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August 06, 2007

Table of Contents

The Nonlinear Editor: Soul and the Sale
MOTU Announces V3HD First Ever All-In-One FireWire HD/SD Video Interface for Mac and PC
Digital Juice Unveils 10 New Volumes of StackTraxx Layered Production Music
Pioneer Introduces New 4X Blu-ray Writer BDR-202
Zaxcom Introduces New IFB100 Audio Transmitter
RE:Vision Effects Releases DE:Noise 1.0
TMPGEnc DVD Author 3 with DivX Authoring Announces the First Dual-Authoring (DVD/DivX) Capable Program in French and Spanish Language Versions
Hitachi Debuts "World's First" Blu-Ray Camcorder
Hitachi Maxell Launches "World's First" 8cm Blu-ray Write-Once BD-R/Rewritable BD-RE Discs for Video Cameras
Verbatim to Launch "World's First" Mini BD Media

The Nonlinear Editor: Soul and the Sale

The first time I met the 4EVER Group’s Tim Ryan at NAB 2005, I recounted the peculiar history of EventDV predecessor EMedia, a history that eventually culminated in scrapping the whole thing and launching this magazine. Mostly, EMedia had fallen prey to changing markets (the dissipation of DVD authoring as a professional specialty, among other things), but there had also been some nagging “too many cooks spoil the broth” issues with sales guys monkeying with the magazine’s purview as a means of chasing this ad or that one. Reflecting that it was great to be starting fresh with EventDV, a magazine with a mission that (unlike that of the late-model EMedia) I really believed in and an audience of creative artists I’d be proud to serve, I told Ryan, “Here’s hoping the sales guys leave it alone this time.”

“You know, I’m in sales,” Ryan said. He went on to explain how running a videography business was like managing any other small business, and if you didn’t commit yourself to sales, all the artistry in the world wasn’t going to get you anywhere.

I suppose I knew most of that; we’d been nudging into the EventDV space for nine months at that point, first with EventDV’s six-month stint as a “section” of EMedia, then by turning our full attention to event video in January 2005, and we’d devoted nearly half our pages to business issues from the outset. But it didn’t really sink in until I’d heard a videographer with more than his fair share of artistic cred state it so succinctly: “I’m in sales.”

Fast-forward to mid-July of this year. I had the pleasure of welcoming Ryan to my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, where he’d agreed to present his popular “The Real Value of Wedding Video” seminar to our nascent local PVA (Wisconsin Digital Media Group) for the last time before retiring it.

Ryan arrived on the VanGalder bus from Chicago following a presentation at the IVA the night before. Shortly after setting up his laptop for the presentation, I noticed Ryan checking the VanGalder website for departure times the following morning. Noting the CoachUSA logo atop the VanGalder homepage, I mentioned that I’d been hip to VanGalder’s acquisition by CoachUSA months before it happened because I had a friend whose father had been a New York City bus driver for 40 years and had remained an authority on the machinations of the motor coach industry worldwide. Even today I couldn’t tell you exactly how a city bus driver would benefit from following national developments in his trade. But having seen the difference in videographers who make some connection with the industry beyond a circle of influence circumscribed by a yellow pages ad, a local bridal show, and occasional competitive website-snooping, and those who avail themselves of a wider sphere of professional development opportunities via local associations, the 4EVER Group, WEVA, Video University, EventDV, and the like, I believe in the value of professional development in any business, and can now take it on faith that my friend’s busman father enriched his career by staying connected.

But is business really about faith and belief? Interestingly, a rather concrete notion of belief was at the core of Ryan’s presentation. The first thing he did was give away the ending: Essentially, he was going to spend the evening talking about the problems faced by videographers who feel underbooked and underpaid, and then conclude by saying that if the world undervalues our work, it’s our own fault. We don’t get paid more because we don’t believe we’re worth it.

He then showed 2006 EventDV 25 honoree LaDonna Moore’s award-winning demo video, with its striking voiceover testimonials like the one from the bride who says “I would have paid twice what I did for the wedding video” and “Not getting a wedding video would have been the biggest mistake of our lives.” Naturally, it’s an uphill climb trying to put these words into your clients’ mouths or these ideas into their heads—who really believes this stuff before they’ve seen their wedding video? But according to Ryan, making your clients believe it is only the second step. You have to believe it first.

Naturally, not everyone was buying it. One association member dismissed the notion of cultivating a more receptive wedding video market out of hand: “You’re from New York,” the videographer told Ryan. “You don’t know our market. Here, brides pay $500 per video. Period. And $500 videos are exactly what I sell them.”

In one sense, he’s right—some brides do pay $500 per video, and won’t go any higher. That’s true in every market. But there are also a few wedding videographers in the Madison area (okay, I believe the exact number is two) who are getting $2,500 and up, and have steadily increased their average bookings over the last few years. And in a perfect world, the budget brides would gravitate to the budget videographers, and the ones who might want more than a $500 video and be willing to pay for it would seek out the higher-end guys and consider what they offer, rather than throwing the budget videographer’s $500 price tag in their faces.

But as I said, our local market is showing signs of growth, and it’s the videographers who are making it happen. At least one of the $2,500-and-up guys is succeeding for all the reasons you’d expect him to: active participation in national associations and videographer forums; careful study of the instructional DVDs and seminars of successful videographers, which have in turn helped inspire his own creativity and award-winning work; aggressive selling of same-day edits and the like; and marketing that emphasizes artistry and emotion over equipment and technology (another key issue of Ryan’s presentation).

But belief in the elasticity and growth potential of a given market—and the ability of videographers to influence it, rather than blaming its shortcomings on, say, the ignorance of brides or the prevalence of photography—remains a tough sell. Good thing we’re in sales.

Stephen F. Nathans is editor-in-chief of EventDV.

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MOTU Announces V3HD First Ever All-In-One FireWire HD/SD Video Interface for Mac and PC

MOTU, Inc. has unveiled the V3HD, a two rack-space FireWire video interface and converter that turns a Mac or PC desktop or laptop computer into a powerful HD/SD video production workstation capable of capturing and playing back compressed HD and uncompressed SD in a wide variety of formats, including HD-SDI, SD-SDI, HD component, HDMI (or DVI) and both NTSC and PAL in all standard analog I/O formats.

A breadth of HD formats, including 720p, 1080i, 1080p and 1080PsF, can be captured and played back over a single FireWire A or B connection via real-time hardware-based compression to and from the industry standard DVCPro HD codec, which provides pristine 4:2:2 broadcast quality HD images. Users can connect a variety of HD and SD sources and destinations, choose any HD or SD input source via software or the front-panel LCD, and then convert to all HD and SD output formats in real-time with hardware-based SD-to-HD up-convert, HD-to-SD down-convert and pull-down insertion or removal.

Four banks of 8-channel audio I/O (analog, AES/EBU, optical and embedded) feed into a 32-channel 16-bus monitor mixer for a total of 32 channels of zero-latency audio input, output and mixing. Extensive synchronization and machine control features, including a large front-panel time code LED display, keep the entire system accurately synchronized.

The V3HD supports Apple Final Cut Pro 5.1 or higher on the Mac and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 on Windows, and it includes cross-platform control software for all video and audio features. The V3HD can also function as a stand-alone converter when a computer is not connected.

"The V3HD is perfect for any Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro user who wants easy, plug-and-play connectivity and comprehensive, all-in-one capture and playback for HD, SD and mixed workflows," said Jim Cooper, MOTU Director of Marketing. "The V3HD supports all the HD and SD formats most users will ever need, with image quality that we believe sets a new standard for desktop video production. That's why the V3HD supports 10-bit uncompressed SD via 12-bit converters. And it's also why we chose DVCPro HD as the codec for moving HD over FireWire. It's 4:2:2 with a robust 100 Mbit/sec constant bit rate data stream, and it's the most widely respected and adopted intra-frame HD codec currently available. Best of all, users can work natively in broadcast-quality HD, even on a laptop, without the costly overhead required for uncompressed."

Connect. Convert. Capture. Monitor. Deliver.
The V3HD provides a plethora of video input and output options. Users can connect all their gear, from SD camcorders and CRT monitors to today’s latest professional HD cameras, video decks, LCD reference monitors and plasmas -- all at the same time, with no cable swapping. Then, they simply choose an input source and log and capture HD and SD clips directly into Final Cut or Premiere, converted on the fly and ready for fast, CPU-efficient editing in pristine native DVCPro HD quality.

As users edit, they can watch their creation take shape in a variety of display formats simultaneously, from the pixel-for-pixel accuracy of a large plasma screen, to the color-corrected balance of an LCD reference monitor, to the real-world look of a consumer display. An unsurpassed 32 channels of audio allow users to capture, monitor, mix and master multichannel surround sound, up to 7.1, for their productions at sample rates up to 192kHz. Time code, machine control, video reference and word clock synchronization features keep everything frame-accurate.

From start to finish, the V3HD streamlines a user's video production workflow, with unified control over all their video gear from their computer desktop.

V3HD Feature Highlights
The V3HD delivers a robust feature set and introduces many firsts for an all-in-one HD/SD video interface:

  • Plug-and-play connectivity via FireWire -- provides HD and SD capture and playback for any current-generation FireWire equipped computer, including Mac & PC laptops. Users can connect via FireWire A or B, either of which supports all V3HD video formats. FireWire B provides twice the bus bandwidth (800 Mbits/sec), which allows for more channels of audio I/O at high samples, and/or the ability to daisy-chain a second FireWire B device (such as a hard drive).
  • Supports Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • Captures and plays back 720p, 1080i, 1080p and 1080PsF HD over FireWire via industry standard DVCPro HD capture format for direct, native import into -- and playback from -- Final Cut and Premiere.
  • Across-the-board compatibility and pristine quality -- DVCPro HD capture format provides 100 Mb/sec 4:2:2 quality and CPU-efficient, intra-frame (non-GOP) native editing.
  • Captures and plays back compressed or uncompressed 10-bit SD in NTSC or PAL format via SD-SDI and all standard analog SD formats (component, composite and S-video) via 12-bit A/D and D/A converters.
  • HDMI output -- allows users to connect an HD plasma, LCD, DLP or flatscreen for flexible and affordable HD monitoring, including pixel for pixel display at 1080 with a supporting monitor. Supports DVI output with an HDMI-to-DVI adapter or cable (sold separately).
  • Broadcast quality hardware-based real time SD-to-HD up-convert -- users can capture SD while working in HD, or monitor HD when working in SD.
  • Broadcast quality hardware-based real time HD-to-SD down-convert -- users can capture HD while working in SD, or monitor SD when working in HD.
  • Real-time hardware-based 2:3 or 2:3:3:2 pull-down insertion and removal.
  • Comprehensive zoom modes for up/down conversion -- anamorphic, pillar box, letterbox, 14:9 pillarbox, 14:9 letterbox and full screen.
  • Simultaneous HD/SD operation -- users can connect multiple HD and SD sources and destinations simultaneously, and then switch HD/SD sources on the fly while converting to multiple HD/SD destinations.
  • Two rack space form factor with dedicated connectors -- users can connect all gear to dedicated connectors, without cable swapping or gangly, inconvenient breakout cables. Rack-mount brackets are removable for convenient desktop operation.
  • Stand-alone operation -- when a computer is not connected, the V3HD can convert selected input source to supported output formats with SD-to-HD up-convert, HD-to-SD down-convert and pull-down insertion/removal. Front panel LCD provides access to most settings.
  • Comprehensive synchronization and machine control features -- includes video reference, time code, RS422 machine control and audio word clock.

Video I/O

  • 1 x HD-SDI in and out (4:2:2 10-bit) on independent BNC connectors
  • 1 x SD-SDI in and out (4:2:2 10-bit) on independent BNC connectors
  • 1 x extra HD-SDI output connector
  • 1 x extra SD-SDI output connector
  • 1 x HDMI output (4:2:2 10-bit, YCbCr or RGB)
  • Support for DVI output with HDMI-to-DVI adapter (sold separately)
  • 1 x HD component in and out (10-bit, YPbPr or RGB) on independent BNCs
  • 1 x SD component in and out (10-bit, YPbPr or RGB) on independent BNCs
  • 1 x composite in and out (10-bit)
  • 1 x S-video in and out (10-bit)
  • 12-bit A/D and D/A converters on all analog video in/out with up to 8x oversampling
  • 1 x 400 Mbit (1394) FireWire A
  • 2 x 800 Mbit (1394b) FireWire B

Audio I/O

  • 32 channels of simultaneous audio input and output
  • 8 channels of analog in/out at all standard sample rates from 44.1 to 192kHz
  • 4 x XLR analog in/out -- provides 4-channel direct connection without a breakout cable
  • 8 channels of AES/EBU digital in/out at sample rates up to 96kHz
  • 2 x AES/EBU connectors -- provides 4-channel direct connection without a breakout cable
  • 8-channel HD-SDI and SD-SDI embedded audio in/out, 24-bit at 44.1 or 48kHz
  • 8-channel HDMI embedded audio output, 24-bit at 44.1 or 48kHz
  • 8-channel ADAT optical digital audio in/out -- includes a second bank of optical connectors for 8-channel operation at sample rates up to 96kHz.
  • Front panel headphone jack with dedicated volume control
  • Programmable front panel volume control for up to 32 audio outputs -- users can push the headphone volume knob and then turn it to control output level for any/all outputs, from stereo main outs to 7.1 surround to all 32 outs. The LCD provides visual feedback for the digital rotary encoder as the user turns it.
  • CueMix DSP™ built-in monitor mixer -- 32-channel, 16-bus mixer for monitoring live inputs from cameras, mic preamps or other audio sources with no delay. Users can set up send/return loops to digital mixers and outboard audio processing.
  • Multiple CueMix DSP mixes -- lets users create up to 16 separate stereo monitor mixes (8 stereo at 176.4 or 192kHz) for main outs, headphones, outboard gear send/return loops, etc.
  • Audio delay compensation -- both fully automated and programmable controls ensure that audio always remains perfectly in sync with picture.
  • Audio only mode -- operates as a 32 channel cross-platform audio interface.
  • Stand-alone operation -- users can mix and monitor audio with no computer connected.

Sync and device control

  • Video reference in and thru -- resolves to blackburst, composite or HD Tri-level sync.
  • Time code in and out -- generates and resolves to time code (LTC or embedded).
  • RS-422 machine control -- controls the transports of a connected camera or video deck using Final Cut Pro or other machine control host via standard 9-pin protocol.
  • Word clock in, out and thru -- continuously resolves to audio word clock from a digital mixer, distribution box or other source at sample rates from 44.1 to 192K.
  • Field upgradable firmware via USB -- allows users to download new functionality from their computer.
  • International auto-switching internal power supply

Front panel programming and monitoring

  • Front-panel 2 x 16 backlit LCD -- provides access to most settings directly from the front panel.
  • 8 dedicated 10-segment ladder LEDs with clip indicators for all 8 analog audio ins
  • 8 programmable 10-segment ladder LEDs with clip indicators for displaying any 8-channel bank (analog, AES/EBU, optical or embedded) in or out
  • Video status LEDs -- provide quick access to capture/playback settings for each video format.
  • Time code display -- provides frame-accurate time code readout when converting or generating time code, or during playback from host software.

Included software and compatibility

  • Includes MOTU Video Console software -- graphically displays HD and SD signal path and provides complete control of all programmable features and settings.
  • Includes MOTU CueMix Console software -- provides on-screen mixing of all 32 audio channels of analog and digital input and output via graphic mixer with 32 faders.
  • Cross-platform operation (Mac OS X, Windows XP, Windows Vista)
  • Supports Final Cut Pro 5.1 or higher and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 on Windows.

Availability
The V3HD is expected to ship during Q3 2007. The price has not yet been announced.

www.v3hd.com

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Digital Juice Unveils 10 New Volumes of StackTraxx Layered Production Music

Digital Juice announced today a fifty percent expansion of its royalty-free StackTraxx music library. The ten new titles will bring the rapidly expanding production music collection to thirty-one available volumes covering an array of different styles, themes, and genres including business, world, broadcast, sports, country, cinematic, island, romantic, and R&B.

StackTraxx is the first and largest production music library of its kind. Each song is provided in easy-to-use separated layers, or "stacks." By using layers, StackTraxx allows video editors the ability to turn on the parts of the music they need, and turn off the parts they don't, without compromising the integrity of the composition. "StackTraxx gives editor's unparalleled control of the music in their productions. The idea is to allow editors to become conductors, deciding what aspects of the music they want to bring out or tone down without the necessity of being a composer or even being musically inclined," said CEO and Digital Juice Founder, David Hebel. "The future of high-end royalty-free content is all about power and customization. Professionals enjoy the low cost and ease of royalty-free music but they miss the flexibility, power, and control that a custom song can provide. I think StackTraxx is really the first royalty-free music library to balance these needs and address this issue completely."

Digital Juice® provides a free Windows® and Mac® utility, Juicer™ 3, that makes it easy to browse, search, and select from any of the StackTraxx™ volumes. Once selected, editors can audition the music and begin "conducting" by turning on and off the four to seven layers. Each StackTraxx™ volume contains at least 20 songs provided in full length, 60 second, 30 second, 15 second, and 10 second versions for a quick and easy fit into most production needs. Once selected and customized the song can be exported in numerous formats including WAV and AIFF. Users also have the option to "split the tracks" and save each layer separately for even more flexibility when brought into video or audio editing applications.

The 10 New Volumes include:

  • Volume 22: Business Stacks
  • Volume 23: World Stacks II
  • Volume 24: Broadcast Theme Stacks
  • Volume 25: Sports Stacks
  • Volume 26: Country Stacks
  • Volume 27: Cinematic Stacks
  • Volume 28: Island Stacks
  • Volume 29: Dynamic Intensity Stacks
  • Volume 30: Romantic Stacks
  • Volume 31: R&B Stacks

The new StackTraxx™ volumes 22 through 31 can be ordered through Digital Juice's online store or by calling the company's customer service center toll-free at 800-525-2203. Individual volumes retail for $99 each but can be purchased in bundles for up to 75% off. Check the website for details on bundle pricing and specials.

The company's free Juicer™ 3 software can be found at www.digitaljuice.com/juicer/

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Pioneer Introduces New 4X Blu-ray Writer BDR-202

Developed for professional users, Pioneer's new BDR-202 internal drive for PCs supports the writing of both write-once (BD-R) and rewritable (BD-RE) single-layer Blu-ray discs. The versatile writer, which is now available in Europe, is also compatible with a range of DVD and CD media; speeds include 12X writing to DVD-R/+R, 6X to DVD-RW/+RW and 24X to CD-R/RW.

The optical pickup unit is equipped with our newly developed BD/DVD/CD three-way compatible lens that realises high-speed recording at a maximum speed of 4X on BD-R media and 2X speed on BD-RE. The writer also reads BD-ROM and DVD-ROM discs, and read/writes to DVD-R/+R, DVD-RW/+RW, DVD-R DL/+R DL Dual/Double-Layer discs, and also CD-R/RW discs.

The BDR-202 includes a range of innovations to enhance read/write capabilities including the following:

  • Ultra DRA: which suppresses vibration when writing based on know-how that we have been cultivating in the development of DVD writers.
  • Limited Equalizer LSI : that dramatically improves reading reliability.
  • Multi-Effect Liquid Crystal Tilt Compensator: that advances the recording and playback characteristics by adding correction to the laser beam which compensates for disc impurities such as titled media and media of various thickness.

The BDR-202 includes CyberLink’s BD Solution software package to enable the creation and playback of BD movies and the creation and playback of DVDs and CDs.

www.pioneerelectronics.com

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Zaxcom Introduces New IFB100 Audio Transmitter

Zaxcom, a pioneering provider of professional audio equipment for the television and film industries, today announced a new entry into its family of wireless microphone systems, the IFB100 transmitter. Designed to integrate with the company's popular TRX900 series of wireless microphones, the IFB100 transmits a single RF carrier -- containing time code, IFB audio, and remote control signals -- to any number of TRX900 wireless systems. The unit provides users with the patent-pending ability to record a group of channels and then play them back as a virtual multitrack recording. Additionally, the IFB100 can be used in conjunction with a bag-to-camera link to provide ongoing confidence monitoring with audio relayed directly to the sound mixer.

"We're pleased to introduce our new IFB100, which will be shown for the first time at IBC2007. Because the unit operates on the 2.4-GHz wavelength, it can be used license free in almost any country, effectively expanding the reach of our company and technologies to a more global marketplace," said Glenn Sanders, president of Zaxcom. "By transmitting signals to any number of wireless recording systems, the IFB100 is robust enough to facilitate a virtual multitrack recording, yet compact enough to be used on sound carts, mounted on the side of video cameras, or in the studio."

The IFB100 contains a two-channel audio mixer that combines two separate channels of audio into a single digital transmission. The unit directly accepts SMPTE timecode and balanced audio at line level. Zaxcom's IFB100 also contains a SMPTE timecode generator that can run at all common frame rates. The system can continuously jam external code or operate in Free Run mode independent of timecode.

The unit's 125-mW RF power output provides a range of up to 300 feet for transmission of IFB audio and up to 1,000 feet for remote control and timecode transmissions. The unit has a low power consumption of just 125mA at 12 V DC, and can operate with a voltage between 8 V DC and 18 V DC. Users can check the transmitter status and timecode of the IFB100 quickly and easily with the integrated LCD panel.

The IFB100 is available now. To learn more about this product and Zaxcom's full line of wireless audio systems, visit http://www.zaxcom.com.

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RE:Vision Effects Releases DE:Noise 1.0

RE:Vision Effects has released DE:Noise, a new plugin set that handles spurious frame-to-frame defects ranging from fine digital and electronic noise to blotchy spots (e.g. dirt on the film). DE:Noise combines proprietary motion estimation (optical flow) techniques with feature-sensitive, edge-preserving spatial filtering methods to reduce the visual impact of various problems such as: noisy video (that can happen with low-light capture), excessive film grain, CG renders affected by ray-tracing sampling artifacts, fingerprints and dust captured during film scan/transfer and printing, snow, drop-outs and many other defects.

Features of DE:Noise include the following:

  • Pre-processing contrast controls to help enhance the noise for easier elimination.
  • Smart spatial filtering controls that allow for the spatial smoothing of noise without smoothing over important features in the image sequence.
  • 8 different temporal filtering methods that uses motion estimation (via optical flow) to correlate images over time in order to reduce noise and other artifacts.
  • Post-processing to help punch up the result or to undo the preprocessing contrast enhancement.
  • Post sharpening option for when the denoising process makes the result softer than desired.
  • 8 bits per channel (bpc) support within Premiere Pro, up to 16bpc support in Autodesk Combustion and Eyeon Fusion, and unclamped floating point support in After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro and Apple Motion.

DE:Noise is available as an After Effects-compatible plugin for Adobe After Effects 5 and up, Adobe Premiere Pro 2 and up, Autodesk Combustion 3 and up and eyeon Digital Fusion/DFX+ 4.04e and eyeon Fusion/Vision 5 and up. DE:Noise is also available as an FxPlug plugin for Final Cut Pro 6 and up, or Motion 3 and up.

Pricing is as follows:

  • Full versions are priced at $149.95. special introductory price of $99.95 through Sept 30, 2007.
  • Render-only licenses are priced at $29.99. Render only licenses are for use with After Effects', combustion's and Fusion's render-only programs (aerender, backburner, and Render-Slave, respectively) and the render-only version of Fusion. Note that the render-only licenses only work on projects written with a full license (so you must have at least one full license for the render-only licenses to be valid).
  • Effections bundles for After Effects, Combustion, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro and Fusion will now include DE:Noise. Effections "regular" for After Effects, Premiere Pro, combustion, Final Cut Pro is now priced at $889.95 (formerly $849.95). Effections Plus for After Effects and Fusion will remain at their current pricing of $1199.95 and $1399.95, respectively.
  • Customers who purchased Effections for Combustion, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro or After Effects since June 1, 2007 can upgrade for $40 to the current Effections package which includes DE:Noise.
  • Customers who purchased Effections Plus for After Effects or Effections for Fusion since June 1, 2007 will be upgraded to the new bundles (which include DE:Noise) for free.
  • Volume discounts available.

www.revisionfx.com

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TMPGEnc DVD Author 3 with DivX Authoring Announces the First Dual-Authoring (DVD/DivX) Capable Program in French and Spanish Language Versions

\TMPG, Inc. (www.tmpg-inc.com), the company that makes digital video easy, will soon release French and Spanish language versions of their TMPGEnc DVD Author 3 with DivX Authoring software. TMPG also has six websites offering e-commerce and information in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese languages. The company is proactive about translating its software into many of those languages. The French and Spanish language versions of TMPGEnc DVD Author 3 with DivX Authoring will be available for purchase from the website on August 2, at a special, limited-time introductory price of $67.95 each. The introductory price will be available for one month, after which the price will return to its regular value of $89.95 each.

"Our parent company Pegasys Inc.is a global video software producer and has found that language can be a barrier to users understanding and enjoying the full capacity of a software program," stated Kimi Matsuki, TMPG Inc. CEO. "This is why we are proactive about making our software programs available in a variety of languages."

"We are especially excited about translating DVD Author 3 into French and Spanish. This robust program includes HDV capture, DivX authoring, multiple subtitle streams, and the ability to import popular video formats for authoring to DVD or DivX. DVD Author 3 will also cut-edit, create custom menus, and burn projects to a CD (DivX only) or DVD," Matsuki added.

DVD Author3 Features
With DivX authoring capability, DivX projects can now feature DVD-like menus and navigation. DivX projects made with TMPGEnc DVD Author 3 with DivX Authoring enjoy the ultimate combination of DVD-like presentation with DivX technology. Finished products may be played with DivX Player software on a PC, or on any DivX Certified DVD player and a television or compatible home theater system.

Capturing video directly from a DV or HDV camcorder is a simple process with the DVD Author 3 software. The camcorder simply plugs into a PC via an IEEE 1394 (i.Link) interface. The software then views the contents, adding it as a source file. TMPGEnc DVD Author 3 improves format input, allowing inclusion of other types of source files. These include: DVD-VIDEO, DVD-VR, MPEG1/2, AVI, Windows Media, DivX, and QuickTime (mov, mp4, 3gp, 3g2) file formats. Since the software can utilize up to two subtitle streams simultaneously, it's possible to create a DivX or DVD file with subtitles appearing in more than one language.

When using TMPGEnc DVD Author 3, users can utilize either the built-in menu templates or with the robust menu creation process, users can create quick and easy custom menus. Users can also freely position and resize titles, thumbnail images, and text; creating dynamic motion menus that give life to any production; as well as change highlight colors and screen ratios. Special Smart Rendering technology makes encoding with TMPGEnc DVD Author 3 with DivX Authoring faster, allowing users to edit and output DivX and DVD projects much quicker than other authoring software.

www.tmpg-inc.com

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Hitachi Debuts "World's First" Blu-Ray Camcorder

With today’s introduction of not just one, but two versions of the world’s first Blu-ray disc camcorder, Hitachi continues its long-standing tradition of being first to market with landscape-changing consumer electronics products.

The new DZ-BD70A is a single drive camcorder that can record approximately one hour of FullHD 1920x1080 high definition video on an 8cm single-sided Blu-ray disc (BD-R and BD-RE). Lifelike image reproduction and rich, immersive color are a result of Hitachi’s 5.3 mega pixel CMOS image sensor and HD quality 12-element lens system. Not only can the DZ-BD70A record high definition video to Blu-ray discs, it also comes with an SD™ card slot for storing digital still photos at 4.32 mega pixel max resolution. A unique Hitachi feature called Photo Capture allows users to search though recordings on a Blu-ray disc, grab any still frame of video and save it as a photo to the SD card slot in 2.1 mega pixel resolution. For even more recording flexibility, the DZ-BD70A also allows video to be recorded in standard definition quality to DVD discs (DVD-R/-RW/-RAM).

Adding to the excitement for consumers will be the flagship DZ-BD7HA camcorder, a Hybrid model. This means it provides the Blu-ray disc recording capability along with a 30 gigabyte (GB) built-in Hard Disk Drive (HDD) that can record approximately four hours of 1920x1080 high definition video (HX mode) or up to eight hours of 1440x1080 high definition video (HS mode). Also, with the simple push of a button, it can copy the contents from HDD to BD within the camcorder itself, a major convenience feature for on-the-go consumers who can now bypass external devices (PCs, etc.) altogether to quickly dub a highlight reel. Easy editing functions such as split, delete and connect can also be made right in the camcorder before using the 1-touch dubbing function to burn Blu-ray disc copies.

Beyond the ability to transfer high definition video from the HDD to Blu-ray discs, there is also a new Transcoding feature that allows users to select high definition video stored on the HDD to be transferred to standard definition DVD copies using the 1-touch dubbing feature. This provides users with the choice and flexibility to burn either high definition (Blu-ray) copies or standard definition (DVD) copies, so it is fast and simple – everything is done within the camcorder itself -- to share home movie memories with friends and family members who may not yet own a Blu-ray playback device.

“It was important for us to be the first to offer consumers the impressive benefits of Blu-ray disc technology. To be the first manufacturer to create two models of the world’s first Blu-ray disc camcorders that shoot, playback and store HD video is a huge milestone for us and something we are exceptionally proud of.” said Hitachi America product manager Jeff Fochtman. “Hitachi is well known for having introduced the world’s first DVD camcorder in 2000, and last year we introduced the world’s first Hybrid camcorder with a DVD drive and a Hard Disk Drive. These products have been hugely popular and award winning. Blu-ray Disc Camcorders certainly demonstrate our ability to innovate and consumers have a new premium format choice on the market because of these efforts.”

State-of-the-Art Blu-ray Camcorder Features Based on Hitachi Breakthrough Technologies
Building upon its legacy of technology breakthroughs, Hitachi offers the following state-of-the-art features in its new BD camcorders:

  • 8cm BD/DVD Drive – Hitachi developed a compact, low-power consuming, quiet and highly reliable 8cm BD/DVD drive which is compatible with five types of industry standard discs: BD-RE/-R, DVD-RAM/-RW/-R. The drive has two optical pick-ups for BD and DVD and a flat pick-up with compact aberration correction function for BD.
    30 Gigabytes of HDD Capacity Rivals That of Notebook Computers – With its high capacity 30GB HDD, the Hybrid BD camcorder can record up to four hours of 1920x1080 video or eight hours of 1440x1080 video.
  • High Definition, Distortion-less Lens – The camcorders features a 10x zoom, non-spherical lens that helps keep the form factor especially compact. The lens is multi-coated to prevent reflection, flare or ghost images, and it has gradation ND (neutral density) filter to prevent degrading of resolution caused by the aperture of the iris.
  • CMOS Image Sensor – The Hitachi camcorders feature a 5.3 mega pixel CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) image sensor capable of capturing the true nature of an object by reading the pixel area at a very rapid speed. This is essential for HD video imaging. Approximately 4.32 mega pixel still photos can be recorded on a SD memory card.
  • Simple and Innovative Designs – The new BD camcorders are also distinguished from conventional camcorders by a smooth-flowing, elegant and innovative design. The large-aperture lens expresses the camcorders’ high quality. The sleek, round body is a unique Hitachi motif that is particularly eye catching, especially for consumers with an appreciation of artful aesthetics. A portion of the camcorder is UV coated to protect the body from scratches and to maintain its luster. The operation buttons provide intuitive, easy use. HDMI and component video output is provided for direct-from-camcorder video playback.
  • Interactive User Guide – Both cameras come with an Interactive Guide built-in so that even people who have never used a camcorder can quickly begin using and enjoying the device.

For a comprehensive presentation of the new Hitachi BD camcorders, click here.

For U.S. product specification sheet downloads click here.

Pricing and Availability
The Hitachi model DZBD70A Blu-ray camcorder will be offered at a Manufacturers Advertised Price (MAP) of $1,299. The DZBD7HA model Blu-ray Hybrid with built-in 30GB hard disk drive (HDD) is priced at a MAP of $1,499. Both camcorders will be available in North America in October 2007.

www.hitachi.us/tv

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Hitachi Maxell Launches "World's First" 8cm Blu-ray Write-Once BD-R/Rewritable BD-RE Discs for Video Cameras

Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. today announced that the company will launch the "world’s first" 8cm Blu-ray write-once BD-R/rewritable BD-RE discs (7.5GB) for video cameras on August 10. When used with Blu-ray-Disc-compatible video cameras, these products enable long-duration filming of approximately 60 minutes with full high-definition picture quality which has 1920 x 1080 pixel

In the video camera market, video cameras that use optical discs (DVDs) as data storage media are becoming increasingly popular due to the outstanding portability and functionality of optical discs. With the recent increase in the popularity of high-definition-quality video, demand for products compatible with high- definition-quality recording has been growing. As a result, there is demand for recording media with even larger storage capacities for hi-vision-picture-quality filming, which requires the storage of huge volumes of information.

Launched by Hitachi Maxell, these 8 cm Blu-ray Discs enable full high-definition -quality recording for approximately 60 minutes and are compatible with the world’s first Blu-ray Disc-compatible video cameras, which is launched by Hitachi, Ltd.

These products combine original core technologies compatible with blue-violet lasers and technologies for video-camera optical discs that the Company has continued to develop since commercializing the world’s first 8 cm DVD-RAM disc for video cameras. Further, the Company designed these products with consideration for the heightened reliability required for outdoor usage. For these products, the Company has achieved uniform shape, weight, and thickness through MHSS (Maxell High Stabilized Spin) technology, which controls substrate molding and the high-precision 0.1 mm cover layer and hard coat layer. These innovations enable stable filming movement by curbing vibration of the camera body due to disc rotation. Further, Hitachi Maxell has incorporated a recording-surface HG hard coat (hard coat layer) that has stronger protective characteristics than the hard coats of the Company’s existing DVDs, thereby improving reliability with respect to scratches, dust, and fingerprints when the products are used outdoors. In addition, these products achieve stable recording and reproduction characteristics thanks to the incorporation of newly developed inorganic recording film (BD-R) and phase-change recording film (BD-RE) that ensure a wide margin with regard to the recording laser power.

Since launching the world’s first DVDs for video cameras (cartridge-type 8 cm DVD-RAM) in August 2000, Hitachi Maxell has led the development and commercialization of optical discs for video cameras. Going forward, Hitachi Maxell will continue to advance the development of large-storage-capacity optical discs while marketing products that cater to demand for high-definition-generation recordable optical discs.

www.maxell.com

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Verbatim to Launch "World's First" Mini BD Media

Verbatim Corporation and its parent company, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (MKM), announced today the world’s first Mini Blu-ray Recordable/Rewriteable (BD-R/RE) media. Measuring three inches (8cm) in diameter, the new 7.5GB discs provide approximately one hour of continuous video capture time on a single side when high definition (1920×1080i) is used, and approximately two hours1 of video capture time with images recorded at 1440×1080i. MKM Mini BD media will be available in August in Japan, where the new Hitachi BD-compatible camcorder will be launched. Verbatim will begin shipments to other parts of the world, including North America, when the new BD-compatible camcorders become available locally.

Verbatim Mini BD media combine with a BD-compatible camcorder to provide consumers with convenience features that hard disk camcorders cannot offer. With the ability to record priceless memories directly to a Mini BD disc, users can eliminate the time-consuming process of downloading captured video to their computer hard drive. They can also enjoy unlimited capacity by simply removing the disc from the camcorder and adding a new one.

Like Verbatim’s standard (12 cm) BD media, the new Mini BD discs deliver the highest read/write performance and unsurpassed longevity. Advanced technologies developed by MKM guard against deterioration in picture and sound quality--even with repeated recording and playback. By combining MKM’s proprietary recording layers and hard coat with its precision stamper and precision molding technologies during the manufacturing process, Verbatim BD media customers can be confident they have the best media on the market for their special memories and that they’ll be able to enjoy them for years to come.

The proprietary hard-coat finish on Verbatim BD media has superior anti-static and anti-scratch properties for added protection against scratches, fingerprints and dust particles that can occur during normal camcorder and home use.

Verbatim’s new Mini BD media is produced to the highest quality standards at MKM’s optical disc manufacturing facility in Mizushima, Japan. The Mizushima factory is well known for its expertise in producing blue laser media.

www.verbatim.com

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