Loose Tiger: Microsoft Corporation recently introduced Tiger, the latest in server software
for digital audio and video. Useful in computer networks and digital storage, the software also shines in video mainframes. Many of the nation’s leading cable companies and telcos are now examining Tiger. Basing Tiger on the Windows NT Advanced Server system, Microsoft hopes for future interactive video applications.
Big Blue Bundles: Selected IBM Valuepoint 486DX4/100 computers will bundle
TouchVision Systems D/Vision CineWorks as a digital video editing solution. This package is ideal for entry-level
users as well as desktop video and multimedia producers. This is the first among what IBM calls a “series” of
integrated systems they intend to offer in the never-ending battle for the PC market.
1440 San Pablo Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
DQ-TimeCoder is a new product from Diaquest designed as a plug-in time code link for Adobe Premiere. It allows you to compile frame-accurate edit decision lists using SMPTE/EBU time code. It also includes Realtime Video Machine control, logging and batch capture capabilities.
Animation Master ($699)
2800 East Evergreen Blvd.
Vancouver, WA 98661
The company that gave us Playmation 2.0 now offers Animation Master. New features include Inverse
Kinematics for skeletal-based motion, and a new materials editor with channel control for animating procedural
textures. Also new are the Decal Module, motion blur, field rendering, as well as shadow and depth buffers.
Video ToolKit 2.1 ($279)
Abbate Video, Inc.
14 Ross Avenue
Millis, MA 02054
The newest version of VideoToolKit from Abbate Video offers several useful changes. Abbate has
optimized VideoToolKit 2.1 for operation on the Power Mac, and has included support for QuickTime 2.0. The VideoToolKit can now control Sony’s UVW line of Betacam VCRs, as well as RS-442, RS-232,
ViSCA, Control-M, and Control-L deck protocols. Version 2.1 also allows color correction and audio balance adjustments across multiple reels.
TVator Remote ($399)
2859 Bayview Drive
Fremont, CA 94538
The TVator Remote is the newest of the TVator line of PC-to-TV scan converters. As its name implies, the TVator Remote comes equipped with a wireless remote that controls screen brightness, horizontal and vertical positioning, panning, overscan/underscan, as well as zoom and freeze features. The unit supports both composite and S-video signals and improves flicker reduction over earlier TVators. The unit also has auto mode detection.
Nonlinear Editing Price Watch
Nonlinear systems make editing video as simple as cutting and pasting text with a word processor. With nonlinear,
editors enjoy true random access to scenes through an intuitive graphical user interface. Thanks to advances in
compression technology and plummeting computer prices, nonlinear editing is ready to revolutionize video at all
This table shows the cheapest current system capable of true VHS-quality nonlinear editing. We define VHS
quality as any 60 field-per-second, 320 x 480 pixel, full-screen display. Hard-drive prices reflect storage for about
10 minutes of digitized video. Prices are valid at time of writing, and subject to change.
Computer: Macintosh Power Mac 7100AV – $3349
Capture/display board: Supermac SpigotPower AV – $ 995
Software: VideoFusion Capture Utility – (bundled)
RAM: 8MB upgrade – $ 330
Hard drive: 1GB SCSI – $ 950
Total – $5624
Notes: Supermac SpigotPower AV is also capable of 640×480 pixel capture/display at 60 fields per
A-6000 PC Prompter Software ($1000)
40 Oser Avenue, Suite 3
Hauppauge, NY 11788
The A-6000 version 1.5 is the most recent in a series of software packages designed for video prompting in both
studio and field production.
You can control all the prompting functions with a trackball, mouse, or keyboard commands. There are plenty of
scroll speeds, even while scrolling backwards. If you need to stop and reshoot, the center trackball button instantly
resets the scroll to the beginning. Touching both outside buttons at once freezes or unfreezes the scroll. Hitting
escape returns the program to the editing screen.
Three font sizes are available and you may change sizes between paragraphs. You change font sizes in a Text
Attributes menu, which also offers 250 different color combinations, underline, indent centering, and forced upper
A setup menu allows you to check the amount of free memory available (the A6000 requires a minimum of 64K
RAM after installation). This menu also checks your trackball/mouse, and sets your monitor for 200- or 350-line
display. As you might expect, the 350-line display looks much better and scrolls more smoothly than the 200-line
You can import any ASCII file smaller than 120KB for prompting use. The software automatically converts all
ASCII characters, which makes it necessary to edit out carriage return info from imported files now and then. You
save text files, called “stories,” as .BAK files, and you name them using “slug lines.”
The A-6000 uses a number of double-key commands to move about in the word processing and edit screens. The
edit screen splits into three sections including a fairly comprehensive word processor, the current prompter text, and
a cue track. The latter two can scroll separately.
I found the A-6000 very easy to use, even without the well-written manual. I think any video studio needing
video prompting software will find the A-6000 to be a superior product. Some professional studios are already using
The only real flaw I found was price. While the Listec package may be a little better than software in the $200 to
$300 price range, I don’t feel the differences justify its $1000 list price. Unless Listec drops the price of the A-6000
software, videomakers may wish to consider other prompting solutions.
Ease of Learning: (3)
Ease of use: (3)