Notes from the floor of the NY DV Show

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Vendors and attendees were upbeat and positive at this week's NY DV Show, running through today at New York City's famous Madison Square Garden. The event drew numerous Mac-centric companies, including Apple itself.

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Rick Friedman, president and co-founder of NY DV Show coordinator Mindshare Ventures, told MacCentral than 14,100 people pre-registered for the event, with 150 exhibitors showing off their latest wares. Friedman expects that actual attendee traffic is pretty close to that number, as well -- not a small accomplishment for an event that's only a year and a half old.

Most of this year's attendees are professionals already working in the video business, and that's reflected by many of the exhibitors on-hand at the show -- New York-based video specialists and vendors looking to drum up business. Friedman said that the bulk of this year's attendees are videographers, editors, producers and digital artists that are looking to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies in the field.

Apple's presence at this year's event is unmistakable: After attendees walked up and down a series of escalators to emerge into the expo area, they're greeted by Apple's training area, front and center. Apple trainers are offering hands-on classes with Final Cut Pro, Shake, digital signal processing technology, color correction and using Mac OS X in a production environment.

Avid, likewise, is showing attendees Xpress DV 3.5, its software-only based video editing solution that works with Mac OS X and Windows. The company is also demonstrating products created by its Digidesign business group. Discreet is showing off its latest products, including Mac-compatible video compositing and encoding software combustion and cleaner.

The Final Cut Pro User Group Network's small booth drew large amounts of traffic, indirectly suggesting that Apple's pro-level video editing software has large numbers of enthusiastic users. The group also planned an event that show coordinators expected to draw hundreds of attendees on Friday night.

The breadth and depth of exhibitors at the NY DV Show vary dramatically. Exhibitors include training service; Mac repair and sales company Tekserve; 3D compositing and vector graphics software developer Boris FX and Primera, which recently unveiled a Mac-compatible integrated CD/DVD burning solution and disc printing system. Digital Juice has a cache of flat-panel iMacs it's using to demonstrate its catalog of royalty-free graphics. The show even drew out, makers of hoods and protective sleeves for PowerBook G4s.

Anark, a company that started its life as a Mac/PC game developer (the makers of Galapagos, a "virtual life" game that featured an artificial creature called Mendel) is showing off Anark Studio 1.5 -- the PC only version of a powerful multimedia authoring tool. The company is also developing Anark Studio 2.0 for both Mac and PC, and has a PowerBook to show off the development version running on the Mac; Anark representatives told MacCentral that Anark Studio 2.0 will sport feature-parity between its Mac and PC versions and should be released within the next 60 to 90 days.

Datavideo is demonstrating its DAC-100 DV converter, a FireWire-based device that enables Macs and PCs to convert analog video to digital video using multiple inputs, as well as DV Bank, a standalone 60GB hard drive recorder that enables DV camera users to shoot video straight to hard drive then edit later using a FireWire-equipped Mac.

Laird Telemedia is offering its turnkey Power Mac G4 systems equipped with integrated multiformat transcoders and Xpress DV or Final Cut Pro, along with various other FireWire-based products that provide multiple download capability, portable transcoding and more.

Medéa is displaying its VideoRaid line of Mac and Windows-based disk arrays specifically designed for digital content creation. The company offers fail-safe and striped arrays for people looking for high performance and maximum recoverability.

Audio product maker M-Audio is offering attendees some hands-on time with its digital audio and MIDI solutions for PC and Mac, and is talking about the Revolution 7.1, a new PCI-based surround sound card that works on the Mac as well.

Big media players at the show include camera company Canon, which is demonstrating a large line of professional, prosumer and consumer DV camcorders. Panasonic is here as well, to show pro-level broadcast and production equipment.

Friedman said that one industry trend worth noting is something Apple's been on top of -- technology consolidation. With Apple's acquisition of Emagic, Shake and other technologies, the company is becoming a one-stop shop for video professionals looking for a complete suite of production tools. Apple isn't the only one, either -- Avid, Pinnacle and others have been broadening their product offerings and acquisitions, as well.

A new consumer demographic has emerged, according to Friedman, thanks in part to products like Avid Xpress DV and Apple's new Final Cut Express: Prosumers. Professionals looking to work with video production hardware and software to produce results for their businesses. "I saw doctors here," Friedman remarked.

With so much interest and growth in the DV market, Friedman is optimistic that the DV Show will continue to grow, at a time when many other trade show events are scaling back or being cancelled all together. The company plans another event, this time at the Long Beach Convention Center in California, in June. And another NY DV Show is sure to follow in 2004.

This story, "Notes from the floor of the NY DV Show" was originally published by PCWorld.

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