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Copyright © 2004 -
Information Today, Inc.

April 21, 2008

Table of Contents

Panasonic Announces Solid State AG-HMC150 Professional AVCHD Handheld Camcorder
JVC Introduces New GY-HD200UB ProHD Camcorder
JVC Adds Solid State Recording to its Renowned ProHD Camcorder Line
New DVD Explores the Lucrative Business of Non-Fiction DVDs
Matrox Announces Realtime HD Editing at a Breakthrough Price with New RT.X2 LE Platform
Sony Creative Software Showcases Prosumer and Enterprise Blu-ray Disc Authoring Applications at NAB
Sports Ammo Pack for 3D Arsenal and LightWave 3D Gives Producers Engaging Content for Sporting Event Production
NewTek Introduces TriCaster BROADCAST Serial Digital Portable Production System
Avid Delivers Ultimate HD Editing Experience With Release of Next-Generation Editing Systems
Adobe Starts Initiative to Develop Open Format for Digital Cinema Files

Panasonic Announces Solid State AG-HMC150 Professional AVCHD Handheld Camcorder

Here at NAB 2008, Panasonic added a powerful, new camcorder to its AVCCAM professional line – the handheld AG-HMC150. Building on the phenomenal success of the highly popular DV tape based, standard definition AG-DVX100 camcorder, the affordable HMC150 blends professional 1080 and 720 HD production capabilities and enhanced quality recording (at average 21 Mbps/ Max 24Mbps) with the simplicity and familiarity of SD card, digital still camera workflow.

With an exciting range of professional-level features and a sleek, compact design, the HMC150 can record hours of high-quality 1080 and 720 HD images onto solid-state SD and SDHC memory cards, at lower bit rates than current HDV compression formats. This new model offers an enhanced quality mode at average 21 Mbps (Max 24Mbps) that moves quality up even further. The AG-HMC150 camcorder utilizes AVCHD, the industry’s newest long GOP compression standard based on MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 high profile encoding (the same as Blu-ray HD players). AVCHD provides a near doubling of bandwidth efficiency and improved video performance over the older MPEG-2 compression used in HDV formats and standard definition DVD players. AVCHD high definition recordings look clean and clear, even during fast motion, reducing the image degradation or dropout associated with HDV.

Highest-Quality, Full HD Recording
Designed to be used in a variety of budget conscious production applications, the HMC150 records stunning high definition in four recording modes – PH mode (average 21 Mbps/Max 24Mbps), HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), HG mode (approx.13 Mbps) and HE mode (approx. 6 Mbps). It captures full horizontal resolution 1920x1080 images at its PH, HA and HG recording modes. The camera can also be set to capture 1280x720 images at PH mode. At its 6 Mbps record mode, it captures 1440x1080 HD images for extended HD recording at its lowest bit rate. The HMC150 supports a range of HD formats, including 1080/24p, 1080/60i and 720/60p.

This mainstream, production-level camera features native 16:9 progressive 1/3" 3-CCD imagers, enhanced by a high-performing digital signal processor with 14-bit A/D conversion and 19-bit processing. Its 13X Leica Dicomar zoom lens offers a 28mm (35mm equivalent) wide-angle setting (the widest in its class), a 72mm diameter, and a cam-driven manual zoom. The HMC150 provides auto or manual operation of focus and iris, and automatic optical image stabilization (O.I.S.) to ensure stable, smooth and precise shooting. It also features a range of selectable gamma functions including Cine-like gamma, making it well suited for cinema-like video production.

Extra-Long Record Times
With the HMC150, videographers can capitalize on the cost advantages, reliability, and widespread availability of SD and SDHC memory cards. Using just one 32GB SDHC card, users can record three hours of full pixel 1920x1080 video and audio at PH mode, four hours at HA mode and 5.3 hours at HG mode. In the HE mode, the camera can record up to 12 hours of 1440x1080 HD content – all on a single 32GB SDHC card. Panasonic also offers a variety of other SD and SDHC card sizes with Class 6 performance including 16GB, 8GB, 4GB, 2GB and 1GB.

Easy HD Playback on a Growing Number of Affordable Consumer Players
Content shot on the HMC150 can be played back directly on a wide range of widescreen flat panel displays, and front and rear-screen projectors, directly from the camera. Unlike HDV tapes, SD cards with HD content can be inserted into and played back on a growing number of affordable playback devices including Blu-ray players (like Panasonic’s DMP-BD30), the Sony PlayStation 3, and some new Panasonic plasma displays as well as computers with an SD card slot using applications that play AVCHD files. Using NLE software, content can also be edited and rendered in various formats and delivered on a wide range of media. Currently, AVCHD is supported by over 30 companies and implemented in numerous camcorders, NLE systems and consumer HD playback devices.

Professionals can instantly transfer content from the HMC150 camcorder to Mac or PC computers with an SD/SDHC card reader or by connecting the camcorder directly via its USB 2.0 interface. Other standard interfaces on the camera include HDMI out, component out (mini D terminal), composite out, remote jacks for zoom, focus iris and start/stop functions. The camera’s 3.5-inch LCD monitor displays content in thumbnail images for quick viewing.

The HMC150’s professional audio connections include XLR two-channel audio input (48V phantom power) with mic/line select, manual two-channel audio level VR and RCA audio out jacks. The camera offers waveform monitor display and an array of recording functions including time/date stamp, pre-record, shot marker, Index, time code/user bits and metadata.

Panasonic’s AVCCAM camcorder line-up brings the benefits of solid-state recording to budget-conscious professionals. Like digital still photography, recording onto SD/SDHC cards offer a fast and simple, file-based workflow with ultra-reliable performance and resistance to shock, vibration and extreme temperatures and weather. SD and SDHC memory cards are inexpensive and widely available and can be reused repeatedly. Since AVCHD records video as digital data files, content can be transferred and stored on affordable, high-capacity hard disk drives (HDD) and optical storage media and transferred to future storage media as technology advances.

The HMC150 will be available this fall at a suggested list price under $4,500.


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JVC Introduces New GY-HD200UB ProHD Camcorder

JVC Professional Products Company further expands its reach in the professional HD marketplace by introducing the new 720p and 1080i signal selectable GY-HD200UB ProHD camcorder. Since the introduction of the ProHD professional high definition system at NAB in 2004, JVC has continued to provide advancements in product technology and production efficiency.

The new GYHD200UB ProHD Professional HD camcorder provides selectable live transport stream output capability of either 1080 60i and 50i signals or 720 24p, 25p, 30p, 50p and 60p through the IEEE 1394 connection. The selected IEEE 1394 output signal can also be recorded into the ProHD DR-HD100 Hard Disk Recorder as either .m2t or .mov QuickTime™ files.

"The dual 720p and 1080i live transport stream capability of the new GY-HD200UB provides unmatched flexibility and efficiency in a professional shoulder mount HD camcorder," states Craig Yanagi, National Marketing Manager, Creation Products, JVC Professional Products Company. "Combined with the DR-HD100 Hard Disk Recorder with Native File Recording capability, the GY-HD200UB camera system becomes the fastest and most efficient ‘shoot-to-edit’ professional HD camera system in the industry."

The GY-HD200UB also offers full-frame 1280 x 720 progressive imaging and 720p recording as well as a 14bit A/D converter and a 14.4v power system standard. The selectable 60p and 60i acquisition capability of the GY-HD200UB is ideal for HD news and sports acquisition, while filmmakers and HD dramatic productions will appreciate the native progressive image capture and the "overcranked" recording for superb slow motion images during 24p final output.

JVC’s renowned line of ProHD cameras have been used in many television and film productions including America’s Most Wanted, 24, and The Inconvenient Truth, and by organizations such as The Miami Dolphins, Raycom Media, Scripps Television Station Group, and Waterman Broadcasting.

The GY-HD200UB is immediately available with a suggested list price of $5,995, including 16:1 Fujinon lens and Anton-Bauer battery system. A camcorder head only version, the GY-HD200CHUB is available for $5,695. For more information about JVC’s GY-HD200UB and other ProHD cameras, please visit JVC’s Web site at http://pro.jvc.com.

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JVC Adds Solid State Recording to its Renowned ProHD Camcorder Line

At NAB, JVC previews the next generation of file base recording that combines affordable solid state memory and long length hard disk recording. The MR-HD200U is a new camera-mounted media recorder that attaches directly to any of JVC's award winning ProHD 200 Series camcorders.

The MR-HD200U records on non-proprietary Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) solid state memory, in a compact unit that can be permanently attached to JVC's ProHD cameras. "With steady price reductions of off-the-shelf memory cards, SDHC memory is no more expensive than Betacam SP tape on a per minute basis," said Craig Yanagi, National Marketing Manager, Creation Products, JVC Professional Products Company. "Broadcasters can finally treat solid state memory as consumable media, in the same way tape has been in the past."

A single 16GB SDHC memory card can store 1.6 hours in the 720p mode and approximately 1.2 hours in 1080i mode. The unit also features a built-in hard disk drive (HDD) for extended recording times of up to 10 hours. Recorded image is the same HD broadcast quality, whether recording on solid state memory or the hard disk drive. All recording is done in a swappable module that can be detached from the camera.

Native File Recording
The MR-HD200 records natively in a choice of QuickTime™ (.mov) format, or as MPEG2 transport stream files (.m2t). By recording files in an editing-friendly native format, postproduction can begin without file conversion, transcoding and rewrapping. The interchangeable module can be easily detached from the camera for editing from the built-in HDD. When using Apple's Final Cut Pro, editing can be done directly from the drive module, eliminating the time consuming process of transferring files into the computer.

"With Native File Recording, JVC has established the industry's fastest and most efficient shoot-to-air workflow," added Yanagi. "Best of all, since there is no transcoding, the quality of the original recording is maintained throughout the production chain—all the way to air."

The MR-HD200 is expected to be available in the 4th quarter of this year. For more information about JVC’s MR-HD200U, please visit JVC’s Web site at http://pro.jvc.com.

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New DVD Explores the Lucrative Business of Non-Fiction DVDs

A new DVD entitled Special Interest Video Magazine Vol. 1 by Hal Landen is a companion video to his definitive book entitled Secrets of Producing and Selling Successful Videos. The video reveals many secrets of selling non-fiction DVDs. Unlike video service businesses, the special interest or non-fiction video business lets you multiply your profits. Create a good product once and sell it many times.

Hal Landen brings over 25 years of experience in the non-fiction film and video business to this project. He founded VideoUniversity.com, which Forbes Magazine calls one of the best business-to-business web sites for digital video production. He has freelanced for ABC's 20/20, CBS's 60 Minutes, Warner Brothers, and many others.

This magazine-style DVD offers three distinct segments all designed to help both the novice and experienced producer improve their sales. Here are some of the things you will learn:

What Do Distributors Want?
Leslie Kussman, producer-distributor from Aquarius Media in the Boston area, shares her expertise on how to produce and market a successful video. She should know. She has built a very successful business. Her distribution company is always looking for videos that serve her market of hospitals, libraries, and health care providers.

How To Get a Good Review For Your Video
Next we go to the West Coast and visit Randy Pittman the editor- publisher of Video Librarian Magazine. This publication reviews over 200 videos every issue. You may think libraries are just for books, but today some libraries spend $1 million a year buying DVDs. Shouldn't you get a share? Randy explains the review process with lots of helpful examples.

Pricing Pitfalls and Opportunities
The third segment is about pricing your DVD. Why price your video at$19.95 when you can make a lot more money at other price points. You'll learn about the psychology of prices, niche vs. mass marketing, value pricing, and lots more. You'll even learn about a video set that sells for $1795! Watch this segment before you produce your next video. It will put money in your pocket!

And speaking of money, you can save it when you buy the DVD and the book together. Click the web links below for details.

DVD: Special Interest Video Magazine Vol. 1 DVD
Running Time: 52 minutes

Book: Secrets of Producing and Selling Successful Videos, 324 pp
ISBN-13: 978-1-888093-12-4


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Matrox Announces Realtime HD Editing at a Breakthrough Price with New RT.X2 LE Platform

Matrox® Video Products Group today announced that the new Matrox RT.X2 LE realtime HD and SD editing platform is now available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. Priced at $1,095 US in North America (₤649, €895), Matrox RT.X2 LE is a ¾-length PCIe card with a professional breakout box. It is designed to work with Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS3 or Adobe Creative Suite® 3 Production Premium.

"The demand for HD video production is set to skyrocket now that HD televisions are in widespread use and Blu-ray has won the battle of the distribution formats. There has never been a better time for corporate communicators, event videographers, project studios, educational facilities, digital filmmakers, and video enthusiasts to get into HD," said Alberto Cieri, Matrox sales and marketing director. "HDV and P2 cameras are affordable and the new Matrox RT.X2 LE card dramatically reduces the cost of a high-performance HD editing system. Not only is the price of the card itself lower than ever, it also fits into a low cost desktop system."

"The new Matrox RT.X2 LE card for Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 and Adobe Production Premium CS3 delivers substantial benefits for customers," said Hart Shafer, senior product manager at Adobe. "RT.X2 hardware combined with our software gives customers accelerated editing of full-quality, full-frame-rate video, export to DVD, Blu-ray, QuickTime, Adobe Flash and other media formats, and extra productivity with WYSIWYG graphics and realtime downscaling of HD projects for SD delivery."

The Matrox RT.X2 product line will be demonstrated at NAB 2008 in booth SL320.

Key features of Matrox RT.X2 LE

  • Matrox RT.X2 LE 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 downscaling for analog SD output from an HD timeline
  • Accelerated export to Blu-ray, 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


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Sony Creative Software Showcases Prosumer and Enterprise Blu-ray Disc Authoring Applications at NAB

Following the industry-wide adoption of the Sony Blu-ray high definition DVD format, Sony Creative Software today announced upgrades to its DVD Architect and Blu-print applications for authoring Blu-ray discs. Ongoing development of Blu-ray authoring solutions reinforces Sony’s commitment to offer comprehensive production solutions, from software to hardware, at the prosumer and global production scale.

DVD Architect 5 software enables independent producers and videographers to author both a standard definition DVD or a high definition Blu-ray Disc complete with full motion buttons, motion menus, scene selection menus, subtitles and alternate video and audio tracks. The clean, drag-and-drop DVD Architect interface, powerful layout and authoring tools work seamlessly with the Sony Vegas Pro video editing and production software, making it easy to develop dynamic menu-based DVDs, movies, picture slideshows and music compilations. Shipping in mid-June, DVD Architect 5 software will be available as a free downloadable upgrade to all registered Vegas Pro 8 users, as the Vegas Pro software ships bundled with the DVD Architect application.

"With the release of DVD Architect 5, Sony Creative Software now offers a comprehensive tool for Vegas Pro users to publish their work in the Blu-ray Disc format, highlighting our position as the software foundation of the integrated Sony solution," said Dave Chaimson, vice president of global marketing for Sony Creative Software.

Available in May, Blu-print 4.3 enterprise software helps to simplify the complexity of producing fully interactive Blu-ray discs at professional studios or authoring houses. Delivering on the partnership announcement made last month, Blu-print 4.3 now features integration with Ensequence on-Q Create for Blu-ray Java, which enables Blu-ray Disc developers to create and distribute Java based interactive experiences to viewers worldwide. Blu-print 4.3 features an intuitive user interface, as well as automation tools to simplify otherwise daunting tasks, such as creating multi-story Blu-ray discs. Blu-print 4.3 offers a full-featured high level scripting language that saves DVD authors from having to write BD assembly codes, as well as the ability to export all project objects into XML files for easy BD-Java authoring using Ensequence on-Q Create for Blu-ray Java.

"Not only does the Blu-ray format feature next-generation video quality, but it also showcases next-generation interactivity that requires incredibly powerful authoring applications," continued Chaimson. "Blu-print 4.3 solves these challenges for enterprise-level production houses with tools that help streamline the development of interactive Blu-ray features such as Internet-connected content and multi-story discs."


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Sports Ammo Pack for 3D Arsenal and LightWave 3D Gives Producers Engaging Content for Sporting Event Production

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, today introduced Sports Ammo Pack for 3D Arsenal™ and LightWave®, 3D content that enhances sporting event productions. The pack includes 75 individually animated scenes with many other features such as a selection utility to quickly customize color and texture mapping and custom color presets for commonly-used team colors.

The graphic animations include:

  • 15-second openings and five-second bumper animation sequences for each sport, featuring a logo revealed in a sports arena or stadium setting
  • Logo animations for team and player identification, including three logo "shield" designs with multiple animations for each (one team, two team, single player, multiple player, etc.)
  • "Hall of Fame" animation featuring a parade of banners with areas for mapped images or video of players and a team’s logo.
  • Fast-paced five-second bumpers and two second transition animations featuring the subject of play: football, baseball, basketball, soccer and more.

"Sports Ammo Pack gives producers the opportunity to quickly and easily add impact to their sports production," said Rex Olson, NewTek’s VP, Content Development. "With key elements including openings, bumpers and logo animations, the producer can spend more time on following the action of the day’s contest and less time on the details."

The Sport Ammo Pack will be available for $295US and is also available internationally. For more information, please visit www.NewTek.com.

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NewTek Introduces TriCaster BROADCAST Serial Digital Portable Production System

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, today introduced TriCaster BROADCAST™, its latest portable live production and virtual set system that offers producers the most extensive list of benefits and flexibility to date. TriCaster Broadcast with SDI support delivers enhanced efficiency and reliability. With audio embedded in the video signal producers can depend on a fast, professional set-up. With a small footprint that fits comfortably in even the most space-constrained environments, TriCaster BROADCAST offers seamless one-person or team operation and NewTek’s LiveSet™ Virtual Set technology, which makes it possible to turn small spaces into larger-than-life network style studios.

"TriCaster BROADCAST is a culmination of our latest production technologies and is based on market feedback," said Andrew Cross, NewTek’s Executive VP, Software Engineering. "The growing family of TriCaster products now provides even more of the capabilities of a live remote production truck in a small package for an ever-growing list of professional video and web streaming applications."

Offering unprecedented flexibility, TriCaster BROADCAST allows producers to quickly connect and mix up to six serial digital or component cameras to provide full coverage of any event. Users can switch six cameras with a shared preview monitor or three cameras with a dedicated preview for each. TriCaster BROADCAST’s integrated character generator provides users the ability to create custom titles, motion graphics, scrolls and crawls. It can also lock any title or graphic upstream to any input.

Dual VCRs may be assigned to scrolls, crawls and motion titles. Operators may also easily cut to video using the on-board VCRs at any time without the need for another person to cue up the content.

In addition, TriCaster BROADCAST includes the following benefits:

  • Full support for both 4:3 and 16:9 broadcasting
  • Multi-format live clip playback
  • VC-1 streaming support
  • Serial Digital BNC connectors provide increased durability and reliability for camera hook-ups
  • Four balanced XLR or phone jack connectors for professional audio mixing
  • Simultaneous recording of full-screen .avi while archiving a Web stream
  • iVGA under scan to select whether or not an external VGA input fills the entire video frame
  • Cleaner keying and ease-of-setup with an optimized LiveMatte™ engine
  • Integrated video editor, with improvements based on SpeedEDIT 1.5
  • Additional tools that will allow customized LiveSet™ virtual sets created with LightWave 3D v9

Virtual Sets
The proprietary virtual set system in TriCaster BROADCAST, LiveSet™, allows virtual sets to be assigned independently to each of six camera inputs and the dual integrated DDR’s. In addition, each input has an independent LiveMatte™ module eliminating the need for expensive keying or frame-sync hardware. Each live virtual set supports multiple angles and focal lengths with support for secondary video sources, such as on-screen monitors. The photo-realistic LiveSet engine allows real-time reflections, refractions, bump maps and more.

Pricing and Availability
TriCaster BROADCAST NTSC is available in North America for $11,995US. TriCaster BROADCAST and is also available internationally in dual standard PAL/NTSC versions. For more information, please visit www.NewTek.com.

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Avid Delivers Ultimate HD Editing Experience With Release of Next-Generation Editing Systems

Avid Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVID) today unveiled a new family of professional digital video editing systems that offer greater speed, responsiveness, reliability and price-performance – delivering an exceptional HD editing experience to media professionals. The new lineup, which includes next-generation versions of Avid® Media Composer® (v3.0), NewsCutter® (v7.0), and Symphony™ (v3.0) software, as well as new hardware configurations, Mojo DX and Nitris® DX, maximizes real-time performance for customers by intelligently using all available computing bandwidth to evenly disperse the processing of video and effects across the entire system. The result is an extremely fast and responsive HD editing experience that provides greater creative freedom and flexibility to end-users.

The increase in power and performance of Avid’s new editing systems is the result of an architectural design that tightly integrates Avid software and hardware with the CPU, host graphics card and PCI Express connection, to create a high-bandwidth, high-performance effects engine. This design eliminates the lag time in responsiveness that users often experience when working with HD material during the editorial process.

"For any project we begin, we need to know that our tools are going to help us work as fast as we can think and get the job done under budget, usually with intense deadlines," said Dave Ballard of LAB 601, Inc., a beta tester of the new Media Composer Nitris DX. "Lots of products boast the latest bells and whistles, but if the tools don’t allow us to perform flawlessly in high-pressure situations, none of the bells and whistles matter. The creative process can grind to a halt the moment that technology prevents us from trying something new – on the fly.

Speed and performance rank at the top of any wish list for editors. I need a system that responds to the way I want to work and allows me to work more freely. The Media Composer Nitris DX is faster than any other Media Composer I have worked on in the past, and has been rock-solid reliable and flexible in all of our daily workflows."

Avid’s Next-Generation Editing Systems
Avid’s new editing lineup offers a range of new capabilities designed to enhance the HD editing process, including:

  • Real-time output of all major SD and HD formats, which eliminates the need for rendering with the Avid DNxHD® codec; customers will experience greater responsiveness during the output process.
  • A real-time effects architecture that closely ties multi-core CPU, GPU and PCI Express hardware into a single high-performance pipeline that increases the speed of the HD editing experience.
  • Improved codec and file-based format support including:
  • Native support for "Thin Raster" formats including DVCPRO HD and XDCAM HD; with real-time output with multiple streams of HD;
  • Native editing support for AVC-I, which will be supported in 50 Mb/s and 100 Mb/s formats, via the same Avid workflow as P2/DVCPRO HD;
  • Sony XDCAM-EX (requires Sony Clip Browser software – currently available only on Windows); and
  • JVC 23.976p and 25p HDV codecs

  • Support for Mac Leopard OS and Windows Vista 32 and 64 bit operating systems.
  • A SubCap™ visible captioning tool for adding subtitles, with the import and export of EBU-N19 formats.
  • MetaFuze™, a new tool designed for quickly merging single-frame files (such as DPX and TIF) from film scanning or CGI systems into a single media clip on the Windows platform. MetaFuze enables users to create Avid DNxHD 36 files from DPX or TIF masters and use the files during the offline edit in a DI workflow – with final conform taking place on a DS system.
  • A real-time multi-window timecode burn-in tool, which enables customers to simplify the screening process by burning multiple timecodes and sequence information onto a video and superimposing the timecode over the picture during output and playback.
  • Blu-ray output with new Avid DVD by Sonic™ which makes it easier for PC users to create high definition DVDs.
  • XML export for sequences via Avid FilmScribe which enables all source and record side metadata to be exported as XML, including change notes. With this feature, transforms can be applied to create EDLs (e.g., scan lists, ASC color metadata, etc).

  • "This news represents another milestone in how Avid continues to drive ‘New Thinking.’ Our customers have told us that quality, performance and value are the most important characteristics in any product or solution. We’re glad to say that this new suite of offerings reflects these priorities," said Kirk Arnold, executive vice president and general manager of Avid Video.

    System Configurations, Availability, and Pricing
    The new HD systems are expected to be available in Q2 2008 and will offer exceptional price-performance, with flexible hardware configurations designed to meet a range of professional production needs. In addition, both the new Media Composer and Symphony configurations are qualified to run on Mac OS X Leopard and Windows XP and Vista platforms, and NewsCutter configurations are qualified for Windows XP and Vista. All Media Composer and NewsCutter systems offer the same software toolset across their respective configurations – with additional capabilities coming from different hardware options. These configurations include:

  • Media Composer software – For independent or mobile film and video editors looking for a portable offline editing solution with support for file-based editing – priced at $2,495 USMSRP.
  • Media Composer Mojo DX – Ideal for small studios, production companies or customers looking to do on-location work – offering standard digital SD and HD I/O - priced at $9,995 USMSRP.
  • Media Composer Nitris DX – Geared towards post production facilities or anyone looking for a full feature edit bay – offering analog and digital I/O with Avid DNxHD encode and decode – priced at $14,995 USMSRP. Customers can also purchase configurations with an 8 core MacPro or HP xw8600 workstation starting at $21,995 USMSRP.
  • Symphony Nitris DX – Now available on both the Mac and Windows systems and ideal for online finishing facilities looking for all the features of the Media Composer plus secondary and relational color correction and universal mastering – priced at $35,995 USMSRP including an 8 core MacPro or HP XW8600 workstation.
  • NewsCutter software – News editing software ideal for field, tapeless and networked news environments – priced at $4,995 USMSRP.
  • NewsCutter Mojo DX – Ideal solution for full-featured suite-based news editing with real-time multi-format playback and effects and standard digital SD and HD I/O – priced at $19,995 USMSRP including an 8 core HP xw8600 workstation.
  • NewsCutter Nitris DX – Geared towards news operations looking for all of the options of NewsCutter with comprehensive analog and digital I/O with Avid DNxHD encode and decode – priced at $24,995 USMSRP including an 8 core HP xw8600 workstation.

    For more information on Avid’s new editing line up, please visit www.avid.com/newthinking. For specific details about software and hardware upgrades, please contact your local Avid salesperson or reseller.

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    Adobe Starts Initiative to Develop Open Format for Digital Cinema Files

    Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that it plans to lead an initiative to define an industry-wide open file format for digital cinema files to streamline workflows and help ensure easy archiving and exchange. Adobe intends to leverage its successful Digital Negative Specification (DNG) file format as a foundation, and Adobe plans to work with a broad coalition of leading camera manufacturers, including Panavision, Silicon Imaging, Dalsa, Weisscam, and ARRI — along with software vendors, including Iridas and The Foundry, and codec provider CineForm — to define the requirements for an open, publicly documented file format that it plans to call CinemaDNG.

    Adobe is currently working to develop the requirements of the CinemaDNG workflow and intends to subsequently publish a specification for the file format based on collaboration with companies throughout the industry.

    "With the CinemaDNG initiative, Adobe is extending its leadership in developing open, interchangeable formats for digital still cameras into the realm of digital cinematography," said Jim Guerard, vice president of Dynamic Media at Adobe. "By taking a proactive role and working collaboratively with leading digital cinema manufacturers, Adobe is helping to define an industry-standard approach that benefits the entire filmmaking ecosystem. Filmmakers will be able to adopt digital cinema cameras with confidence, and camera manufacturers will be able to provide specialized functionality while ensuring instant file format compatibility with existing workflows."

    Many filmmakers are foregoing film in favor of digital cinema cameras and workflows that offer improved creative flexibility, lower costs, and significantly faster turnaround times. However, those new workflows involve complex hardware and software, with projects passing through multiple vendors along the production pipeline. The proliferation of disparate, vendor-specific raw file formats has the potential to erode some of the advantages of digital cinema. By proactively leading the development of an open, public, and enduring standard that can be adopted throughout the production pipeline, Adobe and other companies through the CinemaDNG initiative are helping to solve an important, emerging workflow issue.

    Advantages for Filmmakers
    As a publicly documented and open file format, CinemaDNG would offer several advantages for filmmakers. They could avoid roadblocks caused by incompatibilities in workflows that involve multiple devices, vendors, and file formats. They could adopt digital cinema cameras while minimizing the risk that proprietary or camera-specific file formats would be unsupported in the future, because CinemaDNG would provide an open, durable, standard format that would be available for many years to come. Filmmakers could also rest assured that they have access to a robust archival standard for the new generation of raw-capable digital cinema cameras. CinemaDNG would also provide the foundation for an editing workflow that would allow filmmakers to use the highest quality source material.

    Advantages for Manufacturers
    For camera manufacturers and software developers, CinemaDNG is intended to help remove a key obstacle to the adoption of new products by providing reliable, instant compatibility with existing workflows. Manufacturers may be able to reduce development costs by eliminating the necessity to develop proprietary formats and conversion utilities. CinemaDNG is also planning to deliver support for proprietary metadata, helping manufacturers to differentiate their product offerings from competitors'.

    "Experiencing a smoother, more streamlined workflow is, without exception, a good thing and open standards are a great way of accomplishing it," said Bruno Nicoletti, chief technology officer at The Foundry, a leading visual effects software developer in London. "The Foundry supports Adobe's plan for CinemaDNG, which will make the adoption of raw digital camera data much easier for everyone in our industry."

    "We are working hard on establishing a realistic and workable method of getting raw data from the camera to post," said Marc Shipman-Mueller, product manager for Cameras & Lenses at ARRI, a top digital cinema camera manufacturer in Munich. "An industry wide standard for raw data can only help in this future oriented process that will provide multiple benefits for the users of raw data."


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