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Interesting products debut at 2005 DV Expo

By John Virata

While one of the biggest news stories at the 2005 DV Expo in Los Angeles was Panasonic's unveiling of the AG-HVX200 camcorder, there were plenty of other announcements at the show. First up was Matrox Video, showing its latest DualHead2Go, a $169 external hardware device that enables you to attach two LCD displays to a notebook computer. It does this by using the notebook's existing display output port and expands it to span two displays with a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1024, depending on the notebook's graphics capabilities. The company was showing Premiere Pro on two displays with an expanded and unfettered Timeline. For more information, visit www.matrox.com

Serious Magic was showing Ovation, a player for Microsoft PowerPoint that enables you to add visual content to plain text-based Powerpoint presentations. The software, priced at $99 and scheduled for a December 2005 ship date, features 100 template themes called PowerLooks that enables you to add motion, text, and TV style transitions to your PowerPoint slides. You don't change the style in which you create your PowerPoint presentations, rather,  you continue to create in PowerPoint and then further enhance the presentations in Ovation. Ovation is actually a PowerPoint player that enables you to add and play the visual styles in your presentations. The company was also showing Vlog It!, video blogging software that enables you to add video to your blogs. According to the company, Vlog It enables you to add video clips, photos and audio to your blog by dragging and dropping the media clips into Vlog It, which then converts the data to a format that can be uploaded to your blog. After the data is convertedf, the software creates a thumbnail that users click on and the media file plays in your blog window. the company also announced a partnership with Six Apart, which offers the TypePad personal weblogging service, whereby Typepad users will be given a free special edition version of Vlog It to create videos for their TypePad blogs.For more information, visit www.seriousmagic.com.

One of the more interesting products on the show floor was the SupaCam, a combination digital camera/MPEG-4 video camera, MP3 player/movie player, and webcam all in a single $299 device. The camera has a reported 11 megapixel image sensor and supports SD memory cards. It features 32MB of built in memory, a flash, and can capture video at 640 x 480 resolution. The guys at the booth were wearing white lab coats to hawk the cameras on the show floor. For more information, visit www.supacam.com

AJA demonstrated Xena|LH and Xena|LS, video and audio I/O cards for Windows XP targeted at motion graphics users. the cards feature integrated support for Adobe After Effects and Photoshop, Autodesk's Combustion, and eyeon Software's digital fusion. the cards enable you to capture HD/SD data from a variety of sources, including digital and analog HD decks, and save it to formats such as DPX, Cineon, 8-bit TGA, TIFF and BMP, QuickTime, SDI or HD-SDI, to name a few. The Xena|LS is targeted at SD and analog users while the Xena|LH is targeted adds HD to the SD and analog mix. The boards ship with AJA's Machina, a capture and playback solution that features full VTR machine control and gives you access to all the file formats supported by the cards. For more information, visit www.aja.com.

Shining Technology was showing its CitiDISK HD, HDV, and SD external FireWire disk solutions for video cameras. At the booth the company was showing its CitiDISK HD plugged into Panasonic's new AG-HVX200 P2 camcorder. According to the company, CitiDISK HD is optimized for Panasonic's DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO 50, and DV video formats, and is available in 80GB, 100GB, and 120GB configurations.

It interfaces with a camera via FireWire and stores the video in Panasonic's MXF file format. The device is plug and play compatible and appears as an external FireWire drive when connected to a PC or Macintosh computer. CitiDISK HD is expected to ship in the first quarter of 2006 at a price point ranging from $979 to $1199. For more information, visit www.shining.com

Liquid lives. After Avid Technology acquired Pinnacle Systems, there was a lot of speculation on what would become of Liquid, the German-engineered NLE that previously lived life in the FAST lane. At the DV Expo, in a stealth booth behind the black curtains, Avid was showing Liquid 7, the first rev of the application under the watchful eyes of Avid Technology. The application has grown up quite a bit and is targeted not at workgroup or collaborative environments as other Avid products are well known, but for the individual user. Liquid 7 is all the bells and whistles in a single unified application. Everything, from video and audio editing to DVD authoring, is built into one application. It is not a suite of applications that talk with one another, rather it is a single application designed to do most all the tasks a video editor might need to perform to get the task done.

New features to version 7 include the capability to edit muxed files like Windows Media or DiVX without having to split the audio from the video, automatically add soundtracks to your edit via SmarSound software, a real time warp function that enables you to create fast and slow motion effects, an image stabilization feature, a single monitor user interface, and more. For more infor The application will be available in three levels, Avid Liquid, priced at $499, Avid Liquid Pro 7, priced at $999 adds the Liquid Pro hardware component which gives you analog and digital I/O and 1:1 MPEG capture codecs. According to the company, you can tailor your hardware to take advantage of certain aspects of the software, and the company will post a CookBook on its website detailing how to get the most of Liquid based on the type of video file formats you are working with. The company is also offering a Liquid Pro upgrade for $699, Liquid 7 upgrade for $199, as well as an upgrade for Pinnacle Studio users for $299. For more information, visit www.avid.com

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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at jvirata@digitalmedianet.com
Related Keywords:DV Expo, video editing, digital video, DV, HD, HDV

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