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Streaming Media
December 12, 2003

Table of Contents

Canopus Unveils EDIUS 2.0
ADS Tech Launches New PYRO A/V Link Professional
Future Versions of Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator and VideoWave to Support DivX
HEURIS Ships New "Pro Indie HD Toolkit" for HDV and Apple OS X
Toshiba RD Series to Use Maxtor QuickView Hard Drives
Canopus Announces ACEDVio Ultra Bundle
Quality Key to DVD Media Compatibility, OSTA Reports
Samsung Introduces SyncMaster 172X
Review: Epson Stylus Photo 960 by Hugh Bennett

Canopus Unveils EDIUS 2.0

Canopus Corporation has announced EDIUS 2.0, an upgrade to the nonlinear editing application Canopus released earlier this year. EDIUS 2.0 features MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 editing and support for OHCI-compliant FireWire hardware, enabling seamless editing, mixing and output of DV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and uncompressed video with real-time, render-free operation, according to Canopus. EDIUS 2.0 features real-time, multi-format, multi-track editing using a Windows XP-based desktop or laptop computer with an OHCI-compliant FireWire interface. Canopus is also bundling Inscriber TitleMotion with EDIUS 2.0 for creating graphics, video titles, and motion effects.

EDIUS 2.0 allows editors to work in MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 format for real-time editing, effects compositing, keying, transitions, and titles. Canopus's MPEG codec technology maintains high picture quality during every stage of the production process. EDIUS 2.0 also features DVD-Video authoring directly from the timeline, with full chapter point support.

While EDIUS 2.0 works with any OHCI-compliant system, it is optimized for Canopus's DVStorm, DVRex RT and DVRaptor RT2 series of non-linear editing solutions, providing additional real-time, render-free operation working with DV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and uncompressed video.

EDIUS 2.0 will be available January 2004 through Canopus, its authorized dealers, and system integrators for a suggested retail price of $599. Registered users of EDIUS 1.x can upgrade to version 2.0 for $199. Registered users of EDIUS LE can upgrade to version 2.0 for $299.

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ADS Tech Launches New PYRO A/V Link Professional

ADS Tech has announced that PYRO A/V Link, its 1394/Firewire-based universal DV format converter, is now being bundled with the full versions of Premiere Pro, Adobe Encore DVD, and Adobe Audition. A complete, fully integrated hardware/software solution, PYRO A/V Link provides users with the best value and the best components for capturing, editing and exporting both analog and digital video in real time.

The PYRO A/V Link Professional is an external box that connects to the user's PC via Firewire. Featuring Composite, S-VHS and Component connectors, the PYRO A/V Link Professional is designed for corporate video producers, event videographers, educators, and hobbyists who want to transfer old videos to a digital format for DVD creation and archiving. PYRO A/V Link can also be used to connect analog and digital devices without a computer.

By integrating real-time capture hardware with Adobe's popular prosumer software, ADS Tech enables users to capture video from analog sources (RCA, S-VHS or Component) such as an 8mm camcorder, a VCR, and Betacam and from digital devices such as DV camcorders and DV decks. Users can then edit videos with Premiere, create DVDs with Encore, and do audio mixing, editing, and effects processing capabilities of Adobe Audition (full version).

ADS Tech also bundles the full retail versions of Adobe Premiere Pro, DVD Encore, and Audition with its new PYRO Professional 1394/FireWire PCI card. PYRO A/V Link Professional has an expected street price of $699. PYRO A/V Link Professional also supports other leading DV video editing solutions as well as Apple's iMovie, Final Cut Pro, for Mac users. ADS Tech's PYRO A/V Link Professional can be connected to the Firewire/i.LINK/1394 interface of Windows 98 SE, ME, 2000, or XP PCs and Macintosh OS 9x, OS 10, and OS X Jaguar systems.

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Future Versions of Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator and VideoWave to Support DivX

Roxio, Inc. has announced a licensing agreement with DivXNetworks, Inc. under which DivX video compression technology will be integrated into Roxio's Easy CD & DVD Creator CD/DVD recording software and its VideoWave consumer NLE. The addition of DivX technology will enable Roxio customers to more easily acquire, edit, and create video content using one the popular video formats. DivX video content can then be burned onto CD and played back on DivX-certified set-top players or shared over the Internet.

DivX technology compresses video content into a more manageable file size without sacrificing quality, according to DivXNetworks, allowing it easier storage or sharing. For example, an MPEG-2 video file can be compressed down to one tenth of its original size. VHS-quality video can be reduced to nearly one hundredth of its original size without losing frames, size or resolution. Using DivX video compression, Roxio applications will enable users to reduce digital video down to sizes small enough to be sent over the Internet, while maintaining excellent visual quality.

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HEURIS Ships New "Pro Indie HD Toolkit" for HDV and Apple OS X

HEURIS and JVC Professional Products Company have introduced the HEURIS Pro Indie HD Toolkit, a series of software tools developed by HEURIS that lets videographers bring footage, shot with the HDV-capable JY-HD10U camera, into Apple's Final Cut Pro NLE. With HEURIS' toolkit, a significantly larger filmmaking audience has the capability and editing functionality to use JVC's HDV camera for their HD image capture needs.

The Pro Indie HD Toolkit features three software tools: XtractorHDV import utility, MPEG Power Professional-DTVHD, MPEG-2 encoding software, and the XtoHD player utility. HEURIS has developed and bundled these tools to enable independent filmmakers utilizing JVC's JY-HD10U camera to transfer footage to the Final Cut Pro editing tool.

Filmmakers shoot their footage with the JVC JY-HD10U cameras. Connecting an IEEE-1394 firewire from the JVC camera to the desktop, users can then download HD video through XtractorHDV with a single click, which imports and converts the HDV into a format suitable for use by the Final Cut Pro digital video editing system. Once the footage has been edited, MPEG Power Professional--DTV-HD software encodes the footage into MPEG-2 streams. The XtoHD tool transfers the MPEG-2 streams to a D-VHS deck for playback or can record to D-VHS tape if so desired.

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Toshiba RD Series to Use Maxtor QuickView Hard Drives

Maxtor Corporation has announced that its Maxtor QuickView consumer electronics hard drives have been selected for Toshiba's HDD and DVD video recorder series, including models RD-XS32, RD-XS35 and RD-X4. These new offerings come equipped with Maxtor QuickView 80GB, 160GB, and 250GB hard disk drives which are designed specifically for consumer electronics applications and recording devices.

Toshiba's RD-XS32, RD-XS35 and RD-X4, now available in Japan, are equipped with the "DVD Multi-drive," which supports DVD-R, DVD-RAM, and DVD-RW. RD-X4 is the top-level model.

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Canopus Announces ACEDVio Ultra Bundle

Canopus Corporation has announced the ACEDVio Ultra Bundle, which combines the company's OHCI-based ACEDVio real-time analog and DV capture and output solution with Adobe professional video production software, including Premiere Pro for non-linear video editing, Encore for DVD authoring, and Audition for professional audio editing.

ACEDVio provides real-time analog and DV capture and output with native OHCI support for popular video cameras and decks, including VHS, S-VHS, Hi-8 Digital8, DV, and DVCAM. ACEDVio Ultra Bundle supports Windows 2000, Windows XP Home, and Windows XP Professional and is available now from Canopus and its authorized dealers for a suggested retail price of $599.

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Quality Key to DVD Media Compatibility, OSTA Reports

The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA), the international trade organization for the promotion of recordable optical technologies and products, has announced it will expand the scope of a recent DVD compatibility study jointly conducted by OSTA, the DVD Association (DVDA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The first round of testing produced findings demonstrating that the quality of recordable DVD media plays the key role in compatibility. By implementing a second phase of testing in conjunction with major DVD drive and media manufacturers, DVDA, NIST, and OSTA are continuing their partnership by providing an impartial process for measuring and improving compatibility to assist DVD media and drive manufacturers in achieving the goal of 100 percent compatibility.

The committee, which was formed in fall 2002 to specifically address compatibility issues, has been collaborating with leading media and drive manufacturers to develop an industry-wide solution based on a regular series of compatibility and physical tests, the results of which are provided to OEMs for analysis and feedback. The group constantly examines a wide variety of media types, recordable DVD drives, DVD-ROM drives, and consumer DVD players, and defines objective testing methodologies and parameters aimed at assisting OEMs in identifying possible problems between specific brand media and drive models.

"It is essential that consumers, as well as DVD media and drive manufacturers, put the results of this latest compatibility study into proper context," said David Bunzel, president of OSTA. "Our findings indicate that the most critical factor in all DVD disc and drive compatibility tests is the quality of media, not the format or brand of drive. When high-quality DVD recordable discs are used, the compatibility rate surges to over 95 percent.OSTA will continue to work with the DVDA and NIST to help manufacturers achieve 100 percent compatibility. In the meantime, we recommend that consumers purchase high-quality DVD media to avoid potential incompatibility problems."

A DVD disc is deemed compatible by OSTA if it is recorded on one device, and plays back flawlessly on another. Moreover, a recordable DVD is considered compatible if its playback quality is equivalent to the playback of pressed discs with identical content. OSTA's second phase of compatibility testing, which is now under way, will analyze the performance of the top 75 percent of DVD recordable drives and players now available to consumers, as well as the latest 4X media. OSTA plans to release the results of this testing phase in the first quarter of 2004.

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Samsung Introduces SyncMaster 172X

Samsung has debuted the SyncMaster 172X, a 17-inch LCD display for business and home use that features fast response time, and lightweight design and utilizes Samsung's proprietary MagicTune software and MagicBright settings. Samsung claims a 12ms response time, which it says ensures better performance of motion video, and produces smoother edges, clearer images, less eye fatigue and irritation, and a more natural image response. The 172X sports a narrow bezel design, slim profile, and foldable, dual-hinge stand. The display also utilizes Samsung's MagicTune software for a "hands-free" experience and its MagicBright technology for enhanced viewing as well as dual (digital and analog) inputs.

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Review: Epson Stylus Photo 960 by Hugh Bennett

An attractive first offering, Epson America's new Stylus Photo 960 combines conventional paper and high-quality digital photo output with the ability to directly label onto the surface of inkjet-printable writable CD and DVD discs.

At $349 and featuring high-quality imaging capabilities, Epson's Stylus Photo 960 is considerably more expensive and sophisticated than the average home or office inkjet (paper) printer. Eye-popping image quality is achieved through 2880x1440dpi resolution (1440dpi only on CD/DVDs), six colors, and two-picoliter droplet size onto a wide assortment of cut and roll stock including plain and coated papers, cards (up to 1.3mm thick), iron-on transfers, stickers, transparencies, and envelopes--not to mention CDs and DVDs.

Both Windows and Mac OS systems are supported through Epson's own included Film Factory photo and CD Print disc labeling software. During testing, CD Print proved easy to use but ultimately disappointed as it provides only the essentials needed to fashion rudimentary labels. Given the printer's upscale market, Epson should take better notice of its adhesive label kit software competition, who offer reams of background images, clip art, jewel case layouts, template wizards, and a host of other attractions.

Similar to how the Stylus Photo 960 deals with thick stock, CDs and DVDs are loaded one at a time into the front of the unit using a manual sheet-feeder attachment. To overcome the awkwardness of working with a round object, a removable rectangular plastic caddy containing a shallow circular well is used to hold the disc in proper position. Compared to similar third-party attempts to modify paper printers for disc labeling, Epson's implementation is a cut above in both quality and execution. However, it is still possible to push the caddy in on an angle and there is enough play in the system to make precise and repeatable image alignment frustrating and virtually unattainable.

When it comes to paper printing quality, the Stylus Photo 960 thoroughly impresses. During testing, high-resolution digital photos and scans were beautifully rendered on a variety of inkjet photo paper in excellent detail with faithfully reproduced colors and skin tones. Results from a selection of Verbatim, Memorex, and Taiyo Yuden inkjet-printable CDs were more mixed. To minimize surface wetness, the unit conservatively uses as little ink as possible so disc labels, while otherwise smart and fast drying, looked somewhat washed out.

Photo printers aren't typically known for their swiftness but the Stylus Photo 960 performed respectably. At 1440dpi the unit took 2 minutes and 35 seconds to print a full 120mm disc surface with paper operation clocking at 2 minutes and 10 seconds for a 5" x 7" and with an 8" x 10" in 3 minutes 20 seconds.

With an affordable price tag, reasonable output speed, respectable image quality, and flexible media handling the Stylus Photo 960 is an attractive multipurpose printer worth a serious look. Strictly from a disc labeling perspective, however, the unit isn't functionally or technically innovative and displays all the rough edges typical of a first effort.

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