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Cutting Edge - Broadcasting & Cable

Cutting Edge

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Combustible Graphics

Discreet has introduced the latest version of its Combustion 3 Macintosh visual effects and 3D compositing software. New features include customizable brushes, savable presets, timeline markers, and DV capture and output. Discreet will also continue to work directly with plug-in developers to ensure advanced support for numerous plug-ins, including Adobe After Effects and PhotoShop plug-ins. The new editing operator makes it the first visual-effects application with integrated editing. Pricing is $995 with upgrades for Combustion 2 users available for $199.

Tandberg Hits the Skies

Intelsat has selected Tandberg Television to provide turnkey technologies for use on its enhanced North American hybrid satellite and fiber network. The gear includes standard- and high-definition equipment and will be in place later this spring, connecting teleports in Riverside, Calif., and Fuchsstadt, Germany, with five point-of-presence (POP) sites in Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and New York. The satellite-and-fiber network increases capacity for Intelsat, which will expand its video offerings and provide space on the network to broadcasters interested in sending video and audio between any of the seven sites and Intelsat's global video distribution network.

Ucentric Intros Suite

Ucentric Systems introduced its Whole Home High Definition Digital Software Suite of products at CES last week in an effort to tap into the growing home-media-center market. Features include applications for high-definition photos, music sharing, and an ATSC off-air HD multi-TV digital video recorder (HD DVR) application The last gives consumers the ability to record, pause, instant-replay and rewind live local broadcast television with HD-quality programming using an ATSC tuner built into their media centers. The HD-photo application allows downloading digital photos or accessing photos stored on PCs and then watching them on an HD television.

Real Intros Latest Version

Real Networks has launched Real 10, the first new version of its Real platform in two years. The Real 10 platform includes new versions of RealPlayer with a built-in music store, RealAudio, RealVideo, Helix Producer and Helix DRM.

RealVideo 10 supports HDTV-resolution video at less than 5 Mbps and DVD-quality video at approximately 1 Mbps. RealAudio 10 offers a variety of new capabilities, including 5.1 Surround Sound for home-theater environments.

HD Radio: Sold!

History was made at an Ultimate Electronics store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last week when Nathan Franzen became the first person in the country to purchase an HD Radio tuner. Franzen had a Kenwood KTC-HR100 HD radio tuner installed in his Pontiac Grand Prix and, ceremonially, tuned to KZIA-FM X102.9 to pull in the station's CD-quality HD radio signal. At CES later in the week, Kenwood, JVC and Panasonic introduced HD car radios, and Onkyo announced plans for a stereo receiver to be delivered later this year.

AFA Closes Sony Deal

Ascent Media Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp., finalized its deal with Sony Electronics and acquired the assets of Sony's Systems Integration Center (SIC), effective Jan. 1. The Northvale, N.J.-based company will continue to be led by Tom Canavan, president, as it folds in nearly 60 former SIC employees into its operations. AFA management has expanded to include David Orr, who is the former vice president and general manager of SIC and is now senior vice president of Western operations, and Keith Jackson, who is current director of professional services.

HDMI Gets Support

The High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connector, which will help secure digitally delivered content sent to and from various consumer devices, was endorsed by a number of manufacturers at CES last week. The technology was created by Silicon Image.

More than 70 devices containing the connector were introduced by Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Thomson/RCA and Onkyo at the show. Thomson was the first to add secure digital interfaces to all of its HDTV monitors and HDTV sets. In addition, Monster Cable launched its HDMI cable line.

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