With the aim of putting making Blu-ray accessible for smaller studios, Sony Creative Software has released the BAE-VX1000 encoder for disc authoring. $55,000 buys a system capable of analyzing a film automatically and offering multiple bit rate versions to be compared later, or frame by frame encoding. The finished product comes out in either h.264 or MPEG-2 form (what, no VC-1?) and it works on varying setups from one to many PCs or servers depending on what a studio can afford. Of course, it's the perfect match for Sony's Blu-print
software (now up to version 4.3) or other authoring applications, we'll wait for prices to get a bit more affordable before cranking out the next Behind the Scenes at CES
boxed set, but for the pros it might be worth it to get the same tools Sony Pictures uses.