Videoguys NAB2005 report

This year's NAB was a very exciting show. At last year's show we got our first glimpse of HDV and the HD revolution. At this year's show HDV was everywhere – including several new professional HD camcorders that sell for well under $10,000!!

Before we get into the video editing and production highlights of the show, I want to give you a brief overview of the HD camcorders we saw. Currently only the Sony HDV cams are shipping, the new models from JVC & Panasonic will be shipping later this year.

Please note, we do not sell camcorders .
We’re providing this info for you as a starting point on your HDV research. Once you pick out the HDV cam you want, give us a call at 800-323-2325 and we’ll help you put together the ideal HD editing solution for your needs.

At last year's NAB show SONY introduced the HDR-FX1 HDV camcorder. It began shipping last October and it is by far the best HDV camcorder on the market under $5,000. It supports HDV at 1080i resolution and the video quality is simply stunning. With a $3,500 street price it’s still expensive, but if you're looking to make the jump to HD, this is a great place to start.

This is the professional version of the FX-1. With a price tag of around $6,000 I’m sure you’re asking yourself “What do I get for the extra $2,500?" First you get XLR connectors and audio input level trimming. The support of professional microphones is a must have for some folks, and not as important to others. You also get additional settings for the Sony Cineframe format, which gives a cinematic film look to your videos. If you are an independent filmmaker this is a big feature, it’s not as important for other types of work.

JVC introduced their new ProHD product line at NAB2005. The ProHD product line-up adopts the HDV™ format to make high quality HD image recording on DV tape. By including professional capabilities such as 4 channel audio, time code, true 24p HD, and dual media direct recording to hard disc, ProHD products become tools that can be easily used to produce film-like quality HD programming in a variety of applications.

The new GY-HD100U has many of the features professional videographers have been waiting for in order to migrate to HDV. The GY-HD100U utilizes three newly developed 1/3-inch CCD image sensors, each one featuring an array of 1280x720 pixels. The camera includes a standard detachable 16x Servo Fujinon HD lens. Other available lens options include a 13x (3.5mm) wide zoom HD lens, a wide-angle converter for the standard 16x lens, and an adapter allowing standard ½-inch lenses to be used on the camera. You also get 2 XLR audio inputs with independent controls for each channel.

The GY-HD100U’s unique compact shoulder design locates camera and viewfinder controls on the left side of the unit. A specially designed Fujinon HD lens provides automatic or manual iris control, with smooth servo zoom and backfocus adjustment. A convenient IEEE1394 interface permits simple, quick connection to an external dual media recording option, a PC or NLE for easy downloading, and editing or archiving. That’s quite a camera for only $6,000!! First shipments are expected this summer.

The much anticipated replacement for the DVX-100 was a smash hit at the show. It supports Panasonic’s P2 technology – you record the video directly to P2 solid-state memory cards. With the AG-HVX200, HD and SD video are recorded on the P2 card as IT-friendly MXF files that can be downloaded to a nonlinear editing system or server, or edited virtually instantly from the P2 card by connecting an IEEE 1394 or USB2.0 interface. P2 cards mount like a regular hard drive from a NLE system's point of view, which eliminates the time-taking task of digitizing footage.

The AG-HVX200 is not an HDV camera. Panasonic has decided to go with their own DVCPRO standards instead. This revolutionary, hand-held P2 camcorder provides 1080i and 720p recording with the production proven image quality of 100 Mbps DVCPRO HD. The AG-HVX200 records on a P2 card at 1080 in 60i, 30p and 24p; at 720 in 60p, 30p and 24p; and at 480 in 60i, 30p, and 24p in either DVCPRO50 or DVCPRO.

On the newly-announced 8G P2 card, the AG-HVX200 records for 32 minutes in DVCPRO or DV, 20 minutes in 720p/24, 16 minutes in DVCPRO50, and eight minutes in 1080i/60 and 720p/60.

Canon did not show any HDV camcorders at the show. Given the anticipated ship dates of the other models, they still have time. Canon is firmly committed to the HDV format, but they are playing their cards very close to the vest. Canon folks were bombarded with questions about HDV on the show floor. Would the first Canon HDV cam be in the GL or XL series, or would it be a new form factor? How would they implement 24P? Would they be supporting 720P, 1080i or both? No firm answers were given, but the Canon guys seemed quite confident that when in fact they did announce their new HDV cam, it would make current XL/GL owners very happy and it will give Sony, JVC and Panasonic stiff competition!

We have added an HD compatibility matrix to the Videoguys' HDV Handbook Online. This will help you match the camcorder you want with the editing solutions we provide .

For all of the latest news on these exciting new camcorders, keep checking back to the Videoguys Blog. We’ve already posted half a dozen assorted articles and links since NAB, and you’ll be seeing many more over the weeks and months to come!!

Avid Xpress Pro HD Power Packs

Avid was at NAB2005 showing off the next rev of Xpress Pro HD with native HDV editing. The HDV update will ship later this year and be available for free to all registered owners of Xpress Pro HD. I had a chance to spend some time with the Avid demo guys and product managers and I have to say – Avid is doing HD & HDV right!

Avid Xpress Pro HD is capable of handling multiple layers of HDV footage with effects and graphics in real-time on a dual Xeon workstation. It supports all of the DVCProHD file formats announced with the new Panasonic AG-HVX200 P2 camcorder. It allows you to mix SD (standard def), HDV and DVCProHD footage on the same timeline with real-time playback.

The most important part of Avid’s HD strategy is their DNxHD CODEC. How you edit, manage, store and move around all this beautiful HD footage is the biggest challenge ahead. Uncompressed HD files are MASSIVE. And they require not only enormous storage solutions, but super fat pipes to move it. With DNxHD you get all of the great quality of HD (in every imaginable format) at a fraction of the bandwidth. Avid ran something they called the DNxHD challenge. They had HD images with a split somewhere inside it. When comparing uncompressed 10-bit HD footage and DNxHD footage, no one can tell the difference. including Hollywood professionals who had the test done privately for them on the best glass available!

DNxHD technology is in every Avid HD product. With Avid Xpress Pro HD & Avid Xpress Studio HD, you'll be able to ingest HDV via FireWire or DVCPRO50 via P2 cards and edit away. For heavy compositing, graphics, keying and animations you'll be able to use DNxHD for fantastic quality and efficient storage utilization.

Last year Avid Xpress Studio was their big news at NAB2004. This year, Studio is updated and renamed as Avid Xpress Studio HD. As the name implies, this new version includes Xpress Pro HD and HD support for all of the other applications included in the bundle. Even cooler – they lowered the price on Avid Xpress Studio HD Complete by $1,000!! We’re adding in an extra discount that brings the cost down to $5,750 – plus this includes over $300 worth of Avid training DVDs!

Another big product announcement from Avid was the new Avid Xpress Pro HD Power Packs. Avid is now bundling the video applications from the Avid Xpress Pro Studio HD suite together at a very big savings. You get Avid Xpress Pro HD, Avid FX, Avid DVD and Avid 3D at a fantastic bundle price of $2,250. That’s a pretty amazing deal – the Power Pack software alone would cost you over $2,500 if purchased separately! If you need even more real-time power and performance you’re going to want to get our Avid Xpress Pro HD Power Pack with Avid Mojo for just $2,995 after mail in rebate!

For more infomation check out our Avid webpage

Sony Vegas 6 is here!

I’ve been calling Sony Vegas one of the best kept secrets in the industry. Based on the crowds at the Vegas 6 user event, the training classes and the Vegas 6 pod in the Sony booth, I think it’s clear that the secret is out! What makes Vegas so impressive is its rock solid stability and performance at such an affordable price. Vegas 6 has built in support for HDV and it works perfectly with the new Sony HDV camcorders. If you need to edit uncompressed SD or HD footage, Blackmagic Design Decklink cards are now supported in Vegas 6.

I really like the new and improved media management and project nesting. Put that together with Vegas’s already great audio tools, color correction, velocity envelopes (speed controls) and customizable transitions and it’s easy to see why Vegas 6 was such a hit at NAB2005!

Vegas 6 is optimized for the very latest CPU technology including hyperthreading, multi-processors, dual core and even next years cell processors. The more CPU power you give Vegas, the more real-time performance you get and the faster the rendering and/or encoding for final output. Vegas’s CPU optimization works both ways. What do I mean by this? You don’t require a killer computer system or dual processors to get great results. In fact, Vegas 6 can edit HDV footage on a single 2.4 Ghz processor! That’s pretty amazing!!

The new Vegas+DVD Production Suite includes Vegas 6, DVD Architect 3.0 and a Dolby Digital encoder. DVD Architect 3 is a very powerful DVD authoring solution that integrates beautifully with Vegas 6. You’ll be able to create DVDs with advanced navigation tools, 5.1 surround sound and professional looking DVD layout and design.

Sony is offering a $50 mail-in rebate on the Vegas+DVD Production Suite . As an added bonus, we are including a whole suite of Vegas training DVDs FREE with your purchase of Vegas 6! We are also offering our Vegas Super Bundle that includes the Vegas+DVD Production Suite, Soundforge 8 w/ Noise Reduction and Acid Pro 5 for only $949.95 after rebate.

If you have a friend or family member looking to get started in video editing & DVD production have them check out Sony's Vegas Movie Studio. While it is based on the same technology in Vegas 6, it is extremely easy to use. It has some of the most impressive integrated tutorials and help screens I have ever seen in a video editing product. For less than $100, it’s a great way to learn about video editing. When the time comes for them to migrate up to Vegas 6, they’ll already have a basic understanding of the interface and workflow.

For more info on Vegas 6 click here

Adobe CS3 Production Premium
Serious Magic does it again!

For the 3rd straight year the folks at Serious Magic have delivered new products at NAB that just make me say WOW! They were showing two new products – the HDV PowerPak for DV Rack and Ultra 2.

The HDV PowerPak for DV Rack adds just what owners of HDV camcorders have been screaming for – complete HDV support. With this $200 add-on your DV Rack becomes HDV Rack. You get all of the great features of DV Rack including the scopes, monitors and analyzers. You also get the ability to capture HDV footage directly to your laptop!

Serious Magic also announced a major price reduction in DV Rack to $295! The HDV PowerPak will be available in late June but we are accepting pre-orders now for only $195 and we won’t process your credit card until we have units available to ship you.

Ultra2 is the next generation of Ultra, the best chromakeyer on the market for under $1,000!! With Ultra2 it gets even better. They’ve added Vector Keying that compensates even better for bad lighting, wrinkled backdrops and frizzy hair. The new high speed GPU support leverages the power of your graphic card for faster previews and rendering. Ultra 2 also has full HD support including 720p, 1080i, 1080p in a wide variety of frame rates including 24 fps. The plus-90 mode allows you to create HD footage with an SD camera.

If you buy Ultra today, you’ll get a free upgrade to Ultra 2. While the price of Ultra 2 is dropping to $ 499.95 , it will no longer include any of the Master Set Libraries (MSL) of virtual sets. You will get a small sample of sets with Ultra2 to experiment with, but you’ll need to purchase the MSL separately. This makes our current bundle promotions even more valuable. For $ 999.00 after rebate you can get Ultra, Master Set 1, TwistFlex2 chromakey backdrop and your choice of either MSL2 or MSL3!! Plus you get the free upgrade to Ultra 2!!

Buy Ultra or DV Rack today!

Canopus Edius NX for HDV trade-up

At NAB2005 Canopus was demonstrating the incredible real-time performance of Edius NX for HDV. By leveraging their world-class hardware technology with their Edius Pro 3 editing software, Canopus is able to deliver the most real-time HDV editing of any solution on the market. You get multiple layers of video, graphics and effects all playing in real-time, with real-time HD output via the Edius NX for HDV component video output.

Now you can save $200 on the Edius NX for HDV when you trade in your old DV capture card. Even cooler, loyal Canopus customers save an additional $100 when you trade in your DV Storm card (any model) for the Edius NX for HDV!

Why should you trade-up to Edius NX for HDV? Simple – because you want and demand the same level of real-time performance and stability DV Storm users have had for years, only with HDV footage.

Click here for more info and to download the Edius NX for HDV trade-up form

Pinnacle extends $200 mail in rebate on Liquid Edition 6 Pro upgrades

With the release of Liquid Edition 6.1 in March, Pinnacle has delivered the first rock solid, real-time native HDV editing solution . No need to transcode or work with proxy files. You can capture, edit and output your HDV footage in all its native HD glory!

With the Liquid Edition Pro breakout box you can capture and output DV, analog video, HDV plus uncompressed video via component I/O. Other systems with this level of flexibility will cost you over a thousand dollars for the hardware alone! Owners of Adobe Premiere (any version) or Pinnacle Studio can upgrade to Liquid Edition 6.1 Pro for only $499.95 after rebate!

Buy Liquid Edition 6 Pro now

Matrox Professional Video Products
Focus Firestore FS-4s are finally in stock!

The FS-4 is one of our best selling products. The reviews are starting to come in and there is no doubt about it – FS-4 is a hit!! We know it’s been crazy over the past few months with backorders and shortages of FS-4. We finally have inventory and we are extending our April promotions into May. FireStore FS-4 with field kit (extra battery & mounting bracket) is only $849.95. We are also offering extra batteries and mounting brackets to existing FS-4 owners. These can be ordered directly from our website for $129.95 each, or as the field kit for $199.95.

Focus has also announced a new promotion on FS-4 Pro (40GB $1195, 80GB $1595). If you buy one between May 1st and June 30th you’ll get two free upgrades worth $698! The High-Definition upgrade will make your FS-4 Pro compatible with HDV camcorders and NLEs. The DV Converter Suite allows you to convert between DV25 file formats including NTSC to PAL & vice versa. We are still offering our FREE field kits with the FS-4 Pro so you can double dip and actually take advantage of both of these great promotions - while supplies last!

Order your FireStore FS-4 today!

Matrox lowers price on RTX100 w/ Adobe Video Collection

The big news at Matrox was the introduction of their new Axio SD & HD editing hardware. Axio enables Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 to become a real-time broadcast level post-production tool. Initially Axio will only be available in high-end turnkey systems starting at $20k. We can’t wait until next years NAB when this technology becomes more affordable and widely available!

Matrox also announced changes to the entire RT.X100 Xtreme Pro product line. The RT.X100 Xtreme Pro "Suite" which was on sale for $999 will no longer be available due to partnering agreements with Adobe. However, now you can get all that the "Suite" offered plus the FULL version of Adobe After Effects 6.5 Standard for only $100 more! That's right, the Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro Collection (RTX100XPNC) is now only $1,099 (a $300 price drop) and includes the complete Adobe Video Collection 2.5.

Or, add the Professional version of Adobe After Effects and the full version of Adobe Photoshop CS2 when you order the RTX100XPNCPRO for only $1,999.

As an added bonus... order either of these newly priced Matrox bundles and we'll include more than $200 worth of Total Training DVDs for free.

1. Fundamentals of Premiere Pro 1.5
2. After Effects 6.5 the Fundamentals
3. Video Collection from Edit to Output

Matrox has also announced the end of their RTX100 trade-up program.
We still have a limited supply of inventory. We are no longer requiring you to return your old card. You will need a valid Adobe Premiere serial number in order to install the upgrade software. Hurry, when these upgrades are gone, they are gone forever!

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