This years NAB was a bit smaller and less exciting then last years. But looking back at it, much or last years NAB hype was the same internet bubble that burst last fall. At NAB2000 everywhere you looked there was video streaming technology. Well guess what? A year later, broadband access is still very limited and although we have the technology to create great looking streaming video, few of us have the bandwidth to watch it.
This year the BIG news at NAB is that the time is finally coming when digital videographer's like you and me will be able to author and produce our own DVDs. DVDs that can be played back on any set top DVD player or computer DVD-Rom drive. DVDs that will hold 4.7GB of data, or up to 2 hours of DV quality video. DVDs that will cost a little over $10 each, burned in DVD burners that cost well under $1,000!!! The DVD revolution has begun and 3 companies are leading the way:
The new DVR-A03 DVD-RW drive is the worlds first under $1,000 DVD burner. It is currently only available in top of the line Apple G4 & Compaq Presario systems. Later in May it will be available as a stand alone unit for $799.95!! Not only will the DVR-AO# burn DVD-R at 2x speed, it will also support the DVD-RW re-writable media. Videoguy's is now taking back orders for the DVR-AO3. We expect it to be in very tight supply through the summer.
At the NAB show I was very fortunate to stumble upon Panasonic's new DVD-RAM/R drive LF-D311. This new drive will also be under $1,000 and fully supports the DVD-R standard, giving DVD content creators a choice of burners. The Panasonic drive is really a DVD-R and DVD-RAM combo drive. The DVD-RAM drive looks to your computer like any other removable mass storage device. This makes it ideal for backing up and archiving data, multimedia files and of course video. Videoguy's is now taking back orders on the LF-D311. We hope to get first deliveries in July.
No company is in a better position to take advantage of upcoming explosion in DVD authoring then Sonic. Their DVDit! line up of authoring solutions has something for DVD content creators of all levels. At the NAB show we were very excited about working with them on some extremely attractive bundles when you purchase DVDit! and a DVD burner at the same time. We will be bundling the full DVDit! PE authoring solution for just $399.95 with either of these drives. If you've got a capture card that is bundled with DVDitle or SE, we've also got all new upgrade programs.
DVR-A03 Specs | DVD it! Specs |I want to pre-order!!
There was also some extremely exciting news for digital videographer's looking for professional NLE systems at very affordable prices. The most exciting news came from Matrox and Avid (Yes, that Avid, the company that dominates the professional/ broadcast non linear editing market).
Matrox Flexes its muscles
Matrox stunned the world back in the fall of 1999 when they announced the RT2000 real-time editing card with their exclusive Flex 3D technology. The Flex 3D gave them the power to offer real-time 3D FX and transitions at the then unheard of price of $1295. At this years NAB Matrox stunned the industry again. Not only did they announce the new RT2500, the successor to the RT2000, but they began shipping it! No coming soon or sneak previews, they were showing demos with actual shipping units, the same units we have been selling for $899.95 since NAB!!! The RT2500 is not really a new product, but the 2nd generation of their Flex 3D technology. Rather then a 2-board solution like the original RT200, the RT2500 has the Flex 3D chips built onto its single PCI board. This saves you money and it makes the install and set up much easier. The RT2000 and RT2500 use the same drivers and software, so you get the same feature set with either card, which is very cool, because Matrox also released their Mega Pack 3 drivers at NAB. MegaPack 3 includes Win 2K support, all new Media Tools to Scan and Capture your footage in a single pass, support for the Premiere 6 audio mixer, 60 Premiere 6 transitions that are now in real-time, real-time colorization filter, real-time cropping, plus even more cool real-time 3D transitions and FX.
Matrox and Apple were showing off the new RT Mac with Final Cut Pro 2.0. FCP users are finally getting the opportunity to see the benefits and productivity that real-time NLE provides. This fall Mac based Premiere 6 users will also get the benefit of the RT Mac card.
Even more cool news. At Matrox's worldwide dealer meeting, The Electronic Mailbox was awarded top RT2000 reseller WORLDWIDE!!!
Pictured here is our own Videoguy, Gary Bettan with Shelly and Albert from Matrox. We are very proud of this honor and we will do everyhting possible to see that we win it again next year!!
RT2500 Specs | RTMac Specs |I want to order!
Avid Xpress DV – Your DV editing dreams come true!
Usually when you go buy the Avid booth at NAB you get to stare and gawk at NLE systems that cost $50,000 and more. You'd like to see more, but why look at something you know you'll never be able to get? Well at this years NAB, Avid decided that DV technology had finally come of age and it was time to let the world see just what happens when Avid decides to do something right. How right? How about $1699 for Avid Xpress DV!! Yes, that's right, Avid editing software for well under $2,000. Even more amazing, you don't need any kind of special hardware. A Win2K workstation with loads of RAM (256+), fast CPU, ATA100 drives and a dual head graphics card like the Matrox G450 and you are in business. Just add an inexpensive OHCI FireWire card like the ADS Pyro ($79.95) and you are up and editing. Total time of install, under 15 minutes! That's not enough for you. How about this - it'll run on a laptop. All you need is Win2K, RAM and an OHCI cardbus card like the Pyro Laptop card ($99.95). As an Intro special we are offering XpressDV 2 for $1499 w/ a FREE Pyro FireWire card!
Even more impressive is the Xpress 2.0 PowerPack. For under $3,000 you get Xpress 2.0 plus Avids image stabilizer plug-in (say goodbye to boucing footage), Avids ePublisher companion (take your video straight to the web with a few mouse clicks), Avids DV Filmakers kit (script based editing, full support for frame codes and other amazing filmaker utilities, Plus a ton of additional software like Commotion, Boris FX and more. As an Intro special we are offering XpressDV 2 w/ PowerPack for $2495 & a FREE Pyro FireWire card!
When you reach the point that you spend several days a week editing, you can really start to appreciate all of the incredible productivity that a professional NLE application like Xpress DV can deliver. Nothing against Premiere or Final Cut, but this is major league software loaded with Power. 96% of primetime television and the majority of TV commercials and major motion pictures are produced using Avid solutions. With Xpress DV, you get an Avid solution you can afford, fully loaded with all the features and power you need to produce your film. Your dreams will come true!!
Xpress DV Specs |I want to order!!
More NAB news
Last year Media100 began transforming itself from a supplier of tried and true NLE solutions into a provider of Streaming video content creation solutions. At this years NAB they completed their goal. Two very exciting new additions to the Cleaner 5 line up make Cleaner 5 not just the industry standard for streaming encoding, but by far and away the most complete, productive solution ever. Cleaner Live is a $3,000 hardware solution that lets you simultaneously stream 2 streams of video directly from your DV camera to the internet. Not only can you stream live, but the entire thing can be recorded to your hard drive in perfect DV quality. Then you can edit and archive it later. Medai100 also announced Cleaner XL, a $6,000 hardware card that accelerates Cleaner 5 encoding by a factor of 5. This means that by putting this card in your computer, you can eliminate the need for 5 other encoding stations. If you've got a website that depends on streaming content, both these products are must have solutions for you.
At NAB Pinnacle's major focus was on their broadcast/ professional division. For our market, one very interesting bit of news was Pinnacle's development plan for the technology they purchased earlier in the year from Minerva. What we learned was that the Pinnacle Impressions product line will be expanded to include several different levels of DVD authoring. The most exciting news hear is that the current $5000+ authoring solution would be repositioned at around $1,000!!! This is great news for anyone planning on getting one of the new DVD burners and going to the DVD authoring business. Owners of Pinnacle capture cards would be offered special upgrade pricing.
Pinnacle also announced Commotion 4. Commotion is a really easy to use video compositing and paint program. With it's very easy “Photoshop” like interface, you can easily create complex, multilayered video productions. Commotion gives you full keyframe control over positioning, rotation and motion paths for each element. Anyone who purchases Commotion from NAB on will get a free upgrade to Commotion 4 when it ships this summer.
While at NAB Pinnacle took a good look at the under $1,000 NLE landscape and decided it was time to make a move on the DV500Plus product. Effective May 1st the price was reduced by $100!! That means you can now get a real-time NLE card, with DV & Analog I/O and Full Premiere 6.0 for $699.95!!!
DV500 Specs | Videoguys' hands on review |I want one!!
Medea has seen their business grow as they have increased the performance of VideoRAIDs to support even the most demanding professional uncompressed editing systems. At NAB they were showing their very cool new line up of low profile, rack mountable VideoRAIDs called VideoRack LP. These units are less then 2 inches tall, but can hold up to 300GB of storage, with sustained throughputs of over 65 MB/sec. I'm going to set mine up under my Monitor, using supplied rubber feet.
Cool new stuff to help you edit better!
While at NAB we also put together a full selection of how to / training materials to help you get the most out of your NLE system.
First, we had one of our customers, Roo productions, put together a Getting Started with Premiere 6 training tape. We are very proud to sponsor this excellent video. Not only do you get great guidance on getting started with Premiere 6, Videoguys' was happy to include our Top NLE Tech Tips as a bonus section on the video tape. Getting Started has never been easier.
One of the coolest things about Premiere (and Final Cut Pro and Xpress DV) that most of us don't take advantage of is keyboard shortcuts. Heck, I edit all the time and I can't remember them. Well, we've got a great solution for you. EZ Keyboards. These affordable keyboards have color-coded keys with the shortcuts printed on them!!
For those of you looking to create your own feature films or documentary, we've got a great new CD for you. The Cyber Film School CD is loaded with all the information you need to help you produce, direct, write, shoot and edit your video.