Insider Reporter

Insider Report

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

w/e June 8, 2008 SCRI International, Inc © 1984 - 2008


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


HDV Revolution Workshop

The HDV Revolution Workshop, a digital moviemaking workshop, has been taught in five countries to thousands of attendees. Now, it’s coming to the Seattle area on July 25 - 27th! The HDV Revolution training workshop covers, step-by-step, the entire desktop moviemaking process from cinematography, lighting and location sound through postproduction to delivery on DVD, the web, broadcast or podcast in a clear, practical, to-the-point and entertaining three day format using the latest, state-of-the-art tools like the Canon XH A1 and Final Cut Studio 2. Each workshop attendee will also receive a complimentary copy of our Final Cut Pro Foundations tutorial dvd.

2008 SMPTE Call for Papers Deadline Extended

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers announced that the deadline for submitting abstracts and technical paper proposals for the 2008 SMPTE Technical Conference & Expo has been extended to June 30, 2008. Proposals submitted after this will likely not be considered.

By the industry - for the industry, this is THE premier annual event for technology, production and operations in the motion imaging industry. The SMPTE Technical Conference & Expo brings together world-renowned technology thought-leaders from the media content business. Join us and network with colleagues in the motion picture studios, broadcast and cable networks, production and post-production community, software companies, systems integrators, manufacturers, display technologies and distribution providers.

As an accredited industry standards-setting body, SMPTE is also the industry's leading nonprofit association providing education and technology information to the motion imaging industry. We're all about the content - creation, management, distribution and display. We offer four days of technical sessions, a high-tech exhibition hall and unparalleled networking opportunities. Join us - don't miss this exceptional opportunity!

DTV Impacts IC Market

The introduction of DTVs into the consumer market created a pitched battle in the semiconductor industry, according to a report from Research and Markets in Dublin, Ireland. The switch to digital flat-panels spawned a demand for chips to handle demodulation, MPEG-2, video processing, HDMI, audio frequency and sometimes more. Chip makers vied with one another to squeeze the various processes on a single chip, a technique known as “System on a Chip,” or SoC. The more functions on the chip, the cheaper the device becomes.

According to the report description, the SoC biz ramped up the competition among chip makers. As of 2006, the price of an SoC excluding the tuner chip was around $40 or $50. By early 2007, it was down to $20. Late the same year, similar chips went for $15. The price plunge took a few chip makers with it.

Genisis Microchip of Santa Clara, Calif., suffered losses last year and was taken over by STMicroelectronics of Geneva, Switzerland. Pixelworks of Tualatin, Ore.; Micronas of Zurich and AMD/ATI of Sunnyvale, Calif., suffered, and Trident, a Santa Clara, Calif., chip maker for Sony and Samsung, is expected to feel some pain going forward. The company reported a net loss of $227,000 on net revenues of $55.3 million for its third fiscal quarter of 2008, ending March 31. Trident logged $5.6 million in net income on $60.6 million in net revenues during the same quarter one year ago.

“Our third quarter results reflect the challenges we face in an increasingly competitive market environment as we continue to evolve our product portfolio

TV web revenue to hit $1.2bn

US TV stations’ online revenue is expected to jump from $772 million last year to $1.2 billion in 2008, reported a study from Borrell Associates.

"What Local Media Web Sites Earn" surveyed more than 3,100 local media properties, including 613 TV stations in the US and Canada. The study sees significant growth for local online media in general. "Local Web sites continue to ride a wave that defies even the most optimistic forecasts," it said. "Local online revenues are growing at a phenomenal rate of 50 per cent this year -- even more astonishing considering that retail sales have suffered such a sharp drop."

Most of this growth, Borrell said, comes from pure-play Internet outfits selling low-cost advertising and connecting with consumers via web searches.

China's Telco Industry Deals

China unveiled two huge deals as the government overhauls the telecoms industry, with mobile operator Unicom taking over fixed operator Netcom. Unicom said it would pay a total of more than $55 billion for Netcom, more than double Netcom’s current market value.

Unicom also agreed to sell a wireless network to fixed-line leader China Telecom for $15.2 billion. Some analysts say these announcements mark the first steps in a sweeping restructuring that is expected to usher China into a more advanced telecoms age while opening the door to foreign investment and billions of dollars in purchases from telecoms gear makers.

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Time Warner profits fall

Time Warner has reported that its first-quarter net income fell 36 per cent. However, it also affirmed its full-year outlook and said that a "complete structural separation" of its Time Warner Cable unit would be in the best interests of both companies' shareholders.

The media giant earned $771 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with $1.2 billion, or 31 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 2 per cent to $11.42 billion from $11.18 billion on improved results at Time Warner Cable and its filmed entertainment business.

"Our results this quarter, particularly the underlying operating strength at our cable, networks and filmed-entertainment businesses, gave us the confidence to reaffirm our full-year business outlook," Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes said in a statement.

EchoStar sues TiVo

EchoStar has asked a court to find that their new DVR software does not infringe a TiVo patent. In January, the US Court of Appeals said EchoStar had infringed a TiVo patent in building digital video recorders, and upheld a lower court's damage award against Echostar of $74 million plus interest

CBS and Yahoo Hook Up

CBS Interactive announced that it has forged an agreement with Yahoo! making Yahoo! the newest distribution partner of the CBS Audience Network. As part of the arrangement, Yahoo! TV will gain access to CBS’s extensive online catalog of entertainment content, which boasts more full episodes and hours of network programming than any other broadcast television network. The CBS content will be added to Yahoo!’s programming lineup which also includes programming from NBC, Fox and more than 15 cable networks.

The addition of Yahoo!’s millions of users significantly broadens the already vast online reach of the CBS Audience Network. When adding Yahoo! users to those of the 300 + active partnering video sites currently making up the CBS Audience Network, the unduplicated total reach is 92% of the U.S.-based Web audience. For information on the CBS Audience Network visit

“This announcement underscores the value of CBS’s open, non-exclusive, multi-partnership strategy for distributing our content online,” said Anthony Soohoo, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Entertainment, CBS Interactive. “We are delighted to add Yahoo! to the Audience Network, not only because of their reach, but also because they offer a great user experience for CBS content. This is a win-win in that it bolsters the distribution of CBS content while giving Yahoo! users access to programming that has proven to be among the most popular professional content online.”

“As the #1 online TV site, Yahoo! TV is committed to offering our users the most comprehensive television experience on the Internet,” said Karin Gilford, Vice President of Entertainment and Lifestyles, Yahoo!. “The partnership with CBS significantly expands our video offerings and provides our users with a consistent and best-in-class viewing experience. It’s all part of our strategy to become the starting point for the most consumers on the Web.”

As part of the agreement, Yahoo! will host and stream CBS’s entertainment content free to consumers in an ad-supported fashion. CBS content has proven to be among the most popular, engaging and widely distributed professional content found online.

LIN TV Negotiations with Charter Communications Unsuccessful

LIN TV Corp., a local television and digital media company, announced that negotiations with Charter Communications, Inc., appear unlikely to result in a retransmission consent agreement. As a result, LIN TV expects Charter to discontinue carriage of its television stations when the current contract expires on June 30, 2008.

Eleven LIN TV-owned and/or operated local stations are currently carried by Charter in the following markets: Grand Rapids; Green Bay; Hartford-New Haven; Springfield (Mass); Dayton; Providence and Toledo.

LIN TV is in the process of securing compensation for carriage from cable companies on terms that are comparable to those given cable networks so that it can continue to provide top-rated news, weather and other local programming, plus the most-watched network and syndicated sports and entertainment programming. Within the past year, LIN TV has successfully reached agreements with numerous cable, satellite and telephone companies, all of which have recognized the fair market value of its stations’ signals.

Time Warner Cable to offer web to TV link

Time Warner Cable is planning to offer subscribers an easy way to bring Internet video to their television as part of an overall home networking system according to Chief Executive Glenn Britt.

"We're actually going to have equipment we make available to subscribers. It's actually going to be a new wireless cable modem that will allow you to network everything in your house." Britt said the service would be available "within a relatively short time" ... and said it was going to be very easy to get Internet TV on a big screen, estimating it would take between one to two years to popularise such technology.

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Harris Says It's Not Pursuing a Merger or Sale of the Company

Harris Corporation has issued a statement in response to recent market rumors and media reports. Harris acknowledged that from time to time it is approached by other companies with expressions of interest in various types of transactions, including a potential sale of the company. Harris stated today that it is not pursuing a merger or a sale.

"The Board of Directors and I have great confidence in this company, its employees and its future," said Howard L. Lance, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Harris is uniquely positioned, with access to both government and commercial technologies, to continue to effectively serve the challenging requirements of our growing global assured communications markets.

"We believe our focus on continuing growth through the introduction of industry-leading new products, expansion of addressable markets, development of new capabilities, international expansion, and strategic acquisitions will deliver significant value going forward for our customers, shareholders and business partners as we have demonstrated in the past," Lance said.

In accordance with its standing policy, the company said it will not make any further statements responding to market rumors or speculation.

Sony acquires 2waytraffic

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has successfully acquired control of the Dutch entertainment company, 2waytraffic. The acquisition gives SPE new capabilities in the global light entertainment market, which includes games, variety and reality shows, and gives SPE one of the largest gameshow portfolios in the world.

The offer from SPE to acquire 2waytraffic was for an initial cash consideration of E145m. "The acquisition of 2waytraffic is part of our strategy to expand global production and distribution of light entertainment content," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of SPE. "This opens the door to new content for us, and brings to our business a solid distribution infrastructure, strengthening our position for an efficient roll-out of formats internationally."

Veoh Lands $30 Million in New Funding

Veoh, an Internet TV service, announced that it has raised $30 million in its fourth round of financing, from investors that included Intel Capital, Adobe Systems and Gordon Crawford, SVP of Capital Research Global Investors.

Founded in 2003, San Diego-based Veoh initially operated as a video-sharing site similar to YouTube, but has since sought out partnerships with media companies and begun to focus more on professionally-produced content.

The company, which claims 28 million monthly viewers, also recently shut off access to its site from all but 33 countries, citing a desire to re-focus its resources.

Silicon Alley Insider reported in February that Veoh had been looking to raise $40 million in new financing; Veoh has now to date received $69.5 million in venture capital.

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Avid Offering Upgrades from Liquid to Media Composer

Avid Technology, Inc. announced that between now and September 30, 2008, you can cash in with a $1,000 (US) credit towards the purchase of any Media Composer family product - including Media Composer software or the new Media Composer Mojo DX or Media Composer NitrisR DX.

How the Offer Works
All registered Avid Liquid 7 users are eligible
Registration must be confirmed by your authorized Avid Reseller, Avid Distributor, or Avid direct sales representative (this offer is not available via the Avid online store).
Your $1,000 (US) credit may only be applied towards the new purchase of a Media Composer product
Purchase must be completed before September 30, 2008

Boris FX Update Contiuum Complete to 5.0.5

Boris Continuum Complete 5.0.5 FxPlug is now available. Version 5.0.5 takes further advantage of Apple FxPlug performance acceleration in Final Cut Pro by adding new vector processing and optimizing color conversion, field rendering, and multi-processor acceleration. BCC 5.0.5 FxPlug is a free update for BCC 5.x FxPlug customers. volve our product portfolio

New Pinnacle Studio Version 12 Software

Pinnacle Systems, Inc., a division of Avid Technology, Inc. announced version 12 of Pinnacle Studio, its consumer video editing software. Pinnacle Studio version 12 builds on the features that have established the Pinnacle Studio family as number one in the consumer video editing market in the U.S. and Europe. The new version includes Pinnacle Montage, an innovative tool that makes high-end compositing and animation effects accessible to consumers. With more than 25 new features, version 12 adds many new capabilities requested by users, while still maintaining the ease of use that has become the hallmark of Pinnacle Studio products. More titles, DVD menus and templates have been added as well as new professional audio and video controls and a complete HD workflow with Blu-ray authoring in certain versions of Pinnacle Studio version 12. The Pinnacle Studio version 12 family consists of three affordably priced versions to meet the needs of consumers ranging from novices to dedicated video enthusiasts. In addition to Pinnacle Studio, the basic version, Pinnacle offers Studio Plus and Studio Ultimate with more advanced audio and video tools, including a complete HD workflow.

"The video editing market isn't just growing vertically, it's growing horizontally," said Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research (JPR), a leading market research firm based in Tiburon, Calif. "New markets have emerged led by casual and younger users who simply want to quickly edit their videos and post them to the Web, women who have become the designated memory keepers in the family, and the growing number of folks over 50 who are becoming video hobbyists. The people in these new markets don't want to deal with a complicated application; they just want the fun of quickly creating videos that are entertaining. Clearly, Pinnacle Systems' customer-driven approach has helped it unlock opportunities in these emerging markets."

Pinnacle Studio version 12 Beta users say the new photo and video Pinnacle Montage feature alone makes the upgrade worthwhile. Designed to make it easy to achieve high-end results with multiple video layers, animated text and graphics, the Pinnacle Montage feature includes more than 11 pre-defined themes with over 80 single templates. In addition, all Pinnacle Studio version 12 products now offer marker tools for the timeline. Format compatibility has also been expanded to include photo import in Photoshop's native PSD format and the GIF format. With the new export options, users can create MP3, Flash Video, WAV and 3GP files or upload files direct to YouTube.

Among the first to offer native HDV and AVCHD editing software, Pinnacle Systems Studio Plus and Ultimate now includes new Blu-ray disc burning capabilities in BD-MV with motion menus. AVCHD 1920 and support for various HD camcorder types including JVC full HD, Canon Vixia, Sanyo Xacti have also been added.

Designed for Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista systems, the Pinnacle Studio version 12 family includes Pinnacle Studio, as well as Pinnacle Studio Plus and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate with full HD support. MSRPs are US$49.99, $99.99 and $129.99, respectively. The Pinnacle Studio version 12 family is available now for pre-orders at the Pinnacle Systems estore and will be at e-tail and retail stores later this month. Upgrades from all of the previous Pinnacle Studio versions to version 12 will also be available from the Pinnacle Systems website with prices ranging from $69.99 (upgrade to Pinnacle Studio Plus) to $99.99 (upgrade to Pinnacle Studio Ultimate).

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