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May 05, 2008

Table of Contents

Sacthler SOOM Tripod System
Imagine Products Announces ShotPut EXpress For Sony XDCamHD EX Cameras
TriCaster BROADCAST Serial Digital Portable Production System is Now Shipping
Apple Updates iMac
Adobe and Industry Leaders Establish Open Screen Project
TMPG Introduces TMPGEnc MPEG Editor 3 Software for Writing Video to Blu-ray Discs
Synology Targets SMB And Enterprise Markets With Three New Ultra High Performance NAS Servers
30-day Free Trial of Primera Technology's New Network Software
Rainbow Colors and Duplicator-Grade Quality Distinguish Aleratec DVD-R LightScribe Media

Sacthler SOOM Tripod System

Is the whole greater than the sum of the parts? That’s the question I set out to answer when I tested Sachtler’s SOOM on a series of event shoots. With three components that function on their own or can combine to become a tripod system, I was reminded of the original Transformers cartoon series and animated movie, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2006. The most interesting characters were the Constructicons, the first combiner Transformers, because in addition to being able to transform from their robot mode to a vehicle mode, they were also able to combine to become a larger and more powerful Transformer called Devastator.

As a marketing tool, creating combiner Transformers was a smart move for Hasbro; kids needed to collect all five Transformers in order to be able to perform the third and most impressive transformation. For the writers, having a more powerful combiner Transformer created great storylines, but they were smart enough to ensure that despite the larger size and combined forces of the combiner Transformers, they were never able to perform well in battle. Would the limitations of the Transformers combiners hold true for Sachtler’s SOOM? Or would it be able to perform equally well as individual pieces and a combined system?

The SOOM system ($2,490; $3,570 with FSB6 fluid head) is more than just a tripod. It has an ingenious mid-level spreader that transforms into a low-level baby tripod and a center post that transforms into a monopod. As a part of the tripod system, the components add the mid-level spreader and center post features that I wish my regular tripods had. On their own, they offer a range of possibilities: The FSB 6 fluid head can be fitted on the main tripod, the baby tripod, and the center SOOM tube as a monopod.

That’s not a typo—I have two tripods: a Manfrotto 055SSB with a 503 head and center post, which I use on uneven ground and over chairs for stage events, and a Vinten Vision3 tripod with a ground-level spreader, which I use for even ground. Although I’ll always need one tripod for each of my cameras, a SOOM system has me covered regardless of the location. It gives me options that my two tripods don’t have: namely, the ability to extend higher when fully extended, top set lower as a baby tripod, and to use freer as a monopod.

figure 1 31 Shoots
Since receiving my review system from Sachtler, I’ve had ample opportunity to test the SOOM in a variety of different shooting environments over the past 60 days—31, to be exact—from Victoria, Vancouver Island on the West Coast, to Montreal in eastern Canada, and back to British Columbia’s "northern capital," Prince George. Thirty-one locations in 60 days is a lot of location shoots in a short time, but it would have been the 32nd shoot—or rather, the first of 32—that would have allowed the SOOM to show off its combiner mode and outperform my existing tripods.

The day before the SOOM arrived, I was filming a cheer competition from a balcony. The balcony’s railing was high and I needed more height in order to avoid framing the railing in the shot when the cheerleaders used the front of the floor. Not yet having the SOOM when I did that shoot (but knowing it was due to arrive soon) gave me a clue as to how valuable this device could be in certain shooting environments. Fully extended, the SOOM reaches 92" from floor to tripod plate, height I could have sorely used for that cheer event. I made due by fashioning a riser out of aerobics stepper blocks and positioned myself and the tripod on them. But I would not have needed to raid the gym storage room if I had the SOOM.

On the subsequent 31 shoots, I found that with the SOOM I never really had to worry about what I was going to be shooting to determine which tripod to bring. The SOOM does it all and it does it in style.

Getting There
The black Petrol case that shipped with my SOOM system is monogrammed with the SOOM logo in white and red and is lined with a rich, red velvet material. At 42", it’s as long as the main tripod with the head attached. The case matches the mostly black, carbon fiber 2-stage legs and head which also have some items trimmed in red, such as the feet and knobs. The case is double wide at 12" to allow room for the center post next to the tripod. I wish Sachtler would have made the case just 5" longer so that when in combiner mode (with the center post as part of the main tripod), the tripod would fit in the case. That small quibble aside, the extra room is welcomed and a great place to put XLR cables and extension cords.

In true SOOM transformer fashion there are four ways to carry the case: The center straps combine to form a handle so you can hold the tripod at your side, a shoulder strap allows you to carry the weight on one shoulder, the top handle allows you to pull the tripod behind you thanks to the luggage-inspired wheels at the base, and a side compartment unzips to reveal a pair of nicely padded backpack-style straps and a waist strap that frees your hands and gives you a narrow profile.

All my tripod cases have center handles and shoulder straps, so the wheels and top handle are welcome additions that I found myself using more than the other options. I actually thought I wouldn’t ever use the backpack straps, and for most of my testing, I didn’t. On most locations, I had an assistant or a flat dolly cart that made transporting my equipment much easier. But it was on my final shoot, a gymnastics competition, that I benefitted by this hidden fourth carrying method. I had to bring my rolling camera case and tripod trough a crowd of spectators jammed in the gym’s lobby. I figured if I tried to carry the tripod at one side I would be bumping into innocents the whole way. I also didn’t want to be pushing one case and pulling the other; it simply took up too much room in a crowded space. So I carried the case like a backpack, albeit one that topped my head by a good 6". Suddenly, the crowds parted as they saw the approaching tripod case looming overhead – I’ll have to remember that trick for next time.

figure 1 A Head for Business
The FSB 6 fluid head performed similarly to the smooth action of my Vinten Vision 3 fluid head. However, to allow the head to connect with the SOOM tube, a short claw grip clips to the hollow of the bowl and the grip articuulates around the rounded clip portion. The underside of the tripod needs to be flat for the clip portion, meaning the standard long ball-level column lacks leveling ability, while it is more difficult to use the short claw grip to loosen, balance, and tighten with fingertips only.

While it is more difficult, initially, to balance the SOOM, once the tripod is balanced, making height adjustments using the center SOOM tube is a single-step procedure and is much quicker than adjusting the height of all three legs and then rebalancing.

I found that when I was filming 18 profiles of finalists for a business award, the initial and subsequent tripod setup and adjustments took less time, which makes a difference when you are on a tight schedule. I think it also goes without saying, although I will put it in print, that with its three levels of drag on both the pan and tilt and 10 levels of counterbalance, the FSB 6 head outperforms my Manfrotto 503 fluid head, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone as it doesn’t have the four levels of counterbalance that the newer 503 HDV does. Although the Vinten 3 can be modified to handle different weights of cameras by changing the internal spring, this doesn’t compare to the ease of use that Sachtler allows with its 10 levels of counterbalance that you can dial in on the rear knob—no assembly required.

I usually don’t pay much attention to pan handles, but when I couldn’t attach my LANC controller due to the skinny Sachtler pan handle, I took notice. A wad of gaffer’s tape unrolled on the handle fixed the problem, but I feel it’s worth noting.

figure 1 Sticking Points?
I’ve never been a big monopod user, mostly because I have never owned one. So when I equipped the SOOM tube with the sturdy FSB6 head and my Sony HVR-Z7U, my first monopod weighed in at a little less than 14 pounds. Although a bit on the heavy side, the SOOM-as-monopod impressed me with the smoothness I was able to achieve on my dips, overhead shots, and mini-crane shots, all requiring the use of both my hands. I’m now excited with the new types of shots I can add to my shot list when I shoot off the sticks.

During those 31 location shoots, I filmed a lot of conferences on the sticks from the backs of conference rooms. Being zoomed-in to full telephoto magnifies any bumps, shakes, and tripod-stiction on pans and tilts. The SOOM integrated very well into this workflow and was equally adept while I was filming a gymnastics competition, which had me running between the floor, uneven bars, vault, and balance beam continually for 2 long days. The tripod legs came together easily, and, with the camera attached, it proved easy to carry and set up again between the different apparatuses.

So is the SOOM truly more than meets the eye? Has it overcome the limitations that plagued the combiner Transformers? Judging by its performance on the road, I’d say yes. Now it’s time to transform and roll out.

Shawn Lam (video at shawnlam.ca) runs Shawn Lam Video, a Vancouver video production studio. He specializes in stage event and corporate video production and has presented seminars at WEVA Expo 2005-7 and the 4EVER Group’s Video 07. He won an Emerald Artistic Achievement Award in Stage Production at Video 08.

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Imagine Products Announces ShotPut EXpress For Sony XDCamHD EX Cameras

Imagine Products, Inc. announced today the release and general availability of ShotPut EXpress(tm) a new, automated offload application for Sony EX SxS cards. Now you can securely backup Sony XDCamHD EX based video projects while streamlining your workflow from acquisition to archive. Available for Mac or Windows (Intel-Mac, Windows XP and Vista computers).

ShotPut EXpress(tm) features Single card (manual) and Multiple card (auto) modes. Simply insert the SxS card into a PowerBook or Notebook's ExpressCard slot and ShotPut EXpress(tm) makes secure, verified copies of the SxS card's video contents (the BPAV folder) in up to three (3) locations.

ShotPut EXpress(tm) makes a printable activities report log of all the file transfer activities. This text file shows all the details including names of cards and files, the copy destination names, file sizes, duration of each transfer and aggregate transfer time, date, etc. A great way to document and organize your project and billable time.

Why Use ShotPut EXpress?

  • Fast Copying: Perform copies at top speed without the overhead of Finder or Explorer.
  • Automatic or Manual Copies: Manually select one or more drives to copy. Or use the auto offload mode to sequentially copy SxS cards upon insertion.
  • Easy Folder Naming: Save time and improve consistency and organization by auto-naming the copy folders.
  • Improve Workflow: Make up to 3 simultaneous SxS card copies at the same time.
  • Reformat Cards: After offloading is finished, automatically Erase the BPAV folder contents and Rename the card so it's ready to return to the camera.
  • Security: Verify byte-to-byte comparisons of your media copies to ensure integrity of the files.
  • Verification Report: Create a record of file transfer activity, how the copies were named, time, date, etc. Save complete details for project organization and billable time.
  • Print Offload Log: Offload results are presented in a text file, printable with the click of a button.
  • Session Error Checking: Prevents overwriting of existing folders and duplicate offloading of the same card.
  • Progress Bar: Displays overall percent completion and file-by-file progress during the copy process.
  • Copy Cards or Disks: The BPAV contents of any mountable volume (drive) can be copied.

ShotPut EXpress is a single user, download application. Help and Users Guide in PDF format available. When you purchase, the serial number provided may be used with either the Mac or Win versions of the software. Available now. Just $49.00.

Imagine Products

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TriCaster BROADCAST Serial Digital Portable Production System is Now Shipping

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, today announces it has begun shipping TriCaster BROADCAST™, its latest portable live production and virtual set system that offers producers the most extensive list of benefits and flexibility to date. With a small footprint that fits comfortably in even the most space-constrained environments, TriCaster BROADCAST offers easy set up, seamless one-person or team operation and NewTek’s LiveSet™ technology, which makes it possible to turn small spaces into larger-than-life network style studios.

"Whether doing a live production from a sporting event such as the Major League All Star Game, a music event such as the MTV video music awards or from thousands of schools, city halls, corporate boardrooms or houses of worship, TriCaster is the choice of producers around the world," said Michael Kornet, NewTek’s Chief Marketing Officer. "With the introduction of TriCaster BROADCAST and its serial digital solution, the growing family of TriCaster products now provides all of the capabilities of a live digital production truck in a small package for an ever-growing list of video and web streaming producers."

Offering unprecedented flexibility, TriCaster BROADCAST allows producers to quickly connect and mix up to six serial digital, component, composite and Y/C camera’s to provide full coverage of any event. Users can switch six cameras with a shared preview monitor or three cameras with a dedicated preview for each. TriCaster BROADCAST’s integrated character generator provides users the ability to create custom titles, motion graphics, scrolls and crawls. It can also lock any title or graphic upstream to any input. Dual VCRs may be assigned to scrolls, crawls and motion titles. Operators may also easily cut to video using the on-board DDRs at any time without the need for another person to cue up the content.

In addition, TriCaster BROADCAST includes the following benefits:

  • Full support for both 4:3 and 16:9 broadcasting
  • Multi-format live clip playback
  • Up to three external displays, Mac or PC, can be imported as a switcher input
  • Flash, Windows Media and VC-1 streaming support
  • Serial Digital BNC connectors provide increased durability and reliability for camera hook-ups
  • Four balanced XLR or phone jack connectors for professional audio mixing
  • Simultaneous recording of full-screen .avi while archiving a Web stream
  • iVGA under scan to select whether or not an external VGA input fills the entire video frame
  • Cleaner keying and ease-of-setup with an optimized LiveMatte™ engine
  • Integrated video editor, with improvements based on SpeedEDIT 1.5
  • Additional tools that will allow customized LiveSet™ virtual sets created with LightWave 3D v9
  • Virtual Sets


The LiveSet™ proprietary virtual set system in TriCaster BROADCAST allows virtual sets to be assigned independently to each of six camera inputs and the dual integrated DDRs. In addition, each input has an independent LiveMatte™ module eliminating the need for expensive keying or frame-sync hardware. Each live virtual set supports multiple angles, focal lengths and secondary video sources, such as on-screen monitors. The photo-realistic LiveSet engine allows real-time reflections, refractions, bump maps and more.

Pricing and Availability
TriCaster BROADCAST NTSC is available in North America for $11,995US. TriCaster BROADCAST is also available internationally in multi-standard PAL/NTSC versions. For more information, please visit www.NewTek.com.

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Apple Updates iMac

Apple® today updated its all-in-one iMac® line with the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors and the most powerful graphics ever available in an iMac.

With prices starting at just $1,199, iMac includes faster processors with 6MB L2 cache and a faster 1066 MHz front-side bus across the entire line, and 2GB of memory standard in most models. The 24-inch iMac now offers a 3.06 GHz Intel processor and the high-performance NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS graphics as options, extending iMac's lead as the ultimate all-in-one desktop computer for both consumers and professionals.

"The iMac's gorgeous aluminum and glass all-in-one design has been an incredible hit with our customers and is just one of the reasons Mac sales are growing three and a half times faster than PC sales," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With the latest Intel processors, a faster new graphics option and more memory, customers now have even more reasons to love the iMac."

Packing dual-core performance into the convenience of a striking all-in-one design, the new iMac includes faster Intel Core 2 Duo processors across the line; a 1066 MHz front-side bus; up to 4GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory; and a widescreen flat-panel display supporting millions of colors. For the first time, the 24-inch iMac features an optional NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS with 512MB of video memory, to deliver up to two times standard performance for graphic intensive applications. Providing the latest in high-performance connectivity options to quickly and conveniently transfer digital photos, music and video, iMac includes built-in AirPort Extreme® 802.11n Wi-Fi networking for up to five times the performance of 802.11g; Bluetooth 2.1+EDR; Gigabit Ethernet; built-in iSight® video camera; a total of five USB 2.0 ports (including two on the Apple Keyboard); and one FireWire® 400 and one FireWire 800 port.

The iMac furthers Apple's commitment to environmental progress with highly recyclable and durable materials including scratch-resistant glass and professional grade aluminum. Every model in the iMac line is rated EPEAT Silver and the power-efficient iMac also meets the stringent Energy Star 4.0 requirements for power consumption. Customers who purchase any qualifying Apple computer can recycle their old PC or Mac® for free via the Apple Recycling Program.

Every Mac in the Apple lineup comes with iLife® '08, the most significant update ever to Apple's award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications, featuring a major new version of iPhoto® and a completely reinvented iMovie®, both seamlessly integrated with the new .Mac Web Gallery for online photo and video sharing. Every Mac also includes Leopard®, the sixth major release of the world's most advanced operating system which features Time Machine(tm), an effortless way to automatically back up everything on a Mac; a redesigned Finder(tm) that lets users quickly browse and share files between multiple Macs; Quick Look, a new way to instantly see files without opening an application; Spaces, an intuitive new feature used to create groups of applications and instantly switch between them; a brand new desktop with Stacks, a new way to easily access files from the Dock and major enhancements to Mail and iChat®. .Mac members can use the new Back to My Mac feature to browse and access files on their home computer from a Mac over the Internet while on the road.

Pricing & Availability
The new iMac line is available immediately through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers.

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Adobe and Industry Leaders Establish Open Screen Project

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the Open Screen Project, supported by a group of industry leaders, including ARM, Chunghwa Telecom, Cisco, Intel, LG Electronics Inc., Marvell, Motorola, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics Co., Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Verizon Wireless.

The project is dedicated to driving rich Internet experiences across televisions, personal computers, mobile devices, and consumer electronics. Also supporting the Open Screen Project are leading content providers, including BBC, MTV Networks, and NBC Universal, who want to reliably deliver rich Web and video experiences live and on-demand across a variety of devices.

The Open Screen Project is working to enable a consistent runtime environment -- taking advantage of Adobe(r) Flash(r) Player and, in the future, Adobe AIR(tm) -- that will remove barriers for developers and designers as they publish content and applications across desktops and devices, including phones, mobile Internet devices (MIDs), and set top boxes. The Open Screen Project will address potential technology fragmentation by enabling the runtime technology to be updated seamlessly over the air on mobile devices. The consistent runtime environment is intended to provide optimal performance across a variety of operating systems and devices, and ultimately provide the best experience to consumers.

To support this mission, and as part of Adobe's ongoing commitment to enable Web innovation, Adobe will continue to open access to Adobe Flash technology, accelerating the deployment of content and rich Internet applications (RIAs). This work will include:

  • Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
  • Publishing the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player
  • Publishing the Adobe Flash(r) Cast(tm) protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services
  • Removing licensing fees - making next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free

"Adobe is spearheading the Open Screen Project with support from industry leaders who share a common vision to provide rich, interactive experiences across computers, devices and consumer electronics," said Shantanu Narayen, chief executive officer at Adobe. "A consistent, more open platform for developers will drive rapid innovation, vastly improving the user experience."

Adobe Flash Player is the world's most pervasive client runtime, delivering unparalleled creative options, highly engaging user experiences, stunning audio/video playback, and universal reach. Content for Adobe Flash Player reaches over 98 percent of Internet-enabled desktops and more than a half billion handsets and mobile devices today.

Adobe expects more than one billion handsets and mobile devices to ship with Adobe Flash technology by 2009. Flash technology is used to deliver vector graphics, text, interactivity and application logic, video and sound over the Internet. More than 75 percent of broadcasters who stream video on the Web use Flash technology. Adobe AIR is the next-generation RIA runtime for the desktop, supporting HTML, Ajax, Adobe Flash technology and PDF.

The digital explosion across multiple screens is raising consumers' expectations for engaging experiences wherever and however they connect with content. Web browsing on mobile devices is becoming commonplace, but delivering a consistent rich Internet experience remains a challenge. To ensure that user expectations are fulfilled, software applications and video must work seamlessly across multiple devices and content must be easily available across those devices.

Support for Rich Web Content and Applications Everywhere
Companies supporting the Open Screen Project share Adobe's vision that a consistent and more open platform across devices will drive rapid innovation that will ultimately be good for consumers. The participants in the Open Screen Project are leading companies in the mobile, desktop and device ecosystems that will contribute in unique ways to this project.

"Delivering a highly responsive, uncompromised Web and rich media experience to consumer devices and the digital home is a key focus for ARM and our partners," said Warren East, CEO, ARM. "The Open Screen Project with Adobe enables ARM and our partners to optimize and deploy Flash Player and Adobe AIR across billions of ARM Powered(r) devices and unlocks the ability for hardware optimizations on future ARM(r) processors."

"The market is transitioning from the connected home office to the multimedia enabled home," said Ned Hooper, senior vice president, Corporate Development, Consumer and Small Business Group at Cisco. "Through our Linksys by Cisco product leadership, we can transform life's experiences by effortlessly connecting people to their digital world at home, at work and on the move. We share a common vision with Adobe and the Open Screen Project, and expect to work together to help enable the fusion of Web, television and user-generated content delivered anywhere, at any time and to any device."

"Consumers always want more from their devices," said Doug Fisher, Intel Vice President and General Manager, System Software Division. "Flash Player already reaches the vast majority of Internet-connected computers, and our deep technical collaboration with Adobe will optimize Flash technology and Adobe AIR across a broad range of devices, including a version of Adobe AIR for the Mobile and Internet Linux project, moblin.org. Intel's broad and rich hardware and software ecosystem combined with Adobe's Open Screen Project will help us deliver a full Internet experience, whether it be in your pocket, on your lap, at the office or in your living room."

"Users clearly want full functionality, the same look and feel, and a similar instantaneous user experience as they have on their PCs," said Dr. Sehat Sutardja, president and chief executive officer at Marvell. "We are very excited Adobe is making this happen through the Open Screen Project by unifying the software requirements across all platforms. Marvell is contributing to the success of this effort by providing PC class computing horsepower through our advanced application processor technology that is used in many of our mobile and consumer devices."

"As a long-standing champion of open standards, Motorola supports Adobe's Open Screen Project and its goal of enabling a more open development experience for the ecosystem," said Christy Wyatt, vice president, software platforms and ecosystem, Motorola. "We expect the Open Screen Project to further accelerate the use of Flash technology and innovation in mobile applications, interfaces, and platforms, allowing mobile users to experience the richness of the Web on a variety of new devices."

"Our approach is to empower fans, Web developers and publishers to access, share and interact with our content freely across platforms," said Mika Salmi, President, Global Digital Media, MTV Networks. "We're embracing the Open Screen Project so that our fans can continue not only to enjoy our brands, but also build and contribute to them on every device and screen without limitation."

"NBC Universal delivers a majority of our content in the FLV format across more than 20 streaming video players on our numerous digital properties. We're excited about supporting this project, which will reduce barriers to Flash technology adoption on non-PC devices and help ensure NBC Universal content can be seen anywhere," said Darren Feher, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at NBC Universal. "Clearly, devices continue to increase in importance as a means to access rich content and applications, and we are delighted to work with Adobe to deliver great experiences through these additional distribution channels."

"As a long time strategic partner of Adobe, we are pleased to help launch the Open Screen Project and applaud Adobe's move toward removing barriers to adoption of Flash technology in the mobile ecosystem. Nokia will continue to deploy Flash runtime technologies on our devices," said Lee Williams, Senior Vice President, Nokia Devices Software. "Nokia has a long history of pioneering the deployment of Flash technology in the mobile market and we look forward to exploring future opportunities with Adobe AIR for devices. Today's announcement will help spur a new generation of rich Internet experiences on mobile devices."

"NTT DoCoMo has long been challenging the evolution of mobile services and Adobe Flash technology has been a crucial part of our success and the work of thousands of mobile developers in Japan," said Kiyoyuki Tsujimura, Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Products & Services Division of NTT DoCoMo. "As a longtime strategic partner and innovative operator delivering Flash to millions of mobile customers, we applaud Adobe's move as the next essential step to enable even richer and more expressive mobile experiences. We look forward to working with Adobe and the members of the Open Screen Project to deliver a consistent application runtime environment to devices everywhere."

"Qualcomm welcomes Adobe's Open Screen Project," said Steve Mollenkopf, senior vice president of product management for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. "It aligns well with our BREW mobile platform and highly-integrated chipset solutions, allowing an expanded ecosystem of developers to bring applications and services to users of a wide range of 3G mobile devices."

"A broad range of our handsets are Flash-enabled based on our belief that an engaging and integrated mobile application and Web experience is essential to our users. Adobe's Open Screen Project will help to further expand the use of Flash technology across the full family of Sony Ericsson mobile devices to energize communication," said Rikko Sakaguchi, Head of Portfolio and Propositions, at Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. "Flash technology and Adobe AIR are natural fits to Sony Ericsson's strategy of building on the best of the Open Web Standards and will help provide new mobile experiences to millions of users around the world."

"The Open Screen Project will make it simple for Verizon and our partners to deliver rich mobile experiences to more devices," said Mike Lanman, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Verizon Wireless. "As a complement to our Open Developer Initiative, Adobe's move and our ability to contribute to this initiative will further enable developers and content providers to deliver the next generation of applications using Flash technology and Adobe AIR across mobile platforms and devices worldwide."

For more information about the Open Screen Project, visit the website.

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TMPG Introduces TMPGEnc MPEG Editor 3 Software for Writing Video to Blu-ray Discs

TMPG, Inc., the company that makes digital video easy, is about to make Blu-ray Disc creation easier. TMPGEnc MPEG Editor 3 is an easy to use, frame-level cut video editing software package loaded with many advanced features including the ability to output and burn to the Blu-ray Disc (BDAV) high definition video format. The free trial is currently available for download at the TMPG website. The full retail version will be available May 14th at $64.95 per license. A special limited-time discount price of $51.95 will also be available for all registered TMPGEnc product owners.

"TMPGEnc MPEG Editor 3 offers state-of-the-art technology to smoothly edit high-definition video, plus a host of Blu-ray Disc oriented features. As more professional and amateur videographers embrace high definition video recording, there will be an increasing demand for good software to edit and write video to Blu-ray Disc," commented TMPG Inc. CEO Kimi Matsuki.

"Now users can capture high definition and other digital video directly from many sources to quickly edit and output in a high definition format. Its robust interface, combined with Blu-ray Disc and DVD-Video writing capabilities makes digital editing easier than ever before," added Matsuki.

Other powerful features of MPEG Editor 3 include set top DVD Recorder (DVD-VR) support, DVR-MS support, integrated Dolby® Digital sound, fit-to-disc transcoding, VRCopy DVD-RAM importing and writing tool, Smart Rendering, multiplexing and de-multiplexing and more. The software is optimized for IntelT dual and quad core processors.

Blu-ray Disc
Now users can output and burn to Blu-ray Disc (BDAV). This is a great option for users who have high definition footage from sources such as an HDV camcorder. Single and dual layer BD-RE (Ver.2) and BD-R (Ver.1.1/1.2) discs are supported.

High Definition Video Editing
Users can capture video directly from a HDV camcorder to TMPGEnc MPEG Editor 3 via an i.LINK/IEEE 1394 interface.

Easy DVD Authoring
Another new feature is the ability to output and burn to DVD-Video. The user can even create a simple DVD menu (fixed template). A Writing Tool is also included for users that have video content ready for burning to Blu-ray Disc or DVD.

Video Transition Effects
The Transition Editor allows users to choose a transition effect, set the duration, and preview the video. The new Transition Selector helps make it easier to find the type of transition the user is looking for among the 171 different effects. Examples of the new transition effects are Star, Keyhole, Checkerboard, Fan, Flip and Roll.

Improved User Interface
Improved utilization of the video processor's power makes navigating high definition clips easier. And with the Smart Scene SearchT feature, where users can quickly find the next or previous scene change, searching for that one scene during video editing has never been easier.

DVD Recorder Editing
The software allows DVD recorder users to import footage directly into MPEG Editor 3. Remove commercials or unwanted scenes and play the file back on a DVD recorder since the software processes video with virtually no re-encoding.

Smart Rendering
Smooth-cut editing is assured with advanced Smart Rendering technology, which only re-encodes edited frames instead of the entire movie.

VRCopy Tool
Powered by Panasonic and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., the VRCopy tool allows users to read and write to DVD-RAM discs. Many DVD recorders use DVD-RAM discs; the VRCopy tool can be used to import content so it can be edited and then output it back to a DVD-RAM disc.

www.tmpg-inc.com

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Synology Targets SMB And Enterprise Markets With Three New Ultra High Performance NAS Servers

Synology America Corporation today announced three new ultra-high performance SATA NAS Servers that offer up to 4TB capacity and 49MB/sec RAID 5 reads, and up to 30MB+/sec RAID 5 writes, making them the fastest non-PC RAID 5 NAS Servers available. In addition to blazing fast performance, the 3 new models offer green design with 8W CPU power consumption, compared with about 80W CPU power consumption for a typical PC server, and are well suited for SMB and entry level enterprise installations.

Synology has created a new NAS experience with it’s recently released Disk Station Manager 2.0 NAS management software, and it comes standard with all three new models. In addition to being easy to set up and use, the software brings new applications to NAS servers that were once only available with PC-based servers. Website hosting, PC-less downloads, surveillance video recording & playback with IP cameras, and photo blogging are only some of the applications that are now enabled with Disk Station Manager 2.0, bringing the utility of a NAS server far beyond simple networked storage.

New Model Details

  • Disk Station DS508 – 5-bay desktop SATA NAS Server with hot-swappable drives and up to 4TB* capacity using 1TB drives using RAID 5 implemented. RAID 0/1 is also supported;
  • Rack Station RS408 – 4-bay rack mounted SATA NAS server with 1U form factor, hot-swappable drives, and up to 3TB* capacity using 1TB drives with RAID 5 implemented. RAID 0/1 is also supported;
  • Rack Station RS408RP – 4-bay rack mounted SATA NAS server with redundant power supply that kicks in if the primary power supply fails; 1U form factor, hot-sappable drives, and up to 3TB capacity using 1TB drives with RAID 5 enabled. RAID 0/1 is also supported.

"The FTP and FTPS capabilities of the Synology DS508 make it a great low-cost solution for secure data protection" said Tom Podnar, President of Microlite Corporation, an independent software developer (ISV). "We’ve benchmarked the DS508 at an amazing 66.3MB/sec on FTP reads and 33.3MSec on FTP writes, making it by far the fastest desktop NAS server we’ve seen."

Synology NAS Servers fully support Windows ADS authentication, are NFS, Telnet, SSH ready, support FTP with SSL/TLS, and support HTTPS. While Synology NAS Servers are inherently reliable, they have the ability to notify the network administrator when a drive or cooling fan is failing or has failed. This system monitoring feature greatly reduces the down time. Synology DS508 and RS408 series are ideal for companies with limited IT resources.

Pricing & Availability

  • Disk Station DS508 - list price of $1,029.95, ships in June
  • Rack Station RS408 - list price of $1,499.95, ships in July
  • Rack Station RS408RP - list price of $1,799.95, ships in July

Please visit the Synology website for additional information and to locate a reseller or distributor.

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30-day Free Trial of Primera Technology's New Network Software

Primera Technology, Inc., the world's leading developer and manufacturer of CD, DVD, and Blu-ray disc duplication and printing equipment, today announced the availability of its new PTPublisher NE (Network Edition) Software. The software is available immediately as a free 30-day trial on the Primera website.

PTPublisher NE Software allows multiple users in an office to share a single Primera automated disc publisher. Primera's disc publishers automatically burn and print quantities of CDs, DVDs and optionally, Blu-ray Disc Media. Supported models include the Primera Bravo II, BravoPro and Bravo XR-Series Disc Publishers.

After installing PTPublisher NE software, users can send burn and print jobs from any client Windows(TM) XP/2000/Vista PC on the network. The software comes with an unlimited number of client licenses for just US $599 (MSRP) – about half the price of competing network disc publishing software.

"With PTPublisher NE, networked disc publishing is now as easy as printing to a networked laser printer," said Mark D. Strobel, Primera's Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "We are excited to be able to provide such easy to use, 'best-in-class' network software that takes the mystery – and the high price – out of networked disc publishing."

www.primera.com

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Rainbow Colors and Duplicator-Grade Quality Distinguish Aleratec DVD-R LightScribe Media

Aleratec Inc., leading developer and manufacturer of "Prosumers' Choice" solutions for the USB, Flash, HDD, Blu-ray, DVD/CD, duplicating, and DVD/CD publishing markets, is now shipping its new Aleratec color coded duplicator grade LightScribe DVD-R recording media. Aleratec duplicator grade LightScribe media is optimized for LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling DVD Duplicators and Publishing Systems producing the highest contrast LightScribe Direct Disc Labels and maximum yields in demanding professional disc publishing applications. The new Aleratec duplicator grade LightScribe media is produced in 5 different colors to aid in segregating and organizing different types of data or multimedia. These color-coded discs are LightScribe–ready and can be direct-to-disc LightScribe labeled in LightScribe DVD-RW drives without a printer. The Aleratec Rainbow 100 Pack™ contains 20 each of 5 key colors (red, orange, yellow, green, and blue) for a wide range of disc identification options.

"With the success of our LightScribe DVD/CD publishing systems growing daily, more and more users have emphasized the importance of being able to organize and identify data by subject or classification at a glance, especially in government and corporate applications" stated Perry Solomon, President and CEO. "For example, discs containing government classified information must be color-coded so that the proper handling for a particular level of data contained is obvious. This is just one of the growing needs we have found in our studies and we are excited to offer our Rainbow Pack to take organization and recognition of disc types to the next level."

With LightScribe there is no printer. Direct-to-disc labels are laser burned, crystal clear and professional-looking. No ink or other costly printing supplies are required. Aleratec Direct Disc Publishing Systems utilize LightScribe enabled DVD/CD recorders and specially coated LightScribe media to produce precise, laser-etched, disc labels with superior sharpness and clarity. LightScribe discs can be pre-labeled, for example, by department or classification level and appended with more detail later. With the added advantage of color coding, disc content can be immediately recognized, organized and properly managed. Now sensitive and classified information does not have to be sent offsite to be recorded or duplicated, which is especially important when that practice is forbidden.

"Color-coded discs offer an added level of instant recognition for improved productivity in any fast paced environment where error free performance is critical," said Kent Henscheid, Marketing Manager for LightScribe. "Users will welcome this new dimension to Aleratec’s LightScribe DVD-R media. Color-coding is a natural extension to LightScribe’s inherent characteristics of crisp, clear, silkscreen-quality labels."

The Aleratec DVD-R 16x LightScribe V1.2 Duplicator Grade Rainbow 100 Pack is packaged in stackable cake boxes for easy storage and access to blank media. The Aleratec LightScribe DVD-R Rainbow 100 Pack (Aleratec Part No. 230115, Ingram Micro SKU Q41358, Tech Data SKU 01471I) is now available at the low estimated retail price (ERP) of $89.99.

Aleratec has an extensive offering of duplicator grade LightScribe recording media. Burn text and images directly onto the disc surface, right from your computer. No special markers, printer labels, or inks required. LightScribe labels are laser-etched using the same LightScribe-enabled drive that burns your data.

  • LightScribe CD-R 52x V1.2 Duplicator Grade Rainbow 100-Pack Aleratec Part # 110117, Ingram Micro SKU M45065, Tech Data SKU 58360H ERP $74.99
  • LightScribe DVD+R 16x V1.2 Duplicator Grade 100-Pack Aleratec Part # 300114, Ingram Micro SKU N18153, Tech Data SKU 01470I ERP $89.99
  • LightScribe DVD-R 16x V1.2 Duplicator Grade Media 100-Pack Aleratec Part # 230114, Ingram Micro SKU L79686, Tech Data SKU 58358H ERP $89.99
  • LightScribe CD-R 52x V1.2 Duplicator Grade 100-Pack Aleratec Part # 110116, Ingram Micro SKU K88068, Tech Data SKU 58357H ERP $74.99

The full line of Aleratec solutions, and accessories is featured at 4SURE.com, AAFES, Adorama, Amazon.com, B&H Photo Video, Best Buy, Buy.com, CDW, Circuit City, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Insight, J & R, Mac Connection, MacMall, Meijer, Micro Center, NewEgg, Office Depot, PC Connection, PC Mall, PC Nation, ProVantage, Quill, Ritz Camera, Staples, Target, Tech Depot and Wal-Mart in addition to other leading retailers. Government and Education customers may purchase from Government and Education Specialists including AAFES, B&H Photo Video Gov, Best Buy Gov/Ed, CDW-G, CompuCom, EnPointe, GovConnection, GTSI, Insight Gov, PC Mall Gov, Pomeroy, Sayers, Shi.com, Softchoice, telcobuy, TIG, and Unisys. All products are available to resellers in the U.S. through D&H Distributing, DBL Distributing, Ingram Micro, and Tech Data; in Canada through D&H Canada and Ingram Micro Canada; in Latin America and the Caribbean through Tech Data Miami.

www.aleratec.com
www.lightscribe.com

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