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Harris Corporation to acquire Leitch Technology Corporation

Harris Corporation announced to today that Leitch Technology Corporation had agreed to be purchased by Harris for C$14.00 a share in cash in a deal worth approximately US$450 million. Harris expects it will take until 2007 before the takeover has any positive effect on profit.

Like the purchase of Pinnacle by Avid, this takeover is about better serving the growing Digital Broadcast market. With many stations still to completely convert to digital, there’s a significant amount of growth potential remaining.

Like the purchase of Pinnacle, the merger leaves a non-linear application with an uncertain future. The Velocity line (VelocityHD, VelocityQ and VelocityX) while extremely powerful has not reached critical mass in sales. It will either flourish as the NLE component of a turnkey fit-out, or diminish as the company focuses on serving the television and radio broadcast systems.

The acquisition is to be completed by way of a statutory plan of arrangement and is subject to approval by Leitch shareholders, customary regulatory and court approvals, and other closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in approximately 60 days.

149 Articles added to Pro Apps Hub database

The Pro Apps Hub is the only place where it’s possible to find articles, tutorials, resources and forums indexed by application, subject and topic. It’s also possible to find tutorials by type: basic, intermediate, advanced or video-based.

The Pro Apps Hub has added another 149 articles to the database bringing the total number of articles indexed to 2335 across 131 applications on literally hundreds of websites. Instead of having to chase all over the Internet to hundreds of websites find where articles or tutorials on subjects you’re interested in are located, you can find them in one easy-to-follow index.

In addition, the Pro Apps Hub has indexed 420 valuable resources: from reference sites to plug-ins, brushes to sound effects. Most resources are free.

The Pro Apps Hub forums index has also been updated, refreshed and extended to point you to the forums where you’ll get real help. Although there are thousands of forums on the Internet, only those that are active and useful have been added to the Forums index.

The Pro Apps Hub is free software that makes sense of Internet Resources. It brings the best of what’s free and everything else you need to be production and creative with Apple’s Professional Video and Audio applications.

G-Drive Q external Storage with Quad interface.

G-Technology’s new G-Drive Q is an external drive solution with four connectivity interfaces: FireWire 400, FireWire 800; USB 2.0 and eSATA. G-Drive Q integrates Hitachi’s new 7k500 SATA II Deskstar hard drives for storage capacities up to 500 GB.

The G-Drive Q comes in a stylish, all aluminum enclosure and is equipped with Oxford’s 924 bridge chip combined with high performance SATA II drives. The performance is way beyond USB 2.0.

The G-Drive Q will become available in September 2005, with list price starting at US$229. Pre-orders are now being taken by G-Tech and authorized resellers. The press release is available from the site but not much more information is available yet.

Sorenson to adopt On2 Compression Codec

In announcing the public beta of Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite 4.2 for Windows and Squeeze 4.2 for Macromedia Flash for Windows, the company revealed that the release includes support for Macromedai Flash Player 8. This support means the integration of the professional version of the VP6 encoder from On2 Technologies. Sorenson Squeeze 4.2 also sports a new FLV player and new Flash Player templates.

During encoding to VP6/Flash 8 2-pass VBR encoding is supported.

The beta version is available for free download now. Squeeze 4.2 is a free upgrade to owners of Squeeze 4 or later. Squeeze 4.2 for Windows is targeted for a third Quarter final release, with a Macintosh version expected in the last Quarter of the year. To encode to VP6/Flash 8, the pro version of the On2 VP6 codec will need to be purchased separately and is available for US$199.

CHV releases "HV Entire Bundle"

CHV’s complete bundle of 114 plug-ins for Final Cut Pro and 132 plug-ins for Final Cut Express is now available for US$299, delivered on a CD with no shipping and handling charge.

The HV Entire Bundle includes these collections, also available separately for US$34 to $69 each (although a starter pack is available for $9):

  • The AlphaWipe-collection;
  • The Clone and Paint-collection;
  • The Keyframe-collection;
  • The MotionTracker-collection;
  • The Morph-collection;
  • The Bezier Garbage Matte Pro;
  • The 3D-collection;
  • The Film-filter;
  • The Text-collection;
  • The Time-collection;
  • The Distortion-collection;
  • The Color-collection;
  • The Starters-collection.

Also included are:

  • 55 masks for the AlphaWipe-collection;
  • Filmstrip-borders;
  • Manuals; and
  • The free Silk and Fog filter.

Suitable for any version of Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Express.

iDive updated to 1.4

Aquafadas’ iDive is a modern replacement for the "shoebox" containing all those reels of unedited Super 8 movies! iDive is a modern digital equivalent for organizing and cataloging QuickTime movies, whatever the format or source. iDive can import any QuickTime movie format or iMovie project.

Once inside iDive users can organize, annotate with keywords, view and retrieve footage captured with iMovie, QuickTime Player Pro 7 or through Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro. iDive uses an intuitive interface to organize material into libraries so it can be easily retrieved when required. Version 1.4 sports a new source window that gives more details of movie data.

iDive is an alternate capture option for Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro, capturing direct to a Library and cataloging tool instead of to a single project. iDive works alongside the editing application and can export:

  • pictures to iPhoto;
  • movies to iMovie and Final Cut Pro/Express; and
  • Clip lists to Final Cut Pro or Avid.

Other new features include:

  • new menus and sorting capabilities;
  • new compression/export presets for H.264 and DV;
  • more user control and flexibility when compressing clips;
  • new sort and review options, including a Trash, Last import and All Libraries view;
  • numerous productivity enhancements; and
  • redesigned icons.

iDive is just US$69.95 or €59.95 by download. The update to version 1.4 is free to existing owners. There is a trial version download available that is limited to 2 libraries and 5 tapes. The trial version can be converted to a full version with the purchase of a registration code.

SmartSound drops price on Sonicfire Pro

SmartSound’s Sonicfire Pro software automatically presents the user with multiple cuts of a music track at any length needed to score a movie or video. SonicFire Pro is more complete than loop-based music composition requiring no music ability while being much more flexible than standard Library Music.

Sonicfire Pro Standard Edition (Version 3 of software plus two royalty-free SmartSound CDs) was US$299 but is now US$249 (with an Instant Rebate of US$50 for new purchasers).

Sonicfire Pro Bundle Edition (Version 3 of software plus five royalty-free SmartSound CDs) was US$499 but is now $399.

A guided tour, tutorial and trial version are available.

Adobe Flash: New Features in Flash 8 Professional: Part 4 – First you sweep the floor, then you make the scrapple

Chapter: Distribution

Topic: Interactive

We’ve gone over three relatively large sections so far, so in wrapping up our grand tour of Flash 8 Professional’s new features, it’s time to think small. This article aims to be the dumping ground, the Larry King stream-of-consciousness column, the veritable scrapple, if you will, as we attempt to round up some of the “”little”” features in Flash 8 Professional and give them mention all at once. And with the very real potential for numerous health code violations, it’s much like the scrapple-making process itself. So let’s get started.†


AKVIS Enhancer 2.1

AKVIS claims that Enhancer version 2.1 will reveal details from underexposed, overexposed and mid tone areas of a photo without manipulating exposure. According to the developers:

"The tool is useful in cases when a photo lacks detail. For example, when a picture has been taken with the background overexposed and consequently the foreground is hardly discernible, which is especially annoying when you take a picture of a person; or when a photo lacks dramatic effect due to vagueness of the scene."

The examples on their website seem to show good results with underexposed shots without destroying the highlights. AKVIS Enhancer brings out details by intensifying color transition. It means that Enhancer strengthens the difference between adjacent pixels having different color gradations and therefore allows revealing not only details in the shadow but even details in the overexposed and mid tone areas.

AKVIS Enhancer is a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and other applications that support the Photoshop plug-in API on Windows or Macintosh OS X. It has modest hardware requirements and costs US$69. A 10 day trial is available.

It could be applied to video by converting the video to sequential stills, batch processing them in Photoshop and returning them to the editing application.

Anton/Bauer Mount for JVC GY-HD100

Because of a little-know collaboration between Anton/Bauer and JVC, the GY-HD100 has a built-in RealTime™ interface so the viewfinder can display remaining time from the battery. The programming detects the camera load and calculates run time remaining based on the existing conditions of camera and battery.

The QR-JVC 7/14 HDV connects the camcorder to the entire range of Anton/Bauer batteries to properly balance the camcorder and power it for extended periods of time. The mount also provides a PowerTap for powering camera-mounted fill lights, wireless receivers, video hard disk recorders or other accessory.

The Gold Mount QR-JVC 7/14 HDV is shipping now. There is no ordering or other product information at the Anton/Bauer website, other than what we have here, but when there is it will probably be on the Gold Mount Product page. Click the image for bigger pictures of the mount on the JVC camera.