisms available for the fastest single drive transfer rates possible, exceeding an amazing 80 Megabytes per second via FireWire; up to 150MB/s via eSATA.

· High Reliability: A top-notch design and high-quality components ensure it is built to last.

· High Portability: Designed for eSATA, FireWire 800, FireWire 400 and USB 2.0+1.1 for easy Plug ‘N Play on virtually ANY system!

· Style: Designed to compliment any user's system. A blue activity LED behind the front grille shows when your drive is being accessed. Created with the Power Macintosh G5 system in mind.

· Compact Shock Resistant Design.

· Warranty: Includes two year warranty.

· Super Quiet Operation.

· Cables: All cables are included!

The Mercury Elite-AL Pro "Quad Interface" 1.0TB External Drive Solution comes complete with utility and backup software, including Intech® Hard Disk SpeedToools Utilities™ for Mac OS 8.6-X, ProSoft Engineering® Data Backup for Mac OSX v10.2.8 or later and NovaStor NovaBACKUP® for Windows 2000 or later. It also includes all the cables for FireWire 400, FireWire 800, USB2, and eSATA interfaces.

For more information on the OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro "Quad Interface" 1.0TB External Solution and full line of Mercury Elite-AL Pro products, see http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/external/elite-al-pro-quad.

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