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SYPHAnews - 30th April 2003

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!! This bumper edition of SYPHAnews focuses on some of the many new product announcements from NAB 2003, that weren't mentioned in our show preview. Although the number of visitors was down, those attending were treated to a wealth of genuinely new products and technologies - and some very well kept secrets!

For anyone who missed the announcement, the all-new NLE Buyers Guide is now launched. It gives you FREE online access to our database of over 200 nonlinear video products including turnkey systems, card and/or software packages and disk recorders/servers for editing.

NLE news

Interoperability Reaches Critical Mass at NAB 2003
With an increasing number of key customers in the broadcast and post production industries now openly insisting on interoperability where tenders are concerned, the issue is now firmly on the agenda. The AAF (Advanced Authoring Format) Association claimed to have reached critical mass at NAB 2003, and AAF was available on the show floor from major industry equipment suppliers in a broad range of products for nonlinear editing, HD finishing, audio editing, film visualising, datacine control and colour correction, through to large scale integrated media solutions for news and sports.

Among those making AAF announcements were Leitch, with a new option for the upcoming 8.2 version of dpsVelocityQ and dpsVelocity that will support AAF and OMF import and export, and Digidesign with the DigiTranslator 2.0 option for its forthcoming Pro Tools 6.1 software that will feature support for AAF. Quantel used an AAF plug-in from Automatic Duck to work with Apple's newly announced XML interchange format for Final Cut Pro 4 - allowing Final Cut Pro projects to be transferred from Macintosh PowerBooks to the Quantel eQ and iQ systems. Adobe demonstrated results of its AAF-based workflow integration project in cooperation with Avid, whereby project information can be exchanged between Avid editing systems and Adobe After Effects. Eagle Research announced that it will implement AAF and MXF in the next major release of its studiopro NLE.

While AAF is intended for project interchange, MXF is aimed at program file with metadata transfer and is being promoted by the Professional MPEG Forum as a bridge between AV and IT-based production.

At NAB 2003, the Pro MPEG Forum, AAF Association and TV-Anytime co-sponsored 'The Interoperability Center' that hosted a range of groundbreaking interoperability demonstrations. Avid Technology, Pinnacle Systems and Quantel demonstrated interoperability of their products with the new Sony optical disc recording system using MXF, and other companies showing MXF-based products included Leitch, Matrox, Metaglue, MOG Solutions, Omneon, SGI, Snell & Wilcox, Telestream and Thomson Grass Valley. See http://www.aafassociation.org and http://www.pro-mpeg.org

More Manufacturers Collaborate
In recognition that no company has all the answers, manufacturers have been busy collaborating to offer solutions to customers' practical needs. Avid Technology has been working with Panasonic to support DVCPRO50 transfer to its new line of editing systems from the Panasonic AJ-SD930 and AJ-SD955A DVCPRO50 studio recorders. The Media Composer Adrenaline and Avid Xpress Pro products are expected to be the first Avid solutions to support this technology via FireWire, and SDTI support for the new Avid Digital Nonlinear Accelerator (Avid DNA) media processing hardware has also been announced.

Panasonic meanwhile, has also teamed with EVS to provide high definition acquisition and server technologies in a slow-motion system for live sports replay applications. This consists of the Panasonic AK-HC931 480i-, 720p- or 1080i-capable portable/studio camera that has three 2/3 inch 1 million pixel horizontal single-read IT CCDs with spatial-offset processing to reduce moiré, and the EVS HD LSM-XT, a 1080i/720p switchable 4-channel instant access server capable of simultaneous recording and playback.

Sony Electronics and Pinnacle Systems are launching five joint initiatives that cover editing, graphics production, media management, archiving, and content playout and distribution. These include interoperability between the Sony optical disc systems for ENG and the Pinnacle Vortex news system and Liquid NLE, operation of Liquid purple with the Sony DSR-DU1 DVCAM hard disk recorder, direct connection between the Sony e-VTR plug-in card for MPEG IMX VTRs and the Pinnacle MediaStream servers and Liquid blue NLE, and integrated on-air and archiving systems based on MediaStream and the Sony PetaSite mass-storage systems.

Pinnacle has also been working with SGI to offer newsrooms the SGI CXFS storage area network (SAN) infrastructure working with the Pinnacle Liquid blue and purple NLEs. The CXFS shared file system will allow broadcasters to record and edit segments directly on the SAN, then send content to the SGI Media Server for broadcast systems to play to air. Interoperability between the systems is based on MXF.

MXF also plays an important role in the relationship between Incite and Snell and Wilcox. Using the Snell and Wilcox MediaX PCI transport card that provides QSDI, SDTI and SDTI-CP high-speed transfer, media was transferred to the Incite Editor from a Sony IMX deck. The native IMX stream is wrapped with no recompression to an MXF file, or to legacy file formats such as AVI. Clips can then be placed on the Incite timeline and manipulated in realtime.

The strategic alliance between Editware and Omneon Video Networks has resulted in Omneon multiformat, multichannel servers being directly controlled, using a customised protocol, by the Editware Fastrack media controller. This hybrid controller offers immediate access to any frame of any server-resident source clip and allows inserts, deletes or changes to material on a server-based timeline or playlist.

The launch of the Apple Final Cut Pro 4 (FCP4) coincided with a string of collaborative announcements. FCP4 has native 24-frame support for the Panasonic AG-DVX100 camera, and Apple and Panasonic have worked to deliver 50Mb/s 4:2:2 quality video over FireWire. AJA Video Systems and Apple have worked together to allow any uncompressed, standard definition video in or out of a Mac, with video and audio monitoring, via 400MB FireWire. Quantel and Apple are working together to allow project data transfer (see 'Interoperability Reaches Critical Mass at NAB 2003'). FCP4 and the Pinnacle Systems CinéWave 4 provide many realtime effects for both online and offline editing in a range of formats including Photo-JPEG, DV and uncompressed 8-, 10-, and 16-bit SD video, with all formats able to play out from the same timeline. Having embraced the Apple QuickTime file system wrapper when developing its Media Server System, Omneon is able to provide seamless integration with FCP4 for its 'Edit in Place' feature. And finally, Curious gFx and Apple have cooperated to offer the gFx Pro and FCP4 as a combined powerful graphics workflow system.

Avid Unveils DNA Family and Avid Xpress Pro
After three years of development, Avid Technology has unveiled the new Avid DNA family - a series of purpose-built hardware specifically designed for media processing from DV to HD. These digital nonlinear accelerators, which include Nitris, Adrenaline, and Avid Mojo, instantly complement host-based processing by adding significantly more processing power. The entire line is programmable and scalable, so as CPU power grows, users' investments are protected, and future upgrades for codecs, effects and other functions can take place electronically. When paired with next-generation Avid|DS software, the Nitris DNA offers media processing power of more than 30 of the latest Pentium 4 processors to support up to 8 streams of uncompressed SD video or 2 streams of 10-bit HD, and 16 channels of 24-bit/96kHz audio. It supports formats from DV to 2k, including Avid legacy formats, and a broad range of I/O. The Adrenaline DNA forms the heart of the next-generation Media Composer and NewsCutter systems. Built on an architecture that streams uncompressed SD video over a standard FireWire connection, Adrenaline adds the processing equivalent of more than 10 Pentium 4 processors to PC and Mac desktop computers - and even qualified laptops - simply by installing the included editing software and a FireWire cable. It supports up to 5 streams of SD, or 8 streams of draft-quality video, and a broad range of resolutions, including DV25, DV50, IMX, Meridien JFIF, ABVB AVRs and uncompressed 601. It also has a built-in HD expansion slot. The Avid Mojo is a portable DNA designed for notebook computers. It delivers realtime 2D and 3D effects and simultaneous DV and analogue output with Avid NewsCutter XP systems and the new Avid Xpress Pro. It connects to any qualified PC or Mac system via a single FireWire cable and scales to support uncompressed SD video. Avid DS Nitris is expected in Q3 2003 with an MSRP of US$145,000 for Avid DS Nitris and US$78,995 for the Avid DS Nitris Editor version. Avid Media Composer Adrenaline and NewsCutter Adrenaline FX are expected in Q2 2003, and will start from US$24,995. Avid Mojo, which can be added to Avid Xpress Pro and NewsCutter XP software, is expected to be available in Q3 2003 for US$1695. Avid Xpress Pro software, which supports 24p digital video projects and automatic expert colour correction, is also expected in Q2 2003 for US$1695. See http://www.avid.com

Quantel Releases V1.5 Software and Announces V2
Quantel has released version 1.5 for its generationQ line of post production products. Available as a free upgrade to all iQ, eQ and QEdit Pro users, version 1.5 delivers a significant increase in editing functionality, sophisticated audio handling tools and greatly boosted effects power. Highlights include matchframe editing, extend, keyboard shortcuts, edit to timeline, audio sync and lock, library clip and edit references; PPMs for audio, 3-band graphical EQ, MP3 and 44.1kHz import; selective colour correction on every layer, multiple keys on every layer, and collapsible undos; LTO, LTO2 and SAIT data tape support for archiving; and AAF for audio interchange. Version 2 will focus on the addition of a range of next-generation compositing and effects tools and will include unlimited layer compositing, in-context plug-ins that are integrated within effects and layering operations, process-tree compositing views and a 3D compositing environment with camera view. Version 2 will be shipping first on eQ and iQ in Q3 2003, and all new systems purchased before then will receive V2 as a free upgrade. See http://www.quantel.com

Thomson Introduces Grass Valley M-Series iVDR
Thomson Broadcast and Media Solutions has introduced its nonlinear alternative to the traditional mechanical video tape recorder. Designed as a more powerful, affordable digital replacement, the Grass Valley M-Series iVDR line of intelligent video digital recorders offers a touchscreen interface that mimics a VTR's front panel, and supports traditional VTR capabilities, including playback, record, removable media, and the ability to ingest directly from a camera. Additionally however, it offers multiple channels, simultaneous playout and recording, robust network support, clip editing and trimming, playlist creation, and the ability to exchange materials using industry-standard protocols. It is also more flexible, cost-effective, and easily upgradable than a VTR, and starts from US$22,995 for a two in/two out system with eight hours of storage. See http://www.thomsongrassvalley.com

DVS Launches Clipster Realtime HD Editing System
DVS has launched Clipster, a realtime capture, editing and playout workstation for uncompressed video up to 2k. The system comes in a 4U casing, with an A4 tablet and pen interface, and comprises a Windows computer, a new DVS video I/O board, and up to 1.6TB of disk storage as standard. It supports realtime capture from camera, telecine or VTR at any data rate, in 2k, RGB, 24p via a dual link HD-SDI interface, and with two DVS I/O boards mounted in one unit, it can potentially process 4k at 24p in realtime. In the studio environment, it connects to HD cameras, enabling footage to be captured, viewed and edited immediately. It allows material of different resolutions, colour space or bit depth to be processed in their native format on the same timeline, without any compressing or conversion, and it supports unlimited audio tracks with crossfades as standard. See http://www.dvs.de

Apple Introduces Final Cut Pro 4
Apple has introduced Final Cut Pro 4, a major upgrade to its editing software for film, HD, SD and DV. Version 4 has more than 300 new features, including RT Extreme for realtime compositing and effects, interface customisation tools, high-quality 8- and 10-bit uncompressed formats and full 32-bit floating point per channel video processing. RT Extreme is an enhanced software-based, realtime effects architecture that scales with processor speed to support an increased number of simultaneous realtime video streams and hundreds of realtime effects. It allows software effects to be viewed in realtime on an external broadcast monitor when connected via FireWire or an external breakout box. RT Extreme is codec independent and allows editors to preview their work in realtime at maximum resolution for finishing quality preview, or at maximum performance for increased simultaneous streams and effects. It also includes three completely new integrated applications - LiveType for advanced titling, Soundtrack for music creation and Compressor for full featured batch transcoding. Final Cut Pro 4 will be available in June 2003 for a suggested retail price of US$999 and registered users can upgrade for US$399. See http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro

AJA Introduces Io Capture Device for Apple Final Cut Pro 4
AJA Video Systems has introduced Io, an 8 or 10-bit uncompressed audio/video capture device for Apple Final Cut Pro 4. It is a 'plug and play' breakout box which avoids the need to install PCI cards, serial port adaptors, or multiple drivers, and it connects to an Apple PowerPC G4 or PowerBook G4 through a simple FireWire interface. It supports component and composite analogue video, SDI digital video, balanced analogue audio, AES/EBU digital audio, optical audio, RS422 machine control, and genlock, and it automatically recognises every format. Developed in close cooperation with Apple, it also takes advantage of the new multichannel audio architecture of Final Cut Pro 4. Io will be available in late Q2 2003 for US$2,290 and will carry a three year, unconditional warranty. See http://www.aja.com

Pinnacles Systems Announces CinéWave 4 for Apple Final Cut Pro 4
Pinnacle Systems has announced CinéWave 4, a hardware and software combination that works with Apple Final Cut Pro 4 software. Based on the Pinnacle TARGA Ciné hardware engine, CinéWave 4 is a software upgrade from previous versions and offers tight integration with Final Cut Pro 4 to provide a broad range of new realtime, all-the-time online and offline editing capabilities for both SD and HD projects. CinéWave 4 will incorporate dozens of new features including expanded realtime effects in all popular formats, enhanced HD support, film support, and increased audio handling capabilities, including support for up to eight tracks of audio out with Final Cut Pro 4 and support for Steinberg Nuendo. CinéWave has a suggested retail price of US $3995, and upgrades will be available in Summer 2003 for a suggested retail price of US$299. See http://www.pinnaclesys.com/cinewave

Leitch Announces VRNewsNet and NEO VR
Leitch Technology has announced the new VRNewsNet integrated digital newsroom solution for news, sports and close-to-air applications. Designed around the Leitch VRnet video server platform, VRNewsNet is a combination of true shared storage and a robust, multiformat XP server platform. The VRnet platform is specifically designed to meet the requirements of broadcasting and the ever-increasing demand for interoperability, and the VRNewsNet solution covers such diverse applications as feed recording, editing of high- and low-resolution content, third-party NLE ingest, clip playout and MOS (Media Object Server) protocol support. VRNewsNet offers tight integration with newsroom automation systems and links directly to any desired newsroom computer systems. Leitch has also launched a full-featured modular digital video recorder called NEO VR. Packaged on a single, space-saving module, NEO VR is designed as a cost-effective, high-quality choice for record and playback of content in a variety of applications including news and mobile sports production, emergency signal playout and clip playback in news edit suites. One NEO VR, equipped with dual fixed onboard hard drives, can record a total of four hours of high-quality programming, and its high-density packaging allows up to 12 units to be housed in a single frame. Supporting industry-standard control protocols, the NEO VR operates with existing VTR control panels, and can be packaged with the extensive range of Leitch NEO products for a custom-tailored modular solution. See http://www.leitch.com

Canopus Unveils CWS30 Realtime Mobile Editing Workstation
Canopus has unveiled the CWS30 mobile editing workstation designed for remote location broadcasting, electronic newsgathering and on-location feature film and documentary production. Based on the Rextor NLE application software, it supports render-free, realtime DV output of three video streams and features clip management with search and store capabilities, realtime 2D/3D transitions, titling with motion speed control, and a collection of video filters and keyers. The CWS30 lets editors create MPEG files for DVD, streaming video files, industry-standard EDLs for use on other production and broadcast systems, and project files compatible with other Canopus CWS editing systems. It is also compatible with the Sony DSR-DU1 DVCAM video disk unit. It includes the CWSMP300 external and hot-pluggable, FireWire storage pack, giving five hours of DV storage capacity in a compact 2.5 inch enclosure and data transfer rates of 11MB/s (three times faster than standard DV). The CWS30 is expected to be available in May 2003 and pricing will depend on laptop and system configuration. See http://www.canopus.com

KDDI Introduces MPEG-4 and HDTV MPEG-2 Editing Software
KDDI R&D Labs has introduced MPEG Edit Studio Pro V1.2, the latest version of its nonlinear MPEG-4 and HDTV MPEG-2 editing software. Aimed at high quality broadband video streaming and digital TV broadcast applications, it provides near degradation free, frame-accurate, fast MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 editing for the IBP structure. It offers fast logo insertion, scene indexing, a variety of conversion capabilities and a software-based HDTV player with a jog/shuttle controller. See http://www.kddilabs.com

SpectSoft and Appro Announce Linux-Based Tools
SpectSoft and Appro have announced the DDR/EDIT set of Linux-based software and hardware video tools. Created by SpectSoft, and running on Appro servers, DDR/EDIT is geared toward post production and broadcast facilities that need to import and/or export high quality uncompressed 10-bit HD or SD video. It features RGB colour correction, 2:3 pull-down, RS422 control, multi-user management/quota control, as well as database oriented, network wide asset management. The video exists on a standard XFS file system as individual DPX, TGA, BMP, or RAW images allowing transparent integration with current high end video pipelines. The file system can be accessed via UNIX NFS, Windows network file share, or FTP. Some examples of current applications are automated capture and export, multiple artist previews, and digital daily creation/compression. The base price for a 1U rackmountable SD system is US$8,550 including 72GB of internal storage. The base price of a 2U rackmountable HD system is US$18,775 including 144GB of internal storage. See http://www.spectsoft.com and http://www.appro.com

NewTek Announces Next Generation VT[3] Studio-in-a-Box
NewTek has announced VT[3], the next generation software for its integrated PAL/NTSC live- and post-production studio-in-a-box, that provides live switching, realtime keying, titling, compositing, 2D video painting, 3D modelling and animation, with uncompressed component digital video output. This update provides many new features and workflow improvements. ToasterEdit now features full spline-based control of all animateable parameters and ToasterEdit projects can be imported into any 3D, editing, compositing, streaming or DVD authoring application that supports AVI files, with no rendering, using the new ToasterEdit project codec. DV cameras attached to the computer are now automatically detected and made available as live sources for switching, and an unlimited number of cameras may be connected at once without significant overhead. The ToasterVision virtual monitors now include pro-camp controls that allow for calibration of a computer monitor to reference video monitors. VT[3] also includes a completely redesigned CG, as well as new advanced batch capture and EDL features. VT[3] will require Intel P4 or AMD Opteron processors. The price of the VT[3] software will be no less than US$2995, and the upgrade price for registered Video Toaster [2] owners will be US$595. See http://www.newtek.com

Media 100 Demonstrates Resolution Independent HD/SD Editing Solution for Mac OS X
Media 100 has demonstrated Media 100 iHD, a Mac OS X-based HD/SD editing system. This comprises Media 100 i software and newly-developed HDX technology that includes an HDX PCI card supporting 10-bit uncompressed HD and SD I/O and realtime, broadcast-quality format conversion between any HD and SD formats. Media 100 iHD supports resolution independent mixing and matching of HD and SD source material in the same timeline, plus 10-bit uncompressed native HD editing. The HDX technology also features realtime motion-adaptive de-interlacing with edge detection to reduce temporal artifacts when converting interlaced source material to progressive, realtime 3:2 pulldown processing of film-originated source material, and realtime cropping, scaling, and letterboxing to convert between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios. Media 100 iHD is expected to ship before the end of 2003 at a price of US$9,995 for the Media 100 iHD software and HDX hardware, and approximately US$20,000 for a turnkey system including workstation and high speed media storage. See http://www.media100.com

Sony Showcases Screenblast Movie Studio Editing Software
Sony Pictures Digital has showcased its Screenblast Movie Studio editing software. Aimed at event videographers, it can be combined with Sony professional DVCAM camcorders and Sony VAIO PCs with DVD burning drives and 'Click to DVD' software, to offer a complete end-to-end acquisition and production solution. Screenblast Movie Studio includes VideoFactory Deluxe for customisable transitions and special effects, text animation, a chroma keyer for green screen special effects, and import/export format support. In addition, videographers can register at Screenblast.com, where they can store their work, as well as share and collaborate on videos in progress with clients through their own URL. Screenblast Movie Studio has a suggested retail price of US$69. See http://www.screenblast.com

Aurora Announces Next Generation IgniterX Family
Aurora Video Systems has announced immediate availability of IgniterX, its next generation family of Igniter video editing tools. This new suite of products provides film and video professionals using Final Cut Pro on Mac OS X with maximised productivity, high quality and ease-of-use for greater creative and technical control. New features include support for uncompressed files from all major solutions for greater compatibility, a 10-bit eXtreme codec, realtime graphic overlays with Alpha and gain, multiple uncompressed formats in one timeline, keyframing and nesting of all realtime effects, and scalability from the IgniterX Lite to the full-featured IgniterX Studio. See http://www.auroravideosys.com

Blackmagic Design Announces New DeckLink Video Cards
Blackmagic Design has announced the DeckLink SP and DeckLink Pro video cards. DeckLink SP features analogue component YUV uncompressed video input and output, with stereo balanced analogue XLR audio, for connecting to analogue broadcast decks such as Betacam SP. For monitoring or mastering to higher end decks such as Digital Betacam, it also features a true 10-bit uncompressed SDI video output with 8 channels of embedded SDI audio. To make audio monitoring easier, DeckLink SP also includes an SPDIF digital audio output. DeckLink Pro features 10-bit uncompressed SDI video input and output, separate SDI video and analogue component YUV video monitoring outputs, and 8 channels of SPDIF digital audio output for 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound monitoring or dubbing to multichannel audio recorders. Eight channel audio is also available via SDI embedded audio. Both cards have uncompressed true 10-bit and uncompressed 8-bit capture and playback modes, a JPEG capture and playback mode, genlock input, a built-in DV Bridge for realtime and instant playback from DV edits to video output, and RS422 serial deck control. All features are available on Mac OS X, limited features are available on Microsoft Windows platforms with Windows features being rolled out over the coming months. DeckLink SP will be available from May 2003 for US$1,095 and DeckLink Pro is available now for US$1,295. See http://www.blackmagic-design.com

Digital Voodoo and BlueFish444 Introduce SD and HD Cards for Mac and PC
Digital Voodoo has introduced SD|Greed for Macintosh, an uncompressed 10-bit SDI 64-bit PCI card. Compatible with most popular editing and compositing applications, SD|Greed has one SDI input and one SDI output, 8 channels of AES/EBU audio, genlock, analogue component input and outputs in NTSC or PAL and a programmable interface for future updates. The new HD|Lust for Macintosh high-definition capture and playback card features two HD-SDI inputs, two HD-SDI outputs, 12 channels of AES/EBU audio, and simultaneous SD-SDI downconversion. HD|Lust offers full-bandwidth 4:4:4:4 or 4:2:2:4 video input and output for the Macintosh. Under the Bluefish444 brand, SD|Greed for PC and HD|Lust for PC offer similar features respectively, but for Windows-based platforms. All four cards are expected to ship by Q3 2003. See http://www.digitalvoodoo.net and http://www.bluefish444.com

Advanced Video Designs Debuts High Definition Workstation/Server
Advanced Video Designs (AVD) has debuted the DDRchitect high definition workstation/server. Built around a multi-I/O digital disk recorder, it is designed for resolution independent post production and ships with the DREAM (Disk Recorder Edit Asset Management) custom coded suite of software applications, including C-SpotRun! (edit conform) and Tk Escort (audio post-sync). Configurations are available for telecine suites, colour correction, post syncing operations, quality control, machine room, film recorder control, screening room and on-location clip management. DDRchitect has dual 2.8GHz P4 Xeon CPUs and features include record to tape with or without burn-in, TLC/Pogle/VTR/TK interface, trim, 'Super Clip' from multiple film reels or tape cassettes, tape capacity matching, and header/trailer automation. DDRchitect is also fully supported with the AVD Titanium service program. See http://www.avdburbank.com

Camera news

Panasonic Unveils Solid State Newsgathering System
Panasonic has unveiled its strategy for next-generation newsgathering based on solid state memory. This new architecture is fully compatible with existing DVCPRO and DVCPRO50-based nonlinear editing and server systems, and supports multiple video resolutions for DTV, including HDTV applications. The prototype camcorders record on PCMCIA-size cards based on Panasonic SD memory. Four 1GB SD memory cards can be used in parallel to provide a maximum transfer rate of 640Mb/s, equivalent to a 20 times realtime transfer rate of DVCPRO quality images, and a recording capacity of 18 minutes. The memory cards can be overwritten a minimum of 100,000 times without performance degradation and higher capacity memory cards will be available as core SD memory card sizes increase. Some of the advantages of solid state are no mechanical transport, high immunity to environmental stresses, lower weight and power consumption, silent operation, and direct editing or high-speed data transfer to networked servers. The initial DVCPRO-based products should be available in Spring 2004. See http://www.panasonic.com/broadcast

Panasonic Introduces a New 3-CCD DV Proline Series Camcorder
Panasonic has introduced the AG-DVC80, a new 3-CCD camcorder to join its existing IEEE-1394 equipped DV Proline newsgathering products. Aimed at smaller market stations and standard definition applications, such as sports, education and special events, it has a precision wide-angle Leica Dicomar lens, auto/manual focus, and manual, servo and handle zoom functions. Its features include low smear and flare, low light performance of 3 lux (at +18dB), and 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, and its advanced Optical Image Stabilization minimises jitter, so hand-held shots and video taken from moving vehicles appear smooth and steady. It also offers locked 2 channel 16-bit/48kHz digital audio with built-in XLR inputs, phantom power supply (48V), manual audio volume controls, and line/mic switchability. The AG-DVC80 will be available in May 2003 and will have a suggested list price of US$3,295. See http://www.panasonic.com/broadcast

JVC Announces GY-DV300REM Camcorder with Remote Control Functions
JVC Professional Products has announced the availability of the GY-DV300REM handheld camcorder. This is an enhanced version of the GY-DV300U that provides RS-232C remote control over iris, zoom and focus as well as remote camera parameter adjustment capabilities. This new model is fully compatible with the Varizoom Stealth DV300, as well as the JVC pan/tilt system for additional flexibility and power. A snap-on RS-232C adapter plate provides connection for external remote controllers, and it can be easily removed when not needed, allowing users to connect the optional KA-DV300U network adapter for Web streaming. Existing GY-DV300U users can convert to the GY-DV300REM model for a modest price. See http://www.jvc.com/pro

Rockwell Scientific Launches ProCamHD CMOS Image Sensor
Rockwell Scientific has announced the commercial availability of its ProCamHD CMOS-based HDTV image sensor. It offers an alternative to the CCD technology that has dominated the market for 20 years and is used by JVC Professional Products in its JY-HD10U handheld HD camcorder. ProCamHD is specifically designed and optimised for use in professional high definition television cameras and provides broadcasters with a new high performance, high definition digital capture option at a lower cost. It claims to offer high optical fill for enhanced sensitivity and reduced noise, resulting in superior video performance with camera engine power consumption vastly reduced over that normally associated with the high data rates of HDTV. It supports interlaced frame rates up to 60fps and/or progressive frame rates to 30fps at full HD resolution, and the active image sensing area is 1936 x 1086 pixels. See http://www.rockwellscientific.com/procam

Baytech Announces a Compact Digital Cinematography Recorder
Baytech Cinema has announced CineRAM, a RAM-based digital cinematography recorder that acts as a bridge between high definition digital cameras and recorders. It captures uncompressed, high resolution images directly from the camera, which can then be transferred to a VTR, DDR, or nonlinear editor for storage and editing. Analogous to a film magazine, a CineRAM pack is mounted directly on the camera, and when the pack is full, the camera can be reloaded with a fresh pack to resume shooting, while the full pack is transferred to permanent storage. It is compact and battery powered, and eliminates the need for camera wires, allowing complete freedom when shooting with Steadicam or other specialised applications. It supports single and dual-link HD-SDI, as well as dual single-link for 3D applications. With RAM sizes of 8 to 64GB, it can record up to five minutes of uncompressed dual-link and eight minutes of single-link camera output. Recorded clips can also be viewed from the HD-SDI output immediately after capture. CineRAM will be available this summer with prices starting at under US$20,000. See http://www.baytechcinema.com

DALSA Announces Field Trials for Digital Cinematography Camera
DALSA has announced the next steps in field trials and user tests for its Origin digital cinematography camera following its prototype presentation at NAB. Origin incorporates a 35mm film-sized, scientific-grade, CCD image sensor for eight million pixel-resolution (4k x 2k) that offers four times the resolution of HDTV. It can operate at variable frame rates at full resolution and full image quality for slow-motion, and also incorporates standard 35mm PL mount cinema lenses and a precision reflex viewing system. Over the remainder of 2003, it will conduct field trials involving test shooting and image quality verification among feature film directors of photography and camera operators. It also plans to work with motion picture studios, cinematography equipment rental agencies, and selected additional businesses with strong assets and interest to promote the advent of digital cinema photography and workflow. The commercial release of the product is expected to be in the first quarter of 2004. See http://www.dalsa.com

Sony Enhances DVCAM Line-up with Studio-Configurable Camcorder
Sony has enhanced its DVCAM product line with the DSR-390 studio-configurable camcorder. Designed for ENG/EFP applications and studio configurations, the DSR-390 features the latest 1/2 inch Power HAD IT (ICX-418/419) 4:3 CCD sensors and latest DSP software. The new CCDs allow sensitivity levels to increase from F11 to F13 (about 3dB), the S/N ratio to increase by 3dB to 65dB, and the smear ratio to drop 5dB to a 'FIT like' level of -115dB. The DSR-390 offers the ability to simulate a cinema-type look to the video and improvements include greater durability, an innovative all metal double-door structure that makes audio control switches more accessible, and a highly visible external VTR trigger switch that places the control window on the outside cover. It can also be used with the Sony DSR-DU1 hard disk recorder through its i.LINK (IEEE1394) digital video port. It can be used in studio configuration with an optional CA-370 adapter to add full duplex intercom capabilities and is remote controllable with the CCU-D50. The DSR-390 will be available in May 2003 with a suggested list price of US$9,870. See http://www.sonybiz.net

Hitachi Denshi Introduces Megapixel Broadcast Production Camera
Hitachi Denshi has introduced the SK-888 broadcast studio and field production DSP camera. This features a new VLSI DSP with 38-bit signal processing power for more accurate detail and colour reproduction, 12-bit analogue to digital converters, and new IT CCDs with 1038(H) x 1008(V) pixels yielding a 140dB specification for vertical smear. This smear specification makes the SK-888 suitable for demanding studio or field production applications where IT CCDs where previously thought inappropriate. It features a compact chassis with a 4-position motorised filter wheel to facilitate the use of optical effects filters, a newly designed triaxial cable transmission system with a 1900m cable distance specification and a significant gain in SNR specification. The camera can be used for EFP/ENG when docked to the CR-D10 Optical Disc (DVD-RAM/R) recorder and is compatible with all accessories, cables and control panels of the previous SK-777 model. See http://www.hdal.com

Hitachi Denshi adds to its Z-Series of Professional Cameras
Hitachi Denshi has added the Z-4000W as a replacement to the its Z-3000 family of professional cameras. This has a VLSI DSP with 38-bit signal processing power and 12-bit analogue to digital converters. It is compatible with the Hitachi CR-D10 Optical Disc (DVD-RAM/R) recorder and there are optional adapters for traditional videotape formats. It features a newly designed triaxial cable transmission system with a 1900m cable distance specification, a significant gain in SNR specification, and a trunk video option which permits sending video from the camera head back to the CCU to avoid additional cable runs in the field. It is compatible with all accessories, cables, CCUs and control panels of the previous Z-3000W model. See http://www.hdal.com

DAW news

Steinberg on 'Virtual Band' Tour
Steinberg - The Audio Group of Pinnacle Systems, is touring more than 70 retail store locations around the U.S. from 28 April through 4 June 2003. Dubbed 'The Virtual Band Tour', the seminars will focus on how to capture music using a host of new Steinberg Virtual Instruments and Cubase SL or SX. New features of Cubase SL/SX such as workflow environment, unlimited undo/redo, offline process history, 32-bit floating point audio engine, creative loop editor, surround sound, and more will be on show. The latest virtual instruments will be showcased, as well as the new VST System Link networking technology that allows computers to be connected and also supports the new VSL2020 audio card and V-Stack software. Steinberg and participating retailers will offer special deals and added value on the latest Steinberg software to seminar attendants. For information on special deals, dates, locations, and times see http://www.steinbergusa.net

Sadie Offers Enhancements to DirectX Implementation
SADiE V5 software running on the new Series 5 PCM4 and PCM8 hardware platforms, and on the SADiE DSD2 and DSD8 systems in PCM mode, now has an improved method of managing and utilising DirectX-compliant audio processing plug-ins. SADiE V5 software now allows drag-and-drop of DirectX plug-ins onto a mixer strip and do not have to be routed, but sit inline on the mixer strip. The effect can immediately be heard or bounced in non-realtime, and DirectX processes may also be chained on the same mixer channel. Automatic latency accommodation is built into the system to help avoid delay problems introduced by the processors in the signal path. The SADiE DirectX requires DirectX Version 7 or 8. VST on PC is not currently supported directly, however, DirectX 'VST-DX Wrapper' applications exist that can convert VST plug-ins to make them operate like DirectX plug-ins. The sample rates supported are determined by the plug-in, an extensive range of which is already available. See http://www.sadie.com

Sonic Studio Debuts DSD and SACD Tools
Sonic Studio LLC has announced three new products for DSD format mastering and SACD authoring. The DSD.1, consists of an 8-channel processor card and the DSD version of Sonic Studio application software. It features 8 playback channels with crossfades or 16 without, through an 8-channel, SDIF-3 breakout cable. The DSD.X is an optional add-on processor board for the DSD.1. It provides DSD-native EQ and dynamics processing, and brings the total channel count to 16 with crossfades. It contains four Sony Oxford D-MAP DSD processing and mixing modules and the Sony Oxford SuperMAC 24-channel DSD interface. The SACD.1 is an authoring application for SACD. It operates with the DSD.1 system software or stand-alone on its own Macintosh, and offers full preparation of an SACD image, from import of any compatible DSD-IFF files, through delivery of a final Scarlet Book layer on AIT or DLT tape. SACD.1 will work with any DSD-IFF files, not just those produced by the DSD.1. DSD.1 and SACD.1 are expected to ship in Q2 2003. DSD.X will follow soon thereafter. See http://www.sonicstudio.com

Emagic Announces Version 6 for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9.x
Emagic, a subsidiary of Apple, has announced Logic Audio 6 and Logic Gold 6 for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9.x. New features include more efficient use of processors, new editing and mixing capabilities and OS X-only features such as channel EQ and MP3 import/export. Enhancements to the editing process include timestretching in the Arrange window, simplified object editing, the ability to zoom in on a waveform display at sample-level resolution, and a new EQ plug-in. The new Arrange Channel Strip allows users to change the mix from within the Arrange window, and a new 'Freeze' feature reduces the load on the processor by allowing tracks to be checked and then frozen while other tracks are being worked on. New file management and set-up capabilities include the ability to save media files into a single project. See http://www.emagic.de

Euphonix Shows Hardware Control for Steinberg Nuendo
Euphonix has demonstrated a hardware control surface working with Steinberg Nuendo DAW software. As part of its System 5 digital audio architecture, Euphonix has developed a high-speed communications protocol, dubbed 'EuCon,' to control its own DSP hardware with its IP-based console surfaces. This also simplifies the software development required to connect two software systems such as a DAW and a control surface, and has been shown in practice with a System 5-P audio control surface connected to Nuendo and Euphonix' own DSP. See http://euphonix.com

Zaxcom Launches Three Recorders
Zaxcom has launched three new hard disk recorders, namely Deva III, IV and V. These range from a 6-track model designed for basic recording to a 10-track model designed for multitrack, high bitrate applications. Controlled via a large colour touch screen in combination with hard keys, the new line of Devas support an optional internal DVD/CD writer, and will record to the internal hard disk, internal DVD and external FireWire drive at the same time, with each disk supporting a different file type and sample rate. FAT16, FAT32 and UDF disk formats are supported, so DVD disks and CDs created by Deva are now directly readable on Macs and PCs without the need for third party software drivers. The new .ZAX file format used was designed specifically by Zaxcom for location recording and incorporates lossless compression with optimal audio interleaving techniques that allow a DVD to transfer audio at rates typically three times faster than is currently possible. Including AES I/O cable and power supply, the 6-track Deva III is priced at US$8,400, the 8-track Deva IV is US$9,950, and the 10-track Deva V, also including Porta-Brace case, is US$12,950. See http://www.zaxcom.com

Zoom Introduces MRS-802CD Eight Track Hard Disk Recorder
Zoom has launched the new MRS-802CD that offers eight mono tracks, an independent stereo drum track with fully programmable Zoom drum machine, a stereo master track for mixing down, hundreds of effects for instruments and vocals, and a CD-R/RW drive for burning a completed album. It features a built-in 20GB hard drive for around 60 hours of 16-bit, 44.1kHz PCM recording, and each of the eight mono tracks, as well as the stereo master track, has ten virtual takes per track. The MRS-802CD offers two inputs, and MIDI in and out. Its editing capabilities include cut and paste, copy, move, reverse direction play and time stretch/compress, and audio files can imported using the CD-R/RW or the optional USB interface. Every track has editable and automatable track parameters such as EQ high, EQ low, pan, chorus, delay, and reverb. Options include a footswitch for punch in/out, expression pedal for adjusting certain effects on the fly, and a USB interface. The MRS-802CD has a MAP price of US$699 with CD-R/RW drive, or US$549 without. See http://www.samsontech.com/zoom

Tascam Introduces FW-1884 Professional Control Surface
Tascam has introduced the FW-1884, a professional DAW control surface and audio/MIDI interface. The FW-1884 uses FireWire to provide audio and MIDI interfacing to computers as well as control of DAW parameters via eight 100mm motorised touch-sensitive channel faders, one master fader, controls for pan, solo, mute and select functions, control for four bands of parametric EQ, a weighted jog wheel and a variety of shortcut keys for various popular software applications such as the MOTU Digital Performer, Steinberg Cubase and Nuendo, and Cakewalk Sonar. It provides eight balanced XLR analogue mic/line inputs, and offers full 96kHz operation on all analogue I/O channels. In addition to its two FireWire computer interfaces, the FW-1884 has eight channels of ADAT Lightpipe as well as stereo SPDIF I/O, and its eight analogue outputs default in L/R and 5.1 surround modes. A headphone output is provided, and the FE-8 8-channel fader expansion is also available. The FW-1884 has an MSRP of US$1599. See http://www.tascam.com

Digital Performer 4.0 Offers 'Freeze Tracks' Feature
MOTU is now shipping Digital Performer 4.0 (DP4) for Mac OS X. DP4 includes a previously unannounced Freeze Tracks feature that allows users to temporarily 'print' an audio track or virtual instrument aux track to disk. Doing so temporarily relinquishes any computer processing resources the track required, and gives users nearly unlimited computer processing bandwidth for plug-ins and virtual instruments. The resulting frozen track plays back exactly like the original, and users can 'unfreeze' the original track at any time to make changes, and refreeze it as needed. DP4 takes full advantage of the Mac OS X architecture and built-in MIDI and audio services to offer features such as CoreMIDI XML MIDI instrument patch lists. It carries forward hundreds of patch lists from previous versions and publishes them for any Mac OS X application that supports this new Mac OS X standard. Users who currently own Digital Performer can order the upgrade online, and a competitive crossgrade is also available. See http://www.motu.com

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