NAB 2001 Wrap-Up
More than 112,000 attendees and 1,700 electronic media exhibitors joined forces at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters conference and exhibition, April 21 to 26. The annual event showcased all elements of radio and TV broadcasting, including video production and post production, audio production, multimedia and the Internet.
Noteworthy new product presentations included Avid Technology’s updated version of its Xpress DV 2.0 editing software, offered at $1,699. Media 100 reported several developments including an announcement that its Media 100 i digital media creation system will support Mac OS X.
Compaq demonstrated the Deskpro EN video-editing platform, which features an Intel Pentium III processor. A complete video-editing system bundled with Avid Technology’s Xpress DV 2, including monitor and storage capacity for one hour of DV is projected to start at $3,800.
Other product introductions included MacroSystem’s Kron, NewTek’s Video Toaster  and Canopus Corp.’s Storm Rack. On the more expensive end, GlobalStreams unveiled an expanded GlobeCaster product family for end-to-end television-quality production. These products ranged from $30,000 to $80,000.
MPEG-4 Encoding for PDAs on the Horizon
Media 100, in an effort to enable Web designers to distribute their content more quickly and efficiently, announced at NAB that it will explore MPEG-4 encoding for implementation into future versions of its Cleaner streaming application. Cleaner 5, a streaming video capture, author, encode and Web publishing system, currently outputs in MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MP3, as well as QuickTime, RealSystem and WindowsMedia. MPEG-4-encoded digital media files transfer to handheld devices as well as desktop systems. It will integrate into Apple Computer’s editing software, Final Cut Pro V2.
"MPEG-4’s ability to deliver very high quality streams in a dramatically reduced file size," said Media 100 President and Chief Executive Officer John Molinari, "will have a significant impact on the way people experience streaming media on electronic devices other than personal computers, such as handheld PDAs."
New Video Toaster is Ready to Fly
The much-anticipated Video Toaster , New Tek’s PC-compatible desktop video effects, editing and live switching system, is set for a summer rollout. A successor to the original Amiga-based system released in 1990, the new Video Toaster  was unveiled at April’s NAB Conference. A live production environment for post production and Internet streaming, Video Toaster  offers flexible and interactive architecture that allows all popular video and graphic file types to be recognized and shared between components.
Video Toaster ’s SX-8 Switcher Expansion module, which New Tek calls "the world’s most versatile breakout box," houses 100 audio, video and data connectors.
Video Toaster  is expected to ship July 31, 2001, with a suggested retail price of $4,995. A software upgrade ($495) and SX-8 breakout box with software upgrade ($1,995), will also be available.
A Rack of Editing Power
Boasting more muscle than ever before, the Canopus Corp.’s Storm Rack, a powerful realtime editing solution based on its popular DVStorm editing system, was showcased at NAB 2001. Powered by twin Pentium III 1GHz processors, 1GB PC 133 memory, a 30GB system hard drive and 60MB of video hard disk storage, Storm Rack aims at saving videography production time with its assortment of filters and transitions. The rack-mountable system offers flexibility, allowing video editors to deliver video on tape, CD, DVD or over the Internet. The turnkey system, which runs on the Windows 2000 operating system, also includes a DVD/CD-RW drive.
Storm Rack includes Adobe Premiere 6.0 and has a SRP of $6,999.
Casablanca: The Next Generation – Kron
MacroSystem’s Kron, its latest and greatest video editing system, includes DVD authoring software and a DVD burner. Clearly the big brother of the mid-priced Casablanca ($3,995) and the consumer-level Avio ($1,295), the Kron ($5,495) combines high-capacity MPEG-2 or native DV editing with broadcast-level output, including DVD authoring. Loaded with features, the Kron is a complete professional-quality editing studio. In addition to its built-in 40GB hard drive, Kron’s removable hard drives provide unlimited storage space.