Cutting Edge


Mercury Rising

The Hearst-Argyle TV-station group has selected Trilogy Broadcast's Mercury VoIP communications system. It will enable intercom-style WAN communications across the group, the first phase being the supply of user interfaces at the assignment desks of 24 TV stations and the Washington, D.C., news bureau. Later this year, the system will be improved to allow all sites to feed their local production IFBs into the Mercury system. Trilogy says that will allow field reporters to call into the system on mobile phones or land lines.

A Discreet Launch

Discreet introduced the latest version of 3ds Max graphics package at the SIGGRAPH convention last week. Dubbed 3ds Max 6, it offers such new features as advanced schematic view for viewing and managing complex scenes, integrated Mental Ray rendering software, and Vertex color painting. It also supports computer-aided–design visualization tools and interchange and includes integrated Reactor 2 with stuntman and vehicle dynamics. The software is expected to be available this fall priced at $3,495. Upgrade pricing is $795 from 3ds Max 5 and $1,295 from the 3ds Max 4 release.

HD Godfather

HDNet signed a nine-year rights agreement last week with Paramount Domestic Television whereby HDNet will have access to more than 175 Paramount feature films, including The Godfather trilogy. Other titles include Beverly Hills Cop, 48 Hrs., The Hunt for Red October, Top Gun and Patriot Games.

Kasenna Gets Patent

Kasenna was awarded a patent for a technique the company says ensures the optimal delivery quality of video content over different types of networks (such as ADSL, VDSL, cable) and client devices of varying capabilities. The technology is incorporated into Kasenna's flagship MediaBase XMP video-delivery platform and allows broadband service providers to support a broader set of markets over a variety of networks with a single video-on-demand (VOD) platform. Kasenna has eight other patents pending.