The exhibition portion of the meeting showcased the latest advances in nonlinear technology:
Avid showed the Media Composer 8000, Version 6.5 - this is the latest version of the Media Composer, it has new features of Audio Punch in, Improved Nesting, Locator Window, 3D corner pinning and stamping, new Title tool interface, AVR 77, amongst other improvements. They were also showing Fast and Wide drives that are capable of high data rates when used in striped pairs, and thus supporting Avidís newest resolution of AVR 77, a 300KB rate per frame, 2:1 compression and 8 bit sampling. The Media Composer at the show was also outfitted with a Serial Digital I/O and was shown with a Digital Betacam Deck, which provided source footage to show a resolution test.
Avid can be reached at (508) 949-AVID, http://www.avid.com.
AVT, the local representative, showed a number of new products. They had a set of networked MEDIA 100 3.0 XS systems. These two systems were networked together with IMAGE NET II Networking Software and SSA PCI controller cards from Pathlight Technologies using a 108GB SSA Disk Array from Siemens Nixdorf. The Siemens Nixdorf Array and enclosures are capable of holding (24) 4.5 Gigabyte SSA drives that are removable and hot swappable. This huge disk array was configured as 3 disk arrays of eight drives apiece.
The first edit system was a 9500/200 with both the MEDIA 100 Vincent board and the new DVE board Gaudi. This machine is configured as an on-line edit workstation capable of 2:1 compression, and real-time effects and CG.
The second system was a Daystar Genesis quad processor with 4/132mhz processors. Inside was a MEDIA 100 Vincent board and the new Green Ice board. Green Ice is a accelerator board for After Effects. This workstation could be used for a graphics workstation, or as a second editing station, Green ICE is a two board set that is a massively parallel processor computer that fits on this two board set inside the Macintosh. Green ICE currently has 24 ICE/FX and will have over 40 by NAB.
Media 100 can be reached at (508) 460-1600. AVT can be reached at (617) 923-1100.
Panasonic showed their newly unveiled Postbox Version 3.0 which now includes unlimited video layering, audio rubberbanding, import/export of WAV files, customized 3D DVE moves, and more. In addition to the new features, Postbox is a complete PC-Based Turnkey Nonlinear System with over 350 real-time transitions including all 3D effects (Page turns, spheres, ripples, etc...), 14Gb of storage (upgradeable to 98Gb) with 4 compression levels and redigitizing capabilities, built-in CG w/motion, Paint Program w/rotoscoping, 2 Component, Composite, Y/C I/Oís, 4 stereo pairs of audio with real-time level control, full motion control (-1000% to +1000%), video modifications including color corrections, strobe, decay and more. Itís fast, itís easy and itís built for video people by video people. Look for Version 4.0 at NAB í97 with 3:1 compression, new storage options, full multimedia capabilities and lots more!
The local Panasonic representative is Walt Kelly, Video Solut!ons, (508) 245-6618.
Vinny Froio, Professional Digital Specialist for Sony Electronic, Inc., showed the ES-7, which is a PC-based nonlinear editing workstation, and the DSR-85 4X speed DVCAM digital VTR.
The ES-7 key feature set includes:
Tony Silvestri, the local Sony rep, can be reached at (508) 485-6780.
Scitex presented the Statasphere non-linear finishing system, the high-end of the Sphere family of products.
Scitex emphasized the fact that the Stratasphere utilizes ASIC technoogy developed for the Abekas 8450 digital switcher and DVEous DVE to provide realtime broadcast-quality effects to the desktop market. These chipsets enable the Stratasphere to create effects such as digital chromakeys, dual light sources, surface effects, a palette of variable warps, all mix/wipes as well as alpha keys, simultaneously, interactively and in realtime. Several Quicktime animations created by local professionals were demonstrated being keyed over background video in real time. The Stratasphere is also capable of non-destructive compositing of up to 50 video layers maintaining YUV color space.
The Stratasphere appears as a device in a networked environment. By using what Scitex refers to as a throttle Manager, files such as video, audio, graphics or animations can be copied to or from the Stratasphere hard drives without interrupting an edit session. This connection can be run at 10BaseT or 100BaseT at this moment and can be upgraded to advanced technologies such as SSA as they become available to the industry.
Each "StorageDock" is capable of holding four 4GB hard drives and up to 15 StorageDocks can be connected to a single Stratasphere. That would be 540GB of storage at its max.
All products in the Sphere family use MJPEG at compression levels that vary from 3:1 to 18:1 at 720x486 image size. All Sphere products work in a Quicktime-native file format, media and tracksheet information is compatible across the line.
Other products in this group include the MICROSPHERE, VIDEOSPHERE and DIGISPHERE.
Scitex's local rep is SNNY Corp., which can be reached at (508) 663-3380.
Bob Lamm from CYNC Corp. had something a little different: He was showing off the possibilities of open systems:
He had two of the just-released Avid MCXpress/NT 1.5 systems running on the new Truevision Targa 2000RTX boards, these provided two simultaneous Digital-Betacam-quality video streams for real-time special effects. (MCXpress for NT offers the highest quality of any of the Avid products: over 330KB/frame!) He also had a two-monitor editing solution provided by the new Aeon multiscreen S-VGA card. And he had an impressive networking demo: Two MCXpresses reading from different parts of the same file while performing realtime special effects on it from a shared, networked drive that Mercury Computers had configured.
Bob Lamm's point was that off-the shelf solutions are becoming very powerful and can be customized to surprising degree at a very reasonable cost.
He also had lit on an inexpensive Premiere-based solution called the Interactive Images Plum card, as well as on the new D-Vision Online 2.0. But he said he didn't have room to show all these items and that people should come to his office for a demo...
Bob Lamm can be reached at (617) 277-4317, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cync.com.
A writeup of the presentations that were made at the meeting is still in preparation