|In 2004, several trends came together all to the benefit of the companies in digital video content creation. First, the transition to digital TV has gained momentum as consumers understand that digital means better-better images and new services. As a result, broadcast companies are transitioning to digital technology to take advantage of the efficiencies in the production pipeline-better asset management, access to archived content, on-site editing, and a more efficient pipeline that empowers frontline creative people rather than backshop technicians.
Second, the film/video industry has long embraced digital technology for certain aspects of film such as special effects and other post work, but in the last two years the concept of digital intermediates (DI) has caught on, and whole productions are being transferred to digital formats for postproduction and then transferred back to film for distribution. In general, there is great interest in lengthening the digital pipeline to incorporate digital capture and digital distribution.
|The total digital video software market grew 12 percent in 2004.
And finally, new advances in consumer technology, new digital cameras, the proliferation of DVD drives, and easy-to-use DVD production tools have driven the increase of sales in digital video for consumers.
The train is just picking up speed for digital video. There is a large untapped market of consumers who are video enthusiasts but who are still using older analog cameras. In addition to transferring old videos to digital, low-cost digital video cameras will spark a new wave of interest and attract a new generation of customers. In the professional sphere, the transition to digital is also just getting started and will be boosted with the introduction of a 64-bit version of Windows and Longhorn. -Kathleen Maher, senior analyst, Jon Peddie Research
Avid Technology (Tewksbury, MA) has entered into an agreement to acquire Pinnacle Systems (Mountain View, CA). Discreet (San Francisco), a division of Autodesk, is transitioning its name and brand to Autodesk Media and Entertainment Division. The Autodesk branding, the first public viewing of which will take place during the National Association of Broadcasters Conference (NAB 2005) in Las Vegas this month, will be applied to the division’s products, technologies, and consulting services. The Walt Disney Company (Burbank, CA) Board of Directors has announced that Robert A. Iger has been unanimously elected chief executive officer effective September 30. Iger will succeed Michael D. Eisner, the company’s current CEO. On September 9 of last year, Eisner submitted a letter to the Board of Directors announcing his intention to retire; he steps down as CEO on September 30. Midway Games (Chicago) has acquired Paradox Development (Moorpark, CA), which will be creating the next Mortal Kombat game. Mobile games publisher Sorrent (San Mateo, CA) has acquired European rival Macrospace, a large player in the mobile games market. The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (Orlando; http://fiea.ucf.edu) has launched a video game development program to begin this fall. For its visual effects work on Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars, a mini-series for the SciFi Channel, Animal Logic (Sydney) received an Australian Effects & Animation Festival (AEAF) award.