Digital Processing Systems has released their first Direct DV editing system, the DPS Spark. Using
Adaptec’s IEEE-1394 Firewire interface, the DPS Spark provides a direct link between Firewire-equipped
DV camcorders and PCI-bus computers. Unlike most digital video capture systems, the Spark is not a
digitizer; it simply provides a way to move existing digital video and audio in real time from a DV
camcorder to a suitable hard disk (SCSI-2, 3.5MB/sec sustained transfer rate). DPS Spark comes bundled
with Adobe Premiere 4.2 and a Firewire cable for easy setup. (606) 371-3729.
Suggested retail price: $995
Also throwing its hat into the DV-capture ring is Fast Electronics, whose DV Master capture card aims to provide an easy way to transfer analog or digital audio and video from a camcorder directly to a hard drive. With Sony’s hardware-based “DV Gear” codec chips, the DV master will provide real-time conversion between analog audio/video and DV audio/video (up to six times faster than some software-based DV codecs). Edit machine control can also be transmitted via the Firewire interface for a true hybrid editing solution on a single cable. (415) 295-3500.
Suggested retail price: Under $5000
Not content to be left in the dust, miro Computer Products Inc. is offering its own DV capture solution, the
miroVIDEO DV 100. Both Windows95 and MacOS compatible, the DV 100 is a PCI plug-and-play card
that will install into either a Macintosh or PC-based system. Bundled with the DV 100 is an elegant new
storyboard-based capture and editing utility, intended to provide an easy way to get video editing beginners
into the world of nonlinear editing. (800) 474-6476.
Suggested retail price: $999
Hitachi’s MPEG Camera
Hitachi has delivered on its promise to provide a hard-disk- based, MPEG-1, multimedia-quality
digital video camera for Web, CD-ROM, home and office applications. Using the world’s first single-chip
codec, a tiny PCMCIA type III hard disk and a 1.8-inch LCD screen, the Hitachi MPEG camera provides
about 20 minutes of full-motion, 1/4-screen digital video and audio, 3000 still JPEG images or 1000 10-
second still images with audio. Other features include 3x optical zoom (6x digital), remote control
operation and an easy-interface kit for transferring data to your PC. (800) HITACHI.
Suggested retail price: Around $2500
I Can See Clearly, Now
Soneira Technologies’ DisplayMate for Windows helps you set up and test your computer monitor for the
best possible viewing results. Since nonlinear videographers often use the computer screen to preview their
video files, products like Soneira’s DisplayMate are a necessity for digital videographers who want more
precise control over colors, resolution and similar factors. With support for color depths up to 24-bit and an
easily configured interface that allows you to choose your own level of complexity, DisplayMate for
Windows offers nearly all computer users a way to evaluate–and in many cases, improve–the output of
their computer monitors. (908) 747-6886.
Suggested retail price: $129
Play inc. now offers a new software interface for Snappy, the popular PC-based video frame grabber
that plugs directly into the parallel port of any 386 or better PC. Though the hardware is the same, the new
32-bit Snappy software gives the user a wider range of choices in a hip new format. Updated features
include controls for Crop and View Detail, and a wider range of choices for image size (from 64×48 to
1500×1125 pixels) and color depth (16 to 16.7 million colors). Bundled software includes Adobe
PhotoDeluxe, Kai’s Power Goo SE and an enhanced version of Gryphon Morph. (530) 851-0800.
Suggested retail price: $199
Surge of Power
The Power Surge Adobe Premiere Plug-ins for Windows95 are the latest in a series of new product
introductions from Star Media Systems. Sold separately as four volumes of transition effects and filters or
bundled together as a single package with the Generator Transition Maker, the Power Surge Plug-ins
include a huge variety of 32-bit pre-configured Adobe Premiere effects to liven up your nonlinear
productions. The Transition Maker allows videographers to combine and manipulate the existing set of
effects and filters to create unique transitions. (630) 305-9432.
Suggested retail price: Volumes 1-3, $99; Transformer (1000 pre-configured transitions), $199;
New Editor from an Old Hand
Panasonic’s AG-A850 multi-event editing controller comes equipped with five RS-422 (9-pin) terminals,
which gives it the ability to control up to five VCRs. With this setup, simultaneous production of up to
three video tapes is possible, as is A/B-roll editing from up to four source players. Other features include
two jog-shuttle dials, a 512-event memory, 10-key data-entry pads and two RCA-style GPI ports. (201)
Suggested retail price: $2500
A new VHS video head cleaning cassette from Trackmate called the Video HyperBRUSH uses a patented
brush process to safely and effectively clean your video heads and without abrasion. The HyperBRUSH
system uses three absorbent fiber brushes that are 175% wider than a standard 1/2-inch videotape. Also
included is a built-in counter that automatically tallies the number of cleanings and alerts the user when to
remove and clean the brushes. (800) 486-5707.
Suggested retail price: $19.95
Make Your Own Kind of Music
TuneBuilder for Windows95, a new software product from Canada’s AirWorks corporation, gives
videographers an easy way to create custom-built music from production-audio libraries. When used with
one of the 15+ worldwide production-music libraries that support the TuneBuilder interface, the product
allows you to choose from a wide range of audio editing capabilities, including the ability to choose the
exact length of a desired song for a given video clip. (310) 854-6273.
Suggested retail price: $429-$1500 (depending on number and type of included CD music