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  • Philips Shows $999 DVD-Recorder at CES

    Reprinted from a Panasonic press release: LAS VEGAS - January 7, 2002 - Today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, philips Consumer Electronics announced its new lineup of cutting-edge, lifestyle-driven products designed to change the way consumers see and hear the world. DVDR985 DVD-Recorder With the touch of a button, the DVDR985 escorts the future of DVD recording into the present. Personalized DVD recording changes the way you see daily life with friends and family -- from birthday celebrations to holidays, to vacations, even weddings -- and it captures favorite moments on TV as well. Based on DVD+RW technology, the DVDR985 is compatible with most existing and future DVD-Video and DVD-ROM equipment. DVD+RW discs can be played immediately after recording -- no finalization or waiting time required, whereas other formats take minutes to finalize after processing. The DVDR985 is simple to use for virtually any consumer. And with the sophisticated DCDi chip by Faroudja, the DVDR985 delivers state-of-the-art picture performance. Philips DVD-recorders not only record, they also offer convenient editing features that allow users to do linear editing directly on the recorder, utilizing the TV as a display.
  • Hitachi at CES: DVD Cams - In; Tape-Based Cams - Out

    Reprinted from a Hitachi press release: LAS VEGAS, January 8, 2002 - The Home Electronics Division of Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. ,, unveiled its latest DVD camcorders today at the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show. Three new DVD camcorder models now offer both DVD-R and DVD-RAM format compatibility. The DVD-R capability provides compatibility with most home DVD players. DVD-RAM offers simple in-camera editing and incredible durability as discs can be re-recorded over 100,000 times. HIGH QUALITY VIDEO RECORDING Hitachi's DVD camcorders utilize the high quality and high efficiency of MPEG2 video compression technology. Consumers can select between extended recording time or increased recording quality. DVD-RAM discs hold a minimum of 40 minutes of the highest quality DVD video (20 min/side), one hour of high quality DVD video (30 min/side) or two hours of standard quality. DVD-R discs hold 30 minutes of high quality DVD video (single-sided) and can be played back on most standard consumer DVD players and DVD-ROM3 drives, but are not rewrite-able. Additionally, the top two models can record 1,998 JPEG still images at 1280 x 960 on DVD-RAM discs, while the entry model can record 1,998 JPEG stills at a resolution of 1024 x 768. EASE OF USE Consumers will appreciate the benefits of disc-based systems including random access and the compact form factor. Random access to any point on the disc avoids clumsy rewinding and fast forwarding. Hitachi's DVD camcorders offer a visual "thumbnail" guide of small pictures representing each beginning of a scene recorded on the disc. Simply select the thumbnail picture and you can view the video clip. DVD-RAM offers the same capability when selecting still images. Additionally, since the camcorders only write to empty areas on the disc, there is no danger of accidentally erasing any scene.
  • Canon Announces Two Hi8 Cams Under $300 at CES

    Reprinted from a Canon press release:

    LAKE SUCCESS, NEW YORK, January 8, 2002 - Canon U.S.A., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. and a leader in the imaging and video markets, is introducing two new Hi8 video camcorders that enter the market as the most affordable, feature-laden models available today. At $299 and $229, respectively, the ES8400V and ES75 allow a wider audience, including teenagers and young adults, to capture life's special moments and experience the fun and creativity video imaging offers. Canon offers one of the widest selections of analog and digital video camcorders, providing consumers with a range of video alternatives based on the product features and pricepoints that fit their needs.

    The two new Hi8 analog models offer a wide range of advanced features and functions including a 22x optical / 800x digital zoom lens, Built-in video light, FlexiZone Auto Focus and Auto Exposure, Custom Keys for personalizing the camcorder to the user's shooting preferences, Programmed AE and Digital Effects for greater creative flexibility.

    Exclusive To ES8400V Model
    The Canon ES8400V Hi8 camcorder offers a few additional features than the ES75 model including a 2.5-inch color viewscreen for easier video composition (the ES75 model offers a color viewfinder only), especially from high and low-angles and for quick video playback; Image Stabilization provides smoother and steadier recordings, even when in its full telephoto position; and Photo Mode for capturing still images directly onto the videotape.

  • Bill Gates Keynote Address Opens CES 2002

    Reprinted from a Consumer Electronics Association press release:

    Microsoft Corporation Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates pre-opened the 2002 International CES - Your Source for Workstyle and Lifestyle Technology - with a dramatic presentation highlighting the role of software in defining the direction of electronics device design. The presentation focused on the current digital decade and the three key areas of product usage that shape consumers' demand for new devices - on the go devices, the home experience and entertainment. Gates keynote encompassed several product areas showcased at CES - from electronic gamming and wireless to home theater and mobile audio to home information and networking.

    Gates was introduced by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro. In his introduction, Shapiro described Microsoft as a company that epitomizes the spirit of CES, having begun small, but utilizing the trade show arena to grow.

    He then described Gates with the Yiddish term, Mensch, meaning a person who does good deeds, and noted how not only has Microsoft changed the world and all of its citizens, but also how Bill and Melinda Gates personally have made tremendous contributions to other causes.

    Gates began his presentation by describing the applicability of Moore's and Metcalf's Laws to the current digital decade, stating that, now more than ever, technologies will continue to get smaller, faster and cheaper and will all connect with each other. In the new era, said Gates, the success of any individual device will determine the success of other devices to which it connects.

  • Sonic Foundry Launches Vegas Video 3.0

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Sonic Foundry recently announced Version 3.0 of Vegas Video, its professional video and audio editing software. The new version incorporates new features and advancements in multimedia content development. These include, according to the manufacturer, fast and efficient DV capture and editing, and output capabilities to multiple formats for the Web, DVDs and broadcast.

    Vegas Video is said to offer support for many OHCI-compatible IEEE 1394 DV devices and can render projects in formats including: DV, MPEG-1 and 2, Real Media, Windows Media and QuickTime formats, uncompressed D1 for broadcast, NTSC, PAL and Red Book audio CDs, which feature Sonic Foundry's CD Architect technology.

    Sonic Foundry promises several new features for Vegas Video 3.0.

    The Batch Capture with Automatic Scene Detection, the company said, includes -- in addition to batch capturing -- tape logging, still image capture and thumbnail preview features that should allow users to intuitively capture DV.

    A long list of new, announced video effects include Lens Flare, Light Rays, Film FX, Color Curves, Mirror, Remap, Deform, Convolution, Linear Blur, Black Restore, Levels, Unsharp Mask, Color Grad, and Timecode Burn filter.

    Version 3.0 arms users with the tools to burn professional-quality Red Book audio CD masters directly from the Vegas timeline. Users will also have a DV Print-to-Tape from the Timeline feature.

    Vegas Video 3.0, Sonic Foundry said, offers Dynamic RAM Previewing timesaving, temporary render-free previews for quick examination and fine-tuning of complex video effects.

    In addition, the new Sonic Foundry-developed DV codec should offer perfect colors, sharp images, artifact-free compositing, and DV chromakeying, the company promises.

  • Canopus Adds 3D to DVRaptor-RT, DVStorm, DVRex RT

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor Canopus Corp recently announced 3D RT, an across the board addtion of real-time 3D transition capabilities for its DVRaptor-RT, DVStorm, DVRex RT and DVRex RT Professional editing products. With Canopus users already enjoying real-time, render-free DV output capabilites, the company heralds the addition of real-time 3D capabilities, as an unparalleled level of functionality for the Canopus line. With 3D RT, users can choose from five 3D transition groups (Page Peel, Fly Away, Single Door, Double Door and Sphere), and more than 30 preset transitions for 3D creation that the company promises will be free o soft or jagged edges users encounter on other systems. The real-time 3D effects, Canopus said, support Adobe Premiere 6.0 as well as its own Storm Edit and Rex Edit applications and will be incorporated into in newly-purchased DVRaptor-RT, DVStorm, DVRex RT and DVRex RT Professional products. Users who purchased these products after Oct. 1, 2001 can upgrade free, while other users can purchase the upgrade for $99 at The realtime 3D plug-in requires a Pentium 1.5GHz or AMD Athlon 1.4GHz or higher CPU, the company said.
  • Boris Announces 'Calligraphy' Titler for Final Cut Pro 3

    Reprinted from a Boris press release: Los Angeles (December 4, 2001) Boris FX, the leading developer of integrated graphics and effects technology for the television, broadcast, post production, and multi-media markets, today announced the introduction of Boris Calligraphy, two new title generators for Final Cut Pro 3. Running natively on Mac OS X, Calligraphy provides advanced titling capabilities for Final Cut Pro. "Boris Calligraphy showcases our strong integration with Final Cut Pro 3 through the unique approach of plugging into Final Cut Pro's Generator mechanism," said Boris Yamnitsky, founder and president of Boris. "Boris titling tools are the most powerful on the market and Calligraphy is a perfect introduction for Final Cut Pro 3 users to experience Boris' remarkable titling capabilities with two new generators - Title 3D and Title Crawl." Title Crawl is meant for convenient creation of automated roll and crawl effects, while Title 3D offers vector-based text that can be manipulated in 3D space with full pivot control, animated tracking, and other text transformations. Both Generators share a common text entry window and style palette which provides controls for text formatting including leading, kerning, tabs, and word wrap, as well as separate controls for fill, stroke, and shadow for creating and saving powerful text styles. Besides creating title animations in 3D space, the Title 3D Generator can be used on systems with real-time Final Cut Pro systems to create static slates that can then be animated in real time. For additional titling capabilities, users can upgrade to Boris GRAFFITI, which adds title extrusion, mapping titles to 3D shapes, text on path, automatically-resizing simple backdrops for text, natural media generation, export to Flash, and tools for creating sophisticated animations with ease. Boris RED goes further still, offering vector paint for write-on title
  • AIST Offers Laptop-Friendly Video Editing

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Calling it a perfect introduction to video, AIST recently released MovieDVsuite 4.0 for Laptops. Using the company's MovieDV 4.0 editing software as a base, MovieDVsuite 4.0 for Laptops comes with a PCMCIA IEEE 1394 card as well as an IEEE 1394 cable, for DV camcorder connectivity. It also ships with Sonic Solution's MyDVD DVD authoring software and Royalty-Free Audio.

    MovieDVsuite 4.0 for Laptops, which is designed to support all major video and audio formats, offers video editing, animation, titling, as well as effects, transitions and audio capabilities for the video hobbyist.

    In addition, MovieDVsuite 4.0 for Laptops allows for growth, as users become more adept at editing. Editors can use AIST MovieX and third party plug-ins to add transitions, effects, character generators and other features, the company said.

    MovieDVsuite 4.0 for Laptops is available at a suggested retail price of $129.

  • JVC Wins Emmy for Development of Consumer Camcorders

    Reprinted from a Visario/CFG Media/Columbia Financial Group press release:

    Wayne, NJ (October 25, 2001) JVC, one of the world's leading developers and manufacturers of sophisticated audio, video and related software products, received an Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in technological advancement for Pioneering Development of Consumer Camcorders. JVC Executive Vice President and COO Harry Elias accepted the award, which was presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at a ceremony held in New York on October 16.

    The beginning of consumer camcorders started with JVC introducing the world?s first portable video system (Vidstar) for consumer use in 1977. For the first time, users were able to produce their own affordable color videotapes with impressive results. JVC has maintained the tradition of creating technologically advanced and affordable camcorders. This tradition started with JVC's 16.5 lb. HR /GC-3350 in 1978, which was used by broadcast professionals, and evolved to JVC's newest camcorder, the GR-DVP3 which is the world's smallest and lightest Mini DV camcorder, weighing less than .78lbs. These camcorders have become an integral part of society and are used for everything from capturing family moments to business applications.

  • After Effects 5.5 Expands Creative Options

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Adobe Systems has announced Version 5.5 of its popular After Effects motion graphics and video effects software, promising editors expanded creative tools and access to more media types.

    Expanding its import and output options to include Advanced RealMedia export and compatibility with Alias|Wavefront's Maya and Discreet's 3ds max, After Effects 5.5 is designed to give editors more flexibility. In addition to supporting additional file formats, including Maya IFF, RPF, SGI and QuickTime, the company said that 5.5 is the fastest After Effects yet.

    New features, Adobe said, will include multiple views, colored shadows and stained glass lighting. In addition, the program's new Advanced 3D Renderer is designed to create high-quality intersecting layers.

    After Effects 5.5, which supports Mac OS X as well as Windows XP, is expected to ship in early 2002. The standard version will come with a $649 MSRP, and upgrades for After Effects 5.0 owners will cost $99.

    Adobe will also release the $1,499 Production Bundle version, which will include Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator. In addition, according to an Adobe senior product manager, the Production Bundle offers superior visual effects tools for bluescreen and greenscreen keying, a greater selection of warping and morphing effects, and tools for shrinking and expanding mattes. The Production Bundle also offers editors vector paint tools, motion stabilization and a color stabilizer. Production Bundle users can take advantage of network rendering, saving time by simultaneously rendering a project on several desktop computers.