Archive for January, 2013

FotoKem and SPY Combine Talent, Services on Sundance Winner “Fruitvale”

photo by Rachel Morrison

FotoKem and SPY (a FotoKem company) combined in-house talent and key post-production services for the Sundance winning film Fruitvale, written and directed by Ryan Coogler with cinematography by Rachel Morrison. The film won the festival’s coveted Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for a drama, and was acquired by The Weinstein Company soon after its premiere screening.

Providing end-to-end services for the Super 16 mm project, FotoKem and SPY worked closely with the filmmakers from start to finish. Fruitvale was processed and transferred at FotoKem in Burbank. The files were delivered to SPY’s headquarters in San Francisco, where colorist Chris Martin color graded the film with Coogler and Morrison. The two facilities are securely connected by a high-speed network offering real-time interface capabilities between the locations to provide the creative community with easy access to the full breadth of post-production services that FotoKem and its companies offer.

Fruitvale follows the final day of 22-year old Oscar Grant, who was gunned down by a police officer at the Fruitvale stop of an Oakland transit line. The tragedy was caught on video, and the incident made national headlines.

The movie was shot on location in San Francisco. The Super 16 footage was then shipped to Burbank, scanned to HDCAM SR, and conformed at SPY.

“When I met with Ryan and Rachel prior to production, they were committed to shooting film. They felt strongly that film would convey the emotion they wanted to draw from Oscar’s character,” recalls Martin. “Our color grade supported the quality of grain and tonal palette that the Super 16 format brought to the story. Specifically, we approached the process as if we were timing in a film laboratory, avoiding the feeling of a digital grade. Building in contrast and adding weight to the mid-tones, rather than overcooking the shadows and highlights, brought a very specific emotional element to the film. The result is a feeling of intimacy that holds the personality of the film and supports Rachel’s amazing camera work. Obviously the audience at Sundance agreed!”

Martin notes that Fruitvale can be divided into two worlds – the quiet intimate world of Oscar and his family, and the larger institutional world where Oscar encounters conflict. “Oscar’s world tends to be defined by warmer scenes with more intimate contrast while the institutional scenes are seen with a wider lens and more mixed lighting, embracing an observational feel,” says Martin. “So while we maintained the same approach for all the scenes, there’s a wonderful dichotomy between the two worlds.”

“We are honored to have collaborated with the talented team behind Fruitvale. At FotoKem, we continually strive to offer independent filmmakers the workflow expertise that they need, and invest in the talent and technology to support their creative visions,” says FotoKem’s Mike Brodersen.

Imagination Technologies ships Caustic Series2 R2500 and R2100 ray tracing acceleration boards

Revolutionary affordable add-in boards bring interactive ray-traced graphics into the creative workflow

January 31st 2013: Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia technologies company, is now shipping its Caustic Series2 PC boards, the R2500 and R2100, which accelerate PowerVR OpenRL applications including the Caustic Visualizer™ viewport plug-ins for Autodesk® Maya® and 3ds Max® and the Neon viewport in Rhinoceros 5 from Robert McNeel and Associates.

The Caustic Series2 is the first family of high performance ray tracing accelerator PC boards using Imagination’s unique ray tracing technologies in the world’s first chipset dedicated to high performance, fully interactive ray tracing in a workstation environment.

The Caustic R2500 OpenRL PC board costs just US$1495, targeting the latest high-end workstations. The Caustic R2100 board is priced at an aggressive US$795, intended for upgrading a wider range of mid-range and higher workstations.

Says Tony King-Smith, VP marketing, Imagination: “Ray-traced rendering is now no longer limited to non-real-time applications and server farms. By enabling totally interactive, fully ray-traced viewport environments Caustic Series2 is a truly disruptive innovation in the field of high-quality and photorealistic content generation and revolutionizes the workflow of creative professionals.”

Says Alex Kelley, Caustic’s director of business development: “We are thrilled to bring this kind of targeted ray tracing hardware to the industry at an affordable price. The Caustic R2500 and R2100 will accelerate look development for artists and designers to a level where they can view final render results while still developing their models. Artists and design professionals will love all of the extra time they’ll have to be more creative.”

The Caustic R2500 and R2100 ray tracing accelerator boards and Caustic Visualizer for Maya plug-in are available for purchase from today at

For a limited period of time both Caustic boards ship with a free copy of Caustic Visualizer for Maya. The software-only version of the Caustic Visualizer for Maya is separately priced at US$299. A 3ds Max Visualizer will be available in Q2 2013, with beta trials from March 2013.

Imagination’s Caustic R2500 and R2100 boards are qualified for relevant Dell and HP workstations (full details of qualified systems can be found at Qualification for other systems, including Boxx, and Lenovo is expected in Q1 2013.

Hardware for better workflow

Featuring Imagination’s unique Caustic RT2 custom chips, the R2500 and R2100 PCIe boards set new standards for price performance, with up to 5x acceleration (over software alone) across popular media and CAD 3D applications, as well as significantly lower power consumption. They are an ideal upgrade path for users wishing to use tools such as Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max, or Robert McNeel & Associates Rhino 5, to create stunning 3D content in a totally interactive, fully ray-traced viewport environment.

The Caustic boards set a new standard for affordable, high performance ray tracing and revolutionize workflows for creative professionals. Now it is possible to immediately see the effects of changes made without having to wait for rendering; iteration takes moments not minutes.

Support for very large scenes

The Caustic R2100 and R2500 boards include 4 Gigabytes and 16 Gigabytes of memory, respectively, which is used to store scene geometry and the ray tracing acceleration structure. Unlike most GPU solutions, shading is performed by the CPU. Shader materials like texture maps are stored in memory on the workstation, freeing up the ray tracing hardware to store very large models – often a requirement for applications in CAD or film and post production.

The Industry welcomes Caustic Series2

“At Autodesk University 2012, Imagination Technologies debuted their real-time, interactive ray tracing with the Series2 ray tracing boards, which accelerate the capabilities of Caustic Visualizer plugins for Maya and 3ds Max”, said Robert Hoffmann, senior product marketing manager, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “Our customer reaction was very positive, and we are pleased that Maya and 3ds Max users will be among the first to be able to take advantage of this new technology.”

“We believe Caustic’s photorealistic ray tracing acceleration technology will change the way artists design in the future, which is why we chose to integrate the viewport directly into Rhino 5 as Neon,” said Bob McNeel at Robert McNeel and Associates. “This technology combined with one of the Caustic Series2 ray tracing acceleration cards enables designers to create content within an interactive, fully ray traced viewport, complete with accurate lighting, shadows and reflections. By providing users with high-quality visual feedback from the earliest stages of modelling, potential issues can be identified and resolved much earlier in the design cycle.”

“At HP we are always pushing ourselves to bring new innovations into the world, which is why we chose to feature the Caustic Visualizer and Series2 cards at ‘Rock On’ last December,” said Ron Rogers, R&D director, HP Graphics Business Unit. “We believe this new ray tracing acceleration solution from Imagination Technologies will change the way products are designed in the future. As we all take a step forward in innovation, we are very pleased to announce we’ve certified and optimized our machines for Imagination Technologies’ Caustic Visualizer and Caustic Series2 ray tracing acceleration boards.”

“At Dell we take pride in offering our workstation customers leading edge and innovative technology to boost productivity and creativity,” said Efrain Rovira, Executive Director, Dell Precision Workstations. “The Caustic Series2 cards and Caustic Visualizer bring new levels of interaction and visualization for 3D artists and designers and we are proud to announce that our Dell Precision T3600, T5600, and T7600 tower workstations helped develop and are optimized to run these groundbreaking ray tracing and visualization solutions.”

“The performance and workflow benefits resulting from the Caustic Visualizers and hardware is a game changer for us at Greg Lynn FORM,” said Greg Lynn at Greg Lynn FORM. “Being able to see shadows (sun) while making changes to an architectural model is a very big deal! This is one of the main reasons why designers move from digital to physical models. This benefit alone will save us a tremendous amount of time and money. Ray tracing is really the only way to accurately visualize the light and shadows for interior and exterior renderings in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) world. In the past, the design sequence was something of a guessing game; you set up lights and textures where you might want them and see what happens after rendering. Using Caustic technology our digital 3D models now have the benefit of visualizing daylight, shadow and lighting in general from the very first digital sketches; Caustic’s products bring this late stage design quality to the early stages of my design process.”

“With the Caustic Visualizer and hardware cards this is the first time I have been able to model and ray trace simultaneously”, said president of Technolution, Max Sims. “I can see true refractions and reflections as I design. The quality, speed and fidelity really blow me away and frees us up to iterate at will, making product design perfectly interactive.”

“Caustic Visualizer for Maya makes the limits of IPR (Interactive Photorealistic Rendering) a thing of the past,” said David Perkins, Lead Draftsman at Silent House Productions. “We are now able to fine tune materials and lighting directly in the Maya viewport, complete with translucency, reflections, and soft shadows.” This has almost completely eliminated our need to use mental ray to test material settings, Now, we only use mental ray when our entire scene is constructed from elements that are tested using Caustic. With the Caustic hardware, we were able to arrive at higher quality images faster. We’re also able to tumble around texture mapped objects in near realtime, to test specularity and the material’s reaction to light from all angles. One other feature that surprised us, was the ability to preview lights with a 2K resolution image sequence mapped to its colour channel, and how well the viewport matched final output, in terms of accuracy and quality.

Software designed for OpenRL

Imagination’s hardware accelerated Caustic Visualizer family of plugins brings the world’s first fully interactive real time ray tracer to the working viewports of the industry’s premier 3D design and animation packages. Thanks to Imagination’s unique high performance OpenRL-based ray tracing hardware and software technologies, the Visualizer photorealistic viewport provides far higher visual quality than 3ds Max and Maya’s normal rendering viewports, including globally accurate lighting, reflections and shadows within a 3ds Max, Maya or mental ray® scene. It enables artists to identify and resolve potential problems within their final renders from the earliest stages of modelling; minimizing the need for time-consuming preview renders and radically streamlining the look development process.

The Caustic Visualizer viewport renderer interactively updates and responds to all edits in 3ds Max and Maya including geometry, lighting and shading characteristics while preserving their powerful interactive workflows. Selected objects in the Maya viewport continue to have fully editable wireframes and manipulators overlaid on the real-time ray-traced shaded preview.

Neon™ for Rhino is a fully ray-traced viewport plug-in for Rhino 5. Developed in collaboration with Imagination Technologies, Neon™ helps a designer to quickly evaluate and establish the form, colour, texture, lighting, and material requirements of object components within a scene, very early on.

Neon supports all Rhino 5 rendering features – including the sun, skylight, ground plane, standard materials, environments and most procedural textures. In addition, Neon supports many Brazil shaders and materials if Brazil 2.0 for Rhino is installed. (See:

Editor’s Notes

Technical data

R2100 Specifications:

Up to 50 million incoherent rays per second
Target workstation: Single CPU
Bus: PCIe x8 Gen 2.0 – single height, half length
Power: 30 Watts maximum, bus powered (no PCIe external power required)
OS Support: Windows 7 and Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
On-board memory: 4 Gbytes of scene geometry (up to 60 million triangles)
System memory: same requirements as 3D application (e.g., Maya). For optimal performance all memory channels should be fully populated
Ray-tracing hardware: one Caustic RTU (ray-tracing unit) chip

R2500 Specifications:

Up to 100 million incoherent rays per second
Target workstation: Dual CPU
Bus: PCIe x16 Gen 2.0 – single height, full length
Power: 65 Watts maximum, bus powered (no PCIe external power required)
OS Support: Windows 7 and Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
On-board memory: 16 Gbytes of scene geometry (up to 120 million triangles)
System memory: same requirements as 3D application (e.g., Maya). For optimal performance all memory channels should be fully populated
Ray-tracing hardware: two Ca
ustic RTU (ray-tracing unit) chips

PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0

Caustic Visualizer utilizes Imagination’s PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0, a high-level rendering software toolkit built using OpenRL for adding photorealistic visualization into 3D graphics applications. It is a completely new implementation of the technology in the award-winning Brazil™ final frame renderer, designed from the ground up to leverage Imagination’s OpenRL™ API and high performance ray tracing technologies to deliver real-time interactivity on any platform.


OpenRL™ is a flexible low-level, platform independent ray tracing API, designed to facilitate high performance interactive ray tracing using both software and hardware accelerated renderers . It is available today as a free SDK that includes a software implementation running on x86 devices. It is being integrated by a rapidly growing number of ISVs in rendering applications for a wide range of markets, including digital content creation, film and video, games, architecture, and industrial design. See:

This cross-OS, cross-platform API is the only ray tracing API that can support a broad and growing range of processors, accelerators and GPUs with optimal performance. Like OpenGL, OpenRL hides the complexities of interfacing with different devices by presenting a single, uniform interface. A free perpetual license of OpenRL is available for both commercial and non-commercial applications.

About Caustic Professional

Caustic Professional is part of Imagination Technologies, a global leader in multimedia and communications technologies. Based in San Francisco, Caustic Professional is changing how interactive cinema-quality 3D graphics are produced, used, and enjoyed.

Caustic Professional’s solutions, use OpenRL API and are based on PowerVR unique and patented ray tracing technologies, that fundamentally change the performance and cost metrics for production quality ray traced images and animated content without cutting corners for quality or functionality. Thanks to the cross-platform features of OpenRL, future generations of Caustic Professional’s products will migrate seamlessly from workstations to future generations of mobile and embedded platforms utilizing Imagination’s future PowerVR IP cores incorporating Imagination’s innovative ray tracing technologies.

About Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies – a global leader in multimedia and communication technologies – creates and licenses market-leading processor solutions for graphics, video, and display, embedded processing, multi-standard communications and connectivity, and cross-platform V.VoIP & VoLTE. These silicon and software intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by an extensive portfolio of software drivers, developer tools and extensive market and technology-focused ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone and multimedia, connected home consumer, mobile and tablet computing, in-car electronics, telecoms, health, smart energy and connected sensors and controllers. Imagination’s licensees include many of the world’s leading semiconductor, network operator and electronics OEM/ODM companies. Corporate headquarters are located in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See:

Press Contact
David Harold, Director of PR, Imagination Technologies, +44 (0)1923 260 511

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Christie Interactivity Kit Now Shipping

Christie® is pleased to announce that the Christie Interactivity Kit is now shipping. Powered by Baanto™ ShadowSense™, the Christie Interactivity Kit is a distinctive solution for adding multi-touch interactivity to any digital display.

MicroTiles equipped with the Christie Interactivity Kit

Designed in pieces that fit perfectly around Christie® MicroTiles®, the Christie Interactivity Kit can be configured into 84 different sizes. The kit can accommodate practically any large format display up to 21.4 feet wide and 6 feet high, or a Christie MicroTiles array measuring up to 16-units wide by 6-units tall.
The easy-to-use, field-installable kits simply attach around the display wall perimeter and plug into a computer USB port without need for drivers. Windows® 7 automatically recognizes the Christie Interactivity Kit as a multi-touch device and no manual calibration of sensors or cameras is required. Using breakthrough Baanto™ ShadowSense™ technology, Christie Interactivity Kit offers excellent performance with high touch accuracy and fast response times that support up to 18 touches on a large-format display.
Christie Interactivity Kit – The Simple Answer
“Many large-format touch technologies struggle with touch accuracy and response time, especially with multi-touch,” explained Richard Heslett, senior product manager, Business Products, Christie. “Typically you have to manually position and calibrate cameras, and install special drivers or software that must be running on the computer in order for the system to work.”
Christie’s Interactivity Kit solves this problem by detecting the video wall’s size and configuration, and simply connecting to the computer’s USB port. When used with Windows® 7, which offers native support for multi-touch, the Interactivity Kit is automatically recognized as a multi-touch device.
“In addition to saving the time and effort of calibrating sensors and installing drivers,” continued Heslett, “the Interactivity Kit is both lightweight and small for easy shipping and maneuvering into buildings while special brackets for MicroTiles handle the alignment.”
Applications for Christie Interactivity Kit
“With their stunning image quality, colors and resolution, Christie MicroTiles are the perfect medium for large format interactivity,” added Heslett. “For example, on broadcast sets, where MicroTiles are very popular, an on-air commentator can analyze a sports event or election results using the Interactivity Kit on a large presentation wall. Because of their modularity, MicroTiles and the Interactivity Kit are both easy to move around and flexible in size, so they are ideal for temporary events and trade shows. Rental stagers can purchase one set of gear and create a multitude of different shapes and sizes with it.
“Other great applications include museums and public institutions where visitors want to explore and learn, higher education where students want to learn and connect with each other, and corporate spaces where information needs to be shared and analyzed by colleagues in a collaborative setting.”
Benefits of Christie Interactivity Kit:
? True multi-touch performance with excellent accuracy, resolution and response rates for large-format applications.
? Up to 18 touches on a 16 by 6 array (21.4 feet wide by 6 feet high).
? Ease of setup with USB connection and no drivers required.
? No manual calibration of sensors or cameras.
? Recognized by Windows® 7 natively as a multi-touch device.
? Seamless integration with Christie MicroTiles and Christie JumpStart.
“Now shipping, the Christie Interactivity Kit is an exciting breakthrough technology for creating large-format, multi-touch displays that was not possible until now – there is nothing like it. This technology opens up all kinds of new possibilities for connecting people with each other and with information, and for delivering impactful, branded experiences,” Heslett concluded.

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MediaSilo Names Matt Thomas Head of Sales

BOSTON — Jan. 31, 2013 — MediaSilo, a provider of cloud-based media workflow and collaboration solutions, today announced the appointment of Matt Thomas as the company’s head of sales. In this newly created position, Thomas is responsible for building and managing the MediaSilo sales team, as well as for account management for the western United States.

“Matt’s experience both in media technology sales and in film production gives him valuable insight into how our solutions can help creative professionals maximize the time they spend on creative work,” said Kai Pradel, CEO at MediaSilo. “As our business continues to grow, Matt’s understanding of the industry will ensure that we are positioned to help our customers meet increased demand for content without making a costly investment in complex on-premise technology.”

Thomas joins MediaSilo with more than 15 years of experience in media technology and entertainment. Most recently he served as corporate account manager at Signiant, where he was pivotal in expanding the company’s footprint in the western United States and in managing relationships with many of the world’s largest media brands. In an earlier role at SmartJog, Thomas was a sales executive and account manager for North America, South America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to his work in media technology, Thomas spent years in film and television production. His producing credits include “Raise Your Voice” for New Line Cinema and “Let’s Love Hate,” Shia LaBeouf’s writing and directing debut.

“I’m thrilled to be joining MediaSilo at such a pivotal time in the evolution of the media space,” said Thomas. “As media companies and creative executives look to the cloud for improved efficiency and operational value, it’s exciting to be part a solution designed from the ground up by media professionals for media professionals. MediaSilo is innately attuned to the unique needs of its customers, and this is apparent in the immediate, game-changing impact its technology has on companies ranging from small creative houses and productions to large media enterprises and corporate brands.”

Thomas is based in Los Angeles and reports directly to Pradel.

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About MediaSilo
Based in Boston, MediaSilo Inc. provides cloud-based media workflow and collaboration solutions for creative teams. Built by media professionals for media professionals, the MediaSilo platform provides content creators and production teams with the ability to search, review, store, manage, share and convert media quickly and easily from anywhere in the world. More information can be found at

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NETIA Products at NRB 2013:

Radio-Assist(TM) 8.1 — Upgraded Radio Automation
At NRB 2013, NETIA will showcase the latest version of its powerful Radio-Assist(TM) range of digital audio automation software. Radio-Assist 8.1 will offer the same robust array of tools for streamlined end-to-end multimedia production, broadcast, and publication workflows, along with two significant new features: an integrated music-scheduling application and video editing capability. Users can access both new features from a single user interface.

NETIAs Radio-Assist family of digital audio software programs covers each part of the production and broadcast workflow, allowing users to record, edit, or prepare a playlist. In addition to new browsing and publishing tools for full multimedia functionality, the software features tools for acquisition, sound-file editing, commercial and music production, newsroom systems, scheduling, multicasting, and administration.

Radio-Assist 8.1 allows users to leverage built-in music-scheduling functionality. With music management tools integrated into Radio-Assist 8.1s FederAll playlist preparation module, users are able to automate playlist generation according to preset criteria, business policies, and a wide range of intelligent options for sequencing music.

The video editing tool now available within the Radio-Assist 8.1 interface complements the softwares Snippet and Snippet+ audio editing tools. Offering a convenient editing solution, this enhancement addresses the growing demand for radio broadcasters to provide video via their online portals. This simple and easy-to-use editing tool is available through the same GUI as the Snippet tool, providing a familiar utility that allows staff to produce video clips with very little training.

Additionally, NETIA will highlight further functional and technical enhancements that add to the value of Radio-Assist 8.1 in todays radio broadcast operations.

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Image Caption: NETIA Radio-Assist(TM) 8.1 Music Scheduling

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Image Caption: NETIA Radio-Assist(TM) 8.1 Snippet Video

Content Management System
At NRB 2013, NETIA will showcase the latest version of its Content Management System (CMS) that allows users to manage all processes within the global production environment — from editing through post and distribution — through simple, easy-to-manage workflows and task automation, accessed through one unique and easy-to-use interface. With the NETIA CMS, users can connect all of their partners and vendors within a single production ecosystem, simplifying the sharing and managing of media assets.

The latest version of the CMS includes enriched features within its metadata management module and its indexing and segmentation functionalities, while the new, enhanced GUI allows a greater number of fields to be personalized. In order to automate the description of audio and video content, NETIA CMS interfaces with third-party speech-to-text transcription systems. A multilingual thesaurus module available in the new version ensures that there are endless possibilities for describing content precisely, in turn making it easier for users to access and retrieve specific content. Finally, the CMS includes an enhanced administration application that further simplifies system management.

Image Link:
Image Caption: NETIA Content Management System (CMS)

Company Overview:

NETIA, a GlobeCast company, is a leading provider of software solutions that enable efficient management and delivery of content to todays full array of media platforms. Relied on by more than 10,000 users in 200 installations in more than 40 countries, NETIA solutions allow content producers and owners to manage content from ingest to delivery, targeting multiplatform outlets including the Internet, VOD, IPTV services, and mobile devices.

NETIA provides content management solutions to major radio and television brands and to multimedia groups around the world. Clients include the Associated Press, ABC, Radio Globo in Brazil, SBS and ABC in Australia, MediaCorp Singapore, RAI Italy, RTL France, Radio France, RTBF in Belgium and France Televisions. NETIA has its headquarters in France, with offices in the United States, Paris, Rome, and Singapore, in addition to a global network of professional distribution partners.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

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Omega Console to Turkish OB Leader HD Protek Marks Calrec’s First Sale in Turkey

HEBDEN BRIDGE, U.K. — Jan. 30, 2013 — Calrec has won its first Turkish customer with the sale of an Omega digital audio console to HD Protek, Turkey’s largest independent outside broadcast (OB) company. The Istanbul-based live-broadcast production company has installed the Omega in its new OB truck to serve as both the audio console and audio router when covering live sports.

“When we decided to build a third OB unit, we designed one that was better suited than our other two trucks to accommodate customers that don’t require a complex production setup,” said Yucel Ozacar, HD Protek’s general manager. “The Omega console provides exactly the right combination of I/O density and functionality for our customers, and no one could beat the price for the configuration we needed. Another deciding factor for us was Calrec’s stellar reputation in the industry.”

HD Protek installed a 32-fader Omega console in a 40-fader chassis for future expansion. The console went into the new HDP03 truck, which became operational at the beginning of the year and mainly covers sports. Since that time, it has covered a number of live soccer games including some Turkish Cup matches.

Turkish systems integrator Teratek handled the sale for Calrec along with installation and support.

“The Turkish market is a good expansion for Calrec, particularly since we’re working with such a high-profile client as HD Protek,” said Anthony Harrison, Calrec’s Middle East and Africa sales manager. “The service that Teratek provided in helping with the installation and integration will ensure that this first for Calrec will be a great success.”

More information about the Omega console and other Calrec products is available at

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About Calrec Audio Ltd.
Calrec Audio, part of D&M Holdings Inc., is exclusively dedicated to excellence in audio mixing for on-air and live production. A broadcast specialist for more than 40 years, Calrec has developed a range of digital consoles relied on by the world’s most successful broadcasters. For putting sound in the picture, broadcasters put their trust in Calrec. More information is available at and

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New Mexico PBS Builds HD Video Production Facilities on Snell Kahuna Multi-Format Production Switcher

Flexibility, Functionality, Quality, and Ease of Use Make Kahuna the Ideal Fit

READING, U.K. — Jan. 30, 2013 — Snell today announced that New Mexico PBS, located at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, is using a Kahuna SD/HD multi-format production switcher in its new HD production control room and studio. Integrated with other best-of-breed broadcast products, the Kahuna provides the reliability, ease of use, and image quality that New Mexico PBS required for its state-of-the-art video production facilities. By improving the efficiency of the overall broadcast workflow, the flexibility of the Kahuna system also saves New Mexico PBS time and money.

“We produce both public affairs programs and documentaries with live studio content, so video production is a very important part of what we do,” said Jim Gale, director of engineering and operations at New Mexico PBS. “After a thorough evaluation of video switchers, we chose to purchase the most powerful video switcher on the planet — the Kahuna multi-format production switcher from Snell. At a facility like ours, it is important to invest in both a product and company that will be around for the next 15 years. Snell is a phenomenal company that believes in the quality of its product, is committed to the high fidelity of the image, and is dedicated to taking care of its customers.”

Kahuna is the world’s first multi-format SD/HD production switcher. An internal resizing engine allows it to handle any format or aspect ratio on the fly, and Snell’s FormatFusion technology enables simultaneous SD and HD operations in the same mainframe and on the same control panel. This flexibility vastly simplifies the HD transition by eliminating the need for external up/down/crossconverters in the live production environment, as well as the cost and signal-path delay associated with these products. Kahuna’s three M/E banks, with four tiers of effects per bank, make 12 keys possible, and staff at New Mexico PBS rely heavily on Kahuna’s chroma key and on the four two-channel DVEs built into the system to bring complex effects and sophisticated elements to their productions.

“The Kahuna is an amazing video switcher designed by very smart people, and it hits the top of the price/performance curve,” added Gale. “In my 38 years of industry experience, Snell’s Kahuna comes about as close to perfection as anything I’ve seen.”

More information about the Kahuna multi-format production switcher from Snell is available online at

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About Snell:
Snell is a leading innovator in digital media technology, providing broadcasters and global media companies with a comprehensive range of solutions to create, manage, and streamline the distribution of content for today’s multi-screen world. Specializing in TV Everywhere, Broadcast Infrastructure, and Live Production applications, Snell provides the necessary tools to transition seamlessly and cost-effectively to HDTV, stereoscopic 3D, and 3Gbps operations, while enabling broadcasters to monetize and deliver their media assets across multiple distribution platforms. Headquartered in the U.K., Snell serves more than 2,000 broadcasters, post facilities, and global media companies in more than 100 countries through its worldwide team of sales and support personnel. More information is available at

All trademarks mentioned herein are acknowledged as property of their respective owners.

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Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway Expands HD Production with ABS Flypack

SEATAC, WA— Professional video and audio systems integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) today announced it recently delivered a full-HD video flypack, ordered through the company’s Pittsburgh office, to the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway in Westchester, N.Y. The casino has been using the system since October to produce two ongoing series.

Empire City Casino has had an in-house HD broadcast facility since 2006, when the facility was renovated and expanded from the largest harness racing track in the state to include a 5,300 slot casino. One of its regular series is Empire City’s Lucky Break, a three-camera production shot on location in the casino’s entertainment lounge using the new flypack. The one-hour weekly talent show is shown on Sundays on Cablevision throughout the Greater New York area.

The flypack is also used for a horse racing handicapping show, which is produced with a virtual set. Michael Rooney, director of media convergence, plans to use the new flypack to record presentations during other events and concert performances at the casino.

When it was time to purchase its portable production system, Rooney collected multiple quotes. He said ABS went further than most, recommending system components and offering a wide range of product choices. Plus, the company delivered a very competitive quote and “we actually got more bang for the buck.”

The compact system is contained in one case, which is long enough to accommodate three crew stations, but easy enough to roll to various locations on the property. Rooney said the flypack is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Anchored by a Broadcast Pix Mica 500 Video Control Center, the flypack features a Mackie audio console, Clear-Com intercom/IFB, JVC HD monitors, Grass Valley Turbo iDDR, and four Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio disk recorders. A slide-out shelf provides easy access to the switcher control panel, audio console, and computer keyboard.

Rooney, who has a television engineering background, was particularly impressed with the attention to detail ABS displayed during the design and build process. “The drawings were very comprehensive, and they were willing to fine tune and make adjustments,” he explained. “I appreciate that they had everything laid out nicely. They’re very easy to work with, and I would definitely recommend them.”

About Empire City Casino:

Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway is a full entertainment destination offering 5,300 slot machines, video roulette, electronic craps, baccarat & sic bo tables, Italian cuisine in Nonno’s Trattoria, trackside dining in the Empire Terrace Restaurant which overlooks the track for live harness racing, an International Food Court with a wide-ranging menu, year—round live harness racing five nights a week, live entertainment six days a week, including karaoke, comedy, jazz & blues, and the best party and latin bands in the tri-state area. The multi-faceted Good Time Room is available for parties, benefits, weddings, and major events for up to 400. Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway is located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (at Central Avenue) in Yonkers, New York, Westchester County, (I-87 to Exit 2) and is open seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 4:00 AM. For more information call 914.968.4200 or log onto

About ABS:

Based in SeaTac, WA, ABS (Advanced Broadcast Solutions) delivers customized, technologically superior solutions for broadcast, corporate, house of worship, entertainment, government, and educational facilities – from design and integration to installation and support services. Since 1982, its experienced technical staff has installed more than 700 systems for clients including Fisher Communications, Cowles California Media, Real Networks, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft Studios. For more information, call 206-870-0244 or visit

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New SMPTE U.K. Section to Host Seminar on Automating Multi-platform, Multi-display Content Generation

SMPTE Members Attend Popular Seminar for Free, Thanks to Sponsors Including Ericsson, Tektronix, Digital Rapids, AmberFin, Cox, and Harris

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Jan. 31, 2013 — The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, today announced that the newly formed SMPTE United Kingdom section will offer the popular “How to Generate and Automate Content for Multi-platform, Multi-display Distribution” seminar on Wednesday, 6 February, in London and on Thursday, 7 February, in Media City, Salford. Sponsored locally by the BBC Academy and Ericsson Broadcast Services and by global SMPTE Regional Seminar sponsors Tektronix, Digital Rapids, AmberFin, Cox Media Group, and Harris, the seminar is free to SMPTE members.

“Today’s consumers of motion-imaging content have many options when it comes to service providers and display devices, and with this change have come many new challenges in producing and managing content,” said industry expert Bruce Devlin, AmberFin CTO and a SMPTE fellow. “Addressing these challenges, the SMPTE Regional Seminar will examine strategy and provide practical guidance for efficient production and management of content for multiple platforms and displays. We are very pleased that, through SMPTE seminar sponsorship on both local and international levels, we’re able to bring this timely and valuable information to a broad audience.”

The SMPTE U.K. section, which was re-established in 2012, has seen a high degree of interest and support from across the creative, manufacturing, and service companies in the U.K.’s thriving media landscape. Widespread support for the section and its work is evident in seminar sponsorship by the BBC Academy and Ericsson locally and by Tektronix, Digital Rapids, AmberFin, Cox Media Group, and Harris, all dedicated to providing training and development for the wider broadcast industry, equipping people in Europe and beyond with the skills they need in a rapidly evolving field.

At this first SMPTE U.K. Regional Seminar, Devlin and Ben Davenport of AmberFin will lead a daylong interactive experience that covers topics including an overview of the technical differences between various multi-platform distribution systems and display devices. This overview will be followed by in-depth technical discussions about transitioning workflows, technologies, and processes for automating content generation, which in turn enable time and cost savings, despite the need for numerous versions of the content for various display devices such as smartphones, set-top boxes, satellite receivers, or computers.

The seminar also will touch on the potential impact of new and emerging standards — from SMPTE and other organizations — on multi-platform content generation. Attendees will learn about recent developments such as the Interoperable Master Format (IMF), which creates a set of master files and associated metadata for the interchange and automated creation of downstream distribution packages and the SMPTE Timed Text (SMPTE-TT) standard for the captioning of Internet-distributed video content.

The 6 February seminar will be held at BBC White City, 201 Wood Lane in London, and the 7 February seminar will be held at BBC MediaCity U.K. in the Q5 Space, 5th Floor, Quay House, in Salford, Manchester. Space for each seminar is limited. SMPTE members may register for free at Non-members of SMPTE may visit to join and attend this important seminar, and to gain all the benefits of SMPTE membership.

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About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
The Oscar(R) and Emmy(R) Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), a professional membership association, is the worldwide leader in developing and providing motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the broadband, broadcast, cinema, and IT disciplines. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 600 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines. SMPTE members include motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students from around the world. Information on joining SMPTE is available at

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Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Cinema Camera 1.2 Software Update

Fremont, CA – January 31, 2013 – Blackmagic Design today announced a new software update version 1.2 for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera which adds exciting new features including time lapse recording, aperture indicator when using compatible EF lenses, as well as ExFAT formatting for SSD disks. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera has now been certified by Intel for capture and playback with Thunderbolt™ computer hardware operating under Windows™. Blackmagic Cinema Camera 1.2 software update is available to download now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design Website.


The exciting new time-lapse recording feature allows customers to capture incredibly stunning time-lapse video in CinemaDNG RAW 2.5K, Apple™ ProRes or Avid™ DNxHD. Customers have an extremely wide selection of capture rates with this new time lapse recording feature as they can select from every second frame all the way up to one frame per 10 minutes.


The addition of the new aperture indicator on the status strip and SDI output overlay for EF compatible lenses allows customers to easily check F stop settings on the LCD display screen!


With the addition of Windows for Thunderbolt, users with certified Thunderbolt hardware will now be able to use a wide range of Windows based software as well as Blackmagic Design’s UltraScope and Media Express software over Thunderbolt with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.


Support for Windows formatted ExFAT SSD disk adds flexibility for customers to use either HFS+ or ExFAT formats. ExFAT is a Windows based operating file system that features state of the art technology, including large sized disk and file support, wide compatibility and high performance. In addition, Mac OS X also supports ExFAT disks, so ExFAT formatted disks can be plugged into both Windows and Mac OS X machines without any third party software required. Simply insert the formatted disk and the camera will automatically detect format, ready for recording!


About Blackmagic Cinema Camera
Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, large 2.5K sensor, a built in SSD recorder that has the bandwidth to capture open standard CinemaDNG RAW, ProRes and DNxHD files, a built in capacitive touch screen LCD for direct metadata entry, standard jack audio connections, built in high-speed Thunderbolt connection, 3 Gb/s SDI output, a refrigerated sensor for low noise, and has a choice of two models for either EF or Micro Four Thirds compatible lenses.


Blackmagic Cinema Camera has been designed as the perfect companion to Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer NLE software. Unlike other cameras, which require the use of custom video file formats that are not compatible with popular NLE software, often making the post production process a nightmare, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes absolutely no custom video file formats, and every file type included is open standard. It records into CinemaDNG format for RAW files, ProRes and DNxHD for HD resolution files compatible with Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer.


Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes an innovative industrial design built from solid machined aluminum metal which results in an attractive but rugged design. All of the camera, recorder and display have been shrunk down into a lightweight design thats very portable.


Blackmagic Cinema Camera Key Features
• High resolution 2.5K sensor allows improved anti aliasing and reframing shots.
• Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
• Built in SSD allows high bandwidth recording of RAW video and long duration compressed video.
• Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD. No custom file formats.
• Includes no custom connections. Standard jack mic/line audio in, BNC 3 Gb/s SDI out, headphone, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, LANC remote control and standard DC 12-30V power connection.
• Capacitive touch screen LCD for camera settings and slate metadata entry.
• Two models, EF for compatibility with EF or ZE lenses, or MFT for use with Micro Four Thirds lenses or 3rd party lens mount adapters such as PL.
• Supports 2.5K and 1080HD resolution capture in 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps.
• Thunderbolt connection allows direct camera capture via included Media Express software and supports live waveform monitoring via the included Blackmagic UltraScope software.
• Includes a full copy of DaVinci Resolve 9.0 color grading software.


Availability and Price
Blackmagic Cinema Camera is available now for US$2,995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.


Press Photography
Product photos of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and all other Blackmagic Design products, are available at


About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company’s DaVinci Emmy™ award winning color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. For more information, please check

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