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Helping Hollywood convert to digital

Media 100 continues to distance itself from its original incarnation as a manufacturer of nonlinear editing systems. Steps taken last week move the company further downstream into the new-media market.

Leading the way is the company's Streamriver Division, which has opened a Streamriver Service Center in Burbank, Calif., to more readily serve the "Digital Hollywood" community. It's the third such center opened by Media 100.

"Our service offerings include hosting, encoding, consulting and even live Webcasting services," says Mike Savello, vice president of the Streamriver Division. "The majority of what we'll be doing will be encoding and consulting, where we'll take the assets and turn them into encoded assets for delivery over the Internet. On the consulting side, we may help set up encoding workflows within an organization so they can do the process themselves."

The reason for opening a facility in Burbank is simple, according to Savello. Hollywood is full of valuable media assets, some as old as 80 years, and the last thing studios want to do, the company believes, is stick a valuable asset in a FedEx envelope and send it across the country to be encoded.

"If you want to do business with them, you have to be located close to them so they can bring their assets to your office in the morning," says Savello.

While the service centers are a nice offshoot of Media 100's business, their primary revenue is still driven by product introductions. The latest is iFinish 4 for the Windows 2000 platform.

"IFinish 4 really helps create interactive content specifically for distribution on the Internet to Windows 2000 platform," Savello explains, "and it also adds some pretty advanced support for MPEG-2 and DVD authoring, which we think makes it ideal for producing video over the new digital-distribution mediums."

The system has the same support for broadcasters that previous Media 100 products have had, Savello says. "Plus, it has some great cross-over tools for people that need to produce content for broadcasts that also need to be repurposed for distribution over the Web or other distribution mediums. It's an ideal machine for broadcasters looking to distribute over the Internet and broadband because they can produce content for all the mediums."

There are four versions of the system. The lowest-end version, v20DV, is priced at $2,995 and offers a maximum data rate of 150 kb per frame; the v60 version is priced at $9,995 and has audio-processing capabilities. The highest-end version, the v80 at $14,995, provides access to a digital video interface and a serial digital interface.