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Thanksgiving for Editors

Just a few of the many things we have to be thankful for By Charlie White
Its that time of year when those of us who live in the United States pause to give thanks for all that has been bestowed upon us in the past year. So, in keeping with this quaint custom, I decided to list the things digital video editors, and we here at Digital Media Net are thankful for. Its been a good year for technology in general and video editing in particular. So, let the thanking begin!

First up on my thank-you list would be Apple and Boxx, the two computer-making companies who will soon square off head-to-head on these pages for the next installment of our notorious Mac vs. PC series. The gracious PR princesses of both Boxx and Apple quickly jumped to the rescue after reading my last whining editorial which decried the dearth of Mac G5s around here at the Midwest Test Facility, while at the same time opining for an Opteron against which we could pit the latest of Apples gleaming darlings of computerdom. Both boxes, one laden with dual Opterons and the other stoked with G5ness, are said to be in preparation for their journey to our test benches. Before that begins, with each company in possession of our official DMN benchmarks, theyre pre-testing their entries to assure the quickest of the quick will be what they send to us. Well be testing the two boxes using our six-comp After Effects test suite; also well run CineBench, and Brian Maffitts new After Effects benchmarks mentioned here in my previous editorial. May the best computer win.

The next shower of thanks falls upon HDTV, which is the rising tide that lifts all boats in the digital video editing industry. If what Im hearing from back-room sources is anywhere near correct, almost every company we cover is planning some huge splash at next springs NAB convention (April, 2004), if not before, and most of these big new products have the letters HDTV associated with them in one way or another. The explosion of HDTV programming is what I think is driving all this. Broadcast a few football games in HD, add some HD special events and a few pay networks with excellent HD content, sprinkle in all-HD prime-time drama on all the networks, and what you have is a recipe for an HDTV conflagration that brings economies of scale to the fore, making everything HD cheaper from lens to screen. People are starting to buy HDTV sets, and theyll be the most thankful of all, sitting back and soaking up the glorious video thats as different from standard definition fare as color is to black & white.

Next, Id like to thank the Concorde, that spectacularly fast but ruinously expensive supersonic aircraft. Now why, you might ask, would I be thanking a mothballed superjet in a digital video editing column? Because it has allegorical value to our own market, thats why. Sure, the Concorde was fast. It did its job beautifully; it was by far the best passenger aircraft ever flown. But it had one fatal flaw: It cost too much. Only well-heeled glitterati could afford an $8,148 round-trip ticket on the thing. It rode high in more ways than just 60,000 feet above terra firma, commanding super-premium fares for superior performance for many years. But in the end, even though it could fly you from New York to London in about three-and-a-half hours at 1,350 mph, in a world of $299 round trip tickets to Europe from the States, who would actually pay twenty-seven times more to shave off a few hours? Apparently not enough people to keep it in the air. Now think of a content creation system that costs twenty-seven times more than a Final Cut Pro setup. Draw your own comparisons. Thanks for the insight, Concorde.

And lastly, Id like to thank the readers of Digital Media Net. Its been a banner year for us. In fact, our marketing boosters like to say that with our million-plus unique visitors each month, we have more readers than all the other content creation publications combined, and that goes for print magazines and the Web. Wow. These sites have been online for almost five years, and from meager beginnings, its you, the readers, who have made this what it is today. Thanks to all of you, and have a pleasant holiday season!

Charlie White, your humble storytellerDigital Media Net Executive Producer Charlie White has been writing about new media and digital video since it was the laughingstock of the television industry. A technology journalist and columnist since 1994, White is also an Emmy-winning producer, video editor, broadcast industry consultant and shot-calling television director who has worked in broadcasting since 1974. Talk back -- Send Chazz a note at cwhite@digitalmedianet.com.

Read more of Charlie White's editorials by clicking here.

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