NEW ORLEANS, SIGGRAPH 2000, July 25, 2000 NewTek, Inc., (Booth 2117) manufacturer of industry-leading 3D animation and video products, today announced Vidget, an advanced video and audio conversion and encoding tool that will be invaluable in virtually all areas of computer graphics and video. Vidget is especially useful for applications such as Internet streaming, DVD or CD-ROM creation, high definition encoding, web content creation and multimedia production. Vidget includes comprehensive support for all major video and audio formats, including MPEG I, MPEG II, QuickTime and AVI.

NewTek has always worked to provide artists with the best tools at the best price, said NewTek CEO Tim Jenison. What’s really cool is that we have succeeded in creating a full MPEG I and MPEG II encoder that creates the most gorgeous images you will ever see.

Of particular note is the quality of our MPEG encoding engine, which incorporates over a year’s development work that has been tightly focused on producing the highest quality stream possible at the lowest possible bit-rate, said Andrew Cross, NewTek’s director of video software development. Our goal with Vidget was to develop a no-compromise video encoding and conversion engine as well as an easy-to-use interface that integrates directly into an artist’s workflow.

Vidget provides the user with access to extensive encoding parameters, allowing them to optimize the stream to their own specific needs and content. The applications for Vidget are varied: Video producers creating DVDs can convert their productions to MPEG II for authoring; home users wishing to make video

viewable by distant family members can create MPEG I files and add them to their web site for download; and producers creating streaming content can convert video to QuickTime, which allows for cross-platform viewing and variable streaming rates.

Vidget supports NTSC, PAL, 16:9 wide-screen and even High Definition MPEG II with either fielded or progressive encoding, and with constant or variable bit-rate. AVI support in Vidget fully complies with Video for Windows, and the QuickTime translations are 3.0+ enabled.

In addition, Vidget supports all major still graphic formats, including JPEG, BMP, TGA, GIF, TIFF, PNG, SGI and PCX. Users can not only encode a collection of graphics into any animated format, but also break any animated format into stills.

Vidget integrates tightly with Windows Explorer, simplifying the process of format conversion and placing the tool at the fingertips of Windows users. With Vidget installed on a Windows 98, NT or 2000-based computer, right clicking any image, video or audio file in Windows Explorer yields a ‘Convert To…’ menu, allowing simple conversion between formats.

Vidget will be available Q3 2000. A version of Vidget that provides for image conversion only will be available as a free download from http://www.newtek.com or from other shareware download sites. The complete version of Vidget will be available for download from the NewTek Web site at http://www.newtek.com for $99, a price far below any competing software.

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