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October 01, 2007

Table of Contents

The Moving Picture: The Four Products You'll Meet in Heaven
Matrox Announces Matrox RT.X2 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 Bundle
Class on Demand Releases Edius 4.5 Training
Artbeats Offers 15 Free Royalty-free Clips to Select Adobe Customers
1 Beyond Announces Industry's First Data-Protected Laptop Optimized For HD Video And Graphics Production
SmartSound Customizable Music Featured in Roxio Easy Media Creator 10
Music 2 Hues Announces New Product Additions
Ricall Partners with BBC Motion Gallery

The Moving Picture: The Four Products You'll Meet in Heaven

We all have high-profile products we use every day that help us keep the revenues flowing. Maybe it’s Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro, Adobe Photoshop or Ulead PhotoImpact, or Microsoft Word, or . . . well, Microsoft Word. Beyond these, however, are other, less-heralded products that one day you learn you simply can’t live without.

Probably the best example is the 30" HP LP3065 LCD monitor, which is so freakishly large that I had to ask the FedEx guy to help me unload and deposit it on my standing desk. In an office full of computers, cameras, and affiliated gear, it’s always the first thing newcomers notice.

I think video editors fall into two camps: those that use and swear by NTSC monitors, and those that are just as content a single-monitor solution. I’m definitely in the latter camp, sometimes using dual-monitor setups with 19" or smaller monitors, but happily segueing over to a single-monitor setup when some 23" Apple Cinema displays arrived.

My largest Windows monitor was 19" until the HP appeared, and it changed the paradigm. Even when editing HDV, the 2560x1600 resolution provides more than sufficient space for both the trim and preview window. As it often happens, I didn’t realize how essential the monitor had become until I had to live without it. To make a long story short, a press (beta) version of a recently released video editor suddenly expired in the middle of a time-critical job.

One second I was happily editing away, the next second the program crashed, and when I tried to re-run the program, I got a message that the license had expired. No warning, no option to enter a serial; I was just dead in the water. The project was about 15 minutes from being done, and I debated transferring the HP to my back up editing station, but ultimately decided against it.

Instead, since I was producing a screencam job, the source videos were relatively small, and it took only seconds to transfer all project files over my LAN and continue editing. Suddenly, I was back on my 19" 4:3 display, and though the project was a relatively modest 800x600 resolution, all of a sudden, nothing fit. The interface felt cramped, there was no real way to display both source files and effects, the preview window looked squeezed, and all of a sudden, the clean text from the Camtasia screen capture looked distorted.

The effect was visceral. My frustration level was already on high alert, due to the unexpected program expiration, and the cramped monitor raised it significantly more. I felt physically claustrophobic, and I could feel my blood pressure creeping up. Deep calming breaths definitely helped, but finishing the project an hour later, then reloading the software and getting back to my 30" monitor was the real cure. Trust me. Bigger is definitely better when it comes to monitors, and if you want both increase efficiency and decrease frustration levels, you need to upgrade to a truly big screen.

Next up is my MacBook Pro notebook. It’s the 17" model, 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor that could run Windows, but with Word and Premiere Pro available on the Mac, I have everything I need. The unit is powerful enough for relatively serious video editing, and has about 150GB of hard disk capacity, certainly sufficient for shorter projects.

What I really love about the MacBook Pro is how quickly I can get up and running while sitting at a play rehearsal or cheerleading practice. On multiple Windows computers, I never got the computer to wake up after going into sleep mode, forcing the seemingly interminable reboot cycle, and often lost data. On the MacBook Pro, it works like a charm every time, allowing me to maximize the efficiency of my increasingly soccer mom existence.

Next up is my ATEN KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) DVI KVMP CS-1764 switch, which lets me connect multiple computers to one keyboard, mouse, monitor, and set of speakers. If you’ve been in business for a while, you almost certainly have multiple computers, perhaps one for email, one for bookkeeping and one or two for editing and rendering. But desk space never seems to increase.

I’ve got four workstations connected to my ATEN switch, two test computers, and two rendering stations, and I use all four almost every day. These are on the left-hand side of my desk with the Mac I write on in the middle of the table, and my main editing station on the right. Without the switch, I’d need a desk the size of the stage at the Rex Theater, where I happen to be right now, watching my youngest rehearse for a play as I complete this column on the MacBook Pro. One caveat is that my ATEN unit doesn’t support dual monitor displays, so if dual display is essential to you, check the ATEN-USA website for a dual monitor-capable unit.

The last product is the XLNT Idea NexisAP autoloading DVD/CD printer. Seems like I produce about one new disc a month, with some clients returning for repetitive orders every quarter or so. Without an auto printer, running 5-10 disc projects felt like an incredible hassle, a real intrusion in my busy day. With the auto printer, it takes about 2-3 minutes to get started, and then I can run projects of up to 50 units with any intervention at all.

Of course, the nicest thing about all these products is that you don’t actually need to be in heaven to get them. You may feel like you’re in heaven after they show up in your office, though.

Jan Ozer(www.doceo.com) is a contributing editor to EventDV and Streaming Media.

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Matrox Announces Matrox RT.X2 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 Bundle

Matrox® Video Products Group today announced that a new value-priced bundle of the Matrox RT.X2 realtime editing platform and Adobe Premiere® Pro CS3 is now available worldwide. The bundle includes the RT.X2 realtime editing card and professional breakout box, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, Adobe Encore® CS3, Adobe OnLocation CS3, Adobe Device Central CS3, Adobe Bridge CS3, and professionally designed templates.

"This bundle puts unprecedented editing power into the hands of corporate communicators, event videographers, project studios, educational facilities, and digital filmmakers at an affordable price," said Wayne Andrews, Matrox RT.X2 product manager. "The RT.X2 hardware combined with the Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 software gives users all the tools they need to produce top-quality SD and HD productions -- creatively, efficiently, and faster than ever -- then easily deliver to tape, DVD, Blu-ray disc, the web, and mobile devices."

Key features of Matrox RT.X2 Matrox RT.X2 extends the capabilities of the Adobe CS3 software with many important benefits.

* Realtime, mixed-format, multi-layer workflows that combine HD and SD material from analog and digital sources
* Realtime Matrox Flex CPU effects -- color correction, speed changes, chroma/luma keying and many more
* Realtime and accelerated Matrox Flex GPU effects -- 2D/3D DVE, blur/glow/soft focus, shine and many more
* Extensive camera support including many new models from Canon, JVC, Panasonic, and Sony
* Native HDV 1080i, HDV 1080p, HDV 720p (JVC ProHD), Panasonic P2 MXF 720p, and MPEG-2 4:2:2 I-frame HD editing
* Native DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, Panasonic P2 MXF SD, and MPEG-2 4:2:2 I-frame SD editing
* Realtime playback of 32-bit MPEG-2 I-frame AVI files with alpha in HD and SD
* Realtime mixed-format multi-cam
* Realtime high-quality hardware downscaling for SD output from an HD timeline
* Accelerated export to DVD, multimedia formats including Flash Video, and Adobe Clip Notes
* WYSIWYG for Adobe After Effects, Bridge, and Photoshop, Autodesk Combustion and 3ds Max, eyeon Fusion, NewTek LightWave 3D, and Windows Media Player with dynamic Alt+Tab switching
* Composite, Y/C, HD/SD analog component input and output
* Full-resolution HD monitoring on an inexpensive flat panel display via independent DVI output

Priced at $1,795 US in North America (€1,549, ₤999) plus applicable local taxes, the Matrox RT.X2 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 bundle is available from Matrox-authorized dealers worldwide. Current Adobe® Creative Suite® 3 Production Premium or Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 owners can purchase RT.X2 hardware-only at $1,495 US in North America (€1250, ₤830) plus applicable local taxes.


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Class on Demand Releases Edius 4.5 Training

Class on Demand, a provider of professional educational products for creative markets, has announced self-paced, professional training for the Thomson Grass Valley Edius 4.5 editing system.

The new Class on Demand title, Complete Training for Edius 4.5, is designed for users new to the Edius 4.5 system. Introduced at NAB 2007, the Edius 4.5 release is a departure from its predecessors as it introduces a brand new user interface making existing training materials obsolete and Class on Demand's Complete Training for Edius 4.5 one of the only self-paced, professional training products available on the market today.

"This big release from Thomson has some significant changes to the highly popular Edius software. Thousands of Edius users who move to the new version will need proven training materials such as Class on Demand's Complete Training for Edius 4.5 to quickly get up to speed and maintain their high-level of productivity," said Paul Holtz, CEO and founder, Class on Demand. " Complete Training for Edius 4.5 is also great platform for editors just learning the Edius 4.5 product as we have incorporated our award winning training formula that allows new users to step in and absorb the application at their own pace."

Complete Training for Edius 4.5 is a 3.5-hour DVD that gives students a run through of the Edius 4.5 editing and compositing capabilities with special attention paid to the new user interface changes and functionality enhancements.

Topics covered include; mastering the new 4.5 UI, working with settings, modifying templates, adding B-Roll, working with audio, filters and keys, multi-camera and exporting to tape and files. The Class on Demand title provides project files for students to work along side the instructor. Students can download free sample chapters from the Class on Demand website.

Complete Training for Edius 4.5 is available today through the Class on Demand channel and website for $149.95 USD.

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Artbeats Offers 15 Free Royalty-free Clips to Select Adobe Customers

Artbeats, the industry's leading provider of high-quality royalty-free stock footage, today announced an exclusive, limited-time offer that will allow select Adobe customers to obtain 15 free royalty-free Artbeats clips (a value of US $2985).

This special promotion features a diverse range of footage, including billowing clouds, stunning pyrotechnic effects, water drops, gently falling rain, a spinning globe and several mood-setting animated backgrounds. To be eligible, Adobe customers must purchase a full retail or upgrade version of Adobe® Creative Suite® 3 Production Premium or Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection from the Adobe Store or a participating reseller from Sept. 10, 2007 through Nov. 30, 2007. For more information or to preview the 15 Artbeats clips please click here.

"Combining CS3's robust toolset with our pristine, broadcast-quality clips will offer endless creative possibilities to After Effects users," said Phil Bates, president of Artbeats. "I encourage users to maximize this powerful combination by exploring the tips and tricks section on Artbeats' website. It features a wide range of helpful training materials, including several After Effects tutorials from industry experts. Readers can visit our site for more information."

"This special offer brings together our powerful award-winning software with Artbeats' high-quality, production-ready content," said Ellen Wixted, product marketing for Adobe. "It's a wonderful opportunity for our customers to use Artbeats footage in our tools to create compelling content for a wide variety of projects."

Customers can make the most of their new Artbeats footage by signing up to receive a free Artbeats DVD. The DVD includes a free video tutorial and comprehensive catalog that includes information about the wide range of footage in Artbeats royalty-free stock footage library. For more information or to sign up for the Artbeats DVD please click here.

The Artbeats clips are available in NTSC and PAL, and offer numerous options when producing content for broadcast, feature film, commercial, concerts, live events, game development, independent production, multimedia and more. A favorite among industry professionals, Artbeats footage is used by some of the industries leading film and broadcast companies, including Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar, Universal Studios, Comedy Central, BBC, Cartoon Networks, MTV, American Idol and CNN.

The 15 Artbeats clips (a value of US$2895) are free to select Adobe customers. Eligible customers must purchase or upgrade Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium or the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection (does not include Education, OEM or VAB versions) from the Adobe Store or a participating reseller from Sept. 10, 2007 through Nov. 30, 2007. This offer is limited to one download of the 15 Artbeats clips per serial number; customers with a valid site license may download up to the permitted number of users under the site license. This offer is only available to customers located in the U.S., Canada (excluding Quebec) and Mexico, and is not available in conjunction with any other offers. Use of the Artbeats clips is subject to the Artbeats license agreement provided with the clips.

For more information or to preview the 15 Artbeats clips please visit http://www.Artbeats.com/adobeclips.

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1 Beyond Announces Industry's First Data-Protected Laptop Optimized For HD Video And Graphics Production

1 Beyond, Inc., a leading provider of digital video editing and compositing systems, today announced 1 Beyond GoFlex317 HD, the industry's first laptop capable of hardware RAID 5 protection with High Definition level performance.

Available now for $6995 for a fully featured system, the GoFlex317 HD is ideal for broadcasters and post-production crews working remotely with the latest HD formats who cannot afford to lose data but need the agility of a laptop solution.

Since RAID 5 requires a hardware controller, and a minimum of 3 drives, this configuration has previously been unavailable in a laptop. Available with Intel Core 2 Duo or Extreme Edition processors with up to 2.93Ghz, the latest NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX PCI-Express video card with 512MB and up to 600 GB of high-performance storage, the 1 Beyond GoFlex317 HD is superior in capabilities to many desktop workstations.

Certified with the new Adobe Creative Suite 3, Avid Xpress Pro with Mojo, Grass Valley / Canopus Edius, the GoFlex 317HD laptop is ideal for mission critical production work where redundant storage is required and portability is desired. Whether it is an Avid Media Composer, Autodesk 3ds Max, or Adobe After Effects, the GoFlex317 HD laptop handles demanding graphics applications with the ease.

"For many time-critical productions, data security and speed have only been available on desktop systems. For the first time, a portable laptop solution exists that addresses the robust storage requirements and performance needs of these crews who want to be agile and require portability to stay where the action is. The GoFlex317 HD is simply the most powerful laptop currently available with its unique combination of speed and data reliability," says Terry Cullen, 1 Beyond's CEO and Founder.

Key features of the 1 Beyond GoFlex317 HD:

Disk performance and reliability:
* Three SATA2 100 or 200 GB 7200rpm internal drives
* Performance of >60 MB/sec at RAID 5
* RAID 0/1/5 support

High system performance:
* Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4Ghz/ E6700 2.66Ghz or Core 2 Extreme Edition X6800 2.93Ghz CPU
* 1066MHz FSB
* Up to 4 GB Memory
* PCI-Express bus
* Real time HD video editing with Effects

Superior Graphics:
* Latest NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX, 512MB, PCI-Express
* 17" 1920 X 1200 resolution polished LCD
* DVI connection for 2nd and 3rd monitor

Additional features:
* 8x DVD burner dual layer drive (Blu-Ray optional)
* High Definition audio, 8 channels 192 kHz/32-bit quality
* Dolby Surround Sound, S/PDIF, 4 speakers
* Built-in digital video camera and microphone
* Gigabit LAN, Wi-Fi A/G/N, Bluetooth, Infrared
* Express card slot
* Built-n 7-in-1 Card reader: MS, MMC, SD
* IEEE 1394 Firewire port, 4 USB 2.0
* Full size keyboard with separate numeric keypad


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SmartSound Customizable Music Featured in Roxio Easy Media Creator 10

SmartSound Software, Inc., the leading provider of music and scoring technology for film and video professionals, today announced that Roxio has integrated its technology into the new Easy Media Creator 10 video editing suite.

The suite includes 26 free tracks from SmartSound's royalty-free music library, as well as the ability to search for, preview and purchase additional tracks for use in the VideoWave timeline.

SmartSound's music makes video projects more creative and fun because it is fully customizable. SmartSound instantly edits tracks brought into the VideoWave timeline to fit the exact length needed, with access to multiple music arrangements for every length. This makes achieving a professional-quality music score for a project easy and affordable for users at all levels.

"Roxio Easy Media Creator 10 enables consumers to quickly and easily turn their photos, videos and music into impressive multi-media projects," said Michael Demeyer, VP of product marketing, Sonic Solutions. "Incorporating SmartSound into Creator 10 makes it fun for our customers to add music to videos or slide shows while enhancing the end result."

Roxio joins an impressive roster of companies that have turned to SmartSound to solve the soundtrack creation needs of their customers. SmartSound technology is integrated into a range of video editing applications from leading software companies.

"Integrating our technology into Easy Media Creator 10 gives Roxio's customers access to the industry-standard soundtrack creation solution," said Kevin Klingler, president and CEO of SmartSound Software, Inc. "Our combination of powerful technology and high-quality music is unique in the industry and provides unparalleled results. Customers know this, and are increasingly seeking out products that feature SmartSound when making purchasing decisions on video editing software."

Users of Roxio Easy Media Creator 10 can add new customizable music at any time by selecting from SmartSound's growing library of over 140 royalty-free music discs. Music purchases can be made directly from the VideoWave software or at SmartSound's website. With music from virtually every style and genre, users can find the perfect music to go with any scene.

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Music 2 Hues Announces New Product Additions

Music 2 Hues has released a new addition to its Flagship Series production music line. Andy Wells, president of Music 2 Hues adds, "With the addition of this new release we are providing our content developers with new and exciting music selections.

The new title: "Funk Guitar & Bass" is now shipping worldwide. "This release satisfies the needs of our clients who have been asking for a CD of funky based grooves, featuring electric guitar & bass."

In other news, Music 2 Hues' Instant Download Center now allows the user to download complete categories and CDs at a discount from the single track price.

Also added this month - New Sound Effect categories to our Instant Download Center. The "X" Series have been added to our download center and offers 200 production element electronic FX. These categories can be downloaded entirely for one price. Our Download center provides all the music from our Flagship Series CD's for immediate download. Over 1000 music tracks and 500 sound effects are offered in the download center.


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Ricall Partners with BBC Motion Gallery

Ricall, the leading online music licensing marketplace, has partnered with BBC Motion Gallery, the footage licensing arm of the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Worldwide. BBC Motion Gallery offers media professionals in advertising, television and corporate video production access to the world's most comprehensive collection of high-quality motion imagery for licensing and royalty-free usage worldwide.

Now, through the partnership, BBC Motion Gallery users will have easy access to Ricall's online music library, which contains 4 million tracks, including every track to have ever charted in the UK top 40, the US Hot 100, as well as an ever increasing number of tracks from unsigned and independent artists.

Similarly Ricall's users will easily be able to access the vast BBC Motion Gallery archive, which, in addition to the latest HD footage also contains one of the most respected collections in the world as well as global footage from CBS News and Australia's and Japan's National broadcasters.

"We are delighted to have teamed up with Ricall as we are now able to offer a complete package to creatives and producers that want to find and license high quality video footage and music," said Paul Maidment, Business Development Director at BBC Motion Gallery. "This is the ideal creative content partnership for us because Ricall's massive online library of music has both the historical breadth and depth of material to match that of BBC Motion Gallery."

Initially the partnership will see Ricall and BBC Motion Gallery place preferred partner links on their respective websites and each company will also promote the partnership to their registers users with a view to establishing closer links between the two platforms at a later stage.

"We are very pleased to be partnering BBC Motion Gallery, which is such an important and well established resource for the global media industry," said Richard Salsbury, VP of Sales at Ricall. "The creative process is one of the most important elements of any campaign or production and so anything that makes it easier for creatives and content producers to find and license both the right footage and the right music will be very welcome."



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