Video News

  • Microsoft Demonstrates Version 4 Tools for Windows Media Technologies at Streamingmedia Conference


    Microsoft Demonstrates Windows Media Technologies at Streamingmedia Conference

    By Stephen Muratore
    December 9, Streamingmedia Conference, San Jose Convention Center

    Microsoft spokesmen at the Streamingmedia Conference announced several improvements for the company's streaming media tools and applications. Among other advances, the bundle of Windows Media Tools now include:

    Media Encoder which supports Intelligent Streaming, i.e. the ability to produce up to six video bands in a single file with data rates ranging from 16 kbps to 3 Mbps. Each user gets the file streamed at the bitrate best for his own connection speed.

    On-Demand Producer which translates avi and wav files to asf, includes a number of video editing features, enables markers and script commands for cuing attending text, images and html pages, and oncludes automatic html page generation.

    Other tools, such as a plug-in for Adobe Premiere which allows this popular program to output directly into asf format, PowerPoint addins for streaming slideshows, and Media Cleaner EZ for QuickTime-to-asf conversion.

    Windows Media Tools are available free from Microsoft's Web site, or on a $10 JumpStart CD available from www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia.

  • Terran Interactive Shows Media Cleaner Streaming Software at Streamingmedia Conference


    Terran Interactive Shows Media Cleaner Streaming Software at Streamingmedia Conference

    By Stephen Muratore
    December 9, Streamingmedia Conference, San Jose Convention Center

    As Terran Interactive has been acquired by Media 100, it's current catalog of products sport technologies developed by the former for encoding video for various formats as well as by the latter for video and audio editing. Media Cleaner Pro version 4 for Windows or Mac (MSRP: $499) was on display at the Streamingmedia Conference as one product resulting from this coporate marriage. Terran claims it to be currently the "only cross-platform tool that outputs all the major formats for delivery on the Web, broadbanc network, CD-ROM, presentations, kiosks or DVD. At the show one of Media Cleaner's tools, iFinish, was demonstrated. This tool can batch encode a number of video files into a number of streaming video files for reception at a number of bitrates, simultaneously.

    On another front, Terran and encoding.com announced a partnership whereby each company will offer the other's products and services to its own customer base.

  • MeTV Acquiring Movies for Web-Based VOD Network Shown at Streaminmedia Conference


    MeTV Acquiring Movies for Web-Based VOD Network Shown at Streaminmedia Conference

    By Stephen Muratore
    December 9, Streamingmedia Conference, San Jose Convention Center

    MeTV (MeTV.com) announced at the Streamingmedia conference that it is now providing movies made by independents to anyone with Internet access with a 375kbps connection or better. Give them a call if you've got a movie to sell: 1-888-811.MeTV.
  • Avid Shows Xpress DV Turnkey at Streamingmedia Conference


    Avid Shows Xpress DV Turnkey at Streamingmedia Conference

    By Stephen Muratore
    December 9, Streamingmedia Conference, San Jose Convention Center

    Avid showed its new digital video turnkey system at the Streamingmedia Conference. The system includes Xpress DV software installed in an IBM IntelliStation M Pro model 686891. It is made to capture DV video and output to all the usual streaming formats, including RealMedia G2, Microsoft Windows Media and, QuickTime/Sorrenson, as well as the other common digital video formats, MPEG 1,2, AVI, and QuickTime for use in CD, DVD, Internet, intranet streaming applications and presentation tools like PowerPoint. Avid is not currently listing the price for this system.
  • Magix Shows Music Maker Professional at Streamingmedia Conference


    Magix Shows Music Maker Professional at Streamingmedia Conference

    By Stephen Muratore
    December 9, Streamingmedia Conference, San Jose Convention Center

    Magix, maker of the Music Maker product reviewed in a recent issue of Videomaker showed a whole line of Music Maker products at the Streamingmedia conference. The most complete of these is Music Maker Pro, a simple-to-use program that enables nonlinear editing of video and audio and the output to all the current formats, including Microsoft's asf for streaming delivery across the Internet. MSRP: $599.95
  • Popcast Launches Free, Self-Service Personal Video Webcasting at Streamingmedia Conference


    Popcast Launches Free, Self-Service Personal Video Webcasting

    By Stephen Muratore
    December 8, Streamingmedia Conference, San Jose Convention Center

    Popcast (www.popcast.com) announced Monday the launch of a free video streaming service aimed at makers of video and Website managers. The service offers free hosting and video streaming to all video content providers for up to 10 MB of files. The videographer can upload digital video files in any format (avi, mov, MPEG etc). Popcast encodes the files, adds short video ads to the beginning and end of each video file (yes, that's one way the free service makes money)and creates a Web page with an embedded streaming player ready to play the video to all comers. The user can elect to have his video encoded in either Real or NetShow formats. Users with existing Web sites can link from their existing sites to their video streaming pages made through the Popcast service. In addition, the service enables the end user to immediately e-mail text announcements or html "postcards" with links to the newly-posted page and video. Popcast acquisition, ITV.net encodes and hosts the video.

    Popcast also seeks Website partners that can implant its "do-it-yourself streaming video" service into their sites. Popcast can work through any of a number of revenue-generating arrangements with Web site managers, allowing site managers to continue to hold all ownership of their content, and limiting the Popcast presence on the host site to a tiny "powered by Popcast" logo. This is notably different from other services, such as broadcast.com which seeks its own branding of content.

  • New Streaming Service Allows for High-Res Stills


    One obstacle of using streaming video is the fact that if you use existing video with small graphics, your viewers will not be able to see them. A new Web company has developed a new technology to combat that problem, and it also gives Web video viewers frame-by-frame control of the video. SeeItFirst.com is a Web service that will post your video. They use a new technology that allows viewers to get high-resolution stills from streamed video. This gives videographers a new resource for finding still images to include in their personal productions. It also allows for advertisers to run ads with disclaimers at the bottom. Even if viewers cannot read the disclaimer as it streams by, they can pause the commercial and read the disclaimer in the high-resolution still. This clears a legal issue with streaming video advertisements, so look for more streamed ads soon.

  • Live Update From COMDEX


    A team of Videomaker editors recently ventured to Las Vegas, where they attended COMDEX-- one of the world's largest computer trade shows. The week-long event focuses heavily on new products and technologies by computer manufacturers for traditional computer applications. But as video continues to encompass more computer-based nonlinear systems, more computer manufacturers are releasing exciting new video-related products. Laden with press releases and product brochures, our intrepid team came back with the following announcements.

    Dell Computer announced plans to produce the Dell NT Precision turnkey nonlinear editing workstation using a yet-to-be-named video digitizer card and nonlinear editing software.

    Pinnacle showed off its DV500 DVD authoring board with Minerva software that will ship soon.

    Panasonic unveiled the PV-DS1000 stand-alone turnkey nonlinear editor. This video editing appliance that will retail for about $2000 will compete head-to-head with Draco's Casablanca and AVIO and Applied Magic's Screenplay. This nonlinear editing solution is designed to work with FireWire-equipped camcorders. Panasonic said it will begin shipping sometime in January 2000.

    AVerMedia displayed two new products: the MV-300, an MJPEG-based video digitizer card with an MSRP of $190 and the Video-Shuttle machine controller that only works with Ulead's Media Studio Pro software.

    Adaptec rolled out its Easy CD Creator 4 Deluxe that creates Video CDs and slide shows onto CD-Rom discs.

    Ulead is set to ship VideoStudio 4, this latest version of the MPEG-2 video editing software for beginners, features support for FireWire and MP3 audio.

  • Wink and Liberate Form Alliance to Enable E-Commerce on TV


    Wink Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: WINK) and Liberate Technologies (NASDAQ: LBRT) announced today a multi-year strategic partnering agreement to integrate each other's products to deliver enhanced TV programming and advertising to consumers. Wink's response network services and broadcast tool sets will be integrated with Liberate's client and server software, enabling network operators to access Wink functionality from Liberate platforms. The agreement was announced today by Maggie Wilderotter, President and CEO, Wink Communications, Inc. and Mitchell Kertzman, President and CEO, Liberate Technologies.

    "We are very pleased to partner with Liberate to enable impulse e-commerce services on Liberate's software platform. Liberate is an industry leader in enhanced TV, and was instrumental in the development of the ATVEF standard. Our mutual customers have been very supportive of a joint offering, and we look forward to deploying it together next year," said Maggie Wilderotter.

    "Liberate's leading platform for enhanced TV software provides network operators with a complete solution our partnership with Wink significantly extends our portfolio of choices to deliver compelling content and services to consumers," said Mitchell Kertzman. "One-click ordering for impulse e-commerce is an essential element of enhanced TV and Wink has built the leading back end for capturing and processing consumer transactions."

  • Pentium III Reaches 733 MHz


    On Monday, Oct. 25, Intel held a press conference introducing its latest line of Pentium III processors, which include nine desktop processors from 500-733MHz and the first-ever mobile Pentium III chips for laptops and personal data assistants.

    The release of the new chips, which make use of Intel's new 0.18-micron manufacturing process, will mean even more CPU bang for the buck in home computers, a development which bodes well for the desktop content-creation market.

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