Archive for March 14th, 2013

Georgia Tech Overhauls Global Learning Center Digital Content Workflow with PESA Cheetah Router

Huntsville, Alabama – PESA, a leading U.S.-based custom design and build manufacturing company for professional audio and video signal distribution, today announced that Georgia Tech Online (formerly Distance Learning) is using a new PESA Cheetah 288XE digital video router at its Global Learning Center in Atlanta as part of its migration to HD production for its online professional education coursework. The new PESA router was installed in late December, and the Center is currently migrating to the new system.

Built in the heart of Georgia Tech’s Technology Square, the Center is the university’s main hub for online education, including professional and non-credit courses. When the building opened about 10 years ago, a PESA Tiger 144×144 router was installed to handle AV sources throughout the Center for recording to DVD. Eventually, a second router was installed to handle computer-based rich media capture.

According to Steve Allen, senior AV/IT support professional, working with two routers has been a “logistical nightmare,” because each router works from a separate, incompatible scheduling device. The new PESA Cheetah 288XE will eliminate the need for two routers and simplify scheduling. “I can handle it all in one router – and not worry about two routers or two different parallel paths,” Allen added.

Reliable routing is essential to Georgia Tech’s distance learning operation. Instead of dedicated codec stations for each room, the Center maintains a “codec farm.” All signals – including audio, video, and high-resolution computer-based content – are routed to a bank of capture stations that serve the entire facility. Not only does this create redundancy, Allen noted, but it saves on equipment costs.

The Center is using Cattrax Web, PESA’s Web browser-based control software, for monitoring and controlling its new Cheetah router. Allen said the user interface makes it easy to route resources on the fly, and the flexibility in naming sources (beyond the eight character limit of earlier routers) is helpful. He also uses the system’s unique password protected user profiles to restrict some users from accessing certain I/Os.

Three of the facility’s 16 studio classrooms have already been converted to HD, and plans are in place to convert a fourth room. Room upgrades include cameras, switchers, matrix switchers, and fiber connectivity, as well as PESA Vidblox extenders and QuadBlox units that are used to transport AV and rich media content back to the new Cheetah router. Allen said the Center’s transition to HD production is a slow process, as classes remain in session and classrooms cannot be shut down for an extended period of time.

After a “solid” 10-year run with a smaller PESA router, Allen was confident in trusting the Center’s upgraded HD routing requirements to PESA. “This is the heart of our system. I needed something I could count on,” he said. “I knew I could count on PESA.”

About PESA

As a leading provider of audio/video connectivity, PESA offers a wide selection of routing switchers, matrix switchers, extenders, converters, media extenders, and signal processing gear to support government, military, industrial, commercial, broadcast and mobile truck applications. PESA offers one of the widest ranges of AV products – from large scale fiber optic routing to single-point CAT-5 DVI extenders – each with the integrity and innovative high performance technology expected from PESA. Our products are available around the world from a leading team of channel partners offering local support and installation; and all of our products are supported by 24/7 technical support. To learn more about our technologies and services visit www.pesa.com. PESA is located in Huntsville, Alabama with regional offices throughout the United States.

All products mentioned herein are trademarked property of their respective owners.

MTI Film Hires Jim Hannafin to Lead Restoration Business

Post-production veteran sees great potential for growing preservation and restoration business worldwide.
HOLLYWOOD—MTI Film has appointed Jim Hannafin as Senior Vice President for Business Development. Hannafin, who arrives with more than 25 years of senior level experience in post-production, will focus on growing the company’s film preservation and restoration business, domestically and globally. MTI Film is one of the world’s leading independent providers of film restoration tools and services, with recent projects including a 4K restoration of Lawrence of Arabia for Sony Pictures. more

Qube Cinema Partners with Microcinema to Install D-Cinema Servers Throughout Italy

Continuing Collaboration Has Provided Italian Installation Company with Servers for over 250 Screens


Florence, Italy: Mar. 14, 2013… Qube Cinema continues to work with the Italian digital cinema service provider, Microcinema, to supply its D-cinema servers and Integrated Media Blocks (IMBs) to theaters throughout Italy. Since 2008, the partners have installed the Qube XP-D and XP-I servers in over 250 theaters. Due to this ongoing collaboration, cinema owners in Italy have equipment providing them with access to a wide array of digital content, including Microcinema’s vast library of movies, as well as live and recorded events.


Qube Cinema engineers worked closely with Microcinema to deliver a system for theater owners who need to be able to show both DCI and VC-1 encoded content. They developed Microcinema’s proprietary M-box, an interoperable server that contains either the Qube XP-D or XP-I server to play DCI content and another server that can play VC-1 encoded content. The servers work in parallel with the same projector using Theater Management System (TMS) software and automations.


“We chose Qube Cinema because it was the only company capable of realizing our idea of interoperability of DCI and non-DCI content,” said Silvana Molino, CEO of Microcinema. “Qube delivers whenever we ask for experimentation and improvement. They offer complete and ongoing support to our wide network of theaters.”


The Equipment that Runs the Show
Both the XP-D and XP-I servers are fully DCI compliant and integrate seamlessly with all major TMS software. Microcinema has around-the-clock access to Qube technicians to remotely access any server via its web interface, ensuring the systems stay up and running. The XP-I server and Xi IMB allow theaters to exhibit 3D and high frame rate (HFR) movies, such as The Hobbit, as well as offering full 4K resolution.


“Exhibitors are free to choose the server they prefer,” explained Molino, “but 90 percent of the time they choose to install Qube Cinema equipment based on our recommendation.”


In addition to installing D-cinema systems, Microcinema, with headquarters in Legnano, a town close to Milan, offers theater owners content and advertising. Microcinema relies on bidirectional satellite transmission to send and receive data. Pre-cleared content is delivered directly to theaters while Microcinema receives diagnostic data that allow it to manage, control and maintain the system. The company monitors data about the status of hard drives, software, projector lamps and whether the UPS (uninterrupted power supply) is connected and functional. Microcinema also receives the projection log, showing which screens are showing what content and when.


“The exhibitors are happy to have their content monitored by us,” said Molino. “Often we can resolve an issue before they even know something is wrong.”


Simple Upgrade for the Advent of HFR 3D Content
Qube Cinema and Microcinema have upgraded theater systems in Florence, Trento and other cities to the XP-I server and Xi IMBs so they are outfitted for full 4K playback and HFR 3D content. Recent showings of the HFR 3D The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey have met with great audience appreciation.


“Although most of our installations have used Qube’s XP-D server, we are seeing more and more theater owners upgrading to the Qube XP-I server and Xi IMB,” said Molino. “Now they have access to the high frame rate and 4K capabilities they offer. It’s an easy upgrade for us to do.”


Microcinema partners with a postproduction facility in Rome that provides it with VC-1 encoded content. Recently the post house also upgraded to the Qube XP-I server, networking it into their projector with QubeMaster Pro, Qube Cinema’s powerful encoding and packaging system, to deliver DCI content to Microcinema.


“Our post partner found Qube’s XP-I server to be the most complete and flexible option to simulate the full digital chain in their dedicated projection room,” said Molino. “Now they use their internal studio for DCP encoding and content review.”


Offering an Extensive Library of Content
Microcinema is an installation company with a twist. In addition to its first-class equipment and service, the company has a catalogue of content available to theater owners, including art-house films, first-run movies and live-event showings. Among its most popular offerings are live and recorded opera and ballet performances from around the world.


“We are well known in Italy for providing a rich library of alternative content,” said Molino. “In February we offered a live performance of the ballet, Notre Dame de Paris, from La Scala in Milan, to over one hundred theaters. The final box office was ?€120,000. This is a good approach for expanding audiences.”


It’s not just classical events that are popular either. In November 2012, Microcinema distributed a concert film, QUEEN Live in Budapest, to 240 theaters. As well as working with conventional theater chains, Microcinema works with art houses and cinemas run by associations connected to the Catholic church.


“Qube Cinema is pleased to have found an innovative partner in Microcinema for our Italian installations,” said Nigel Dennis, director of sales and marketing for Qube Cinema in Europe. “Theirs is a good model for enhancing business opportunities for theater chains as well as independent theater owners. The quality of the equipment, the level of service and their extensive library of content expands what is possible.”


The Qube XP-D and XP-I digital cinema servers, along with the Xi 4K IMB, are available from Qube Cinema and its worldwide network of resellers. For more information visit www.qubecinema.com.


About Microcinema
Microcinema is the leading Digital Cinema Network in Italy for distribution of films and HD alternative content to over 250 screens connected via a dedicated bidirectional satellite line. Microcinema offers technology supply and services together with a wide catalogue of films, operas, ballets, pop concerts, short films, documentaries and educational content in high definition. With more than 28,000 screenings, 46,000 hours of satellite transmission and a nation-wide network, Microcinema is a consolidated company that has worked since 2007 with millions of spectators. For more information, visit www.Microcinema.eu.


About Qube Cinema, Inc.
Qube Cinema, based in Burbank, CA, is an international manufacturer of digital cinema technology and mastering solutions. A subsidiary of Real Image Media Technologies, Qube Cinema draws on decades of experience in cinema and holds a leadership position in the transition from analog to digital technology. The company is committed to creating a seamless digital cinema environment for exhibitors, filmmakers and postproduction companies with DCI-compliant products that are flexible, reliable and highly cost effective. Qube Cinema’s product lines include the Qube XP series of servers, QubeMaster software solutions, Qube Keysmith KDM generation and the Qube Xi 4K Integrated Media Block. For more information, visit Qube Cinema at www.qubecinema.com.

New Hitachi HDTV Camera Raises Bar on Picture Quality and Operational Efficiency

WOODBURY, New York – At NAB 2013, Hitachi Kokusai Electric America will introduce the Z-HD6000 CMOS HDTV studio camera, featuring a new 2/3-inch CMOS camera processor at the 2013 NAB show taking place April 6-11 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Hitachi Kokusai Electric America will exhibit in booth C4309.

With its 2.6 million pixel, 2/3-inch, 1920×1080 raster MOS RGB sensors, the new Z-HD6000 raises the bar on picture quality. The new Z-HD6000 improves operational and cost efficiency within studio environments because its camera head provides extra power, communication channels, and other built-in features not typically found in cameras of its class.

“We’ve designed the Z-HD6000 camera with integrated features that enhance the studio production workflow, while saving our customers money,” said Sean Moran, vice president of Sales, Broadcast & Professional Division at Hitachi Kokusai Electric America. “By incorporating useful operational features in the camera system, we’ve eliminated the need for external hardware and extra wiring; making our system simpler to use, integrate, and deploy.”

Access to power

Having built-in access points for extra power means that studio personnel can run a teleprompter in addition to a floor or studio monitor from the camera head without the need for external power sources. Joe Tymecki, chief technical officer of Vermont Public Television, owns four Hitachi SK-HD1000 digital HDTV studio cameras, which also have this feature. “Because the camera head provides a high amount of power for the teleprompter, it made integrating our system a lot easier,” said Tymecki. “It saved us the expense of the extra integration time and of having to acquire external power.”

Better communication

With built-in access to multiple communication channels, the Z-HD6000 also provides: two IFB channels for listen only, two aux feeds that can send video to the operator, two video feeds that can go to talent and studio monitors, a second intercom channel for the floor manager or spotter, and a tally viewable in the talent prompter, among other features. “Occasionally we need a floor director or additional production talent who do not have access to wireless headsets,” Tymecki explained. “It’s nice when these extra production people can just plug into a camera head in the studio without impacting the camera operators.”

The Hitachi Z-HD6000 also offers new features and functions including: ‘no vertical smear’, F12 standard sensitivity with over 60dB of signal-to-noise ratio, and an RLAC real-time lens aberration correction function. However, the Z-HD6000 also retains all the popular features and functionality inherent in the existing Hitachi HDTV camera line, such as: fiber or digital triax cable operation, external auto-setup, advanced color correction, and improved skin tone detail.

At the 2013 NAB Show, Hitachi will also exhibit the new SK-HD2200 full body HD production camera, featuring new 2/3-inch, 1080/60p progressively scanned Ultra-Advanced UAIT-CCDs; as well as the Hitachi SK-HD1200 native 1080/60p studio/EFP camera; SK-HD1000 dockable studio/field camera; Z-HD5000 HDTV studio/field camera; and DK-Z50 multi-purpose HDTV camera.

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 360,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2009 (ended March 31, 2010) consolidated revenues totaled 8,968 billion yen ($96.4 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com.

Slate Media Group Appoints Rob DeMartin as COO

NEW YORK—Slate Media Group, a leading independent provider of post-production service to the film and television industry, today announces the appointment of Rob DeMartin as Chief Operating Officer of its New York operations, which includes post production companies Technicolor – PostWorks, PostWorks and Hula Post Production.

DeMartin, who brings more than 25 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience across a range of industries, will oversee day-to-day operations at all facilities. He reports directly to Slate Media Group CEO David Rosen. DeMartin previously served as Chief Operating Officer of PostWorks for five years, beginning in 2004.

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Anton/Bauer’s DIONIC HD Battery to Make NAB Debut

New Lithium-Ion Battery Offers Unrivalled Capacity, Longer Cycle Life and Updated RealTime Display

LAS VEGAS, MARCH 14, 2013—Anton/Bauer®, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company, and a premier global provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video and film industries, is pleased to make the formal introduction of its newest lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery, the DIONIC® HD, for broadcast and digital media professionals at the 2013 NAB Show (Vitec Videocom Booth C6025). Part of the company’s Logic Series® of batteries, the DIONIC HD powers high-current applications in a lightweight and robust package, making it ideal for digital cinema cameras such as the Sony F65, RED cameras, ARRI Alexa, the Vision Research Phantom series and more.

Delivering up to 10 amps of power, the DIONIC HD is a 183Wh battery featuring special-application Li-Ion cell technology. Employing sixth-generation cell technology, the DIONIC HD incorporates the company’s latest software architecture and an improved LCD for superior safety and reliability in the most extreme environmental conditions. Weighing 40 percent less than a NiCad or NiMH battery, the DIONIC HD has 25 percent more capacity and will run a 30-watt camera, monitors and multiple accessories for more than six hours.

“We created the DIONIC HD to help our customers meet the growing power demands of the latest digital cameras,” says Chris O’Neill, vice president of product management and marketing, Anton/Bauer. “Designed from the most innovative Lithium-Ion cell technologies, it provides unrivaled capacities and a longer cycle life, with an extended warranty of three years.”

The DIONIC HD also includes the company’s new enhanced RealTime® display. Simple and easy to understand, the display indicates both fuel gauge and remaining run-time data simultaneously, without requiring any setup. The display incorporates readouts of hours, minutes and remaining capacity, making battery change decisions quick and easy. What’s more, its motion-detection feature incorporates a sleep-mode setting that reduces battery self-discharge, allowing for extended periods of storage with minimal capacity loss. The battery can be “awakened” by the built-in motion sensor. These patented features offer confidence for the camera operator.

For more information on traveling with Li-Ion batteries, please visit www.antonbauer.com or call (203) 929-1100.

About Anton/Bauer
Anton/Bauer is recognized as the world’s innovator and a premier provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other key mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video and film and medical technology industries. Based in the United States in Shelton, CT with offices in Europe and Asia, Anton/Bauer was established in 1970 and has expanded its product offerings to include many signature lines such as its leading Gold Mount® system, InterActive® chargers and Logic Series® batteries such as the HyTRON® 50, 100 and 140, and DIONIC® 90, 160, HC and HCX. Their products are compatible with every camera brand on the market today. Other Anton/Bauer high performance products include the Ultralight® 2, ElipZ®, CINE VCLX and the Tandem 150 Modular Charging System. Their superior-quality products have become an industry standard. For more information on Anton/Bauer, visit www.antonbauer.com.

About Vitec Videocom
Vitec Videocom brings together some of the most respected, most innovative and most sought-after brands in the industry: Anton/Bauer, Autoscript, Litepanels, OConnor, Petrol, Sachtler, Vinten and Vinten Radamec. It acts as an endorsing brand for these market-leading broadcast, film and pro video products, encouraging multi-brand system sales and simplifying the way that customers worldwide do business.

Vitec Videocom is an operating division within the Vitec Group, an international business serving customers in the broadcast, photographic and military aerospace and government markets. Vitec is based on strong, well known, premium brands on which its customers rely on worldwide.

Vitec Videocom – innovative products around the camera.

Poetica Takes a CG Journey with Trek

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As if borne of a dream, Poetica’s beautifully monochromatic spec film for Trek Bicycles bares the distinct look and feel of a surreal mindscape. The piece, conceptualized by Poetica Creative Director Steve Tozzi and brought to life with the help of CG Director, Lead Animator John Clausing and Senior Flame Artist Aaron Vasquez, is an expressive 3D ode to the rider’s unique connection to the Trek brand.

The film revolves around a cyclist traveling through a menagerie of hyper-stylized landscapes, each populated with phantasmagorical cranes, flowers, and more, made up of bicycle parts. However, it also functions as a case study on the capabilities of Softimage, and Arnold, a powerful new 3D CG-rendering program. Poetica rendered some 200-plus passes of CG to bring the stunning images to life with a quick turnaround. Additionally, programs such as Exocortex, Slipstream, and ICE were employed to give the VFX a singularly natural and organic look.

“We wanted this film to be a something of a vision, but to also turn it into something that moves and lives,” said Tozzi. “We used the bicycle as a toolkit to build other things while relying on the refined look of the elements and this real sense of light throughout. It’s really pushing the limits of 3D design.”

The film was developed as an identity piece for the venerable bicycle company, originally founded in 1976. Poetica took the piece as an opportunity to deliver a unique vision of an already well-known worldwide brand using the most cutting-edge CG software and platforms available. Rising to the challenge, Poetica utilized the Trek project as a way to showcase their 3D capabilities and award-winning VFX talent.

Download behind the scenes stills here.

Credits:

Client: Trek
Spot Title: Trek
Air Date: (Spec)

Production/Post-production: Poetica
CD: Steve Tozzi
CG Director and Lead Animation: John Clausing
MD: Rachelle Madden
Animator(s): Young Park, Kirt Critoph
Compositor: Rosalie Garlow
Senior Flame Artist: Aaron Vasquez
ICE Generation/Animator: Matt Semel
Head of Production: Stefanie Bassett

Music by Colors in the Air
Song Title: “Social Race” from Surfacing EP
Copyright 2013

About Poetica:

We are a new breed of filmmakers and artists. We are storytellers with a full understanding of design and visual effects, but who place character, story and emotion first. We are explorers who dive head first into new and unknown territory and we have the resources needed to deliver. With offices in NY and LA we have a full design and VFX department as well as a top-tier editorial company at our disposal.

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Matthew 25: Ministries Relies on Alcorn McBride

A full suite of Alcorn McBride equipment – a LightCue/E, 8TraXX/E, DVM-8400HDs and a V4 Pro controller – is helping visitors who take the Global Village tour gain an interactive understanding of poverty and the need for help around the world. The Global Village is located at Matthew 25: Ministries’ Center for Humanitarian Relief in Blue Ash, Ohio. It is a life-size, three-dimensional re-creation of disaster scenes and poverty in the U.S. and developing countries.

Matthew 25: Ministries was founded by Rev. Wendell Mettey, who developed a system to recover excess products no longer useful to U.S. corporations and redistribute them to people in extreme poverty. Since 1991 the organization has grown into an international relief organization distributing 10 million pounds of products each year. In December 2012 Matthew 25: Ministries exceeded one billion dollars in total humanitarian aid shipped.

Since the organization relies heavily on volunteers in the field and at the distribution center, there’s a continuing need to explain what they do and why they need help. That inspired the Global Village, which brings an understanding of disaster relief and ongoing poverty field work to visitors to the Center for Humanitarian Relief.

The Global Village presents visitors with a series of environments where help is needed. An area showing the damage incurred by the earthquake in Haiti depicts a multi-story building collapse; another demonstrates how people living in extreme poverty make their homes in a landfill sorting through garbage for food and materials they can sell, trade or use for shelter.

Alcorn McBride equipment delivers content throughout the Global Village and makes the experience more immersive. A LightCue/E raises and lowers lights in the exhibit areas as a personal guide takes visitors through the tour. An 8TraXX/E supplies background audio and sound effects to enhance the atmosphere of the areas. Five DVM-8400s source educational video content on flat-panel displays and projectors throughout the village. The entire system is automated via a V4 Pro and Alcorn McBride’s ShowTouch for iOS app. A tour guide simply triggers the pre-programmed tour from an Apple iPad or iPod Touch.

“Matthew 25: Ministries wanted a dynamic system that could be updated,” notes Joe Leonard, exhibit designer, lighting designer and technician with Leonard Design. “The tour guide, who carries an iPad interface controller, has complete control of the experience and can affect the timing of the show to adapt to the visitor. The first scene takes place in a newsroom, then there are a series of simulated disasters – the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina – and a scene showing poverty in North America.”

Leonard knows the theme park world having done projects for Paramount’s attractions, Disney parade floats and high-profile stage design, so he was familiar with Alcorn McBride products. “I knew Alcorn equipment would give us the flexibility for full or semi-automation,” he says. “And it’s been great!”

Alcorn McBride provided two days of hands-on training with the equipment for the Global Village. Day one was devoted to educating Leonard and his staff about the various equipment and how to prepare the audio, video and lighting media. Leonard encoded the video content and recorded individual lighting cues for LightCue/E. Audio files were obtained, converted and organized on the 8TraXX/E. By the end of the first day all of the individual elements were working.

Day two was dedicated to control. The tour guides explained how the show needed to proceed as Alcorn McBride and Leonard created a list of cues while walking through the exhibit area. Leonard was also trained on how to build a simple iPad Touch interface for the guides to use and how to create a ShowTouch interface to handle basic maintenance functions. At the end of the day the Global Village had a fully functional show control system, and Leonard was savvy about how to maintain and modify the system as needed moving forward.

“The training sessions were a big help, but the Alcorn McBride equipment is very user friendly to begin with,” Leonard points out. “Matthew 25: Ministries is very pleased with how things are working. They’re very impressed with the end result.”

Alcorn McBride offers flexible training options. Advanced Control training sessions are held during the year on both the East and West Coast and are complimentary to customers. Introductory Control training classes are offered online and at InfoComm also free of charge. A complete schedule can be found on the company’s website. Customers, like Matthew 25: Ministries, may opt for one-on-one customized training solutions. Contact Alcorn McBride for more information on pricing and availability.

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.

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