Insider Reporter


Insider Report

news and views on broadcast and professional video/audio sectors, worldwide

w/e July 8, 2007 SCRI International, Inc © 1984 - 2007

INDEX

Technology News | Industry News | Company News |
Product News | People in the News | Research News

TECHNOLOGY NEWS

HDTV market: 50m units by 2008

A new report titled "HDTV: A Global Strategic Business Report", has been released by Global Industry Analysts.

HDTV has marked its presence in developed countries such as the United States, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe. Europe accounts for 45 per cent of the global HDTV market. North America is expected to be the fastest growing HDTV market, registering CAGR of over 50 per cent. Market for HDTV in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and rest of world, accounts for a miniscule 5-6 per cent of the global market. Europe and North America dominate the HDTV capable sets market accounting for over 75 per cent of global sales. Europe, commanding nearly 50 per cent of the global integrated HDTV sets market is likely to lose its market share over the period.

3D Cinema Report Shows Strong Returns on Investment Already

Screen Digest released its latest report, 'The Business Case for Digital 3D Cinema Exhibition.' The report looks at the rationale for the roll-out of 3D screens and finds that early adopter exhibitors are already reaping very strong returns on their investments. Exhibitors who are not planning to equip their theaters with 3D screens run a serious risk of being left behind.

As the Hollywood Studios invest heavily in movies designed exclusively for 3D, the number of screens will need to increase dramatically from its current low base in order to support this new wave of 3D films.

The lure of premium content will drive rapid growth by exhibitors in the number of 3D-ready screens and in these early stages of the market, first adopters have already capitalized on the preferential box office returns from the first slate of movies. Nevertheless, questions still remain as to whether there is real value for exhibitors in continuing to invest in a large-scale rollout of 3D-ready screens.

The race to 3D
At the end of 2006 there were 258 digital 3D screens worldwide, but expansion has been rapid with each new release resulting in a mushrooming of screens. During the first six months of 2007, the number of screens worldwide has almost tripled to 750, with 85 percent of them in the US and much activity in Korea, Australia and Germany. With seven screens, the UK is second in Europe behind Germany, which boasts 22.

The rollout of 3D equipment (comprising 3D glasses, hardware, and if necessary, a silver screen) is highly concentrated among the leading multiplex operators, and the top five movie theatre chains in the US now control over 80 per cent of the market by screens. Globally there are now 41 cinema chains in 21 different territories that have equipped more than one digital 3D screen. By 2009 Screen Digest forecasts that there will be over 5,000 enabled digital 3D screens worldwide, equivalent to more than 5 per cent of modern cinema screens. Three quarters of these will be in the US.

3D equals 3x the revenue
Analysis of box office data from the first four digital 3D releases (Chicken Little, Monster House, Nightmare before Christmas 3D and Meet the Robinsons) has shown that digital 3D screens generate on average three times more revenue, driven by a 2.4 times higher attendance ratio per screen when compared with 2D screenings for the all important first weekend. Moreover, the introduction of flexible ticket pricing has opened up a new profit share structure in which exhibitors share the resulting 'surcharge' revenue from higher ticket prices with the Studio, an incentive for both sides of the industry alike.

Break-even analysis
Screen Digest has produced financial analysis which suggests that exhibitors will require a regular supply of at least three 3D movies a year in order to see a return on their investment in the equipment.

Applying an average price premium of $2.00 per movie ticket, exhibitors could net over $50,000 profit per screen, once a critical benchmark of seven 3D releases is met per annum, and the costs for the 3D equipment have been deducted. The emergence of rival digital 3D systems, led by proprietary technology from Dolby/Infitec, will drive the market harder beginning 2008. RealD is currently the leading supplier of digital 3D equipment, accounting for just under 95 per cent of the market in the first half of 2007.

3D comes at a good time for the cinema industry
In recent years, cinema admissions in the key markets worldwide have stabilized as some movie-goers have chosen to stay at home. However, just as the technology gap between cinema and home cinema was getting smaller, the advent of digital 3D has enabled the cinema industry to raise the bar higher, and maintain its competitive edge.

Charlotte Jones, Screen Digest Analyst and author of the report says "Digital 3D has the potential to give the cinema industry a shot in the arm to counter flat admissions over recent years. Just as the gap between cinema and home cinema seemed to be getting smaller, the cinema industry has again proven that it can reinvent itself in the face of competition from other release windows. Superior box office returns from early digital 3D releases point towards a strong business case for a rapid roll-out of 3D screens."

Demand for 3-D-Ready Digital Cinema Surges

The Hollywood Reporter has indicated that 5,000 3-D-ready digital-cinema screens will be installed in the U.S. by May 2009. That is the current target in the stereoscopic 3-D movement, according to Joshua Greer, president and co-founder of leading 3-D provider Real D.

Another goal is to reach 1,200 screens for the November release of Beowulf in 3-D, upping the screen count from the roughly 700 that were in place as of the March 30 opening of Meet the Robinsons" in 3-D.

Vendors have expressed confidence that the goals are achievable. Meanwhile, some suggest the target number of screens needs to be set even higher to accommodate competing 3-D releases in 2009.

The movement continues to prompt discussion and analysis, some of which occurred last weekend at the Visual Effects Society's annual VES Festival of Visual Effects at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.

Mobile TV on PCs Reaches New Heights with DVB-T Technology

DiBcom, a fabless semiconductor company and provider of Mobile TV solutions, announced that its leading chipset, the “two-in-one” DIB7070-P which includes a tuner and demodulator, is being used by Pinnacle Systems, Inc. for its new Pinnacle PCTVTM DVB-T Flash Stick. This cooperation is the culmination of a long established partnership, spanning several years and resulting in numerous joint products.

This highly innovative device is the first commercial product that maximizes the potential of DiBcom’s DIB7070-P - the ultimate Mobile TV technology for notebook PCs. The chipset offers a Diversity mode (dual antennas) which enables optimal indoor DVB-T reception within urban homes and apartments. Boasting low power consumption and small size, the DIB7070-P combines a dual-band tuner (VHF & UHF) with a DVB-T demodulator in one package, making it the ideal choice for Pinnacle Systems, a leading producer of consumer multimedia products.

The Pinnacle PCTV DVB-T Flash Stick is a state-of-the-art, ultra-compact device that has dramatically revolutionized the world of USB TV sticks with the addition of storage capacity. The product combines DiBcom’s high quality DVB-T tuner with one GB flash memory on a USB bridge. Not only can users watch TV on their desktop PC or laptop without installing any software (true plug-and-play), but they are also able to record television programs using the flash memory. Compatible with Windows Media Center, the Pinnacle PCTV DVB-T Flash Stick is user-friendly and needs simply to be plugged into the PC’s USB 2.0 connector and then connected to the antenna.

“Having closely followed DiBcom’s pioneering technology and its drive to establish the Diversity mode as the key solution for indoor DVB-T reception, we are thrilled to be the first company to commercialize and launch the technology which not only enhances the user experience but also adds an extremely convenient and innovative new twist with the flash memory,” said Jörn Lembke, director of product management of Pinnacle Systems’ TV Viewing Group.

“We are very proud that Pinnacle Systems, a long time partner of DiBcom, has opted to use our technology in the conception of a product that combines TV reception and flash memory. This is a perfect example of integration work that the semiconductor industry needs, in order to justify additional mass market investment and to generate new success for DVB-T reception in the PC world,” said Yannick Lévy, CEO of DiBcom.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Mobile & Converging Technologies at BroadcastAsia 2007

The region’s most established broadcast tradeshow and conference, BroadcastAsia2007, attracted more than 12,000 visitors over four days from June 19-22, 2007. More than 47 percent were overseas attendees from neighbouring ASEAN countries, as well as from Europe, China, India and the Middle-eastern region.

In tandem with the theme “Digital: The Journey Forward,” the event saw 763 exhibiting companies from more than 40 countries gathered under one roof to present cutting-edge digital technologies for IPTV, HDTV and mobile broadcasting.

One of the highlights at this year’s BroadcastAsia was the HD (high definition) TV studio. Fully-functional, the 100 square metre studio showcased state-of-the-art HDTV equipment from well-known exhibitors such as Panasonic, Broadcast Professional, Fujinon, Sennheiser, Belden, Harris, and Genelec. The range of HDTV technologies on demo covered production, editing and final content output.

“BroadcastAsia has grown from strength to strength in recent years. We’ve seen an increase in the size of the show, and the number and quality of visitors bear testament to the value that BroadcastAsia brings to the industry,” said Mr Stephen Tan, Chief Executive of Singapore Exhibition Services and President of Allworld Exhibitions Alliance.

Sharing his observations about prominent trends at BroadcastAsia this year, Mr Tan remarked: “Digital Convergence has taken a firmer foothold in the industry as there are more enabling technologies on the show floor this year that deliver on the promise.”

Convergence Technologies Takes Centre Stage
With the blurring of lines between broadcast and communications, BroadcastAsia this year saw a greater display of enabling digital convergence technologies and more varied convergent applications. Home-grown company Innoxius Technologies showcased its next-generation DVB-H base station, which was a smaller and more compact version than its predecessor. The company’s showcase this year was centered on cellular and indoor DVB-H broadcasting technology.

US-based Belden CDT International introduced its wireless solution that would provide users with coverage, capacity and mobility with zero latency. An Edge Architecture/Channel Blanket system, Belden’s solution was designed to deliver robust client connections without any drop signals.

Panasonic Systems Asia Pacific showcased its handheld, high-definition, solid-state memory camcorder at BroadcastAsia this year. Targeted at the professional video users, the compact device provided a cost-effective HD camcorder solution to meet emerging needs in HD production.

Fujitsu Transmits HD Video Over Public Broadband

Fujitsu has developed a new HD video encoder that enables station-to-station transmission of footage using broadband public IP lines. The technology was used to send content from TV Asahi to All Nippon Network in Japan.

Fujitsu used the MPEG-4 AVC codec--H.264--in its IP-9500 Video Encoder, which launched in fall of 2006, which doubles the amount of compression vs. MPEG-2 without a loss of quality.

Transmitting HD video previously required using special lines and mainstream billing, but the new encoder allows video to be sent over public broadband, thus saving money for broadcasters.

NAB ’07 Wrap-Up: Camera Products

This report is by Robert M. Goodman at SCRI's online partner, Videography.com.

Fueled by cheaper, higher-capacity storage, field production gear continued its drive toward ever-greater capture resolutions at this year’s NAB show. Content distribution, meanwhile, is moving in two divergent directions: toward lesser quality and lower bit rates for delivery to the postage-stamp screens of mobile phones and iPods, as well as toward 4K DCI-specified projection for movie theaters.

High-definition video, which has just started to surpass SD as the industry’s principal production format, is likely to be eclipsed by data formats that sever all ties to what we’ve come to regard as “video.” HD and SD video won’t disappear; television and cable will continue to deliver video to consumers for the foreseeable future. However, if you’re currently contemplating upgrading from SD to HD production, you should consider that the transition provides an excellent opportunity to shift to a data-centric approach to production as well.

Consider the latest cameras from three manufacturers: the RED ONE camera from RED Digital Cinema, the SI-2K camera from Silicon Imaging and the Phantom 65 and Phantom HD cameras from Vision Research. All of these cameras record the output of their imaging sensor as “raw” data. All three employ a single Bayer mosaic filtered CMOS sensor to capture images at 2K and higher resolutions.

RED all but owned the buzz at NAB. People lined up for hours to see the short film Peter Jackson shot with a prototype RED ONE two weeks prior to the convention—and to play with working models of the camera themselves. I noticed some minor flaws in the footage, but on the whole it was stunningly good.

The company’s REDCINE application, which ships with the camera, converts the raw data to an output format of your choice and performs color correction, which is close enough in look and feel to be called Assimilate Scratch Lite. Another coup was RED’s partnership with Apple. Final Cut Pro version 6 dot something (not the first release, but an interim version thereafter) will edit RED’s raw files natively.

For its part, Silicon Imaging had P+S Technik redesign (and greatly improve) the ergonomics of its camera. And Vision Research showed simply amazing slow-motion footage captured with its cameras of actions taking place over microseconds.

Grass Valley showed its new 2/3-inch HD CMOS sensor, the 2.4-megapixel Xensium, designed for the Infinity camera line. What remains to be seen is whether 2K-and-above data cameras will have an impact on the Viper’s popularity for feature and television pilot production.

The feature and television pilot market is the target for Sony’s new F23 CineAlta camcorder. An SRW-1 HDCAM SR recorder docks to the 2/3-inch CCD-based camera head in a top or rear configuration. The camera section outputs 4:4:4 1080p signals at frame rates of 1-30fps and 4:2:2 1080p signals at 1-60fps, which are then recorded on HDCAM SR tape. The F23 has greater dynamic range—a claimed 12 stops—than its CineAlta cousins, with wider color gamut than Rec. 709 and multiple gamma curve selections, including a log curve. A remote control panel for the assistant cameraman and multiple monitor outputs with individual controls are perfect for the target market. Most important, the images were stunning for an HD camera. A list price of $185,000 will relegate the F23 to the rental category for most.

Other noteworthy cameras made appearances on the show floor. Easylook System’s Modula camera ($25,000) is currently available. This 2/3-inch single-CMOS-sensor camera, developed in cooperation with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, outputs 1080p (23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30fps), 1080i (50, 59.94 and 60fps) and 720p signals. It measures 5 x 2.5 x 2.5 in., which makes it larger than an Iconix camera; however, the Modula is self-contained, with mounts for PL, B4 or Nikon still lenses. A single connector (breakout cable) handles 12V DC input, HD-SDI out (Dual Link is an option), RS-232/485, black burst and a 10/100 Gigabit Ethernet connection. The camera also has an HD-SDI monitor output. Setup adjustments are made by connecting a laptop to the camera via Ethernet. As hard as it is to evaluate image quality at a convention booth, this camera looks very promising.

Dalsa showed prototypes of a 4K camera called Evolution, which is smaller and lighter than the company’s Origin camera, as well as a camera-mounted recorder called the Flashmag, which can store 20 minutes of raw, uncompressed 16-bit 4K data or 40 minutes of compressed data. Evolution is a single-frame-transfer-CCD-based camera that outputs a 16-bit 4096x2048 signal. It has an optical viewfinder and uses PL-mount lenses. Dalsa claims a dynamic range of more than 12 stops. The Evolution is slated to be available for rent in early 2008. The Flashmag recorder de-Bayers and downconverts 4K data to 2K for monitoring via Dual Link HD-SDI outputs.

MySpace launches YouTube rival

MySpace is to take on YouTube by renaming and relaunching its own video service as MySpaceTV. The video section of MySpace will be given its own web presence, www.myspacetv.com, and built up as a destination in its own right.

YouTube Dwarfs Competitors

YouTube has enjoyed a surge in US audience share that leaves it far larger than the next 64 video-sharing sites combined, a survey published by Hitwise found. The US market share of visits rose 70 per cent from January to May, online audience measurement said the survey. By contrast, visits to the next 64 largest sites tracked by Hitwise rose only 8 per cent during 2007's first five months.

"As of May 2007, YouTube's market share was 50 per cent greater than those 64 sites combined," Hitwise research director LeeAnn Prescott said in a summary of her firm's data. YouTube's share of the US online video market was 60.2 per cent in May. Its closest rival, News Corp.'s MySpace Videos site, had 16.08 per cent of market share, the survey of Web surfing habits showed.

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COMPANY NEWS

JVC and Kenwood To Merge

Kenwood has agreed to merge with Victor Co. of Japan (JVC), under a holding company in 2008, according to a Nikkei report.

Kenwood had informed JVC parent Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. that it would agree to a proposal for a merger with the struggling subsidiary, according to the report.

Details have yet to be decided by the three companies, which will seek a final agreement by the end of next month, Nikkei reported.

Under the plan, Kenwood will buy 20 billion yen ($161,469,466) in JVC shares as early as this summer, raising its stake to 13 percent, Nikkei said.

The report said Matsushita will sell a portion of its 52.7 percent interest in JVC to Kenwood’s top shareholder, investment firm Sparx Group.

When JVC and Kenwood integrate operations under the holding company in 2008, Matsushita will sell the rest of its JVC shares to the holding company to complete the transaction. The holding company's stock will be listed instead of Kenwood and JVC, according Nikkei.

Combined group sales at the two companies reached 910 billion yen ($7,346,767,192) for the year ended March 31.

HP Expanding Digital Reach Of Warners, BFI

Hewlett-Packard announced that Warner Bros. Entertainment has deployed the company's media storage technology to help transform the complex post-production of new films, as well as the restoration of older titles, from the traditional process using celluloid to one that is entirely digital.

HP Media Storage is helping Warner Bros. move to an environment that uses 4K Digital, the industry's highest resolution format for digital video, which now provides four times the resolution quality of high-definition television. By doing so, Warner Bros. can streamline its post-production processes, while maintaining the high resolution quality that the studio considers essential for the creative community making new films and the audiences that enjoy them. Warner Bros. relied on HP Media Storage to produce "Ocean's 13."

Using HP Media Storage, creative teams can store and retrieve 4K files in real time. A 4K digital master preserves enough information to guarantee the value of the film for future generations and presentation technologies. Designed specifically for the entertainment industry, HP Media Storage is compatible with Apple's Final Cut Studio through the use of Apple Xsan software.

Warner Bros. is the only major studio that has created an infrastructure that allows it to do high-resolution image post-production digitally on its own lot.

"HP studied our post-production processes and worked with us to deliver a flexible storage solution that supports our directors' creative needs -- and allows us to work at the quality we consider essential," said Chris Cookson, president of Technical Operations and chief technology officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment. "Working in 4K generates enormous amounts of data and HP has made storing and retrieving that data effortless, while helping to streamline the post-production process. The bottom line is we can now meet the creative needs of filmmakers as well as the image quality demands we have as a studio. HP has helped us make that possible."

At its Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) facility, Warner Bros. uses HP Media Storage to support high-resolution post-production tasks such as dailies, 4K digital intermediates, color correction, mastering for cinema and high/standard definition video, digital clean-up, and laser film recording.

The HP Media Storage solution at Warner Bros. MPI includes HP StorageWorks 8000 Enterprise Virtual Arrays and Linux-based HP ProLiant servers and HP BladeSystem server blades as well as multi-core processor HP workstations. HP partner Quantum provides its leading storage management software, StorNext(R), to manage the data via a heterogeneous file system that allows the data to be accessed by all clients.

HP also provided specialized consulting and integration services, working closely with Warner Bros. MPI to provide discovery workshops to understand the existing post-production workflow and design -- and to deploy the entire solution.

Through the use of StorNext, HP Media Storage provides a single, "virtual disk" view across all the different tiers of storage. This includes high-performance disk for fast, concurrent file sharing for active data, near-line systems for reference or older data, disk systems for back-up, and off-line tape for archived data.

Expanding on its support for the Linux, Windows(R) and HP-UX 11i operating systems, HP Media Storage now supports Apple Mac OS X and Windows XP connectivity to the Fibre Channel-based HP StorageWorks EVA SAN arrays. With this addition, HP Media Storage now supports all the major operating systems used in post-production.

"HP is committed to helping the entertainment and communications industries meet the technical challenges -- and tap the huge opportunities -- in digital content," said Ananda Subbiah, vice president, Solutions, Communications, Media and Entertainment, HP. "HP Media Storage is a key part of our strategy, and our customers have shown that it is delivering positive business outcomes."

HP Media Storage has been deployed by content creators and distributors around the world, such as Starz Entertainment. Recently the British Film Institute (BFI) worked with HP to begin the task of making available to the public Britain's film heritage of more than 230,000 films and 675,000 TV programs. With HP Media Storage as a backbone, the new Mediatheque at BFI Southbank in London will provide free access to historic film records such as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and England's World Cup victory in 1966. "We are proving time and time again that there is a real public appetite for archive film. The BFI cares for the world's most significant moving image collection and this partnership with HP represents an important step forward in our long-term investment to open it up to the public," said Amanda Nevill, director, British Film Institute. "It is a great example of culture, commerce and technology coming together in an innovative way to enhance public value."

In related news, Stephen McKenna has been named vice president of HP's Communications, Media and Entertainment unit. McKenna will lead HP's effort to help the world's media and entertainment companies take advantage of opportunities in digital content.

Motorola Completes Acquisition of Modulus Video

Motorola announced it has completed its acquisition of Modulus Video, Inc., a privately-held company. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Modulus Video is a leader and innovator in MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) compression systems designed for delivery of high value video content in the IPTV, cable, broadcast and satellite marketplace. Modulus Video has partnered with Motorola for over two years bringing high-quality encoding solutions to key customers around the world.

This acquisition complements Motorola's recent acquisitions of Broadbus, Kreatel, Tut Systems and Netopia in the creation and delivery of an integrated, end-to-end video delivery system for multiple network architectures.

Vitec Acquires Microwave Service Corporation

Microwave Service Corporation has been acquired by the Vitec Group. MSC provides microwave radio repairs, sales and equipment rental for the broadcast industry.

President and founder Warren Parece will continue on as leader of MSC, which will join the Vitec Group RF Systems business unit, recently formed after the acquisition of RF Central and Nucomm.

“We are very delighted to be part of the Vitec Group family,” said Parece. “MSC prides itself on delivering superior quality and service to our customers. Joining the Vitec Group RF Systems unit will enhance our presence, expand our product availability and uphold our level of service excellence.”

“We are excited to officially welcome MSC to the RF Systems unit,” said Gareth Rhys Williams, group chief executive for Vitec Group. “This new addition will broaden our offerings of RF products and services to our broadcast customers, which will be of particular value as the BAS relocation project moves forward. Additionally, by offering the highest level of service available in the industry today, MSC’s value to Vitec’s RF Systems unit will continue to grow.”

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PRODUCT NEWS

Apple Updates Final Cut Studio

Apple has posted several updates for its Final Cut Studio 2 applications as well as a Pro Application Support update which updates shared Frameworks the applications use.

The updates mainly improve stability and performance and are available either through the Software Update utility or through Apple's Pro applications dedicated updates page. You may find that you need to install the Pro Apps Update before the other updates become available.

Chyron Introduces the ChyTV HD 100 High-Definition Digital Signage System

Continuing to expand the ChyTV Digital Signage product line, Chyron Corporation introduced the ChyTV HD 100™. The latest generation of the popular ChyTV Video Graphics Information Display systems, the HD 100 extends the product line to include High-Definition output with real-time data and clip playout in both landscape and portrait modes.

“The release of the HD-100 represents an inflection point for the ChyTV product line which now offers not just 1080-P High Definition video and portrait mode display, but also opens the door to the wide variety of extremely high-performance graphics that Chyron’s broadcast customers are accustomed to. This product significantly raises the bar for real-time dynamic digital signage graphics," said Jeff Cohen, National Accounts Executive for Chyron’s ChyTV Group.

Ideal for any large-size digital signage, the HD 100 utilizes Chyron’s familiar ChyTV Tools utility to manage the content and projects and is completely compatible with existing ChyTV products. The HD 100 features the highest quality 3D dynamic text and effects, 3D animated objects, clip playout and more. Unlike pre-rendered MPEG player devices that can’t easily be modified, the 3D text can be changed on the fly in real-time using live data for the most stunning, captivating dynamic graphics and vibrant animations possible.

The HD 100 easily integrates with a wide variety of external devices including bar-code scanners, motion and proximity detectors, scent and lighting systems and more. In addition, when used with the ChyTV HDVC (HD Video Compositor), the HD 100 enables High-Definition digital signage to be combined with live HD or SD video. The powerful and varied features of the HD 100 enable a truly interactive, immersive and adaptable environment. The HD 100 leaps beyond Digital Signage into the Digital Media Experience.

Adobe Announces Visual Communicator 3

Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced that Adobe Visual Communicator 3 software, which enables educators and students to easily create scripted, television-quality broadcasts, will be available in Fall 2007.

Designed for those new to video, the software is ideal for project-based learning, distance learning courses and campus-wide newscasts. With this new version, simplified templates and wizards give even inexperienced users the ability to create professional video presentations that can be streamed live over the Internet in the FLV format using Adobe Flash® Media Server software, or output to a projector, television, or Channel One Closed-Circuit System.

Visual Communicator 3 eliminates traditional timelines, making video production faster and easier. Enhancements include new set-up wizards, drag-and-drop animated templates and an interactive “Coach” that gets users up and running quickly. Similar to a professional television studio, users can preview up to three cameras at once while recording or presenting live with the mini-switcher feature to create interview-style videos in real time. In addition, a full-screen teleprompter allows the presenter to read scripts from a distance.

This version offers an enhanced keyer that allows users to replace a solid green or blue background with an image, video or graphic background and now includes stronger FLV support and enables users to produce live video content streamed using Adobe Flash technology.

Additionally, Adobe Visual Communicator 3 can be used to narrate digital photo collections or video created with Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Premiere Pro software. Finished projects can then be exported to Adobe Encore or Adobe Premiere Elements software and burned to a DVD.

Visual Communicator 3 for Windows is expected to be available in an English language version at www.adobe.com in fall 2007. The full version of Adobe Visual Communicator 3 will be available for an estimated street price of US$399, and registered users of qualifying earlier versions of Visual Communicator can upgrade to Visual Communicator 3 for the estimated street price of US$149. Qualifying education customers can purchase the software for the estimated street price of US$169. To download a preview version of Visual Communicator 3, visit Adobe Labs.

Adobe Ships Creative Suite 3 Production Premium and Master Collection

Adobe Systems announced the immediate availability of Adobe® Creative Suite® 3 Production Premium and Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection software. Adobe Production Premium CS3 is the industry’s most comprehensive collection of integrated cross-platform post-production software tools, helping video professionals deliver stunning results for film, broadcast, DVD, Web, and mobile devices. Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection combines 12 of Adobe’s new design and development products in a single box – the most comprehensive creative environment ever delivered.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium and Master Collection ship today in North America, with other language versions – including French, German and Japanese – available by mid July. With Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Editions and Creative Suite 3 Web Editions already in market and receiving rave customer reviews, this completes the roll-out of the company’s revolutionary Creative Suite 3 family, the largest software release in Adobe’s 25-year history.

“One word: integration. People around the world will be amazed by how easy it is to move among applications in Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection and Production Premium,” said Jason Zada, executive creative director and founder of EVB, a digital content marketing agency in San Francisco, CA. “Because our workflow is so heavily based on moving very quickly through applications, this new Adobe software will save us hundreds of hours that

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection and Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium are immediately available in the US and Canada through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store. The estimated street price for the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection is US$2,499. The estimated street price for Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium is US$1,699. There are numerous upgrade paths available for Adobe customers. For more detailed information about features, upgrade policies, pricing, and international versions, please visit: www.adobe.com/creativesuite.

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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Panasonic appoints of John Rhodes as Camera Systems Business Manager

Panasonic Broadcast announced the appointment of John Rhodes as Product Line Business Manager for its professional convertible camera systems. In this position, Rhodes will be responsible for marketing and product development of the company’s HD and SD convertible camera systems.

Rhodes has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, product management and sales in the fields of audio/visual system design, multi-purpose cameras, digital signage, networked multimedia and videoconferencing systems. Prior to joining Panasonic, Rhodes was Vice President of Sales at VideoSonic Systems, Inc., a New York City-based video/audio systems integrator, where he was responsible for business development and sales of display and communications solutions for corporations, museums and educational institutions.

Rhodes has held key marketing, sales and development positions at several growing and established professional video and display system companies including Sony Corporation of America. At Sony, Rhodes was instrumental in the successful introduction of the company’s first multi-purpose 3-CCD production cameras. Subsequently, he initiated Sony’s entry into the U.S. videoconferencing market and played a key role in the success of the first HDTV videoconference.

Rhodes has written extensively for leading trade and general business publications about video and multimedia communications. In 2002, he wrote Videoconferencing for the Real World (Focal Press, 2002.), a comprehensive guide for implementing interactive video communications systems in business organizations.

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RESEARCH NEWS

SCRI RESEARCH NEWS

NEW 2007/08 SCRI Broadcast/Pro Video Reports

  • IPTV / Mobile TV Report: due in the next day or two, over 100 pages of articles and reports from online sources as well as SCRI Insider Reports, with an executive summary and analysis. Contactdes_chas@scri.com for more info.

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  • Broadcast/Pro Video Macro Industry Overview Report. Over 50 pages of analysis and information on the state-of-the-industry compiled from secondary online research sources including industry news sites, manufacturers sites, as well as SCRI's own weekly online News Briefs and Insider Reports.

  • Broadcast/Pro Video Micro Quantitative Product Data Report. 23-page report containing quantitative data tables, for all six verical end-user markets, and all of the 25 Product categories, as well as in total, with summary tables from 2002- 2008.
  • HDTV / Digital Video Technology Trends Survey: SCRI is preparing to conduct the 2007/08 Broadcast /Pro Video Technology Trends Survey in conjunction with TV Broadcast, Videography and DV Magazines. Survey questions have now been finalized by SCRI Consultants this week with inputs from major clients and industry experts. Survey will be launched next week July with results available in the fall.

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