Thank you for your fabulous review of the Casablanca Avio standalone video editor (August, 2000 Videomaker). We too have been doing "cartwheels down the hall," not only over its realtime capabilities and the recognition of the Avio’s "history-making" significance by your editors Don Collins and Chuck Peters, but over its acceptance as well by video editors worldwide.
There is one issue I’d like to clarify for your readers: The article praises nearly every aspect of the Avio, but questions the video output. Readers may not recognize that the video was captured at our quality level 4, which is 1.2 megabytes per second. Move up to quality level 6, which is 50% higher (1.8 MB/sec), and you’ll get the pristine broadcast-quality video output that distinguish both the classic Casablanca and the new Avio.
This can be verified by such national broadcast users of the Casablanca as CNN and ABC, plus the thousands of other professional users who count on our products to meet their highest standards for quality video productions.
Thanks again for the great review and for your excellent publication, consistently the highest-rated magazine among Casablanca owners.
Director of Marketing
Draco Systems Inc
Thanks for the tip, Rick. There seems to be some confusion stemming from the way the capture settings were labeled. Since the IEEE 1394 port was not available on the Avio at the time that we performed our review, we didn’t select the "DV" quality setting, thinking that setting was for capture through a forthcoming FireWire port. Instead we chose what seemed to be the appropriate input level, which in our case was "Y/C" (since we were using S-video and wanted the best quality analog setting). The artifacts we reported occurred at the "Y/C" setting. In fact, the Avio’s "DV" capture setting does not require that video be captured via the FireWire port. To avoid misunderstandings among Avio users, you might consider labelling the input settings with qualitative terms such as Fair, Good, Better and Best.
– The Editors
More Video in Schools
I read with great interest David Chaveriat’s article, Video Education in the June 2000 issue of Videomaker. Last year Mattituck High School, in Long Island, New York, started a television studio from the ground up. Using one half of the metal shop, students and faculty of the technology department constructed four rooms to house the studio, video generator, audio equipment and computers.
Tuesday through Friday, 25 students gather to create a live news broadcast over closed-circuit TV. Some students search for stories on the Internet, while others piece together the script as stories pour in. Students use camcorders to shoot video of local events and school sports and they edit their footage using Adobe Premiere. The studio is equipped with 14 non-linear editing stations, two studio cameras with teleprompters and two main image inputs.
The program here is expanding rapidly. Additional courses in video production and graphics will be added next year. Your article was right on the mark. Students are very enthusiastic when creating their own video productions.
Mattituck High School
No Sympathy for the Devil
I recently started my subscription with Videomaker and am intrigued with what is in it. After many years of honing my videography skills, I’ve recently combined them with a PC to enhance profits. To my amazement and disgust, I am facing a crisis, one that is described word-for-word on page 85 of the June 2000 issue of Videomaker (see Configuring a PC for Editing). My problem, specifically, is installing the drivers from manufacturers and the limited responsibility they take for their products.
Perhaps I should’ve bought an Apple. Because, after spending weeks on the phone with tech support, I’ve resorted to buying other peripheral products. This, to my continued amazement and disgust, doesn’t work either because they’re all the same. I cannot achieve a PC solution. I am NOT computer illiterate, either. I am, however, a very disenchanted buyer of DV and peripheral products. Maybe I should just go buy a Polaroid. These companies need to make it easier not harder for us to get our jobs done.