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October 03, 2003

Table of Contents

ViewSonic Announces NextVision M2100 and Digital Media Center Entertainment System Packages
ACD Systems Releases Latest Version of Digital Imaging Software ACDSee 6.0
Toshiba Offers Consumers Two New Wireless Multi-Media Satellite Notebook PCs
Microsoft Launches of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004
HP Enables Users to Enjoy Digital Entertainment on the go with HP Media Center Notebook PC
Pioneer Introduces Slim External DVD/CD Writer
Bella Corporation Announces Ultimate Upgrade Rebate Program
Five Free Artbeats Clips Included in Boris RED 3GL
VBrick Systems Network Video Appliances Take Videoconferencing to New Distances

ViewSonic Announces NextVision M2100 and Digital Media Center Entertainment System Packages

A new product is on the market that allows users to consolidate a digital video recorder, FM radio tuner, MP3 music, and digital or video photography into one centralized system. The M2100 fromViewSonic Corp., a worldwide provider of visual display products, is the newest addition to its NextVision M Series of Digital Media Centers. Built on Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 operating system, the M2100 brings consumers new functionality, including FM radio, wide-screen 16:9 monitor, high-definition playback, a dual-format DVD +/- RW drive, and improved graphic performance from the nVidia GeForce FX5X00 graphics card.

At an estimated price of $1599 for the M2100, current ViewSonic NextVision M Series Digital Media Center owners will be offered a free operating system upgrade  PC gamers can utilize the M2100's multiple front inputs to quickly add or remove favorite game pad/navigation devices for full utilization of the product's improved 3D-gaming performance. It also contains full-featured video outputs including DVI, VGA, S-Video, and composite.  It also supports the use of two display devices, such as a traditional monitor with a projector, or LCD TV, for simultaneous viewing of computing or entertainment content.

ViewSonic also introduced a number of the following complete entertainment packages which feature a ViewSonic Digital Media Center and a ViewSonic display product.  

(http://www.viewsonic.com/digitalmediacenter)

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ACD Systems Releases Latest Version of Digital Imaging Software ACDSee 6.0

ACD Systems International Inc. released the newest version of its flagship digital imaging software program for consumer and corporate markets:  ACDSee 6.0.  ACDSee has been designed to achieve speed, ease-of-use and image management capabilities.   It features capacity for viewing, organizing, searching, printing, and sharing digital image collections of any size. New to the upgraded ACDSee 6.0 include the ability to rate images, burn photos to CD/DVDs, and view or locate photos from different folders and categories swiftly with the Easy Select and Selective Browsing features.

ACDSee 6.0 offers a solution for managing large volumes of images. The new Easy Select feature allows users to select simultaneously select folders and categories achieving a comprehensive view of all images that are contained within them. The robust Selective Browsing feature, unique to ACDSee 6.0, takes the time out of looking for images by combing the search results of different folders and categories and displaying all the images in one window. ACDSee 6.0 also contains a new Image Rating system, in which photos can be assigned a numerical rating. Image Rating assists users in sorting and searching their images and helps them to distinguish the quality of their photos.

The full version of ACDSee 6.0 in English is available for $49.99, or current 5.0 users can upgrade for$39.99. Volume licensing for ACDSee 6.0 is available and special pricing is offered for five and ten user licenses.

(http://www.acdsystems.com)

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Toshiba Offers Consumers Two New Wireless Multi-Media Satellite Notebook PCs

Combining the flexibility of mobile computing with the entertainment value of consumer electronic devices, Toshiba's Computer Systems Group, announced the availability of the wireless-enabled (Wi-Fi(R) 802.11a/g) Satellite P25-S609 and P15-S479 notebook PCs. Both are based on Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 providing an user-friendly interface to view, record, edit and organize personal photos, music, movies and television content via remote control.

The Satellite P25-S609 features a 17.0-inch diagonal wide-screen XGA display, enhancing the movie viewing experience whether a user is two or ten feet away from the notebook PC. The Satellite P25-S609 is a mobile entertainment station designed for space-constrained environments, combining a CD, DVD and television playback into one device. In addition, its massive 1024MB of system memory allows the notebook to handle multiple programs and store large amounts of data and images. Outfitted with a 15.4-inch diagonal wide-screen XGA display, the Satellite P15-S479 is tailored to consumers who desire portability.

The Satellite P25-S609 and P15-S479 offer a feature-set including a built-in DVD-Multi drive allowing users to burn CDs and DVDs and act as a second hard drive to store critical data. Engineered for gamers and multimedia enthusiasts, the new notebooks include the NVIDIA, GeForce FX Go5200 graphics processing unit delivering 3D imagery and rich color texture to enhance any multimedia application. Two harman/kardon stereo speakers (Satellite P25-S609 only) are also included. Both units feature wide-screen displays that allow users to view two documents side-by-side, ideal for editing documents and multitasking. With integrated dual Wi-Fi (802.11a/g) wireless connectivity, Satellite P25-S609 and P15-S479 customers with a wireless home network can access wireless Internet from any room in the home or at a wireless public hotspot.

The Toshiba Satellite P15-S479 and P25-S609 notebook PCs are available direct via www.shoptoshiba.com and through Toshiba's retail distribution channels including computer superstores and consumer electronic stores. The Satellite P15-S479 has an estimated single user price of $2,199 and the Satellite P25-S609 is $2,799.

(http://www.toshiba.com)

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Microsoft Launches of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004

Microsoft Corporation revealed its latest innovation for the home PC: Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, an integrated digital entertainment experience. Microsoft unveiled plans by Dell and Sony to deliver Media Center 2004 PCs. These new manufacturing partners join existing media center PC manufacturers, including Gateway Inc., HP and Toshiba Corp., in making a broad range of affordable media center PC designs starting at below $1,000. Microsoft also announced that through working with content providers, including CinemaNow, Movielink and Napster, consumers will be able to enjoy remote control access to new online digital content, such as on-demand music and movie subscription services.

Microsoft is enabling key content providers to deliver a new level in entertainment options for consumers to enjoy on their Media Center 2004 PCs with the convenience of a remote control. Through collaboration with content providers, Media Center 2004 PCs provide consumers with an easier way to order movies and listen to downloaded music from the Internet.  This is possible through Web pages specially designed to be viewed from a distance. Such services do not sacrifice quality but allow consumers to order a movie or a song with a few touches of the Media Center PC remote control. Consumers can also use their Media Center PC to record a television show and, using Sonic's PrimeTime Media Center application, burn it onto DVDs or video CDs with the remote control. Some of the key features of Media Center 2004 PC include:  access to FM radio stations with the ability to pause or replay up to seven seconds of the broadcast, CD copying, photo slide shows, and picture editing all accessed with the remote control.  

Consumers currently enjoying the benefits of a Media Center PC will be able to obtain an upgrade to Media Center Edition 2004, allowing them to experience the latest
advances in PC entertainment.  Microsoft has worked with PC manufacturers to provide low-cost upgrade options for consumers currently using a Media Center PC. For a minimal cost*, customers can order a CD from their Media Center PC computer manufacturer that will allow them to take advantage of the Media Center Edition 2004 enhancements.

(http://www.microsoft.com)

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HP Enables Users to Enjoy Digital Entertainment on the go with HP Media Center Notebook PC

HP unveiled new additions to its home entertainment PC line, including the first HP Media Center notebook PC, and enhanced versions of its HP Media Center desktop PCs. The offerings are designed to remove the hassle from digital entertainment, making it easy to enjoy photos, music and movies.

The HP Media Center zd7000 notebook with widescreen is a high-performance, wireless, notebook PC.  It integrates digital entertainment, photography, and Internet computing into a desktop design including an expanded keyboard with separate numeric keypad.

The HP Media Center zd7000 notebook features an Intel Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading Technology ranging up to 3.2-gigahertz and an 800-megahertz system bus for improved responsiveness and performance.  It also contains up to 2 gigabytes DDR SDRAM memory; up to an 80-gigabyte 5,400 r.p.m. hard drive; and optional DVD+RW/CD-RW combo drives available on configure-to-order models.

The new HP Media Center m300 Photosmart desktop PC offers entertainment features such as FM radio reception, an integrated camera dock, (sold separately), and the ability to print directly from the remote control. It additionally offers a single software application for simplified organization, editing, and sharing of digital photos, and Internet music direct from MusicMatch.

The HP Media Center m300 PC series includes three retail models: the HP Media Center m390n, m380n, and m370n, as well as customized models available from retailers. HP Media Center m300 PCs feature Intel Pentium 4 processors with Hyper-Threading technology up to 3.2 gigahertz, and up to 1.5-gigabytes DDR SDRAM memory as well as  hard drives as large as 250-gigabytes.

Both the HP Media Center zd7000 notebook and HP Media Center m300 desktop PC series feature Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 software.

The HP Media Center zd7000 has an estimated U.S. price starting at $1,799 (after a $100 mail-in rebate). The estimated  prices for pre-configured HP Media Center PC m300n models run between $1,499 and $1,999, while configure-to-order PCs can be purchased for as low as $999.  The m300 series are expected to be available after October 5.

(http://www.hp.com/go/mediacenter2004)

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Pioneer Introduces Slim External DVD/CD Writer

Pioneer Electronics Inc. began shipping a new slim, external DVD/CD writer. With the DVR-SK12D, professionals can easily connect this recordable DVD/CD writer and transport it.  The new drive is 138 x 22 x 162mm and weighs over one pound.  It supports multiple DVD media formats and plugs into standard IEEE 1394 (FireWire) and USB 2.0 ports.

To reduce consumer confusion in the marketplace, the DVR-SK12D supports multiple types of writable DVD media, which is an industry first in the slim drive category.  The DVR-SK12D can read and write to the DVD Forum's recording formats, DVD-R/DVD-RW, as well as +R/+RW discs. In that way, the new slim drive is similar to Pioneer's other drives like the DVR-A06 internal half-height drive, and the recently announced DVR-S606 external half-height drive.

Pioneer's internal and external writers include bundled software to make it easy for users to do the following:  import content, record and edit video, author DVDs, create digital photo albums or slide shows, play movies, and test recorded DVDs.  Data recording and backup applications are also provided.

The Pioneer DVR-SK12D enables high-speed recording of up to 2x write speed with high-speed DVD-R and DVD-RW discs, 2.4x write speed with high-speed +R and +RW media.  It also records CD-R media at up to 16x speed and up to 10x speed with high-speed CD-RW discs.  DVR-SK12D is available for $349.

(http://www.pioneerelectronics.com)

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Bella Corporation Announces Ultimate Upgrade Rebate Program

Bella Corporation, a supplier of video solutions ,announced its Ultimate Upgrade Rebate Program, offering customers a $25 rebate on their Professional Series of editing keyboards.

The Professional Series keyboards are available for the following applications:  Adobe Premiere for PC only, Apple Final Cut Pro, and Avid Xpress DV and Xpress DV Pro for Mac and PC.  

With this program, owners of either a color-coded editing keyboard, or a separate jog/shuttle device can take advantage of the integrated, space-saving design of the Professional Series keyboard products. With the integrated jog/shuttle wheel, the user can have precise frame-by-frame control over timelines, video and audio clips.

The Ultimate Upgrade Rebate Program is only available to United States and Canadian customers. Please visit the Bella web site at www.Bella-USA.com for complete details, qualifications, and to download the rebate form. The Ultimate Upgrade Rebate Program ends December 5th, 2003.

Bella also announce that its popular Classic Series of color and icon-coded keyboards are now priced from $79.95, a $20.00 savings over previous prices.

(http://www.bella-usa.com)

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Five Free Artbeats Clips Included in Boris RED 3GL

Artbeats, a producer of royalty-free stock footage, announced that it included five free Artbeats clips in Boris RED 3GL.  It is the latest version of Boris FX's compositing and effects plug-in application. In addition to five free clips, customers purchasing Boris RED 3GL will be able to select one free clip from Artbeats' stock footage library.  They will also receive a fifty percent discount on any collection of their choice. Artbeats' artistic footage, combined with RED 3GL's titling, effects, compositing and 3D tools, means users can create content for an array of projects.

Customers purchasing Boris RED 3GL will receive a CD containing five full D1 resolution clips from the following Artbeats collections:  Digital Refractions; Kids of Summer, Space and Planets, Timelapse, Landscape, and Time and Money. RED 3GL customers can also select one free D1 clip that retails for $149 from the Artbeats library. In addition to the six free clips, customers purchasing Boris RED 3GL will receive a postcard offering a fifty percent discount on any collection of their choice. The fifty percent discount is for a limited time only and excludes Artbeats' Starter Kit collection.

Boris RED 3GL began shipping to customers worldwide on September 17, 2003.  Pricing for Artbeats NTSC and PAL collections range from $229-$699, while HD collections range from $799-$899.

(http://www.borisfx.com), (http://www.artbeats.com)

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VBrick Systems Network Video Appliances Take Videoconferencing to New Distances

Videoconferencing is taking on a new level of accessibility with products such as VBXcast MPEG-4 network video appliance. By adding one-way or two-way MPEG-based network video appliances from VBrick Systems, organizations are enhancing traditional videoconferencing with the provision of access to meetings to all stakeholders regardless of their location.

Most traditional videoconferencing solutions are built for videoconferences between two or three locations. By adding VBrick's line of MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 encoders and decoders, customers are distributing videoconference sessions live over corporate Intranets and the Internet to interested stakeholders' PCs and TVs alike. With VBrick's solutions, videoconferences are no longer confined to stations with fixed equipment nor restricted to the time constraints of available participants.

For example, by utilizing a VBrick network video appliance, organizations can turn standard videoconferencing feeds into an MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 video stream. That stream can be broadcast over a corporate intranet where it can reach employees right at their desktops through VBrick's StreamPlayer viewer. For even greater reach, an organization can use a VBXcast, VBrick's MPEG-4 video appliance, to stream a session over the public Internet where users anywhere can view sessions on their desktops.

Using a Video-on-Demand (VOD) server with a VBrick encoder enables videoconference sessions to be stored and retrieved for archival and later review. This ensures that an accurate record of a videoconference is available for review by conference participants.

(http://www.vbrick.com)

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