Keep Em Clean
Maxells line of video-head cleaners includes three distinct products. The VP-100 High-quality Video Head Cleaner is an economical, low-friction dry cleaning cassette that cleans all tape heads and the entire tape path. The VP-200 Premium Video Head Cleaner is a non-abrasive, wet cleaning cassette with an exclusive cleaning material that prevents debris from being re-deposited on heads. The VP-201 uses an absorbent brush system that cleans the heads and drums to restore color and picture quality. The latter cassette utilizes a drip-free applicator pen to reach into tight spaces. (201) 794-5900.
Suggested retail price: VP-100, $8; VP-200, $10; VP-201, $15.
Lights, Grip, Battery
The E.Z. Grip Pro from Armatos Pro Video gives small-format camcorder owners a place to mount a small video light, an LCD monitor and a three-hour battery, while simultaneously providing a hand-hold for steady shots. Though the E.Z. Grip Pro doesnt include the battery, light or LCD monitor, you can purchase these items from Armatos at a discount when bundled with the bracket. (718) 628-6800.
Suggested retail price: $195
Matrox Video Products Groups DigiDesktop dual-monitor graphics accelerator is a highly integrated, single-slot PCI controller that provides a dual-screen Windows NT desktop with multiple video-in-a-window displays. Designed with the particular needs of nonlinear editing system developers in mind, the DigiDesktop allows you to divide your nonlinear workspace in two. For example, you can have a timeline on one monitor, and multiple video display windows on the other. DigiDesktop features 24-bit color and resolutions up to 1600×1200 pixels. It accepts two independent analog video input sources and multiple digital video input sources over the Movie-2 bus, each displayable in its own video window on the monitor. (514) 685-2630.
Suggested retail price: $1995
Itemize your Video Collection
Need an easy way to keep track of your movies and home videos? Doubleware Publications VideoStore enables you to use your computer as a tool for organizing and cataloguing your videotape collection. With VideoStore, its an easy matter to quickly store and retrieve information on any of your videos. You can do a keyword search for a video, list videos by director or talent, categorize videos by type, plus many other database-type operations. (800) 871-3136.
Suggested retail price: $40
An EIDE Array for Video Storage
Medea corporation designed their VideoRaid family of EIDE disk arrays to provide digital video storage for the prosumer nonlinear market. Offering up to 20GB of capacity, each VideoRaid module consists of two AV-certified EIDE disk drives and an internal type-0 RAID controller. VideoRaid is the first random array of inexpensive drives (RAID) device using the EIDE port on a PC; others are typically connected via a SCSI host adapter, and are made up of a number of more expensive SCSI hard drives. The data rate for a single two-drive VideoRaid is 10MB/second; storage capacities are 3.2, 5 and 10 gigabytes. If you need more storage space or even faster data-transfer rates, you can upgrade the unit by connecting a second VideoRaid module to the first. (818) 597-7645.
Suggested retail price: $795-1595
A new addition to Seagates growing line of Fast ATA-2 (Enhanced IDE) hard disc drives is the Medalist Pro 6450, a 6.4-gigabyte model with 5400-rpm spindle speed and a new read/write technology called partial response, maximum likelihood (PRML), which enables faster throughput. Occupying a single 3.5-inch internal or external drive bay, the Medalist Pro 6450 is designed for use with desktop workstations using multimedia, 3D-animation and digital-video capabilities. (408) 438-6550.
Estimated street price: $450
A New Version of After Effects
After Effects is a digital video special-effects program that first appeared on the Macintosh platform in 1991. Since that time, it has become a standard tool of video production in the Macintosh desktop arena. Now, with version 3.1, the impressive capabilities of Adobes After Effects are available for Windows 95 and Windows NT users. After Effects is available two different ways: in a Standard Edition, which includes all of the basic tools necessary for quality 2D animation and effects creation, and in a Production Bundle, which includes a number of plug-ins for additional effects and professional-quality output. (800) 833-6687.
Suggested retail price: Standard Edition, $995; Production Bundle, $1995
Flat-panel Computer Display
ViewSonic Corporation has announced the release of its first active matrix LCD monitor, the VP140 ViewPanel. Displaying a full 14-inch viewing area and weighing in at only 12.1 pounds, the VP140 can be configured either for desktop swivel use or slim-line (2.5 inches thick) wall display. Maximum non-interlaced resolution is 1024×768 at a 75 Hz refresh rate. Available for both Mac or PC systems. (909) 869-7976.
Suggested retail price: $2499
Video ToolKit 3.0 Ships
At long last, Videonics ships version 3.0 of its Video ToolKit software, which enables Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 users to create a fully integrated, multimedia video editing studio with a home computer. Together with the A/V Net Module, VTK 3.0 allows users to control up to seven devices (such as VCRs or camcorders, video mixers, titlers and special effects generators) from a single PC serial port. Also included is support for output of edit decision lists (EDLs) in hypertext-markup-language (HTML) format for creative collaboration over the Internet. (408) 866-4859.
Suggested retail price: $279
Teleconferencing and Video Editing for the Home
U.S. Robotics new Big Picture video kit bundles a color video camera with built-in microphone, a PCI-bus video capture card, a 33.6 voice/video faxmodem and several software titles (including Kais Power Goo LE and Asymetrixs Digital Video Producer nonlinear editor). Also included are VDOnets VDOLive and VDOPhone, as well as a handful of free Internet and online service offers. Though designed for Internet video teleconferencing, the Big Picture also serves as a simple multimedia-quality video editing solution for digital video hobbyists. (800) DIAL-USR.
Suggested retail price: $329