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SYPHAnews - 28th February 2002

Welcome to SYPHAnews - a newsletter designed to keep you up-to-date with nonlinear audio and video news, as well as developments at http://SYPHAonline.com (incorporating http://NLEguide.com and http://DAWguide.com).

We will deliver this service to you free of charge every month - unless there is some major news or event which we think you should know about sooner.

New at SYPHAonline.com

STOP PRESS!! In case you missed our previous newsflash - the all-new Pro Camera Guide - a buyers guide to broadcast and professional digital cameras and camcorders - is now launched at http://SYPHAonline.com.

We are also in the process of spring-cleaning the NLE Buyers Guide - everything must be renewed in time for the NAB Convention. If you manufacture a nonlinear editing system or disk recorder/server for editing, and we haven't contacted you, then please let us know immediately.

For the DAW Buyers Guide we have new full details listings for:

  • Cube-Tec - AudioCube 5
  • Cube-Tec - QUADRIGA
  • Mackie Broadcast & Professional - SoundScape 32.

For the NLE Buyers Guide we have new full details listings for:

  • Compaq Computer - Evo Workstation W8000
  • Digital Voodoo - D1 64 & D1 64AV
  • Digital Voodoo - Iridium AV
  • Digital Voodoo - Iridium HD
  • Gee Broadcast Systems - GeeVS

and new entries for:

  • Compaq Computer - Evo Workstation W4000
  • Compaq Computer - Evo Workstation W6000.

NLE news

Avid Announces Avid Xpress DV 3
Avid Technology has announced Avid Xpress DV v3 software. New features include a user interface with customisable tool sets, Media Composer source-record style editing and SuperBin; keyframe model with bezier controls and keyframes per parameter; user control to maximise either performance or image quality; Avid UnityLANshare support for low-cost networking and media sharing; Avid DV CODEC for improved image quality that withstands multiple generations; realtime architecture that delivers realtime effects on systems with as little as 750MHz processing and 256MB RAM; 8 video tracks with unlimited nesting for dynamic multi-layered compositions; and low-cost DVD burner support plus five times faster MPEG encoding. It is scheduled to be available in mid-February for the Windows platform and mid-2002 for the Mac platform. Avid Xpress DV v3 standard configuration has a MSRP of US$1699/EUR2000/GB£1300 and includes Boris FX LTD, Boris Graffiti LTD, Sonic DVDit!, and Discreet Cleaner EZ. See http://www.avid.com.

Pinnacle Releases CinéWave 2.1 to Add Power to Apple's Final Cut Pro 3
Pinnacle Systems has released CinéWave 2.1. The new version of this editing and compositing solution adds uncompressed realtime power to the new three-way colour correction capability of Apple's Final Cut Pro 3, as well as realtime chroma keying with spill suppression and colour correction filters. CinéWave 2.1 also supports the new Pinnacle Pro Digital and Analogue Breakout Box. This offers analogue, composite, S-Video, 10-bit component and SDI video I/O, as well as 4 in/6 out analogue balanced audio, 4 in/4 out AES/EBU at 20-bit/48 KHz, 2 in/2 out S/PDIF, 2 in/2 out unbalanced audio, and 8 in/8 out TDIF. CinéWave 2.1 is a free software upgrade for existing customers. Realtime effects require the CinéWave RT software upgrade. The upgrade can be downloaded at http://www.pinnaclesys.com.

Quantel Releases Version 9 Software for Editbox
Quantel has released Version 9 software for Editbox, which boosts performance in three areas: primary editing, audio management and multi-layer compositing. The new primary editing features are particularly invaluable when editing without an EDL - for example, in promos, sports and news and include: tail-free desk editing; new in, out and viewer 'tuck' marking for faster shot selection and compilation; folded view editing for faster shot re-ordering; protection marks and protected edits for more assured compiling. V9 audio management adds: audio/video sync database, status and timing; track-by-track sync monitoring and changing; auto-select trimming of split audio/video edits; individual segment readout of source tape information. Super history compositing increases the compositing power such that a four layer system becomes 16 layers, eight layers becomes 64. Every layer retains full setup information and can be adjusted independently or as part of a group, and gives the editor new control over sequence-dependent effects. Quantel is offering Editbox owners the opportunity to try V9 for free. See http://www.quantel.com.

Panasonic Expands Capabilities of AJ-DE97/QuickCutter 50
Panasonic Broadcast and Television Systems has announced Version 2.0 software for its AJ-DE97/QuickCutter DVCPRO/DVCPRO50 native nonlinear editing system. New features include DVCPRO/DVCPRO50 hybrid editing in the same sequence, EDL import (CMX3600 format) and export (CMX3600 plus BVE9000 format), support for Boris F/X version 5.0 plug-in software and 16:9 aspect ratio capability. Optional ClipCopy software allows networking of native DVCPRO/DVCPRO50 media with industry-standard news servers, such as the SGI Origin 200, GVG Profile PDR400 and PVS1100, Quantel ClipBox Studio and Panasonic AJ-HDR150. See http://www.panasonic-broadcast.com.

Matrox Offers RTMac at a New Low Price
Matrox Video Products Group has announced a US$400/EUR450/GB£270 price reduction on the Matrox RTMac realtime editing card for the Apple Power Mac G4. This gives a suggested list price of US$599/EUR699/GB£429 for the Matrox RTMac, for use with Apple Final Cut Pro. The RTMac with Adobe Premiere bundle is now priced at US$799/EUR939/GB£579. See http://www.matrox.com/video.

Quantel Releases Suite of Plug-ins for iQ
Quantel has released a suite of effects plug-ins for iQ and its new graphics products. The suite was created by Quantel engineers using the same plug-in API as third party developers and brings together 17 effects and transitions in a single package. Sensible defaults mean that straightforward effects and transitions can be quickly set up and executed, while comprehensive parameter controls are also available for precision tweaking and execution. In addition, Video Design Software (VDS) has announced that it will release Synapse for iQ and the new graphics range in April 2002. Synapse is a plug-in product which supports After Effects plug-ins within the Quantel user interface, and offers direct, interactive use of 56 Boris After Effects production-oriented plug-ins and Boris Continuum. See http://www.quantel.com.

Discreet Ships edit 6.5 With Pinnacle TARGA 3000 Operability
Discreet, a division of Autodesk is shipping edit 6.5, the latest version of its realtime Windows 2000-based nonlinear editing system, which runs exclusively on the Pinnacle TARGA 3000. Edit 6.5 supports up to three non-compressed graphics layers, as well as two streams of uncompressed or compressed video, concurrent realtime graphics and effects, 16:9 image capture and playback, and serial digital, composite and component I/O. Edit 6.5 includes direct timeline access to Discreet's combustion 2 visual effects and compositing software, and also features accurate, multi-layered offline-to-online workflow with Discreet's smoke or fire IRIX-based workstation systems for high-resolution uncompressed finishing. See http://www.discreet.com.

Aurora IgniterRT Adds Support For Final Cut Pro's 3-Way Colour Correction
Aurora Video Systems has announced that its IgniterRT video card offers realtime support for the three-way colour correction in Apple's Final Cut Pro 3 editing software. IgniterRT delivers realtime effects using Final Cut Pro in both uncompressed, and MJPEG-A compression formats. To get all of the supported RT functionality, users can download the most recent version of drivers from http://www.auroravideosys.com.

DVS Buys Into Director's Friend
DVS Digitale Videosysteme GmbH has announced that it has bought a share in Director's Friend. Director's Friend is the developer and manufacturer of df-CineHD, a portable HD digital film capturing system which allows direct connection to an HD camera. The system was used on the 90-minute film 'Waterloo - Russian Ark' by Alexander Sokurov which was produced without a single cut. This partnership will add to the DVS existing range of products for recording and processing of HD and 2K material. See http://www.dvs.de.

Media 100 Introduces the 844/X and GenesisEngine
Media 100 has introduced the 844/X, a next-generation system for content design, which runs on the GenesisEngine, a PCI-standard subsystem compatible with personal computers. The 844/X can process eight streams - four video streams paired with four motion alpha keys simultaneously, in realtime. Using its Intelligent Layering Architecture, it can process unlimited numbers of streams, recursively processing eight at a time in realtime. It uses 10-bit quantisation throughout and video processing is progressive. The GenesisEngine is designed to run on the PCI bus of a standard workstation. This media supercomputer delivers more than 420MB/s sustained throughput, enabling it to process numerous concurrent media functions across multiple video and key streams in realtime. Media 100 and Compaq Computer have also announced a co-marketing and co-development relationship for the 844/X and the GenesisEngine. Available Spring 2002, the 844/X will have a starting price of US$65,995/GB£49,995 including a 1.7GHz dual processor Compaq Evo Workstation W8000 and 360GB of storage. See http://www.media100.com.

Camera news

Panasonic Announces Cine-Style Gamma Option for AJ-HDC27 Varicam HD Cinema
Panasonic Broadcast and Television Systems has announced a new option for its AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema Camera that allows it to deliver cinema-like gamma performance and increase its variable frame rate capabilities to 4 - 60fps in one-frame increments. The company claims that the option extends the usable dynamic range of the camera giving exceptional control of the image's colour saturation and substantially improving master gamma, knee point and detail control. See http://www.panasonic-broadcast.com.

Panasonic Announces the AG-DVX100 24P Mini-DV Camcorder
Panasonic Broadcast and Television Systems has announced the AG-DVX100, which it claims is the world's first mini-DV camcorder capable of capturing cinema-style, 24-frame progressive scanned images. This palm-size camcorder has three, newly-developed 1/3 inch progressive scan CCDs that allow it to capture high-sensitivity images in both standard 60fps NTSC (interlace scan) and also at 24P. It features low smear and flare, offers a high sensitivity of F11 at 2000 lux, and is equipped with a newly-developed zoom lens with manual and auto focus where the focal length is capable of a wide field of view. Its audio capabilities include two built-in XLR inputs, and a phantom power supply (48V). The PAL version is expected to be available early 2003. See http://www.panasonic-broadcast.com.

DAW news

SADiE Announces CEDAR Retouch for SADiE 24.96 and Artemis
In conjunction with audio restoration specialists CEDAR Audio, SADiE has announced the introduction of CEDAR Retouch for the SADiE 24.96 and Artemis workstations. This new process can identify and eliminate many more of the unwanted sounds encountered in audio signals, such as audience coughs, the pedal creaks of a piano, or squeaking chairs. It processes at 64-bit resolution and is compatible with 96kHz digital audio. Its graphical tools allow the operator to identify both the temporal and spectral content of the unwanted sounds, which are then replaced with audio derived from the surrounding signal - with no adverse effect on the desired recording. See http://www.sadie.com.

Digidesign Announces Pro Tools Hardware Exchanges
Digidesign has announced hardware exchange programs in conjunction with the introduction of Pro Tools|HD which are valid until 30 June 2002. Pro Tools|24 MIX, Pro Tools|24 MIXplus and Pro Tools|24 MIX3 system owners can exchange their system for a Pro Tools|HD system at a special introductory price, providing their systems were purchased or ownership transferred by 16 January 2002. Additionally, new Pro Tools|HD hardware exchanges are available for Pro Tools|24, Pro Tools III, Project, Session 8, Digi 001 and Audiomedia III registered owners. See http://www.digidesign.com.

Fostex Announces New VF80 Digital 8-Track
Fostex has announced the VF80, a new hard disk based system which offers 8-channel multitrack recording and mastering, and an optional internal CD-R/RW drive. This self-contained desktop unit has a dot matrix LCD display and a 3.5 inch EIDE hard drive as standard. A new microphone simulator and guitar effects have been added, and also sophisticated mastering effects. As well as 8 real tracks, there are 16 virtual tracks giving the user a total of 24 tracks to work with. The VF80 has a MSRP of US$699 without CD burner. See http://www.fostex.com.

Rocket Network Expands European Operations
Rocket Network has announced the opening of a permanent UK office and demo facility in West London. The company claims that this expansion reflects the audio industry's increasing adoption of its global production network technology. Rocket Network is also working with acoustics and design consultancy Harris Grant Associates (HGA) to build a Rocket Network/Pro Tools demo facility at the HGA headquarters in Guildford, Surrey. See http://www.rocketnetwork.com.

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