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November 29, 2005

Table of Contents

Glass Houses: Independent Media Manufacturers Need Camaraderie
Matrox Axio Release 1.5 Now Shipping
Specialized Communications Corporation Announces Companion Product to Panasonic P2 Technology
Matrox Graphics to Demo Parhelia APVe and New DualHead2Go at DV Expo West 2005
PowerFile Teams With SENCOR to Deliver Scalable, Cost Effective DICOM-Compliant Archive Solutions
LG Electronics Announces Availability of Digital Media Recorder with Microsoft Program Guide
BOXX Partners With MaxPro Leasing, LLC to Offer Flexible Financing Options for BOXX Workstation
TVMyPod Introduces Pre-loaded Video iPod

Glass Houses: Independent Media Manufacturers Need Camaraderie

Independent media manufacturers unite! In an environment of intense competition, if you don't know about The American Independent Media Manufacturers Association (AIMMA), and the Colonial Purchasing Co-op, you should. While the members of these organizations are your competitors, members have found there is enough work for everyone and networking with people in the same situation as you is helpful to the overall business climate.

"At most of our meetings, we have a lawyer present to make sure we don't get into trade problems. We really help each other out. It has been wonderful," says newly elected AIMMA president Jad Porter, who is also president of DVC Dubs in Indianapolis.

The Colonial Purchasing Co-op was formed about two years ago by 13 small- to medium-sized independent replicators. Hence, the Colonial name. By joining this purchasing co-op, the companies gain greater buying power for the materials they need. The members of Colonial Purchasing are able to level the playing field with larger replicators that buy the same amount of material on their own. The co-op now has 21 members. "We've had great partnerships and successes with companies like GE Plastics and Sericol who guarantee us that we will get our supplies during the crunches and for the best price," explains Doug Franzen, president of the Co-op as well as executive vice president of Eva-Tone in Clearwater, FL.

The Co-op sends out queries to companies that sell the goods members need. Once the Co-op reviews the replies and settles on a vendor, then makes contact with that vendor and establishes credits. The purchasing goes much the same way as it does now, but member companies have to abide by the rules, for example, buying a certain quantity of product. In return, rebates typically come back to the Co-op which ultimately distributes the rebates to members based on their buying power. "This year we will be distributing more than $2 million in rebates," says Franzen.

While these associations are completely separate, membership certainly overlaps. AIMMA was founded in 1987 as the American Video Duplicators Association (AVDA) to accommodate video duplicators. The main reason it was founded was because JVC was charging royalties all across the board for the VHS logos, Porter says. Since most video shells have the logo on it, JVC was charging "some of our members as much as 12 cents a shell, while bigger theatrical replicators were paying as little as 2 cents/shell." AVDA hired lawyers, took JVC to court, and got the price standardized to 3 cents for everybody.

Three years ago, the AVDA opened their membership to replicators and mastering companies, and the organization's name was changed to AIMMA. Membership now stands at about 40. About 90 percent of the organization consists of principal company officers. While it is not required, AIMMA recommends that members be either the president or the CEO of the company they represent in the association. "We have people pounding on our doors to be members that are vendors. We don't allow vendors to be members. You have to be a manufacturer. It keeps the membership pure. That way we are all focused on the same thing," says Porter.

AIMMA is involved in best-practices issues and legal issues, and is interested in exploring new technologies, as well as providing a forum for members to learn about the latest advances in media manufacturing. And reportedly of equal interest to the association are issues which surround the manufacturing process such as packaging, postal distribution, international trade practices, and manufacturing standards.

"We have a change to our by-laws in motion right now that will require all members be licensed. I think this will be a big plus," says Porter. At the last meeting in November, an update was given on CD royalties. Royalties are usually valid for 25 years, and most have expired. There are only two left, and they are very limited. DVD royalties are currently being investigated. "We think there are about three legitimate royalty companies to pay—6C, 3C, MPEG LA, and that adds up to 11.5 cents," he says.

AIMMA meets twice a year, once in conjunction with a leading trade show and then again at an alternate geographic location. The next meeting will be held May 5-6 in Nashville. The Colonial Purchasing Co-op and AIMMA often have meetings at the same time so that they may share meeting space.

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Matrox Axio Release 1.5 Now Shipping

Matrox Video Products Group has announced that release 1.5 software for the Matrox Axio family of HD and SD editing platforms is now shipping. This new release provides realtime native HDV and DVCPRO HD editing support with the ability to mix HD codecs or SD codecs on the timeline in real time. Other release 1.5 features include realtime high quality downscaling from HD to SD, the ability to edit HD formats on Axio SD systems, and additional realtime effects such as mask blur, mask mosaic, four corner pin, and track matte.

Matrox Axio makes Adobe Premiere Pro the foremost realtime HD and SD editor for demanding broadcast and post-production environments. It features no-render HD and SD finishing in compressed and uncompressed formats, superior color correction tools, advanced realtime effects, and a full range of analog and digital audio and video inputs and outputs. It incorporates Matrox Flex 3D and Power of X technologies to leverage scalable CPU power with the explosive performance of dedicated 3D graphics hardware to provide the ultimate SD and HD editing experience.

There are two Matrox Axio platforms to choose from. Both offer ultra high performance editing in all HD and SD formats. They differ only in the audio and video inputs and outputs provided on the interchangeable breakout boxes. Both Matrox Axio platforms offer the following:

  • Guaranteed full quality, full frame rate, full resolution playback at up to 1080i at 29.97 fps
  • At least 2 layers of uncompressed 10-bit HD video plus 2 layers of graphics in real time, with effects
  • At least 4 layers of uncompressed 10-bit SD video plus 6 layers of graphics in real time, with effects
  • Realtime primary and secondary color correction with shot-to-shot color matching
  • Realtime 3D DVEs, chroma/luma keying, speed changes, blur/glow/soft focus, and much more
  • Uncompressed 8- or 10-bit HD and SD editing - Native HDV and DVCPRO HD editing
  • Compressed HD editing (offline and online finishing-quality MPEG-2 I-frame)
  • DV, DVCPRO, DV50, and MPEG-2 I-frame SD editing
  • Realtime mixing of HD codecs or SD codecs on the timeline
  • 24 fps editing in HD and SD with pull down and reverse pull down
  • Realtime high quality downscaling from HD to SD Matrox Axio HD I/O - DV-1394, SD SDI, and HD SDI input and output
  • RGB and YPbPr analog component output
  • 4-in/8-out AES/EBU balanced audio, 8-in/8-out SDI embedded audio Matrox Axio SD I/O
  • DV-1394, composite, Y/C, analog component, and SDI video input and output
  • 2-in/2-out RCA and XLR audio, 8-in/8-out SDI embedded audio
  • Upgradeable to Matrox Axio HD by simply adding the HD breakout box

Matrox Axio release 1.5 is now available for free download from the Matrox Web site by registered Matrox Axio owners. Matrox Axio systems are available worldwide through a network of authorized dealers. The software and hardware components are integrated by the dealer into an approved workstation-class PCI-X computer, coupled with a robust storage subsystem, and delivered as a turnkey system. Dealers also provide on-site installation and training services.

Matrox Axio HD systems start at $17,000 US in North America. Matrox Axio SD systems start at $13,000 US in North America. Prices include Axio hardware and software, the complete Adobe Video Collection Standard, and the workstation. Storage is extra.

www.matrox.com/video

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Specialized Communications Corporation Announces Companion Product to Panasonic P2 Technology

Specialized Communications Corporation has announced that its latest product, the CinePorter Model CP-2, will debut at the Government Video and Technology Expo 2005 (GVExpo 2005). Working closely with Panasonic P2 technology, Specialized Communications Corporation is developing the CinePorter as a complimentary option for P2 users.

"Panasonic has made great strides in moving the industry to a tapeless video format with P2 technology and has changed the video industry forever. Working closely with Panasonic P2 technology to develop the CinePorter has allowed us to expand on that technology by offering more options to P2 users," says David Linetsky, president, Specialized Communications Corp. "The CinePorter  will work like a very large P2 card while writing to a shock-mounted on-board hard drive."

It will assist users who "need a longer recording time," according to Andrew Hoffman, senior operations manager, Specialized Communications Corp. "At the end of the shoot you move all your files to your editor right from the camera. You can remove CinePorter from the camera and take it anywhere, or attach it to another camera and keep recording."

The CinePorter is small and has an independent power source.

www.spec-comm.com

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Matrox Graphics to Demo Parhelia APVe and New DualHead2Go at DV Expo West 2005

Matrox Graphics Inc., a manufacturer of graphics solutions for professionals, has announced that in the Matrox Booth 349 at DV Expo West 2005 in Los Angeles from December 7-9, the company will be demontsrating the Parhelia APVe for creative professionals, as well as for the unveiling of the brand new DualHead2Go, a highly portable, easy-to-use solution that upgrades a laptop to dual external displays. Whether you are looking for a PCIe x16 graphics card for your video editing workstation, or an external upgrade to bring DualHead® capabilities to your laptop, Matrox offers the perfect multi-display solutions to enhance your digital editing workflow.

The Matrox Parhelia APVe is a feature-filled graphics solution highlighted by its industry unique Dual-display plus simultaneous YPbPr HD component, composite or s-video output, providing the ultimate graphics platform for video editors looking to work with either DV or HDV projects. This, combined with Matrox's WYSIWYG video output plug-ins for Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and After Effects - as well as for a whole host of other popular applications - makes it a productive video editing and compositing graphics solution.

The new Matrox DualHead2Go is an external multi-display upgrade that sits outside of your system and provides a completely new way to add multi-display support to a laptop. The DualHead2Go takes the existing single monitor display output (i.e. external VGA output) from your system and expands it into dual display outputs, allowing you to run your Windows desktop at up to 2560 x 1024 resolution stretched across two displays. Furthermore, when using DualHead2Go in conjunction with the built-in display of your laptop, you can actually benefit from a 3-display set-up.

www.matrox.com/graphics

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PowerFile Teams With SENCOR to Deliver Scalable, Cost Effective DICOM-Compliant Archive Solutions

PowerFile, Inc., a provider of online archive solutions for long-term storage of fixed digital content, will showcase a joint solution with SENCOR, a leading provider of fixed content storage data management software, at RSNA 2005. A high-profile event for radiology and healthcare professionals, RSNA will take place in Chicago from November 27 to December 2, 2005.

Addressing the most complex data storage and management needs of the healthcare industry, the joint PowerFile-SENCOR solution facilitates viewing and archiving of medical images across geographically dispersed locations. The solution enables image viewing at diagnostic, reporting, consultation, and remote computer workstations, as well as centralized archiving of pictures on fully-integrated storage appliances that combine the simplicity and performance of Network Attached Storage (NAS) with reliable, industry-standard DVD media.

The PowerFile-SENCOR partnership was formalized after extensive collaboration between the two companies on the development of Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) archive that is compliant with the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard. PACS allows communication using local or wide-area networks, public communications services, systems that include modality interfaces, and gateways to healthcare facility and departmental information systems. The DICOM standard was developed to meet the needs of manufacturers and users of medical imaging equipment for interconnection of devices on standard networks.

www.powefile.com

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LG Electronics Announces Availability of Digital Media Recorder with Microsoft Program Guide

The "world's first" dedicated "digital media recorder" with the Microsoft Program Guide service is now available at leading consumer electronics retailers nationwide, LG Electronics has announced. The LG LRM-519 Digital Media Recorder is a combination digital video recorder (DVR) and DVD recorder powered by Windows Media Center Technologies with a 160GB hard drive for increased recording flexibility.

The LG LRM-519 has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $599.95. The Microsoft Program Guide service is available through three subscription options: a one-month subscription for $9.99, a one-year subscription for $99.99 or a one-time subscription for $249. Subscription cards are available for purchase from retailers wherever the LRM- 519 is sold; monthly and one-time subscriptions can be purchased and activated on-line at http://www.microsoftprogramguide.com.

Supporting the product launch is a consumer promotion that LG is offering in conjunction with Microsoft. Consumers who sign up for a One-Time Microsoft Program Guide service subscription by March 1, 2006 are eligible for a $100 rebate from Microsoft, bringing the price of the subscription to half of major competitive offerings. Consumers who choose to pay monthly can save $36 a year compared with competitive offerings.

For home theater enthusiasts who aren't always at home when their favorite TV program airs, the LRM-519 can record and store cable, satellite or over- the-air programs for enjoyment anytime. In addition, the LG Digital Media Recorder's two USB ports make it easy to plug in a compatible external hard drive of any size to instantly expand storage capacity to however many hours the customer desires. The Microsoft Program Guide service makes it easy to search up to 14 days of programs by title, keyword or category; allowing new programs and old favorites to be discovered and automatically recorded at the touch of a button. Any scheduled recording can be configured to record only once or for an entire season of shows, making it easy for users to decide exactly what will be recorded. The Microsoft Program Guide also provides the engine for the "parental controls" features that allow parents to monitor the programs their families can access.

The LG LRM-519 can pause "live" TV up to 90 minutes, stopping to take a TV break or going back to review an earlier scene or program is no problem. And for those less-interesting TV moments, one press of the remote control's skip button automatically jumps forward 30 seconds in time. Of course, even home theater enthusiasts sometimes need to leave the living room. For those times, the LRM-519's ability to quickly save stored programs to DVD will allow TV shows to be played back on the go, wherever there is a DVD player. With support for the widest variety of major DVD recording formats, including the latest DVD+R Dual Layer recordable discs, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW, DVD recording and playback compatibility are not a concern.

In addition, the LG LRM-519 Digital Media Recorder can be easily added to the home network via wired Ethernet or an 802.11a/b/g wireless connection. Using a high-speed connection through the home network or even through a standard analog telephone modem connection, access to the Microsoft Program Guide service data is fast and easy. With a connection to the home network, TV shows can quickly be sent to the home office for viewing or archiving on a PC running Windows XP or Windows XP Media Center Edition. Further, JPEG photo files, MP3 and WMA music files stored on the PC -- or even on a variety of portable devices such as portable digital music players, digital cameras and USB thumb drives that had previously been confined to the PC's small screen and tiny speakers -- can now be accessed through the LRM-519 for slideshow playback and enjoyment by the whole family in the home theater environment.

www.LGusa.com

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BOXX Partners With MaxPro Leasing, LLC to Offer Flexible Financing Options for BOXX Workstation

BOXX Technologies, Inc., a supplier of workstations designed to meet the special computing requirements of visual effects professionals, has partnered with MaxPro Leasing, LLC to offer purchasing options for BOXX systems that fit the business requirements of digital content creators.

For more details regarding MaxPro financing options, visit www.boxxtech.com.

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TVMyPod Introduces Pre-loaded Video iPod

One of the first things users noticed about the new video iPod was that it takes a long time to convert videos to iPod format - up to two minutes per minute of video. Recognizing that few people have that kind of time to burn, two Massachusetts entrepreneurs have formed TVMyPod (http://www.tvmypod.com), where consumers can buy brand-new iPods pre-loaded with the DVDs of their choice.

With nearly 100 television shows from ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and HBO and over 100 movies, sports events and concerts to choose from, TVMyPod offers something for everyone. Can't find the DVDs you want? No problem - TVMyPod will locate what you want and customize your order.

Here's how it works: Customers purchase the iPod and the DVDs of their choice; TVMyPod then converts the DVDs to iPod format and loads them onto the iPod at no extra charge. The customer receives the loaded iPod in its original packaging, along with each of the DVDs he or she purchased. The launch of TVMyPod is especially timely: With the holidays just around the corner, the company offers an easy way to give loved ones video iPods without giving them the headache of loading their favorite television shows and movies onto the apparatus themselves. And TVMyPod is the first company to load video onto customers' iPods legally. "

 In the future, TVMyPod plans to offer the service of loading existing iPods with DVD collections; the company may also offer a subscription service to allow customers to have their iPods periodically re-loaded with new DVDs. Although the TVMyPod Web site is still being updated for graphic appeal, navigation is simple and the site is user-friendly overall.

For more information or to order a video iPod pre-loaded with DVDs, visit TVMyPod at http://www.tvmypod.com.

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