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SYPHAnews - 18 June 2004

Welcome to SYPHAnews - a free newsletter designed to keep you up-to-date with nonlinear audio and video, and digital video camera news, as well as developments at http://SYPHAonline.com.

We will deliver this service to you every month - unless there is some major news we think you should know about sooner. To unsubscribe, please follow the instructions below.

New at SYPHAonline.com

STOP PRESS!! We will be launching the 'HD Kit Guide' in time for the IBC Convention. This new online publication will feature a range of HD equipment from acquisition to delivery. Manufacturers are entitled to a free listing by completing the online form. For information about sponsorship and advertising opportunities please email sypha@syphaonline.com or call +44 (0)20 8761 1042.

We are also about to start the process of spring-cleaning the DAW Buyers Guide. If you manufacture a new digital audio workstation or tapeless recorder, including turnkey systems and card and software packages, then please let us know.

Finally we would like to welcome Miller tripods as a supporter of the Pro Camera Guide. Miller are offering an introductory 25% discount which you can claim by calling +44 (0)1243 555255 and quoting 'SYPHA'.

Camera news

Sony Introduces New HDCAM Camcorder
Sony has introduced the HDW-730S HDCAM camcorder. Priced below equivalent digital Betacam camcorders, the HDW-730S provides a high definition entry point for customers working within standard definition production budgets. It is capable of shooting in either 1080/50i or 1080/60i interlaced modes, and features a 3-CCD sensor to deliver a signal-to-noise ratio of 54dB, a smear level of -125dB and a minimum illumination performance of 0.31 lux (extended to 0.003 lux with the optional HKDW-705 Slow Shutter board). An optional HKDW-703 Picture Cache board reduces the risk of missed scenes by continually recording audio-video content into memory. Once the record button is pressed, the preceding 8 seconds of content is automatically recorded onto tape in 50i mode (7 seconds in 60i shooting mode). The HDW-730S also features Memory Stick compatibility for convenient storage and transfer of set-up parameters. First deliveries of the HDW-730S to European customers are scheduled for July 2004. See http://www.sonybiz.net

Quantel and ARRI Media Slow Down Time with NAC
The new ARRI Media Tornado system couples NAC's new fxCam digital HD camera, capable of capturing images up to 1000fps, with a Quantel eQ loaded with some specially developed image-processing algorithms. The result is a state-of-the-art high-speed digital image capture service: ultra slo-mo shots which use Quantel horse-power and code to achieve superb clarity and image quality. The aim is to widen digital high-speed photography applications to areas such as sports, wildlife, commercials and science productions. See http://www.arrimedia.com

NLE news

Apple Introduces Xsan Storage Area Network File System
Apple has introduced Xsan, a high-performance, enterprise-class Storage Area Network (SAN) file system. The 64-bit cluster file system for Mac OS X enables users to consolidate storage resources and provide multiple computers with concurrent file-level read/write access to shared volumes over Fibre Channel. It is certified with Apple's suite of professional applications, including Final Cut Pro HD and Motion. Xsan is interoperable with ADIC's StorNext File System, so it can be used in heterogeneous environments that include Windows, UNIX and Linux server operating system platforms. Xsan will be available in Autumn 2004 for a suggested retail price of £699 (inc. VAT) per system. See http://www.apple.com

Pinnacle Delivers CinéWave 4.6
Pinnacle Systems has announced the immediate availability of CinéWave 4.6, delivering full support for multi-stream real-time effects with simultaneous HD and SD video out for Panasonic's DVCPRO HD (DV100) format. It provides complete support, including overcrank and undercrank, for Panasonic's VariCam progressive scan, variable frame rate HD camcorder, plus it supports capture and transcode of all popular HD formats and frame rates to DV100 from legacy HD decks and devices. In addition to full support for Apple RT Extreme with video out, CinéWave delivers guaranteed CPU-independent native real-time performance. Features include mixed formats within a timeline, 16-bit video support, real-time native RGBA support, real-time animation codec support, real-time HD (16:9) pan and scan downconvert with keyframeable controls to uncompressed SD (4:3), simultaneous live SD and HD outputs, and more. CinéWave also offers real-time uncompressed HD effects with simultaneous keyframeable downconvert to SD. CinéWave's new, fully keyframeable real-time HD video controls include phase for colour adjustment, setup for adjusting black range, video levels for adjusting brightness, and chroma level for adjusting saturation. CinéWave 4.6 is available for immediate download by all current CinéWave 4 customers at www.pinnaclesys.com/support. Owners of versions prior to CinéWave 4 can purchase a CinéWave 4 software upgrade for SRP US$295. See http://www.pinnaclesys.com/cinewave.

Gee Broadcast Completes Purchase of Lightworks Business and Assets
Gee Broadcast Systems has completed the purchase of the Lightworks business and its assets. A new company, Lightworks UK Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gee Broadcast will now develop, sell and support the Lightworks editing products. The sales, support and development operations of Lightworks will remain based at the company's headquarters in Farringdon, London, UK. The Lightworks US sales operation is expected to be strengthened, building on its existing customer base in the Hollywood film industry. Fairlight Japan, the previous owners of the Lightworks business, will continue to distribute the Lightworks products in their area. Lightworks Touch Version 1.6 software is now available for downloading. As well as a large number of bug fixes for Version 1.5, OMF import and export has been completely overhauled, ensuring correct 24 frame project operation, the correct handling of levels, and external file references. There have also been a number of audio workflow improvements. Version 1.6 allows the correct specification of audio speed details for audio imports into film projects. It also supports a 47,952 Hz project sample rate to aid NTSC film workflow. See http://www.lwks.com

Thomson Expands Grass Valley Digital News Production Line
Thomson has announced additions to its Grass Valley brand Digital News Production (DNP) solutions which will be demonstrated at IBC in Amsterdam in September. These include a new Grass Valley Ingest Station, an enhanced version of the Grass Valley NewsEdit system, and key enhancements to the Grass Valley NewsBrowse Web-based browser/editor. Thomson also announced a technology partnership with Publison, which enables NewsEdit system customers to work in tandem with the Publison audio post-production system and perform dedicated, frame-accurate audio mixing. The Ingest Station 1.0 supports the automatic recording of tape-based materials to up to six channels, and it can also send materials to Grass Valley Profile 6G and Profile XP Media Platform servers, M-Series iVDRs, and FeedClip interactive feed capture systems. The NewsEdit 5.1 nonlinear editor includes a seamless interface with Panasonic P2 and Sony XDCAM recording systems. Both systems support MXF, which is fully recognisable by the NewsEdit system. The NewsEdit 5.1 system also supports transparent integration with Apple Final Cut Pro software and the Publison audio postproduction system. Version 3.0 of the NewsBrowse Web-based browser/editor includes enhanced archiving features, interface improvements, a new low-resolution encoder, and support for a variety of architecture based around the Grass Valley Network Attached Storage system. Pricing for the Grass Valley Ingest Station starts at EUR8,000 and is scheduled to be available in July 2004. See http://www.thomsongrassvalley.com

Optibase Announces Completion of Media 100 Asset Acquisition
Optibase has announced that, following a favourable judgment from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts, it has completed the purchase of substantially all of the assets of Media 100 Inc. for $2.5 million. With the addition of Media 100's 844/X, Media 100 HD, Media 100 i and other content design products to the Company's product portfolio, Optibase now offers a broader selection of high quality professional video products, from digital editing and compositing to encoding and delivery. See http://www.optibase.com

Sony Unveils Second-Generation All-Digital Server-Based Newsroom
Sony has unveiled SONAPS, a networked production system and the company's second-generation, all-digital, server-based news infrastructure. It is based on the Material Exchange Format (MXF) file format to transfer, ingest and share footage as data files and maximises the workflow benefits of several Sony technologies that support this standard, including the XDCAM professional disc system, the e-VTR and the XPRI family of nonlinear editing technologies, as well as a growing list of MXF-based solutions from third parties. SONAPS complements a key feature of the XDCAM system: the ability to capture high-resolution A/V content simultaneously in a low-resolution, frame-accurate proxy version. Field crews can transfer this proxy A/V data to their studios faster than real time, so in-house producers can begin assembling EDLs almost immediately following acquisition. Incoming material received by a facility also generates proxy data at the point of ingest. The system is fully compatible with XDCAM proxy A/V and XDCAM metadata, and supports 25Mbps DVCAM and 30/40/50Mb/s MPEG IMX. It uses the XPRI Metastation, a news-oriented version of XPRI as its online editor, and the XPRI Mobile software for field editing. It comprises newsroom software, a RAID-based material server and playout server, plus associated networking components and workstations, and scales from a single full-resolution editor to more than a dozen simultaneous NLE workstations, with multi-user proxy A/V access and hundreds of hours of full-resolution video in its daily server with multiple channels of ingest and playout. The system supports multiple studio regions, and tracks multiple playlists. Material can be presented to playout ports with real time links to industry standard newsroom computer systems through its MOS gateway application. Attached metadata allows material to be easily tracked from origination and acquisition through production and playout and into archive. See http://www.sony.com/professional

Thomson Announces WiFi Integration for Grass Valley Laptop Editor
Thomson has announced that as part of a joint technology development agreement, it will package the NewsEdit LT laptop nonlinear editor with the Telestream MAPone newsgathering application for WiFi transmission. MAPone supports low data rate wireless or wired transmissions and file compression, allowing stories edited in the field to be sent back from any phone line or Internet access point cost-effectively. The MAPone software also manages file naming and logging, and when the NewsEdit LT files are received at the station on a Telestream Flipfactory system, they are reformatted and immediately compatible with the range of Grass Valley DNP products. See http://www.thomsongrassvalley.com

Matrox Announces Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 Certification
Matrox Video Products Group has announced that the Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 drivers for the Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro and RT.X10 Suite realtime video editing platforms have been certified by Adobe and are now available for download from the Matrox website. New features of Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro include DVCPRO support, WYSIWYG support for video output on a PAL or NTSC monitor when using Adobe Encore DVD, and new realtime filters including colour match, colour pass, colour replace, lens warp, and timecode overlay. Registered owners of Matrox RT.X100 and Matrox RT.X10 series products can download the Matrox drivers free of charge. Customers who purchased Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro Suite, Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro Collection, or Matrox RT.X10 Suite on or after 20 March 2004 are also eligible for free upgrade copies of the Adobe software that was included in their Matrox product. See http://www.matrox.com/video

Canopus Announce EDIUS 2.5
Canopus has announced EDIUS 2.5, the latest version of its nonlinear editing application. EDIUS 2.5 includes new features to improve workflow and boost productivity, such as the ability to select and move multiple clips, quickly apply filters and transitions to any number of clips simultaneously, merge projects together, and a new cropping, scaling, repositioning tool for realtime aspect ratio conversions. It also includes a new keyboard customisation applet that reconfigures keyboard commands so editors can work with familiar shortcuts. EDIUS 2.5 can import Canopus Imaginate 2.0 projects, as well as AIFF and Ogg Vorbis audio files, and includes a plug-in bridge that allows VST audio plug-ins to function as EDIUS 2.5 audio filters. EDIUS 2.5 will be available in July from authorised dealers for a suggested retail price of GB£349.00/EUR479.00. A free EDIUS 2.5 upgrade will be available to registered users of EDIUS 2.0 in June 2004. See http://www.canopus.com

Red Giant Software Releases Magic Bullet Editors with Support for Adobe
Premiere Pro Red Giant Software has announced the availability of Magic Bullet Editors, a plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro that enables moviemakers to add film treatments right on the timeline. Magic Bullet Editors is an upgrade from Magic Bullet Movie Looks, a software application available free to all registered Premiere Pro users. Magic Bullet Editors delivers film stock emulation, diffusion filter, and easy-to-use film-look presets inspired by popular productions, such as The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan, Traffic, and Amelié. The Magic Bullet Editors 55 custom-designed Looks alter shading, contrast, and tints of scenes to mimic the elusive look of film. Users can choose preset Looks from a pop-up menu or customise and save their own film treatments. Magic Bullet Editors also includes the film damage creation tool, Misfire, which accurately recreates characteristics of old film, including grain, splotches, and scratches as well as projection artefacts like flicker and gate weave. In addition to a master plug-in with 13 categories of control, plug-ins for another 13 effects are included in the package. Magic Bullet Editors is available for GB£175.00/EUR250.00. Prices quoted are exclusive of VAT. See http://www.redgiantsoftware.com or http://www.thecarpark.net

DAW news

SADiE Announces New Portable BB2 System
SADiE has announced the BB2 and BB2-J portable USB2.0-connected editing systems. The BB2 is targeted primarily at the radio broadcast market. Utilising a USB2.0 interface, it can be quickly added to any modern laptop or desktop PC running Windows XP. Incorporating a newly designed powerful DSP sub-system, the BB2 addresses the growing need in the broadcast industry for a fully professional yet simplified product suited for smaller scale editing and recording tasks and fast turn-around packages. Connections are provided for analogue I/O, SPDIF digital I/O, headphone output and stereo microphone input. The BB2-J version adds a fully functional jog wheel controller, together with core function buttons, and has been ergonomically designed to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury. The BB2 and BB2-J have a radically simplified user interface, making them very intuitive to learn and use. This interface is concentrated into a single window and allows the recording and editing of up to 8 tracks with level and pan controls, transport, clip selection and master output level controls, all accessible from within this one window. Normal cut/copy/paste routines and both the familiar SADiE playlist and region editing functions are incorporated. Full interchange with more powerful SADiE Series 5 systems, and third party equipment, is provided to allow projects to be migrated to larger systems when required, and future versions of additional levels of editing functionality are planned. See http://www.sadie.com

CEDAR and SADiE Announce the Development of Retouch DSD
CEDAR Audio and SADiE have jointly agreed to develop the world's first audio restoration system that handles true 1-bit, 64Fs DSD audio. Work has been underway for seven months, and the project is now well enough advanced for the companies to envisage a product launch later in 2004. The aim is to allow SADiE DSD8 users to take advantage of Retouch without leaving the 1-bit domain, so eliminating the risk of audio degradation when signals are converted to and from the PCM domain for processing. See http://www.cedaraudio.com or http://www.sadie.com

Steinberg Ships WaveLab 5
Steinberg Media Technologies has announced that it is shipping version 5 of its WaveLab audio editing and mastering application. WaveLab 5 includes a full set of DVD Audio mastering and authoring tools, and new capabilities include support for up to eight audio channels throughout the entire signal chain for recording, editing, processing and mastering. The DVD Audio burning capabilities include video data and WaveLab 5 also offers DVD Audio extraction, conversion, and archiving. Additional DVD Audio specific features include an extensive DVD Audio authoring toolset, including playlist editing, on-screen video menu design, picture slide shows, and DVD text. Besides DVD Audio features, there are new capabilities within the stereo and multi-channel audio domain. A new 'Smart' Video Thumbnail Track for editing audio for video is included, as is support for track based insert effects, multi-channel metering, and support for Steinberg Surround Edition plug-ins. WaveLab 5 is available for US$699.99. See http://www.steinberg.net

Steinberg ships Nuendo DTS Encoder
Steinberg Media Technologies has announced the availability of its Nuendo DTS Encoder plug-in. This plug-in makes the DTS format available to all Nuendo users, and is now shipping as a cross platform version for Mac OSX and Windows 2000/XP. Incorporated within the Nuendo export dialogue, the plug-in allows users to export single files or an entire surround mix of up to 5.1 channels in the DTS format, and the process is faster than realtime. An option to export as DTS WAV files allows the burning of encoded files to CD for playback of a DTS stream via the digital output of any CD player. The Nuendo DTS Encoder will also create additional discreet WAV files of the exported audio corresponding to the number of encoded and internally decoded channels and automatically place them on newly created tracks in the Nuendo project. As a result the Nuendo implementation of the DTS technology allows for monitoring the complete encoding-decoding process on a per channel basis. See http://www.steinberg.net

Yamaha and Steinberg Announce Studio Connections Initiative
Yamaha and Steinberg have formed a strategic alliance to develop tightly integrated solutions for the music and media production market. The goal of the Studio Connections project is to enable the strengths of both hardware and software to be seamlessly combined to produce powerful, flexible and highly efficient audio production systems. New technologies and protocols are also being defined and initial hardware and software product releases are planned for the second half of 2004. The first phase of the initiative utilises version 2 of Yamaha's Studio Manager technology which is being integrated within Steinberg's Cubase SX and Nuendo DAW applications. Studio Manager V2 functions as the host for a range of editing software for hardware products such as digital mixing consoles, synthesizers, effects processors, etc. After completion of the first phase, interface protocols and guidelines related to these technologies will be made freely available to other manufacturers. See http://www.yamahasynth.com or http://www.steinberg.net

Tascam Announces DAW Manufacturer Support for the FW-1884
Tascam has announced that the FW-1884 audio/ MIDI interface and control surface is supported by a range of DAW systems following recent updates by Cakewalk, MOTU, Steinberg and Emagic. Co-designed by Tascam and Frontier Design Group, the FW-1884 turns any Mac or PC into a professional audio workstation with one FireWire cable. The FW-1884 offers an 18-channel audio interface comprising 8 channel analogue I/O, 8 channel ADAT digital and 2 SPDIF coaxial or optical I/O, 8 mic preamps, 4x4 MIDI interface, 9 100mm motorised touch-sensitive faders, dedicated controls for pan, solo, mute and select per channel, and tactile control over four bands of EQ. Other features include 24bit/96kHz recording resolution with surround monitoring control, comprehensive mixing, automation, editing and navigation controls for almost any DAW application , Mackie HUI and Mackie Control emulation. An FE-8 fader expander adds an additional eight control channels and faders. See http://www.tascam.com

Digigram Resizes PCX924v2, PCX22v2, and VX222v2 Cards
Digigram has resized its PCX924v2, PCX22v2, and VX222v2 stereo sound cards to the compact short-length PCI format. With a length of only 175mm (6.875 inches), the cards now fit in the most compact computers with 5V, 5V+3.3V, or 3.3V PCI busses, as well as computers with PCI-X bus. The new cards are fully compatible with existing drivers. See http://www.digigram.com

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Apple
Professional video and audio production technologies:
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IBC 2004
Exhibition:
10-14 September 2004
Conference:
9-14 September 2004
RAI, Amsterdam
The Netherlands

 

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