Product Preview: Applied Magic's Sequel

In the wake of the successful launch of its editing appliance, ScreenPlay, Applied Magic has released a follow-up appliance, aptly dubbed the Sequel (see our review of the ScreenPlay in the February 2000 issue of Videomaker or online at www.videomaker.com). The new appliance is a less expensive and somewhat scaled-down version of the original ScreenPlay. By its price and performance, it seems targeted at video hobbyists that want an easy-to-learn, entry-level production system.

In physical appearance the Sequel looks just like the ScreenPlay. The unit is a VCR-sized black box, which contains a CD-ROM drive, 14GB EIDE hard drive, wired keyboard, mouse and proprietary editing software.

Although standard on the ScreenPlay, DV (IEEE 1394) and PCMCIA inputs are optional on the Sequel. Add $1,000 to the base price for DV input. Besides the optional FireWire port, Sequel has all of the inputs and outputs that its big brother has, including a convenient 32x CD-ROM drive to import music from standard CDs, JPEG and bitmap images and software upgrades.

To keep costs down, Applied Magic had to leave a few features off of the Sequel. Sequel has fewer transitions, less special effects, a simplified titler and less fine controls than ScreenPlay. But just because Sequel has a few less bells and whistles than ScreenPlay, dont think youre getting ripped off. Sequel includes 50 real-time transition effects, two styles of slow motion, six color effects, real-time white balancing of video in post production, a titler with outline or shadow character abstraction and extrusion adjustments, real-time audio scrubbing and real-time mixing of four stereo channels.

Sequel has four levels of capture quality: Demo (very low-quality VHS), Home (low-quality VHS), Professional (high-quality VHS) and Corporate (Hi8 or S-VHS quality). These levels should be plenty good for home video projects and non-broadcast applications.

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