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Streaming Media
November 21, 2003

Table of Contents

Disc Makers Introduces Autograph6
Matrox Offers Premiere Pro Parhelia Plug-In
nNovia's SmartHub Delivers Intelligent DV Networking
AJA Announces New Io Products
Visual Circuits Unveils Addition to Firefly Family
Leitch Launches Updated VelocityQ Training
LabelWhiz Introduces CD/DVD Label Kit
NAB to Launch Worship Technology Conference
Review: Magix Movie Edit Pro 2004

Disc Makers Introduces Autograph6

Disc Makers, an independent media manufacturer, has unveiled its new Autograph6 CD and DVD inkjet printer. The Autograph6, priced at $890, is an affordable, high-volume inkjet printer designed to work with automated disc duplicators. Its droplet size of 3 picoliters is the smallest on the market, providing sharp images and vivid colors.

The Autograph6 reproduces vibrant colors at 4800x1200 dpi on any inkjet printable CD or DVD. It is compatible with Windows 98, 2000, ME, and XP, as well as Disc Makers' Elite family of automated disc duplication systems. The printer is fast; testing shows as many as 70 prints per hour with most designs. For laying out the graphics to be printed on the disc, the Autograph6 comes with Discus software. Adaptor kits for printing on CardDiscs and 3" discs are available for $99 each. Disc Makers provides a one year warranty and lifetime technical support on the printer as well. 

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Matrox Offers Premiere Pro Parhelia Plug-In

Matrox Graphics Inc., the manufacturer of professional graphics solutions, announced a new What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) plug-in developed for Adobe Premiere Pro. It enables video output support with the Matrox Parhelia graphics card. This remarkable plug-in allows Premiere Pro users to output their video creations to an external video monitor or a tape deck when in Parhelia's single- and dual-display plus TV output mode, enhancing software non-linear editing (NLE) productivity and efficiency.

The Matrox Parhelia is the industry's first graphics card designed to feature Dual-display plus TV output support. This configuration allows users to extend timelines, toolbars, video windows, and control effects menus across two RGB displays, while having a video monitor available for viewing of clips and projects. What's more, this WYSIWYG plug-in for Premiere Pro is the third in a family of Adobe plug-ins available with Parhelia, offering video output support with Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop. The WYSIWYG plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro is available in December 2003 as a free download for registered Parhelia users. It can be accessed from the Matrox Graphics website at the following link: home.cfm

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nNovia's SmartHub Delivers Intelligent DV Networking

nNovia Inc., the OEM manufacturer of professional Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) and other complimentary DV products, announced that it is shipping SmartHub. Managing both networking and compliance issues, SmartHub is the first "switchable" IEEE-1394 6-port hub designed with the intelligence required to manage interconnected 1394 devices. SmartHub provides more than connectivity. Standard 1394 hubs in the market today must be power-cycled every time a device is added or removed to "re-address" the devices on the network.

SmartHub manages and preserves these addresses and resources required by connected devices in the same way a router performs that function in a traditional local area network (LAN). Each device connected to SmartHub can be switched in or out of the network at any time, allowing a variety of configurations to be implemented and used without having to "reboot" the network. It can even be utilized in 6-port DV/DA applications. SmartHub's intelligence is especially helpful when trying to isolate problematic or conflicting 1394 devices from the rest of a 1394 network. SmartHub supports both asynchronous and isochronous data, and is compatible with all digital video formats.

It is also fully compliant with the IEEE-1394 command protocol as well as its Isochronous Resource Management (IRM) and Cycle Master Designation (CMD) subset utilities. IRM and CMD help organize and monitor IEEE-1394 networks, but they can only operate with devices that are fully IEEE-1394 compliant. SmartHub is priced at $399 and is available for immediate delivery. DVideosystems and a worldwide team of dealers and distributors handle sales for nNovia products.

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AJA Announces New Io Products

AJA Video Systems announced two new products in the Io family, Io LD and Io LA. Both support 10-bit uncompressed video available on both the digital and analog inputs and outputs. These smaller and lower-cost relatives of Io are application specific: Io LD is designed to work with SDI digital systems, and Io LA is for analog component or composite systems.

An important feature of lo LD and lo LA is their versatility over analog and digital outputs as editors can select LD or LA according to their needs. Both Io LD and Io LA work with Final Cut Pro 4 and connect to the Apple Power Mac with a single 400mb FireWire cable. Like Io, Io LD and LA have multi-channel 24-bit audio, RS-422 machine control, and Genlock. Because of their small size, Io LD and Io LA can be used in either a desktop configuration or be mounted in an optional 1 RU mounting bracket, also available from AJA.

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Visual Circuits Unveils Addition to Firefly Family

Visual Circuits announced shipment and availability of 2 Channel Firefly. The product is the first member of the Firefly family to offer in-service field expansion from two to four channels. The upgradeable 2 Channel Firefly joins the Firefly product family, which now includes the newly released Firefly SC (Single Channel) and the 4 Channel Firefly product. Investing in the 2-channel functionality of Firefly costs $2995.

The Firefly field upgrade costs $1600, allowing Firefly customers access to the most reliable digital video player they want, and the four channel media delivery when they need it. Additionally, Firefly now incorporates scrolling text, a third party device (display) control with serial commands, and remote monitoring with industry standard SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol). Firefly's intuitive Media Messenger software completes the package, allowing remote management of playback scheduling for one to hundreds of devices. It also offers full visibility of simple log files that report all digital video activity controlled by Firefly.

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Leitch Launches Updated VelocityQ Training

Leitch Launches Updated VelocityQ Certified Training Curriculum According to Leitch Technology Corporation, the certified training curriculum for the VelocityQ non-linear editing system has been updated to include the new features of the 8.2 version. The first certified training course, "An Introduction to VelocityQ," is a three-day, hands-on course providing in-depth instruction for users new to the VelocityQ editing system.

The "Introduction to VelocityQ" Leitch-certified training course is available through authorized Leitch Post Production training centers in the United States and Canada. A list of authorized training centers can be found on the Leitch web site. 

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LabelWhiz Introduces CD/DVD Label Kit

This kit is aimed at the first time user who will be creating CDs and DVDs in either a home or small office environment. The kit offers any user the ability to create and apply professional and artistically designed labels. This kit contains everything necessary to design, print and precisely affix labels to CDs and DVDs. Included is the LabelCreator Software, a patented one-piece label applicator and a supply of matte labels.

This LabelCreator software offers the user over 1500 background and clipart designs to choose from, plus a selection of fonts which can be used to personalize the label. A unique feature of the new LabelCreator software is the inclusion of design software for other types of labels, including CD-R business card, floppy disk, Jaz, Zip, Audio cassette, Video cassette and address labels. A trial version of the Paint Shop Pro graphics program is also included to aid in the design of backgrounds. Photographs or personal pictures can easily be imported. The software is PC oriented with templates for the most popular MAC graphic programs. A patented, single-piece applicator tool is provided which positions and affixes the label in the right position on the CD-R. The slim line applicator, along with the software, can be stored in a single slot of any standard CD rack. The LabelWhiz labeling kit is available through distribution at a suggested retail price of $7.99. LabelWhiz is a subsidiary of Ace Label Systems, a U.S. manufacturer of computer, business and custom labels.

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NAB to Launch Worship Technology Conference

The National Association of Broadcasters announced that NAB2004, April 19-22 in Las Vegas, will feature a new track, the Worship Technology Conference, which will focus on technologies used in producing programming for churches and ministries. Sessions at the Worship Technology Conference, co-produced by Technologies for Worship Magazine, cover systems integration, television and video production, audio production, multimedia presentation, Internet & webcasting and lighting for broadcasting.

In addition to conference programming, the Sound Mixing Pavilion, will give attendees a taste of what will happen in the sessions. Located in the Radio/Audio Hall, it will showcase condensed presentations from session presenters. The pavilion will feature a hands-on live multi-track DVD project with personal instruction from two audio veterans. Participants will learn everything from setting proper levels to fine-tuning reverb parameters and mixing sound for broadcast.

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Review: Magix Movie Edit Pro 2004

Non-linear editing is a tough field to get into these days. Not so much from a user perspective—PCs and Macs are more powerful and speedy and DV-ready than ever, consumer tools are getting cheaper, easier, and more powerful all the time, and for those who enter at a higher level, market-leading tools like Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere are ascending to mind-blowing heights of acuity, versatility, and performance.

Which is exactly why it strikes me as difficult for newer or lesser-known vendors to break into the field. The established players—Apple, Adobe, Pinnacle, Ulead—offer tools that are both popular and powerful, that would seem to leave little reason to wander outside the mainstream, and little opportunity to break into it. Fortunately, the flaw of this theory lies in the rate at which the video editing market is expanding, particularly at the consumer end, with the arrival en masse of home users with no pre-conceived notions of who's who in the field, for whom none of the names listed above are household words. For these new entrants, a relatively unknown vendor is just as likely to get their business as a market mainstay, which means a product like, say, Magix' Movie Edit Pro 2004 can match up with Video Studio 7 or Studio 8 and sink or swim on its own merits—which, incidentally, are legion.

One thing that's cool about Movie Edit Pro 2004 right off the bat is that all you have to do is click the round, white record button (most likely for DV capture) to discover that it's a true multi-media tool, equipped to capture not only digital video but analog video, analog audio, and digital photography. Granted, most consumer NLEs can capture analog video (given the proper hardware), there are plenty of freeware tools and lots of CD recording suites that can digitize vinyl and cassette recordings, and most digital cameras come with their own capture software. But the last thing most entry-level video editors want to do is install a bunch of different software on their machines and learn a bunch of different interfaces, so having nice, graphically appealing access to all these media options is a great advantage. Naturally, you can also import AVI, MPEG, and QuickTime files for video, popular image file types, plus WAV, ripped CD-Audio, MP3, and MIDI files to populate your project.

I captured roughly 15 minutes of DV using a JVC DVL-315 miniDV camera, which Movie Edit Pro accomplished in real time with minimal artifacting and only a couple of dropped frames, which is par for the course considering I had other apps running during part of the capture. Once you've got your video clips to work with, everything is essentially drag and drop within the main editing window, whether in Timeline or Storyboard mode. This is where the fun begins. Movie Edit Pro 2004 is a joy to use and explore, with lots of features (too many to detail here) and plenty of surprises. Click on "Drives" in the upper-left corner of the Explorer-type window next to the preview window to locate your media files and bring them into the Media Pool or simply drop them into the Timeline. The Timeline offers a bounteous 16 tracks into which you can drop video clips, titles, subtitles, stills, or soundtrack music (each time you drag a video into Track 1, the accompanying audio automatically populates the same stretch of Track 2, but you can mute or replace it at will).

Movie Edit Pro will automatically detect scenes and crossfade them; you can modify transitions by clicking "TransFX" in the top panel to open an enormous effects palette (Magix claims there are 170 options; that sounds about right). Drag and drop them into the appropriate spot in an open track. I particularly enjoyed the "Iris" group of strange and spooky black and white transitions. If you don't like the looks of your captured or otherwise imported video, add filters like "Blur" or "Soften" (avoid "Motion;" that one gave me a "No Global Memory" error and crashed the program when I tried it). As many choices abound for audio, including compression options, spatial adjustments (for different types of rooms or halls), and EQ parameters. Users can also avail themselves of the Video Cleaning and Audio Mixing palettes for refining your content; brightness, color, sharpness, and de-interlace are the video options. It could take years to exhaust the possibilities of this tool.

Click on Make CD/DVD to build your DVD menus. Here you can select menu templates, add background video, audio, audio, or bitmaps (for customization), and assemble simple DVD menus. You can also add an "intro video," and do some confusing "Komposition" stuff that may have lost something in translation (from Deutsch). A DVD remote helps you preview navigation. Click Burn DVD to make your disc, and customize MPEG bit rate, encoding quality (speed vs. quality); within "GoMotion Encoding Parameters," choose aspect ratios, set motion estimation, and more. Here, we're pushing into prosumer territory, since these parameters go beyond what most consumer/home users are familiar with (or interested in), and the "pro" in Movie Edit pro seems increasingly justified.

Clearly, Magix means to do it all, as evidenced by a lengthy manual (in English y Espanol) that culminates into a "Quick Film Course" Appendix that takes you through the whole process—Idea, Synopsis and Screenplay, Cinematic Means, Continuity, Camera Operation, and more. Ambitious stuff, obviously included for the ambitious users Magix has in mind. This tool has an immense amount to offer entry-level videographers and first-time filmmakers looking to hit the ground running and produce pro-quality results. Here's hoping Magix' push for mainstream market visibility pays off, and they manage to get Movie Edit Pro into as many users' hands as possible. If that happens--Studio 8 and VideoStudio 7, look out!

Minimum System Requirements: Pentium II 450mHz PC running Windows 98/98SE/ME/2000/XP, 128MB RAM (256MB recommended), 1GB free hard disk space (5GB recommended), 800x600 display resolution, 16-bit SVGA graphics card w/ min. 4MB RAM, 16-bit soundcard, CD-ROM drive for installation, FireWire capture card.

Magix Movie Edit Pro 2004
Magix Computer Products International Corp.

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