Serious Magic Ships DV Rack

Reprinted from a Serious Magic press release:

Serious Magic, Inc. announced today the availability of DV Rack, the first software of its kind designed to help serious videographers and DV filmmakers shoot with greater confidence and avoid shooting disasters. An affordable “insurance policy”, DV Rack runs on a PC or laptop connected to a DV camera and gives users ten essential production tools to assist them in generating superior quality video.

Along with being able to monitor video and audio signal quality in real time, DV Rack empowers users to instantly review a clip, scrub to any frame, zoom in, check levels, see audio peaks, and compare shots in a split screen and more–all without wasting time and head-wear searching tape. DV Rack assures producers that they are maximizing the quality of their footage and saves time by identifying and correcting lighting, video, audio and continuity problems while on location.

“DV Rack was born from a simple idea. When computers became part of the video editing process, a massive paradigm shift occurred. Our goal with DV Rack is to unleash an equally seismic paradigm shift by introducing the power of computers into the shooting process,” said Mark Randall, CEO and president of Serious Magic. “The team at Serious Magic built DV Rack first and foremost because it’s a tool we wanted to use ourselves. Having done that, we’re thrilled to now bring it to others who share our passion for creating great video.”

“Serious Magic’s DV Rack is the most revolutionary product I’ve touched in years,” says Jodie Reynolds, CEO and president of AdFlix and a DV Rack Beta Tester. “I don’t think I could live without it.”

DV Rack comes complete with ten powerful video components in a “virtual rack” that precisely emulates traditional video gear at a fraction of the cost, weight and complexity. The components are all native DV and include the following:

Professional Field Monitor
Unlike bulky analog monitors, this virtual monitor accepts direct DV input, showing compressed video exactly as it will be recorded. In addition to features such as underscan, safe area display and letterbox, it introduces new evaluation tools like freeze, zoom, dual light/dark zebras and split screen. Calibration allows a PC or laptop screen to be set up to broadcast color bars.

Digital Video Recorder
The Digital Video Recorder provides higher reliability than tape, the fastest clip review ever and writes DV files compatible with a variety of editors. DV Rack slaves recording to a camera with an adjustable pre-record buffer that starts clips before pressing the record button.

DV Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope
Pros hate shooting “blind.” How white is that white? How saturated is the background? DV Rack features industry-standard signal monitoring as well as direct DV signal input. The scopes can also do real-time splits between live input and clips. Now users don’t have to carry scopes that weigh five times more than a DV camera.

SureShot Module
DV Rack’s SureShot module walks users through four simple steps to calibrate a camera using specially printed calibration charts. SureShot helps users adjust their camera and lighting for the best possible quality.

DV Quality Monitor
DV Rack evaluates a user’s video and audio while they shoot marking potential problem areas, which can be reviewed with one click. Quality thresholds for video and audio can be set by the user.

DV Grabber
The DV Grabber captures and saves high-resolution video stills direct from live DV video or clips. It’s ideal for grabbing reference frames for client approval or storyboards.

Audio Spectrum Analyzer
DV Rack lets users see what cannot be heard with headphones, letting them make adjustments in mic placement and orientation for dramatic audio quality improvements.

Video Analyzer
Going beyond the full screen & scanline modes of traditional scopes, DV Rack can even monitor pixels. Move the cursor to measure pixels in real-time in five color spaces, including RGB, HSV and YUV.

Timer / Clock Module
DV Rack’s stopwatch / clip timer counts in video frames and has a high visibility time-of-day production clock.

DV Rack is designed for maximum compatibility with standard PCs, laptops and cameras. A typical Windows 2000/XP laptop or desktop PC is required to run the software. Connecting a standard NTSC or PAL DV camcorder is as easy as plugging a FireWire cable into your PCs FireWire port. Output is in standard DV formats such as AVI and QuickTime for compatibility with all popular non-linear editing systems including Adobe Premier, Avid, Canopus, Final Cut Pro, Matrox, Pinnacle, Sony Vegas and Ulead.

DV Rack is available at Serious Magic’s online store and many professional video resellers for $495 (MSRP).

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