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Discovery HD “Shark Week” returns

Scaring swimmers and fascinating viewers for over a decade, Discovery Channel’s favourite summer theme week returns! Discovery Channel’s 12th annual Shark Week – airing Sun., July 29 to Fri., Aug 3 – offers six days of fascinating facts about sharks and the latest in shark behaviour, survivor stories and stunning underwater cinematography. And for wider jaws and even sharper teeth, dare to experience Shark Week in High Definition on Discovery HD! Discovery HD offers its own Shark Week lineup, Mon., July 30 to Fri., Aug. 3

Discovery Channel’s full Shark Week 2007 lineup follows:

“MythBusters: Jaws Special”

Sun., July 29 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (Encore Presentation)

Will punching a shark deter it? Can you use sharkskin as sandpaper? Are sharks really scared of their own image? Hosted by the mad scientists of “MythBusters,” Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, this two-hour special sees the myth-busting duo planning, building and conducting experiments – with the help of respected shark experts – designed to determine the truth behind the public’s “accepted wisdom” about sharks.

“Ocean of Fear: Worst Shark Attack Ever”

Sun., July 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT (Discovery Channel Premiere – repeats Wed., Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT)

During the Second World War, the USS Indianapolis was struck by a torpedo which sunk the massive ship. In just 12 minutes, some 900 of the 1,200 crew were forced into the sea. Wounded and thirsty, the crew would endure the blazing heat of day and the frigid temperatures of night adrift in the Pacific. Many succumbed to exposure, but in the end, sharks claimed the lives of over 600 men.

"Maneating Sharks: The Truth”

Mon., July 30 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT (Discovery Channel Premiere)

Are sharks really pack hunters like lions or wolves? Are they acquiring a taste for human flesh? Are attacks on the rise? In this one-hour special, discover the truth about so called man-eating sharks.

“Shark Family”

Tues., July 31 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT (Discovery Channel Premiere)

This special follows three generations of the Ferreira family as they travel from their home in Cape Town and pitch camp on rugged Dyer Island – surrounded by Great Whites. Here, shark explorer Craig Ferreira puts his family through its paces with a series of shark experiments and personal challenges. Craig is joined by his father, Theo; his wife, Jytte; and their three sons, Storm, Cruise and Wilder – an untamed trio who love nothing better than exploring the natural world around them.

“Bull Shark: World’s Deadliest Shark”

Thurs., Aug 2 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT (Encore Presentation)

The bull shark, at 2.5 metres of brawn and muscle, is one of the most aggressive animals on Earth. This one-hour special follows zoologist Nigel Marven on a journey across the globe to learn more about these incredible predators. Starting in the Bahamas, Marven meets shark scientist Erich Ritter waist-deep bull shark-infested waters. Ritter has stood among the sharks hundreds of times before, but on this day he is attacked and bitten on the leg as Marven stands next to him. Marvin sets out to investigate the bulls in the U.S., Australia, Cuba and finally back in Florida where he shares his research with his recovering colleague Ritter.

“I Shouldn’t Be Alive: Shark Survivor”

Fri., Aug 3 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT (Encore Presentation)

This special shark-themed episode of “I Shouldn’t Be Alive,” grapples with a horrifying moral dilemma: Would you leave a crewmember to die to save yourself? A five-member crew – most of them strangers – set sail from Maine to deliver a luxury yacht in Florida. When a violent storm hits the expedition, the crew must take refuge in a life raft. Set adrift, bickering, injured and with no food or water, their ordeal is made even worse by the sharks, including Great Whites, who continue to circle their raft… Who among the five will survive, and who among them is the strongest to make fateful choices?

And for a lineup with even more bite, Discovery HD’s full Shark Week 2007 programming is as follows:

“Great White Shark: Uncaged”

Mon., July 30 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT (Encore Presentation)

In the world’s most shark-infested waters, an extreme team of divers attempts to swim with and photograph massive great white sharks without the protection of a cage. Marooned together for nine days off a remote island in Mexico, the divers must band together if they are to survive an open-water encounter with the great white. Led by Andre Hartman, a diver who admits he’s scared to death of the sharks; John McKenney, a cameraman who worries he may not return to his family; and Cat Gennaro, a feisty ex-model turned diver who won’t admit fear; the divers take turns in the water with up to six great white sharks at a time! This is shark programming as you’ve never seen, with no safety nets, no cages and real danger.

“The Blue Realm: Shark Business”

Tues., July 31 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT (Encore Presentation)

From South Africa to the Pacific coast of Canada, sharks are big business in a new “adrenaline” eco-tourism industry. This story explores many of the myths surrounding dangerous sharks and reveals how scuba divers have become unlikely allies in efforts to conserve the animals. “The Blue Realm: Shark Business” explores the opportunities and consequences of “shark tourism,” meets the advocates and conservationists that are working to preserve one of the oceans’ oldest species. This special also chronicles exciting new research into some of the sea’s most fascinating and maligned creatures – with some species in serious decline. Ancient and vital predators, sharks serve a crucial role in the ocean realm – and scuba divers have become an integral voice in efforts to conserve many of these endangered species.

“Catching a Killer: The Mystery of Sable Island”

Wed., Aug 1 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT (Encore Presentation)

Like every good mystery, this story starts with a body. In this case, hundreds of mutilated bodies washed up on the sandy shores of Sable Island, a tiny spit of land in the North Atlantic. A mysterious killer is lurking in the steely waters off the east coast of Canada. The corpses belong to grey seals, which gather by the thousands on the shores of Sable Island twice a year. The seals bear bizarre spiral wounds which have led to one theory that one of the most elusive of all sharks is responsible – the Greenland shark. With the help of scientists from the Canadian Shark Research Laboratory and the Apex Predator Program in the United States, “Catching A Killer: The Mystery Of Sable Island” tries to solve the puzzle of the dead seals once and for all. But it won’t be easy.

“Crocodile Hunter 5: Whale Sharks of the Wild West”

Thurs., Aug 2 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT (Discovery HD premiere)

Steve Irwin, his wife Terri and daughter Bindi set out on a luxury cruiser – to navigate the rugged coast of Western Australia. At the very start of their journey, the Irwin family has the unbelievable experience of swimming in the ocean with a wild pod of dolphins, as well as seals and sharks. Steve ventures ashore on an island known to be covered with venomous black tiger snakes. As their voyage continues, Steve dives on the ancient wreck of the Batavia and explores the island where her mutinous crew callously murdered their fellow sailors. After investigating the eerie weathered ruins of an old whaling station, Steve has the ultimate experience of swimming with the largest fish in the world – the whale shark.

“Sharks Under Glass”

Fri., Aug 3 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT (Discovery HD premiere)

Explore the latest shark programs at aquariums across the country. From the Shark Bay exhibit in Tampa, Florida, to the great white shark exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, research is yielding exciting information about these fearsome predators.

HD DVD supporters tout new features

NEW YORK (AP) _ HD DVD has recently faced some head wind in its struggle to become the high-definition successor to the DVD, but its supporters are playing an ace from their sleeve with the arrival of the first discs that take advantage of its players’ built-in Internet connections.

The first Internet-enabled disc _ a Japanese animated feature titled "Freedom" _ was released Tuesday. Buyers who connect their HD DVD player to a broadband Internet line will be able to download a high-definition trailer for another movie, change menu styles and download additional subtitles.

Those relatively modest Internet-dependent features will be beefed up in soon-to-be-released discs like the martial epic "300," due at the end of July but demonstrated Friday by Kevin Collins, Microsoft Corp.’s "director of HD DVD evangelism."

The HD DVD version of "300" will allow users to re-edit the movie, selecting and ordering the scenes as they see fit, and upload their edit to a server hosted by the studio, Warner Bros. The edit will be accessible to other users, who can download it to their players and see the movie in its new form.

"300" will be available on the competing Blu-ray high-definition disc as well, but will lack the re-editing feature and a few other extras like a strategy game, Collins said, because not all Blu-ray players can connect to the Internet.

"Blood Diamond," out July 3 on HD DVD, will allow watchers to participate in online polls after watching. The movie is already available on Blu-ray.

Blu-ray, championed by Sony Corp., scored a major win two weeks ago when Blockbuster Inc. said it would not stock HD DVDs when it expands its high-definition offerings to 1,450 stores next month.

Blu-ray has stronger backing from Hollywood. The Walt Disney Co., News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures release Blu-ray discs but not HD DVDs, while General Electric Co.’s Universal Studios is the only major studio that releases high-definition movies exclusively on HD DVD. Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. and Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures are releasing movies in both formats.

Collins downplayed the significance of Blockbuster’s choice. He said Blu-ray appears to have stronger momentum now because owners of Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console are buying Blu-ray movies because there aren’t enough games out for the device. The focus of buyers will switch back to games when more become available, he said.

"We’ve sold more players, which is what studios are really looking at," Collins said.

Toshiba Corp. had a 70 per cent market share in high-definition players in April and May, according to NPD. The 30 per cent market share of Blu-ray players does not include PS3s.

Toshiba’s market share has come as a result of price-cutting _ its cheapest player, the HD-A2, has been selling for $299 after an "instant rebate." On Friday, Toshiba made that rebate permanent, as of July 1.

Collins said Toshiba has sold more than 150,000 players in the U.S., of which 50,000 were sold after the rebate came into effect.

Sony has responded to Toshiba’s rebates with a surprise price cut on the player it launched in early June. The BDP-S300 has a list price of $499, $100 less than the company had initially announced for the device.

Image Pacific Broadcast Rentals to release their High Definition AiAirpack July,

After months of planning and discussion, Image Pacific Broadcast Rentals (IPBR) and Image Central Broadcast Rentals (ICBR) announced that their much anticipated 4 Camera High Definition Airpack will be ready to fly July, 2007.

Tony Lewis, Manager, Systems Integration Group, Broadcast & Communication Solutions Group, Sony of Canada is overseeing project Engineering. IPBR and ICBR could not think of a better engineer for the task. To have Sony of Canada build this first class HD airpack means clients will have a professionally built system that is tested and certified by Sony of Canada.

National Operations Manager, Dale Rechner is extremely enthusiastic with the new acquisition.

“We looked at a lot of different options but decided on the Sony HDC-1550 Multi-format HD camera with the triax option as the camera of choice for our discerning clients. Fujinon HD glass was also a must. The FOR-A HANABI HVS-1000 switcher was the obvious choice due to its size and power. We will also be running 4 x Sony HDW-1800 VTRs and we can offer the option of a 4 Channel EVS XT HD Broadcast Server.” stated Mr. Rechner.

“We have the Winter Olympics in our corporate hometown of Vancouver, in 2010 and we are gearing up for those events by investing in new High Def technologies now. Our plans are for another 4 Camera High Definition Airpack in 2008 and a full HD Production Mobile in 2009. We want to be able to offer our clients in Toronto, and elsewhere in Canada top notch HD facilities and to our visitors to Canada in 2010, HD facilities that are second to none.” Dale added. 

Roger Williams, owner and president of the Image Pacific Group of Companies, has been dreaming in High Definition long before he bought his first Sony HDWF900 in 2004. “We have the hardware and the service to back our clients. Its one thing to be able to rent equipment from a rental company but it is another thing to have exceptional customer service as part of the package. It is that client dedication, quality equipment and loyalty that we excel at; states Mr. Williams.

Maxell Showcases Broadcast Products at NAB 2007

LAS VEGAS, NAB Booth: C7736 – Maxell Corporation of America’s Professional Media Products Division is showcasing its family of broadcast products at this year’s 2007 NAB show including one of its latest innovations, iVDR, a secure removable hard disk that improves the efficiency in the total work flow from material gatherings, to editing, transmitting and storing video content while eliminating the time it takes to convert content from tapes to hard disk drives.

Maxell’s broadcast line-up on display in addition to iVDR includes HDCAM, D-5, DVCPROHD-126XL, DVPRO-HDV, LTO 3, Super DLTape II and DLTS-4. This selection of performance media offers durable, high-quality recording and archival capabilities that meet a full range of professional requirements for High-Definition (HD) production and broadcast.

Maxell’s iVDR demonstration at NAB will feature the editing of HD materials with Final Cut PRO on a MacBook Pro to showcase how iVDR can be used as a primary as well as complimentary recording medium in the professional video creation process. The Maxell iVDR secure removable hard disk drive is highly portable, yet capable of recording and protecting copyright High Definition (HD) content from illegal duplication.

The new Maxell iVDR removable hard disk drive is available with storage capacity of 160 GB. The iVDR product is positioned as a non-linear recording medium that makes editing very efficient across a broad range of broadcast applications including servers, video recorders and computers.

"Maxell’s line-up of broadcast products including iVDR is one of the most comprehensive in the industry that allows our customers to record, store and archive the highest quality HD images," said Tony Petruzziello, director of sales for Maxell’s Professional Media Products Division. "Our most recent innovations have set the stage to meet capacity needs as digital content continues to flourish."

Maxell professional broadcast products for HD recording, storage and archival include:

Maxell HDCAM

HDCAM videocassettes utilize Maxell’s superior ultra-high-performance binder systems to achieve exceptional durability, essential to resilience in the volatile environments of ENG/EFP recordings. The binder systems also help Maxell HDCAM exceed the compulsory storage performance demands of long-term archiving. The 1/2" metal particle tape cassette incorporates super-fine Ceramic Armor Metal particles (0.1 micron size) to achieve an exceptional output level and to surpass the low noise requirements of HDCAM’s 7-to-1 compression algorithm. Maxell HDCAM videocassettes feature a recording density 1.4 times greater than Digital BETACAM for superior digital and video archiving performance.

The small cassette lineup of HDCAM includes 6, 12, 22, 32, and 40 minute cassettes, while the large cassette lineup includes tapes that run 64, 94 and 124 minutes.

Maxell D-5

Featuring superior magnetic qualities, improved signal-to-noise and a long life, Maxell’s D-5 series is a multi-purpose format equipped to handle standard, wide and high-definition television configurations, enabling it to meet the diverse requirements of the modern television system. Maxell has developed D-5 videocassette products using its 0.1 um diameter ultra-fine Ceramic Armor Metal particles and advanced tape technologies, which results in exceptional performance, ideal head-to-tape contact and superior durability.


Maxell’s DVCPRO HD videocassettes were designed to meet the harsh demands of the HD television environment. By adopting Ceramic Armor Metal particles and implementing a durable binder system, Maxell has improved the intensity of the 6.35 mm HD tape’s magnetic layer, creating a reliable medium for ENG/EFP recording and extended archiving.

The videocassette’s calendering technology process serves to ensure the highest quality preservation for both image and sound, which results in high levels of output, low noise and low error rate levels due to excellent C/N. DVCPRO HD videocassettes have a compact cassette shell for greater mobility, and exhibit coercivity of 2350 Oe and retentivity of 3800 BR. Cassettes are available in 126 minute lengths.


Maxell’s DVPRO/HDV is a high-definition digital videocassette which realizes 720p recording and playback of high- definition video on a 1/4" inch 6.35 mm cassette tape. As the world’s smallest digital videocassette, this improved videocassette is for use in HDV and DV systems, and employs a new robust lubricant and a diamond-like carbon (DLC) film providing superior image quality and outstanding performance across a wide variety of applications. Its rugged durability stands up to repeated rewinding, fast-forwarding and playback of professional editing, which results in improved short wavelength output, decreased noise and minimized spacing loss with the video head.

DVPRO/HDV is ideally suited to videographers, low-budget filmmakers, and corporate and institutional productions. The 63-minute cassette is specifically designed for HD and for use in cameras that call for a Mini DV HDV cassette. DVPRO/HDV is also available in 96 and 186 minute lengths.

Maxell LTO 3, Super DLTape™ II and DLT-S4

Maxell’s data media utilizes the innovative Neo Smart Maximum capacity Advanced Reliability Tape technology platform. NeoSMART™ is a convergence of advanced tape and manufacturing technologies, producing the highest reliability in recording and data recovery demanded by LTO 3, Super DLTape II and DLT-S4 customers. The improved magnetic particles, new coating and dispersion technologies, advanced cartridge shell design, and the other components of the NeoSMART platform are designed to support future tape cartridge capacities in excess of one Terabyte. These products come with Maxell’s patented corrosion-resistant Ceramic Armor Metal particles that provide superior data life and an ultra-thin coating that eliminates magnetic interference, while increasing signal clarity.

The LTO 3, Super DLTape II and DLT-S4 are ideal for data interchange, network server back-up, archiving, and library automation. The capacity of these Maxell media products are 800 GB, 600 GB and 1.6 TB respectively.

Alliance launches HD channels

TORONTO, Oct. 11 /CNW/ – The unparalleled imagery of National Geographic Channel and the leading-edge drama of Showcase are about to get even better for viewers with the introduction of High-Definition television (HDTV)services – National Geographic Channel HD and Showcase HD. The HDTV services, the first from Alliance Atlantis Communications, will be available to the public on December 19, 2006, the company announced today.

"The time is right to bring these two leading networks to the High-Definition screen," says Norm Bolen, Alliance Atlantis’ Executive Vice-President of Content. "Canadians are quickly embracing the HDTV format and demanding the best quality content to fill it.

National Geographic is a brand that built its reputation on the finest quality images anywhere – NGC HD will expand that promise to television. Showcase features world-class,leading-edge dramatic offerings from Canada and around the world, and now Showcase HD will take that drama to a new level."

National Geographic Channel HD will launch featuring such viewer favourites as Seconds From Disaster, Megastructures, and Dog Whisperer, plus Mysteries of the Tornado and Hollywood Science. Showcase Television’s HD lineup will include CSI and CSI:Miami, along with Rescue Me, Weeds, The L-Word, Dead Like Me, plus a brand-new series, Rent-a-Goalie. National Geographic Channel provides Canadian television viewers access to the best and most spectacular of National Geographic’s world-renowned visual imagery, from nature’s wildest moments to the wonders of science and technology.

Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting Inc. has a controlling interest in National Geographic Channel Canada in partnership with NGC Network International LLC. For more information, please visit www.nationalgeographic.ca

Showcase – Television Without Borders – is the home of premium boundary-pushing series from Canada and around the world. For more information, please visit www.Showcase.ca.

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