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  • LaCie drops price on 24x10x40x USB and FireWire Connective CD-RW


    Reprinted from a LaCie press release:

    Hillsboro, OR (July 13, 2001) Leveraging its 3-month lead as the first to ship a 24x10x40x CD-RW drive with both USB and FireWire connectivity, LaCie announced today that the volume of drives being sold has enabled the company to slash the price of the drive to an unprecedented $299 after the mail-in rebate. In addition to its blazing-fast write speed, LaCie's new CD-RW incorporates advanced "BURN-Proof (Buffer Under RuN) technology and provides users with the convenience of being able to easily transfer the drive between FireWire and USB-equipped computers. LaCie will feature the drive at Macworld, Booth 1913, next week in New York City.

    With the ability to write CD-Rs at 3.6 MB/s (24X) the industry's highest CD recording speed-- the LaCie 24x10x40 CD-RW can burn a complete 650MB CD in about 3 minutes. The same drive can be used to rewrite CD-RW discs at 1.5 MB/s (10X)--the industry's fastest rewrite speed. The LaCie CD-RW drive also provides 40x playback and fast, 150ms access.

    LaCie includes advanced BURN-Proof technology with the drive to eliminate the possibility of buffer overruns and ensure error-free recording at 24x speeds--even when lower-performance PCs are used. The advanced BURN-Proof technology also allows users to burn CDs in the background while working on other applications.

  • Canon Announces XL1S Camcorder: 27 New Features Offered


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Since it's release in late-1997, the feature-packed Canon XL1 Mini DV camcorder has been considered by many to be the top-of-the line consumer video camera. Now, Canon is poised to release its first upgrade to the popular model, the XL1S. Available in late August, with a suggested list price of $4,699 (the XL1 debuted at $4,699), the XL1S includes a standard 16x optical zoom lens (which includes Canon's optical image stabilizer and automatic focus feature). In September, Canon will offer buyers the XL1S with an optional 16x manual lens at the same $4,699 price.

    While the XL1S' exterior is nearly identical to the XL1, expect some major changes on the inside. According to Canon, key improvements are in several areas: picture quality, shooting modes and enhancements, variable zoom speeds, zebra levels, picture adjustments, white balance, audio controls and an improved, optional XLR microphone input adapter.

    Canon Product Development and Support Senior Manager Joe Bogacz said all the expressed needs that may have prevented cinematographers and broadcasters from using the XL1 have been addressed in the upgraded XL1S. Watch for a complete review of the XL1S in an upcoming issue of Videomaker.

  • Poor Sales Prompts Apple to Halt Power Mac G4 Cube Production


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Apple Computer announced July 3 that it would stop making its Power Mac G4 Cube, less than a year after it was introduced.

    Despite winning design awards, poor Cube sales was blamed for the decision, after sales dropped from 9.5 percent of Apple's computer sales last September to only 1.6 percent of its sales in March. The Cupertino, Calif. Company has no immediate plans of upgrading the Cube.

    The 8-inch, clear-plastic Cube is pre-installed with videographer-friendly features such as iMovie 2 digital video-editing software, and two FireWire ports for easy digital camcorder connections. And just 4 months ago, Apple further equipped the Cube with a CD-RW drive and iTunes jukebox software.

    It's been reported that customers have been more apt to spend a little more and buy the Power Mac G4 minitower, according to an Apple spokeswoman.

  • New Application Settings Announced for the ShuttlePRO Controller


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Contour Design, a leading provider of ergonomically designed computer products, announced new application settings for its audio and video-editing tool, the ShuttlePRO, June 26.

    To get the latest application settings (predefined commonly used keystroke commands) visit the company's Web site: www.contourdesign.com.

    With the MSRP of $125, the company said that the ShuttlePRO, a USB Macintosh product (a Windows 2000 version is planned), is the most cost-effective jog and shuttle controller for video and audio editing on the market. Its ability to navigate quickly, settings for more than two dozen commonly-used applications, and user flexibility to change the settings, is expected to enhance personal productivity.

    ShuttlePRO application settings support the following Macintosh applications: Acrobat Reader 4, Adobe After Effects 4.1, Adobe Illustrator 8, Adobe PhotoShop 5.5 and 6.0, Adobe Premiere 5.1 and 6.0, Apple CD Player, Apple DVD Player, Apple iMovie, Apple iMovie 2, Apple Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 and 2.0, Apple Sherlock 2, BorisFX 5, BorisRED, BorisGrafitti, DigiDesign ProTools 5.1, Emagic Logic Audio, Internet Explorer, Macromedia Director 8, Macromedia Flash 4, Macromedia Flash 5, Media100I, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, MOTU Digital Performer 2.72, Netscape Communicator, QuarkXpress 4.1, QuickTime Player, Steinberg Cubase VST/32 5.0

  • Plugin Galaxy for AE Offers After Effects, Premiere, Final Cut Pro and Pinnacle Commotion 3 Users New Video Effects


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Plugin Galaxy for AE, a collection of 20 After Effects plugins containing 129 different animatable video effects, was announced July 3.

    The product is compatible with Adobe After Effects 4/5, Adobe Premiere 6, Final Cut Pro and Pinnacle Commotion 3 on Windows and Macintosh computers.

    Plugin Galaxy for AE effects include transparency manipulation, blurring, texture and pattern generation, noise creation, mirroring and warping. It also includes metal, chrome, neon, pop art, glass, rainbow, sunshine and star effects.The software lets you enhance, colorize and add edges to your animations and videos as well as encrypt them. It also includes some rarely-found effects like feedbacks, grids and zooming. All of these effects can be animated over time to produce stunning motion effects.

    The 120-plus basic plugin Galaxy for AE effects are manipulated with the help of sliders, check boxes, color settings and preview coordinates, giving users access to thousands of potential video effects.

    Plugin Galaxy for AE, as well as a version for Adobe PhotoShop, is available at http://plugingalaxy.com for $99.

    The Plugin Site, a graphics, video and Web software developer located in Nuremberg, Germany, also created the Plugin Commander, Edge & Frame Galaxy and HTML Shrinker products and co-produced Alpha Magic with Pinnacle Systems.

  • Dialog Semiconductor Acquires CMOS Imaging Business from Sarnoff Corp.


    Reprinted from a Digital Semiconductor press release:

    KIRCHHEIM, Germany and TECK-NABERN, Germany, July 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dialog Semiconductor Plc, today announced that it has acquired the CMOS imaging business and associated CMOS Active Pixel Sensor (APS) patent portfolio from the New Jersey, USA based Sarnoff Corporation, the research and development institute formerly known as RCA Laboratories. The two companies will partner for long term development of imaging technology and Sarnoff will continue its CMOS business in advanced imaging for medical, government and low volume applications.

    Effective immediately, the new technology extends Dialog's product portfolio. Its power management and audio chipsets are already established in mobile phones, and now Dialog can offer advanced camera-on-a-chip technology as a highvolume fabless CMOS imaging company. As part of the agreement, a core team from Sarnoff is designated to transfer and implement the technology at Dialog. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Commenting on the significance of the acquisition, Roland Pudelko, CEO & President of Dialog Semiconductor, said, "The advantage to our customers is that we will own the key element which helps to drive down the cost and power consumption of camera modules for high volume markets".

    Sarnoff's CEO, Dr. Satyam Cherukuri said "We are very excited about combining Dialog's excellent design, manufacturing and marketing expertise along with our advanced design technology which together will make a competitive, world class imaging business."

  • Microsoft Producer Unveiled - Combines Windows Media, HTML & PowerPoint Features for Presentations


    Reprinted from a Microsoft / Weber Shandwick press release:

    Microsoft Unveiled Microsoft Producer June 20, a comprehensive tool that enables media professionals and everyday business users to create, edit and publish rich media presentations. Combining the power of Windows Media audio and video, HTML and PowerPoint slide presentations, Microsoft said that Producer will allow users to take the communication of ideas and information to a new level.

    Producer, a companion tool for Office XP users, takes a step in enabling broader use of digital media to rapidly deliver information throughout large organizations right to the PC desktop.

    Corporate use of streaming media has doubled in the past 18 months. But one of the key obstacles in advancing broader adoption of digital media in organizations has been the lack of easy tools for creating content, Microsoft said. This is in part because creating content has required specialized knowledge and the ability to juggle tools to author and combine varied elements such as digital audio and video, PowerPoint slides, images and HTML. Microsoft Producer attemps to allow any media professional or business user to create, edit, preview and publish rich digital media presentations anywhere.

    With Producer, media professionals, training specialists, sales and marketing professionals, and business users can create digital media marketing communications, online training, on-demand companywide executive broadcasts, and published archives of live presentations. Then all of these can be published with the click of a button to intranet sites, the Internet or a CD.

  • FX DVE Video Editing Post-Production Software Aims at Wedding Videographers


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Based in Mumbai, India for 15 years, Monarch Video Vision has jumped into the North American market with FX DVE, a complete post-production software solution for online video mixing. Boasting more than 2,500 ready-to-use effects, three composite and three S-video inputs along with two outputs, (composite and S-video), FX DVE was specially created keeping in mind the requirements of wedding videographers and post-production studios.

    FX DVE claims an extremely user-friendly interface. It also has a feature called Titledeko, which enables you to use any TrueType fonts along with more than 300 ready to use styles.

    The FX DVE is said to be a broadcast quality machine, empowered by Pinnacle Systems and uses the 3D DVE technology. The FX DVE software is compatible with Pinnacle Systems - Genie Plus card. If you are already a Genie Plus user you need not change your Genie Plus card this software can be used along with the same hardware. All you need to do is install the FX DVE software.

    The list price for the newly released 6.0 version of FX DVE is $999, and 5.0 and 5.5 users can upgrade for free. For more information, visit www.themonarchworld.com. And if you are in the New York City area, see a demo live at the Videomaker Expo East 2001 exhibition, June 28-30, 2001 at the Sheraton, Meadowlands Hotel, East Rutherford, New Jersey. Monarch Video Vision will be at Booth # 804. For more info on the Videomaker Expo, visit www.videomaker.com.

  • Canopus DVRaptor Goes Real-Time


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Canopus Corp. announced June 11, its DVRaptor-RT, which features real-time DV nonlinear editing, MPEG output for DVD and Web streaming, and a comprehensive software bundle. DVRaptor-RT has a MSRP of $599.

    DVRaptor-RT includes a complete suite of editing and effects tools and delivers what Canpous says is an unprecedented level of professional features such as real-time capture, effects, titles and filters, and advanced MPEG encoding for CD, DVD or Web streaming. Canopus also announced a special upgrade program for registered users of Adobe Premiere 6.0, and Canopus's DVRaptor and EZDV editing solutions.

    In order to provide users with a comprehensive nonlinear editing solution, DVRaptor-RT includes Adobe Premiere 6.0. DVRaptor-RT brings an assortment of advanced real-time editing features to Premiere 6.0 including the ability to handle multiple moving titles and graphics layers using three streams of video. DVRaptor-RT provides users with 23 real-time filters, such as color correction, mosaic, emboss, picture-in-picture, chroma key, luma key and chrominance, and multiple real-time transitions, including wipes, dissolves, slides, page curls and stretch. DVRaptor-RT offers native DV editing with real-time analog output for greater quality and timesavings. DVRaptor-RT also provides real-time analog audio output with filters applied to both the video and external audio tracks.

    For 3D transitions and effects, Canopus Xplode Basics is also included. Users can make their videos come alive by incorporating 3D transitions and effects from Xplode Basics' collection of over 160 preset effects.

  • Microsoft Claims Windows Media to be World's Most Popular DRM Technology


    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Microsoft Corp. announced June 13 two key Digital Rights Management (DRM) milestones that highlight the acceptance and adoption of Microsoft's DRM technologies for audio, video and eBooks.

    First, Windows Media DRM technology has been used in more than 7.5 million transactions for secure music and video, making it the most widely used technology to date for securely distributing digital media over the Internet. This data is based on reporting from leading companies, including DMDsecure, iBEAM Broadcasting Corp., Liquid Audio, On Demand Distribution (OD2), Reciprocal Inc., and RioPort Inc., that service secure music and video transactions.

    A Microsoft vs. RealNetworks (who boast 200 million RealPlayer users worldwide) rivalry toward secure digital media distribution supremacy seems to be heating up. This announcement came just prior to a RealNetworks June 21 announcement of its RealSystem Media Commerce Suite, a DRM that it said will drive and enable e-commerce in a whole new dimension.

    Microsoft also announced that its DRM solution in the eBook industry, Digital Asset Server, is currently running more than 20 eBookstores worldwide. This announcement illustrates that both Windows Media and eBooks DRM have becomeimportant foundations for Web services that offer consumers immediate access to their favorite music, video and books.

    In August 1999, Windows Media became the first format for streamed and downloaded audio and video to integrate DRM technology.

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