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  • Ulead Announces DVD MovieFactory 2.0


    by Charles Fulton

    Ulead has announced the December availability of DVD MovieFactory 2.0.
    This new version includes Disc-Direct capture, allowing users to write directly to DVDs from video sources without writing to the computer's hard drive.
    The software also provides on-disc editing tools for use with DVD+RW drives, allowing the re-use of video already recorded on the disc.
    DVD MovieFactory 2.0 will be available for download starting December 10 for $44.95. Registered users can download the upgrade for $34.95. The retail product is scheduled to be on shelves in January 2003.

  • TDK Shows Armor-Plated Recordable DVDs


    Reprinted from a TDK press release:

    Heralding a major breakthrough in recordable DVD technology, TDK today announced the introduction of its Armor Plated DVD discs, premium quality recordable DVD media that incorporate next-generation hard-coating technologies to achieve unprecedented durability. Compared to standard blank media, the new TDK Armor Plated discs provide a remarkable 100 times greater resistance to damage from everyday use such as scratches, dirt, fingerprints and other contaminants.

    Rich Martino, TDK Product Manager pointed out: "Once you've recorded a DVD, there's nothing more frustrating than loading it, getting ready to enjoy a movie or do important work -- and then it doesn't play. Usually, it's because the disc is damaged or dirty due to mishandling or excessive wear and tear. TDK Armor Plated discs are the solution for blank DVD users -- they're the most damage-resistant recordable DVD discs available, even more durable than pre-recorded DVD discs. In fact, in our lab testing we've even tried to scratch them with steel wool pads, and write on them with permanent ink markers -- and the discs wouldn't scratch, while the marker ink came right off." Martino noted, "Although, this isn't something a consumer would normally do, we conducted these tests to confirm the extreme durability of TDK Armor Plated discs, and verify that the media can withstand the conditions of everyday wear and tear."

    Martino concluded, "As DVD becomes a mainstream recording format for home and business applications, users want assurance that their irreplaceable family movies and critical data are safeguarded on media that provides the absolute highest degree of protection. TDK Armor Plated DVD discs give customers that assurance as never before."

  • Datavideo Announces SE-800 Digital Video Switcher


    by Charles Fulton, Associate Editor

    Datavideo has announced its new SE-800 Digital Video Switcher. It features the ability to connect to a PC for character generation and still graphics, as well as a dual channel TBC for use with analog video. Inputs and outputs include 25Mbps DV video from FireWire, SDI, analog composite, S-Video and component (YUV). An external genlock source can be connected for use in professional and broadcast environments. The unit also includes a built-in 4-channel stereo audio mixer with stereo microphone and headphone jacks.

    The unit will retail for $4,500.

  • Microsoft Announces Beta of Windows XP Movie Maker 2


    Reprinted from a Microsoft press release:

    Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) today released the beta version of Windows(R) Movie Maker 2 for Windows XP, a new and completely redesigned video editing feature of the Microsoft(R) Windows XP operating system. Using state-of-the-art technology, Windows Movie Maker 2 offers dramatic improvements for Windows XP customers to remove the complexity and confusion from home video editing. Beyond breakthroughs in ease of use, Windows Movie Maker 2 offers deep and powerful new features with over 130 new kinds of video effects, titles and transitions to help even novice PC users create their own home movies with a professional touch. The beta version is available today for download at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/moviemaker/ .
    "We designed Windows Movie Maker 2 from the ground up to make creating home movies as effortless as possible with Windows XP," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Our development teams have applied some of the latest Microsoft Research technology to redefine ease of use for people who want to get more out of their home video collections."
    "Easy, intuitive home video editing allows millions of PC owners to better enjoy their camcorder-captured memories," said Richard Doherty, research director for The Envisioneering Group. "Because it simplifies many of the most popular, previously complex video effects, many consumers trying out Windows Movie Maker 2 will e-mail videos, burn CDs and re-edit digital video tapes they are truly proud of."

  • NTI Announces CD-Maker 6 Platinum


    Reprinted from an NTI press release:

    NewTech Infosystems, Inc. (NTI), developer of the industry's easiest CD/DVD burning software, announced today a brand new version: NTI CD-Maker 6 Platinum. This release adds a wide array of new features including support for DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW. In addition, NTI CD-Maker 6 now burns Data DVDs as well as copies of non-protected DVD discs.
    NTI CD-Maker 6 also adds many new Audio and Video features such as MP3 CD and WMA CD, on-the-fly multi-track volume balancing, improved MP3 encoder/decoder support, VCD/SVCD SlideShow with background audio, VCD/SVCD Menus, on-the-fly AVI to MPEG-1/2 conversion, an audio wave editor and an enhanced version of NTI's JewelCase Maker.
    "NTI CD-Maker 6 Platinum delivers all the powerful features demanded by power users with the ease-of-use required by novices," said Bill Yao, President and CEO of NTI. "We've worked hard to ensure that these exciting new features fit seamlessly into our trademarked EasySteps interface. Features by themselves are just not enough anymore. Users demand the perfect blend of power and simplicity. That is exactly what we have delivered with NTI CD-Maker 6."

    New Features for NTI CD-Maker 6 Platinum

  • Matsushita and Microsoft unveil HighMAT for Easy Digital Media Exchange


    Reprinted from a HighMAT press release:

    Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) and Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a new technology they have co-developed that enables a dramatically improved method of storing, arranging and playing back personal digital photo, music and video collections on recordable discs such as CD-RW media. Called HighMAT, which stands for High-Performance Media Access Technology, this new technology is designed to significantly improve interoperability for digital media content between PCs and popular electronic devices such as CD players, car stereos and living room DVD devices. CDs created using the HighMAT technology will be fully compatible with existing devices that play back recordable disc media. Panasonic, Microsoft and Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd. (Fujifilm) will adopt this new technology for use in their future products. The HighMAT Specification will also be available for easy licensing by other consumer electronics companies and software developers at http://www.HighMAT.com/.

    "It's clear to us at Panasonic that PCs and consumer electronics products will continue to work more and more closely in the future. HighMAT technology will set a new standard for exchanging digital media between such devices and will make it easier to play back personal music, photo and video collections in consumer AV products," said Fumio Ohtsubo, managing director of Matsushita Electric. "We are very pleased that Panasonic can contribute to realizing the dream of seamless digital convergence."

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