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Copyright © 2004 -
Information Today, Inc.

November 14, 2005

Table of Contents

Strictly Business: ’Tis the Season … to Build Your 2006 Marketing Plan
Panasonic Repositions AJ-SDC615 16:9/4:3 DVCPRO Camcorder With Lower Price And Magic Bullet Suite Included
Matrox DualHead2Go Offers New Way to Add Multi-Display Support
16 x 9 Inc. Introduces Coco-DVL Power Converter
Lanterna Magica's Reality Cuts Production Time, Expense of Reality TV Creation
TEAC Announces New Single-Color Thermal Disc Printer
Condre Technology Releases New Value Line DVD Tower Duplication Series
Digital Anarchy Releases Updates to Primatte Chromakey and Backdrop Designer

Strictly Business: ’Tis the Season … to Build Your 2006 Marketing Plan

It's that time of year again. While other less-foresighted people are entertaining thoughts of holiday parties, Christmas trees, what to get for their kids and significant others, smart videographers are turning their thoughts to … their 2006 Marketing Plans.

Do you know exactly how much money you want to make in 2006? Do you know how much income you'll need to make to cover your overhead? To buy that new camcorder you've been eyeing? To cover the cost of participating in a bridal show this year, to attend a helpful convention, to end the year with a profit?

If you've got a financial goal in mind for the coming year, now's the time to figure out just how you're going to reach it. And the best way to do that is to put a plan together to identify where you are, where you're going, and how you're going to accomplish your goal.

Writing your own marketing plan doesn't have to be a major headache involving days of thought and agony. I write my own marketing plan using bullet points and very short sentences, and it rarely runs over a page or two in length. If you're ready to get a head start on next year, here's a simple five-step plan that will make your plan easy to write, and—more importantly-easy to follow.

Step 1: Overview
This is often called a "situational analysis," and consists of a brief overview of your current business situation. Begin with a short description of the services you offer and their prices. Note the advantages you have, such as your outstanding reputation for good work; an effective, lead-producing Web site or direct mail campaign; or a working network of event-industry associates (bridal planners, convention facility managers, etc.).

Next, make a note of any challenges you might face in the next year including increased competition, or the need to raise your prices. If you live in an area recently hit by bad weather and are facing diminished business levels, this is the place to note it in your plan.

Step 2: Define Your Audience
This is a simple one. Jot down a brief description of your target audiences. For weddings, young brides-to be and their mothers are a given. How about prospects for dance recitals or other types of events? Are they dance instructors, corporate trainers, or sales executives? Make notes on their age, their gender, their educational level. The more you can identify your targets, the better you can market to their needs and desires.

Step 3: Define Your Goals
In a couple paragraphs, list your marketing goals for 2006. In order to make this work, your goals must be both realistic and measurable so you can see how you're doing as the year progresses. "Book more weddings" is a good start for a goal, but your plan needs to be more specific than that. If you write down, say, "Book 36 weddings," you will have a goal that can be used to measure your progress. It might help to break your goals down by quarters or months, too.

Step 4: Define Your Marketing Tools
This will probably be the largest portion of your marketing plan, because you need to take a good look at your marketing and advertising strategies, and list the tools you'll be using to accomplish them. For example, let's say increasing your income in wedding or stage or corporate videography by 25 percent is one of your goals. Here's where you write down how you'll make that happen, such as "attend the February Bridal Fair," "plan and mail a series of three postcard mailers to sales trainers in 50 local businesses," "personally call every dance studio owner in my county with goal of setting up appointment," "publishing a monthly email newsletter to clients, prospects, and suppliers," "send news release to local newspaper about our new DVD packaging options," and the like.

Once you've got a good start on this list, it'll be helpful if you plug in your activities on a calendar or spreadsheet, so you can determine exactly when you've got to do what to get your plan in motion and keep it that way throughout 2006. As the old saying goes, "Plan your work, then work your plan."

Step 5: Determine Your Budget
This is where the fun really starts. You've identified a few dozen marketing tools and strategies you'd like to implement during 2006 to bring your business up to new levels of profitability; you've also probably already figured out that you can't afford them all. My suggestion: do what you can with what you can afford. Discard the advertising that costs too much and won't produce enough return on investment. Substitute postcards for direct mailings instead of oversized, multi-page brochures. Invest your own time into sharpening up your demo DVD, or learn how to stream media and load up your Web site with crisp, clear samples of your work. Then, as the year progresses, keep track of what works to bring in new business and what doesn't work; weed out the unproductive marketing ideas and build on the tools that are really working for you.

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Panasonic Repositions AJ-SDC615 16:9/4:3 DVCPRO Camcorder With Lower Price And Magic Bullet Suite Included

Panasonic Broadcast has announced the repositioning of its highly-popular AJ-SDC615 16:9/4:3 2/3" DVCPRO camcorder by reducing its suggested list price to $9,995 and including as standard Magic Bullet Suite software to create 24p motion effects.

The AJ-SDC615 boasts high-sensitivity 520,000 pixel, 2/3" 3-CCDs and a built-in IEEE 1394 interface for in-field direct transfer of digital component video to a laptop nonlinear editing system. Switchable between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios, the 11-pound camcorder delivers 750 lines of resolution, a high 63dB signal-to-noise ratio, a high sensitivity of F13 at 2000 lux, and low-light shooting down to 0.1 lux (at +48dB) with minimal smear.

The AJ-SDC615 is equipped with a Digital Super Gain function, allowing noise-free gain in various capture rates, such as 30P, 15P and 6P (adding 6dB, 12dB and 20dB of gain, respectively). The celebrated Magic Bullet Suite software provides video professionals the tools to transform a video "look" to the softer, more organic look of film. It also includes 18 After Effects plug-ins that deliver a complete production pipeline for processing digital video footage for output to DVD, TV or film.

Beyond its 24p conversion tools, the Magic Bullet Suite delivers DV compression correction to remove artifacts; a library of 55 film treatments; customization of users' individual looks; film damage effects to accurately mimic film grain, splotches, scratches and projection artifacts; film-like dissolves; a letterboxer; and a Broadcast Spec. function to ensure that video colors meet broadcast parameters.

For more information on the AJ-SDC615, visit http://www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

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Matrox DualHead2Go Offers New Way to Add Multi-Display Support

Matrox Graphics, Inc. has unveiled Matrox DualHead2Go, an external upgrade capable of adding multiple-monitor support to compatible laptop and integrated graphics-based desktop PCs that were previously limited to single screen output.

DualHead2Go is a palm-sized box that connects to the existing single monitor output (i.e. external VGA output) of a computer and appears to the system as a single ultra-widescreen monitor with native support for resolutions up to 2560 x 1024, which are twice as wide as standard resolutions. Using Matrox patent-pending technology, DualHead2Go splits the 2560 x 1024 Microsoft Windows desktop into a right and left half, each of which is then sent to two separate analog monitors allowing users to easily upgrade their workspace setups to experience the productivity benefits of a DualHead desktop.

DualHead2Go harnesses the capabilities of the system's existing GPU or integrated graphics for acceleration of all 2D, 3D and video rendering. There is no image distortion and no scaling to the original raw pixels generated from the existing graphics accelerator. By using DualHead2Go in conjunction with the built-in display of a laptop, users can benefit with up to three displays of independent information at a time. The wide range of desktop computers with only one video output can now be upgraded to dual-display without requiring users to open up the shell of the computer or install new graphics drivers.

The DualHead2Go is bundled with Matrox PowerDesk SE; a suite of window management software offering users a range of operational modes, utilities and display configurations for optimal management of windows positioning and message pop-ups.

DualHead2Go is compatible with a wide range of laptop models. Desktop PC support for DualHead2Go is limited to certain PCs based on integrated graphics. A complete list of compatible systems is posted on the Matrox Web site and will be regularly updated to reflect new system support. Additionally, a free DualHead2Go online compatibility utility is available allowing users to pre-validate that their system is compatible with DualHead2Go prior to purchase. Visit http://www.matrox.com/graphics/dualhead2go for complete details.

Available in mid-November 2005, DualHead2Go - Dual Analog Edition, has a suggested retail price of $169USD. This product will be available from authorized resellers worldwide or, in North America and Europe, directly from Matrox at http://shopmatrox.com.

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16 x 9 Inc. Introduces Coco-DVL Power Converter

16x9 Inc. has introduced the Coco-DVL Power Converter, a compact and cost-effective method of drawing voltage from Sony NPF970 series batteries to simultaneously operate the camera and professional 12V accessories such as a light, on-board LCD monitor, or audio receiver. Teamed with the new Lux-DV camera light, Coco-DVL provides an elegant power and lighting solution for popular Sony camcorders like the HVR-Z1U, HDR-FX1, VX-1000/2000 series, and DSR PD150/170.

Coco-DVL simply snaps on in place of the camera's existing 7.2V NPF battery, which attaches to the converter's convenient docking plate. This handy unit transfers 7.2V of power and Info-Lithium data from the battery directly to the camera while converting 7.2V to 12V for accessories. The run time of a camcorder (in record mode) and a 10W Lux light is approximately 135 minutes. Coco-DVL's smart design anchors the Sony battery at a 90-degree angle. This frees space for the convertor's connectors.

Accessories attach via a new twist D-Tap connector, allowing cables to plug in from either an upward or downward position. The unit also features a convenient 7.2V 4-pin Hirose connector and an optional wireless receiver mounting plate. Designed for use in combination with the Coco-DVL, the extremely lightweight, ultra efficient Lux-DV works well with Sony camcorders of any size.

This compact, low-profile light weighs less than 8.8 oz. (250g) when fully equipped with 2 barndoors, flip-out 5600ºK dichroic filter, and power cord. Lux-DV 20W bulbs feature a built-in mirror and diffuser and employ IRC technology for 30% more efficiency (output equivalent of a traditional 35W bulb).

Features include integrated Softstart electronics, and built-in bulb ejector to eliminate finger burns. Manufactured by Bebob Engineering of Germany, the Coco-DVL power converter and Lux-DV camera light are available in the U.S. from 16x9 Inc dealers. The combination Coco/Lux kit may be purchased at the special introductory price of $595 (suggested retail price is $695).


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Lanterna Magica's Reality Cuts Production Time, Expense of Reality TV Creation

Lanterna Magica, a video indexing and logging specialist, has announced the launch of Reality, a new system designed to streamline the production of non-scripted television shows, allowing directors to create compelling storylines -- on the fly, in real time.

Reality makes it easy to assess hours of raw video material from multiple cameras quickly and make shot selection decisions in just minutes. Directors can encode, log, view, browse, and search video and metadata while shooting is in progress, saving valuable post-production time and money. Building reality TV storylines on set and on the fly becomes an essential part of the multicamera production process with Reality.

A Web-based video content description system, Reality works from any number of locations with no special software to install. It supports an unlimited number of camera feeds, so producers can feel at ease using as many cameras as necessary to capture all the action. Staff can access footage at any time, from any location--well before shooting is finished--and create shortcuts to access their content quickly and simply. Camera feeds can be distributed to a variety of devices, including tape decks, high-capacity disks, as well as to the Logger, Reality's own storage medium. The Logger ingests audio, video, and timecode signals and produces compressed digital video for browsing that is synchronized with the timecodes and content descriptions entered by operators.

Reality's searchable video library functions as the repository for stored digital video and metadata. The entire production, starting from day one, is always available to search, play, and browse, even as more content is being ingested. Users can search Reality's library by (participant) name, date, time, interest rating, location, and keyword for specific actions and emotions. Search results appear as thumbnails with descriptions and can be played out immediately. In and out points are easily marked and compiled into a rough-draft EDL (edit decision list) that can be used with any nonlinear editing system, including Avid and Final Cut Pro. Reality is a turnkey combination of hardware and software.

Lanterna Magica staff installs the hardware in its clients' production sets, trains their staff, and provides on-site or remote support as needed. Lanterna Magica will be demonstrating Reality in New York at NAB Post+, booth 333, Nov. 15-17. Learn more about Lanterna Magica's turnkey solutions for live video capture, indexing, search, and playback at www.lanternamagica.com.

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TEAC Announces New Single-Color Thermal Disc Printer

TEAC has announced the P11, a new single-color thermal disc printer. Designed to deliver thermal disc-surface printing in a compact design with low consumables costs, the P11 features 200dpi print resolution and connects to a PC via USB 1.1.

The P11 uses ink cartridges that come in four colors: black, red, blue, and green. The unit's dimensions are 70mm (H) x 230mm (W) x 190mm (D), and its weight is 1KG without a print cartridge. The unit prints to four separate areas on a disc and ships with label design software that offers printing templates to simplify the disc label printing process.

The P11 ships with a software drivers CD, AC power adapter, one black print cartridge, label design software for Windows, and an installation guide. TEAC promises low print costs with 200 prints per cartridge.


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Condre Technology Releases New Value Line DVD Tower Duplication Series

Condre Technology, Inc., a manufacturer of CD/DVD R duplication, printing, and destruction solutions, has announced the release of its DVD Value Line. Designed for a broad range of applications, the Condre DVD Value Line features 16X DVD and 48X CD record speeds and with pricing intended to meet the budget requirements of SMBs, SOHOs, small corporate departmental entities, and institutions.

In addition, the Condre DVD Value Line is designed with the same cooling and ventilation that Condre's Professional Line provides, without the large internal hard drive and USB 2.0 connectivity. Base systems include four to eleven drive configurations with optional hard drive upgrades and additional USB/FireWire kit.


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Digital Anarchy Releases Updates to Primatte Chromakey and Backdrop Designer

Digital Anarchy, a provider of cost-effective special effects software for Adobe, Apple, and Discreet/Autodesk products, has announced the availability of Primatte Chromakey 2.1 and Backdrop Designer 1.1. These new plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements allow photographers to easily create hundreds of different backgrounds for use in studio portraiture, product shots, wedding photos, school pictures, and other commercial work.

Primatte Chromakey digitally removes a blue/green background from a photograph, leaving the subject against a transparent background with any color cast removed. Primatte excels in preserving important details like wisps of hair and sheer material. Any image can be substituted behind the subject, including photograph-quality backgrounds created with Backdrop Designer. Use over 900 pre-made backdrops to create colorful textures and then add in shadows to simulate 3D drapery. All Backdrop Designer graphics are resolution-independent and combinations of textures and shadows can be saved for later use.

Primatte Chromakey updates include:

* Multi-layer 16-bit support: 16-bit files now support multiple layers just like 8-bit files always have. This allows users to preview a replacement background while working in Primatte.
* Improved 16-bit performance: The speed of handling 16-bit files has been improved. In some cases 16-bit files will render faster than 8-bit files. * User interface improvements: Primatte's interface has been modified to make it behave more like Photoshop, making it easier for users to transition between Photoshop and the plug-in.
* Bug fixes: A number of major and minor issues have been addressed to make Primatte more stable and faster. Backdrop Designer updates include:
* 350 New Backgrounds: The number of shipped presets has increased by over 30%. These new presets are complete texture and shadow combinations that create realistic backgrounds for use with photography or design.
* New Preset Categories: There are new texture/shadow categories for silk, velvet, lighted muslin, stained glass and much more.

Regularly priced at USD $299, Primatte Chromakey is available now for USD $279. Regularly priced at USD $179, Backdrop Designer is available now for USD $169. Regularly priced at USD $449, a bundle of the two products called the Professional Photography Suite is available for USD $429. This special pricing is available until Nov. 30, 2005.

The Primatte Chromakey and Backdrop Designer updates are free for existing customers; users should contact Digital Anarchy for details. Demos, tutorials and samples are available at www.digitalanarchy.com.

Both products are compatible with Photoshop 5.5 and higher and Photoshop Elements 2.0 and higher. They are available for Mac OS X (not OS 9) and Windows 98ME and higher.

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