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  • Spruce Technologies, Canopus Join Forces for DVD Authoring Solution

    Spruce Technologies and Canopus Corporation have announced plans to integrate Spruce's DVDVirtuoso(tm) DVD authoring software with Canopus' Amber MPEG-2 encoder to provide a low-cost ($2999) DVD authoring system.

    Spruce DVDVirtuoso's authoring interface enables users to take advantage of the unique features of the DVD platform including interactive menus, multiple chapters, and more. Canopus's Amber encodes analog footage in real-time using Main Profile at Main Level MPEG-2, also called MP@ML, to deliver high-quality video and audio MPEG-2 output for DVD authoring.

    "Amber for DVD is an easy, low-cost way to make a real DVD project," said John Shike, Director of Business and Product Development at Spruce Technologies.

  • New Kodak USB WebCam Announced

    Kodak's newly announced DVC325 camera plugs directly into a computer's USB port for quick capture of still or moving images. Maximum resolution is 352x288 at 30 frames per second, or 640x480 for still images; bundled software includes Presto! VideoWorks, Presto! Mr. Photo and Microsoft NetMeeting for videoconferencing.

    Other features inlude a record/snapshot button mounted directly on the camera body, and adhesive mounts for placement on the side of a monitor, in a window ledge or anywhere within the USB cable's 3-meter length. The DVC325 works on any Windows 95 OSR 2.1 or Windows 98 computer. (Pricing not available at time of writing.)

  • JVC Announces Price on New MiniDV Camcorder

    JVC recently announced a special introductory price for the GY-DV500, its new MiniDV camcorder, which is set to ship at the beginning of October.

    The new 3-chip camcorder will have a suggested price of $4995 until December 28, after which, the price will go up to $5995. JVC will unveil their new Professional DV model at Videomaker's Expo East in September (

    For more information on the GY-DV500, you can visit JVC's Web site at

  • The Latest From Siggraph - Pinnacle and Artel Release New Software

    Pinnacle: FreeFX is a line of 20 Free effects (Page peels, oil drops, bouncing balls and other DVEs) for use in Adobe Premiere. The package is free and available for download from the companies Web site. FreeFX plugins are software based and do not require any special acceleration hardware. Using any Pinnacle card will, according to Pinnacle Systems, accelorate the plugins to "Faster than real time rendering." What's the catch? Well the catch is that if you don't have any Pinnacle hardware you get a small "P" embossed in the lower corner of your rendered video transition. Artel Software: Boris Effects 4.0. The new release has modified it's old fixed one window interface to a multi-window tabbed window interface. New features include; real-time RAM preview, Bezier animation controls, drag and drop "containers" for creating 3D DVE's, and more. MSRP $695 Boris Effects AE 3.0. The latest release of the popular After Effects plugin adds a wealth of new features including: 3D Extruded text, Custome Shape 3D Image Shatter system, Edge Lighting, Noise Map and Cloud Generator, AE 4.0 Extended plug-in architecture support and more than 55 filters. MSRP $695 Boris Red. This new product from Artell is expected to ship within a month or two. Characterized by Technical Product Management Director, Olivier Karfis as "Borris 4.0 on Steroids," the Alpha build of Red is quite similar to Boris Effects 4.0 but adds true 3D text and the ability to move any media in a 3D space, including video clips. Boris Red works within Premiere just as other filters and transitions. In the demo I saw two video clips were applied to a flat plane and moved so that they intersected at a 90 degree angle. Text handling features include RTF import, title rolls, crawls and 3D extrusion. Another feature Boris Red will include is the ability to accept After Effects plugins allowing users to use After Effects Plugins without switching out of Premiere.

  • NASA Wants Your Shower Footage

    The Perseids Meteor Shower peaks on Friday August 13, 1999 and NASA wants your amateur videos of the event. Send your videos via e-mail to Dr. Tony Phillips or write him for more information.

  • JVC Pro Set to Introduce New Mini DV Camcorder

    In a move promising a professional-level camcorder at a consumer-level price, JVC Professional is set to introduce the GY-DV500 Mini DV camcorder. The Professional DV line is a dynamic new innovation from JVC, closing the gap between high-cost professional camera and consumer camcorders that just don't have the performance a professional needs, said Jerry Cohen, JVC's Manager of Product Development and Strategic Marketing.

    Priced to compete with high-end consumer camcorders like the Canon XL1, the GY-DV500 sports a host of features not found on most consumer gear. First, the GY-DV500 has three 1/2-inch CCDs, interchangeable lenses via a 1/2-inch bayonet mount, XLR microphone inputs, SMPTE-type color bar generator and manual audio and microphone level adjustments.

    There is also a new feature that JVC Professional has included in the GY-DV500 called Super SceneFinder. This keeps track of individual scenes by recording a special header on the tape. You can also flag up to 134 good and no good scenes per cassette. The scene data from the last three cassettes is stored in the camera's memory, allowing it to be recorded to the cassette later.

    To keep it compatible with the plethora of newer nonlinear editing systems on the market, the new camcorder has IEEE 1394 (FireWire) in and out. It also has a headphone jack, audio, composite video and S-video outputs.

    Look for more information in mid-August, when JVC Pro is rumored to be ready to officially introduce the new camcorder at the WEVA (Wedding and Event Videographers Association) Expo in Las Vegas. Although there is no word on price, Videomaker's inside sources say that it should be about $5,000.

  • Canon Set to Introduce New 3-chip

    Canon will announce a new 3-chip Mini DV camcorder this month, sources say. The new camcorder, expected to cost $2000 less than the XL1, will have most of the features of the popular shooter--minus the interchangeable lenses. Look for more information as soon as it is available.

  • Studio MP10 Does DVD

    PC Expo, New York, NY
    by Larry Lemm

    Today, Pinnacle Systems demonstrated their Studio MP10 MPEG-1 capture, editing and disc creation solution working with Panasonic's DVD-RAM drive. By using DVD, a single disc can store 150 minutes of high-quality MPEG-1 video.

    The Studio MP10 has a suggested retail price of $269, while Panasonic's LF-D103U DVD-RAM drive has an MSRP of $699. Both are available now.

  • Sigma Designs Conjures REALmagic

    (PC Expo, New York, NY)

    by Larry Lemm

    Sigma Designs demonstrated their new REALmagic MPEG-2 encoder/decoder card today. The REALmagic card ships with a fully integrated MPEG-2 software solution for capturing, editing and authoring DVD videos. Home videographers can capture and edit videos that are mastered onto a DVD-RAM disc. The DVD-RAM disc can then be taken to a DVD production facility for mass duplication and distribution. The new card could also be used as the heart of a Digital Video Recorder (DVR), a newer product category popularized by Replay Networks and TiVo.

    "REALmagic DVR will also accelerate convergence of the PC and TV by enabling PC users to record a TV show or movie, rewind to the beginning of the program while it is still being recorded, and instantly replay the footage," said William K. Wong, Sigma Designs' vice president of marketing. "This interactive capability with the TV screen will dramatically enhance the TV watching experience by allowing people to personalize their TV/video viewing in a way that suits them," Wong noted. "What makes it so appealing to the consumer is the ability to create a more informative and entertaining viewing experience."

    REALmagic will run on computers with a Pentium 133MHz or faster chip. Sigma Designs expects to ship the card to OEMs and system integrators in the third quarter of this year, with a suggested retail price of $999.

  • SanDisk Ships 32MB Removable Cards for Panasonic's New DV Camcorder

    SanDisk announced that it would supply the removable, reusable Multimedia Cards for Panasonic's NV-C3 DV Camcorder, which will begin shipping in July.

    The new camcorder with a price to be determined will be able to be used as a digital still camera when used in conjunction with the card. About 24 images fit on a 4MB card. Each camcorder will ship with one 4MB card.

    The cards are currently available from 4MB to 32MB, but SanDisk announced that it will soon start manufacturing 64MB cards later this year.

    SanDisk also announced that they planned on manufacturing Multimedia Card adapters to facilitate the transfer of audio, video and data to desktop and laptop computers.