Sony Creative Software Acquisition Of Netblender Boosts Blu-Ray Authoring
COW Library : DVD Authoring : Debra Kaufman : Sony Creative Software Acquisition Of Netblender Boosts Blu-Ray Authoring
Sony Creative Software recently announced the acquisition of NetBlender, which offers the DoStudio product line of Blu-ray Disc creation tools. With this purchase, Sony Creative Software now offers three solutions for Blu-ray Disc authoring, including its existing products DVD Architect and Blu-print. The DoStudio product line is aimed at post-production facilities, news organizations, educational institutions, corporate training facilities, cable TV outlets, Hollywood studios and independent film productions.
Blu-print is priced in the vicinity of $50,000 and the DoStudio product line begins as $2,995 and goes up to $19,985 for the 3D production bundle, which includes Pro Vegas 11, Z Depth and other tools in addition to Blu-ray Disc authoring tools.
Sony Creative Software Manager of Software Engineering Rob Aubey notes that Netblender DoStudio provides two important "pieces of the Blu-ray authoring puzzle" that are missing in DVD Architect. "One is the ability to produce cutting master files of the Blu-ray project for replication," he says. "Replication is significantly different than duplication. With DVD Architect, you can burn a Blu-ray Disc to play in a Blu-ray player; that's home burning or duplication. What you cannot do is create a cutting master file so you can go to a replication facility to create a glass master for 1,000 or 100,000 Discs."
Blu-print, of course, provides this high-level feature for Blu-ray replication. "By providing DoStudio to our customer base, we can provide that much needed feature at a price point that is much more economical than Blu-print," says Aubey.
Netblender's DoStudio product line also provides a list of more fully featured authoring tools ordinarily found only in a high-level professional product such as Blu-print. "DoStudio provides features like Java menu design, pop-up vide over the main feature title, the ability to have secondary audio or secondary video available," says Aubey. "Some of these special features not available at the lower-end consumer level but available on that high professional level are found in the DoStudio line at a middle tier price point."
The Netblender DoStudio line of products is self-contained in the way it provides navigational design capabilities, says Aubey. "There's a lot of flexibility but there isn't the full-on scripting ability available in Blu-print," he says. "Blu-print also offers quite a bit of multi-layer seamless interactive multi-story branching capability not available in the DoStudio application. It's a fairly technical set of differences - but major to Hollywood studios, which is why Blu-print is the tool of choice for these customers."
DoStudio Authoring Edition 2.3 playlist. Please click on image above for larger view.
By offering more professional, flexible features than DVD Architect, however, Netblender DoStudio finds its sweet spot with middle-tier customers. "Anyone who doesn't have the capital to hire a production facility that might have Blu-print as their DVD authoring tool but who needs to get out a Blu-ray Disc is the target for DoStudio," says Aubey.
The acquisition of the Netblender Blu-ray authoring tools both reinforces Sony's commitment to the Blu-ray Disc format and opens up new markets for its expanded product line. Among the many potential customers for the DoStudio product line are smaller production companies and European companies who license U.S. movies to release into the local market. "Now we can reach a wider market and support the format in a greater way," says Aubey, who notes that ESPN, Discovery Channel and OWN are among the larger cable TV networks that use DoStudio. "We want to provide tools to get the format into peoples' hands - and to get [packaged] HD video into peoples' homes in the best and only way."
Bryant notes that Blu-ray penetration has reached 25 percent in the U.S. "We see optical media still dominating the movie-watching household," he says. "We want to help those production companies trying to tap into that market."
Sony Creative Software now controls the still-active Netblender site; the transition of the website to Sony Creative Software will take place at the beginning of 2012. The re-branding of the product line however, is a few months away.
The acquisition of Netblender and its mid-tier Blu-ray authoring tool set was a savvy strategic move by Sony Creative Software. Not only is it a win for Sony's championing of the Blu-ray Disc format, but a chance to reach a crucial mid-tier market, increasing sales and, with that, market share for the format.