The 2004 NAB Convention, held April 17-22 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, was the site of a stunning number of product announcements. Perhaps most noteworthy was the large number of high definition-ready products that were unveiled.
Sony Pictures Digital announced Vegas 5, which adds additional color filters and support for HDV and other HD formats. Network rendering and support for hard disk capture devices is also included. The software will also include a stand-alone version of Boris Graffiti 3.0 LTD titling software and Red Giant Software's Magic Bullet Movie Looks film effect plug-in pack. The Vegas+DVD Production Suite also includes DVD Architect 2 and a Dolby Digital encoder.
Microsoft also announced a partnership with Sonic Solutions, including DVD Producer-WMV HD edition, which will encode HD content with Microsoft's Windows Media codec for burning to standard DVDs for playback on computers. The company may possibly introduce a future DVD player with the WMV HD codec that will mesh with the two blue-laser high-def optical disc formats.
Artbeats announced new collections of stock footage, including three Ultra titles shot with high-speed (1,000+ frame per second) cameras (Ultra Fire, Ultra Motion and Ultra Water) along with some city and regional footage libraries and some more HD libraries. Artbeats also announced that Edirol will be shipping Artbeats clips with their DV-7 editing appliances.
Bella has announced a new editing keyboard that works on both Macs and PCs. The keyboard has an integrated jog/shuttle dial and works with several editing applications, including Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Xpress Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas.
Matrox Graphics showed a new version of the Parhelia graphics card with three video outputs, 256MB of memory and a PCI interface, which could be used in conjunction with an AGP Parhelia card to drive a total of six monitors from the same computer.
Sonic Solutions entered an agreement with Avid to integrate DVD technology into Avid's products. The first product in this line is Avid DVD by Sonic, which integrates into the Avid Xpress Studio suite and the Avid Studio Tools option for Media Composer Adrenaline. Avid also plans to include DVDit! with Xpress DV 4.5 and ReelDVD LE with Xpress Pro 4.5 and Media Composer Adrenaline 1.5, all of which will be shipping sometime during the second quarter.
Canopus also dazzled the crowd with announcements of EDIUS HD, ProCoder 2.0 and Imaginate 2.0. EDIUS HD includes Canopus' HDRX-E1 HD-SDI/SDI input and output card and works with HD-D5, HDCAM and DVCPRO HD formats. ProCoder 2.0 adds watch folders with network support, a batch management tool and support for several additional formats, such as HD and MPEG-4.
Apple announced several products, including Final Cut Pro HD, a high-def version of their flagship editing package, which can capture, edit and output HD footage over FireWire instead of over SDI. Also shipping: DVD Studio Pro 3, which adds support for DTS audio encoding, and Motion, a compositing application that integrates with many of Apple's professional applications.
CPC introduced MacSubtitle, a subtitling solution for Mac OS X. The process is streamlined by uploading the program audio file and the program's transcript to CPC. Minutes later, you receive your transcript with timestamp data, ready to act as captions when opened with MacSubtitle.
Finally, SmartSound released Sonicfire Pro 3.2, which adds support for Macromedia Flash and several Avid systems. With this version, Sonicfire Pro also joins the ranks of software distributed electronically over the Internet.