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Hitachi Camera has Built-in Editing Feature

Hitachi Camera has Built-in Editing Feature

Hitachi VM-H835LA Hi8 CamcorderVideonics Personal TitlemakerJVC HR-S9400U S-VHS Editing VCRHewlett Packard SureStore 7100 CD-Writer PlusMedea VideoRaid EIDE Disk Array

This month:


Built-in Editing from Hitachi


VM-H835LA Hi8 Camcorder
($999)
Hitachi Home America
3890 Steve Reynolds Blvd.
Norcross, GA 30093
(770) 279-5600
http://www.hitachi.com

Tech Specs

One of the more promising recent developments in camcorder design is the built-in editor--a feature that allows you to select, right in the camera, the exact footage you want to copy to your home VCR. With their latest top-of-the-line Hi8 camcorder, the VM-H835LA, Hitachi has taken a step in this direction, offering a simple way (via optional remote control) to copy up to four selected scenes from the camcorder to any home VCR with infrared control. When you combine this feature with a built-in 3-inch LCD monitor and the ability to record high-quality picture and sound, you'll find that the VM-H835LA is a pretty good choice for home videographers who want to shoot good video and perform simple edits on a budget.

Sleek Lines
Styling of the VM-H835LA is very sleek and handsome. Though it isn't very compact by today's standards, it does fit well in the palm and offer easy access to all camera controls while shooting. The overall design of the camcorder has some flaws, however. In order to insert or remove a tape from the VM-H835LA, you have to open the LCD monitor first. This is more of a pain in the neck than it might seem, and it puts undue wear on the LCD's locking mechanism. The tiny focus controls, located on the lower left side of the screen, are also evidence of poor design. They're too small to operate without difficulty, and they're not placed in a way that makes them easy to access. (Whatever happened to those good old mechanical focus rings?)

The zoom control, which is operated by the index finger of the right hand, offers only a single slow zoom speed--not good for those who want the ability to quickly zoom in and capture a fleeting moment on tape.

Quick Response
The Hitachi VM-H835LA lists Rapid Reflex 16-bit D.S.P (digital signal processing) as one of its features. This refers to the circuitry that controls automatic exposure, automatic focus and other electronic functions. Indeed, the camcorder did have rapid reflexes: it was quick to respond to changing conditions, shifting smoothly between exposure and focus settings in a fraction of a second. Even so, this is no substitute for a true manual exposure control. Many camcorders with no manual iris controls have pre-programmed exposure settings for various conditions, but the VM-H835LA lacks even these, leaving the videographer at the mercy of the camera's automatic systems.

On playback, images recorded with this camera looked good. Resolution was about average for Hi8 camcorders on the market today, and bright colors were reproduced accurately with only minimal bleeding. When shooting complex patterns, however, such as a wide shot of a brick wall, the image had a tendency to crawl and become jagged around the edges.

Audio quality produced by the VM-H835LA was adequate, but not outstanding. Like most camcorders, the on-camera mike did a decent job once you got it close enough to the source of the audio. However, with no microphone or headphone jacks, videographers may find it difficult to record good audio in many situations.

While we're talking about playback, we should mention the VM-H835LA's proprietary audio and video output connector, which carries composite video, S-video and stereo audio through a single square 7-pin connector. Although it might seem convenient to place all of these outputs on a single cable, there is a drawback to this kind of system: if you lose the cable, you won't be able to get stereo audio or S-video until you buy another one just like it. There is a set of standard outputs on the VM-H835LA to complement the proprietary cable, but it consists of a single composite jack and a single monaural audio jack (both RCA-style)--hardly adequate for quality work.

Assembly Line
An optional remote control available for the VM-H835LA (model number VM-RM20EDA, $80) allows you to perform simple editing tasks with the camcorder and any home VCR. This remote has both a standard infrared emitter and a wired connection that plugs into the same proprietary input on the camera that carries S-video, composite video and stereo audio (the audio/video connector rides piggyback on the remote connector). Once you've trained the remote to emulate the commands of your VCR, you can watch your tape and select up to four sets of in and out points to copy from the camcorder to the record deck. You can't rearrange the order of the shots once you've selected them however, so you'll have to preview the tape to determine the edit sequence. When you've selected your shots, you can hit the Copy Start button on the remote and go grab yourself a soda while the edits are completed. Both the real-time counter on the camcorder and the infrared connection to the record VCR limits accuracy with this system, so it's difficult to get better than 6-10 frames accuracy. Even so, it's a good way for home videographers to cut out all unwanted material from their videos.

In summary: the VM-H835LA does have a few annoying features--the lack of a microphone or headphone jack chief among them--but all in all, it's a decent camcorder at a decent price. The video it records is sharp and colorful, and its built-in editing features are undoubtedly a step in the right direction for Hitachi.



Now It's Personal

Personal Titlemaker
($399)
Videonics, Inc.
1370 Dell Avenue
Campbell, CA 95008
(800) 338-EDIT
http://www.videonics.com

tech specs

Videonics' Titlemaker series of video character generators has had a pretty successful run in the prosumer video market. The original Titlemaker has spawned two upgrades--the Titlemaker 2000 and Titlemaker 3000, the latter of which shipped in early 1997--and all three products have had a significant impact on prosumer-level videography.

Now, instead of offering another upgrade, Videonics is looking at that section of the home videography market that doesn't want to make any money shooting video, but does want to produce quality work. This section of the market should be very happy with the Personal Titlemaker. It compares very favorably with video titlers in the same price range. It's also easy to use, easy to type on, very compact and capable of producing high-quality video titles. In fact, the user interface is identical in many respects to the other members of the Titlemaker family, with the chief difference being a considerably shorter list of fonts (7 versus 51 in the Titlemaker 3000). Though 7 fonts may not seem like much to offer, the fonts included in the Personal Titlemaker are quite an improvement over the font choices available on other titlers in the sub-$500 range.

Plugs `n Such
We were glad to see that Videonics included a GPI (general purpose interface) trigger input for the Personal Titlemaker. This means it'll be possible to trigger it from many existing edit controllers. While we're on the subject of the GPI trigger, we should point out an interesting section that appears in the back of the manual. Videonics has included a set of plans that shows you how to build your own wired remote control with the GPI input on the Personal Titlemaker, using parts that are inexpensive and available at any electronics store.

As stated above, the on-screen interface that drives the Personal Titlemaker is all but identical to the interface that appears on previous incarnations of the product. Though it isn't the most intuitive one we've ever worked with, it is fairly easy to learn. Some graphical elements, such as a pair of scissors used to indicate a simple cut transition, are included to make things easier. Other functions are impossible to operate without looking up the required set of commands. The Mark In and Mark Out buttons, for example, are used as scrolling keys to access various operations that appear on the screen--a task that's usually assigned to buttons with arrows or other graphical emblems on them. If Videonics' intent was to reach a wider audience with a simpler character generator, perhaps they should have spent a little more time improving the interface.

Turn It On
Our evaluation unit had a tendency to freeze up once in a while. The entire keyboard would become useless, and even the on/off switch would cease to operate. Unplugging the power source and re-plugging it in seemed to provide a short-term fix for this problem, but it would recur about once every hour or so. Luckily, none of the title data was lost when it crashed, so it wasn't necessary to re-make any title pages. Hopefully, this was just a fault in our test unit, but the fact that it happened at all is worth noting.

One of the best things about the Personal Titlemaker is the keyboard. Its big keys offer good tactile response, making the typing of text as simple as it would be on a computer keyboard or electric typewriter. Low-cost video titlers often have very poorly designed keyboards that make typing long titles a real chore, but the Personal Titlemaker's keyboard is a joy to use.

If you're looking for a stand-alone titler that offers the maximum amount of quality at a low price, the Personal Titlemaker is probably just what you're looking for. Considering its excellent price-to-performance ratio, we have a feeling that Videonics is going to sell a lot of them in the years to come.


 
Safe at any Speed

HR-S9400U S-VHS Editing VCR
($1199)
41 Slater Drive
Elmwood Park, NJ 07407
(800) 252-5722
http://www.jvc-america.com

tech specs

JVC--the inventor of VHS--has struck gold with its latest top-of-the-line S-VHS VCR, the HR-S9400U. Though it incorporates a number of standard features that the home video editor will find very appealing, its chief selling point is a new technology called TimeScan. TimeScan is essentially a way to watch your video without noise or breakup while you fast-forward or rewind through your tape; it also allows you to hear brief snippets of your audio track at regular speed as you shuttle through the tape. What's more, when you hear the audio as you rewind, you hear it forwards, not backwards. Not content to sell the VCR on fancy new technologies alone, JVC has also made the HR-S9400U an excellent working deck that makes great copies, integrates easily within a home entertainment environment and performs essential editing tasks like audio dubs and insert edits. All in all, it fulfills the requirements of both the edit bay and the living room quite well.

Lookin' Good
The styling of the HR-S9400U is different from many home VCRs; in fact, it looks more like furniture than a serious editing deck. Don't let its looks fool you, though; underneath those pretty looks is a VCR with a healthy dose of editing muscle for serious home videographers. A flip-down panel on the VCR's face hides controls for most of the deck's editing functions, including front-loading inputs for S-video, composite video and stereo audio; insert edit controls; audio/video dub; index controls; a JLIP (Joint-Level Interface Protocol) jack; and JVC's proprietary Random Assemble Edit controls. In a nutshell, these controls provide all you need to perform simple assemble or insert edits from a camcorder to the VCR. If the camcorder happens to be a JVC model with JLIP or Random Assemble Editing, so much the better, because these are technologies that are exclusive to JVC products.

The real test of an editing deck, however, is not in the array of buttons it offers, but in the way in which it operates while you're performing serious editing chores. In this respect, the HR-S9400U scores high marks. Most of the editing systems on the deck operate easily and flawlessly; the buttons give good tactile response and are easy to access. A specific exception to the deck's general ease of use is the TimeScan tape shuttle system, which requires a little bit of time with the manual to learn how to operate properly. The shuttle knob, for example, doesn't operate the way most standard jog/shuttles do. There's no central jog disc to allow frame-by-frame movement through your video. Also, instead of containing a spring-loaded mechanism that always returns the knob to a central pause position, the shuttle knob keeps turning in small increments whichever way you turn it. A quick check of the manual reveals the mysteries of its operation: when you move the knob slowly in either direction, you'll step through each of the deck's 14 speeds (-7x, -5x, -3x, -1x, -1/6x, -1/18x, still, 1/18x, 1/6x, 1x, 2x, 3x, 5x, 7x). At each speed, the picture you see on the screen remains sharp and clearly viewable; in fact, you could even record video at any of these speeds without horizontal noise bars breaking up the picture. The Pause button controls frame-by-frame movement, and all TimeScan functions are also available on the remote control. If you have the TimeScan Audio feature engaged, you'll even hear little bits of your audio track as you race forward or backward through your tapes. Furthermore, these little bits of audio will come through at normal speed and in the proper direction (forwards for reverse TimeScan searches). Once you learn the intricacies of its operation, the TimeScan system is an excellent way to move around through your video and find exactly the shot you're looking for. The presence of a full video picture while you're shuttling around is very helpful for locating the exact shots you seek. The audio portion of the TimeScan system is of questionable usefulness, however, since the audio is never played back in synchronization with the picture. Sometimes, in fact, it's way off--especially when you zip around at 7x speed.

Other Features
The HR-S9400U has many features that apply mainly to watching home videos and time-shifting programs from broadcast television. While features such as Commercial Advance (which recognizes and skips the commercials when you playback a time-shifted TV broadcast) are interesting, this and other similar features are not covered in detail here because they don't apply to the making of home video. Nonetheless, they are very nice features in their own right, and worth checking out if you're looking for a home VCR that does double-duty as an editing deck.

One feature listed in the HR-S9400U's specs is the Video Stabilizer. While some may see this and interpret it as a built-in time base corrector or something similar, it is of limited usefulness for home videographers. Its primary function is to clean up the playback of tapes recorded in the EP (extended play) mode--something that most serious home videographers wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, except for archiving purposes.

All in all, the HR-S9400U is an excellent deck that excels at the task of copying high-quality audio and video from a camcorder or another VCR. Any home video editor will appreciate the inclusion of TimeScan and other built-in editing features; in fact, all it really needs to complete the package is some form of time code to keep your edits accurate. Can you say CTL for consumers, JVC?


 
Make Your Own Multimedia

SureStore 7100 CD-Writer Plus
($610 portable; $499)
Hewlett Packard
3000 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(800) 368-9673
http://www.hp.com

tech specs

One of the biggest problems with nonlinear editing has been the lack of an inexpensive, reliable way to archive those huge digital video files that this form of editing requires. Decent-quality digital video takes up hard drive space at a rate that would fill several 3.5-inch floppies per second, and while some mass-storage methods (such as DAT tape or magneto-optical drives) have been around for a while, their speed and reliability often leave something to be desired.

Likewise, the development of home multimedia-creation systems have suffered from the lack of an inexpensive way to get your multimedia projects off your home computer and into the hands of your audience. In other words, what good does it do you to be able to create a multimedia documentary of your trip to Yosemite if you can't find a standard medium of storage to deliver it to family and friends?

Luckily for the home multimedia creators of the world, a relatively new technology--CD-R (the R stands for recordable) has recently become available at prices that are attractive to home PC users. With a CD-R drive, you can make your own non-erasable CD-ROMs that are playable in most of the CD-ROM drives of the world--including those of your family and friends.

Now, with the introduction of their SureStore 7100 CD-Writer Plus, home multimedia enthusiasts have a convenient and inexpensive way to both a) store those huge digital video files used in nonlinear editing, and b) create their own personal multimedia CD-ROMs similar to those found on the shelves in software stores. To this already powerful mix, the SureStore 7100 CD-Writer Plus adds one more feature that should make any home computer enthusiast take note. Along with the ability to create write-once, read-only compact discs, it has the ability to create re-writable CD-ROMS (called CD-RWs) that you can use over and over again, just like a 650MB floppy disk.

Burn, Baby, Burn
In our tests, we looked at the portable version of the SureStore, which plugs easily into the parallel port of any PC running Microsoft Windows 95 or NT 4.0. Installation was fairly easy, but not a breeze. Though the device plugs into the parallel port and doesn't require you to remove your computer's case, it might require you to spend a little bit of time tweaking your system BIOS settings. This can be scary if you've never been there before, and if you haphazardly change settings, it's quite possible to cause crucial parts of your computer - like the hard drive - to cease functioning. If you have problems during installation, by all means call someone in who knows what they're doing, or try Hewlett-Packard's tech support line.

Once you've plugged it in and installed the drivers, a new suite of software applications appears on your operating system's Start menu. Included in this folder are all of the software programs you'll need to create, copy, erase or initialize your CD-R or CD-RW media. Also included in the portable version of the SureStore is a Connect/Disconnect application, used for telling the computer when the device is plugged into the parallel port and when it's been removed for transportation to another computer.

Using the SureStore couldn't be simpler. In fact, to operate most of the basic functions of the drive, all you have to know is how to work within the Windows interface. This means you can treat your CD-RW disk just like any other storage disk on your computer, dragging and dropping files and folders into the SureStore's window.

Nonlinear-Specific Operations
Using the SureStore 7100 CD-Writer Plus to back up large video files turns out to be a remarkably simple and inexpensive operation, but not a very speedy one. Writing a full 650MB to either a CD-R or a CD-RW disk takes about 45 minutes with the portable version that plugs into your parallel port. This 650MB of video is equivalent to just over ten minutes of video recorded at 1MB per second. If you want DV-quality video, however, you'll only get somewhere between two and three minutes onto a single disk.

Luckily, the CD-R disks themselves aren't very expensive. Though they list for about $5 a piece, a recent trip to a wholesale warehouse distributor turned up a 10-pack of CD-R blanks for $30; the $20 manufacturer's rebate brought the price down to just $1 per disk. This means that your hour's worth of DV-quality source footage would occupy roughly 30 CDs, and probably cost between $30 and $100 to store. Bottom line: this method of archiving is probably not practical for professional-quality work.

Home videographers, however, who are willing to put up with VHS-quality digital video will find the SureStore 7100 CD-Writer Plus to be a godsend--especially those who rarely create videos that are longer than ten minutes.

CD-RW media, on the other hand, is not so cheap. Blanks currently have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $30, with discount store prices hovering at $25 or so. If the format gains acceptance, however, we can expect the price to drop rapidly in coming months.

Go Multimedia!
If you have a desire to make your own multimedia CD-ROMs on the cheap, then an inexpensive MPEG digitizer would be a perfect companion for the SureStore 7100 CD-Writer Plus. If you plan to buy an MPEG digitizer that plugs into your parallel port, however, and you want to use the portable version of the SureStore, you may have problems. Even though the SureStore has a parallel port input in the back of it (designed for attaching a printer cable), you probably won't be able to use this connection with your MPEG digitizer; these devices are usually quite picky about where you plug them in. You could swap devices on the parallel port as needed, but this could wear out the connectors in quick order if you're not careful.

In short, the SureStore 7100 CD-Writer Plus is an excellent solution for consumer-level nonlinear enthusiasts and those who would like to create their own multimedia CD-ROMs. It won't be a great archiving solution for professional video editors, but even the pros might like to create a CD-ROM full of MPEGS of their kids to distribute to family and friends.


The Golden Fleece

VideoRaid EIDE Disk Array
(5GB: $995; 8GB, $1295; 10GB, $1595; 14GB, $1995)
Medea Corporation
31826 Village Center Road, Suite C
Westlake Village, CA 91361
(888) BY-MEDEA
http://www.medeacorp.com

tech specs

Disk arrays, those high-priced digital storage devices that achieve many times the capacity and speed of individual drives, are the mythical end of the rainbow for nonlinear editors. They represent the best way to store and manipulate those huge, demanding video and audio data files that nonlinear editors must put up with in order to gain the convenience and power that digital editing affords. Unfortunately, because they make use of two or more hard drives operating in parallel to achieve their phenomenal speed, disk arrays tend to be rather expensive, a fact which puts them in the realm of the legendary for most prosumer nonlinear editors.

Medea Corporation seeks to change all of that with their VideoRaid series of EIDE disk arrays. Because they utilize EIDE (Enhanced IDE, also known as ATA-3) drives and technology, Medea's VideoRaid drives are cheaper than most SCSI disk arrays. They're also more convenient; unlike a SCSI drive, installing a VideoRaid into a PC requires no extra hardware. On top of it all, the VideoRaid delivers blazing performance: our test unit delivered a continuous data rate of over 10 megabytes per second consistentlymore than enough to handle any prosumer-level video capture card.

Easy Installation
To test the VideoRaid, we installed it into the secondary IDE port on our 133MHz Pentium test computer (32MB RAM). Installation was fairly simple, identical, in fact, to the process of installing a secondary EIDE drive onto your motherboard. If you've never done this before, beware: you'll be entering into the nether realm of your computer's BIOS settings to configure the drive.

To help you along, Medea has automated most of the software installation procedure. Included with the VideoRaid is a bootable 3.5-inch installation disk, which you place into your floppy drive after installing the hardware. With the installation disk in your floppy drive and the necessary connectors firmly plugged in, all you have left to do is turn on the computer and let the installation disk do its thing, following the prompts when necessary. These prompts will eventually direct you to go into your computer's BIOS settings and auto-configure the drive; explicit instructions are provided for those who have never done so before. Even though they've made it as simple as possible, computer beginners might still wish to pay a professional to install the VideoRaid for them, because delving into a computer's BIOS settings just isn't for everybody.

Once installed, the VideoRaid functions like any other disk drive in Windows 95 or NT. You can partition, format, erase and otherwise manipulate the drive any way you like. In fact, the only difference you'll notice in the VideoRaid is its huge capacity and incredible speed when compared to ordinary disk drives.

Plenty of Overhead
After subjecting the VideoRaid to every form of video torture we could muster (including straight transfers of DV footage via FireWire), we concluded that it was up to the task of recording video at any data rate achievable by today's prosumer video capture cards. (Note: some frames may drop while using a prosumer-level capture card together with the VideoRaid, but you can be sure that when it happens, it isn't the VideoRaid's fault.) Rendering was fairly speedy with the VideoRaid as well; rendering times were cut by an average of around 10 percent when compared to a single fast and wide SCSI-2 drive (the Seagate Cheetah, in our test).

So is it a waste to have such phenomenal speed available, especially when you're achieving 4 or 5 megabytes per second more than what's required by your video capture card? Well, it depends. Those unused bursts of speed really come in handy in all situations where you hit the hard drive heavily, including rendering, previewing, transferring and playing back your captured videos. They also provide a nice buffer between what's needed and what the drive can perform; so that you'll never, ever have to worry about sudden drops in performance that might result in dropped frames. If you're a professional who wants assured quality at all times, then it's a good idea to invest in a little overhead.

Prosumers who must edit large amounts of video will especially like the VideoRaid's ability to expand. Here's how it works: if you've already purchased a VideoRaid, and you want to add on another storage unit, you can buy an expansion model from Medea at $200 off the suggested list price for a base unit. The expansion modules come with a proprietary cable that easily connects the two drives.

One final note about the VideoRaid: because it uses Medea's new Zone Stripe Technology, it will record digital video at a stable 10 megabytes per second all the way across the disk, from start to finish. Typical hard drives and arrays offer high performance at the outset, but less and less as the data gets written to the inner tracks of the drive. Zone Stripe Technology solves this problem simply: when one drive is writing to the outer track, the other drive is writing to the inner track. This makes for an even data rate all the way across the drive.

Though they are somewhat pricey by consumer standards, Medea's VideoRaid drives are a real bargain compared to most SCSI arrays. For prosumer videographers who have always wanted to go nonlinear but couldn't afford it, they represent a significant step in the direction of the promised land: cheap, massive, fast, easy-to-install digital storage.




Tech Specs



Hitachi VM-H835LA Hi8 Camcorder



Format
Hi8

Lens
16:1 optical zoom, 130:1 digital zoom, single-speed power zoom, f/1.4, inner focus, wide macro, 46mm filter diameter

Image sensor
-inch CCD, 410,000 pixels

Viewfinder
3-inch color LCD, .5 inch black-and-white CRT

Focus
Auto, inner manual

Maximum shutter speed
1/4000

Exposure
Auto

White balance
Auto

Digital effects
Negative/positive conversion, half-mirror, mosaic, vertical wipe, fade, black-and-white fade

Audio
AFM Stereo

Inputs
S-video, composite video, stereo audio (via proprietary connector)

Outputs
S-video, composite video, stereo audio (via proprietary connector); composite video, mono audio

Edit interface
None

Other features
Infrared editing (via optional editing remote), 16:9 recording, lens cover, built-in playback speaker, electronic image stabilization, instant zoom

Dimensions
4.2 (width) by 4.5 (height) by 9.5 (depth) inches

Weight (sans tape and battery)
2 pounds


Video Performance (approx.)


Horizontal resolution (camera)
350 lines

Horizontal resolution (playback)
320 lines


Performance Times


Pause to Record
0.5 seconds

Power-up to Record
3 seconds

Fast-forward/Rewind (30 min. tape)
1 minute 35 seconds

Strengths

  • Low cost
  • Infrared editing option
  • Autofocus and autoexposure systems respond quickly

Weaknesses
  • No mike or headphone jacks
  • No manual exposure control
  • Slow power zoom

Summary
A bargain, to be sure, but experienced videographers will want more manual control

(back to review)





Videonics Personal Titlemaker


Fonts
7

Font styles
4

Font sizes

4

Special character features
Outline, spacing, boxes, lines, special and foreign characters

Colors
8 million

Memory
1,000+ characters

Display modes
Scroll, crawl (8 speeds)

Transitions
Cut, fade, slide, 18 wipe patterns

Resolution
720 by 480 pixels (70 nanoseconds)

Inputs
S-video, composite video (RCA-style), GPI trigger

Outputs
S-video, composite video (RCA-style)

Dimensions
12.75 (width) by 1.75 (height) by 6.4 (depth) inches

Weight
3 pounds

Strengths

  • Low cost
  • Good resolution

Weaknesses
  • Backgrounds tend to crawl
  • Test unit froze up occasionally

Summary
Videonics quality at a price home videographers can afford

(back to review)





JVC HR-S9400U S-VHS Editing Deck


Format
S-VHS

Video inputs
S-video (x2), composite video (x2)

Video outputs
S-video, composite video, RF

Audio inputs
Stereo audio (x2)

Audio outputs
Stereo audio

Edit control protocol
JLIP

Other features
TimeScan forward/reverse playback, audio/video dub, audio level meters, index search, Commercial Advance, video stabilizer, insert edit, Random Assemble Edit

Dimensions
18.9 (width) by 4.3 (height) by 13.9 (depth) inches

Weight
12.2 pounds

Strengths

  • TimeScan search allows high-speed playback without picture breakup
  • Makes excellent copies

Weaknesses
  • No time code

Summary
A beautiful home S-VHS editing deck, inside and out

(back to review)



Hewlett Packard SureStore 7100 CD-Writer Plus


Platform
PC

Maximum write speed
300k per second

Media capacity
650 megabytes

Mean time between failures
150,000 hours


Minimum System Requirements


Motherboard
Pentium

Operating System
Windows95 or NT 4.0

Parallel port
High-speed ECC or EPP (for external model only)

Memory
16MB RAM

Hard drive
15MB free space for system software

Dimensions
7.1 (width) by 11.2 (depth) by 2.6 (height) inches

Weight
5 pounds

Strengths

  • Cheap, reliable long-term archiving of digital video files
  • Easy creation of personal multimedia disks

Weaknesses
  • Not a good solution for professional-quality video archiving
  • Parallel port connection is very slow

Summary
A great storage device for consumer-level digital video enthusiasts

(back to review)



Medea VideoRaid EIDE Disk Array


Platform
PC

Available sizes
5GB, 8GB, 10GB, 14GB

Sustained data transfer rate
10 megabytes per second


Minimum System Requirement


Motherboard
Pentium 133MHz with EIDE controller built-in

Memory
16MB RAM

Operating system
Windows 95 or NT

Features
Zone Stripe Technology, EZ-IDE setup disk, expansion slot for increasing storage capacity

Strengths

  • Fairly easy to install
  • Very fast
  • Easy to expand

Weaknesses
  • Still expensive by consumer standards

Summary
Look out, SCSI; EIDE is sneaki
Tags:  February 1998
Joe
McCleskey
Sun, 02/01/1998 - 12:00am