Video News

  • SAIs WriteDVD! Pro 4.0 to Support All DVD Formats

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Software Architects Inc.'s WriteDVD! Pro 4.0 disc authoring software is designed to allow you to write to all DVD formats and all major-brand DVD drives. It is available for both Windows and Mac, WriteDVD! Version 4.0, which SAI says is DVD Forum-compliant, writes to DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM discs. It is also projected to support name-brand drives such as Hewlett-Packard, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer and Sony.

    WriteDVD! Pro 4.0, which boasts an easy-to-use Drag and Drop interface, has four key elements: the WriteDVD! file system, FormatUDF! formatter and test utility, WriteDVD! device drivers and FixDVD! disc repair and file recovery utility. FixDVD! tests your media for defects and can diagnose and repair certain damaged discs. WriteDVD! Pro 4.0 is available now for $89.95 (MSRP). SAI also sells a $59.95 version, which comes without the FixDVD! Repair feature.

  • HRS Technoligies Announces New Video and HDTV Distribution Amplifiers

    Reprinted from an HRS Technologies press release:

    Plainview, NY May 1, 2002: HRS Technologies' DR5 series distribution amplifiers are high resolution RGB, RGBS, RGBHV, YUV component video and HDTV distribution amplifiers. With up to 400 MHz of video bandwidth, the DR5 Series products are the perfect choices for all high-resolution presentation or broadcast applications.

    The DR5 series consists of 3 units. The HRS-02-DR5 is a 1x2 distribution amplifier with two sets of five BNC outputs. The HRS-04-DR5 and HRS-06-DR5 have four and six sets of BNC outputs respectively. All DR5 series units utilize precision amplifier circuitry and individually buffered outputs to ensure complete signal integrity when distributing high-resolution video or data to projectors, monitors, LCD and plasma panels. Signal and picture quality can be further maintained over long distances up to 300 feet by using true high resolution RGB cable. All three units are housed in a durable, all metal enclosure and are covered under a 6 year parts and labor warranty. The HRS-04-DR5 and HRS-06-DR5 also have an analog/TTL sync level selection switch and video gain switch.

    State of the art performance circuitry allows high-resolution performance whether you're distributing RGB, RGBS, RGBHV, YUV component video or HDTV. The DR5 Series is the second series in a growing line of high demand problem solvers that HRS will introduce over the next several months. The company's primary focus is on computer video and HDTV signals. On going product development includes high-end distribution and switcher products, interfaces and processors for all analog and digital video formats including NTSC, PAL, S-video, YUV component video, HDTV and VGA through UXGA signals. All HRS products feature a full six-year warranty with guaranteed advance replacement for the first year.

  • FireWireB? IEEE 1394b Standard Approved

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor and D. Eric Franks, Videomaker technical editor

    The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has approved the 1394b databus standard, which could be used as a high-speed backbone for a home-wide high-definition A/V network. The new standard supports data rates of up to around 3 gigabits/second. This high rate far exceeds current DV specifications, which only require a 25Mbps data rate, so the impact of this announcment for DV videographers is minimal.

    Analysts predict that Apple will ship new PowerMacs with IEEE 1394b later this year. Apple is working with Zayante, a small developer it acquired last month, on integrating the new standard into its computers. Initio, a computer input/output developer is also reportedly working to develop IEEE 1394b-compliant chips.

  • 'Sniper II' - 1st Major Movie Release to Use Sample Digital's Dailies App Powered by Windows Media Video

    Reprinted from a Microsoft press release:

    REDMOND, Wash., and SANTA MONICA, Calif. - May 22, 2002 - Microsoft Corp. and Sample Digital Inc. today announced that Sample Digital's Digital Dailies application powered by Microsoft Windows Media Video and Digital Rights Management was used for the first time on a major studio film production. "Sniper II," an upcoming release from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, used Sample Digital's Digital Dailies solution to significantly streamline the film production process. By using Windows Media Video, Digital Dailies makes it quick, easy and inexpensive for film and television directors, producers, and studio executives to review and collaborate around the world on time-sensitive "dailies" - footage of the latest day's shooting - via the Internet and other delivery options.

    Earlier this year, "Sniper II" became the first major studio production to use Sample Digital's Digital Dailies solution during production in Budapest, Hungary. Los Angeles-based executives viewed "Sniper II" Digital Dailies in Windows Media Video on PCs, streamlining the process of reviewing daily rushes by up to 75 percent, saving precious time and money for the filmmakers of "Sniper II."

  • Ligos Releases LSX-MPEG 2.0 for Adobe Premiere

    Reprinted from a Ligos press release:

    San Francisco, CA - (May 22, 2002) Ligos Corporation today announced the immediate availability of the latest update to its extremely popular LSX-MPEG line of encoding applications for end-users. LSX-MPEG 2.0 for Adobe Premiere is a plug-in that gives users the ability to output MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 streams directly from Adobe Premiere. Powered by the latest Ligos GoMotion technology and optimized for Intel Pentium (and compatible) processors, it provides extremely fast encoding with quality and features that exceed other software and hardware solutions.

    Designed specifically for professionals who require MPEG-2 encoding for DVD-Video, HD, and other post-production applications, LSX-MPEG for Adobe Premiere now includes a number of new features. It has been completely re-architected to provide substantial improvements in encoding speed, image quality, and a simpler, more powerful interface. Also new in this version is MPEG-4, the next-generation standard for media over narrow and broadband networks.

    "Although MPEG encoding has become somewhat commoditized these past few years with poor quality encoders, LSX-MPEG for Adobe Premiere remains the encoder of choice for both professionals and hobbyists," says Robert Saint John, Director of Marketing for Ligos. "Premiere users have a high level of expectation for their video tools, and we're certain that the speed, quality and features of this latest version will exceed those expectations."

    The latest version of LSX-MPEG for Adobe Premiere includes new MPEG codecs, adds features that improve control over encoding, and takes advantage of more features in Adobe Premiere:

    Completely new architecture - based on the latest GoMotion MPEG engine, providing improvements in encoding speed (up to 20% faster) and substantially improved image quality

  • Discreet Ships 'cleaner streaming studio' Software Compilation

    Reprinted from a Discreet press release:

    San Francisco, California-May 20, 2002-Streaming is becoming a ubiquitous medium for reaching targeted audiences with more than 52 percent of U.S. Internet users over the age of 12 having watched or listened to online streaming media.** As the streaming market becomes more attractive to industry professionals, demand for cost efficient quality tools to deliver streamed content is increasing. Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc., today announced the availability of cleaner streaming studio-which will meet the demands of this growing market and offer new customers in streaming delivery an affordable and comprehensive suite of tools.

    Encompassing its three most popular Internet streaming media software applications, cleaner live, cinestream, and cleaner-Discreet aims to enhance the workflow and success of diverse industries and applications including education and e-learning, corporate training, presentations, earnings calls, event promotions, live web events, archiving, the wedding industry and digital entertainment among others. Attractively priced for a SRP of US $795, Discreet's cleaner streaming studio offers professionals-with small or large budgets-an extensive toolset and feature functionality that gives them a start-to-finish streaming project environment.

  • Apple Updates iBook Line of Notebook Computers

    Reprinted from an Apple press release:

    CUPERTINO, Calif., May 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Apple(R) (NASDAQ: AAPL) today updated its popular iBook(R) notebooks with faster PowerPC G3 processors now running at up to 700 MHz, double the on-chip level 2 cache, a more powerful ATI Mobility Radeon graphics processor and larger hard drives.

    "The iBook is our best selling consumer and education notebook ever," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior director of Hardware Product Marketing. "Now iBooks are even better for creating, organizing and sharing digital photos, movies and music on the go."

    The new iBook runs up to 35 percent faster than previous models in CPU performance tests such as encoding a song from an audio CD into an MP3 file using iTunes. iBook also now features a new video-out port that supports VGA output, as well as S-video and composite video with optional adapter.

    Every iBook includes Apple's award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications, including iTunes 2 for organizing and burning digital music, iMovie 2 for creating digital movies, and iPhoto for organizing and sharing digital photographs.

  • Sonic Solutions Ships DVD Producer 3.1

    Reprinted from a Sonic Solutions press release:

    Marin County, California (May 16, 2002) Sonic Solutions today announced the release of its award-winning DVD Producer 3.1 software DVD authoring suite. Signaling a new standard for DVD authoring, DVD Producer's revolutionary technology recently earned it a Pick Hit of NAB 2002 award from Video Systems magazine.

    Sonic DVD Producer is an integrated and complete DVD-Video and DVD-ROM authoring system for Windows, and incorporates full support for the new OpenDVD standard for DVD interchange. DVD Producer features JumpAnywhere, an advanced point-and-click navigation programming interface that eliminates userscripting while delivering highly-advanced interactivity. In addition, the application also features real-time bit-for-bit project proofing, Sonic's Hollywood-standard AuthorScript-powered multiplexing and formatting engine, and WriteDirect single-step output to the widest range of DVD-Recordable devices. DVD Producer also includes real-time MPEG video transcoding from FireWire and comprehensive DVD-ROM authoring, including provision for dual-layer ROM authoring.

    "Sonic is fully committed to the new OpenDVD standard, and DVD Producer provides the most comprehensive support anywhere for this exciting format," stated Matt Palmer, Senior Product Manager for Sonic's Professional Products Group. "DVD Producer is built on Sonic's AuthorScript formatting engine, a standard for commercial title production in Hollywood, and as a result delivers an exceptional solution for professional DVD creators that allows them to focus on what they do best create compelling DVDs, while relying on Sonic's expertise to ensure technical compatibility."

  • Eovia Unveils Carrara Studio 2

    Reprinted from a Eovia press release:

    Mountain View, California - May 14, 2002 - Eovia Corporation, developer and publisher of leading 3D software, announced today the future availability of Carrara Studio 2, a major and widely awaited upgrade to Carrara Studio. The English/international version of Carrara Studio 2 will begin shipping on June 5, 2002 for both the Mac (OS 8, OS 9 and OS X) and Windows platforms, but can be pre-ordered now to ensure priority delivery. Fully localized versions in French and German will follow shortly.

    Carrara Studio's latest revision is another step forward in making Carrara Studio 2 the most complete, accessible and productive 3D solution in its category today.

    "Eovia clearly creates a precedent by offering three state-of-the-art features in a $399 3D product - Photon Maps Rendering, Bones Skinning and Subdivision Modeling - only found in expensive and complex applications," said Antoine Clappier, CEO of Eovia. "More than ever, Carrara Studio is the best choice for a high quality 3D solution, at the right price and with the right features".

    What's New in Carrara Studio 2
    Ultra realistic rendering - Photon Maps are the first algorithm capable of a truly global approach to image rendering. This feature combines, in a single rendering engine, all the strengths of the previous two best approaches: Ray Tracing and Radiosity.

    Using a truly remarkable rendering approach, Carrara Studio 2's Photon Maps are able to compute the Global Illumination of a whole 3D scene. This adds a wealth of rendering features: Phong Shading, Reflection, Refraction, Radiosity (including diffuse lighting, color bleeding, etc.), Caustics (light reflection and refraction), Area light emitters (with no limitation on geometry and complexity), Sky dome Illumination and Environment Illumination.

  • Apple Introduces Xserve 1U Rack-Mount Server

    by Michael Handler, Videomaker correspondent

    Apple introduced and formally launched Xserve, its new high-speed server product, May 14. It is a powerful Unix-like platform that operates with the ease of a Mac, and uses the OS X as the software backbone. The primary markets will be education, business creative, bio-tech and video. The servers will work very well for video-on-demand and in media-rich environments. The unit is rack-mounted and can work together in clusters, by remote management with a very innovative monitor interface. This is a true data center box, and it should be interesting to see how it does in the marketplace. Some corporate users were there along with Steve Jobs to tout the new units, namely Oracle and Clear Channel.

    This is not a consumer unit, nor does it hold much interest for home or even business users of commercial video and camcorders. But it should elevate Apple's position in Corporate America and in the markets listed above.

    Xserve's 1GHz PowerPC G4 processors each have 2MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) L3 cache, and Apple says Xserve is the first 1U server to use DDR SDRAM memory with up to 2GB capacity. Xserve offers up to 480GB of storage on up to eight hot-plug ATA/100 drives, and networking with standard dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. Xserve includes an unlimited user license to Mac OS X Server software, offering users a combination for file/print service, video streaming, database applications, computational clustering and Web and mail serving.

    Two standard configurations of Xserve are expected in June. A setup that includes a single 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 256MB DDR RAM, four 60GB hard drives, dual gigabit Ethernet, CD-ROM and Mac OS X server with unlimited clients will come with a list price of $2,999. The dual 1GHz G4 processor Xserve, with 512MB DDR RAM and eight 60GB drives will have an MSRP of $3,999.