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  • Pinnacle Express DVD-Authoring Software Begins to Ship


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Pinnacle Systems has begun shipping Pinnacle Express video editing software, which it says will make it easy for users to convert camcorder tapes and digital still photos into DVD player-compatible discs.

    Pinnacle says users can import video directly from a Digital8 or DV camcorders, via FireWire interface, or by dragging and dropping video file thumbnails into the Pinnacle Express application. In addition, the software includes a variety of menu layouts and backgrounds as well as the flexibility to type in a title for each scene. Finished videos can be output on CD-R and CD-RW discs or on DVD-R discs in the DVD format.

    The software, according to Pinnacle, automatically creates scene-index menus for easy, pinpoint navigation. Additionally, viewers can jump to the scenes they want to see, repeat scenes or even freeze the action, all with their DVD player's remote control. Users can also trim, split, combine, delete or re-order scenes within the menus, Pinnacle says.

    In an effort to make the new software more user-friendly, Pinnacle said, it eliminated the tricks-of-the-trade that users in the past, had to learn in order to index, plan and layout DVD navigation.

    Pinnacle Express DV, including the Express software and a FireWire card has a MSRP of $79.

  • Sonic Solutions MyDVD to Ship with HP DVD-Writer Drive


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    A proprietary version of Sonic Solutions MyDVD application will be bundled on Hewlett-Packard's newly introduced HP DVD-writer dvd100i drive, Sonic announced August 20. Co-branded as HP MyDVD Video by Sonic, the home DVD authoring software enables customers to record, edit and share video content when using DVD+RW and CD-R/RW media.

    HP MyDVD Video by Sonic, incorporating a new technology called DVD editing, is said to be the first application that allows consumers to transform custom home videos directly to DVD+RW. It burns videos from a camcorder or VCR to the HP DVD-writer.

    The process is simple and fast, the companies say. After connecting a camcorder or VCR to a PC, hitting the "Record to DVD" button in the applications wizard sets the process in motion. The software automatically converts the video and audio into the correct DVD format, adds menus and navigation, and records to a DVD+RW disc viewable on many DVD players and PCs with a DVD-ROM drive. Projects can also be recorded to CD-R/RW media and played back on most multimedia PCs. HP MyDVD Video by Sonic also enables users to re-edit recorded discs by changing menus and adding or deleting videos.

    In authoring mode, interactive DVDs can be created by dragging and dropping different types of multimedia elements into a DVD project - video from camcorders, video files on hard disk in .avi, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 formats, audio and graphics data. HP MyDVD Video by Sonic includes a built-in transcoder that automatically converts all incoming video formats into those compatible with DVD players, freeing the user from the headaches of determining DVD file compatibility.

    HP MyDVD Video by Sonic is built on Sonics Hollywood-standard DVD formatting engine, ensuring that DVDs produced with the application, in conjunction with the DVD+RW format, are playable on the widest range of consumer DVD players.

  • ShuttlePRO Multimedia Controller Offers Precise, Customizable Editing Control


    Reprinted from a Contour Design Inc. press release:

    WINDHAM, NH, August 14, 2001 Contour Design, Inc. announced the release of the ShuttlePRO multimedia controller for Microsoft Windows 2000. The USB-based ShuttlePRO has thirteen buttons, a jog wheel and a shuttle knob that are fully programmable to any keyboard shortcut. The shuttle knob is the outer ring that facilitates fast forward and rewind for quick access of digital frames. The jog wheel is the internal portion of the knob, which provides precise frame-by-frame control. The device is supplied with easy to use software that allows users to customize the device for their favorite audio, video, and multimedia applications.

    The ShuttlePRO comes with application settings for today's popular editing software applications including Premiere, Cubase, Boris RED, After Effects, ProTools (TDM Systems), VideoStudio, MediaStudio Pro, VideoWave, and many others. Users may customize commonly used commands such as mark in, mark out, frame advance, scroll, fast forward, rewind, and/or any other keyboard shortcuts they want to define. Not only will users who perform video and other multimedia editing benefit from the advanced functionality of the ShuttlePRO, but users of software applications that support multiple key combinations (e.g., UnReal Tournament, Quake Team Arena, Internet Explorer, Netscape Communicator, and Windows Media Player will realize enhanced productivity with the ShuttlePRO's programmable controls.

  • DPS Ships Version 2.5 of dpsReality Software


    Reprinted from a Leitch Technology Corp. press release:

    Markham, Ontario - August 14, 2001 - DPS, a business unit of Leitch Technology Corp., announced today that version 2.5 of the dpsReality Studio Digital Disk Recorder software is now shipping.

    The dpsReality 2.5 software upgrade enhances the ultimate tool for animators, compositors, and post-production professionals. New features in version 2.5 include enhanced numerical editing, split edits, EDL import and export, enhanced QuickTime and Windows Media Format exporting, interface refinements including assignable hotkeys, and the ability to remote control timeline playback and proc amp settings over a network. dpsReality 2.5 also features integration with eyeon's included Digital Fusion DFX+ compositing and advanced effects software, the expandable successor to the DFX software previously bundled with dpsReality.

    Existing dpsReality users have two options for upgrading to version 2.5 - a Basic or Full upgrade.

    The dpsReality 2.5 Full Upgrade includes the new dpsReality 2.5 software and an upgrade from eyeon's DFX to DFX+, all at a special upgrade price of $265 (for registered dpsReality version 2.0 users) or $415 (for registered dpsReality version 1.5 users). Pricing may vary internationally.

    The dpsReality 2.5 Basic Upgrade, which includes only the new dpsReality application itself, is available to registered users of dpsReality 2.0 as a free download from the DPS web site.

    Full Upgrades are available from a worldwide network of authorized DPS resellers. Those users located in the USA can also order DPS software upgrades directly from the DPS web site e-Store, at www.dps.com.

  • New Panasonic Digital Palmcorders Pack High-performance into Compact Package


    Reprinted from a Panasonic press release:

    SECAUCUS, NJ (August, 2001) -- Designed to appeal to a wide audience, Panasonic's latest Palmcorder digital camcorders combine sophisticated features, compact design and easy handling. New suggested retail prices help make them extremely affordable. New model PV-DV701, available this month, has a suggested manufacturer's retail price of $999.95; and model PV-DV351, scheduled for September, has an MSRP of $899.95. Both high-quality, high-performance digital camcorders double as digital still cameras.

    Model PV-DV351 features a 2.5-inch color LCD monitor. Model PV-DV701 increases the monitor size to 3.5 inches, and adds analog in and an IR remote control. Other than these differences, both camcorders offer the identical advanced features.

    The PV-DV701 and PV-DV351 combine two versatile digital imaging products in one, giving users two ways to capture their precious memories. A 680,000-pixel CCD produces ultra sharp video images with up to 460 lines of horizontal resolution. Plus, the built-in PhotoShot digital still camera function takes high-quality digital still photos. A compact, ergonomically designed chassis makes either model ideal for travel and family vacations.

    Both camcorders feature Panasonic's exclusive Dual Digital Electronic Image Stabilization feature. It compensates for hand and camcorder movement while recording, and can also be used in the playback mode to help remove additional jitter from previously recorded video. Other key features include: 3-way PC link, 10x high-definition zoom and new 500x digital zoom, color viewfinder, new MagicPix Images feature for color recording in low light, MagicVu IR Filter for recording video in total darkness, Movie Messenger System for easy video sharing, easy cassette eject, and included photo editing software.

  • Electric Rain's RAViX II Technology to Supply Strata 3D Software with Flash Export


    Reprinted from an Electric Rain Inc. press release:

    BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 9 -- Electric Rain, Inc. announced the signing of an agreement to license their proprietary RAViX II vector-rendering technology to Strata, makers of Strata 3Dpro, the popular modeling and animation software application. RAViX II will provide a future release of Strata 3Dpro with the power to export to Macromedia Flash (.swf), Adobe Illustrator (.ai), .eps, and the latest XML-based vector format, .svg.

    Working as a Strata 3Dpro Power Module, RAViX II will render Strata 3Dpro scenes with complete accuracy, while staying true to colors, lighting, camera views and animations. RAViX II will provide Strata 3Dpro users with an extensive array of vector output options including 3 levels of outlines, five levels of cartoon shading, two levels of gradient shading, shadows and specular highlights. RAViX II is able to handle models containing well over 200,000 polygons and the resulting files are fully optimized.

    The agreement with Strata marks the first time that the RAViX II technology has been integrated into a third party application via a licensing contract. Through this agreement, Electric Rain's brands and technology will be promoted to the rapidly growing community of Strata 3D software applications around the world, paving the way for similar licensing deals in the future.

  • Canopus Ships Storm Rack A DVStorm-based Real-time, Rack Mountable Editing Solution


    Reprinted from a Canopus press release:

    San Jose, Calif. - Expanding its family of realtime NLE offerings, Canopus Corp. recently announced the availability of Storm Rack , a powerful rack mountable turnkey editing system based on the company's acclaimed DVStorm realtime NLE. Storm Rack, powered by dual 1.2GHz AMD Athlon MP processors with 512MB PC2100 DDR memory, a pair of Canopus Spectra series 3D graphics cards for dual monitor capability, a 40GB system hard disk and a 75+GB disk array (for over 5 hours of video storage), and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combination drive, provides realtime editing, realtime DV and analog capture and output, MPEG output for DVD and Web streaming, plus a complete suite of 3D effects and digital video production tools.

    Video professionals can save time by taking advantage of Storm Rack's impressive assortment of realtime editing capabilities including the ability to handle three streams of video, multiple moving titles and graphics layers, audio and video filters, and transitions. Storm Rack features over 23 real-time filters, such as color correction, motion blur, old movie, picture-in-picture, chromakey, luma key and chrominance. Among the numerous highly configurable transitions, wipes, dissolves and slides are in realtime (page curls and other 3D transitions render quickly). Storm Rack offers native DV editing with realtime DV and analog output for greater quality and timesavings.

    Storm Rack uses an advanced hardware CODEC to deliver realtime capture through 1394/i.LINK, S-video or Composite connectors and simultaneous realtime DV and analog output. For maximum flexibility, Storm Rack provides all the output capabilities video professionals need to deliver video on tape, CD, VCD, SVCD, DVD or over the Internet.

  • New Maxtor 40GB External Drive Uses USB 2.0 Interface


    Reprinted from a Maxtor press release:

    Maxtor Corp.'s new 40GB Personal Storage 3000LE, allows consumers a bigger, faster storage solution without requiring them to open up their computers.

    The world's first 40GB external hard drive with high-speed USB 2.0 interface, according to Maxtor, the 3000LE is targeted to users needing a home for digital video and stills, MP3 files, electronic games and other large files.

    USB 2.0 also delivers up to 40 times faster performance than current generation USB 1.1 hard drives. The drive, which operates at 5,400RPM, is priced at $200.

    Maxtor estimates that the 40GB drive can hold: 40 hours of digital video (MPEG compressed), 40,000 high-resolution digital photos (JPEG compressed), 10,000 four-minute MP3 tunes, 1,000 video games or any combination thereof.

    The 3000LE's high-speed USB 2.0 interface enables instant connectivity with virtually all existing USB ports, including backward compatibility with USB 1.1.

    To upgrade older PCs to USB 2.0 performance, Maxtor will offer a USB 2.0 PCI adapter card ($49.95) featuring four external and one internal high-speed ports.

  • ATI Releases $49 DV WONDER PC FireWire Board


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    With millions of FireWire DV camcorders in use, ATI Technologies hopes to capitalize on those users eager to add FireWire connectability to their PCs. And they're doing so without asking consumers to make a big financial investment.

    For a suggested retail price of $49, ATI Technologies' new DV WONDER FireWire (IEEE 1394) board enables DV camcorder users to transfer digital video on their personal computers. Consumers can perform their own upgrades by fitting DV WONDER into any free desktop computer PCI slot.

    In addition, DV WONDER comes bundled with Ulead's recently-released editing software, VideoStudio 5.0, allowing users to edit digital video on their PCs. DV WONDER also ships with a free connector cable.

    DV WONDER can act as a stand-alone product or as an add-on to complement any ATI Graphics products. With three external FireWire connections, the DV WONDER offers consumers scalability and flexibility. In addition, FireWire ensures the transfer of pure audio signals, video and images to and from all FireWire-enabled digital electronics accessories.

  • Canons Optura100 MC Digital Video and Still Cam Set for Sept. Release


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Incorporating a 1.3 million-pixel CCD image sensor, Canon has thrown its hat into the dual-format ring with the soon-to-be-released Optura100 MC. Performing like two cameras in one, the unit will also deliver 1280x960 high-resolution still images, four times better than the typical 640x480 resolutions most other camcorders offer.

    Canon is also giving the Optura100 MC a vertical design, a different look and feel than its previous Optura models. Aside from a fresh appearance, the new design is styled for single-hand operation.

    Optura 100 MC features will include: 10x optical zoom lens; 200x digital zoom with Optical Image Stabilization that operates in both video and photo modes; built-in Auto Pop-up Flash to illuminate subjects for digital photos, and Extended Recording Mode to deliver four hours of video recording on one 80-minute Mini DV videotape.

    The Optura 100 MC will operate in three shooting modes: Video, Photo and Progressive Photo. The Video mode will, not surprisingly, capture high-quality video. Photo mode will capture excellent still images for TV, e-mail or Web sites. Video and digital photos may be combined on one cassette, and accessed with a photo search feature. Each digital photo will be recorded for about six seconds, along with the ambient audio. More than 700 640x480 images will fit on a single 80-minute Mini DV cassette.

    Progressive Photo mode will capture digital still photos to a removable MultiMedia Card. In this mode, the Optura100 MC will use a shutter that takes advantage of the 1.3 million-pixel CCD image sensor, producing sharp digital photos. Digital stills will be compressed and saved as .jpg files.

    The unit will include one 8MB MultiMedia card, which will hold up to 106 images (640x480, Standard) or 17 images (1280x960, Fine). Higher capacity 16, 32 and 64MB MultiMedia cards will be optionally available.

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