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CEA Announces New IEEE 1394 Logos and Terminology

In an effort to aid retail outlets in determining product compatibility and to simplify purchasing decisions for consumers, the Consumer Electronics Association recently announced approval of "DTVLink," a new term and logo for the IEEE 1394 protocol for high-speed data transfers. The CEA’s 1394 Interface Strategy Working Group crafted the logo and the CEA Video Division Board approved it.

The IEEE 1394 serial interface, developed by Apple and later adopted as a standard by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, allows quick transfers of large amounts of data, including digital video. Apple gave it the commonly used term, "FireWire," and Sony dubbed it "i.LINK.

The new 1394 interface logos, the CEA said, were developed with the goal of allowing consumers to see a product on a store shelf, note the graphic logo, and then match that logo with another product they already own or may want to purchase. Through this matching logo process, the consumer would readily recognize the compatibility of the two products.

Additional new monikers include "DCAMLink," "DVDLink" and "WEBLink." These auxiliary terms may be used in conjunction with the baseline "DTVLink" logo, but will not be a required descriptor.

"DCAMLink" indicates the product can process digital video content streams according to technical standards established by the CEA and the Electronics Industries Association.

"DVDLink" and "WEBLink" have been adopted as descriptors, but await additional clarification as the standards further develop, the CEA said.

TitleMotion Streamlines Titles and Effects for Avid Editors

Inscriber Technology has released TitleMotion AVX, to aid Windows-based Avid users in creating video titles and motion effects. Supporting Avid’s Symphony, Media Composer, Xpress and Xpress DV, TitleMotion AVX includes more than 200 pre-designed templates, dozens of animation templates and 200 new text styles, according to Inscriber. It is also said to offer Avid users features such as rolls, crawls, soft-edge shadows, drawing tools, background import, a text-on-a-path feature and several productivity tools.

With TitleMotion AVX’s keyframe-based animation component, Inscriber said, video producers can create multi-layered animations from any title and fly text, graphics, logos and draw objects around the screen. TitleMotion AVX also includes a feature that allows editors to flip, twist, skew or rotate every moving object, including characters, the company said. Inscriber TitleMotion AVX for Avid products is available now with a suggested retail price of $595.

Apple Releases iDVD 2

Taking advantage the new Mac OS X operating system, Apple recently released iDVD 2, its second-generation DVD-authoring software. Sold as an upgrade to iDVD, the new software, an Apple spokeswoman said, offers the ability to create DVDs of up to 90 minutes of material, up from 60 minutes. iDVD2 includes more than 1GB of Apple-designed themes. They consist of motion backgrounds and menus for assisting DVD project layout and organization via a drag and drop interface. The new version also allows users to simultaneously MPEG-encode a DVD in the background as their project is building, she said. In addition, iDVD 2 also lets users create music-accompanied digital photo slideshows.

iDVD 2 requires Mac OS X 10.1, a Power Mac G4 and 256MB of RAM. It is available as an upgrade-only for $19.95.

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Sony to Bring Bluetooth to U.S.

Announced at Comdex in November, Sony’s latest Mini DV camcorder, the DCR-PC120BT, promises to be more than just a successor to the PC110. A Bluetooth wireless adapter will accompany the unit, which would make it the first U.S. camcorder, Sony said, to allow consumers to communicate with the Internet without a PC. With only an analog phone-line connection, Sony promises that users will have the ability to upload MemoryStick-stored MPEG-1 video and still images directly into e-mail, or upload content to their own "album" on Sony’s image-sharing Web site.

No slouch in traditional Mini DV features, the PC120BT will sport a 1.5 megapixel CCD and capture stills up to 1360×1020.

The PC120BT, like others in its Mini DV line, will make use of Sony’s MemoryStick removable media. The cam comes with an 8MB MemoryStick, with capacities up to 128MB optionally available. The camcorder will also include enhanced stabilization and low-light footage features.

Sony’s MPEG Movie Mode, a holdover from the PC110, will allow users to capture up to 60 seconds of video directly to the MemoryStick.

Scheduled for a February release, the DCR-PC120BT has an estimated street price of $1,999.

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