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  • U.S. Videographers Offer 9/11 Tribute Videos


    Reprinted from an MacroSystem US press release:

    (Boulder, Colo., September 27, 2001)--Hundreds of videographers--the people who film weddings, bar mitzvahs and corporate meetings-have offered to create memorial videos honoring victims of the recent terrorist strikes at no charge as part of a program being coordinated by MacroSystem US, a Boulder, Colo.-based manufacturer of video editing systems.

    "In the wake of the September 11 tragedy, we struggled to find some way for us to use our resources to contribute to families of the victims," said MacroSystem US president David Slone, "We had received inquiries from owners of our systems and posted the idea on our email service," he said. "The response was immediate and overwhelming."

    In the first hour the company received 54 positive responses. Within days, more than 600 videographers had signed up. Video producers from Maine to Hawaii, plus the United Kingdom and Canada, from professionals to school video labs to home users, have offered their services. Mark Hall, video instructor at Butte College in Oroville, Cal, said "My 25 production students are anxious to help in any way they can.... Send as many as you need."

    "Many of the families that lost loved ones will be searching for meaningful ways to remember them," Slone said. "We know that making memorial videos from photographs is a wonderful way to do this."

  • Incite Products for Video Management


    Reprinted from an Incite press release:

    (Geneva, Switzerland - October 10th, 2001) Incite Multimedia Corporation demonstrated a new, specialized line of products at IBC this September. Showcased were Incite's new IT Products, designed to streamline collaboration between networked Incite Editor workstations, while still offering benefits to stand-alone installations.

    Incite Logger is a tool to create and Log clips from a VTR, with the ability to add markers and organize clips by numerous parameters. This product enables project management to begin even before digitization.

    Clip Manager deals with all areas of media management, from initial clip selection to storage location. It allows users to associate metadata and comments to captured clips for easier retrieval, better file management, and greater editing flexibility needed in fast paced environments, and uses the design principles of the MXF format to enable future interaction with that standard. In addition, it allows for Searching, Sorting, and organizing data based on pre-defined and user-definable parameters. Clip Manager is also completely CODEC independent, and is the first wave of a new, proxy-file based approach to editing and media management. Clip Manager completes the Incite product line by providing end-to-end media management at an enterprise level.

    Incite Render Server is the first in a line of products that will manage tasks for editors in the background. Render Server will schedule and distribute rendering over multiple machines, and allow editors to continue to work while the tasks are processed transparently.

  • New ShuttlePRO Application Settings Announced for Popular Editing Systems


    Reprinted from a Contour Design press release:

    WINDHAM, NH-- (October 16, 2001) - Contour Design, Inc. today announced new Application Settings for the ShuttlePRO. Contour Design now has the support for the 1000 and 9000XL models of Avid Media Composer v10 and v10.5, Avid Xpress DV v2.0, Symphony, and Pinnacle Commotion, and Adobe AfterEffects 5.0 systems.

    The USB-based ShuttlePRO is an amazingly flexible and powerful editing tool with its thirteen buttons, a jog wheel, and a shuttle knob that are fully programmable to any keyboard shortcut. Readily usable with a host of creative applications, the hardware of the ShuttlePRO has been designed and developed both for ergonomic integrity and for maximum productivity. The supplied Application Settings are those keyboard shortcuts that users most-commonly employ when using the ShuttlePRO for multimedia editing. The "shuttle knob" is the outer ring that facilitates fast forward and rewind for quick access of digital frames. The "jog wheel" is the internal portion of the knob, which provides precise frame-by-frame control. The controller is supplied with easy to use software that allows users to customize it for their favorite audio, video, and multimedia applications.

    The ShuttlePRO proves to be the most cost-effective jog and shuttle controller for video and audio editing on the market. Its ability to navigate quickly through virtually any application, high productivity software with settings for the most commonly used applications, and user flexibility to change the settings, enhances personal productivity.

    The ShuttlePRO currently supports Mac OS 8.6 through 9.1 and Windows 2000. Future releases are planned for Mac OS X and Windows 98, 98SE, ME, and XP.

  • DVDCre8 Enters DVD-Authoring Playing Field


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    After more than 18 months of development, Dallas-based DVDCre8 is set to unleash DVD Complete Deluxe, a five-step, wizard-driven DVD-authoring software package. It will write to DVD-R, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM media. Created by video game industry veteran Todd Porter and businessman Joseph Stefan, DVD Complete Deluxe is advertised as a total authoring package that will provide users with a comprehensive, intuitive and affordable way to create DVDs. DVDCre8 says its user-friendly interface will enable users to go from the camcorder to DVD, including chapter selection and label art, in just 15 minutes. Along with wizards, several sophisticated navigation tools will lurk behind the menus for tech-savvy users. DVD Complete Deluxe will also feature audio-video synchronization, automated menu creation and automatic label generation.

    We designed it to be easy for the consumer to use, Stefan said. The key is the five-step, full DVD project wizard. You are led through the process, but don't need to know how the process works.

    At press time, DVD Complete Deluxe (MSRP $249) and a scaled-down DVD Complete (MSRP $100) were slated for a November release, but the company planned to have a downloadable version available at www.dvdcre8.com by mid-October. A Mac version is planned for early 2002.

    Certain to be a head-to-head competitor with Sonic Solution's DVDit!, Stefan is ready for the challenge. Our competitors give you the (car) parts and tell you to build it, we drive up with the whole car, he said.

  • Two New Panasonic Palms


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Panasonic has released two new, fully-equipped Palmcorder Mini DV cams for under $1,000. The PV-DV701 (MSRP $999) and PV-DV351 (MSRP $899) offer Panasonic's Dual Digital Electronic Image Stabilization to compensate for camcorder movement and the MagicPix Images feature to allow for low-light recording. Both include 10x optical zoom lenses, 680,000-pixel CCDs and built-in PhotoShot digital still-camera functions. In addition, their three-way PC link allow desktop connection via IEEE 1394, PHOTOVU LINK and CARD LINK. Both camsl also come bundled with photo-editing software. In addition, the PIP (picture-in-picture) feature lets users insert a small still shot over the video being recorded.

    According to Panasonic release, the main difference between the two camcordersis the size of the LCD screen. The PV-DV351 will offer a 2.5-inch LCD monitor while the PV-DV701 will come equipped with a 3.5-inch LCD.

  • FireWire DV Direct-to-Disk Debuts


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Two recently-released interface devices are said to convert any FireWire (IEEE 1394) hard disk drive into a digital disk recorder/player. The units, Videonics' FireStore and Advanced Technologies' MasStor, should allow users to record and play back digital video directly to and from a FireWire hard drive without the need for a PC. They both let video be input or output as a DV video stream through the device, which reads or writes a DV data stream from a FireWire disk drive.

    Both products also offer the ability to simultaneously record to hard disk as the DV camcorder records to its tape, thereby producing two copies. Since the units can record digital video to removable hard disk cartridges, almost unlimited storage is possible by using multiple cartridges.

    FireStore comes with an MSRP of $995.

    The MasStor makes use of its own line of Digital AV Packs, soon-to-be-available in 20-minute to 140-minute capacities. It's designed to run on a detachable, rechargeable lithium battery pack or AC adapter. The MasStor's MSRP is $2,499.

  • Swift 3D 2.O Offers 3D Export to Flash


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Electric Rain recently unveiled Swift 3D 2.0, a stand-alone which should allow users to design and render 3D scenes to several formats, including Macromedia Flash (.swf), Adobe Illustrator (.ai), .eps and .svg. Swift 3D has been synonymous with 3D vector tools, but now, the company said, Version 2.0 should bring 3D design for Flash to a whole new level.

    New Swift 3D 2.0 features abound. For modeling, the new version, according to Electric Rain, offers extrusion and lathe editors, PostScript font support, targeted cameras and lights, automated timeline scaling, numerical positioning of objects, non-uniform scaling of objects and the ability to animate materials.

    When it comes to rendering, Swift 3D 2.0 uses the RAViX II rendering engine, which the company says offers the fastest, most versatile 3D-to-vector conversion available.

    New rendering capabilities include faster rendering; a previewing system to view and edit rendered scenes before writing to a file; full-color cartoon fills that extend the list of shading options; shadow rendering for plane and object shadow casting, and line weight, color and detail settings for full control over wireframe output.

    Available now for Windows and Mac, Swift 3D 2.0 carries a MSRP of $159. For more information, visit www.erain.com or www.swift3d.com.

  • RealNetworks Introduces RealOne Platform


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Internet Media delivery stalwart RealNetworks on Sept. 24 unveiled a new integrated media platform called RealOne. The RealOne Platform, the company anticipates, will allow Web content creators to extending their current Web sites to create an immersive multimedia experience which features audio and video playback with contextual information.

    The RealOne Platform is expected to be compatible with a wide-range of development tools and services that enable users to create secure, digital media content.

    At the center of the platform is the new RealOne Player, which is said to combine and reinvent the ubiquitous RealPlayer and RealJukebox and adds to them a powerful new media browser to give consumers "an unmatched, multi-dimensional media experience."

    More than 150 content providers and technology partners worldwide have already announced their endorsement of the RealOne Platform, the company reported. They include ABC News, CBS.com, FeedRoom, MLB Advanced Media, MGM Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Weather.com.

    A RealOne Platform developer preview is available now for download at www.realnetworks.com. Within 60 days, the company said, it will also launch RealOne Service, an expanded version of its successful GoldPass media subscription service. RealOne Service is expected to be built upon the RealOne Platform and would offer a wide range of content and services, including downloadable and streaming major-label music from MusicNet.

  • Pinnacle Systems Acquires Video Software Business from FAST Multimedia


    Reprinted from a Pinnacle press release:

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA., and IBC, Amsterdam, Netherlands, September 13, 2001-Pinnacle Systems Inc., a leader in professional and consumer video solutions, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of FAST Multimedia, a leading developer of innovative video editing solutions, headquartered in Munich, Germany. Pinnacle Systems plans to integrate FAST's products into its family of industry-leading video, authoring and streaming solutions.

    Pinnacle Systems will acquire all intellectual property, software rights, products, other assets, and certain liabilities of FAST Multimedia. The purchase price will be approximately $15 million and will be paid for in a combination of cash and Pinnacle Systems' stock. The transaction will be accounted for as a purchase, and is expected to close in early October.

    Mark Sanders, President and CEO at Pinnacle Systems said, Pinnacle Systems is delighted to have the FAST Multimedia team join Pinnacle Systems. This acquisition furthers Pinnacle's expanding family of software applications and solutions to provide higher value-add for our customers. FAST's advanced software for video content creation fills an important gap between our consumer editing software products and our high-end broadcast systems.

    FAST Multimedia is pleased to be joining forces with Pinnacle Systems, said Matthias Zahn, Chairman and founder of FAST Multimedia. Our customers and products will benefit greatly from the combined resources of the two companies.

  • Azden Announces New $200 SGM-1X Super-Cardioid Shotgun Microphone


    Reprinted from an Azden press release:

    Franklin Square, NY - Monday, September 24, 2001 Following up on the enthusias-tic reception and booming sales of its' top-of-the-line SGM-2X, Azden Corporation has introduced a shorter version, designed specifically for use by today's smaller professional digital video cameras. Designated the SGM-1X, it is a single barrel hyper-directional super-cardioid shotgun microphone, approximately 4" shorter than the SGM-2X but using the same heavy-duty professional integrated shockmount, which can be attached to a camera shoe or mic stand.

    The SGM-1X has a wide frequency response (80-18,000Hz), exhibits low noise and ac-cepts up to 110dB SPL input levels. It uses a single AAA battery that will last over 1000 hours due to the mic's extremely low current drain. It has balanced low-impedance XLR output (no cable provided), windscreen and includes the above-mentioned pro-prietary shock-mount holder which isolates camera motor noise from the microphone. Although it is a wired shotgun mic, the SGM-1X is easy to convert it for wireless use by attaching one of Azden's UHF or VHF plug-in transmitters.

    The SGM-1X has a suggested retail price of $200 and becomes available in mid-September.

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