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Streaming Media
October 31, 2003

Table of Contents

Pinnacle Introduces Three New Products in “Instant” Line
New Adobe Photoshop CS Adds Capabilities to Video Collection
321 Studios Will Appeal Digital Copyright Ruling
Sonic AuthorScript Incorporated in Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition Update
Real-Time Y'CbCr Capture with Nondestructive SheerVideo Codec from BitJazz
Nero Digital Set to Raise the Stakes in MPEG-4 Video and Audio Compression
DVD+RW Format Gains Momentum in Consumer Electronics Space
Macworld Conference & Expo Expands Power Tools Conferences

Pinnacle Introduces Three New Products in “Instant” Line

Pinnacle Systems, Inc. announced the availability of three new products in its Instant product family which are designed to help consumers easily customize and burn their video, photo, and audio discs to enjoy on their CD or DVD player. Pinnacle Instant PhotoAlbum and Pinnacle Instant VideoAlbum let digital camera and camcorder users burn their digital images or video on a disc, along with editing capabilities.

Pinnacle InstantCD/DVD version 8 is a suite of software applications that gives users everything they need to duplicate DVDs and CDs, create MP3 and audio CDs, author photo and video discs, and backup, restore and manage their data. Pinnacle Instant PhotoAlbum gives digital camera owners a simple solution to get their digital photos off the computer and on to a disc that can be enjoyed forever. Through a new graphically-friendly photo-album style interface, images can be organized, enhanced, and brought to life in an interactive CD or DVD-based slideshow that includes navigation menus, music, and transitions.

Pinnacle Instant VideoAlbum is an entry-level solution for camcorder owners who want to burn their footage to a disc that can be played in nearly any DVD player. The application lets users capture video from a DV camcorder and follow easy steps to improve it. Life's memories can be salvaged and restored with new features to brighten old video that has been weathered over time.

The latest release of Pinnacle InstantCD/DVD is a suite of software applications to duplicate non-encrypted DVDs and CDs, create MP3 and audio CDs, author photo and video discs, as well as back up, restore, and manage data. The new version includes a significantly enhanced interface which makes the product more intuitive for the novice user and puts more power into the hands of the experts. Additional new features also include a new drag and burn desktop icon for quick and easy burning; InstantAudio to organize music files, rip and burn MP3 or WMA files into audio or MP3 CDs; InstantCinema for VCD and SVCD playback; and the latest version of InstantCopy version 8.

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New Adobe Photoshop CS Adds Capabilities to Video Collection

Adobe Systems Incorporated announced the availability of the Adobe Video Collection Professional edition, which now includes the newly launched Adobe Photoshop CS in addition to Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects 6.0 Professional edition, Adobe Audition, and Adobe Encore DVD software. With new features for video professionals, including non-square pixel support, comprehensive 16-bit image support, and a new vector paint engine, Adobe Photoshop CS is now -- more than ever — a key component of the Adobe Video Collection.

The full-version upgrade successor to Photoshop 7.0, Adobe Photoshop CS removes the guesswork for film and video professionals designing sequences for DVD, video and film. Non-square pixel support allows video professionals to accurately create imagery for on screen display by enabling them to view the image as it would appear on the destination device. Users can create with confidence using preset video-standard sizes, including automatic action-safe and title-safe guides. Photoshop CS also provides 16-bit color support to preserve the rich color palette of film and is tightly integrated with Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Encore DVD and Adobe After Effects. A new vector paint engine simulates traditional art techniques, including charcoal, pastel, and wet or dry brush effects.

The Professional edition of the Adobe Video Collection for Windows XP with Photoshop CS is now shipping and can be purchased for an estimated street price of $1499. The standard edition, which does not contain Photoshop CS, can be purchased for an estimated street price of $999. 

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321 Studios Will Appeal Digital Copyright Ruling

321 Studios, a leader in DVD backup, recovery, and creation software, vowed to appeal the ruling by United States Librarian of Congress to prohibit users from backing up content-protected DVDs. As part of his triennial review of digital fair use under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the Librarian effectively decided Americans should not be allowed to restore or backup DVDs they lawfully purchased, even when they are damaged and become unplayable.

Technically, the Librarian decided that Americans cannot circumvent access control mechanisms on DVDs in order to restore lost access or make a backup copy for safekeeping — even when they have lawfully purchased the DVD and it stops working. Ignoring evidence that many DVDs are out of print and hard to replace, the Librarian relied on the flawed reasoning of the U.S. Register of Copyrights, who told him that consumers don't need to take steps to preserve access to DVDs they have purchased because there is a "ready availability of replacement copies in the market at reasonable cost." In short, the Librarian is saying to people: If a DVD is flawed, forget about trying to restore it -- go spend more money on a replacement copy. In addition, the Librarian rejected the suggestion that consumers may take reasonable steps to skip advertisements on commercial DVDs.

It is 321 Studios' position not only that the DMCA anti-circumvention rules are vague and confusing, but also that the standards the Librarian has devised ignore Congress' intent. The DMCA was originally enacted to prevent online piracy; it was never Congress' intention to stamp-out fair use rights in the digital age. 321 will appeal today's ruling in federal court.

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Sonic AuthorScript Incorporated in Microsoft Plus! Digital Media Edition Update

Sonic Solutions announced that Microsoft has licensed Sonic's AuthorScript CD and DVD formatting and burning engine for the recently updated version of Plus! Digital Media Edition, Microsoft's popular photo, music, and movie enhancement pack for Windows XP. By incorporating Sonic AuthorScript, Microsoft adds a key new feature for Plus! Digital Media Edition called Plus! Photo Story 2, which enables users to create photo story slideshows. These slideshows include music and narration and can be burned to Video CDs (VCDs) which can be viewed on most consumer DVD players. Sonic AuthorScript also makes it possible for Plus! Digital Media Edition users to add an archive of the original high-resolution photo files to the Video CD.

Sonic AuthorScript is an engine for the creation and burning of DVDs and CDs on PCs and CE devices. Available as a software development kit (SDK) with extensive APIs, AuthorScript makes it easy for application developers to add a broad range of CD and DVD technologies into their applications and to support the widest array of CD and DVD burners. A flexible solution, AuthorScript contains modules for converting video and audio data into DVD- and VCD-compliant streams, formatting and burning DVD-Video and VCD projects, data mastering on recordable CDs and DVDs, music CD ripping and burning, DVR recording and timeshifting, and DVD-Video and VCD playback. AuthorScript also includes comprehensive support for recording and editing in the DVD-VR and DVD+RW (+VR) formats.

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Real-Time Y'CbCr Capture with Nondestructive SheerVideo Codec from BitJazz

BitJazz, Inc. announces the immediate availability of SheerVideo Pro v1.2, the latest version of its powerful nondestructive software video codec for the production and archival of professional film and video. Designed to overcome the obstacles of space and time blocking the use of studio-quality uncompressed video and film, SheerVideo doubles both the capacity and speed of storage and transmission devices while encoding and decoding on the fly with perfect fidelity. In version 1.2 of SheerVideo, support for native video (Y'CbCr[A]) formats is greatly enhanced.

In QuickTime 6, SheerVideo v1.2 can now export or capture Y'CbCr formats directly through the Sheer encoders without using the Sheer transcoders. This gives programs that don't support transcoders full access to SheerVideo Y'CbCr, and simplifies the use of programs that do. And for applications that prefer transcoders, the Sheer Y'CbCr transcoders are still included.

SheerVideo is implemented as a set of QuickTime codecs, so it can be used with all popular professional video applications, including Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, Pinnacle Commotion, and hundreds more. On Windows, SheerVideo will also soon be available as a Windows Media (AVI) codec. SheerVideo is currently available as a commercial product for Mac OS X and Mac OS 8|9, and as a beta product for PC+Windows. The PC+Linux edition is also expected soon. SheerVideo for Mac includes versions of each codec optimized for both G3 and G4 (AltiVec), and the decoders are multiprocessor-enabled, so it can make the most of whatever processors are available. SheerVideo Pro costs $149 for a single license, $99 in quantity. A fully functional free tryout is available for download from, as is a free Reader. Installer and automatic updater included.

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Nero Digital Set to Raise the Stakes in MPEG-4 Video and Audio Compression

Nero will integrate the new Nero Digital MPEG-4 video and audio codec's into Nero Recode, included in the free PowerPack upgrade for the Nero 6.0 Retail box. Designed for optimum compatibility with the ISO/14496-2/3 MPEG-4 standard, the Nero Digital MPEG-4 A/V codecs feature the utmost speed and quality video coding algorithms and full High Efficiency AAC in MPEG audio.

With DVD quality at only 20 percent of the space, Nero Digital video codec supports the most popular simple and advanced MPEG-4 visual profiles, and can decode all other MPEG-4 implementations. The Nero Digital audio codec is built on Ahead's proven proficiency in AAC technology, but goes much further with significant efficiency and quality enhancements. A key core component of MPEG- 4, High Efficiency AAC in MPEG audio is an incomparable bandwidth extension technique allowing bit rates to be considerably reduced with no definable quality loss.

Nero Recode is both a re-quantizing and transcoding application, and is a world's first in its class. Non-protected DVD-Video discs and DVD folders, including DVD-9 titles, can be re-authored in MPEG-2 by re-processing the MPEG streams. The user can choose to keep the menu structure of the source DVD or re-author a DVD from one or more DVD-Video titles. In addition, Nero Recode features the ability to convert DVD titles into Nero Digital, making it possible to fit an entire movie onto a CD with virtually no perceivable loss in audio or video quality. A unique video and audio preview with expanded window view and full screen mode includes Dolby Digital audio preview (DTS preview through S/PDIF). Also a watch-while-you-burn mode allows you to enjoy the movie in full screen video and multi-channel audio while copying a complete DVD, re-authoring a DVD or converting DVDs to Nero Digital.

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DVD+RW Format Gains Momentum in Consumer Electronics Space

About two dozen manufacturers have announced plans to introduce new DVD recorders using the DVD+R/+RW recording format, the DVD+RW Alliance announced. According to the manufacturers' announcements, many of the new recorders will be available in time for this year's Christmas holiday season.

According to Santa Clara Consulting, five out of every six DVD recording devices sold have been for use in personal computers. Because of this, many industry analysts suggest that the PC market will dictate which format will become the industry standard for both DVD drives in computers and DVD recorders that attach to TVs.

A major reason for Plus's strength in the PC market is that Dell and HP, the world's two largest PC manufacturers, both use the DVD+R/RW format exclusively in their products. According to data from Santa Clara Consulting, two thirds of the computers shipped with DVD drives installed are using DVD+R/RW only.

In media sales, NPD Group data shows that Plus format media has gone from two percent of the market in July 2001 to 41 percent in July 2002 to 55 percent in July 2003. Meanwhile, -R/RW media has gone from 71 percent of the market in July 2001 to 53 percent in July 2002 and 44 percent in July 2003. RAM has gone from 27 percent in July 2001 to about one percent.

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Macworld Conference & Expo Expands Power Tools Conferences

IDG World Expo, a leading producer of  tradeshows, conferences and events for technology markets around the globe, announced the launch of an expanded Power Tools Conference program at the upcoming Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, taking place January 5-9, 2004 at the Moscone Center. Mac users can choose from 15 separate Power Tools Conferences, each providing two days of intensive training on a specific application or tool.

Topics include:
- Web Design and Delivery, chaired by author Dori Smith
- Final Cut Pro, chaired by Josh Mellicker and Guy Cochran of -Mac OS X
- Advanced Concepts & Administration, chaired by Schoun P. Regan and Kevin White of The Mac Trainers
- DVD Studio Pro, chaired by Bruce Nazarian of Gnome Digital Media
- Professional Photoshop, chaired by Michael Ninness of Microsoft
- Final Cut Pro 4 Masters Workshop, chaired by Steve Martin, Apple certified trainer with Ripple Training
- Video Compression, chaired by Ben Waggoner of Ben Waggoner Digital

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