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Adobe’s Visual Communicator 3 Integrates with Flash Media Server
New version of Serious Magic’s flagship product adds multicamera preview and seamless Flash Video output at a reduced price.
Mon., June 25, by Tim Siglin

The first time I saw Serious Magic’s booth at a National Association of Broadcasters show several years ago, I was immediately taken with the Visual Communicator product. The product looks, in some ways, like a standard teleprompter; but its true power lies in the ability to rapidly create a complex newscast using a series of icons on a vertical timeline. The icons allowed for transitions from a live camera shot to pre-recorded content, then bundled the output into a single file.

When Adobe bought Serious Magic last year, speculation was that the company would focus only on Ultra—Serious Magic’s industrial strength keying and virtual set software—and jettison the other products such as DV Rack and Visual Communicator.

Fortunately, Adobe has done nothing of the sort and today introduced a beta of Visual Communicator 3. Adding to the easy-to-use timeline and icons, Visual Communicator 3 provides an additional set of features at a reduced price: rather than the three versions that were previously available at prices that ranged up to $800, Visual Communicator 3 now takes the upper-end features of the most expensive previous version and delivers them at $399.

Enhancements include multiple cameras and Flash integration. Similar to a professional television studio, users can preview up to three cameras at once while recording or presenting live with the mini-switcher feature to create interview-style videos in real time.

The integration of Flash Video capabilities allows users to create presentations that can either be recorded for later streaming or can be streamed live in the FLV format using Flash Media Server software as the newscast is being recorded.