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September 10, 2007

Table of Contents

Amen Corner: Players Combine Streaming Formats; You Win
Panasonic Introduces 32GB Solid-State P2 Memory Card
Adobe Announces Audition 3
4EVER Group Announces Atlanta Video Summit for October 9
Schneider Optics Announces New Century 5-Filter Kit for DV/HDV Cameras
Zaxcom Introduces Complete Wireless Audio Microphone Packages
Peachpit Releases Apple Pro Training Series: The Craft of Editing with Final Cut Pro
LightScribe Enhances CD and DVD Labeling Quality
Sony Bolsters Blu-ray Disc Player Line with Two New Models
LG Electronics Launches Second-Generation Dual-Format High-Definition Disc Player
Maxell Introduces Recordable Blu-ray Discs for Hi-Def Camcorder Market

Amen Corner: Players Combine Streaming Formats; You Win

Those of you who stream your worship services or put pre-recorded content up on the web for parishoners and visitors to view at a later date know the hassle of choosing a streaming video format. There are lots of choices out there, but some are better than others for particular tasks. You might, for example, choose Flash Video 8 as a playback or live streaming compression format, but also have to encode your content into MP3 or AAC for audio-only podcasts and H.264 for video podcasts.

You may also have read about how the streaming codec war is becoming a player war. In the beginning, each codec had its own player (Real Video had Real Player, WindowsMedia had the WindowsMedia Player, etc.). But these days, most players—with the exception of the WindowsMedia Player—can play formats from a variety of competitors. The thought is that capturing eyeballs for advertising or the convenience of a single player heightens a competitive advantage that makes up for the loss in format use.

A practical example of this occurred in late August with Adobe's announcement that it was incorporating the H.264 video codec (based on a derivative of the MPEG-4 standard, which in turn was based on the MPEG-2 codec that is used in DVD-Video and satellite TV) and the AAC+ audio codec (a slightly better version of the low bit rate audio codec used in most iPods).

Adobe understands the reasons to support an industry-standard alongside its Flash Video 8 codec in its most recent Flash Player. The Flash Player already has almost a 99% market penetration, which means that almost any desktop or laptop on the market—including Mac and Linux systems—can play SWF and FLV files (FLV is Adobe's three-letter extension for FLash Video). But Flash Video 8 and the FLV "wrapper" have some limitations that Adobe wished to address, as well as send a message that the player is more important than the codecs being played in it.

“Why now? Short answer: Because you wanted it,” said Tinic Uro, an Adobe engineer who is putting the code together for the next Flash Player, on a recent blog post. "Long answer: We've been working on this for a while and this was planned to be part of the next major revision of the Flash Player . . . It seems many [of our customers] are trying to make choices when it comes to video technologies right now. We wanted to make sure that we would offer the best possible choices to them and send a signal that we are willing to embrace industry standards.”

Adobe's willingness to embrace industry standards means one version of files can be created for podcasts as well as for streaming and on-demand playback. Tinic points out that users can load and play the typical iTunes-supported files (.mp4, .m4v, .m4a) as well as QuickTime-based H.264 (.mov) and lowerbit rate mobile video files (.3gp). This means that a file can be played back in iTunes or on an iPod as well as via the Flash Player, although Adobe recommends renaming the files to use the .flv file extension if you want Flash Player to be the default playback application.

“The Flash Player itself does not care about file extensions,” says Tinic. “You can feed it .txt files for all it matters. The Flash Player always looks inside the file to determine what type of file it is.”

Even though Adobe would like to sell you Flash Media Server (which streams live and on-demand content and can stream any of the files created in true H.264 and/or AAC formats), they’ve provided a way to have the files play back from a standard web page instead of from the Flash Media Server. Files set up on a standard web page will be available via progressive download, which enables the video to begin playing after about 10% of the file has been downloaded, rather than waiting for the entire file to download before playback.

A word of caution about the use of progressive downloads, though; Tinic points out that Adobe video creation tools (such as Premiere Pro and After Effects) are designed to “currently place the index information at the end of the file” which requires the entire video file to be downloaded before playing. Tinic, however, suggests a third-party tool called qt-faststart.c, written by Adobe's Mike Melanson, which can apply a fix to files so that the index is at the beginning of the file. Tinic also says Adobe is working to modify its video tools to allow this option from within Premiere and After Effects.

So why all this dense information on streaming codecs and players in a column about houses of worship? To shine a bit of light on the fact that streaming just got a whole lot easier for those of you who are considering it but weren’t certain which codec or format to use. As the player wars continue—especially with the advent of Blu-ray and HD DVD support in many players—expect to see even the holdouts embrace standards such as H.264 and AAC in their players. And rest assured the day is coming, just like it did with MPEG-2 and DVD, when it won’t matter what player your parishoners use as long as you serve them up a standards-based video and audio format.

Tim Siglin, co-founder of Transitions, Inc. is a contributing editor to EventDV and Streaming Media.

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Panasonic Introduces 32GB Solid-State P2 Memory Card

Panasonic introduced today a 32GB P2 solid-state memory card for its popular line of P2 HD and P2 solid-state camcorders and decks. With the availability of the 32GB P2 card in November, Panasonic will have quadrupled the storage capacity of its solid-state memory card in just this year, providing HD recording time greater than most tape-based and disc-based systems.

The 32GB P2 card, model AJ-P2C032RG, will have a suggested list price of $1,650 and is scheduled for initial deliveries in November. The new 32GB P2 card will be offered in addition to the 16GB P2 card that has been shipping since May.

Camcorders equipped with the new 32GB P2 card will offer greater recording capacity than tape-based and disc-based systems, and offer the proven benefits of no-moving-parts reliability and fast IT file-based workflow. With five 32GB P2 cards installed, the AJ-HPX3000 and HPX2000 P2 HD camcorders can record for up to 2.5 hours (over 3 hours in 24p) in AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD and 5 hours (over 6.5 hours in 24p) in AVC-Intra 50 or DVCPRO 50.

Panasonic’s P2 card is based on ultra-reliable, solid-state memory, consisting of four SD cards, like those now used in digital still cameras, packaged in a rugged, die-cast frame that weighs only 0.099 lbs (45 grams). This convenient card has four times the capacity and four times the transfer speed of a single SD card. The P2 card is reusable and connects instantly with laptops and major non-linear editing systems to eliminate the time-consuming task of digitizing.

The P2 card is resistant to impact (up to 1,500G), vibration (up to 15G), shock, dust and environmental extremes including temperature changes. It operates in temperatures from -4° to 176°F (-20 to 60°C), and can be stored in temperatures from -40° to 176°F (-40 to 80°C). Unlike tapes and discs, the P2 card has no rotating or contact parts. The solid-state P2 memory card can transfer data at speeds up to 640Mbps to provide the professional user with fast, easy operation. Compared to tape or disc, P2 acquisition requires no media consumption, resulting in tremendous savings in media costs as well as environmental benefits.

The new 32GB card is fully compatible with the current 16GB P2 card, so users who’ve upgraded their P2 product(s) and computer system for 16GB operation are ready for 32GB operation. For P2 users who haven’t completed this upgrade, it is a requirement to take advantage of 32GB operation.

www.panasonic.com/broadcast

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Adobe Announces Audition 3

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® Audition® 3 software, a major new release of the all-in-one solution for professional audio production. Adobe Audition 3 is designed to give audio professionals — sound designers, recording and mastering engineers, and musicians — a flexible production toolkit for recording, mixing, editing, and mastering audio. With comprehensive audio mastering and restoration capabilities, Adobe Audition 3 helps professionals create music and radio spots, as well as restore imperfect recordings with sophisticated editing tools. New features include VSTi virtual instrument support with MIDI piano roll, enhanced spectral editing options, fast fade and crossfade controls, and advanced multi-core support.

“Adobe Audition 3 is packed with new features for all types of users,” said Hart Shafer, senior product manager at Adobe. “In addition to concentrating on delivering new creative capabilities and unmatched editing tools, we’ve turbo-charged performance and ensured time-saving features are integrated into the product. That means our customers can spend less time working in the software and more time creating the perfect sound.”

Adobe Audition 3 allows audio professionals to easily create and arrange music, record and mix a project, produce a radio spot, clean up production audio for a movie, or edit a soundtrack for a business presentation. With new support for VSTi virtual instruments and MIDI piano roll style editing, combined with sophisticated audio and mixing tools, Adobe Audition 3 provides more creative power for audio production. New effects like the Analog Delay, Convolution Reverb, and Tube-modeled Compressor provide new sonic options, while the Guitar Suite adds analog-modeled effects to dry guitar tracks. Radius time stretching, from industry-leader iZotope, allows users to accurately change tempo and pitch independently.

“We have always found Adobe Audition to be the best audio editor for our work and the changes in version 3 will cement that position,” said Jerry Ibbotson, owner and sound designer for Media Mill, producer of sound effects for video games, including the PS3 launch title Motostorm and the PSP hit Pursuit Force 2. “Having the ability to grab any part of a wave and drag it up or down in volume is brilliant. And the Spot Healing Brush is pure genius because I will be able to get rid of errant noises from the background of a recording at a stroke, saving so much time and effort.”

With new multi-core processor support and an optimized mixing engine, Adobe Audition 3 helps users save time by allowing them to work with more tracks and effects on the same machine. In addition, on-clip fade handles, a dedicated Top/Tail mode in Edit View, automatic cross fades, and the ability to edit grouped clips together make mixing and editing easier than ever. With fast, accurate tools built into an intuitive workflow, Adobe Audition 3 allows users to spend more time on the creative aspects of their projects.

Adobe Audition 3 includes new features that expand its capabilities for visual editing and restoration. New Adaptive Noise Reduction and multiple phase correction tools help rescue recordings. Editing in the Spectral Frequency display is enhanced with the Effects Paintbrush and Spot Healing Brush similar to the ground-breaking tools found in Adobe Photoshop® CS3 software. Also, the addition of the Marquee Tool to the Spectral Pan and Spectral Phase displays means that users can now visually isolate and edit any sound based on time, frequency, phase, or pan location, further pushing the envelope in editing power and control.

Adobe Audition 3 for Microsoft® Windows® XP or Windows Vista® is expected to ship in the last quarter of 2007 and will be available through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store . Estimated street price for the Adobe Audition 3 software is US $349 for the full version and US $99 for upgrades. Upgrade pricing is available for all past versions of Adobe Audition and Adobe Production Studio.

For more detailed information about features, upgrade policies and pricing, visit www.adobe.com/products/audition.

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4EVER Group Announces Atlanta Video Summit for October 9

The 4EVER Group has announced that its next Video Summit has been scheduled for Atlanta on October 9, at the brand-new Cobb Energy Centre. The revised format will include vendor workshops, the Traveling Trade Show, and the evening Video Summit.

The Atlanta Video Summit will bring together national and regional vendors, videographers from across the Southeast, and the kind of education and networking that only The 4EVER Group can provide.

A special addition to the Atlanta Video Summit will be a semi-final contest in the Iron Videographer competition. "Adding the Iron Videographer semi-final makes the Video Summit even more compelling," said Tim Ryan, Director of Education. "The Video Summit's first-rate programming is complemented by The 4EVER Group's exciting new educational competition."

Registration, which is now OPEN at www.4EVERGroup.org, is free for the day of programming.

An assortment of freshly-prepared food will be served during the Traveling Trade Show. The evening program will consist of several short presentations, before culminating with the selection of the winner in the North-South Iron Videographer competition between Philip Hinkle of Frogman Productions (North) and Terry Taravella of Studio Vieux Carre (South).

More details on the Atlanta Video Summit will be announced by The 4EVER Group in the coming days.

www.4evergroup.org

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Schneider Optics Announces New Century 5-Filter Kit for DV/HDV Cameras

The world’s top maker of professional add-on lenses is introducing Century 4”x4” filters by Schneider Optics. Each member of this new five-filter kit has been specifically selected to meet the unique needs of today’s DV/HDV cinematographers.

Combining superior grade materials, high-end performance, and affordability, Century filters are aimed at becoming a cornerstone in the toolbox of DV and HDV professionals.

To best handle exposure, Century offers two ND filters. The Neutral Density .6 Solid filter reduces transmission by 75%, controlling exposure or depth of field under various lighting conditions without affecting color or contrast. Century’s Neutral Density .6 Soft Edge Graduated filter employs a surface that’s 50% clear and 50% with a neutral density of 0.6 (2 stops), to balance exposure within a scene – for example, the exposure of sky and earth in a landscape, which avoids overexposed blank white skies.

The Century Polarizer reduces glare and unwanted reflections, saturates colors, deepens blue skies, improves contrast, and penetrates haze.

For subtle enhancement of a scene, the Black Frost 1/2 Diffusion filter can be used to flare highlights, mute colors, and tone down contrast, without degrading image quality or black saturation.

Century’s Skintone Enhancer Warming filter adds warmth to skin tones and accentuates foliage and architecture while reducing excessive blue in outdoor open shade. The ideal tool for romantic close-ups, it can be effectively combined with Century softening filters.

Available in October 2007, the new Century DV/HDV series will be offered as 4”x4” size filters, which fit neatly in any standard mattebox filterholder. Filters may be purchased separately, in a hard plastic box designed for safe storage and maximum protection, or together as a kit, complete with a lightweight, multicompartment padded case and a convenient belt loop. U.S. MSRP is $129 for single filters, and $499 for the 5-filter kit.

Like all Century professional accessories for popular DV and HDV cameras, Century filters are available through Schneider Optics dealers worldwide.

www.schneideroptics.com

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Zaxcom Introduces Complete Wireless Audio Microphone Packages

Zaxcom, a pioneering provider of professional audio equipment for the television and film industries, today announced that it has created two new digital audio microphone packages designed to make it easier for broadcasters and ENG professionals to wirelessly transmit and record broadcast-quality audio signals. By packaging many of the company's core products together, Zaxcom is leveraging its collective engineering successes and tailoring the product combinations to meet needs specific to various audio applications.

Built on the company's patented technologies, Zaxcom's new Broadcaster IFB Package includes four TRX900AA transceivers with integrated IFB functionality, one IFB100 transmitter, one RX4900 single-rack receiver unit with four receivers, and other accessories required to support the wireless transmission of broadcast-quality audio, 2.4-GHz IFB signals, and RF remote control.

The new ENG Package, designed to provide ENG audio professionals with a stereo bag-to-camera link with integrated confidence monitoring, is comprised of one TRX900AA with internal recording and IFB support, one STA100 stereo adaptor, one stereo receiver, and one IFB100 transmitter.

"We have been focused on the development of our wireless microphone system for quite a while now, and it's gratifying to see all of our efforts come together in a full-featured system that we can tailor to various uses," said Glenn Sanders, president of Zaxcom. "We're happy to introduce our Broadcaster IFB Package and ENG Package as a means for our customers to get all of the features relevant to their specific industries in a simple, turnkey system that removes concerns of quality or reliability."

Zaxcom's TRX series of digital wireless transceivers first began with the goal of developing the only truly digital modulation transmitter — with no FM-companded audio. Once this task was accomplished, Zaxcom's engineering staff expanded on this industry-first success with the addition of a number of patent-pending features, starting with internal recording for 100 percent error-free audio tracks. To allow users to control the internal recorder, Zaxcom additionally developed an RF receiver for integration into the TRX bodypack to support RF remote control. Later product developments included 2.4-GHz IFB support, timecode reference with integrated timecode jamming, reduced power consumption and heat generation, and stereo transmission.

Both the Broadcaster IFB Package and ENG Package are based on the TRX900AA, part of Zaxcom's TRX digital wireless microphone product family. The TRX900AA was developed for users who need a longer running time and prefer the convenience of using AA batteries, two of which support a 10-hour run time. The TRX900AA includes a 12-hour internal recording capability, with audio quality that is indistinguishable from that of a hard-wire connection. The audio files are recorded directly to a Flash memory card in Zaxcom's fault-tolerant, proprietary format and then transferred as .wav files to either a PC or Macintosh for post-production.

"We take our accomplishment very seriously and are proud to have pioneered a complete audio microphone system with wireless digital modulation, stereo transmission, internal recording, integrated IFB, and acoustic and RF remote control," added Sanders. "Used in varying combinations, these features can provide something for everyone and improve the quality of wireless microphones in a wide variety of applications."

More information about the Broadcaster IFB or ENG packages, as well as Zaxcom's full line of wireless audio systems, is available at www.zaxcom.com or at IBC2007 in the Ambient Technologies stand, 8.481, Sept. 7 – 11, 2007, in Amsterdam.

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Peachpit Releases Apple Pro Training Series: The Craft of Editing with Final Cut Pro

Today, Peachpit announced Apple Pro Training Series: The Craft of Editing with Final Cut Pro by Michael Wohl, the Apple-authorized guide to real-world, professional editing in Final Cut Pro.

Superbly fitted to a semester-length course, this is the ideal advanced-editing curriculum for Final Cut Pro. Director and filmmaker Michael Wohl delivers comprehensive training in the skills editing pros use in the field, with a complete lesson and hands-on project in each chapter. Included are must-know professional techniques for cutting dialogue scenes, action scenes, fight and chase scenes, documentaries, comedy, music videos, multi-camera projects, and more. Two DVDs of excellent, professional footage and project files accompany the book.

Author Michael Wohl, widely respected as one of the preeminent experts on Final Cut Pro, was part of the original engineering team that designed the award-winning Final Cut Pro interface and workflow. He is also an award-winning filmmaker who has written, directed, and edited independent films for more than fifteen years. He has taught and designed curricula at UCLA, AFI, and San Francisco State University and has spoken at film festivals and conferences including Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, Cinequest, DV Expo, Macworld, and NAB. Michael’s other books include Apple Pro Training Series: Advanced Editing Techniques in Final Cut Pro 5 and the forthcoming Apple Pro Training Series: The Craft of Editing.

www.peachpit.com

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LightScribe Enhances CD and DVD Labeling Quality

LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling today announced enhancements that reduce graininess and improve fine detail reproduction for LightScribe's DVD / CD labeling. The stunning results are instantly visible on photos, graphics and text on LightScribe CDs and DVDs.The enhanced image quality is available immediately through a free upgrade of the LightScribe system software and requires no additional changes to customers' systems or new hardware and media. LightScribe customers will experience the image quality improvement when they update to the latest version of theLightScribe system software, available for download on www.lightscribe.com.
 
The LightScribe system software will also be preloaded on LightScribe-enabled personal computers and included with DVD writers. The new enhancements do not impact LightScribe labeling time and work with all LightScribe media -- CDs, DVDs, and color background CDs.

"Enhancing image quality demonstrates LightScribe's ongoing commitment to improving the customer experience," said Kent Henscheid, marketing manager for LightScribe. "With the new system software enhancements, customers can now burn LightScribe CDs and DVDs with even better results."

LightScribe -- a laser DVD / CD label burning technology found in many popular brands of disc burners, laptops and PCs -- gives people the ability to easily burn silkscreen-quality photos, graphics, images and text directly onto LightScribe CDs and DVDs. A simple title printed in normal mode will typically take a couple of minutes. A fuller disc image will take approximately 15-20 minutes. LightScribe CDs are available in original gold, red, orange, yellow, blue and green.

LightScribe-enabled CDs, DVDs, software, desktops, notebooks, aftermarket optical disc drives and duplicator systems are available at major retailers worldwide, as well as through most leading brands online.

www.lightscribe.com

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Sony Bolsters Blu-ray Disc Player Line with Two New Models

Sony introduced two additional Blu-ray Disc™ (BD) players today offering a full range of features. Optimized for the home theater enthusiast and designed with input from dealers and consumers in mind, the new BDP-S2000ES model is the first Blu-ray Disc player in Sony’s “Elevated Standard” (ES) line. This model, as well as the new BDP-S500, which complements Sony’s current BDP-S300 BD player, features full high-definition 1080/60p and 24p True Cinema output. They support 7.1 channel linear PCM and Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby® Digital Plus, as well as dts-HD™ High Resolution Audio bitstream output via HDMI™ (ver1.3).

“Consumer support of Sony’s Blu-ray Disc products has been outstanding and the new models are targeted to satisfy the demand of those who crave an even greater level of entertainment and performance,” said Chris Fawcett, vice president of marketing for Sony Electronics’ Home Product Division. “From the enthusiast level of our ES line down to the entry-level models, our commitment to the finest quality video and sound delivered by the BD format has never been stronger.”

The BDP-S2000ES model features dual shield construction, which prevents dust from collecting on the BD drive, and a rigid drive bracket to minimize vibration. The player also sports a rigid beam chassis that reduces internal vibration, improving playback.

Similar to other Sony ES products, the unit’s aluminum insulator feet help isolate the player from external vibrations, while separate audio and video boards deliver better sound and picture quality. The unit also includes the IR-in feature for custom installation market.

The BDP-S2000ES and BDP-S500 units both offer 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio bitstream output, which is optional specification of HDMI ver1.3. This makes them a perfect match for the recently announced STR-DA5300ES and STR-DA4300ES AV receivers, which also feature the ability to decode the advanced audio codecs. The new BD players also feature Dolby TrueHD, along with the Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio decoding function via HDMI, to offer a better sound experience with existing receivers.

The Blu-ray Disc players feature 1080/60p and 24p True Cinema output. They are compatible with most standard DVDs and feature 1080p upscaling through HDMI to capable HDTV sets, improving the picture performance of existing DVD libraries.

The new players support AVCHD discs encoded with x.v.Color™ (xvYCC) technology, an international standard for wide color space. The standard expands the current data range of video by about 1.8 times, allowing the players to output more natural and vivid colors similar to what the human eye can actually see. The players also feature compatibility with an array of video formats, including BD-R/RE (BDMV mode), DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW (Video Mode), CD, CD-R/RW (CD-DA format), MP3, and JPEG on DVD recordable media.

Both the BDP-S2000ES and BDP-S500 players incorporate BRAVIA® TheatreSync™ through HDMI. This allows for integrated operation with a compatible BRAVIA flat-panel LCD HDTV sets and audio/video receivers. With the touch of a button, you can easily power on and synch the inputs of compatible Sony AV devices connected to the players via HDMI for hassle-free enjoyment of high-definition Blu-ray Discs.

The units offer optical and coaxial digital audio outputs, along with 5.1 channel decoding capability for backward compatibility with existing A/V receivers. The new BDP-S2000ES and BDP-S500 players will be available this fall for about $1,300 and $700, respectively. They will be offered at Sony Style stores, online at sonystyle.com, at military base exchanges, and at authorized retailers nationwide.

www.sonystyle.com

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LG Electronics Launches Second-Generation Dual-Format High-Definition Disc Player

LG Electronics, the first company to introduce a dual-format high-definition disc player, today unveiled its second-generation LG Super Blu Player (model BH200). Sporting both formats' logos, LG's new high-def player is capable of Blu-ray disc and HD DVD playback with advanced BD-Java and HDi interactivity, enabling consumers to choose from the widest variety of high-def content regardless of disc format.

On display for the first time at the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) EXPO 2007 (booth #720), LG's Super Blu Player will be available to U.S. consumers and custom installers in mid-October at a suggested retail price of $999.

The BH200 further strengthens LG's position as an innovator. Seven months ago, LG was the first to launch a dual-format high-def disc player, the award-winning BH100. That technological breakthrough has been widely recognized as a groundbreaking product with industry accolades including CNN's Best of CES, CNET's CES 2007 Best in Show and Home Video categories and Popular Mechanics' CES Editor's Choice Award.

"LG introduced the world's first high-definition dual-format player to focus on consumer needs and to end the confusion caused by the current format war," said Allan Jason, vice president of consumer electronics marketing at LG Electronics USA, Inc. "The launch of BH200 reinforces our leadership position and offers consumers and custom installers a best-in-class next-generation high-definition media player."

Mark Horak, executive vice president for Warner Home Video, the only major studio supporting both the HD DVD and Blu-ray disc formats, said, "The availability of movie titles on competing high-def disc formats is a challenge for both retailers and consumers. The introduction of the second-generation LG Super Blu Player addresses this challenge by fully enabling both high-def formats on one convenient player, encouraging the adoption of next-generation disc technology and growing the market."

The Super Blu Player offers increased HDTV entertainment choices, because it can play 50 to 60 percent more high-def movie titles than either single-format player. With full networked interactivity available from selected HD DVDs, and the capability to handle networked "BD-Live" interactivity in forthcoming Blu-ray discs, it is the latest available technology that plays both disc formats.

Viewers can enjoy advanced options such as "Picture-in-Picture" available from many Blu-ray discs as well as HDi web-connected interactivity available from many HD DVDs. Access to these features enables viewing of storyboards, production videos and director's commentary as the movie is playing, as well as accessing up-to-date information. The Super Blu Player also accepts additional entertainment content via a network connection, making for an unmatched entertainment experience.

In addition to supporting the latest high-def disc technologies, the Super Blu Player is the ideal match for movie enthusiasts and even music enthusiasts as it supports audio CDs and the ability to up-scale standard DVDs to 1080p resolution.

"With its improved features and functionality, the BH200 is perfect for the custom installer in search of the next-generation player as it eliminates the need for a second player and the additional cables it requires," said Tim Alessi, director of consumer electronics marketing at LG Electronics USA, Inc. "With full support for features available on both Blu-ray discs and HD DVDs, it serves as the flagship of the LG home video product line and complements the company's expanded line-up of 'Full HD' 1080p flat-panel HDTVs."

The LG Super Blu Player, which can output up to 1080p video resolution at 24-, 30- and 60-frames-per-second, supports various A/V formats, including MPEG-2, VC-1, H.264 video, MPEG1/2 audio, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital+, DTS and DTS-HD audio. The unit also includes multiple inputs/outputs such as HDMI 1.3 out, component/composite video outputs, digital optical and analog audio outputs as well as a LAN Ethernet port for network interactivity.

LG Super Blu Player customers will enjoy superior quality video output with HDMI 1.3 Deep Color output to improve color tones and achieve finer color gradations to deliver the smoothest and most brilliant video output available. The player also features QDEO(TM) advanced video processing for superior up-scaling accuracy up to 1080p, improved noise reduction and consistent color precision.

The new Super Blu Player incorporates LG's SimpLink connectivity solution, enabling easier control of other LG SimpLink compatible equipment. The units are connected with an HDMI cable and use the HDMI-CEC communication standard. This allows the user to control other components on-screen or directly from each component. The BH200 also is equipped with a USB Media Host for easy access to digital music and photo libraries.

www.LGusa.com

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Maxell Introduces Recordable Blu-ray Discs for Hi-Def Camcorder Market

Maxell Corporation of America, the technology and marketing leader in advanced data storage media, announced today that it will begin shipping a new 8cm Blu-ray BD-R write-once and BD-RE rewritable discs for the HD camcorder market. The Maxell 8cm single layer Blu-ray BD-R and BD-RE are compatible with the latest Blu-ray camcorders providing a recording capacity of 7.5 GB allowing the disc to store one hour of full high-definition picture quality at 1920 x 1080 pixels.

The new Maxell 8cm Blu-ray products were developed to provide larger storage capacities with maximum performance to ensure that personal memories recorded with this latest technology can be enjoyed to their fullest capabilities and will be protected over time. The new products feature a special HG hard coat technology (hard coat layer) to protect the recording surface from scratches, dust and fingerprints, which can cause playback errors in camcorder media.

The Maxell 8cm Blu-ray discs will be available in the U.S. starting in September to coincide with the release of Hitachi's new Blu-ray camcorder. Discs will retail for $24.99 for the write-once single sided disc and $34.99 for the rewritable version. The product will also feature Maxell’s consumer friendly packaging with easy to read specifications and usage.

“The market for HD content has significant upside, and we believe that as people see their home movies with richer texture, images and sound as a result of HD technologies available on the market, they won’t turn back,” said Don Patrican, vice president of sales and marketing for Maxell Corporation of America. “With this latest addition of recordable Blu-ray media for camcorders, our category expertise allows us to help our customers navigate the latest HD technologies ensuring they have the right products at retail stores.”

www.maxell.com

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