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DMN Interview: Media 100 Cuts Prices, Adds Mac HD Product

CEO John Molinari gets aggressive with pricing, innovation By Charlie White
John Molinari, CEO, Media 100, Inc.Media 100 announced drastically reduced prices on its 844/X line of compositing and editing systems, as well as the impending release of a Mac G5-based system thats capable of HD editing using components of the companys 844/X hardware. DMNs Charlie White talked with Media 100s CEO John Molinari about the new developments in this exclusive interview.

Where Media 100s second-tier compositing and editing product, 844 Xi, previously cost $24,995, the new price is $9995 for boards and software. The top of the 844/X line, the 844/Xe was $44,995, and has now been reduced to $19,995, a 56% price reduction. The XBlur hardware upgrade, allowing 80 pixel Gaussian blurs in real time across 4 streams, is now priced at $5995. This brings the price of a turnkey 844/X system to a entry level of about $20,000, with a full blown system running in the low-to-mid $40K range. That amounts to a remarkable price reduction, considering that before this announcement, the complete turnkey system would run between $70K-80K.

DMN: Tell us about this new pricing and its motivation.

Molinari: This pricing action is essentially designed to spur our installed base as well as the broader middle market that we have always sold to. We want to spur them to buy an 844/X system, Charlie, especially in anticipation of our next major software release, version 3, which we plan to announce and ship next month in January, but were going to leak it to you now. And that really is the second announcement. Version 3 is simply the largest expansion of the feature set since we began shipping the product. We have been showing these features in sneak previews we began doing that officially at IBC and weve been getting very positive feedback on the new feature set. It is broad; its a combination set of features that are useful from the utilitarian or yeomans point of view, but then there is just some tremendous power and sex appeal in this release. What I would ask you to do is this: Consider the impact of version 3 in light of the new lower pricing. Were not pulling any marketing punches here. It is bold, and we are doing it in conjunction with improving and expanding the capability of the product. I hope that sounds familiar, Charlie, because thats how we made the company in the first place.

DMN: Yes, it does.

Molinari: Our third announcement, from a newsworthy point of view, in a way its the most stunning. We plan to announce a new Macintosh system. Its called Media 100 HD, its going to cost $7995, its our first Macintosh design in eight years. It comprises a single card, it is G5 compatible, it is OS X and Aqua compatible as youd expect, powered by a version of the GenesisEngine that powers 844/X. Media 100 HD is a 10-bit, native uncompressed, resolution-independent HD and SD editing system. The real-time processing to support resolution independence means that editors can mix and match HD and SD in the same timeline. This is, we believe, a first for personal computers. Theres one more thing this product does it does HD and SD editing, lets you mix and match HD and SD literally in the same timeline. This is Quantel-type stuff. It does one more thing it does broadcast quality format conversion between all HD and SD formats another first for personal computers. You know weve been talking about this, our format conversion. Were actually going to introduce and ship it for the first time on this Macintosh system. All of this for $8000. So, traditionally Media 100 is sold from independents up to large broadcasters and post facilities, obviously weve sold heavily to advanced corporate, educational and institutional media departments. We have been doing some of that to date with 844/X, but not enough of it because the price range of 844/X was so far above where we have historically priced our products. So were really getting bold here, were getting aggressive. Were really getting back to basics. We expect that Media 100 HD in particular will have very strong pull with our installed base. Were talking there about 10,000 active users. Weve shipped about 35,000 systems historically. We do know that the pricing action is bold, Were very excited about it. We know that the version 3 release is a big step forward. We have a wonderful engineering team. Weve been working hard on that for a very long time. Weve gotten ample feedback from current users, and other folks that say this is a big, big step forward. And of course, Media 100 HD is going to be a interesting surprise for people.

DMN: Is that $7995 for boards and software? How many boards are you talking about?

Molinari: Its a single board. Its a pretty fancy board, though. Id say its up there in terms of printed circuit board integration.

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Related Keywords:Media 100, reduced prices, 844/X, compositing, editing systems, Mac G5-based system, HD editing, Charlie White, CEO, John Molinari, exclusive interview


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