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  • Compaq Bundles DVD-Authoring Software with Japanese Presario 5112JP


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Following Compaq North America's announcement that it would bundle Sonic Solutions' Sonic DVDit! with its MyMovieStudio editing package, Compaq announced that DVDit! will ship with its Presario 5112JP computers, making it possible for video enthusiasts will be able to author their own DVD Video discs.

    On the Compaq, DVDit! will allow users to select personal video clips and graphics, preview their project, then record it directly to a DVD disc in DVD-Video format. The discs will be playable on DVD-equipped PCs and set-top DVD players.

    The Presario 5112JP model is part of Compaq Computer Japans 2001 summer lineup and features an Athlon 1.3GHz processor, 80GB HDD and 128MB RAM. It will be available in Japan later this month for 239,800 yen (approximately $2,000 US). The Presario 5112JP is being hailed as one of the first affordable DVD-Recordable equipped PCs available in the Japanese market, giving users the power to record, edit and publish their own videos in the popular DVD-Video format.

  • CyberLink's New 'Power Director' Software Boasts Rendering That's 10-Times Faster Nearest Competitor


    Reprinted from a Cyberlink press release:

    May 28, 2001----Taipei, Taiwan----
    CyberLink, a leading developer of digital video and streaming multimedia software applications, today announced the upcoming release of PowerDirector, a revolutionary new video editing software program. PowerDirector is a total solution software program that can produce professional-quality videos. Featuring a state-of-the-art advancement in video editing called Smart Video Rendering Technology, PowerDirector is able render edited video notably faster than other leading video editing software products on the market, and won't degrade the quality of the original un-edited video segments. In addition, PowerDirector offers superb special effects, an easy to use storyboard interface, the ability to input video from, and output to, numerous sources, and much more. It is a total video editing solution for the PC.

    Derived from CyberLink's extensive R&D in the area of MPEG-1 and 2 Video, PowerDirector offers a revolutionary breakthrough in video editing software with its Smart Video Rendering Technology (SVRT). This advanced technology has the ability to render edited portions of video at a rate of almost 10 times that of the nearest competitor (based on internal studies). This is due to the fact that with SVRT, PowerDirector only needs to render the sections of video that have been edited, whereas as other products need to render the entire length of video. Yet time is not the only thing that SVRT saves. By only needing to render edited video portions, the remainder of the video is preserved in its original quality!

  • Windows Media Player 7.1 for Pocket PC Supports Wireless Digital Audio & Video Access


    Reprinted from a Microsoft press release:

    REDMOND, Wash. - May 22, 2001 - Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of Microsoft Windows Media 7.1 Player for Pocket PC and announced a preview of a new wireless digital media guide for mobile users, WindowsMedia.com Mobile.

    Windows Media Player 7.1 for Pocket PC is the first all-in-one media player to support wireless access to digital audio and video for Pocket PC users,* as well as playback of downloaded audio and video content. The player also includes breakthrough Windows Media Audio and Video 8 codec technology providing the best-quality audio and video in the smallest file size.

    The new preview of WindowsMedia.com Mobile provides mobile users with access to top-quality Windows Media audio and video content, which can be streamed to a Pocket PC over high-speed wireless Internet access such as Metricom's Ricochet Network or 802.11 Wireless LANs.

    "The future of wireless streaming is here today with information and entertainment just a click away for Pocket PC users," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "The launch today of these two key innovations for mobile users is a critical milestone in the goal of delivering digital media any time, any place on any device."

    Windows Media Player 7.1 for Pocket PC - The First All-In-One Mobile Media Player

  • Pinnacle Express lets CD-R Owners Produce DVD Player-Compatible Discs


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Set for a July 15 release date, Pinnacle Systems new Express software offers video producers and hobbyists new versatility by allowing them to create DVD player-compatible discs, using inexpensive CD-R drives and media. Not only can users record DVD discs with DVD-R and DVD-RW drives, but Express incorporates technology that allows existing CD-R owners to create up to 20 minutes of DVD-quality video that can be played on 90 percent of DVD players. It can also record up to 30 minutes in S-VCD format (VHS or slightly better quality), viewable on approximately 60 percent of DVD players.

    While the world inevitably moves from CD-R to DVD-R technology, Express offers consumers who've yet to switch over the ability to use their existing CD-R drives to save their DV or Digital8 videotapes in a DVD-friendly format. It can also create slideshows. Another feature is disc customizing, as Express automatically creates chapter menus so users can quickly go to specific scenes with their DVD player's remote control. Express also offers several organization, background and title-authoring options. Users can re-organize and title each scene, and re-order the scenes themselves.

    Express has a $149 suggested retail price, and is expected to be included in Compaq Windows XP machines this autumn.

  • LifeClips Introduces VHS to DVD Conversion Service at Florida Eckerd Drug Stores


    Acton, Mass., May 15, 2001 - As growing awareness of the short shelf life of home videotapes and the unprecedented sales of DVD players fuel demand, LifeClips today announced that its new Videotape to DVD Conversion Service is now available in drug stores in the Tampa Bay area.

    The LifeClips service, offered on the Internet at www.lifeclips.com and at Eckerd drug stores in the Tampa/Clearwater, Fla. area, enables consumers to simply drop off their home movies at the LifeClips display, as easily as they would a roll of film. In two weeks, customers receive their digital memories back on DVD, ensuring that precious moments - from a child's first steps, to high school graduation, to wedding - will be preserved forever.

    DVD offers a great number of improvements over traditional video, which is driving consumer adoption at a record pace for electronics. According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), as of March 2001, over 16 million DVD players have been sold in the U.S. alone since the technology was introduced in 1997. "Obviously, DVD is an extremely popular technology with consumers. In fact, a recent Cahner's In Stat report predicts that annual DVD sales will equal that of VCR sales in 2004 at 37 million units," said Brian Poggi, president and CEO of LifeClips.

    Customers can visit the LifeClips Web site at www.lifeclips.com and order a mail-in Tape to DVD Conversion Kit with the click of a mouse. LifeClips converts VHS, BetaMax, 8mm, Hi8, Digital 8, S-VHS, VHS-C, and miniDV tape formats onto high-quality, long-lasting DVDs. Introductory cost for conversion of a two-hour tape is $29.99. In addition, LifeClips is offering Eckerd customers a special rebate to first time users of the service - one free conversion of a two-hour tape to DVD through June 17, 2001.

  • LaCie's New 180GB Hard Drive Targets Digital Audio/Video Editors


    HILLSBORO, OR (May 9, 2001) Known for its expertise in delivering reliable, high-performance storage solutions, LaCie became one of the first OEMs to launch a 180GB external desktop drive today. Featuring a rotational speed of 7,200 rpm, LaCie's new 3.5-inch hard drive achieves record-breaking transfer rates of up to 75 MB/sec in RAID and 47 MB/sec as a single drive, making it one of the largest and fastest hard drives on the market. The drive is equipped with an Ultra 160/LVD SCSI interface--the fastest SCSI interface available--and LaCie's unique bullet-proof casing for added heat and shock resistance.

    The Ultra 160 SCSI interface combines with the high-performance 180GB drive to provide immediate benefits for throughput-intensive applications where speed is the primary goal. Designed for demanding applications such as high-end servers and databases, as well as digital audio/video editing and desktop publishing, the drive's high transfer rate and 8.2 ms seek time translate into improved productivity.

  • ViewCast Online Allows Businesses to Quickly Upload Streaming Video


    DALLAS (May 8, 2001) ViewCast Corporation, a leading provider of Internet and networked video solutions, today introduced a new business concept a video solutions portal that allows businesses to add streaming video to corporate Web sites with point-and-click ease. The portal, www.viewcastonline.com, offers a variety of new tools, packaged products and end-to-end support which enable even small-to-medium-size businesses to take advantage of the power of Internet video.

    Prior to ViewCast Online, putting video on the Internet involved numerous steps, technical and otherwise video capture and encoding, setting up delivery servers, negotiating bandwidth with content deliver networks, configuring servers and complicated Web site coding, to name a few. ViewCast's video solutions portal automates these steps into one simple online process. With ViewCast Online, if a business has a Web site, Internet access and an e-mail address, it can take advantage of streaming video.

    The company is currently offering two distinct packages at its video solutions portal:

    EZStream, which combines software and specially packaged services that enable businesses with content to capture, edit, encode, publish, host and deliver streaming video/rich media content on corporate Web sites.

    StreamStory, which enables a business to have its corporate message professionally produced and made available on its Web site in one easy, low-cost step.

    Both services take advantage of ViewCast Online's high-performance content delivery network. ViewCast Online offers a variety of competitively priced hosting rate plans for streaming content. Managing accounts is equally simple. Business clients can change or renew hosting rate plans, change account profiles and set up or change e-mail notification flags for traffic and usage metrics information and alerts.

  • Sony Announces PC9 Mini DV Camcorder


    Sonys's newest camcorder, the DCR-PC9 Mini DV Handycam, combines MPEG movie capability, expanded battery capacity and USB connectivity, all in a 1-pound, 1-ounce package. Switch the PC9 to MPEG Movie mode, and the camcorder captures up to 60 seconds of video and audio in low-resolution Video E-mail mode (160x120), or up to 15 seconds in Presentation mode (320x240). The footage, saved to Sony's Memory Stick disks, is intended for e-mail, Web pages or presentations. The PC9 inclused a USB connector to enhance camcorder-to-PC transfer speed.

    The camcorder's new InfoLithium battery allows you to shoot almost two hours of action, 30 percent more than its predecessor, the PC5. The remaining battery life is displayed, in minutes, on the camcorder's 2.5-inch touchscreen LCD display.

    The PC9 also includes MGI's PhotoSuite and VideoWave for editing movies and digital still images. Available in June, the DCR-PC9 retails for about $1,300.

  • New Tek's Video Toaster [2] Almost Ready to Go


    The much-anticipated Video Toaster [2], New Tek's PC-compatible desktop video effects, editing and live switching system, is set for a summer rollout. A successor to the original Amiga-based system released in 1990, the new Video Toaster [2] was unveiled at April's NAB 2001 Conference. The live production environment for post-production and Internet streaming offers flexible and interactive architecture that allows all popular video and graphic file types to be easily recognized and shared between components.

    Video Toaster [2]'s SX-8 Switcher Expansion module, which New Tek calls the world's most versatile breakout box, houses 100 audio, video and data connectors. The SX-8 module is the heart of the system's Toaster Switcher, which allows eight component, eight S-video or up to 24 composite inputs, or any combination of the three, to be swithced live to tape, to disk or to the Internet.

    The system also includes ToasterEdit, which offers live switching, audio mixing, color correction and playback of ToasterEdit projects in real time, LightWave Express, for 3D graphics, compositing and animation, and Aura 2, New Tech's latest video paint system.

    Video Toaster [2] is expected to ship July 31, 2001, with a suggested retail price of $4,995. A software upgrade ($495) and SX-8 breakout box with software upgrade ($1,995), will also be available.

  • Avid Xpress DV 2.0 Video Editing Software is Available


    Avid Technology Inc. has released the 2.0 version of its Xpress DV editing software. Requiring only a qualified noterbook or workstation and a DV in/out card, Xpress DV 2.0 delivers video editing, audio effects, titling, media management and more. The new software-only version ($1,699), allows professional field editing on notebook computers and has been reworked to take advantage of Pentium processors up to 1.5GHz and the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system, with no additional hardware (except the DV in/out card).

    Avid Xpress DV 2.0 boasts new editing and media management features including dual monitor support, new audio features, more effects and compositing, new custoomization capabilities, more DVD and Web delivery and enhanced DV camcorder, deck and card support.

    Avid is offering an upgrade from prevous Xpress DV versions to 2.0 for $399. The upgrade is free for customers who purchased Xpress DV version 1.5 after Jan. 1, 2001 and register at www.avid.com/register/xpressdv before June 15.

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