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Copyright © 2004 -
Information Today, Inc.

November 19, 2007

Table of Contents

Sony Unveils Next Generation of Professional HDV Products
Apple Releases Final Cut Express 4
Dave Williams to Run 2-Day Glidecam Workshop Jan. 27-28 in Las Vegas
Artbeats Reveals New Training DVD and Gives Away Free Footage at GVExpo 2007
No Avid at NAB 2008
Trapcode Form Generates Mind-Blowing 3D Visuals
NewBlueFX Releases Sony Vegas Special Effects Collection to Breathe New Life Into Videos
Disc Makers Announces "Best Price Guarantee" for Reflex Line of CD and DVD Tower Duplicators

Sony Unveils Next Generation of Professional HDV Products

Sony Electronics’ latest HDV™ products include two new camcorders that feature interchangeable lens systems, native progressive recording, increased sensitivity for low-light conditions, hybrid solid-state recording and other features designed for video production professionals and pro-sumers.

The new models are the HVR-Z7U (handheld) and HVR-S270U (shoulder-mount) camcorders. Sony is also introducing the HVR-M35U playback and recording deck. These new products expand Sony’s line-up of HD production technologies, which includes the recently introduced PMW-EX1 XDCAM EX™ solid-state memory camera and the soon-to-be-available HVR-HD1000U shoulder-mount HDV camcorder.

"These new tools enhance the versatility of our professional HDV lineup, and open up a world of possibilities for HD digital video production," said Bob Ott, vice president of professional video and audio products for Sony Electronics. "Sony’s new HDV camcorders and decks are ideal for documentaries, electronic newsgathering, independent production, music videos, web streaming, and more."

The new camcorders use Sony’s 1/3-inch 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor™ system enhanced by Exmor™ technology. With a 45-degree rotated pixel layout, the 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor system offers sufficient pixel surface area while maintaining high resolution. The Exmor technology features a unique column-parallel analog-to-digital conversion technique and dual noise canceling, resulting in high-quality digital signals with extremely low noise, similar to the imaging technology used in the PMW-EX1 camera. The two new technologies combine to allow the new camcorders to perform significantly better in low-light environments with sensitivity of 1.5 lux.

This imaging technology is complemented by Sony’s Enhanced Imaging Processor™ (EIP) system to achieve high resolution, high sensitivity, wide dynamic range, and excellent color reproduction. Users can attach different lenses for extra flexibility, and both models have a universal standard 1/3-inch bayonet mount mechanism for easier lens changes. Each camcorder comes standard with a 12x high-quality, multi-purpose Carl Zeiss lens for HD video, with a Vario-Sonnar™ T coating to reduce reflections. A specially designed 8x wide-angle lens is also available as an option.

These new lenses give the camcorders the same functionality as Sony’s popular fixed-lens camcorders like the HVR-Z1U and HVR-V1U, thanks to built-in features such as auto-focus, optical stabilizer, and automatic back-focus adjustment. Using a special adaptor, users can also attach the α lens series designed for Sony’s consumer digital SLR still cameras. The camcorders offer 1080, 24p and 30p native progressive recording. The 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor system and EIP technology create true 1080p images, which can then be recorded as progressive signals by the HVR-Z7U and HVR-S270U camcorders in the HDV format. The progressive HDV streams can be output from an i.LINK® interface and used for progressive editing with compatible NLE software.

The HVR-Z7U and HVR-S270U can switch between 1080p, 1080i in the HDV format, DVCAM™, and DV recording, and both can down-convert material from HD to SD, and output the video signals through its i.LINK interface and other SD output connectors. The HVR-Z7U has an HDMI output. The HVR-S270U is available with HD-SDI or SD-SDI connectivity, and also supports embedded audio and timecode.

The HVR-Z7U and HVR-S270U use Sony’s XtraFine™ LCD and XtraFine electronic viewfinder for high-resolution and high-contrast images with remarkable color reproduction. The HVR-S270U features a new LCD/EVF configuration named "Dual Finder," where the LCD located on the EVF enables multiple styles of operation.

The new camcorders offer the option of hybrid recording when using a supplied memory-recording unit, which attaches directly to the back of the HVR-Z7U or the side of the HVR-S270U and eliminates the need for cables. The unit automatically synchronizes with the recording action of the camcorder and a special shoe connector inputs and outputs an HDV/DV stream and supplies power to the unit.

This unit captures the HDV1080i, DVCAM, or DV stream output from the camcorder and can record HDV/DVCAM/DV files to a standard CompactFlash® solid-state memory card, while users are simultaneously recording to tape. It will be compatible with Sony’s Professional 306x CompactFlash card as well as standard CompactFlash cards (2GB minimum capacity, 133x minimum speed). The recording times on an 8 and 16 GB CompactFlash card in HDV, DVCAM and DV format are approximately 36 and 72 minutes, respectively.

The HVR-Z7U can deliver more than 60 minutes of recording time on miniDV videotapes, and approximate recording times of 63 minutes with Sony’s DigitalMaster™ cassettes (PHDVM-63DM). The HVR-S270U also accepts standard-size cassettes to provide more than 4.5 hours of continuous recording, with approximate recording times of 4 hours, 36 minutes** on Sony PHDV-276DM videotapes.

The HVR-M35U record and playback deck is compatible with HDV native progressive recording modes and supports HD/SD-SDI output with embedded audio and timecode data. It has a 60i/50i switchable function, and supports HDV1080i (60i/50i/24p/30p/25p) and DVCAM/DV (60i/50i). The deck supports standard- and mini-size cassette, and accepts standard cassettes shot on the HVR-S270U or other shoulder-mount DVCAM camcorders. It can play back four-channel audio data in HDV1080i format recorded by the HVR-S270U, and it can also play back four-channel audio data in the DVCAM format. It also includes a 2.7-inch wide Clear Photo LCD plus™ screen, monaural speaker, edge crop adjust and a Duplicate Plus function for copying video and audio from another VTR.

A range of accessories is available for the new camcorders, including a Camcorder Support, an AC Adaptor Charger with four-battery slot, an LCD hood and more. The new products are each planned to be available in February, at the following suggested list prices:

  • HVR-S270U camcorder, $10,500
  • HVR-Z7U camcorder, $6,850
  • HVR-M35U deck, $5,540


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Apple Releases Final Cut Express 4

Apple® today released Final Cut® Express 4, a significant upgrade to its powerful video editing software based on Apple’s award-winning Final Cut Pro 6, with a new low price of $199. Final Cut Express 4 adds support for the latest AVCHD cameras, allows mixing of standard and high definition content on a single timeline, includes the ability to import iMovie® ‘08 projects, and gives users access to hundreds of sophisticated FxPlug cinematic effects and filters.

"Almost a million digital filmmakers have made Final Cut their editing application of choice," said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Product Marketing. "With the introduction of Final Cut Express 4, Apple makes it easy for anyone to join the rapidly growing community of Final Cut editors worldwide."

The new Open Format Timeline in Final Cut Express 4 allows users to mix and match DV, HDV and AVCHD material*, all in realtime using the same industry-leading editing and trimming tools found in Final Cut Pro. Supporting both 1080i and 720p HD resolutions, Final Cut Express 4 automatically performs the necessary scaling, cropping and frame rate adjustments. When starting projects from scratch, the new simplified setup automatically configures everything based on the first clip dropped on the Timeline.

Final Cut Express 4 makes it easy to import iMovie ‘08 projects and enhance them with advanced editing capabilities such as multiple layers of video and graphics, picture in picture effects and animated titles. It includes over 50 new FxPlug filters, including Soft Focus, Vignette and Light Rays, with hundreds more available from a rapidly expanding FxPlug developer community. With enhanced audio controls, users can automatically raise any clip to its maximum level without distortion using the new Soft Normalize and Gain controls. Final Cut Express 4 also features LiveType 2, which provides an intuitive environment for creating dynamic and fun animated titles and includes an extensive library of animated fonts, textures, templates and effects.

Pricing & Availability
Final Cut Express 4 is available immediately for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers. Owners of previous versions of Final Cut Express can upgrade to Final Cut Express 4 for just $99 (US). Full system requirements and more information on Final Cut Express 4 can be found at www.apple.com/finalcutexpress.

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Dave Williams to Run 2-Day Glidecam Workshop Jan. 27-28 in Las Vegas

Glidecam Industries and WEVA have announced a two-day hands-on Glidecam workshop led by 2006 EventDV honoree and international Glidecam trainer Dave Williams of DVideography. The workshop is scheduled for January 27-28 at the Imperial Palace hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Designed for experienced camera operators working with the Glidecam V-Series (V-8, V-16, V-20, V-25) and Hand-Held series (2000 Pro, 4000 Pro), the workshop costs $600 per student. Registration is open now.

Sessions run 9 am-5 pm both days. The schedule for the workshop is as follows:

DAY 1: 9:00 am
    · Arm
    · Vest
    · Sled
    · What does what
    · Center of gravity / Camera mounting
    · Mount camera and balance sled exercise
    · Balancing the RIG
    · Fitting the vest
    · Arm to vest connection
    · Arm adjustment / placement
    · Operational Center of gravity
    · Parts and components
    · Monitors
    · Monitor placement
    · Coffee cups exercise
    · Vest and Arm exercise
    · Spotters & Assistance
7. VEST AND ARM (continued W/ SLED)
    · Walking-the-line exercise (monitor off)
    · Walking-the-line exercise (monitor on)
9. BOOMING (apple boxes)
    · Booming exercises
    · Panning / Tilting exercises
    · The Switch

DAY 2: 9:00 am
    · Exercises
    · Exercises
    · Overview

Space is limited. Students can register by calling (toll-free) 866.989.0158.


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Artbeats Reveals New Training DVD and Gives Away Free Footage at GVExpo 2007

Artbeats, the industry’s leading provider of high-quality royalty-free stock footage, today announced its new training DVD at the 10th annual Government Video & Technology Expo (GVExpo). Featuring expert instruction from Steve Holmes, creative director of Energi Design, the new training DVD demonstrates how to combine Artbeats’ clips with 3D motion tracked text and playful animation techniques to create a truly memorable advertisement.

Featuring a wide range of practical and compelling subject matter, Artbeats’ stock footage offers an endless number of options for content creators seeking high-quality imagery for a variety of applications, including 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.

In addition to the new training DVD, Artbeats offers a wide range of helpful online tutorials and other instructional materials that help customers make the most of their stock footage. To access free and informative advice on making the most of stock footage, please visit Artbeats’ website.

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No Avid at NAB 2008

Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID) today announced that it will introduce a major shift in its approach to serving industry professionals in the digital content creation, management, and distribution industries. Based on extensive market research, Avid plans to announce a series of customer-focused initiatives in 2008 – all of which will be designed to make it easier for customers, prospects and the media to interact with the company. The company said it would reveal the full details of its 2008 plan to the public in February, which will set the stage for a blitz of new user-community initiatives, technical support programs, highly-personalized events, and innovative product announcements throughout the year. The company also announced that it will not have an exhibition booth at the 2008 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention, but plans to be in Las Vegas next April to meet with customers.

"We are always evaluating the most effective ways to build closer relationships with our customers and keep pace with the ever-changing media market. Over the past few months, we’ve been collecting data from all of our constituents, and the findings have been clear – we need to connect with users in new ways," said Graham Sharp, vice president and general manager of Avid’s Video division. "As a result, we’ll unveil a series of initiatives in 2008, which we believe will shake things up for our industry – in every region of the world and across all facets of our business. In the past, we’ve seen how investing marketing resources in alternative, customer-focused activities, can be more effective with our users – and to our bottom line. It’s time for Avid to start giving something back to the industry and these activities will create a more vibrant community where customers and newcomers can learn, share, and understand where the industry is headed – and how they can help shape it."

Those who are interested in receiving more information about Avid’s customer-focused initiatives in 2008 can register for email alerts at www.avid.com/we-are-listening.

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Trapcode Form Generates Mind-Blowing 3D Visuals

Red Giant Software is pleased to announce the availability of Trapcode Form, an organic 3D shape generator that allows users to create a wide variety of wild animations, from text logos that blow away like sand to surfaces that move like rolling fire or billowing smoke. All the unique 3D designs in Form can also be driven by audio to create visions that move with the beat.

Trapcode Form comes with 61 customizable presets, as well as the ability to tweak them to get just the right look. Full integration with After Effects’ 3D environment allows users to fly cameras through and around the animated forms.

• Create mesmerizing animations like the ones in Apple’s iTunes visualizer, all within After Effects
• With direct integration of After Effects 3D camera, Form offers true 3D surfaces and volumes
• More than 60 presets to quickly create audio reactors, terrain flyovers, and more.

For detailed Product Information, click here.

Product Highlights

Audio Reactors
Form offers built-in audio reactors where the bass beat, a tambourine hit, or a lilting voice track can drive the motion, color, opacity, displacement, and other variables to generate mind-blowing visuals.

Powerful Presets
Presets offer an easy starting point for novices and motion graphics professionals alike. The 61 presets are divided into five categories, including animation set to audio, flight presets that generate 3D terrain flyovers, and unique animations perfect for lower third titles.

Customize It
Form also offers fantastic flexibility with ability to drive color, displacement, size, and more with images sourced from any layer in After Effects. This lets you generate everything from a logo that blows away like sand to a full 3D model of the Earth.

Pricing and Availability
• Trapcode Form is $199 USD and works with After Effects 7.0 / CS3 only on Mac OS X and Windows.
• Trapcode Form is one of the plug-ins in the Trapcode Suite 2007 collection, which sells for $949 USD.

Current Trapcode Particular customers qualify for a $50 USD discount on Trapcode Form from now through December 15, 2007. To participate, users need to complete the following online form. After completing the form, users will receive the Coupon Code.

Online Form to Apply for $50 Discount: http://redgiantemail.com/download_form.cfm?ID=72


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NewBlueFX Releases Sony Vegas Special Effects Collection to Breathe New Life Into Videos

NewBlue Inc., creators of innovative audio, video and multimedia technologies, today announced the release of new and updated NewBlueFX plugin collections for the Sony Vegas software family. The new plugins are comprised of three brand new collections as well as four version 2.0 upgrade collections.

Newly released NewBlue collections include 3D Explosions, 3D Transformations and Film Effects. The NewBlue v2.0 upgrades include additions to Art Effects, Art Blends, Motion Effects and Motion Blends. All effects are based on powerful technology within an intuitive interface that is easy to use. New collection prices start from only $119.95 each, with upgrade effects starting from only $49.95 each. Both video and audio effects are offered with bundle purchase options.

"NewBlueFX revitalizes my creative juices," says Douglas Spotted Eagle, Emmy-award winning filmmaker, author, speaker and founder of VASST. "When I'm struggling with the artistic process, I experiment with NewBlueFX and hidden treasures reveal themselves, giving me what I want and what our client wants. It's amazingly intuitive to use through the pleasing interface, yet packs a serious punch. The amount of control allows me to fine-tune the effect as much as I want, or I can use existing pre-sets for quick results."

"Continually offering fresh and innovative audio and video effects to Vegas users gives them the creative latitude to realize their vision," says Dave Chaimson, vice president of global marketing for Sony Media Software. "Sony Creative Software values the contribution that third party partners bring in enhancing the user experience and making the Vegas software product line the video editing choice for professionals worldwide."

"Our new collection of special effects is the perfect complement to the Sony Vegas family, providing discerning Sony Vegas users a huge range of options to make their video really stand out," says Todor Fay, chief technology officer of NewBlue. "The effects are based on state of the art technology that will enhance the work of professionals and beginners alike. For example, NewBlueFX allows users to create appealing film looks without breaking the bank. Film Effects give users a way to quickly and easily make their footage look as if it were filmed with an old hand-cranked camera and damaged by sloppy projectionists. Or, with equal ease and artistic finesse, users can create their own film mood or atmosphere, even replicating an existing look made popular in a Hollywood movie."

The launch of the NewBlueFX Vegas collections mark the beginning of future releases for additional platforms.

The new collections include:

NewBlue 3D Explosions
Features 13 effects to inject explosive energy into your video by using these infinitely customizable transitions while controlling every aspect of an exploding scene change. Includes: Blow Apart, Bouncing Cubes, Bouncing Frames, Box Explode, Confetti, Grid Fall Away, Grid Explosion, Intensity Grid, Plane Explode, Spiral, Spiral Rotation, Vortex, and Wiggle.

NewBlue 3D Transformations
Features 13 eye-popping transitions that twist, fly, fold, and bounce exactly the way you tell them to. These motion-packed video transitions let you control every move down to the smallest detail. Includes: Box Fold, Checker Board, Comb, Flip, Fly Away, Louver Grid, Louvers, Magic Carpet, Page Turn, Pizza Boxes, Rotating Frames, Spiral Bounce, and Twist.

NewBlue Film Effects
The NewBlue Film Effects collection give your projects a filmic appearance, complete with the blemishes, jitters, spots, scratches, and graininess. This collection of 81 presets in 5 dynamic filters recreates the inexact mechanics of hand cranked cameras, dirty projectors, and decades sitting in film vaults. Best of all, NewBlue Film Effects includes powerful technology to emulate the color and lighting characteristics of film, so you can simulate a particular film stock or create a your own unique look. Includes: Film Camera, Film Damage, Film Express, Film Look, and Film Pro.

To see the NewBlueFX collections in motion and purchase the Vegas collection visit www.NewBlueFX.com.


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Disc Makers Announces "Best Price Guarantee" for Reflex Line of CD and DVD Tower Duplicators

Disc Makers today introduces the "Best Price Guarantee" program covering its complete line of Reflex CD and DVD tower duplicators. With this industry-leading Guarantee, Disc Makers will match any advertised price on a comparable tower duplicator.

Now featuring 20x DVD drives, Disc Makers’ newly enhanced Reflex line of tower duplicators gives customers both flexibility and affordability. Reflex towers are available with one, two, four, seven, ten, and twenty-one drives. Perfect for any recording studio, production house, church or school, Disc Makers’ Reflex towers are packed with 250 GB hard drives, the fastest throughput in the industry, a powerful, and an all-in-one interface that eliminates the need for a computer.

"Our Reflex Towers are the finest disc duplicators in the market, and the new Best Price Guarantee raises the bar for all other duplicator manufacturers," said Tony van Veen, President of Disc Makers. "We build the Reflex duplicators in our Pennsauken, New Jersey factory and control every detail of manufacturing and quality control. Now our customers can be confident that they’re buying the best duplicator at the best price possible."

In addition to the "Best Price Guarantee," Disc Makers is continuing its "Perfect Fit Guarantee" that gives customers 30 days to return their duplicator if it’s not perfect for their needs and receive full credit towards the purchase of any other duplicator that the company carries.

The Best Price Guarantee applies to duplicators that are in-stock, from a reputable U.S. seller, and must be new or factory-sealed, and backed by a manufacturer’s warranty applicable to the United States. For more details about the Best Price Guarantee, please visit www.discmakers.com/duplicators/products/manual/BestPriceGuarantee.asp.

For more information about Disc Makers, go to www.discmakers.com.

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