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Archive by Lisa Muldowney

Sohonet Appoints Chuck Parker to Executive Chairman

Company Continues Global Geographic Growth and Market Expansion

London and Los Angeles (July 29, 2014): Sohonet, the leading expert in connectivity and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) for the media and entertainment industry, is pleased to announce the appointment of Chuck Parker to Executive Chairman, whose expertise will continue to guide the company in its global expansion efforts.

Parker joins Sohonet following the successful acquisition of Unicorn Media, a leading provider of cloud video ad insertion technology, by Brightcove, a global provider of cloud services for video. Parker served as Chief Revenue Officer at Unicorn and as VP of Global Media Sales at Brightcove. In addition to fulfilling non-executive chairman duties on the Sohonet Board for the past year, he is a well-known industry thought leader who brings a wealth of media and technology experience to Sohonet.

Previously, Parker spent 15 years at Technicolor where he fulfilled a variety of roles, including Chief Commercial Officer, President of Technicolor's Broadcast and Digital Division, and EVP/Managing Director of Technicolor's International Home Entertainment division and CIO. Parker is also currently the Chairman of the 2nd Screen Society, an innovative digital video industry body he founded in 2012.

Dave Scammell, CEO of Sohonet, said: "We are very excited that Chuck has joined us full-time. Over the past year, he has proven to be invaluable in his insight on the industry, and his drive and passion for the business is infectious. As we expand our renowned Sohonet Media Network (SMN) further into the cloud and grow our range of specialist, media-aware IaaS offerings, Chuck will drive these new offerings to market and ensure they are well tuned to the needs of our expanding client base."

Sohonet recently expanded its Sohonet Media Network to a growing number of cloud providers, including AWS, Google and Softlayer, creating a "fast lane" to the cloud by providing speedy access and reduced charges for all SMN clients. In the last 12 months, the company has expanded services to customers in Singapore, Montreal, Atlanta, Manchester and Amsterdam, and has significantly increased its client base in Vancouver, New York and core locations of London, Sydney and Los Angeles.

"Sohonet is a highly ambitious company at the leading edge of change and is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the media industry's continuing demand for better, secure solutions to manage its valuable and ever growing digital assets," said Parker. "The company is the recognized global leader in network services for the media and entertainment industry with its renowned Sohonet Media Network. Sohonet has listened carefully to its customers to develop a range of flexible, cost-effective offerings that will ensure media companies are better equipped to meet the many challenges of the rapidly changing digital landscape. I look forward to working with the team to significantly increase Sohonet's footprint on the global stage."

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Bexel Expands Inventory with $13 Million Investment to Support 2014 FIFA World Cup(tm) and Beyond

Company Upgrades Key Products to Service US Rights Holders Host Coverage

BURBANK, Calif. - Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group's Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions, recently completed a major inventory upgrade to support the company's extensive installations for both the Spanish and English-speaking U.S. rights holders at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil(tm). The $13 million investment increases Bexel's service offering of products in several key areas, including camera systems, switchers and routers, and servers.

The significant investment is strategically aligned to support Bexel's continuing expansion into the major global sporting event sector. "Bexel has had an incredibly busy year," commented Tom Dickinson, CTO of Bexel. "We came right off doing the winter games in Sochi, Russia, directly into World Cup preparation. This was the largest World Cup effort that Bexel has ever undertaken, as we provided complete turnkey facilities with on-site technical support to two major broadcasters. To support these live events that are international in scope, we invested millions to expand our systems and solutions so that we can service our clients with the technology they require to execute at this level."

Grass Valley and Sony Camera Systems-


Bexel has made a significant investment in the expansion of its camera inventory. Over 50 new camera systems were purchased to support Bexel's increased servicing of global sports arenas. Thirty Grass Valley LDX 80 Compact cameras and 20 Sony HDC-2400 cameras have been added to the Bexel roster. All 50 camera chains were used in Brazil.

In addition to the cameras, Bexel bought more than 50 supporting lenses, ranging from wide-angle lenses to Cannon XJ95x and Fujinon XA99x8.4 super-telephoto lenses. The company's inventory of camera support equipment has also grown, including new Vinten Vector 75 Pan and Tilt Heads and Sachtler tripods.

Evertz Routers and Grass Valley Switchers-

Bexel has undertaken a major upgrade of its routers and increased the quantity to include two new Evertz EQX routing systems from 288x853 up to a full size 394x970. In addition, Bexel has an Evertz EMR router at 288x864. These routers are central to the company's support of its large systems and bigger than what would be found on many mobile trucks.

"The World Cup, being such an expansive event, required host broadcast facilities to have very extensive routing capabilities to manage the signals coming in from all the venues simultaneously," said Dickinson. "This routing of the signals was one of the key requirements, due to the complexity of the event and the large amount of content being managed in a given time period. To support that, and to ensure that both networks had maximum production flexibility, we upgraded our router fleet with two additional, high-end EQX systems, both of which were deployed in Brazil."

Two new 5M/E Grass Valley Kayenne Video Production Centers were also acquired, for an inventory total of six production switchers. "We're continuing to invest in Kayenne switchers, as we build out our flypacks to support massive global events like Sochi and the World Cup," stated Dickinson. "We were able to do both US host facility installations with all Grass Valley Kayennes, which worked perfectly. We had four of our switchers in Brazil with a total of five control panels.

EVS XT3 Video Servers-

Bexel has also upgraded and expanded its entire fleet of EVS servers, as well as acquired a host of EVS support products. With the $5 million purchase of 25 new XT3 video servers, Bexel now has a deployable fleet of more than 50 XT3 units. The servers range from six-channel to eight-channel units, and include a new 10 gigabit Ethernet networking feature that allows users to move files over an IP network much more efficiently.

Both U.S. host providers used Bexel's EVS XT3 servers in Brazil. "The XT3s were crucial to the systems we set up in Brazil," noted Dickinson. "Both broadcasters' workflows were file-based and very EVS-centric. The EVS XT3s were key to how the large amount of content was managed from all the World Cup venues."

To service U.S. hosts' coverage over the course of the entire month-long tournament, Bexel transported approximately 26,000 pieces of equipment and 35 senior engineers and support staff to Brazil.

The Spanish-language rights holder for the U.S., broadcast extensive coverage from Rio de Janeiro in addition to the actual World Cup matches. The Bexel set-up served as the hub supporting their extensive pre- and post-game coverage and entertainment broadcasts of its morning show from Copacabana Beach, and the rooftop of the Atlantico Sul Hotel.

"We put together a total of five control rooms on site in Brazil, and everything worked seamlessly," concluded Dickinson. "The extensive investment we made for the World Cup has positioned Bexel to be able to handle any major sporting event anywhere in the world, with the highest quality of well-built systems. We are already looking forward to upcoming events, and we're confident that this investment will allow us to continue supporting our clients with both the strongest systems and the smartest solutions available."

Bexel will also utilize the new broadcast solutions and equipment on upcoming telecasts of the U.S. Open, NCAA Football, MLB, and the NFL, as well as other live events.

Bexel Scores with FIFA World Cup Games

BURBANK, Calif. – With almost a third of the world’s population predicted to tune in to watch one or more of the FIFA World Cup soccer matches, the tournament has become one of the biggest international broadcasts of all time. So when the English speaking U.S. broadcast rights holder wanted to build temporary studio production facilities in Rio de Janeiro, they turned to Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group’s Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions.

The original concept for the project when it launched in November 2012 was limited to a small flypack located near Copacabana beach.

“When the broadcasters saw the beauty of the beachside location, they decided to build their main control room in Clube dos Marimbás, a Brazilian beach club,” said Joe Wire, Bexel’s vice president of Sales and Account Development. “So what started as just enough camera equipment to fit into a 20-foot shipping container soon grew into a 4,000 square-foot technical facility housed in its own custom-designed building.”

Since the FIFA World Cup competition takes place in 16 different stadiums, around the country, there was no central venue that could host the broadcasts. But, by locating the main studio right at the beach, there would always be something interesting happening behind the anchors’ and commentators’ desks to keep the pictures interesting.

Once it was installed, the studio’s entire infrastructure was built around an Evertz EQX 394 X 970 video router with all Grass Valley cameras, a Grass Valley K-Frame Kayenne 4 M/E digital production switcher and a Calrec Artemis 24 fader audio console.

“This project involved tight integration between Bexel and the U.S. rights holder,” Wire said, “and by the time we shipped the equipment in late April, the complement included 27 cameras, three control rooms and two production sets, all linked via fiber from the beach club to their main facility in Bristol, Conn.”

Once they started to build the gear into the Rio de Janiero location in May, there were two main challenges the Bexel team had to overcome: power and logistics. “Every country to host a large event presents unique challenges and Brazil is no different,” Wire commented.

Bexel’s crew had to conform to the Brazilian concept of how and when to work. “We learned to adapt to the city’s own regulations that keep trucks carrying containers over 6-feet long off the streets between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.” Wire said. “Most of our unloading had to happen during the night. But adapting to those intricacies is just typical of the type of service that people have come to expect from Bexel.”

The two-story technical facility complete with two control rooms was completed on June 4 when Bexel’s team handed it over to their client after certifying that everything was up and properly functioning.

“Since we had to build the technical infrastructure inside the Clube dos Marimbás beach club, we were working in a defined space,” Wire said. “But by the time the games started to air, we had created a world-class broadcast facility on time, and within the specified budget at one of the most beautiful locations on the earth.”

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Videomakers at VidCon to Receive Behind-the-Scenes Insight on Production Gear for Content Creation

Highlights of Conference include an All-Star Lineup of Speakers

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Anton/Bauer, Litepanels, Sachtler, and Teradek - all Vitec Group brands - will support the independent, online videomaking community at the 5th Annual VidCon, which takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif., from June 26-28. As a sponsor of the conference, content creators at the show will receive insight into the innovative tools available from these brands, which help them get the shots they need to capture the eyeballs of "Generation Like."

Anton/Bauer, Litepanels, Sachtler, and Teradek are also backing some of the conference panel sessions, including:

    Intentional Virality (Friday, June 27, 12:30pm in Room 209AB): This panel explores how some creators and brands manage to continually create content that people share until 10 or even hundreds of millions of people have watched? Moderated by CEO / Founder, Digital LA Kevin Winston. Panelists include Niko Pueringer and Sam Gorski of Corridor Digital; Michael Gregory of Gregory Brothers; Evan Hadsfield; Henry Reich of MinutePhysics; Will Pearson, President, co-Founder of Mental Floss, Inc.; Mangesh Hattikudur, Chief Creative Officer, co-Founder, Mental Floss, Inc.

    Special Effects: How and Why (Friday, June 28, 3:30pm in Room 202AB): Experts will discuss why special effects aren't so special anymore. With the right tools, teenagers in their bedrooms are creating better effects than whole teams could just a few years ago. But that means it's even harder to differentiate yourself. What's next in effects, and what opportunities are available to those who have the skills. Moderated by CDS Director of Network Development John Carle. Panelists include Pueringer and Gorski of Corridor Digital, Zach King of FinalCutKing, Andrew McMurry of AndrewMFilms, and Clinton Jones of Pwnisher.

The Vitec brands will also make sure the conference's special guests are taken care of by lending support to VidCon's VIP Lounge. In addition to community and industry panels, there will be signings, live performances, and movie screenings. Other speakers include DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg; YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki; Maker Studios CEO Ynon Kreiz; John Green; Lauren Zelaznick; Fullscreen founder George Strompolos; Burnie Burns; Brian Robbins; Big Frame's Sarah Penna; Grace Helbig; Freddie Wong; Ingrid Nilsen; BrandonJLA; Josh Sundquist; The Gregory Brothers; Philp deFranco; Lisa Schwartz; and Amanda Steele, among others.

VidCon is the largest industry conference and fan event in the world for online video. This year's conference is expected to draw more than 18,000 fans, content creators and industry executives. More information is available at www.VidCon.com.

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St. Cloud State University UTVS Puts Real World Broadcasting Into Student Experience with Autoscript E.P.I.C. Prompting

University Television Station (UTVS), the student-run TV station on the campus of St. Cloud State University, is using three Autoscript E.P.I.C. prompters for their busy production slate. UTVS delivers a variety of programming to the campus and the larger St. Cloud, Minnesota, community.

UTVS serves locally produced programming to 33,000 households on Charter Channel 21, also streamed live 24/7 on utvs.com. Founded in 1978, the station is staffed by the SCSU Mass Communications students: TV production majors work behind the scenes, and broadcasting majors appear in front of the camera and work as producers.

About 100 students actively produce news for UTVS. This semester features two half-hour evening newscasts, a weekly half-hour Spanish-language newscast, and a half-hour week-in-review news program on Friday.

As part of a full lineup of programming, UTVS produces sports and entertainment shows. "Back to the Movies" is a weekly movie review series; "Monday Night Live" is a weekly one-hour music show simulcast on campus radio station KVSC 88.1FM; and "Trivia Weekend" is a popular annual 50-hour trivia marathon staged in conjunction with KVSC. The upper level TV production class produces the new "Husky Faceoff" weekly sports show; and the weekly sports round up, "Husky Magazine," has been on the air since the 1980s. The St. Cloud State Sports Network will begin broadcasting round the clock in the fall with live coverage of a wide array of college sports, a new slate of sports shows, and replays of classic games.

Since UTVS is training the broadcasters of tomorrow, the university is keen to ensure that students' experience on-air and in production replicate real-world working environments. "We give our students a taste of what it's like in the professional world," says Derrick Silvestri, TV studio manager at UTVS. "Our main objective is to have them use the equipment they'll encounter in the newsroom, so when they graduate they will be more than prepared to work in a professional environment."

Twelve edit suites, which feature Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and, starting in the fall, Adobe Premiere, are dedicated to UTVS; media control takes care of media management and sports replays while the master control center handles commercial insertions and broadcast playback. Production equipment includes nine Grass Valley LDX studio cameras, Chyron Mosaics, Wheatstone and Grass Valley production switchers and RTS intercoms.

In the summer of 2013, UTVS acquired a trio of Autoscript E.P.I.C. 17-inch prompters, which they operate with three LDX cameras mounted on Vinten pedestals and heads.

"We were one of the first to have the E.P.I.C. systems," says Silvestri, who purchased the units from systems integrator Alpha Video in Edina, Minnesota. "Before, we used a wide variety of systems, including the EZNews all-in-one script writing and prompting system. But our slate demanded a more professional-style system with automated workflows and MOS control. We got AP's ENPS for scripting, but it didn't offer prompting. That's where Autoscript stepped in. Their products are a top choice in the professional world, and with E.P.I.C. we could use ENPS for writing and Autoscript's WinPlus Ultra software for prompting. E.P.I.C. gives us a seamless workflow that works perfectly every day."

In that workflow news writers prepare scripts with ENPS, E.P.I.C. ingests the text and a MOS-activated rundown is sent to +WinPlus Ultra for prompting.

Students have various control options for E.P.I.C. prompting. "We have two hand controllers in two control rooms. This way producers can keep pace - two wireless hand controllers for two studios for producers or reporter stand ups, and two foot pedals, one for talent on the sports set and one for talent on the news set," Silvestri explains.

"About five years ago, with the advent of one-person journalism, we had alumni tell us that talent needed to be able to prompt themselves," he notes. "So we transitioned from having a crew position prompter to having the news and sports anchors prompt themselves. That's most likely what they will encounter when they graduate and move to a small-market station equipped with hand-and-foot controllers.

"E.P.I.C.'s foot pedals are particularly awesome. We've had a lot, and these are by far the best."

Silvestri also gives kudos to E.P.I.C.'s 20-percent savings in power consumption and its class-leading High Bright LED prompting screens. "The talent loves the fact that we can do colors now for different slugs and cues," he adds. The Clock Plus E feature for time of day and Tally Plus feature for live cameras also come in handy, he reports.

An additional attraction of E.P.I.C. is its streamlined good looks with no extra mounting bracket required. "It's a very clean unit," says Silvestri. "It works well and it looks really good. We do studio tours and want to impress the people we show around. This unit is designed to impress."

Although he reports that the E.P.I.C. systems "worked perfectly out of the box," Silvestri gives kudos to Autoscript's customer support. "When I've called with general questions they call me back instantly," he says. "Autoscript really stands behind this product."

Three E.P.I.C.s are meeting the current needs of UTVS but Silvestri envisions expansion possibilities. "Right now we roll the cameras between the two studios, but if we invest in separate cameras for the news and sports studios, I can see us adding two more E.P.I.C.s."

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The Hollywood Post Alliance(r) Announces the 2014 Engineering Excellence Award Call For Entries


(Los Angeles, CA) The Hollywood Post Alliance has announced the 2014 Call for Entries for its Engineering Excellence Award. The Engineering honor showcases inventors, manufacturers, vendors and/or peer post production companies for outstanding product or technology application offerings. Valid offerings may include products or processes, and must represent a step forward for its industry beneficiaries. The HPA Engineering Excellence Award is recognized as one of the most important technology honors in the post production industry.

The Engineering Excellence Award spotlights the companies and individuals who draw upon technical and creative ingenuity and apply it to real world post production demands. Any individual, group of individuals or entity offering a submitted entry to the post production industry at large can submit an entry for the Award. The Engineering Excellence Award will be presented at the 2014 HPA Awards on the evening of November 6, 2014 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Launched in 2006, the HPA Awards have become the standard by which creative and technical excellence in the art, science and craft of post production is measured. The Engineering honors have been considered a crucial part of the HPA Awards from its inception. The 2013 winners were DTS, Inc. for MDA, NVIDIA for NVIDIA GRID(tm) Visual Computing Appliance (VCA), Sony Pictures Imageworks and The Foundry for FLIX, and Telestream for their 16 bit 4:4:4:4 Transcoding Technology.

In addition to the Engineering Excellence Award, the HPA Awards honor the important post production categories of: Outstanding Color Grading, Editing, Sound and Visual Effects for feature film, television and commercials, as well as the HPA(r) Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation in Post Production.

Complete rules, guidelines and entry information are available at: www.hpaawards.net. Submissions for the Engineering Excellence Award will be accepted May 16, 2014 through June 20, 2014. Entrants for the Engineering Excellence Award will be invited to present at a special HPA judging event in early August. For more information about the HPA Awards, visit www.hpaawards.net or call 213.614.0860.

Contact Alicia Rock at 213.614.0860 or write to arock@hpaonline.com for information about sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 HPA Awards show. For more information about the HPA Awards, visit www.hpaawards.net or call 213.614.0860.

# # #

About the Hollywood Post Alliance(r)
Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content.

About the HPA(r) Awards
The HPA Awards were created to foster awareness of post production, promote creative and technical excellence, recognize the achievements of post production talent, and build involvement in the Hollywood Post Alliance.

Media Contact:
ignite strategic communications
p: 818.980.3473
Christine Purse, chris@ignite.bz or
Mimi Rossi, mimi@ignite.bz

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Bexel Takes Univision from Burbank to Brazil for 2014 FIFA World Cup

Company Delivers Complete Broadcast Backbone for Network’s Extensive Coverage from Rio de Janeiro

BURBANK, Calif. - Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group's Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions, is furnishing a complete production environment for Univision's broadcast of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil(tm). Faced with the largest remote production the network has ever undertaken, Univision turned to Bexel to design the system being used in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To ensure that everything will work seamlessly for the month-long summer event, a senior team of engineers, IT experts, and senior executives travelled from Univision's Miami, Fla., headquarters to Burbank, Calif., to collaborate closely on the process with the team from Bexel.

Bexel began having weekly meetings in November of last year with Univision to review floor plans and technical requirements. Intensive workflow meetings were also held with Univision's production, media management and editing teams, so that Bexel could glean from the different stakeholders what their specific needs were. "Univision had an initial concept of what would be needed for this project," noted Johnny Pastor, director of Technical Services for Bexel. "We then provided our expertise and worked with their teams to help the system evolve and get even stronger. We were with them step by step, ready and willing to accommodate any last minute changes along the way."

From the beginning of the project, it was determined that Bexel would build out the studio at their headquarters in Burbank, break it down, crate it using their proprietary inventory and shipping system, transport it to Brazil via boat, and finally rebuild it on-site in Rio de Janeiro. The window of timing for the project was incredibly tight. Once the cases were removed from the ship, they had to clear Brazilian customs. Then there was just two weeks to reassemble the system, followed by two weeks of rehearsal time before live programming begins.

Collaboratively, a plan was developed for Univision to deploy 18 people from Miami to Burbank in the weeks leading up to the ship date. "The plan of testing the system in Burbank together, before it was shipped, allowed for a lot of preconfiguring," explained Pastor. "It let Univision actually simulate a live-production scenario, using one control room, the editing systems, and the EVS. This was not only cost effective, but it will save Univision a great deal of time in Rio. And time was a critical factor in this project.

"Univision's Enterprise IT Group was also with us in Burbank, setting up connectivity back to Miami. They were able to send files back and forth, confirming the system was operational. All they had to do in Brazil was re-establish the communication and the workflows, and the collaborative environment began again."

Bexel sent approximately 15 engineers to Brazil to reassemble the Univision system. Six members of the Bexel technical team are staying on for the entire run of the World Cup to provide 24/7 coverage and support. The Bexel-designed system consists of two large control rooms with Grass Valley 4 M/E Kayenne switchers and Calrec audio consoles. The file-based workflow consists of 11 Avid editing systems, four EVS XT3s for playback and instant replay, and a robust graphics system including augmented reality. Bexel is also providing Sony HDC-2500 cameras complete with a camera stabilization system and jib for their studio at the IBC.

Univision, which holds the Spanish-language broadcast rights for the event in the U.S. market, plans extensive coverage from Rio de Janeiro in addition to the actual World Cup matches. Univision Sports built a set from which they'll broadcast pre- and post-game coverage, and Univision Entertainment will be broadcasting its morning show, Despierta América, from Copacabana Beach as well as a show for Televisa Deportes from the rooftop of the Atlantico Sul Hotel. In addition, Univision will use two of their flypack systems to shadow Team Mexico and Team USA. The Bexel setup will serve as the hub supporting all of these activities. From the remote setups, everything will come back through the Bexel backbone and then go out to Miami via a fiber uplink and satellite. From there it will be broadcast from Univision master control.

"We wanted to design a production environment for Univision that will have the flexibility to deliver everything they need, yet still have easily recognizable equipment, so their staff can walk in and know exactly what to do and how to use the systems," concluded Pastor. "We relied on our many years of live broadcast experience for large events to deliver the systems necessary for this project. We have really enjoyed working with the team from Univision, and it was an honor to have them out here working with us on site."

In addition to Bexel's work with Univision, Vitec brands supporting various other 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil broadcasts, include Anton/Bauer batteries and chargers, artemis camera stabilization systems and operators, Autoscript teleprompters, Litepanel's LED lights, Sachtler V18 and V20 fluid heads, Vinten Osprey pedestals, Vinten Vector 75 and 750 pan-and-tilt heads, and a Vinten Radamec remote pan and tilt head.

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The Hollywood Post Alliance(r) Announces the Call For Entries for The Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation

(Los Angeles, CA) The Hollywood Post Alliance(r) has opened its Call for Entries for the HPA(r) Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation in Post Production. This award was conceived to recognize companies and individuals who have demonstrated excellence in post production, whether in creative storytelling and/or technical innovation, and is judged by a jury of peers and industry experts. The Creativity and Innovation honors have consistently attracted the most thoughtful and forward thinking companies and individuals in the industry.

Submissions for the Creativity and Innovation Award can include content such as a unique movie, TV program or commercial; a workflow, proprietary technical development, hardware or software toolset, or a creative approach that is not eligible for consideration in other HPA Awards categories.

In addition to the Creativity and Innovation Award, the HPA Awards honor important post production categories including: Outstanding Color Grading, Editing, Sound and Visual Effects for feature film, television and commercials, as well as the coveted Engineering Excellence Award.

The submission period for the Creativity and Innovation Award is May 16, 2014 through June 20, 2014. Judging is set for early August. Winners of the Creativity and Innovation Award will be announced on November 6, 2014 during the 9th Annual HPA Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, CA.

Complete rules, guidelines and entry information is available at: www.hpaawards.net.

Contact Alicia Rock at 213.614.0860 or write to arock@hpaonline.com for information about sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 HPA Awards show. For more information about the HPA Awards, visit www.hpaawards.net or call 213.614.0860.

# # #

About the Hollywood Post Alliance(r)
Hollywood Post Alliance (HPA) serves the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide expertise, support, tools and the infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television, commercials, digital media and other dynamic media content.

About the HPA(r) Awards
The HPA Awards were created to foster awareness of post production, promote creative and technical excellence, recognize the achievements of post production talent, and build involvement in the Hollywood Post Alliance.

Media Contact:
ignite strategic communications
p: 818.980.3473
Christine Purse, chris@ignite.bz or
Mimi Rossi, mimi@ignite.bz

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Litepanels Introduces ASTRA 1×1 Bi-Color Fixture

Company Raises the Bar with Next Generation LED Panel Series

(CHATSWORTH, Calif.) – Litepanels®, a Vitec Group brand and premier provider of LED lighting for the broadcast and production industries, has announced the release of its new ASTRA 1×1 Bi-Color panel. Building on the legacy of the company’s original 1×1 fixture, which revolutionized the lighting industry, the ASTRA 1×1 sets a new standard for the form and function of professional LED panels. Following the Litepanels tradition of a one square foot form factor, the ASTRA 1×1 Bi-Color offers a light output that is up to four times brighter than the company’s traditional 1×1 Bi-Color fixture, high CRI (Color Rendering Index), and user selectable active or passive cooling modes.

The innovative daylight to tungsten tunable color model is the first in the company’s new ASTRA line of panels, with additional fixtures in the series set to debut later this year. While the original Litepanels’ 1×1 series was often imitated by competitors, its quality and performance has never been duplicated. In keeping with that tradition of excellence, the development of the next generation ASTRA product line was years in the making and every design element was meticulously crafted.

“The original Litepanels 1×1 has been used on thousands of sets and shoots worldwide since hitting the marketplace,” noted Chris Marchitelli, Vice President of Marketing for Litepanels. “We’ve always known that our next generation panel would need to push the performance envelope, so we approached our new ASTRA line very thoughtfully. We took our time, drew from our wealth of experience building professional LED fixtures, and accessed the wonderful feedback we’ve gotten from our loyal customers. The time, effort, research and development we put into the ASTRA series has produced an LED panel that is truly astounding, yet highly affordable. When you put your hands on this light, you’ll see that we exceeded our own expectations.”

The ASTRA 1×1 Bi-Color panels are designed with select premium quality surface mount LEDs that are paired with custom designed TIR (total internal reflection) optics. The fixtures offer a tunable Bi-Color output, allowing users to adjust color from daylight to tungsten as needed. The high CRI LEDs have also been formulated to consistently deliver accurate color temperatures and visually pleasing color reproduction. Tightly binned LEDs and fine-tuned optics provide the new ASTRA 1×1 with higher intensity, a longer throw, and a wider effective beam spread than the company’s original 1×1 fixture. This allows the panel to compete with strong exterior light sources or illuminate a large area effectively with a single fixture.

Proper thermal management is the key to maintaining the long life and color accuracy of LED fixtures. To meet these demands, Litepanels’ ASTRA 1×1 offers both passive and active cooling modes. The passive cooling mode provides a completely silent operation, while the active cooling mode enables an ultra-quiet fan module and double light output. An internal microprocessor monitors the temperature, minimizes fan speed, delivers smooth dimming from 100 percent to zero with no noticeable color shift, and ensures a completely flicker-free performance at any frame rate or shutter angle. With the addition of an optional communications module, the brightness, color temperature and cooling mode of the fixtures are all controllable via DMX512 protocol.

Redefining the look of LED panels, the ASTRA series employs a modern, modular design. The modular-based ASTRA system currently includes a field replaceable fan module and the optional RJ45 DMX module with an LCD menu and function display. Additional wired and wireless communication modules are currently in development and will continue to be introduced to future proof the fixtures as new technologies become available. The unit’s manual controls are ergonomically designed for ease of use in the field, ensuring ready identification of dimming controls, color controls, and power status.

The new panels are produced with aluminum I-beam core construction to provide maximum durability and superior thermal management, and also feature strong, integrated aluminum accessory mounting points and lens/filter rails. The high impact, durable resin end caps feature downward angled exhaust vents carefully designed to direct air flow away from the fixture, minimizing obstructions and helping to prevent foreign materials from entering the panel.

“The ASTRA line is a very exciting addition to the Litepanels family of products,” commented Marchitelli. “We are always striving to set new standards and deliver the best in LED technology to our customers. We’ve done that with the ASTRA 1×1, which is likely the most versatile LED panel ever built. It’s both sturdy and lightweight, flexible and strong, and provides a higher output and better color than has ever been seen before. We’re especially pleased to be introducing this product at the Cine Gear Expo, as Los Angeles is where Litepanels got its start.”

The ASTRA 1×1′s extensive list of features continues in the curved yoke design with a wide tilt range, dual integrated cable guides, and a combination yoke mounted power supply with a 3-pin XLR locking power connector and optional Gold Mount(r) or V-Mount battery plates. The yoke also features a removable TVMP connector and additional 1/4-20 mounting points.

The ASTRA 1×1 Bi-Color panel will be available worldwide in the summer of 2014. For more information, visit Litepanels at www.litepanels.com or follow us on Facebook.

# # #

About Litepanels
Litepanels, a Vitec Group brand, was founded in 2001 by five professional gaffers and engineers who saw the future and pioneered LED (light emitting diode) lighting for motion pictures, television, and the audio-visual industry. Their Emmy(r) award-winning technology has now been used on thousands of productions worldwide and is trusted by the world’s leading broadcast organizations. Litepanels continues to expand its suite of flicker-free, color accurate, fully-dimmable soft lights that talent and lighting directors admire. These environmentally friendly fixtures can pay for themselves with power savings and long life, setting a new standard in professional lighting. More information can be found at www.Litepanels.com

About the Vitec Group
Capture the moment(tm)

For over 100 years, through every innovation in photography, film and digital image-making, Vitec businesses have developed a powerful portfolio of brand and products that have enabled some of the most amazing moments to be captured under some of the most challenging conditions. Vitec is an international Group principally serving customers in the broadcast photographic and military aerospace and government (MAG) markets. Vitec is based on strong, well-known premium brands on which its customers worldwide rely. Vitec is organized in three divisions: Videocom, Imaging and Services. Videocom designs and distributes systems and products used in broadcasting and live entertainment, film and video production and MAG. Imaging designs, manufactures and distributes equipment and accessories for photography, video and events. Services provides equipment rental, workflow design and technical support for camera, video, audio, fiber optic and wireless technology used by TV production and film crews. More information can be found at www.vitecgroup.com.

Media Contacts:
ignite strategic communications
818.980.3473
Chris Purse: Chris@ignite.bz
Sally Christgau: sally@ignite.bz

Sergio Castillo Joins Bexel Team

Industry Veteran will be based in Mexico City

BURBANK - Bexel, a unit of the Vitec Group's Services Division and a leading worldwide provider of broadcast services and solutions, has hired Sergio Castillo as a strategic account manager of the Latin America region. The new addition to the team reflects the company's growing imprint in Latin America's broadcast industry.

Castillo, who will be based in Mexico City, brings 30 years of broadcast industry experience to his new role at Bexel.

"We are proud to add Sergio to our expanding roster," says Bexel Vice President of Global Sales Greg Bragg. "As we develop more opportunities and expand relationships with partners in the Latin America region, having someone with Sergio's knowledge and experience not only will serve us well, but also our customers."

Castillo began his career at JVC Professional in Los Angeles. After 10 years, he joined Avid and relocated to Argentina to work as a field sales engineer, later moving to Mexico City where he held senior roles such as regional sales manager and strategic account manager. Most recently, he served as regional sales manager for Quantum, where he developed business throughout the Latin America region.

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