Business highlights from broadcast and production

NEC America Inc.'s parts and support division has moved. Full sales and support can be obtained at their new address: NEC America Inc. Broadcast Equipment Department; 6535 N. State Highway 161; Irving, TX 75039-2402; or by phone at the following numbers: 888-383-4DTV (toll free); 214-262-3642 (main); 214-262-3687 (fax).

Eugene and Colleen Johnson, president and vice president of Ward-Beck Systems, Ltd., recently announced the establishment of their sister corporation, Ward-Beck Sales Inc. Located in Portland, OR, Ward-Beck Sales will function as a United States sales and marketing organization for the Ward-Beck Systems products. Ward-Beck hopes to increase the exposure of their products in the Pacific Northwest, West, Southwest and Midwest states, to re-establish contact with former clients and to develop a dealer network to service these regions. The new office, under the management of Michael Jordan, has been in operation since January.

Philips Digital Networks recently purchased broadcast editing Storage Area Networks (SANs) from Ciprico for implementation in news broadcast facilities worldwide, enabling high speed, nonlinear editing in the newsroom setting. The SANs offer a high-performance central storage solution that simplifies workflow and allows multiple broadcast editors access to the same files simultaneously.

A feature of the Ciprico broadcast editing SAN is its ability to create a tailored work environment through segment caching, which provides optimal management for fluctuating data streams. A broadcast editor can then edit a scene while the file is downloading and insert it within a project without affecting other scenes or losing digital picture quality.

Time Warner Cable recently selected OmniBus Systems to supply station-wide news automation asset and media management systems for use in the launch of four upcoming 24-hour local news channels. The channels, which provide news to Time Warner Cable customers, are expected to launch in the next 24 months. The OmniBus order is valued at more than $6 million and includes using its systems for NY 1 News when it moves to its new headquarters this summer.

Time Warner placed its order following an OmniBus consulting project that analyzed the workflow, operations and processes at several of Time Warner's United States facilities.

Video Networks Inc. (VNI), a business-to-business provider of digital media content distribution and management services as well as related e-commerce applications, has changed its name to Pathfire. The name change reflects the company's ability to distribute and manage digital media. The name evokes the speed and efficiency that Pathfire's network of servers and leading-edge software applications bring to the management and exchange of digitized media assets in the broadcast, cable, Internet and entertainment industries.

HDV-5, a joint venture between WRAL-TV, DTV Resources and HD Vision, celebrated its first anniversary Dec. 2 at the 13th Annual Neiman Marcus/Adolphus Children's Parade. The 53-foot high definition mobile production truck was booked by WFAA-TV to cover the event. This was the eighth year WFAA-TV, an A.H. Belo Subsidiary, had produced and broadcasted the live event and, the second year it was shot in high definition television for standard and HD broadcast. The parade was captured using five cameras: two Sony HDC-700 Studio and three Sony HDC-750 handhelds. Fiber optic technology allowed HD viewers to enjoy the parade in its native form.

Digital System Technology, Inc. (DST) announced the completed integration and deployment of an all-digital Internet Broadcast Operations Center (BOC) located in Seattle, WA, for Real Broadcast Network (RBN), the hosting solutions division of RealNetworks, Inc.

The new facility features state-of-the-art digital broadcast equipment and enables RBN to utilize full-bandwidth serial-digital video for signal acquisition and distribution within its facility. The design of the facility from conception to completion was done in 60 days and came in on budget. DST was fundamental in the integration of essential equipment—including digital encoding equipment—that allowed the facility to efficiently deploy a digital encoding and streaming system.

Richland Towers recently announced it would construct and operate a second 1635-foot AGL (2449-foot AMSL) broadcasting tower to serve the Dallas-Ft. Worth market. This structure will incorporate a 60-foot, top-mounted candelabra, similar to the current Richland tower, and will support over 90 tons of top-mounted dual-stacked antennas including a second Richland high-powered broadband DTV panel system.

The maximum height structure has received FAA approval and construction has been slated to begin in the third quarter 2001, with completion estimated in spring 2002. The new broadcast super tower is designed to accommodate 12 to 18 NTSC, DTV, FM and LPTV broadcasters in the Dallas Market.

In an effort to expand its innovative broadcast and post-production solutions to the United States market, Miranda Technologies has announced the establishment of a new U.S. headquarters in Glendale, CA. The U.S. operation will do business under the name Miranda MTI and will provide additional product support to the company's U.S. distributors and end-users as well as facilitate sales, and enhance their ability to assess customer needs and encourage feedback.

In addition to its Glendale facility, Miranda MTI recently set up regional sales offices in Florida (representing Latin America), Atlanta and New York, with intentions to open additional U.S. sales offices within the next year.

da Vinci Systems has formed three new product groups, Color, Stor and Restor, to address the various industry applications served by the company. The three new groups will focus on color enhancement applications, uncompressed storage applications and film restoration applications respectively.

The organization of da Vinci's main products within the new groups is as follows: Color, the da Vinci 2K color enhancement system for SDTV, HDTV and data; Stor, the da Vinci Qf2 and HD2 uncompressed digital disk recorders with shared storage for standard and high definition and data applications; Restor, the da Vinci Rs2 automated film restoration system.

Oxtel has installed an Imagestore for KERA, the public broadcasting organization for north Texas. KERA purchased the master control and channel branding system to assist in its transition to a multichannel digital operation in addition to transmitting two analog program streams. KERA installed Imagestore in its master control. An additional unit is scheduled to be installed in the coming months. Imagestore's keying layers will be used for inserting logos and captions and the integral DVE will be used to accomplish picture-in-picture credit squeeze.

The Systems Group (TSG) recently completed the design, fabrication and integration of the new National Geographic Channel Digital Production Studio, located in Washington D.C. The facility includes all operations environments for acquisition, production, post-production, distribution and transmission of programming material for the domestic feed of the National Geographic Channel.

The studio is an entirely digital plant, based on a serial digital video and AES audio platform. The core infrastructure including the cabling, connectors and the Phillips router are wideband capable and can support a future transition to HD television.

Avid Technology, Inc. announced it acquired the remaining 50 percent ownership stake in iNews, LLC. Avid and the Grass Valley Group had each held a 50 percent stake in iNews. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

iNews is a provider of broadcast news software solutions for television, radio and the Web. The Madison, WI-based company, which formed in 1998 from the combination of Avid's AvidNews and Tektronix' NewStar news production systems, now becomes part of the Avid Media Solutions division (AMS). iNews will retain its headquarters in Madison.

Sundance Digital, Inc. a provider of television automation systems in the greater Dallas area, has expanded operations with a move to larger headquarters. The new facility, which houses administration, manufacturing, sales, technical support and accounting is located at 4500 Fuller Drive, Suite 205; Irving, TX 75038; and can be contacted at 972-444-8442 (phone) and 972-444-8450 (fax).


CRL Systems, Orban and CRL have named Steve A. Claterbaugh the company's North American sales manager and Greg Ogonowski to the new position of vice president of product development.

Harry Vesanen has been appointed Digital Vision AB's new managing director.

Pixel Power Inc. has appointed Bruce Levine to the position of vice president of sales.

Benjamin Timpauer has been named to DSP Media's sales department as its western regional sales manager.

Fairlight Inc. has promoted Shaun Kerrigan to the position of president, Fairlight USA, the company's Hollywood-based sales and support organization.

Trompeter Electronics recently announced that Glen Towater has joined the company as regional sales manager for the Southeast.

Oxtel Inc. has named two new vice presidents. Michael Molinaro and Casey Linnemeyer will jointly manage Oxtel's North American office as vice president of sales and vice president of business operations respectively.

Penn Fabrication has named Frank Riordan to their newly created position, national sales manager, lighting and audio division.

Joy Mossholder has been appointed marketing manager of Videotek, Inc.

Ronald Bentley Stewart, director of technical services for the KUAT Communications Group in Tucson, AZ, and former KET Deputy Executive Director died Jan. 10 in Tucson following a brief illness.

Before joining KUAT, Mr. Stewart designed and was responsible for the technical operation of the Kentucky Educational Television Network from 1963 to 1975. An engineering visionary, Mr. Stewart overcame the technical problems inherent in eastern Kentucky's mountainous terrain and designed a system of transmitters that provided service to the entire state, making KET the largest ETV network in the United States, second only to NHK in Japan as the world's largest TV network.

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Fujinon HD lenses capture unique underwater species

BBH Exhibits Inc., with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Cape Cod, MA, produced a new interactive exhibit, “Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss” for the Liberty Science Museum in Jersey City, NJ. Fujinon's HA5.2×10EVM lenses were utilized with Sony HDC-750A cameras for the underwater high-definition video on display within the exhibit.

Woods Hole has been a long-time Fujinon customer, exclusively using their high-definition lenses for capturing life-like footage of oceanic life forms. In their research, the scientists at Woods Hole have discovered hundreds of new underwater species.

The “Extreme Deep” exhibit runs through February 2001.

High octane action in high definition

The shooting of the first action film on 24p high definition digital format was just completed by New York-based All In One Productions. Manhattan Midnight, was the first Chinese-produced motion picture in the world shot and finished on Sony's new CineAlta 24p HDCAM digital system. All In One Productions supplied the HD camera package and line-produced the high octane action film, which was budgeted for $3 million, completed in a short 27-day schedule and directed by popular Hong Kong director Alfred Cheung.