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SYPHAnews - 27 February 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

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STOP PRESS!! We are in the process of spring-cleaning the NLE Buyers Guide - everything will be renewed in time for the NAB Convention. If you know of a nonlinear video product that isn't already in the guide, including turnkey systems and hardware and software packages, then please let us know.

Following its success last year, we are producing a print edition of this newsletter, that will be distributed at the NAB Convention, as well as being available as a PDF online. Please make sure you send us your NAB announcements as early as possible.

Camera news

JVC Launches New Cost-Effective Studio Camera
JVC has launched the KY-F560 compact general-purpose camera. With the addition of accessories, it can be used as an efficient and cost-effective studio camera for those in a space-restricted environment and it weighs only 900g. It has 3 x 1/2" progressive scan CCDs offering 440,000 effective pixels, widescreen capability, 12-bit DSP and has a signal-to-noise ratio of 62dB. It produces 850 lines of horizontal resolution with a high sensitivity of F13 at 2000 lux, and will produce 100% video in a minimum illumination of F1.4 at 0.5 lux. It is fully compatible with all JVC KY-F32 series options including 1/2" bayonet lenses. The KY-F560 has composite output and genlock input. Options include SDI output and remote control with the PTZ kit. See

JVC Introduces Portable HD Player/Recorder
JVC has introduced the CU-VH1, a portable high-definition player/recorder. It is an ideal complement to the JVC HD camcorders and offers multi-format playback and a range of recording options. It features a 3.5-inch LCD monitor, an iLink interface and a USB connection, component outputs for multi-format playback, and an SD card slot for capturing stills from tape. It records and plays back Mini DV cassettes, and for high-definition recording and playback, adheres to the HDV format. The CU-VH1 plays back 720/30p (MPEG-2), 480/60p (MPEG-2) and 480/60i video, including any footage shot with either of the JVC GR-HD1 and JVC JY-HD10 camcorders. It includes up- and down-conversion so that HD recordings can be viewed on virtually any television or monitor, and it frame doubles 30fps 720/30p HD recordings for viewing on progressive 720/60p analogue HD monitors, or converts 480/60p or 720/30p signals to 1080/60i HD. It can also down-convert to 480/60p or 480/60i for playback on progressive or NTSC monitors, and 16:9 HD, SD or DV footage can be played in 16:9 or 4:3 letterbox modes. Footage can also be viewed on its built-in 3.5-inch, 240,000-pixel high-resolution LCD monitor. See

Panasonic Introduces Ultra-Compact Camcorder with an Array of Shooting Styles
Panasonic has introduced the AG-DVC30, an ultra-compact, 2.4lb Mini DV camcorder. It is equipped with three 410,000-pixel CCDs, and offers four shooting styles. It has a detachable handle, large focus ring and 3.5" LCD monitor. The range of automatic controls include focus, iris, white balance and neutral density. The AG-DVC30 offers Super Night Shooting (SNS) recording in black-and-white. Its infrared capabilities support near-field acquisition, and with the addition of its optional IR light, recording distance is extended, allowing people or objects to be viewed in complete darkness. It also provides a movie-like mode that combines a cine-style gamma curve and a 30fps frame recording function that electronically interpolates interlaced images to create frames. There is a Lumi Flick menu item for generating an old-time movie effect. Its slow shutter function uses image accumulation to allow shutter speeds of up to one-fourth the normal frame rate for higher sensitivity in colour recording. The show shutter can also be used to capture artistic motion effects. It is equipped with a newly-engineered, wide-angle 16x Leica Dicomar zoom lens with Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) and a focal length of 39.5 to 632mm (35mm still camera equivalent). This lens has low-dispersion glass to substantially reduce chromatic aberration, flare and ghosting. It also includes digital stamping of date and time into the image. Standard features include synchro-scan shutter recording (1/60.3 - 1/250s), a built-in SMPTE timecode generator/reader, and SMPTE compliant colour bar display and recording. The AG-DVC30 will be available in March 2004 with a suggested list price of US$2595. The optional infrared light has a suggested list price of US$380. See

NLE news

NAB Launches New Post|Production World Conference and ICE Awards
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced The NAB Post|Production World Conference, to be held during NAB2004. Co-produced with Future Media Concepts, the conference will feature over 160 sessions on a large variety of topics including digital video and film editing, news editing, compositing and special effects, 3D animation, web design, DVD authoring, video encoding for DVD and streaming, sound design, digital imaging, tech support for digital facilities and DV production tips. The sessions are designed for intermediate to advanced users who wish to enhance effectiveness and creativity and learn power tips that they may apply to future projects. Software covered in the sessions will include Avid Media Composer, Avid Xpress Pro, Avid Xpress DV, Avid|DS, Pro Tools, NewsCutter, Apple Final Cut Pro, Shake, DVD Studio Pro and Logic, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere and Encore, Macromedia Flash, Dreamweaver and Fireworks, Discreet Combustion and Cleaner, and Boris Red and Continum. As part of the Post|Production World Conference, the Individual Creative Excellence (ICE) Awards will recognise those who stretch creativity and craft outstanding works in production and post-production. Editors, graphic artists, sound designers, web designers and videographers from any entity that uses the medium of digital art to produce exceptional work are eligible to enter. At an awards ceremony held during NAB2004, five finalists and then one winner in six specific crafts will be announced. The crafts are: editing, graphics & animation, audio production & sound design, producing & directing, interactive design, and videography & photography. Each craft is further classified into the broadcast, non-broadcast or student industries, and then into additional specific genres. The Judging Committee for the 2004 NAB ICE Awards consists of an elite group of distinguished industry professionals representing various disciplines. The entry fee is US$125 for the first piece of work submitted, and US$100 for each additional piece of work or for consideration of the piece in additional categories. Students with a valid student identification may submit their entry for the Student Category for a US$35 fee. The deadline for entries is 5 March 2004. NAB2004 will take place 17 - 22 April 2004 in Las Vegas (exhibits open April 19). See and

Sony Announces Interoperability Between XDCAM and Avid Nonlinear Editing Solutions
Sony has announced that content captured on Sony XDCAM Professional Disc systems will be compatible with the Avid Technology native MPEG IMX (30/40/50Mb/s) and DVCAM nonlinear editing systems, including Avid NewsCutter and Media Composer. This seamless interoperability will allow more users to realise the workflow benefits of the XDCAM system, including its ability to store A/V data and metadata on high-capacity, random access discs. According to Avid, initial support for XDCAM format content will allow users to transfer high-resolution A/V clips across IP networks at high speed, greatly accelerating and streamlining the process of acquiring A/V material. Journalists and producers can begin assembling EDLs almost immediately following acquisition. Metadata compatibility will also be provided through Sony and Avid support of the Material eXchange Format (MXF) media file format. See

Quantel Certifies generationQ Systems with SGI InfiniteStorage Solutions
Quantel and Silicon Graphics have announced that the Quantel iQ Digital Intermediate system and eQ HD editing system are now both certified for integration with SGI InfiniteStorage solutions that feature the SGI InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS. The combination of the two technologies offers a post production environment that allows the efficient handling and networking of terabytes of data. The key to the interoperability is the SGI heterogeneous shared filesystem that supports all the leading operating systems used in contemporary post production, namely IRIX, Windows, 32-bit and 64-bit Linux, and Mac OS X. CXFS provides the software infrastructure to allow simultaneous shared access to that storage. All systems have direct access to all data and are no longer bottlenecked by slow, congested networks or overloaded file servers. See

Pinnacle Systems Lowers Barrier for Professional Network Editing
Pinnacle Systems has introduced Liquid Editing for Workgroups, a complete, low-cost networked editing solution using the Pinnacle Palladium Store 100 (PS100). Liquid Editing for Workgroups offers the plug-and-play simplicity within an entire system that has been engineered, tested and qualified by Pinnacle. No additional hardware is required on client PCs - users simply attach a network cable between their PC and the PS100's built-in Gigabit Ethernet connections and they are ready to go. Liquid Editing for Workgroups is aimed at local broadcast, corporate, boutique post-production, government, and educational operations. Facilities that already own Pinnacle Liquid Edition seats can purchase a complete package, including an environment qualified for up to 16 Liquid Edition editors, 2TB of usable storage (enough for 140 hours at DV quality video), ultra-secure RAID 10 mirroring, Pinnacle Liquid Project Server for collaboration and scheduling flexibility, Gigabit Ethernet switches, and the Pinnacle Media Access Server (MAS) for guaranteed network performance for 49,995 Euros. Liquid Editing for Workgroups with ten Pinnacle Liquid Edition PRO clients costs 59,995 Euros. See

Leitch Introduces New Model of VelocityQ NLE
Leitch has announced the VelocityQ 2x4, a new lower-cost model of the VelocityQ multi-stream nonlinear editing system. Like the existing model of VelocityQ, now known as VelocityQ 4x4, the VelocityQ 2x4 combines the Velocity software interface with the Quattrus multi-stream realtime hardware. Both models feature guaranteed realtime, full-quality playback of four streams of video in any combination of compressed or uncompressed, and up to six graphics streams. The VelocityQ 4x4 features the Q3DX4 quad-channel 3D DVE module, enabling four channels of simultaneous realtime 3D effects, including perspectives, warps and rotations. The new VelocityQ 2x4 model features the Q3DX2 dual-channel 3D DVE, providing two simultaneous channels of these effects. While the VelocityQ 4x4 includes as standard a rackmountable audio/video breakout box, I/O connections to the VelocityQ 2x4 are provided through the included breakout cable, with the breakout box available as an option. VelocityQ 2x4 is available as a boardset-and-software bundle for Windows 2000 or Windows XP workstation, while VelocityQ 4x4 is available as a boardset-and-software bundle or as a turnkey solution. See

Aurora Ships New PipePro and Pipe Video Capture and Editing Cards
Aurora Video Systems is now shipping the PipePro and Pipe video capture and editing for Mac systems and QuickTime applications. The PipePro supports the RT Extreme's capabilities within Final Cut Pro and editing in a variety of formats ranging from uncompressed to DV. It offers 10-bit inputs and outputs across the board, an SDI input, two SDI outputs, and an RS-422 serial port. It can simultaneously output analogue video via composite, S-video, and YUV connections. As well as two-channel output of 24-bit 48kHz analogue audio, the PipePro features four channels of 48kHz SPDIF (AES/EBU-compatible) digital audio I/O. The Aurora Pipe card is aimed at offline editors working with uncompressed applications that do not require the power of hardware-accelerated realtime effects. It works with Final Cut Pro, and provides realtime preview compatibility with Adobe After Effects and Discreet combustion. It offers composite and S-video I/O and 16-bit 48kHz dual-channel RCA unbalanced audio, with perfect synchronisation between the Mac desktop and NTSC/PAL video display provided by True Colour Filtering for enhanced colourspace conversion. Both upper- and lower-field PAL are supported with no rendering required to operate in an upper-field-first PAL timeline. The PipePro costs US$799 and the Pipe card costs US$499. There is a 25% reduction with the turn-in of a competing product. See

Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro Offers Compatibility with Canopus and Pinnacle Video Files
Matrox Video Products Group has announced the availability of an updater for the Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro driver set that provides file format compatibility with selected Pinnacle and Canopus products. After installing the updater, users can play back Pinnacle and Canopus DV AVI files in realtime on a Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro system with no need to re-encode the original video files. Registered Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro owners can download the updater free of charge. The updater has been validated with files captured on Canopus DVStorm and DVStorm2, and Pinnacle DV500, DV500 Plus, DV500 DVD, Pro-ONE and Pro-ONE RTDV. See

ATI, Intel and Pinnacle Systems Demonstrate HD Video Editing on PC
ATI Technologies, Intel and Pinnacle Systems have demonstrated high-definition (HD) video editing on the PC. The demonstration used the ATI PCI Express visual processing unit (VPU) with the PCI Express interconnect incorporated directly into the graphics chip. The ATI PCI Express VPU, in conjunction with the advanced realtime HD engine being developed by Pinnacle, takes advantage of the enhanced data transfer capabilities offered by PCI Express. The demonstration showed how PCI Express can bring HD video editing to the consumer and prosumer-level. OEMs are expected to transition systems to the PCI Express standard. ATI has sampled its PCI Express solution to OEMs and system development partners. As motherboard and chipset vendors make their PCI Express solutions available, ATI will deliver a full family of PCI Express products. See

FOR-A Introduces New Multichannel Digital Disk Recorder
FOR-A has introduced the LDR-4 multichannel digital disk recorder. It provides recording of four input streams, and with a 120GB hard drive, has enough capacity to record 30 hours of DV-quality material per channel. It is suitable for multicamera live digital sports production and broadcast - both remote and in studio, as well as studio production and postproduction applications. It allows simultaneous record and playback, so that up to four channels can record a live event while any one of them can be played back simultaneously. There is also a remote control feature via RS-422 (4:2:4) protocol and optional Ethernet 10/100baseT networking support. The LDR-4 can be operated in NTSC or PAL standards, and it includes time-lapse recording, automatic detection of video loss, on-screen titling generation/display (up to eight characters per channel) and intelligent alarms features that alert users to pending problems. Once recorded, images can be randomly accessed across all the channels using simple time of day, alarm events or start/end points. I/O support includes analogue composite inputs and analogue composite-Y/C output. See

DAW news

Digidesign Announces Bigger Savings with Mix-to-HD Hardware Exchange
Digidesign has announced bigger savings with the MIX-to-HD Hardware Exchange program. Until 30 June 2004, owners of a Pro Tools|24 or Pro Tools|24 MIX system can exchange their system for a Pro Tools|HD 2 or 3 Accel system and save an additional US$2000 off the regular Hardware Exchange list prices, or exchange for a Pro Tools|HD 1 and save an additional US$1500. After June 30, 2004, these exchanges will return to their previous pricing. Along with the Pro Tools|HDpack plug-in bundle which will be automatically included, those who exchange by 31 March 2004 will receive a collection of the Bomb Factory plug-ins for free: seven plug-ins with Pro Tools|HD 1 (a US$1952 value); ten plug-ins with Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel (a US$2600 value); and sixteen plug-ins with Pro Tools|HD 3 Accel (a US$3940 value). Pro Tools TDM 6.2 or higher software for Mac OS X and Windows XP is required for support of the HD Accel card, and is included with all Hardware Exchanges. Exchanges to Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools|HD Accel systems continue to be available for registered owners of Pro Tools III, Pro Tools LE products, and even older non-TDM Digidesign systems (these Hardware Exchanges do not qualify for the promotional Bomb Factory plug-ins). See

Tascam Announces 24-Track Workstation
Tascam has announced the 2488, a 24-track recording workstation for under US$1500. The 2488 records 24 tracks of audio at 24-bit resolution, with 250 virtual tracks, powerful editing and looping functions. Its 36 mixer inputs mix 24 playback tracks, eight analogue inputs, a 64-voice MIDI tone generator and stereo effects processor. Three-band EQ is provided for all 24 channels, plus the eight inputs and tone generator channel. Three aux sends - one for each mixer channel except for the effects return, send to a loop effect with effects such as reverb and delay or external devices. Up to eight dynamics processors can be used while recording or mixing, and an additional stereo compressor is dedicated to the stereo output. The 2488 can also master and burn a CD using the built-in CD-RW drive, or transfer a track to a computer using the high-speed USB 2.0 connection. See

Tascam Unveils New DAW Controller
Tascam has unveiled the US-2400, a 25-fader DAW controller for under US$2000. The US-2400 features 25 touch-sensitive 100mm moving faders for full mix control without patching together multiple expanders. Each of the 24 channels has an assignable encoder with an LED ring that shows the current value, that doubles as a signal meter. A full transport section is also included for DAW control, as well as a joystick for surround panning. It was co-developed with SaneWave. See

Roland Announces 20-Track Workstation
Roland has announced the VS-2000CD Digital Studio Workstation, its first V-Studio with plug-in support. The VS-2000CD offers 20 recording tracks, 320 virtual tracks, eight XLR inputs, an optional VGA output with mouse-based graphical editing, plus a 40GB hard drive, CD-RW drive, and USB 2.0. With the optional VS8F-3 Plug-In Effect Expansion Board, it supports plug-in effects from Roland and optional third party plug-ins from Antares, IK Multimedia, Massenburg, Universal Audio and more. The VS-2000CD offers 16 or 24-bit recording, a 40-channel digital mixer, 17 faders and dedicated Channel Edit knobs, plus four knobs for controlling the dynamics and four-band EQ for any input or track. Onboard effects include all the studio essentials, plus COSM Guitar Amp and Microphone Modelling and a new Harmony Sequence function for adding realistic harmonies to a vocal. Tracks can be mastered with the Mastering Tool Kit and burned to CD using the internal CD-RW drive. It also comes with a new Rhythm Track feature, which lets users program stereo drums on tracks 17-18 using high-quality PCM sounds. A variety of preset patterns are included, or users can create their own. A chromatic tuner is also included, making it easy for guitarists to tune up before recording. The VS-2000CD includes Roland V-LINK technology for integrating audio and video. See

Sonic Studio Ships DSD.1 Eight Channel Assembly System
Sonic Studio is shipping all-new DSD.1 processing hardware that records and plays 8 channels of Direct Stream Digital audio with crossfades via SDIF-3 on BNC connectors. The single full length PCI card may be operated on its own as a standalone DSD assembly system, or may coexist with a Sonic Studio HD system to form a combined DSD/PCM system on a single computer. DSD.1 recording and editing is performed entirely within the DSD domain at 64fs using the Sonic Studio editing environment, complete with four-point cut and paste editing and the Edit Fade Mode crossfade editor. DSD.1 also imports pre-existing DSD files as long as they are compliant with the DSD-IFF standard file format. DSD.1 will recreate the necessary waveform graphics with no need to recapture. The Sonic Studio DSD.1 is available in two configurations: DSD.1-Base and DSD.1-with Authoring. The DSD.1-Base configuration consists of the DSD.1 processor card and the Sonic Studio DSD Assembly application software. The system also includes a BNC terminated breakout cable for SDIF-3 and DSDraw. The DSD.1-with Authoring configuration adds full SACD authoring equivalent to the Sonic Studio SACD.1 standalone application. With this tool, final SACD compliant cutting masters are written to Sony AIT Type 1 tape cartridges for delivery to the manufacturing plant. Also included is full DST encoding for authoring SACDs in six-channel surround. The introductory price for the DSD.1-Base configuration is US$8995. Existing HD owners will receive an additional discount of US$1000 making the base configuration price US$7995. The DSD.1-with Authoring is priced at US$11,995 and also features the US$1000 loyalty discount for existing HD owners. See

BIAS Announces Peak 4.1 with Bundled Mastering, CD Burning and Special Effects Software
BIAS has announced that Peak 4.1 will include Roxio Jam professional Redbook standard CD burning software for Mac OS X and SFX Machine LT - a limited edition of the multi-effects sound design plug-in. Peak users can easily create regions and playlists within Peak, then save them as Jam Images for easy burning with Jam. In turn, Jam features the ability to launch Peak as an external audio editor. This integration offers a flexible workflow between both applications. The addition of Jam to Peak enables users to include track indexes, track names, ISRC codes, and additional information necessary for the production of commercial replication-ready CDs. The addition of SFX Machine LT adds to Peak's sound design power by including 21 appropriately-named presets such as Multi-Vox 3, RoboTalk, BackwardsFragment 5, Jimi Echo, Triggered Wah+Dist, and more. A popular Randomize feature is also included and customers may upgrade to the full edition of SFX Machine at a discount by selecting the upgrade link within the plug-in. Peak 4.1 will be available Q1 2004 for an SRP of US$499. See

PreSonus Debuts 24bit/96kHz Recording Studio
PreSonus has debuted the FIREPOD, a complete 24bit/96kHz recording studio including eight PreSonus microphone preamplifiers and Steinberg Cubase SE 48-track recording software. It is compatible with Windows XP and Mac OS X, and is also compatible with both ASIO and WDM-based applications including Cubase SX, Nuendo, Deck, Peak and Logic software. The interface features a headphone output on the front panel, as well as a mix knob to balance monitoring levels between mixed input and main output signals. A level potentiometer on the front panel controls the input level of each preamplifier. Inputs one and two of the FIREPOD can switch between microphone and instrument level, while inputs three through eight can switch between microphone and line input. Phantom power (+48V) is available on every channel (in groups of four) and dual-input Neutrik connectors are used for all eight inputs. The FIREPOD is also equipped with eight balanced TRS line outputs, as well two balanced TRS main outputs, two channels of S/PDIF input and output and MIDI input and output. The additional FireWire port makes it possible to daisy chain multiple FIREPODs together. FIREPOD is priced at under US$700. See

CreamWare Audio Continues Development of CreamWare Products
CreamWare Datentechnik GmbH, makers of DSP based audio products such as Pulsar and Noah, filed for insolvency in June 2003. A new company, CreamWare Audio GmbH, can now continue development of existing CreamWare products, technology and customer relations. This new start became possible after CreamWare Audio reached an agreement to purchase all major assets from Dirk Obermueller, the insolvency administrator of CreamWare Datentechnik GmbH. CreamWare Audio will continue to provide technical support, repair and warranty services for CreamWare's existing user base. See

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