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October 10, 2003

Table of Contents

Blue Laser Libraries--Optical Strikes Back!
Sony Debuts DCR-VX2001 3-CCD MiniDV Camcorder
Macrovision Obtains Interim Injunction to Prohibit Sales of Circumvention Devices by Media Markt in Frankfurt, Germany
NEC Electronics Introduces New Chipset for 8x Rewritable DVD Drives
NTI Announces New DriveBackup! 3 Software with More Image-level Backup and Recovery Options
Now Available: The Adaptec XHub 2, a Two-port USB 2.0 Hub
Univenture Announces the Launch of Online CD Sleeve Outlet
DVD+RW Alliance Demonstrates a Dual-Layer DVD+R that Nearly Doubles the Capacity of Recordable DVDs
New TDK MOJO MP3 Players Deliver a Progressive Blend of Innovative Design, Leading Features & Pristine Sound

Blue Laser Libraries--Optical Strikes Back!

Optical storage is poised to make a dramatic entrance (or is it a comeback?) to the digital studio on October 13. Sony will then announce that Asaca's TeraCart Multimedia Storage System optical libraries will now support Sony's Professional Disc Data (PDD) drives. With PDD, users can record up to 2 hours of HDTV content at up to 11MB/sec onto durable, random access media. These are the highest capacity optical libraries in the world using Sony technology. With the TeraCart, users can access up to 800 hours of HDTV content in a space no more than three foot square!

In the past, CD and DVD technology has had limited appeal to the digital studio. They are too slow for recording and too small in capacity to serve well for post-production even if they are ideal archive and distribution media. Now, with PDD, studios have an option superior to tape libaries. PDD handles 23.3GB of data per media cartridge (enough for 2 hours of HDTV content) at 11MB/sec throughput--easily taking in HDTV streams at full speed.

PDD is based on the Blue Laser technology used in Blu-Ray recorders. However, unlike Blu-Ray drives, the PDD units are designed and built for broadcast studio use for 7 x 24 operation. This is one key reason Asaca chose to use the Sony technology over other drives. With PDD increasing in
capacity from 24GB today to 100GB in 2007, plus tripling throughput to 36MB/sec, PDD and the TeraCart seem tailored for rapid adoption into HDTV post-production and digital studio use.

—David Doering

(http://www.asaca.com)

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Sony Debuts DCR-VX2001 3-CCD MiniDV Camcorder

Advancements in video and audio quality as well as ergonomic design highlight Sony's DCR-VX2100 MiniDV Handycam, the long-awaited successor to the VX2000, announced this week. ?      
This new model incorporates many of the fundamental features that made the DCR-VX2000, a popular camcorder in its class but further incorporates an improved optics and audio package. With its new Advanced HAD progressive scan CCD technology, the new video camera improves minimum illumination, delivers heightened low-light performance in a MiniDV camcorder without the use of infrared technology. By increasing the CCD's sensitivity to light, the DCR-VX2100 model produces clearer, brighter video with better color reproduction, even in dimly lit environments, according to Sony.?   
This camcorder also has a 58mm aspherical lens and a two-position neutral density filter.  The aspherical lens minimizes the distortions that usually occur around the edges of a video shot by a standard spherical lens, while the neutral density filter compensates for varying lighting situations from studio lights to direct sunlight. To protect this optics package, the camera features a new lens hood and a built-in lens cap. 
?The DCR-VX2100 system offers an improved signal-to-noise ratio that produces cleaner and clearer sound. The model also offers audio recording flexibility with PCM Digital Stereo Audio in 12 and 16-bit audio modes. 16-bit mode offers high-quality stereo sound, while the 12-bit Audio Dub mode records digital video in two stereo tracks for simplifying the addition of background music or voice-over to the video. The camcorder also provides the choice of automatic or manual control for all aspects of exposure as well as shutter and depth of field. A manual focus ring and a manual zoom ring further user control and flexibility.??The DCR-VX2100 model looks similar to its predecessor but with further inspection the new unit's darker grey chassis, larger viewfinder, larger eyecup and over-sized handle lined with both zoom and record start/stop buttons, differentiates it. The new camcorder also has several other distinctive features, including the following: a built-in color bar generator, 16:9 wide screen recording capability, an intelligent accessory shoe, both 12x optical and 48x digital zoom, advanced optical SteadyShot picture stabilization and up to seven hours of operation with the optional NP-F960 InfoLithium battery.?
The new DCR-VX2100 model is expected to be available in December for about $3,000.

(http://www.sony.com)

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Macrovision Obtains Interim Injunction to Prohibit Sales of Circumvention Devices by Media Markt in Frankfurt, Germany

Macrovision Corporation, the provider of digital rights management and copy protection technologies, announced that its German legal firm, Norr Stiefenhofer Lutz, obtained a temporary injunction, without an oral court hearing, in the District Court of Frankfurt, Germany, against the Frankfurt outlet of Media Markt TV-Hifi-Elektro GmbH prohibiting the ongoing sale of the Macro 2000 copy protection circumvention device. Macrovision was granted the injunction under the newly enacted German Copyright Directive that prohibits copy protection circumvention devices in that country. The Macro 2000 strips off copy protection from protected DVDs and allows perfect video copies to be made from such content.

"Particularly noteworthy," said Colin Nunn, Macrovision's vice president of operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa, "was the Court's decision to grant standing to Macrovision, as the owner of the circumvented copy protection technology, to take action in its own right against the sale, distribution and possession for commercial purposes of circumvention devices."  

Macrovision develops and markets digital rights management (DRM), copy protection, and electronic license management technologies for the video, music, and software industries. Macrovision holds a total of 148 issued or pending United States patents and 1,036 issued or pending international patents, and continues to increase its patent portfolio with new and innovative technologies in related fields.

(http://www.macrovision.com)

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NEC Electronics Introduces New Chipset for 8x Rewritable DVD Drives

NEC Electronics Corporation and its subsidiaries NEC Electronics America, Inc. and NEC Electronics GmbH, report that they have developed a new chipset for rewritable DVD drives supporting 8X recording to DVD-R and DVD+R media. The chipset comprises the mPD63630, a DVD signal processor, with ATAPI interface, and the mPC3330, an analog signal processor that controls the servo system of the optical pickup.  Compliant with various recording formats such as DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/+RW, and DVD-RAM, the new chipset will enable OEMs to easily configure a DVD rewritable drive capable of handling all the major standards.

In the mPD63630, NEC Electronics provides high-speed recording through fast data processing and built-in write functions capable of controlling the recording laser power with high precision.   The high-bandwidth amplifier adopted in the mPC3330 also contributes to stable recording at 8X speed for DVD-R and DVD+R.

The mPD63630 achieves high-speed recording while reducing power consumption by taking advantage of 0.15-micron process technology and optimizing clock frequency in each block of the chip.  In the mPC3330, the circuit configuration is optimized to reduce amplifier current, which reduces the device's power consumption.  As a result, the chipset has achieved a power consumption rating approximately 30% lower than earlier devices.
    
As an additional benefit, the new chipset also provides 2X DVD-RAM read capability that enables it to read all of the DVD recording formats currently available on the market, including DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/+RW, and DVD-RAM.

The chipset will be used by Pioneer Corporation and NEC Corporation for their new rewritable DVD drives. The mPD63630 and mPC3330 are both housed in thin-type quad flat packages (QFP) while increasing function and performance, which also makes the chipset suitable for a slim DVD drive.

Engineering samples of the chipset will be available at the end of this month at $35 each.  The monthly mass production volume is expected to reach 2 million pieces in March 2004.  Prices are subject to change.

(http://www.nec.com)

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NTI Announces New DriveBackup! 3 Software with More Image-level Backup and Recovery Options

The new version of NewTech Infosystems Inc.'s image-level backup and recovery solution called DriveBackup! is now being shipped.  The wizard-driven interface is said to simplify system backup, contain bare metal restore capabilities, and speed recovery. In addition to providing a fast, easy means of protecting the operating systems, applications, and files on standalone and mobile computers, the software can also be used as a cloning utility. New to this version is the ability to restore selected files from a disc image using NTI's all new Image Explorer.??NTI DriveBackup!'s step-by-step wizard takes a complete snapshot of designated partitions of the hard drive and backs the information up to a write-once or rewritable CD, DVD, or other storage media. By creating a complete image of the data stored on the hard drive, partial or complete recovery is a simple process. For complete volume recovery, the bootable emergency recovery disc automatically restores the system.??Furthermore, for added data security, DriveBackup! also includes write/verify control and password protection. Users can use password protection on backed up discs and files to prohibit unauthorized access or use.??DriveBackup! can be used with any CD or DVD recordable device, including CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM, as well as internal, external, or networked hard drives. When backups are small, DriveBackup! appends new backups to existing backups on the same CD or DVD. With NTI's on-the-fly compression, users can store up to 1GB of data on a single CD, or 9.4GB on a single DVD while reducing the time required for the backup process. The software also enables media spanning over multiple CDs or DVDs, and drive spanning for complete, unattended backups of the system's hard drive.??Available for immediate delivery, NTI DriveBackup! has a suggested retail price of $49.99. DriveBackup! supports Windows 98, ME, 2000, NT, and XP operating systems.

(http://www.ntius.com)

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Now Available: The Adaptec XHub 2, a Two-port USB 2.0 Hub

Adaptec, a supplier of desktop PC solutions for connectivity, storage, and multimedia, recently released the XHub 2, a two-port USB 2.0 hub, which allows consumers to connect USB 2.0 PC peripherals quickly and easily.

XHub 2's streamlined design provides convenience to PC users who need extra USB ports to accommodate their growing collection of peripherals.  No power supply is necessary, enabling laptop users to travel lightly.  
 
XHub 2 is available now for $29.99 at major retails outlets and from Adaptec's Web site.

(http://www.adaptec.com)

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Univenture Announces the Launch of Online CD Sleeve Outlet

Univenture, Inc., the inventor and manufacturer of media packaging solutions announced the launch of it's wholly owned division, www.cheapCDsleeves.com. The new website will feature the best of Univenture's disc packaging solutions that are able to offer a low cost alternative to their most popular solutions. The site offers sleeves in a variety of formats and materials including polypropylene, paper, adhesive backed, and safety sleeves.  Many of the single disc sleeves are compatible with standard disc insertion equipment.??The site, www.cheapCDsleeves.com, is completely automated and the whole order can be placed within a few clicks on your computer. The disc sleeve prices run as low as nearly two cents apiece.

(http://www.cheapCDsleeves.com)

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DVD+RW Alliance Demonstrates a Dual-Layer DVD+R that Nearly Doubles the Capacity of Recordable DVDs

Dell, HP, Mitsubishi Chemical/Verbatim, Philips, Ricoh, Sony, Thomson, and Yamaha, members of the DVD+RW Alliance, announced the prospect to make a dual-layer DVD+R disc compatible with the dual-layer DVD-ROM standard (DVD-9). The dual layer DVD+R disc nearly doubles the storage capacity from 4.7GB to up to 8.5GB, while remaining compatible with existing DVD-Video players and DVD-ROM drives.

Final specifications and the format book are expected to be available this year. Recordable media and recorder products that will use this new dual layer technology are expected in the course of 2004.

Adding an additional storage layer will nearly double the data storage capacity of a current DVD+R disc. Both layers can be accessed from the same side of the disc, so there is no need to turn over the disc to benefit from the extra recording capacity. The technology will allow consumers to record DVD quality video up to 4 hours,  and up to 16 hours in VHS video quality on a single dual layer DVD+R disc.  It also will enable PC users of dual layer DVD+R discs to enjoy increased storage capacity of up to 8.5GB.

A feature and performance roadmap has been developed for the DVD+R/+RW format, with the compatibility with the installed base of DVD-Video players and DVD-ROM as its key component. Dual-layer recording is yet another accomplishment of format strategy designed to bring compatible, simple, and functional DVD recording to the consumers.

The companies have been consistent in bringing new DVD recording technologies to consumers. The announcement of dual layer capability comes on the heels of their July 2003 announcement of DVD+R 8X.  

Today the DVD+R/+RW format is capable of recording up to 4.7 gigabytes of digital video, images or data. This equates to the storage capacity of up to seven CD-R/RW discs and the potential to store thousands of digital photographs or approximately two hours of digital video. The primary benefit of DVD+R/+RW is its two-way compatibility, meaning that DVD+R and DVD+RW media can be played in most DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives tested.  

(http://www.dvdrwalliance.com)

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New TDK MOJO MP3 Players Deliver a Progressive Blend of Innovative Design, Leading Features & Pristine Sound

Expandable memory, FM playback and recording are just a few of the features incorporated in TDK's new MOJO MP3 players. TDK, a supplier of digital recording and playback solutions, introduced four new MOJOMP3 players, part of the company's portable audio line. Each new MOJO model has a unique feature set incorporating technology with a wide range of playback options.  

The MOJO 1 is a full-featured MP3/FM player built into a set of neckband style headphones. MOJO 1 provides access to entertainment and information. With 128MB of built-in memory and support of virtually all bit rates (8-320 kbps including variable bit rates), it's a player designed for MP3 and WMA files. A memory card slot (MMC and SD card compatible) enables unlimited expansion. By selecting one of the 25 programmable FM tuner presets, users can access music, news, sports and weather.

MOJO 1's controls reside on the outer side of each earpiece, delivering access to all functions and features. The sound is customized with four equalizer presets (rock, jazz, classical and normal). A song intro function scans the first few seconds of each track, helping to cue up a favorite song. Repeat 1/all and random play modes provide additional flexibility.

Using the included MoodLogic software, and a USB connection, tracks can be organized and rapidly downloaded to MOJO 1 from any PC. A track transfer plug-in for MusicMatch  Jukebox, and a firmware upgrade/FM preset programming utility, are also supplied. FM radio can be recorded directly to MOJO 1's internal memory.  It has an audio output, which enables sharing music with a second set of headphones or playing the unit through a home stereo or mini-system. MOJO 1 delivers up to 10 hours of playback from its included AAA battery and is supplied with a user's guide, a USB cable, a software CD-ROM ,and three sets of ear covers.

MOJO 256F combines a digital FM tuner, 256MB of internal memory, and an MMC/SD memory card slot.  It delivers large storage capacity, expandability and superior portability. MOJO 256F is capable of recording voice memos and FM radio to its memory, and includes text-to-speech software for review of text files.

MOJO 256F's backlit text display and TDK's exclusive NAV button make it simple to access functions, including seven equalizer presets, a user-programmable EQ mode, and four playback modes.  MOJO 256F's FM tuner features 20 programmable presets.
It uses a USB port and TDK's UniFi  track transfer software, to manage music and transfer tracks. MOJO 256F is supplied with RealOne Player and an exclusive MOJO track transfer plug-in. Windows Media Player, MoodLogic,and Apple iTunes track transfer plug-ins are also included.

MOJO 256F delivers up to 12 hours of playback from its included AAA battery and is supplied with a user's guide, a USB cable, and a software CD-ROM. MOJO 256F comes with ear-bud style headphones and a carrying case.

MOJO 128F has 128MB of internal memory, a memory expansion slot (MMC and SD card compatible), and a digital FM tuner. It is also capable of recording voice memos and FM broadcasts to its internal memory, and features 20 programmable FM station presets. The MOJO 128F features a backlit text display, simple-to-use controls and versatile playback options, including seven EQ presets and four playback modes. MOJO 128F also includes TDK's UniFi track transfer software and plug-ins for other track transfer applications such as RealOne Player, Windows Media Player, MoodLogic, and Apple iTunes.

MOJO 128F comes with ear-bud style headphones, a carrying case, and AAA battery, providing up to 12 hours of music

The MOJO X features128 MB of internal memory, and a drag and drop track transfer enabling users to load music without using any proprietary software. They can simply drag tracks from Windows Explorer (or the Mac OS interface) to the USB-connected player. MOJO X features five equalizer presets plus a user-programmable EQ mode. MOJO X also incorporates repeat 1/all and A-B playback modes.

MOJO X comes with ear-bud style headphones, a carrying case, and AAA battery, providing up to 12 hours of music.

All players will be available in October 2003.  MOJO 1 has an estimated price of $179.99.  Mojo 256F will retail for $189.99, while 128F for $ 139.99.  The MOJO X is the cheapest player selling for $99.99.

(http://www.tdk.com)

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