Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sony plans Blu-ray disk burning for consumer movie software

This summer, Sony expects to release a new edition of Vegas Movie Studio which will add high-def output capability, enabling users to burn their homemade digital videos directly on to Blu-ray disks for the first time.

NEW YORK CITY (BetaNews) - Prior to the upcoming shipment of Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition, Sony's Vegas Movie Studio has allowed users to import video. "But it did not have any output capabilities for burning in any format," acknowledged a Sony spokesperson, speaking with BetaNews at Pepcom's annual "Digital Experience" press event where the product was announced last night.

In addition to Platinum Edition, to be priced at $99.95, Sony also unveiled Vegas Movie Studio Platinum Pro Pack -- a new package for professional video production -- to be sold for $129.95, and the more entry-level Vegas Movie Studio 9, priced at $69.95.

The Platinum Edition of the consumer software will be "optimized for high-def from start to finish," according to the Sony spokesperson. The software will also be designed for native import from Sony, Canon, and Panasonic AVCHD camcorders, including camcorders supporting Sony's new AVCHD 1920 HD format.

In addition, the product will include MPEG-2 smart rendering format and audio compression for Sony Walkman and Apple iPod.

Vegas Movie Studio 9 and the Platinum Edition will come with new import and export "project wizards," too -- for making it easier to output movies in various formats -- plus a "click to share" feature for quick direct output to an e-mail attachment or direct publishing to YouTube, for instance.

Sony also expects to bundle in Cinescore Studio software for creating musical themes from soundtracks that are free of "copyright issues," BetaNews was told.

Sony's new Pro Pack software, on the other hand, will offer applications for audio mastering, video transitions, and special effects, including Sound Forge Audio Studio, 1001 Sound Effects, NewBlue 3D Transitions and Effects, and additional Cinescore themes. For a limited time, Sony also plans to package in a 2 GB Sony Microvault USB flash drive.

All three products are slated for availability in August in North America, with localized editions for the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Japan to follow this fall.

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