Inside Move: Tech biz losing to win

Companies giving money away to get into digital post

Those awaiting the convergence of the entertainment industry and digital technology often look for signs that Hollywood is going tech-crazy, but perhaps the real sign is that the some of the biggest tech companies are going Hollywood-crazy.

Indeed, this year’s National Assn. of Broadcasters confab found digital post-production so hot that tech companies seem more than willing to lose money to stake a space in the category.

At NAB, tech giant HP revealed a big push into the Hollywood post space via partnerships with Warner Bros. and DreamWorks. Company hopes the technology that comes out of its work restoring old films for WB and providing rendering and enhanced conferencing services for DreamWorks will create marketable products it can take to the rest of Hollywood.

Apple, meanwhile, is pricing its new graphics program Motion so low, at $299, and offering its new HD version of Final Cut as a free upgrade, that even if it convinces broadcasters, production companies and others to sign on, there’s not much money to be made upfront. But just as it subsidizes Macs on college campuses to foster lifetime users, Apple wants to distribute its product so broadly among young creatives that their usage becomes near universal.

Sony also is active in the space, releasing upgrades to the digital editing products it acquired from Sonic Foundry last year priced at under $1,000.

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