Buying Guide from December 1999, a Huge Help
Helpful, Handy Buyers Guide

Thanks! With the help of your All-Camcorder Buyers Guide (December 1999 issue of Videomaker), I bought a camcorder. I Paid $899 for a Panasonic PV-DV910. It has all the bells and whistles. I never would have been able to do it without [the buyers guide]. I had it with me as I looked through the sales circulars. I think I got exactly what I wanted, feature for feature, thanks to your handy buyers guide.

Russ Jones


Re-Applied Magic

Thank you for honoring ScreenPlay as Videomakers "Best Turnkey Nonlinear Editing Appliance for 1999" (February 2000 issue), and for the favorable product review recognizing ScreenPlay as "…a serious contender in the nonlinear editing appliance marketplace.

Because ScreenPlay owners and users typically rate its picture quality as outstanding, I was surprised that the reviewer saw artifacts, which he stated were "probably from the use of Wavelet-based codec." Applied Magic chose wavelet compression over MJPEG due to its higher image quality. It is also interesting to note that Wavelet is now beginning to be recognized as a superior compression method by industry standards committees and organizations, most notably, the JPEG 2000 committee, which has chosen Wavelet as its new standard.

There are certainly a number of reasons why the reviewer may have experienced artifacts, but this is not the norm for ScreenPlay, nor is it the result of the Wavelet coding.

All of us at Applied Magic are proud of ScreenPlays overall quality and performance. Therefore, I encourage your readers to see for themselves how crisp and clean ScreenPlays picture quality truly is.

We would like to invite your readers to any of our personal demonstrations offered by our many dealers, or any one of the many industry tradeshows and expos Applied Magic attends. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Expo in Las Vegas in April, or the Videomaker Expo East, in New Jersey in August are the two we will be attending in the near future.

David Newman, Chief Technical Officer

Applied Magic, Inc.

Thanks for setting the record straight, David. It is certainly possible that the artifacts we saw were not due to the Wavelet compression.

The Editors

More Tech Please

I read the [January 2000] cover article on making video CDs, with interest. However, I felt that the information presented in this article was somewhat general in scope. The author didnt mention anything about the actual Video CD format, or how to make it using a computer. The Video CD format is popular and can be viewed on almost every DVD player, which is easier than playing it on a PC. I would like to hear more about this format either from the author, or on the Videomaker Web site (

Taras Makogon


Glad to hear that you are hungry for more on burning discs, Taras. Check out Loren Alldrins feature story, Burn Your Own, in our February 2000 issue and stay tuned for more in the months to come.

The Editors

When to Begin

I want to shoot and edit home movies. Ive been looking for a digital camcorder that can transfer digital video and audio directly to a PC for viewing, editing and recording onto CD-ROM or VHS tape, and trying to select the right editing system.

It appears I will be spending up to $5,000 for what Id like to do. I have looked seriously at several camcorders and computers. I also looked at nonlinear editing software and capture cards. Would it be better to wait another year for prices to come down in this rapidly changing field?

Rudy Nichols



Theres no time like the present. The good news is that $5,000 goes a long ways right now. You can get a very nice 3-chip DV camcorder for around $2,500 and a well-equipped single chipper for less than $1,500. There are several turnkey editing systems (both computer-based systems and appliances) for less than $2,000 (see the Turnkey section of our March 2000 All Computer Video Buyers Guide). With $5,000, you could buy a complete system and have enough change left to get a light kit!

The Editors

Did you find this content helpful?

Mike Wilhelm
Mike is the Editor-in-Chief of Videomaker and Creator Handbook