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Information Today, Inc.

May 27, 2008

Table of Contents

The Next HD Hurdle: Live Video Mixers
Adobe Releases Three New Public Betas
NovaStor Unveils the Complete Data Protection And Disaster Recovery Solution: NovaBACKUP 10
Hitachi Demos SK-HD1000 Studio and Field Camera and HV-HD30 P.O.V. CMOS Sensor HD Cameras at Infocomm
Panasonic Announces New Series of P2 Workflow Workshops
Free HDtracks Album Promises Music Lovers the "Ultimate Download Experience"
RedbeardMusic.com Announces New Music for Graduation/Class Videos
WD Brings Fast Portable Storage to Mac Users On-the-Go
OWC Announces Faster Superdrive DVD/CD Burners For All Macs -- Priced From $31.99
Fujinon To Showcase New Premier Series HD Lens And New Select Series Of Cost-Effective HDTV ENG Lenses At HD Expo
Echolab Offers Educational Training DVD to Assist Overture Users in Taking Productions to a New Level

The Next HD Hurdle: Live Video Mixers

While HDV and the move to HD have produced some truly amazing cameras—even in the consumer arena—compared to what was available for many tens of thousands of dollars just 10 years ago, those of us who regularly produce live shows are facing a new hurdle: expensive HD switchers.

As the technical director and engineer for Flavors of America since the mid-1990s and, more recently, Healthy Flavors--two cooking shows that are broadcast nationally on PBS stations and on the Comcast cable network--I’ve used numerous video mixers over the years. Now, as we eye the move to HD, we are looking to upgrade our mixer. At the same price points as decent SD mixers, I find the choices are nonexistent.

My current digital SD mixer cost me less than $5,000, and it has paid for itself over the years. I use it on numerous productions¬ with up to four cameras; and I don’t always use the FireWire inputs. Most often, the cameras used are broadcast-quality Sony DSR-570Ws with 6-pin FireWire out. The images we see on the master tape are as good as the ISO tapes shot in-camera. So this inexpensive mixer capably handles cameras that cost several times what the mixer costs.

I recently had a chance to play with Datavideo’s inexpensive, SD-only SE-500, which mixes four channels of video, but it does not have a component or FireWire. However, it does offer a great feature: an internal quad-split preview that allows you to see all four inputs on one monitor, greatly simplifying setup. It also integrates a basic audio mixer, built-in frame sync, and tally light control—all for less than $2,000. This is quite a spiffy little mixer!

Now that quality HD camcorders that cost less than $10,000 are plentiful—including several that can be genlocked to a house sync—I’ve been searching for an HD replacement for my current video mixer. But trying to find a HD video mixer that doesn’t break the bank has proven to be quite a challenge.

One especially interesting twist is that many very inexpensive consumer and prosumer HD camcorders feature an uncompressed, full-HD HDMI output. The only product I have seen to use that like a professional video mixer is the Intensity card from Blackmagic Design. Amazingly, this little card costs only $249. Couple two cards together and use the free On-Air software as your 2-source video mixer at full HD, uncompressed. You can really make some pretty pictures this way.

The problem is that the software is Mac-only and requires a $3,000 computer to house the $249 cards. Also, in spite of the Mac’s capability to house four PCI cards, the software is limited to two inputs. So this solution falls far short.

The next step up would be something like Roland’s EDIROL V-440HD (street price $12,000), which handles four HD sources and four SD sources. It can also be used as an independent SD mixer or HD/RGB mixer. It handles different aspect ratios (16:9 or 4:3) and has video effects like PiP and transitions, plus two keyers. This sort of capability comes at a cost more than triple that of Canon’s XH A1 camcorder.

Starting at about the same price (MSRP $11,000), another option would be Panasonic’s recently announced AV-HS400N, which handles up to eight SD or HD inputs. This more traditionally designed mixer only comes ready to handle four inputs and accepts optional boards (at around $1,700 each) that add two inputs at a time. By the time you get done outfitting this mixer as you need, it’s considerably more expensive.

However, it does feature one very impressive, cost-effective feature: the built-in MultiViewer can output four, six, or 10 images from different sources to a single high-resolution display, eliminating the need for multiple HD source and preview monitors. Similar capability from Miranda Technologies’ products would cost you more than the Panasonic mixer itself.

As functionally similar as Datavideo’s $2,000 SE-500 and Panasonic’s $11,000 HS400N are with video mixing and preview "multiviewing," the core issue is that HD mixing still remains several times the cost of HD camcorders with full-resolution HD-SDI or HDMI outputs. This is quite a change from very capable analog SD mixers being available at a fraction of the camcorder’s cost.

Another alternative would be to adapt something from a completely different arena: presentation switchers from companies like Analog Way. Its CENTRIX (street price $8,000) video mixer features dual scalars (what we call Frame Sync) and can handle eight inputs of anything up to UXGA, including HD (but not 24p); internal keyers and frame stores add to the functionality.

But you’ll need to add external interfaces, like a keypad (the CENTRIX is a faceless box), a computer to adjust the settings, and devices to convert all the VGA and DVI ins and outs to your video gear. In many respects, that’s far more trouble than its worth.

All of this leaves you without a viable option for an HD video mixer if your budget doesn’t exceed what you could expect to pay for an SD-only mixer with comparable functionality. In due time, we can expect prices to drop. But until then, the affordable "prosumer" HD video mixer remains the next hurdle for live HD production.

Anthony Burokas (a1burokas at ieba.com) runs TechThoughts.org, an official EventDV blog.

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Adobe Releases Three New Public Betas

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today gave a sneak peek at three applications from the next release of Adobe Creative Suite, its award-winning collection of graphic design, Web development and video editing applications. The company released public beta of new versions of Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Fireworks and Adobe Soundbooth as free downloads on Adobe labs. Once downloaded and launched, the betas will be active for 48 hours after which time only Creative Suite 3 customers will have an extended right to use the betas until the next release of Creative Suite becomes available.

The Dreamweaver beta for Web design and development, the Fireworks beta for prototyping, and the Soundbooth beta for audio creating and editing, demonstrate the direction that Adobe Creative Suite is taking with features and technologies that will simplify and streamline design and development workflows across all media. The betas also offer users the opportunity to give Adobe feedback for further product development.

"Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Soundbooth are the major applications we're unveiling as public betas before the next release of Creative Suite," said David Burkett, vice president of product management for Adobe Creative Suite. "This early release software gives our loyal customers a taste of the radical workflow enhancements that we have in store, as we redefine how designers and developers collaborate to deliver stand-out digital experiences."

"We’re excited to begin formally developing within the new Creative Suite environment," said Matias Penela, director of technology for AgencyNet. "Adobe is providing the strongest and most efficient workflow to date. With a plethora of new and improved tools for each software title, our day-to-day development can be more effective and we’ll be further empowered to push the boundaries of creative design and technical innovation for our clients."

The Dreamweaver public beta includes a new Related Files Toolbar and Code Navigator feature that allows users to dive deeply into complex pages that include HTML files, links to JavaScript documents and integrated XML data. Users can see related files in the Related Files Toolbar and with Code Navigator make changes to code that appears in various parts of a document just with one update. The update to Dreamweaver also features a new Live View Mode, which is based on the open source rendering engine Webkit. It enables users to see content in real-world, real-time environments without having to leave Dreamweaver to preview in a browser. This feature also gives users the ability to freeze JavaScript language to debug interactive pages as well as view and interact with Flash content.

New features in Fireworks beta include a new user interface that is now consistent with other applications within the Creative Suite making it easier for users to switch between applications that now have a universal look and feel. In addition, Fireworks beta now allows users to export design comps as high fidelity, interactive, and secure Adobe PDF documents for enhanced client communication. Fireworks beta is also now compatible with Adobe AIR, HTML, Adobe Flash and Adobe Flex Builder so users can create their design once and deploy to whichever application platform is required by clients.

The Soundbooth beta showcases a host of new features for creative professionals to complete their audio production tasks more efficiently, including the new multiple track support which allows users to edit multiple audio clips on a number of tracks, and the new ability for users to match volume levels across audio files. Also included is the capability to preview MP3 compression settings before saving them and a new speech recognition technology that lets users create transcripts of dialogue tracks quickly and search them for words and phrases within a timeline.

Availability and System Requirements
The Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Soundbooth betas, once downloaded and launched, will be active for 48 hours after which time only CS3 customers will have extended access. Using their CS3 product serial numbers, users will have the exclusive ability to unlock the betas and use them for free until the next version of Creative Suite becomes available. Beta access will give users an opportunity to deliver feedback, via Adobe Labs, for future product development.

Dreamweaver and Fireworks betas run on multiple operating systems, including Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Vista and Mac OS X version 10.4.11 or later on PowerPC G5 or Intelbased Macintosh systems. The Soundbooth beta runs on all those systems except for PowerPC-based Macintosh systems. The betas can be immediately downloaded from Adobe Labs.

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NovaStor Unveils the Complete Data Protection And Disaster Recovery Solution: NovaBACKUP 10

NovaStor, a leading provider of software solutions for data availability and protection today announced the availability of NovaBACKUP 10, the latest version of its flagship NovaBACKUP data protection and disaster recovery software for Windows-based PCs and Servers. This latest version empowers users with the choice to create backups and store data locally or online, and even includes a free one year online storage account. Previous versions only supported local backup to hard drives, tape drives, CD/DVD/Blu-ray Disc burners, and network attached storage (NAS) devices; the new release enables online backup capabilities via FTP to corporate servers or to other online storage services. NovaBACKUP 10 is the first all in one solution from a major data protection software provider to offer this level of flexibility in protecting user’s critical information wherever they are, to virtually any backup device, simply and reliably.

Features new to NovaBACKUP 10 include disk image recovery, which takes a snapshot of the entire system to protect and preserve data in the event of a disaster allowing recovery from a local or network source; and the ability to backup, copy or mirror data to FTP or online storage accounts offered by NovaStor, Amazon’s S3, and others to be added soon.

"Most data protection applications limit users to backing up to local backup devices and force them to use proprietary backup technology," said Mike Andrews, Managing Director of NovaStor. "NovaBACKUP 10 enables users with the freedom to choose not only whether to backup locally or online, but also the flexibility to backup in the format that best suits the user’s needs."

"Managing a local backup and an online backup service can be time consuming and frustrating for many computer users," said Wolfgang Schlichting, Research Director for Removable Storage at IDC. "Solutions like NovaStor’s NovaBACKUP 10 address this challenge by combining both backup methodologies into one software package. This strategy offers users more flexibility and peace of mind by creating on-premise backups for quick file restores and off-premise backups of critical files in the case of a catastrophe that wipes out the computer and the local backup."

Pricing and Availability
NovaBACKUP 10 will be offered in the following 3 distinct versions and be commercially available immediately from popular industry resellers and distributors, or directly from NovaStor’s online web store located at www.novastor.com:

  • NovaBACKUP 10 Professional– Basic version for backup and disaster recovery on a single Windows Vista, Windows XP, or Windows 2000 PC. Includes a free one year 2GB online storage account. MSRP $49.95
  • NovaBACKUP 10 Server – Server version for backup and disaster recovery for a single Windows 2000 or 2003 Server. Includes a free one year 5GB online storage account MSRP $199.95
  • NovaBACKUP 10 Business Essentials – Backup and disaster recovery for a single Windows 2000, or 2003 Server, including Microsoft Exchange and SQL support. Includes a free one year 10GB online storage account MSRP $499.00
A 15 day trial version of NovaBACKUP 10 can be downloaded here.

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Hitachi Demos SK-HD1000 Studio and Field Camera and HV-HD30 P.O.V. CMOS Sensor HD Cameras at Infocomm

Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd. will be on hand at InfoComm 2008 (Booth #C914) to show two high-performance HDTV cameras—from Hitachi’s broad portfolio of products—that serve a wide range of professional A/V applications. InfoComm is being held from June 14-18, 2008 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The first is the Hitachi SK-HD1000 HDTV studio and field production camera which has been significantly upgraded in features and performance since its introduction last year. The SK-HD1000 offers an impressive 60dB HDTV signal-to-noise ratio at F10.0 and 1100 horizontal TV lines of resolution in a unique two-piece camera platform for maximum configuration flexibility.

The SK-HD1000 is based upon next-generation, high dynamic range RGB 2/3-inch progressive CCDs each with 2.2 million pixels, 14-bit A to D converters, and Hitachi’s new digital circuits enabling exceptional depth of modulation, tonal reproduction and highlight handling characteristics. Also, the new Camera Control Unit (CCU) model CU-HD1000 offers exceptional flexibility by providing users with a choice of fiber or digital triax/coax transmission but also an optional cross-converter to make 720p out of 1080i with embedded professional quality digital audio in the HD-SDI outputs.

Also on display will be the HV-HD30 HDTV color camera featuring advancements in digital signal processing and CMOS imaging sensors for exceptional picture quality and electronic stability at an attractive price point. The HV-HD30 employs three HDTV, 1/3-inch format, 1.3-megapixel CMOS sensors, and provides both 1080i and 720p HDTV digital signals that are SMPTE292M-compliant up to 1.5 Gbps. The HV-HD30 can serve as a low-cost HDTV studio sub-camera, as well as high-resolution camera for teleconferencing, point-of-view, observation and monitoring, medical applications, and industrial imaging, such as factory automation. An extremely lightweight and compact camera, the HV-HD30 can also be configured for remote control operation.

Both the Hitachi SK-HD1000 and the HV-HD30 are available now. InfoComm 08 visitors should visit Hitachi’s booth #C914 for further technical information and demonstrations of the products.


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Panasonic Announces New Series of P2 Workflow Workshops

In its ongoing commitment to provide career-advancing education, Panasonic has announced today additional dates and cities for its popular P2 Workflow Workshops training program. Run by HD EXPO, the P2 Workflow Workshop is a two-day, professional-level class designed to give video professionals including cinematographers, producers, production and post production team members an in-depth understanding of the P2 solid-state technology, cameras and workflow tools.

Launched in 2007 in a number of cities, the P2 Workflow Workshop is a rigorous training program for content creators that imparts an understanding of the benefits of non-linear, file-based, IT compatible technology and the knowledge of how to integrate P2 content into the production workflow. The workshop introduces attendees to the next generation of solid-state P2 HD cameras and workflow equipment as well as presents vital information on compression including AVC-Intra, support utilities, workflows for every budget and for post production and editorial. It also offers opportunities for hands-on time with the cameras. Instructors for the workshops are recognized P2 experts, i.e. cinematographers and specialists who regularly work in the tapeless field.

Tuition for P2 Workflow Workshop is $599, or $549 with early registration, available at hdexpo.net/education or by calling 818-842-6611. P2 Workshops have been announced for the following cities: Chicago, June 3 – 4 at The Navy Pier; Seattle, July 10 – 11; Los Angeles, August 7 - 8 and October 28 and 29; New York, September 24 & 25th;; and Miami on November 6 and 7th, 2008. For more information, visit HDEXPO.net.


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Free HDtracks Album Promises Music Lovers the "Ultimate Download Experience"

HDtracks.com, the new high-resolution digital music store founded by audiophile record label Chesky Records, today announced the limited availability of a free album download that encourages all listeners to "hear the HDtracks difference."

"The HDtracks Ultimate Download Experience," free to visitors to www.HDtracks.com who register with only an email address, offers eight spectacular audiophile-quality recordings across different genres, all hand-picked to prove just how great music downloads can sound. Those who download The Ultimate Download Experience will also receive a promotional code for 20% off their next HDtracks purchase.

HDtracks is unique among digital music stores for its combination of CD-quality music files unencumbered by digital rights management (DRM), the ability to download in any of three file types to match most playback devices, and a reliable, easy-to-use interface that makes browsing and downloading a pleasure. The site features thousands of artists representing 60 of the world’s best independent record labels, and all albums are priced at $11.98 and come complete with PDF liner notes (a first among digital music sites). Tracks may be downloaded as CD-quality uncompressed AIFF files or lossless FLAC files, or MP3 files ripped at 320 kilobits-per-second (kbps) — some 2½-times the rate of typical music-store downloads. Ultra-high-resolution 96kHz/24-bit downloads are planned as well.

"Musicians and sound engineers create incredible performances and amazing, lifelike recordings, only to have people download their work at 128 kbps from the popular music stores," said HDtracks co-founder David Chesky. "This completely destroys the nuance of the recording and often introduces audible distortion. Our free "Ultimate Download Experience" album should prove to listeners once-and-for all that they can hear the difference between a CD-quality or high bit-rate file and a conventional download, even on an iPod®."


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RedbeardMusic.com Announces New Music for Graduation/Class Videos

RedbeardMusic.com is proud to release "Beautiful World", a fresh pop melody from notable Nashville duo The Mary Dream. Hopeful lyrics mix with solid harmonies making this song perfect for graduations, weddings, and other milestone celebrations. Check it out here.

Redbeard also offers a new license, specifically suited for graduation/class videos (providing permission for up to 500 copies per class project). For more details, click here.

RedbeardMusic.com was launched in January of this year by its sister company Stock20.com (royalty-free instrumental music). They provide affordable licensing of vocal music specifically suited for event videographers and photographers.


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WD Brings Fast Portable Storage to Mac Users On-the-Go

Expanding on its popular portable storage offerings, WD(R) (NYSE: WDC) today introduced its new Mac(R)-formatted My Passport(TM) Studio(TM) Portable Drives. The newest members of the My Passport family are designed for Mac users on-the-go and are equipped with both FireWire(R) 400 and USB 2.0 interfaces, a clever capacity gauge, and include a soft drawstring carrying bag for protection from scratches and dirt. Available now at select retailers and at WD's online store (http://www.shopwd.com), the My Passport Studio portable drives are offered in capacities of 320 GB and 250 GB.

Weighing in at less than 5 ounces, the My Passport Studio portable drives make it easy to securely carry office files, thousandsof songs, videos or photos and back up a Macintosh(R) laptop using Apple Time Machine(TM) backup software utility. With an elegant silver metallic finish that perfectly complements other Mac products, these portable drives feature a shock-resistant enclosure to provide protection from the bumps and jars of everyday life on-the-go. Ultra portable, these drives are USB-bus powered which eliminates the need for an external power adapter.

"We designed the My Passport Studio portable drives to work seamlessly with Apple's Time Machine, making this drive an ideal storage solution for creative pros on-the-go who require high performance storage to back up and carry their massive amounts of digital content," said Jim Welsh, vice president and general manager of WD's branded products and consumer electronics groups. "This sleek personal storage device with a faster FireWire interface and Mac-formatting is exactly the storage solution our Mac customers have been clamoring for ever since we introduced the first WD Passport portable USB drive."

Unique features of the new My Passport Studio portable drives include the following:

  • formatted HFS+, Journaled for Mac compatibility;
  • FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 interfaces;
  • capacity gauge that enables users to know at-a-glance how much space is available;
  • works with Apple Time Machine backup feature included in Apple's Leopard(R) operating system;
  • USB powered;
  • industry-leading 5-year limited warranty; and,
  • elegant silver metallic finish that perfectly complements other Mac products.

WD's My Passport Studio portable drives are available now at select retail stores and from WD's online store. MSRP for the My Passport Studio portable drive with 250 GB capacity is $159.99 USD and 320 GB is $219.99 USD.

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OWC Announces Faster Superdrive DVD/CD Burners For All Macs -- Priced From $31.99

Other World Computing (OWC), a leading Mac and PC technology company, announced today new Superdrive optical drives with the newest, fastest and quietest Superdrive technology. OWC Superdrive solutions feature faster Read/Write DVD, Dual-Layer DVD, CD, and DVD-RAM burn speeds of up to 20X for DVDs and 48X for CDs; with LightScribe ‘Laser Labeling’ technology for producing specially coated laser-etched CD/DVD labels with text or graphics.

OWC has solutions available for nearly every Mac model over the last decade, including Mac Pro; PowerBook G4 Titanium 15", 12/15/17" Aluminum; iBook G4; PowerMac; PowerMac G3, G4, G5; iMac G4; and eMac.

Whether upgrading from a read-only drive, replacing an older Superdrive, or for additional optical drives, the latest solutions from OWC are quiet, low-cost and Plug & Play ready. OWC makes it easy to upgrade to the new Superdrive models with the latest software, including Apple iLife, Roxio Toast, NTI Dragonburn, and other CD/DVD authoring applications preconfigured directly in the drives. The easy online guide lets you select the right Superdrive model for your Mac system.

Superdrives for desktop and tower model Macs are priced from $31.99 and offer up to 20X DVD, 12X Dual-Layer DVD (8.5GB per disc), and 48X CD burning speeds. DVD-RAM burn capability and LightScribe are also available. Superdrive 8X DVD, 6X DVD Dual-Layer, 24X CDRW, 5X DVD-RAM slot loading drives are now available from $99.95 for Apple iMac G5, iMac Intel, G4 Cube, PowerBook G4, and iBook G4 computers.

For more information on the full line of OWC Superdrives for Mac, click here.

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Fujinon To Showcase New Premier Series HD Lens And New Select Series Of Cost-Effective HDTV ENG Lenses At HD Expo

Fujinon, a major manufacturer and distributor of optics and lens assemblies for the broadcast, digital cinema, and industrial markets will showcase several new HD lenses at this year’s HD Expo (Booth #407). First introduced at NAB2008, Fujinon will exhibit its HA23x7.6BE HDTV lens and HD Select Series of cost-effective ENG lenses, the ZA series. The new family of lenses for 2/3-inch HD video cameras consists of three ZA Series HD ENG lenses: including the ZA22x7.6BE HD telephoto ENG lens, ZA17x7.6BE HD standard ENG lens, and ZA12x4.5BE HD wide-angle ENG lens. The HD Expo is scheduled for June 3rd through 5th at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL.

Fujinon’s new HA23x7.6BE HDTV lens, a Premier Series lens offering advanced optical technology, is also making its HD Expo debut. As the newest member of Fujinon’s HA Series of Premier lenses, the HA23x7.6BE is a lens that includes updates to its predecessor, the HA22x7.8BERM. The new HA23x7.6BE is designed to support a wide range of demanding, high-end applications: including HDTV broadcast news, sports, special events, commercial, and network television production. It also benefits feature film shooting, documentaries, and government production, as well as broadcast equipment rental companies.

"The new HA23x7.6 is a superior, advanced 2/3-inch HD lens that incorporates our highest optical and mechanical specifications while ensuring unmatched performance in the most rugged of production environments," said David Waddell, Marketing Manager for Fujinon. "This superior lens craftsmanship allows for uniform, high-quality imaging with a reduction in chromatic aberration."

The HA23x7.6 has 23 times magnification and a focal length ranging from 7.6mm at the wide end, zooming out to 175mm to capture extreme telephoto shots. At 1X, the lens has a maximum relative aperture of 1:1.8 up to 122mm and 1:2.65 at 175mm and a minimum object distance of 0.8 meters from the front of the lens. With the 2X extender engaged, the focal length ranges from 15.2 to 350mm, with a maximum relative aperture of 1:5.3 at 350mm. This compact lens measures 100x223.6mm and weighs only 1.8kg.

Fujinon’s Select Series was designed to meet the performance needs of the next generation of cost-effective HD cameras. Fujinon worked closely with all major camera manufacturers to engineer true HD lenses that are designed specifically to enhance the performance of lower cost HDTV cameras.

The new ZA series is well suited for applications such as: professional and corporate video; independent filmmakers; cable TV, news and sports production; houses of worship; education; event videography; municipal, state and federal government agencies; and rental companies supporting these markets.

"Our new Select Series of lenses will give producers and videographers an affordable option that is well-suited to a wide range of production circumstances," said David Waddell, Marketing Manager for Fujinon. "These affordable, high-performance HD ENG lenses will open the door to producing many more news, sports, special events, and independent productions in HDTV. These lenses are the perfect complement for today’s new low-cost HDTV cameras because they maintain the superior imaging standards and optical performance that Fujinon is known for."

The ZA22x7.6BE, an HD ENG telephoto lens, has 22 times magnification, a 7.6 focal length at the wide end and 167mm focal length at the telephoto end. A 2x extender is incorporated for extreme telephoto shots. The maximum relative aperture is 1:1.8 from 7.6 through 120mm, and 1:2.5 at 167mm. The minimum object distance is 0.8. from the front of the lens The lens, which weighs 1.75kg, measures 100x222.6mm.

The ZA17x7.6BE, a standard HD ENG lens, has 17 times magnification, a 7.6 focal length at the wide end and 130mm focal length at the telephoto end. The maximum relative aperture is 1:1.8 for 7.6 through 102mm, and 1:2.3 at 130mm. A 2X extender is standard. The lens, which weighs 1.53kg, measures 85x203mm.

The ZA12x4.5BE, which is a wide-angle HD ENG lens, has 12 times magnification, a 4.5 focal length at the wide end and 54mm focal length at the telephoto end. A 2X extender is a standard feature. The maximum relative aperture is 1:1.8 for 4.5 through 41mm, and 1:2.4 at 54mm. The minimum object distance is 0.3 m from the front of the lens. The lens, which weighs 1.93kg, measures 95x237.5mm.

The new ZA Series feature Inner Focus, a servo module with Digi Power, Quick Zoom, One Shot Pre-Set, Cruise Zoom and remote control via RS232.

Fujinon is a major manufacturer and distributor of optics and lens assemblies for the broadcast, digital cinema, and industrial markets. The company's line of television zoom lenses are used in virtually every segment of the broadcast industry, including electronic newsgathering, studio and field production, and high definition television.

For more information about Fujinon broadcast and communications products, go to www.fujinonbroadcast.com.

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Echolab Offers Educational Training DVD to Assist Overture Users in Taking Productions to a New Level

Echolab Corporation, a leading provider of professional video production switchers and broadcast tools, today announced that for every Overture1™ and Overture2™ switcher purchased, the company will provide the user with a complimentary training DVD outlining use of the switcher's unique features, functions, and capabilities. Echolab's high-performance 1-M/E Overture1 and 2-M/E Overture2 production switchers, available in standard definition (SD) and multidefinition (MD) models, combine internal conversion and synchronization with powerful key layering and special effects to provide simple control over complex production tasks and, in turn, streamline creation of a sophisticated on-air look.

The new Overture series training DVD offers users a chassis and panel overview, details about the systems' configuration and basic operation, and direction in using the transition, layering, and keying features that enable easy application of stunning effects. "We designed the Overture series to offer robust functionality within a highly intuitive package and interface, and this new training DVD gives new users helpful instruction in adapting this powerful switcher to meet their specific needs and goals," said Nigel Spratling, Echolab president. "Features such as the new Stinger™ transition and SuperSource™ crosspoint keys allow operators to implement simpler workflows while creating more sophisticated visual productions. Our training DVD serves a valuable jumping-off point for Overture users eager to take their productions to a new level." Echolab's Stinger transition is a special "take block" keyer with combined mix/wipe and graphic control that reduces complex animated transitions to a single button press.

The Overture switchers' new SuperSource allows the operator to build a custom layout using DVEs and graphics and then assigns the composition to a crosspoint button. A DVE key in each "take block" enables instant transition effects, and the MD Overture systems offer as many as four channels of DVE with warp and lighting effects. Robust DVE capabilities are complemented by as many as 34 internal graphics/still stores. Overture switchers accept up to 32 multiformat analog and digital signals and provide as many as 16 multiformat outputs. Internal frame synchronization helps to ensure the quality of effects, and integrated up/crossconversion within MD models streamlines switching of video in multiple formats. Both systems are available with either of Echolab's award-winning Opera™ (SD) or OvationMD™ (MD) video production switchers, giving users the flexibility needed for fluid, cost-effective growth.

More information about the Overture series and other Echolab products is available at www.echolab.com.

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