A new report from Research and Markets notes that as analog switch off looms in both the US and Western Europe - and competition increases in the sector - it is essential for players across the value chain to have an understanding of market trends, dynamics and industry developments.
MPEG-4 (H.264) is the standard, but Adobe FLASH and Windows Media are also important.
Handsets are only one way to receive Mobile Video Services. Personal Computers (PCs), Portable Media Players (PMPs), Navigation Systems, and other devices will all be in the mix.
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Belo Q2 Earnings Release and Conference Call
Belo Corp. will issue a news release regarding its second quarter 2007
earnings on Friday, July 27, 2007, at approximately 7:30 a.m. Central
Daylight Time. A conference call to discuss the earnings release and other
matters of interest to shareholders and analysts will follow at 1:00 p.m.
CDT that afternoon.
The conference call will be simultaneously Webcast on the Company's Web
site (http://www.belo.com/invest). Following the conclusion of the Webcast,
a replay of the conference call will be archived on Belo's Web site.
To access the listen-only conference lines, dial 1-888-428-4480. A
replay line will be open from 4:30 p.m. CDT on July 27 until 11:59 p.m. CDT
on August 3, 2007. To access the replay, dial 1-800-475-6701 or
320-365-3844 (International). The access code for the replay is 880735.
Data Center of the China Internet (DCCI) Releases Video Study Findings
China Internet Conference 2007 and the release of China's Internet market
data for the first half of 2007 was held in Beijing on July 9, 2007. A
study released by the Data Center of the China Internet (DCCI), a
subsidiary of the Internet Society of China, shows that
http://www.youku.com , a leading video website in China, has steadily
gained market share over other domestic competitors in three key areas:
brand awareness, content popularity and user demographics. In this study,
which aims at identifying the top video sharing brands favored by Internet
users, 25.65% of the Internet users surveyed prefer Youku.com, a proportion
higher than that of any other video website in China.
Online video sharing market is consolidating quickly; brand awareness
is becoming increasingly important in this sector
China's online video sharing industry began to heat up in 2006 and the
market has changed rapidly last year. From a relatively fragmented market
in 2006, the market has quickly shifted as a small number of players with
superior user experience and brand awareness, among them Youku.com, which
has built leadership positions in this emerging sector. As a renowned
Chinese online video brand, Youku.com is committed to build "China's No.1
video website" in 2007 and beyond.
Mr. Victor Koo, CEO of Youku.com, said, "The online video sector will
continue to consolidate in 2007. There may be no more than five operators
in the market by the second half of 2007 and no more than three players by
next year. We are starting to see the turning point in this space."
Research data indicates that the number of online video users in China has
already reached 76 million this year. With monthly unique user base already
exceeding 30 million, Youku.com continues to demonstrate its strong user
The study released by the Internet Society of China (ISC) also examines
the age of Internet users in China and survey findings show that Youku.com
has a higher proportion of users with purchasing power. According to the
ISC survey, 44.1 percent of Youku.com users are over 30, the highest among
the top three video sharing websites in China. By comparison, other online
video sharing sites have less than 40 percent of their users aged over 30.
This age difference is reflected in the differences in content
positioning between the various online video sites. Youku.com focuses on
hot topics and current events in society, entertainment etc. and continues
to attract a more mainstream audience, a user demographic welcomed by
advertisers, agencies and partners alike. The diversified content and
highly active user base create more potential business opportunities for
the company. In the second half of 2007, this market is expected to become
even more defined, with further product and content differentiation to
come. In addition, leading online video sharing websites are also exploring
new revenue models in their path to profitability.
Discovery Threatens HD Pullback Under 'Must-Carry'
Discovery Communications says it might reconsider plans to launch several High-Definition channels if the FCC requires cable operators to carry more signals from local stations, according to an article in Multichannel News.
The FCC is considering a "dual must-carry" rule that would force a cable operator to carry both the analog and digital signal from a local station when the nation switches to Digital TV on February 17, 2009.
The agency is concerned that many Americans will not be able to watch their local channels when the transition occurs because they will still have analog TVs.
The federal government has allocated $1.5 billion for digital converter boxes so consumers can watch digital signals on analog sets. But most analysts believe the funds are not adequate to cover all analog sets in the nation.
However, Discovery said requiring cable operators to carry both the analog and digital signal could reduce cable system space for new high-def channels.
Discovery, which now has Discovery HD Theater, plans to launch several more HD channels this year and next.
“The only certain result of forcing cable operators to carry duplicative broadcast channels is to ensure that innovative non broadcast programming will be crowded out,” Discovery told the FCC, according to Multichannel News.
Several cable industry groups have also filed statements with the FCC protesting the proposed 'dual-carry' rule.
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Avid Q2 Conference Call
Avid Technology, Inc. will hold a conference call to review its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2007, on Thursday, July 26, 2007, at 5:00 p.m. EDT, following the dissemination of its press release on those results.
The dial-in number is: 719.457.2727
The replay number is: 719.457.0820
The confirmation code and replay passcode are: 2323418
The call will also be available via live audio webcast and subsequent replay on the company’s website. To listen via this alternative, go to the Investor Relations page under the About Us menu at www.avid.com.
AVS Graphics shuts down
At the end of June, AVS Graphics and Media, based in the UK, officially shut down. Last month, the company sent an e-mail to its existing customers that read:
“After many years of manufacturing and supporting the AVS Graphics and Media range of products, we are sorry to say good-bye as we close our doors on June 30th of this year. We have worked purely as a supporting company for the last few years and have looked after many of our existing units but due to outdated components and supply of stock we are no longer able to act in this role either. Considering there are over 3000 units out there and we have only had a handful ever really need repairing we feel very proud that we created such as solid product. It has been a pleasure serving all of you and we wish you continued success for the future.”
AVS Graphics and Media manufactured such products as the Manuscript range of character generators. Other products included: MultiBrowse media access software; StillBank, a low-cost, broadcast-quality still store; and SceneChange, shot logging software.
Chyron Announces Special Meeting of Shareholders
Chyron Corporation announced that it intends to hold a special shareholders meeting in New York City in late August 2007, following the mailing in early August of a proxy statement to shareholders of record.
The Company said that the purpose of the meeting will be to take steps to qualify its common stock on the American Stock Exchange LLC (AMEX), where the Company has recently applied for listing. The shareholders will be asked to authorize a reverse stock split of the Company's issued common stock in order to meet the listing requirements of the AMEX. There can be no assurance that the application will be approved.
Michael Wellesley-Wesley, Chyron President and CEO commented, "We believe that listing on the AMEX will improve the liquidity and stability of our common stock, and will broaden the audience of potential institutional purchasers, many of whom cannot buy shares listed on the Electronic Bulletin Board. The wider audience will be, we believe, a benefit to our shareholders."
The ratio of the reverse stock split will be determined during the application listing process, but is characterized in the proxy as between one (1) share in exchange for two (2) shares, and one (1) share in exchange for four (4) shares.
The Company said that an amendment increasing the number of shares in its 1999 Incentive Compensation Plan will also be considered at the meeting.
Harmonic Q2 Results
Harmonic Inc. announced that it plans to report its results for the second quarter of 2007 after market close on July 25, 2007.
Harmonic will host a conference call to discuss its financial results at 3:00 P.M. Pacific (6:00 P.M. Eastern) on July 25, 2007. A listen-only broadcast of the conference call can be accessed on the Company’s website at www.harmonicinc.com or by calling +1.706.634.9047 (conference ID number 6357154). The replay will be available after 6:00 P.M. (Pacific) at the same website address or by calling +1.706.645.9291 (conference ID number 6357154).
Harmonic intends to discuss financial and other statistical information on this conference call. This information will also be available on the Company’s website at www.harmonicinc.com either in the press release related to the above broadcast, by accessing the listen-only broadcast described above or by accessing the replay of the broadcast described above.
Optibase Q2 Report
Optibase, Ltd. announced that it will report second quarter 2007 earnings results on Monday, July 23, 2007 during pre-market hours.
The Company will hold a conference call at 9:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 23, 2007 for interested investors, analysts and portfolio managers. The conference call will be broadcast live as a listen-only webcast. To listen live, please go to www.kcsa.com approximately twenty minutes before the conference call is scheduled to begin. You will need to register as well as download and install any necessary audio software. The webcast will be archived for 90 days.
Scopus Video Networks Q2 Results
Scopus Video Networks announced that it will be releasing its
second quarter 2007 results on Wednesday, August 1, 2007.
The Company will also be hosting a conference call later that same day
at 1:00pm EDT. On the call, management will review and discuss the results,
and will be available to answer investor questions.
To participate, please call one of the following teleconferencing
numbers. Please begin placing your calls at least 10 minutes before the
conference call commences. If you are unable to connect using the toll-free
numbers, please try the international dial-in number.
US Dial-in Number: 1-888-642-5032
UK Dial-in Number: 0-800-917-5108
Israel Dial-in Number: 03-918-0688
International Dial-in Number: +972-3-918-0688
Participants will also be able to listen to the live call from Scopus'
website at http://www.scopus.net in the investor relation section.
For those unable to listen to the live call, a replay of the call will
be available from the day after the call in the investor relations section
of Scopus's website, at: http://www.scopus.net
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Media 100 Announces Version 12.0
Media 100 announced version 12.0; adding support for progressive frame formats and deeper integration with the Boris FX product line. With version 12.0, Media 100 editors will be able to acquire, edit, and master progressive formats. The enhanced integration with Boris FX plug-ins will enable Media 100 editors to apply Boris filters and preset effects directly to individual clips as well as a range of video right from the Media 100 timeline.
”With Media 100’s progressive frame support, users can shoot, edit and output in any of the popular progressive frame rate available in today’s modern cameras and decks. With the Boris FX integration, they will be able to edit and create stunning effects right from the Media 100 timeline. Never before has the editing industry provided such easy to use integrated effects and editing in one package,” comments David Colantuoni, Media 100.
Media 100 12.0 will Q3 2007. Customers holding valid Media 100 Platinum Software Agreements receive version 12.0 free of charge.
Customers can purchase the Media 100 Platinum Software Agreement for $895.00 USD.
Final Cut Pro 6 Review
This review is by Heath McKnight at SCRI's online partner, Digital Media Net.
At the 2007 NAB show in Las Vegas, Apple introduced several new pro video products, including Final Cut Server and Final Cut Studio 2, with new versions of Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, LiveType, Compressor, Cinema Tools and a new product called Color, which is a high end color grading and finishing application (DVD Studio Pro wasn’t updated, however).
Final Cut Pro 6 (FCP 6) is the newest version of the popular non-linear editor (NLE), and things have gotten very interesting. Packing in new features, plus the usual assortment you know and love, FCP 6 is the most powerful version yet! We take a look at some of the new features in this review.
The most popular new features include an Open Format timeline, which means you can share a timeline with different types of video (frame rates, sizes, types, etc.), such as DV at 23.98 fps, 720p30 HD and so on.
Another is the ProRes 422 codec, which can take a large, uncompressed HD file and bring the size down to that of an SD clip, but maintaining the HD resolution. Also, it’s very clean and doesn’t have any sort of artifacts. It’s a little similar to using Apple’s Photo – Jpeg at 75% quality (pjp 75; 4:2:2 YCbCr), which I’ve been using for a couple of years now, following Graeme Nattress’ suggestion. This is a great new codec from Apple that should work well with AJA’s ioHD box, which captures and converts HD to ProRes 422.
ProRes 422, according to representatives at both Apple and RED Digital Cinema, is perfect for editing the 4k resolution clips that the RED ONE produces. It will definitely save on file sizes, considering it’s around 2-4 times the quality of HD.
I did an unofficial test comparing a 15 second, 7 frame animated graphic (1920x1080i50), by rendering and creating five different QuickTime (QT) codecs, as listed below, along with the file size. I did notice that photo – jpeg 75 slightly darkens the video (very slightly). Below are stills taken from the video.
Another new important feature is SmoothCam; Apple says it will take shaky footage and smooth it out. What better way to see if that holds water than to do it. I dropped it on a clip that’s 1 minute, 3 seconds (1:03), and it began analyzing the clip. (Note: the original source material was HDV 1080i50 with CineFrame 25; however, the clip I dropped it onto is 1080p24—23.08 fps—rendered in pjp 75.) It took around 13 hours and 20 minutes (13:20:00) to analyze the clip, and less than 4 minutes to render on a 3GHz Mac Pro Quad with 8GB of RAM.
When it was all done, I did a comparison and was stunned. The SmoothCam feature literally smoothed out a scene that was shot while the DP was walking backwards, holding the Sony HVR-Z1u. Though it was pretty steady, this makes it look more like we shot the scene on a Steadicam or Glidecam. I’m very impressed! I also converted my film “9:04 AM” to Pro Res 422 (the QuickTime movie of the 86:45 film was around 30MB in pjp 75, about 60GB in ProRes 422) and re-did the Smoothcam. It took nearly 24 hours to complete the analysis, and about 4 minutes to render! This is on a 3GHz Mac Pro Quad with 8GB of RAM.
Other new features include better integration with Motion; new features in Cinema Tools and Compressor; more real time FX and filter plug-ins, more audio options; integration with the new Color grading and finishing application, and more.
Ease of Use
FCP 6 is very much the same in design as FCP 4 and 5; I wonder if there will be a change in the look with version 7, which may come out in 2009, following the path set up by Apple over the last few years. FCP 1-3 were very similar, with some changes in appearance, but version 4 began a newer, more streamlined, but still similar look. I only mention this, because I’ve seen some apps happily change the graphical user interface (GUI) for the better, such as DVD Studio Pro 2-4 vs. 1 and 1.5, or for the worse. It’s nice to know the look has stayed the same.
Anyway, if you are familiar with older versions of FCP, other NLEs or even iMovie (to a certain degree), there is no problem with moving into Final Cut Pro 6, which can keep you moving and not trying to figure out where everything is. If you’re new to FCP or non-linear editing, there are plenty of websites, including this one that can offer instruction, books, DVDs and more. Just do a search and you’ll find some great things. However, as usual, Apple provides tutorials and media to get started on learning and cutting.
The new version of Final Cut Pro is an excellent application and a big welcome to this non-linear editor’s tools. Both seasoned and new FCP editors will find powerful new plug-ins and compatibility, along with tried-and-true ones. Get out and grab a copy of Final Cut Studio 2! It is priced at $1299, with an upgrade price of $499 for Final Cut Studio users, and $699 for Final Cut Pro or Production Suite users. For more information, visit apple.com.
HD DVD Group: Player Sales Up 37 Percent
HD DVD player sales jumped 37 percent in the second quarter with disc sales up 20 percent, the North American HD DVD Promotional Group reported.
The group, which consists of companies backing the HD DVD high-def disc format, also said rival Blu-ray player sales fell 27 percent in the second quarter, compared to first quarter totals, and Blu-ray disc sales fell five percent.
The announcement is the latest salvo in the escalating war between the two high-def disc formats. The HD DVD Promotional Group said its numbers were based on NPD reports, Nielsen Netratings and sales data from the studios.
However, previous sales estimates from HD DVD backers have been immediately challenged by the Blu-ray team as inaccurate because they did not include sales of Sony's Play Station 3, which has a Blu-ray player inside.
But the HD DVD group said HD DVD player sales rose in the second quarter because Toshiba slashed the price of its entry-level player from $399 to $299.
"The numbers are clear -- HD DVD is steadily gaining momentum and market share," said Ken Graffeo, executive vice president of HD strategic marketing for Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and co-president of the HD DVD Promotional Group. "With HD DVD CE players now at (suggested retail) prices starting at $299 and with strong marketing campaigns around new HD DVD titles with web-enabled interactive features, we are continuing to raise the bar for the consumer experience."
Microsoft: We Will Decide HDTV DVD Format War
This report is by Phillip Swan, President of SCRI's online partner, TV Predictions.
Microsoft will be the difference in the high-def format war between HD DVD and rival Blu-ray.
That's according to...Microsoft.
Kevin Collins, Microsoft's "HD DVD evangelism director," tells TWICE magazine that the company's HDi interactive technology built into new HD DVD players will entice high-def owners to embrace the format.
HDi enables viewers to re-edit movies, download trailers and participate in online polls among other activities. The interactive features will be found in new HD DVD discs that will take advantage of the player's Internet connection.
"When the first titles with Web-enabled extras come to market, you will start to see the distinct disparity between the formats when it comes to interactivity," Collins told TWICE.
Blood Diamond, which stars Leonard DiCaprio and was recently released on HD DVD, allows viewers to participate in an online poll after watching it.
The HD DVD of the ancient war drama 300, which will be released on July 31, will allow viewers to re-edit the film by rearranging the order of scenes.
Collins told TWICE that one future HD DVD will even allow viewers to purchase clothing featured in the movie.
HD DVD backers hope that the format's interactive features will give it an edge over Blu-ray which recently has enjoyed a 2-1 lead in title sales.
"With the network people can download just what they are interested in and they can get rid of what they are not interested in. You have unlimited capacity," Collins said.
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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Avid Announces Departure of CEO David Krall
The board of directors of Avid Technology, Inc. announced that David Krall will step down from his positions as President, Chief Executive Officer, and board member of the company, at the end of July. Nancy Hawthorne, current board member and former chairman, will serve as the company’s interim CEO as the board begins an immediate search for a new CEO. Krall will be available as a consultant to the company during the transition period.
“Avid Technology has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, through new technology introductions and strategic acquisitions that have broadened the company’s product portfolio and bolstered its position in adjacent digital content creation markets,” said Krall, who has served as president, CEO, and board member for the past seven years. “With Avid’s twenty-year track record helping customers to create and distribute the world’s most compelling media – and numerous opportunities to expand across an increasingly diverse marketplace, the time is right for new leadership at the helm. I’m proud to have played a role in helping Avid become a leading technology and services provider that truly powers the world of digital media and entertainment – and would like to thank every Avid employee, customer, shareholder, and business partner for the contributions they’ve made to the company’s success.”
Commenting on behalf of the board of directors, current chairman Pamela Lenehan, said, “David has been instrumental in transforming Avid Technology’s business – and keeping it at the forefront of the digital media revolution. He has helped direct the company’s efforts to revitalize its postproduction business; secure a leadership position in broadcast news production; grow its audio business through market expansion and product development; and enter the consumer video and audio markets through acquisition. His dedication and loyalty to Avid have been unwavering – and we thank him for establishing a rich foundation upon which the company can build an even brighter future.”
Hawthorne, who currently serves as CEO of the financial advisory and investment firm, Clerestory LLC, has been a member of the Avid board of directors since 1997 and has worked closely with Krall and the Avid senior management team as the company has diversified its business and more than doubled revenues in the last five years. “Nancy’s knowledge of Avid’s day-to-day business – plus her strong financial background and broad expertise with large companies – will serve the company well during this important leadership transition,” said Lenehan. “We’re fortunate to have Nancy engage in this role as we begin our search for a new CEO.”
Previously, Hawthorne was the chief financial officer of Continental Cablevision, Inc. from 1992 to 1996, where she was responsible for treasury, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, accounting functions, and oversaw the company's financial strategy and capital markets activities. Following Continental Cablevision’s merger with US West Inc., she became an executive vice president of the merged company, MediaOne.
Avid, which reaffirmed its Q2 guidance of $220M to $230M in revenue and non-GAAP EPS of $0.15 to $0.20, plans to release its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2007 on Thursday, July 26, 2007.
John Luff Provides Consulting Services
John Luff, the founder and President of Synergistic Technologies, acquired by AZCAR USA in 2000, has hung out his shingle as an independent consultant and is also a SCRI Consultant, having worked on the 2007 IPTV / Mobile Video Report as wel as the 2007 HD / Digital Video Trends Survey. Luff most recently was Senior Vice President of Business Development for AZCAR. After 22 years in the integration and consulting business he is offering his services to manufacturers and users of broadcast hardware and software. He is a Fellow of the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) and the current SMPTE Conference Vice President, and writes a monthly column for Broadcast Engineering Magazine. He speaks often to SBE and SMPTE chapter meetings on a wide range of technology issues. Beginning in 2008 he is Co-Chair of the NATAS Technology Emmy Award Committee.
His involvement in major projects includes the first progressive scan HDTV network origination facility for ABC in New York, as well as the first 720p mobile unit, which covered Monday Night Football in the 1999/2000 season. He has been a Technical Project Manager for the European Broadcasting Union (Eurovision) on large events including coverage of the Hong Kong Handover, the first free elections in South Africa, and numerous events in Eastern Europe and Asia. His experience includes many projects for commercial and public television broadcasters.
His services include business planning and technology planning for broadcast and non broadcast television facilities, project management, and training on broadcast technology topics, including HDTV systems, Centralized Broadcast Operations, and building cost effective facilities.
For further information about Mr. Luff's consulting services, please contact Des Chaskelson, Research Director at SCRI at email@example.com
Avistar Appoints Simon Moss to New Role as President
Avistar Communications Corp., a desktop video collaboration platform provider, announced that Simon Moss will join the company as its new President, effective July 16, 2007. Moss will have global responsibility for all of Avistar’s products and services. Gerald J. Burnett will continue to serve as CEO and Chairman.
In a career spanning two decades, Moss brings to Avistar deep experience and a track record of success in building, organizing and growing global software companies. He comes to Avistar from a four-year role as CEO of Mantas, Inc., where he was responsible for simultaneously growing revenues and profits and positioning the firm as the recognized world leader in its field.
Ross Video Appoints Peter Chartrand
Regional Sales Manager
Ross Video announced the appointment of Peter Chartrand, as Regional Sales Manager for Northeast USA.
Mr. Chartrand will be based in Ottawa and will report to Kyle Luther, National Sales Manager for USA. He will be managing the sales territories for Upstate New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Mr. Chartrand has over 20 years of experience in sales, account management, audio/video, and multimedia system design in various sectors of the broadcast industry. Most recently he has been involved in Marketing and Sales roles for Ross Video. Mr. Chartrand also began the development of the Asia Pacific region for Ross where he was instrumental in marketing and developing customer solutions for the entire Ross product line. He is a graduate of the Radio and Television Arts program at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology.
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SCRI RESEARCH NEWS