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  • 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.

  • Webcasting Succeeding Despite many Challenges


    A web casting panel that was comprised of European and U.S. executives of companies involved in Webcasting, recently met and concluded that Webcasting is an effective means for businesses to distribute information to a large audience, but the panel was not conclusive on the medium's current mass-market appeal.

    Though it left little doubt that the future of Webcasting looked bright.

    The panel discussed how much of the world, including China, Russia, South America and India was not online yet. The future of Webcasting depends on the demand by consumers, members said.

    Limited by technical constraints and untested income streams, the panel said that Webcasting will only continue to grow and to improve. And the key appears to be with broadband networking.

    As more information per second rolls down the pipe, the quality will improve. As the quality improves, both content providers and the public will turn more and more attention to Webcasting.

    According to some on the panel, Webcasting and the Internet will become more mainstream and more of a mass medium when viewers can watch on something other than a computer. In other words, once the public can watch the Internet and Webcasting on a device as simple as a television set, then it will become embraced by all.

  • Sony Announces Versatile CD-RW Drives


    Sony recently announced two new CD-Rewritable drives, called Spressa, that incorporate the popular USB(Universal Serial Bus) interface and the rapidly emerging digital i.LINK (IEEE-1394) interface. The products underscore Sony's drive to lead in the expanding audio/visual desktop computer market.

    Both of the Sony Spressa read/write CD-ROM drives can be used for both PC and Macintosh computers. And the i.LINK drive is a hot plug device, which means users can attach or remove it from their computers while the computers are still on.

    Both devices allow for users to daisy chain other devices to them to capitalize on port space. The Spressa USB drive can support up to quad speed recording and 6 speed reading of CDs. While the Spressa i.LINK device writes at 4x, and reads up to 24x. The i.LINK Spressa is faster and more versatile but costs $100 more than the USB Spressa at $499.

  • Sony Announces Affordable Expansion of VAIO DTV Series


    Sony Electronics announced yesterday the latest additions to its popular VAIO Digital Studio desktop PC line with the addition of three new models.

    The newest wave of VAIOs include faster, buffed-up systems that offer attractive software and hardware features for the beginner and experienced users alike all at affordable prices.

    The PCV-R522DS, as an entry level model, has a 466Mhz Intel Celeron processor, a 10 gig hard drive, 64MB SDRAM, 3D AGP graphics card, 8MB video memory, 32x CD-ROM, 2 i.Link (IEEE_1394) ports, 2 USB ports and a v.90 Internal modem all for about $1100.

    The other two systems just go up from here. In addition to the features listed above, the PCV-R526DS runs on a 450MHz Pentium III, comes with 128MB SDRAM and has a 6x DVD drive for just under $1600.

    The PCV-R528DS is a high powered beast with an enviable pedigree. Revving its 500MHz Pentium III processor, it can hold up to 13GB on its hard drive. Sony included a read/write CD-ROM drive and a 6x DVD-ROM. All of this for about $2200. Not bad for a full sized, expandable state-of-the-art machine.

    All three of the new models run on bundled software packages like Adobe Premiere to handle all of the editing duties.

  • Sony, JVC Make a Push for Standard D-VHS System


    Sony and JVC are cooperating on a joint venture to develop a D-VHS system featuring IEEE-1394 interface for networking and digital broadcasting.

    Counting on JVC's technical expertise in the D-VHS system arena and Sony's IEEE-1394 interface know how, the two consumer giants plan to capitalize on the project which will allow the D-VHS video device to connect directly to a set-top box to receive satellite broadcasts or digital terrestrial broadcasts. This promises to provide broad capabilities in recording, playback and transferring of digital video.

    D-VHS was developed by JVC as a next-generation VCR technology. Sony's digital transfer technology was incorporated into the effort to standardize a digital video system for the network age, while supporting a wide range of other applications.

    The collaboration signals that a segment of the consumer electronic industry is trying to establish D-VHS as the format of the digital age.

  • Videofarm.com Launches First Web-based Video Editing Service


    Videofarm.com using Javu Technologies' innovative software opened their virtual editing bays free to the first 200 people for Beta testing Monday, becoming the one of the first Internet companies to take advantage of the rich media content opportunities available on the Internet. Using technology developed by Javu Technologies, Videofarm.com has created a web-based video community that lets users edit from home or office and post streaming videos via the Internet.

    The users don't need any special software other than an Internet browser and a few streaming video plug-ins.

    For a monthly fee, users can upload their videos onto the Net and then access them using Videofarm.com's unique web media editor to choose scenes, transitions, music and credits for a finished digital video that they can post or download.

    Videofarm.com is targeting home users and businesses who don't want to invest or hassle with a desktop video editing system. In addition, Videofarm.com intends to create a virtual video community where video aficionados can meet to share videos, ideas and to network with one another.

    Businesses can post video advertisements, instructional videos or infovideos on the site.

    Videofarm.com's full fledged web based service is set to begin sometime in August.

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