Web and CD-ROM multimedia developers will be delighted to hear that the entry-level cost of a video digitizer has dropped dramatically in recent months. Intel’s Smart Video Recorder III, for example, is a PCI card that will digitize 1/4-screen (320×240) video at 30 frames per second. Bundled software includes Asymetrix’s Digital Video Producer and Web Publisher software. The unit, which works only under the Windows 95 operating system, carries a one-year hardware limited warranty. (800) 538-3373.
Suggested retail price: $199
AIMS Lab’s GrabIT is a video frame grabber that plugs into your computer’s parallel-port interface and grabs still images from your camcorder or VCR. With GrabIT’s software, you can capture a series of six sequential video frames, making it easy to select just the right moment from your video. Maximum resolution of GrabIT images is 1440×960, which corresponds to the CCIR standard currently used in most camcorders and VCRs. Bundled with the unit is Andover’s PhotoMorph II image manipulation software. (510) 661-2525.
Suggested retail price: $150
Catch a Wave
MGI’s VideoWave for Windows 95 is a software product that provides titling, transitions, audio and MPEG creation tools for the digital video producer. Using files captured by your video digitizer, VideoWave presents an intuitive, graphical approach to the creation of digital video presentations. Intended to make the tedious task of PC-based video creation easy and fun, VideoWave will have you creating your own digital video productions in no time. (888) MGI-SOFT.
Suggested retail price: $100-$200
Nothing Up My Sleeve…
Designed for consumer videographers and multimedia enthusiasts, NewSoft Inc.’s Presto! Multimedia Suite includes five separate multimedia applications: Presto! VideoWorks, an easy-to-use video/audio editor; Presto! MediaPlayer, a multimedia control panel; Presto! ImageFolio, a still-image editing software application; Presto! PageManager for control of your computer’s scanner; Kai’s Power Goo SE for morphing and warping your still images; and Presto! MediaClips, a collection of clip-art images, video clips, music clips and animations. (800) 436-4365.
Suggested retail price: $129
Photoflex Goes Soft
Now available from Photoflex, a leading manufacturer of top-quality photo imaging products, is Primatte S-100, a software plug-in for Adobe Photoshop users on either Macintosh or PC-based systems. Primatte S-100 is an ultra-precise matte-control bluescreen compositor–which, in English, means that it allows you to create very high-quality overlays with still image files. Coupled with Adobe Premiere, Boris Effects or a number of other nonlinear video applications, Primatte S-100 can make use of Masking and Alpha Channel controls to create very high-quality moving and still image composites. (800) 486-2674.
Suggested retail price: $600
Built-in Still Cam
Though a number of camcorders have had digital still-image capture capabilities for some time, they usually don’t have an easy way to get the image from the camcorder into your computer. Panasonic’s PV-D607 camcorder lets users freeze one frame of video as a bitmap (.bmp) file, then download it into a computer using a standard RS-232C connection. This makes it easy to get images from your videos to your Web site, or into a document, or over the phone lines attached to an e-mail message. (201) 348-9090.
Suggested retail price: $1000