Cutting Edge


E! to BEA

E! Entertainment will use BEA's WebLogic Enterprise Platform as the foundation for a new digital-asset-information system (E! is calling the system DAISY). The goal is to enable E! to add value to its content library, which consists of more than 250,000 videotapes and digitized media. DAISY will be able to tell users about raw footage, length of clips, usage rights, whether it previously aired and whether it includes closed captioning. E! plans to add a browser-based editing capability to DAISY so producers can edit directly from their desktop.

Concurrent wins two TWC contracts

Time Warner Cable is keeping VOD provider Concurrent busy with commercial deployments in Wilmington, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio. The Wilmington division will use the MediaHawk VOD system to serve more than 209,000 basic subscribers and 38,000 digital subs. The subscribers will join 354,000 basic and 90,000 digital subscribers in Time Warner Cable's Greensboro and Winston-Salem systems in North Carolina and will be able to access VOD movies from iN DEMAND and subscription-VOD (SVOD) programming.

The Columbus deployment serves more than 326,000 basic and 108,000 digital subscribers. Thirteen MediaHawk 3000 VOD Systems will be installed, with a total capacity of more than 7,000 streams and an initial storage capacity of more than 800 titles.

Envivio gets Real

Envivio and RealNetworks are working together to develop a mobile media encoder for the wireless industry. Expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2003 and dubbed the Helix Mobile Producer, the encoder, powered by Envivio, is based on RealNetworks' Helix platform. The goal is to provide content creators a single encoding solution for 3GPP, 3GPP2, RealAudio and RealVideo content. Envivio and RealNetworks will market and sell the co-branded product to mobile carriers and content providers worldwide. It will support 3GPP and 3GPP2 file formats, including MPEG-4, AAC, N-AMR, H.263.

Media 100 expands product line

Media 100 may be in danger of being delisted, but that isn't stopping the company from rolling out new editing products. The latest is 844/Xi, a product-line expansion of the 844/X editing system. The 844/Xi is geared to dual-stream editors and provides real-time compositing and effects. Priced at $24,995 and available in December, it includes the same application software and Intelligent Layering Architecture (ILA) as the original 844/X product launched in February. Complete system configurations will start at about $40,000 and will be available exclusively through authorized 844/X value-added resellers.

B-Train scores with Avid

B-Train Films, a New York-based sports-production company, is using Avid Xpress DV software to create the weekly pregame show for the New York Jets. Jets 24/7 With Herman Edwards
airs on WCBS-TV New York. B-Train producers on location with the team use laptop computers running Avid Xpress DV software to immediately digitize, log and edit footage of games, practices and team meetings. Rough-cuts are sent back to New York, where editors use an Avid Symphony system for additional editing and finishing.

Manitoba heads to Next Level

Winnipeg, Manitoba, residents will have the chance to bundle next year. Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) will use Next Level equipment to offer digital TV, high-speed Internet, telephone services and onscreen caller ID to 9% of Winnipeg's approximately 700,000 residents by the end of 2003. MTS will use Next Level's Full Service Access Platform, including its BSAM and Residential Gateway 2200 set-top box.

Carrie scares with VariCam

NBC's new three-hour version of Carrie, which aired last week in both SD and HD, was shot last summer on location in Vancouver with Panasonic's AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema cameras. Five VariCams were used for first- and second-unit photography on the seven-week shoot.

The AJ-HDC27 VariCam replicates many of the key features of film-based image acquisition, including 24-frame progressive-scan images, and offers a wide range of variable frame rates (4 to 60 f/s in single-frame increments) for "overcranked" and "undercranked" off-speed in-camera effects achieving fast- or slow-motion, plus programmable time-lapse recording.