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  • CyberLink Ships PowerDirector 2.0 Pro and Standard

    Reprinted from a Cyberlink press release:

    Fremont, CA----February 7, 2002----CyberLink Corp., a leading software developer of digital video entertainment applications and e-Training solutions, today proudly ushers in its latest software advancements with the launch of PowerDirector 2.0 Pro and Standard. PowerDirector 2.0 Pro not only improves upon the previous version's award-winning video capture and editing capabilities, but through the new easy-to-use wizard-style authoring and burning guide, now also offers users the ability to make custom movies and photo slideshows on discs playable from any consumer DVD player.

    The Pro edition of PowerDirector 2.0 offers a newly enhanced, advanced video editing engine, slick special effects and an improved, simple-to-use storyboard interface allowing users of any level to create compelling videos quickly and easily. PowerDirector can capture video from DV and analog sources, perform high-quality digital file conversion and output finished movie productions into the latest file formats or back to DV tape. Plus, with a new automatic scene detection feature and the ability to instantly create movie chapters, PowerDirector can transform digital images and video footage from camcorders into polished multimedia slideshows and professional-looking home movies on CDs and DVDs.

  • Final Draft Version 6 Scriptwriting Software Designed for XP, OS X

    Reprinted from a Final Draft press release:

    ENCINO, CA - January 23, 2002 - Final Draft, Inc., ( announced today the availability of Final Draft Version 6.0, a major upgrade to its top-selling scriptwriting software, which is used to write scripts for movies, television and the theater.

    Final Draft Version 6 is designed for Windows XP and Carbonized and compatible with Mac OS X. Final Draft Version 6 unveils many new features including the interactive 'Ask the Expert' (with noted scriptwriting guru Syd Field), which guides the writer on story development, character, plot or structure questions, ScriptCompare, a Format Assistant, a revamped interface and much more. In addition, Final Draft is now a preferred file format and the exclusive scriptwriting software integrating the Writers Guild of America, west's online script registration.

    Availability is immediate at a retail price of US$249.00 from Final Draft, Inc. and resellers worldwide. Registered users may upgrade for US$69.00 (until April 30, 2002) and US$99.00 thereafter. Final Draft Version 6 comes with both Windows and Macintosh versions included. To order, or for more information, visit

  • QuickTime's 80 Million New Users Exceeds Real's 75 Million

    Reprinted from an Apple press release:

    CUPERTINO, Calif. (Feb. 07, 2002) -- Apple today announced that the results for calendar year 2001 are in -- QuickTime Player added 80 million new users, exceeding RealNetworks' addition of 75 million new RealOne and RealPlayer users combined. The source of this data is from recently released information from RealNetworks and Apple. The most recent version of QuickTime, QuickTime 5, was released in April 2001 and is on target to reach 100 million downloads by April 2002.

    The growth of QuickTime, Apple's industry-leading software for creating, playing and streaming audio and video, is being driven by QuickTime's high-quality user experience, and the broad base of QuickTime-based authoring tools that enable the creation of news, entertainment and virtual reality (VR) content. Additionally, streaming media is increasingly being used by corporations to deliver training, internal corporate communications and live streaming events, such as Apple's record-setting webcast of the recent Macworld San Francisco keynote introducing the new iMac.

    QuickTime ships with more than 150 digital camera models, demonstrating consumer electronics companies' use of QuickTime to provide consumers with the highest quality media playback experience. More than one dozen new software titles incorporating QuickTime ship each day, as content creators worldwide choose QuickTime to deliver the fullest media experience.

    QuickTime 5 is available as a free download for Mac and Windows users at QuickTime Pro is Apple's professional-level upgrade to QuickTime Player and provides powerful content authoring and media encoding capabilities. QuickTime Pro is available for $29.99(US).

  • Canon Rolls Out New Camcorders for 2002

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    Canon has announced several new camcorders for 2002. Three new Mini DV models are all expected by the end of March: the ZR40 ($699), ZR45 MC ($799) and the ZR50 MC ($899). The ZR50 MC will feature a 22x, f/1.6 optical zoom lens, illuminated camera control buttons (in six neon colors), headphone jack, microphone jack, an 8MB removable disk for still images and three extended recording functions that will allow up to four hours of footage on an 80-minute tape. The top two models will incorporate MultiMedia Cards for capturing digital stills.

    The ZR40 and ZR45 MC will offer 18x, f/1.6 optical zoom lenses. All three models will come equipped with a 2.5-inch swiveling viewscreen, a new Night Mode that Canon says presents objects in color, rather than one green tint, and the new cams can act as analog to digital signal converters.

    In addition, Canon showed it isn't yet abandoning the analog format, introducing two new Hi8 models. The ES75 will come with an astounding $229 price tag, and the ES8400, which will sport a 2.5-inch flip-screen and image stabilizer, is set to cost $299.

  • Videomaker's CES 2002 Wrap-Up

    by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

    The Associated Press called the 2002 International Consumer Electronics Show a cornucopia of gadgetry, the Sacramento Bee dubbed it a glitzy gizmo fest and the USA Today said Christmas stretched into January for true gadget lovers.

    Whatever the moniker, more than 100,000 people, including a large segment of the Videomaker staff, took part in the annual electronics pilgrimage to Las Vegas, Nev.

    The most extravagant exhibits were full of dancers, entertainment personalities and even a team of synchronized swimmers who dazzled the crowd in a giant water tank. While Videomaker editors ogled the endless aisles of high-tech gear with the rest of the attendees, we brushed aside the grandiose glitter to get to the heart of the matter -- new videography-friendly products. New camcorders, with lower-than-ever prices abounded at CES. And forward-looking companies showed off prototypes of what's to come.

    Camcorder News
    Hitachi made a bold statement at CES. It announced that it would no longer manufacture tape-based camcorders, abandoning its RAM-CAM line. It announced three new disc-based camcorders that build on the innovative DVD units the company released last year. Starting at $899 and expected this spring, the cams are designed to record to 8cm DVD discs, either DVD-RAM or DVD-R, and should allow consumers to record DVDs, eject them from the unit and immediately play them back in a stand-alone living room DVD player.

    Canon announced two new Hi8 camcorders. The ES75 will come with an astounding $229 price tag, and the ES8400, which will sport a 2.5-inch flip-screen and image stabilizer, is set for a cost of $299.

  • TDK Introduces 2GB-Capacity Multi-Mode CD-RW Burner

    Reprinted from a TDK press release:

    GARDEN CITY, NY, January 8, 2002Extending and enhancing the storage flexibility of CD-RW drives, TDK today announced the introduction of the world's first CD-RW burner capable of packing 2GB of uncompressed data on inexpensive optical discs. Priced at just a small premium over conventional CD-RW burners, the new TDK drive incorporates a MultiLevel (ML) read/write chip that adds a 2GB super-size mode to its standard CD-R/RW recording capability when used with TDK ML-R (write once) or ML-RW (rewritable) discs.

    Ideally suited to the needs of office and home users who need a fast, affordable way to backup and archive large amounts of data, the new TDK drive is rated at 36X/24X/40X in ML mode. This enables users to archive 2GB of data in less than six minutes. An internal drive with ATAPI connectivity, the new drive is Windows XP compatible and will carry an estimated street price of just $199 when it is released in the second quarter of this year. 2GB TDK Certified Plus ML-R and ML-RW discs will be available to support the launch of the drive, and will be available at estimated street prices of $1.99 and $2.99, respectively. The drive will be available in retail and OEM versions.

    Speed, Capacity, And Value
    For day-to-day data backup and archiving, the speed, capacity and cost advantages of TDK's ML-enhanced CD-RW drive make it a powerful and affordable alternative to conventional recordable CD and DVD and solutions.

    In its ML mode, TDK's new drive outperforms conventional CD burners in both capacity (2GB versus 650MB) and recording speed. That's because the new drive sustains its rated 36X ML recording speed over the full surface of the disc. In comparison, future 40X CD burners will only reach maximum speed on a portion of the disc; averaged over the full surface of the disc, a 40X CD burner may only achieve an average write speed of 31X.

  • Pinnacle Systems Announces Studio Deluxe at CES

    Reprinted from a Pinnacle press release:

    Las Vegas, NV , 1/9/2002 - Pinnacle Systems, Inc. today announced Studio Deluxe, a new addition to its top-selling Studio line of consumer video products. Even though there has been explosive growth in digital camcorder sales, there are still many users with analog camcorders. Supporting both DV and analog video from capture to output, Studio Deluxe includes many of the features that were previously only available in professional systems costing $1,000 or more. Pinnacle Systems will begin shipping Studio Deluxe in February 2002 and the suggested retail price is only $299.

    With Studio Deluxe, consumers have everything they need to capture, create and share entertaining videos on DVD or video tape. The complete package includes a professional breakout box and a video capture board that supports input from and output to digital and analog camcorders, VCRs and TV sets. No additional FireWire board is required. Software included is the award winning Studio 7 software as well as Pinnacle Express DVD creation software and Hollywood FX Plus, a professional-style transition effects software.

    With support for both digital and analog video equipment, Pinnacle Systems' new video editing system will appeal to all types of video enthusiasts:

    Analog camcorder owners will have high quality video editing solution that they can use with their existing camcorder, with built in future compatibility when they upgrade to a DV camcorder. DV camcorder owners will have all of the benefits of DV editing, with backwards compatibility for any legacy analog tapes.

    In addition to providing the flexibility to work with an analog or DV camcorder, Studio Deluxe incorporates Pinnacle Systems' award winning Studio 7 software--an easy-to-use program that allows users to edit videos like a professional.

  • Sharp Breaks Out New Viewcams at CES

    Reprinted from a Sharp press release:

    LAS VEGAS, NV, January 8, 2002 -- Commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the Viewcam brand of camcorders, Sharp Electronics Corporation today announced a complete return to the Viewcam design and unveiled the three most technologically advanced additions to its digital camcorder product line. Developed for consumers on the go, these new Viewcams, models VL-NZ50U, VL-NZ100U and VL-NZ150U, offer a number of exciting features, in a sleek, compact design with a three-inch color LCD view screen. All of Sharp's camcorders will now utilize the innovative Viewcam design, which launched a revolution in camcorders a decade ago.

    With Sharp's return to the two-handed Viewcam form-factor for its digital line, the company has created a line of exceptionally compact and user friendly digital camcorders. With a 20 percent overall size reduction and handy new shoulder and hand straps, it's possible to carry these camcorders almost anywhere. Each Viewcam is approximately the size of a paperback book, weighs only one pound and has both still and full motion recording capability.

    All three models feature the ability to record and playback in 16:9 widescreen mode as well as 180 degree angle playback correction, which inverts the image on the LCD screen enabling the user to "get into the picture" and record by viewing the image right side up. Other features included in all models are a lithium ion rechargeable battery, LCD manual control, built-in speakers, 10x optical zoom, 300x digital zoom and up to 95 minutes of continuous recording on a mini DV tape.

  • Sony Announces Pocketsized MICROMV Cams at CES

    Reprinted from a Sony press release:

    LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2002 - Do you have everything you need in your pockets - cell phone, handheld, camcorder? Camcorder! Sony's new MICROMV Handycam camcorders are perfectly sized to join the ranks of the pocketsize, go-anywhere conveniences that consumers now demand.

    The DCR-IP5 and the DCR-IP7BT Handycam camcorders, introduced today, are the world's smallest and lightest full-function digital camcorders. The two diminutive models offer 500 lines of horizontal resolution, CD-quality sound and a DVD-like thumbnail picture accessing feature that allows users to select and retrieve information on the tape with the touch of a button.

    The MICROMV cassettes are 70 percent smaller than MiniDV tapes and allow for the camcorders' tiny size. Weighing just 12 ounces, and measuring a mere 1 7/8 inches x 4 inches x 3 1/8 inches, both of the new miniature models easily fit in the palm of your hand, a purse, even a shirt pocket.

    Beyond its diminutive size, the MICROMV cassette provides up to 60 minutes of high-quality, digital video footage and adds a 64-kb memory chip, offering 16 times the amount of memory storage available on a premium MiniDV cassette. The memory chip allows for a multi-search function that lets users access different sections of the tape as they would a DVD by creating thumbnail images of all of the recorded scenes on the tape. The thumbnail images are created from the start of every recorded scene. Users can engage the multi-picture search function, scan the entire tape in four minutes - 15 times the average speed - and instantly access the scene of their choice.

    To further enhance the user experience, thumbnail images can be titled with either pre-set captions or customized descriptions, so "New Year's Eve" footage is easily distinguishable from that of "Our Super Bowl Party."

  • 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.