Sony VAIO Digital Studio Packed with Muscle
Packed to the gills with a DVD-RW/CD-RW drive, a graphic card optimized as an MPEG encoder/decoder, a personal video recorder, as well as an 80GB hard drive, Sony’s new 1.7GHz P4 Digital Studio PCV-RX490TV aims to please both digital video producers and home theater aficionados.
Foremost, the rewritable DVD drive signifies a step-up from single-write DVD-R drives that have begun to permeate the market.
Ready for editing, this musclebound system comes with Adobe Premiere LE, as well as Sony’s own DVgate for video and audio output, and MovieShaker editing software.
Adaptec Easy CD Creator and Adobe Photoshop Elements also come bundled with the PCV-RX490TV.
The RX490TV’s Giga Pocket PVR and Asus AGP-V7100 graphics card allow you to watch TV on your PC and record up to 100 hours of programming to your hard drive. You can also import your home movies and then transfer them to DVD.
In addition, an i.LINK (IEEE 1394) card offers video capture, and an Ethernet adapter allows you to share your video over the Internet or local network.
The Sony VAIO Digital Studio, without monitor has a $2,600 MSRP.
MedioStream’s neoDVDstandard Announced
MedioStream, Inc. recently announced the release of neoDVDstandard, a DVD-creation solution designed specifically for the consumer camcorder user.
neoDVDstandard enables users to go from camcorder to DVD disc using a single software solution. It provides users an easy way to convert video footage into DVD-ready MPEG-2 files, author their DVD footage and share their video. One FireWire connector is required.
With a minimum 700MHz Celeron, Pentium III or Athlon system, neoDVDstandard enables camcorder users to capture, edit, compress, author and burn DVD files onto their home PC’s DVD-R/RW drives. Its "One-Click" process prevents the need to buy and learn additional software and hardware.
On a system with 1.1GHz Pentium III/Athlon or higher, neoDVDstandard handles MPEG-2 encoding and the DVD authoring process in real time at full DVD resolution.
neoDVDstandard has a MSRP of $149, but is available now for $99 at www.mediostream.com. neoDVDstandard is the first product in a broad neoDVD series; expect more neoDVD product announcements from MedioStream soon.
Mac Users Can Get in on the Flix
Touted as the first Macintosh application that encodes video into Macromedia’s widely popular Flash format, Wildform recently announced the release of Flix for Mac.
Flix, previously available only as Flix for PC (released January 2001), targets designers who want to stream video on the Web. It cuts Flash video production time as it allows users to insert links, create video banner ads and e-mails and transforms other video file formats into Flash files. Wildform said Flix also takes the guesswork out of which media player a target user is likely to have. Over 96 percent of all Web users can view Flash material without a download, the company said. Flix’s suggested retail price, for PC or Mac, is $99.
Video Cam with Detachable Still Cam
The word from overseas is that Panasonic has announced the world’s first DV camcorder with a detachable, network-ready digital still camera. Sources say that the NV-EX21 will sell in Japan this fall at a $1,657 MSRP (U.S. equivalent), and is slated for a spring, 2002 North American launch. A single-button release converts the NV-EX21 into a powerful, pocket-sized digital still camera.
Panasonic’s parent company, Matsushita, is the world’s largest consumer electronics firm, but trails Sony in the digital camera sales segment. Reports say that this product release is aimed directly at Sony.
The unit is said to store still images and MPEG-4 video onto a SD Memory Card, a clear competitor to Sony’s Memory Stick.
Boris GRAFFITI 2.0 2D/3D Titler
Boris recently announced Boris GRAFFITI 2.0, a major upgrade to the company’s graphics and titling application. The first company to bring 2D and true 3D compositing into computer editing, Boris claims that GRAFFITI 2.0 is the only integrated vector-based titling package on the market. Its vector tools allow creation of sophisticated animations with exceptional sharpness.
Along with flexible animation tools such as Type On and Title Containers for auto-animated rolls, crawls, fades, shuffles and zooms, GRAFFITI 2.0 allows users to map text to 3D shapes, and extrude and composite in three dimensions. GRAFFITI 2.0 also supports the addition of third-party Adobe After Effects filters and has the ability to export animations to .swf (Flash format) files.
Slated for a fall release, GRAFFITI 2.0 has a $495 MSRP. GRAFFITI Professional 2.0 has an MSRP of $995, and upgrades from previous versions of GRAFFITI are $199.
LaCie 48GB PocketDrive MPEG-friendly
LaCie recently announced a 48GB addition to its PocketDrive line. The new model trumps the previous top-of-the-line 30GB drive, and, according to LaCie, maintains a 20MB to 25MB per second sustained data-transfer rate (up to 35MB/sec. is possible). The folks at LaCie say PocketDrives are ideal for storing, exchanging and editing large files such as digital video.
The new 48GB PocketDrive can store more than 20 hours of MPEG-2 video and more than 70 hours of CD-quality audio. Measuring only 3.5 x 5.75 x 1 inches and weighing less than a pound, LaCie’s PocketDrives offer U&I support (LaCie’s acronym for USB and FireWire support). With FireWire and USB compatibility, the 48GB PocketDrive can share the contents of the entire drive with others – regardless of their operating systems.
The 48GB PocketDrive has an $849 MSRP.
Pinnacle Debuts Pro-ONE
Pinnacle Systems’ new Pro-ONE offers an advanced DV-based editing and authoring solution that the company says reduces the cost and production time of creating broadcast-quality video and publishing interactive DVDs.
Pinnacle Pro-ONE’s processing engine increases productivity by reducing the time-consuming process of rendering and gives videographers the artistic tools to perfect the combinations of digital effects and 3D objects in real time. Users can combine two digital video streams with titles, graphics, and 3D objects and apply up to 10 digital video effects simultaneously.
Pinnacle Pro-ONE features a hardware DV capture and effects card and includes Adobe Premiere 6.0, Pinnacle’s Hollywood FX-RT, TitleDeko RT for video editing and Pinnacle Impression DVD-SE for DVD authoring.
Pinnacle Pro-ONE, released in August, comes with a $1,299 suggested retail price.
Canon’s Latest Dual-cam
Incorporating a 1.3 million-pixel CCD image sensor, Canon has thrown its hat into the dual-format ring with the soon-to-be-released Optura100 MC. Performing like two cameras in one, the unit will also deliver 1280×960 high-resolution still images, four times better than the typical 640×480 resolutions most other camcorders offer.
Canon is also giving the Optura100 MC a vertical design, a different look and feel than its previous Optura models. Aside from a fresh appearance, the new design is styled for single-hand operation.
Optura 100 MC will include: 10x optical zoom lens; 200x digital zoom with Optical Image Stabilization that operates in both video and photo modes; built-in Auto Pop-up Flash to illuminate subjects for digital photos, and Extended Recording Mode to deliver four hours of video recording on one 80-minute Mini DV videotape.
The unit will include one 8MB MultiMedia card, which will hold up to 106 images (640×480, Standard) or 17 images (1280×960, Fine). High-capacity 16, 32 and 64MB MultiMedia cards will be optionally available.
The Optura 100 MC is slated for a September release, at a suggested list price of $1,899.