Video News

  • Apple Claims Industry Lead in DVD Burning

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Apple recently announced that it had shipped nearly 500,000 SuperDrive-equipped Macintosh computers and more than 2 million DVD-R media discs, now priced under $5 each, to date. Apple first introduced its SuperDrive, the industry's first CD- and DVD-burning drive, and its iDVD and DVD Studio Pro software applications in January 2001. All SuperDrive-equipped Macs now include iDVD 2 software for creating DVDs. Apple says iDVD 2 is the only consumer DVD authoring application that can create professional-looking DVDs with full-motion menu buttons and backgrounds.

    DVD Studio Pro is a full-featured DVD creation tool that the company touts as a complement to its Final Cut Pro 3 ($999), its critically acclaimed video editing, effects and compositing software. Apple also includes its iMovie 2 basic video editing software in its G3 and G4 computers.

  • AIST Adds Eight New MovieX Plug-Ins

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Providing users with an expanding array of video possibilities, AIST recently announced eight new plug-ins for its MovieX family of editing software (including MoviePack, MovieDV and MovieXone). MovieHighlight ($89) allows the addition of a twinkle to a subject's eye or a glow to the top of a Christmas tree; MovieTracker ($149) can animate logos or have a still image latch onto and travel with an associated video item; MovieLightning ($49) creates transitions out of user-designed lightning-bolt displays; MovieParticles ($79) can create and animate objects like water droplets and snowflakes; MovieMorph ($149) lets users transform one object into another and MovieWarp ($129) allows for face warping.

    These new plug-ins were first introduced at the beginning of the year as part of the AIST eXtreme package ($1,299). Now, editors can choose to add plug-ins, one by one if they prefer, to AIST's entire video editing line.

  • Magix Releases Music Maker 7

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Video editors can now get even fancier with their audio tracks, thanks to Magix Entertainment's just-released Music Maker 7. Available in standard ($50) and deLuxe ($75) versions Music Maker 7 professes to equip editors at all levels with tools for producing a wide range of self-authored music.

    Both versions include a 3D Sound-Generator for movie sound effects and an enlarged audio-visual library of pre-set effects, instruments and melodies. Music Maker also allows users to load video footage and add beat-driven special effects, self-made cross-fades and generate text.

    New for the Music Maker 7's standard version: 48 stereo tracks for audio and video, two additional virtual instruments (DJ-ScratchBox and Text-to-Speech), two new real-time effects (3D-sound effects and StereoFX) and a revised Web publishing area. Music Maker 7 deLuxe now offers 64 audio and video stereo tracks, new automatic remixing, CD burning, an additional virtual instrument (VoiceSynth), two new atmosphere sounds and a universal converter for plug-ins.

  • Macromedia Wins $4.9 Million in Patent Counterclaims Trial Against Adobe

    Reprinted from a Macromedia press release:

    SAN FRANCISCO, May 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Macromedia, Inc. today announced that a jury ruled in its favor in a counterclaims suit against Adobe Systems. The verdict included a damage award of $4.9 million. Macromedia intends to ask the court to issue an injunction to stop Adobe's infringement, and also intends to appeal the verdict in the initial Adobe case.

    "The score is now Adobe one, Macromedia one, customers zero," said Rob Burgess, chairman and CEO, Macromedia. "Macromedia is absolutely committed to defending the right to innovate."

    Adobe was found to infringe all three Macromedia patents. U.S. Patent No. 5,467,443 relates to changing blended elements and automatic re-blending of elements and is infringed by its Adobe Illustrator product. U.S. Patents Nos. 5,151,998 and 5,204,969 relate to visually displaying and editing sound waveforms and are infringed by its Adobe Premiere product. The jury also found U.S. Patent No. 5,151,998 to be invalid.

    In October 2001, Macromedia brought a patent infringement suit against Adobe in the Northern District of California relating to additional patents that Macromedia believes that Adobe infringes. This case is scheduled for June 2003.

  • Caligari's rayPak Offers 3D Effects Plug-Ins for trueSpace

    Reprinted from a Caligari press release:

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Caligari Corporation, a pioneer provider of 3D multimedia authoring technologies, today announced the availability of rayPak, a powerful collection of plug-ins, libraries, and standalone programs for trueSpace users who want to enhance their creations with realistic, professional lighting, shaders, and presentation effects. This collection is fully compatible with Caligari's previously announced aniPak for animation, fxPak for special effects, and dePak for professional design.

    Caligari's award-winning trueSpace combines high-end modeling, rendering and animation power with a novel and intuitive user interface based on direct manipulation of objects. Novice 3D software users and experienced 3D professionals can use trueSpace for real-time authoring in hardware- accelerated, 3D perspective workspaces. Used for product design, graphic design, video games, and web 3D-world design, trueSpace delivers advanced features including hybrid radiosity and incremental image based rendering; polyhedrons, NURBS, subdivision surfaces, particle surfaces, and metaballs- based modeling tools; as well as advanced surfacing and animation features including bones, skinning, IK, and physics simulation.

  • Compaq's New Presarios to Offer USB 2.0, Latest Intel P4 Chips, DVD Authoring

    Reprinted from a Compaq press release:

    HOUSTON, May 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Compaq Computer Corporation today announced a variety of new options for its Presario line of digital entertainment desktop PCs will be available May 8 direct from Compaq, including the newest, fastest Intel Pentium 4 processor for faster and easier enjoyment of digital video editing, photography and music, gaming, and e-learning.

    In addition, Presario 6000 and 8000 PCs may also be configured with USB 2.0, for up to 40 times faster connections to digital cameras and mp3 players designed for USB 2.0. External hard drives, CD burners, cameras and mp3 players will all take less time to transfer data, simplifying and speeding the process while allowing more time to enjoy digital entertainment.

    Digital video enthusiasts will enjoy creating and sharing their home movies with the enhanced MyMovieSTUDIO solution, featuring the more intuitive Sonic MyDVD Video Suite. MyDVD Video Suite makes it possible for home users to record, share and re-edit their personal videos on DVD or CD, combining the sheer simplicity and power of Sonic MyDVD 3.5 with the professional-level editing features of ArcSoft ShowBiz 1.1 video editor and the front IEEE 1394 port creates a fully integrated, easy-to-use video production center.

  • Walter Hewlett Accepts Judge's Decision, Clears Way for Compaq Merger

    Reprinted from a William R. Hewlett Revocable Trust press release:

    PALO ALTO, Calif., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Walter B. Hewlett, on behalf of The William R. Hewlett Revocable Trust and its trustees, issued the following statement in response to today's ruling by the Delaware Chancery Court regarding Hewlett-Packard Company's acquisition of Compaq Computer Corporation :

    As I stated when this suit was filed, our goal was to make sure that the outcome of the HP stockholder vote on March 19th was determined in a full, fair and lawful manner. After reviewing the Court's opinion, we have decided not to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Delaware. Additionally, we have decided to discontinue the review and challenge period of the preliminary vote count and permit the vote to be certified.

    I have disagreed with the Board over the merits of acquiring Compaq, however I have always been dedicated to enhancing value for HP's stockholders. I will therefore now do everything possible to support the successful implementation of HP's acquisition of Compaq and encourage others who have shared my views in the past several months to do the same.

    I would like to thank all Hewlett-Packard employees, retirees, stockholders and the others who have played a role in the proxy contest over the past several months.

    My involvement with HP will not end today. As Chairman of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and as a trustee of The William R. Hewlett Revocable Trust, I represent two major stockholders and I will continue to monitor the company's performance to ensure that it acts in the best interests of all stockholders.

  • Sony Agrees to Purchase About 1% Stake in RealNetworks, Cites Alliance

    Reprinted from a RealNetworks press release:

    SEATTLE, April 30, 2002 - RealNetworks, Inc. (Headquarters: Seattle, USA) and Sony Corporation (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan) today announced a strategic alliance agreement. In addition, Sony has also agreed to purchase a minority stake of about 1% in RealNetworks. These new agreements will enable the two companies to further collaborate on the deployment of various distribution and digital content software technologies to a wide range of Sony's industry leading digital devices.

    Today's announcement builds on a more than two-year relationship between the two companies. Since a joint announcement at Winter CES 2000, RealNetworks and Sony Corporation have cooperated to integrate Sony technologies such as ATRAC3 sound compression format and OpenMG copyright protection technology with various RealNetworks' products including RealPlayer and RealJukebox and to promote the combined products to PC users, and to distribute the combined products with Sony hardware products. Today's announcement represents an extension of this existing technical relationship reflecting the rapid expansion in network distribution of digital audio and video content to personal computers and a new generation of networked consumer electronics products. Both companies are committed to working together to deploy easy-to-use solutions that will encourage the expansion of digital distribution business opportunities.

  • Magix to Launch Music Maker 7

    Reprinted from a Magix press release:

    Los Angeles, CA - (04/22/02) MAGIX Entertainment, Corp. a worldwide market and technology leader in the personal rich media content category, has announced the launch of Music Maker 7, in stores May 15, 2002.

    Music Maker 7 standard ($49.99) and deLuxe ($79.99) versions equip users of any level with tools for producing self-made music. Additionally, users can easily create and combine videos with their music, build a personal website and publish their music productions on it to promote themselves. Both versions contain the powerful music maker engine with easy drag & drop loading of user-generated and program-provided samples of music and video files. Also included in both versions, a 3D Sound-Generator for spectacular movie sound effects, a new gigantic up-dated audio-visual library including countless pre-set effects, instruments, melodies, 9 real-time audio effects, a witty Text-to-Speech module, and free access to the huge MAGIX online-sound archive. Music maker 7's noteworthy, intuitive interface continues to guide users through the production process concluding with the new option to create an impressive personal website.

    SOUND: The sources for sounds are endless--MPEGs, WAVs, MIDI, AVI, CDs, or opt to record live vocals. Virtual instruments such as the drum machine to create beats, a scratchbox for DJ scratching, a silver synth to simulate the old analog synthesizer sounds, and a variety more provide the option to design or generate musical components from scratch. The users can also use the existing sounds provided in the sound pool CDs with a broad variety of music styles in the form of samples, like drums, bass, guitar, keys, synth, plus more (2, 200 samples for standard version and 3,300 for deLuxe version).

  • ATI and NVIDIA Support Windows Media Corona HDTV-Quality Video on PCs Predicted

    Reprinted from a Microsoft press release:

    REDMOND, Wash. April 23, 2002 Today Microsoft Corp. announced that leading graphics chip developers ATI Technologies Inc and NVIDIA Corp. will support new DirectX technologies that enable HDTV-quality video playback experiences on the PC using the next version of Windows Media code-named Corona. By combining the compression and quality innovations in Windows Media Corona, together with the help of DirectX innovations enabling processing video in hardware alleviating the load on the PC's central processing unit (CPU) video playback will be possible at resolutions as high as 1080p. With six times the number of pixels in today's 480p DVD-quality playback these innovations offer the potential for an HDTV quality experience for the first time on a PC. This will be the highest video resolution ever attained on a PC and enable PCs running Windows XP to offer video resolution far beyond what is capable on many TVs today.

    ATI and NVIDIA, some of the leading innovators of graphic chips and video cards, will support advanced hardware acceleration, both for de-interlacing and playback of HDTV-quality video in the next version of Microsoft Windows Media Technologies, code-named Corona. This support is enabled with the advancement of the DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) interfaces in the Microsoft Windows operating system. DXVA interfaces allow video processing, including Windows Media Video decoding and de-interlacing, to occur on graphics hardware, freeing the PC's CPU for other tasks and offer lower power PC processors the ability to render much higher quality video. This support for advanced video acceleration technologies in DXVA together with Windows Media Corona will be offered in the following ways: