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Streaming Media
December 19, 2003

Table of Contents

BTC Ships CyberLink DVD Solution with Latest DVD Dual Drives
Sipex Introduces New Photo Detector IC for 8X and 12X DVD Recorders
Canopus Announces MPEGcraft DVD
Front Porch and Digital Media Partner on Digital Archive Management Solution
DVS Korea Signs $6.6 Million Deal for DVD+RW Loader Shipment
DG2L Releases MPEG-4 Digital Cinema System
Kaleidescape Introduces Home DVD Server
Roxio Responds to Optima Patent Allegations
DV Expo West: California Stars

BTC Ships CyberLink DVD Solution with Latest DVD Dual Drives

CyberLink Corp. announced that CyberLink's DVD Solution, an all-in-one media software, will be shipped with BTC's 8X dual drive (DVD+/-RW) and 4X dual drive series. The CyberLink DVD Solution is a collection of CyberLink's digital media software, customized according to the OEM customer's needs.

With the one-click installation process and design of the Media Launcher bar, the CyberLink DVD Solution also offers easy access to all varieties of applications for users. The CyberLink DVD Solution that BTC chose for its BTC DRW 10081M series (8X dual drive) and DRW10041M series (4X dual drive) includes the combination of PowerDVD 5 for DVD playback, PowerProducer 2 for DVD authoring, and Medi@Show for creation of multimedia slideshows.

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Sipex Introduces New Photo Detector IC for 8X and 12X DVD Recorders

Sipex Corporation announced its latest Photo Detector Integrated Circuit (PDIC), the SP8052. Optimized for 8X and 12X writeable DVD drives, the SP8052 features slew rates of 500V per microsecond, fast 12ns saturation recovery times, and 150MHz bandwidth. Along with the four high-speed data detection channels, four tracking channels, and two summing channels traditionally utilized for CD and DVD-write modes, two additional write channels have been specially implemented for enhanced high-speed DVD write functionality.

With the addition of the two dedicated write channels optimized to minimize saturation during DVD-write operations, the SP8052 enables system designers to accommodate the inevitable increase in laser power needed for higher speed writing. The device also features three selectable gain settings to adjust for variations associated with different media types and manufacturers. The PDIC is manufactured on Sipex's innovative 10GHz BiCMOS process which allows for efficient integration of the photo diode and extremely versatile analog circuits.

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Canopus Announces MPEGcraft DVD

Canopus Corporation, a recognized leader in MPEG codec and streaming technologies, announced MPEGcraft DVD, a software application that combines MPEG editing and DVD authoring capabilities into one easy-to-use and affordable solution. MPEGcraft DVD contains a high-quality MPEG editor that allows users to cut, stitch and mix MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video clips while preserving their original video quality.

MPEGcraft DVD gives users frame-accurate MPEG editing capabilities and eliminates lengthy encoding times by reencoding only the edited segments of the video clip. Once an MPEG sequence is edited, MPEGcraft DVD's authoring capabilities can burn directly to a disc or generate the necessary system files for future DVD authoring. With MPEGcraft DVD, users can manually insert chapter points or automatically create chapter points according to clip changes within the video. DVD titles can also be authored to repeat playback indefinitely, which is ideal for advertising kiosks, video displays and information booths.

MPEGcraft DVD supports Storm Encoder, the hardware MPEG encoder found on the Canopus DVStorm2 nonlinear editing solution, including the new DVStorm2 Pro+, allowing for realtime MPEG encoding directly from the MPEGcraft DVD timeline to a wide range of DVD-R/DVD-RW writers. MPEGcraft DVD also includes To MPEG Tool, a handy utility that provides high-quality MPEG encoding options, such as multiplexing and demuxing, for existing video files; MPEG reencoding options, including upscaling of MPEG-1 to MPEG-2; and DV AVI-to-MPEG encoding. MPEGcraft DVD supports Windows 2000 Professional (SP2 or higher)/XP Home/XP Professional and will be available in January 2004 through Canopus and its authorized resellers for a suggested retail price of $99.

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Front Porch and Digital Media Partner on Digital Archive Management Solution

Digital Media Systems, a leading provider of media management tools, and Front Porch Digital, a leading provider of digital content management solutions, have announced the integration of DaletPlus and DIVArchive (Distributed Intelligent Versatile Archive). The resulting solution combines the workflow and distribution features of DaletPlus Media Library with the media management functionalities of DIVArchive.

DIVArchive is designed to simplify the implementation and maintenance of complex digital archives. It provides reliable and secure file management across online, nearline and offline storage systems. With its central administration console, DIVArchive can be configured to grow from entry-level to enterprise-wide systems.

DaletPlus Media Library offers broadcasters, post-production facilities and media companies a turnkey solution for managing and archiving vast media assets. Because of its uniquely flexible metadata and workflow engines, it can be rapidly customized for any operation.

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DVS Korea Signs $6.6 Million Deal for DVD+RW Loader Shipment

Digital Video Systems, Inc. has announced that its Korean subsidiary, Digital Video Systems Korea (DVSK) will start shipping DVD+RW loaders under a $6.6 million dollar contract with Shenzhen Hongxingli Industries Co., Ltd. (HXL). Shipments under the HXL contract are scheduled to begin in December and are expected to be completed before the end of February 2004.

DVSK CEO Dr. Song Sim said, "Unlike loaders used for DVD players, DVD+RW loader technology is not widely available in the marketplace. We estimate that the DVD recorder market may grow to five times the current volume, or as much as 12 million units in 2004. As many as 20 Chinese DVD player manufacturers have developed DVD recorders and most will have DVD recorders entering production within the next few months."

HXL is a supplier of consumer electronics to the Chinese domestic market and for export. The DVSK model DRL-100 DVD+RW loaders provide HXL with the key manufacturing component needed to extend its product line to home DVD recorders.

The new DRL-100 Recordable ATAPI DVD+RW loader incorporates proprietary DVS technology and is designed to offer highly accurate recording of digital media with low noise, shock resistance, and patented error correction capabilities. The DVD+RW loader is manufactured at the DVS/DVSK joint venture, Shanghai Fangyan Digital Technology Co. Ltd., (SFDT), in Shanghai, China.

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DG2L Releases MPEG-4 Digital Cinema System

DG2L Technologies Ltd, a provider of next-generation digital media technologies, has announced an MPEG-4-based end-to-end digital cinema distribution and presentation system. In a separate announcement today, DG2L also announced that Entertainment Cinema Networks (ECN), a service provider to theatrical distributors of film, has selected DG2L Digital Cinema System to launch its digital film distribution service in India.

The DG2L Digital Cinema System distributes and presents digital cinema-quality motion pictures, trailers, advertisements, and other audio/visual programs via satellite and physical media to theaters around the world. Based on the MPEG-4 compression standard, DG2L Digital Cinema delivers High Definition (HD) video at 1080p resolution at low bandwidth and low cost, according to DG2L. The DG2L Digital Cinema System also incorporates an encryption engine along with High Definition Content Protection (HDCP), to provide piracy protection.

For distributors, DG2L Digital Cinema System offers reduced shipping, delivery and assembly costs; improved editing and production processes; piracy protection and format interoperability.

For the creative community DG2L Digital Cinema System offers preserved image and sound integrity, increased sound track capabilities for diverse population centers, ccurate representation of creative intent, and interfacing with existing screens and sound systems.

For movie audiences, DG2L Digital Cinema System offers multi-lingual content choices and enhanced sound and image quality.

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Kaleidescape Introduces Home DVD Server

Kaleidescape, Inc. has introduces the Kaleidescape System, a DVD Server that allows users to store their entire movie collection on hard disks, and to access any movie in their collection from any viewing area in their home. A Kaleidescape System consists of rack-mountable hardware components, proprietary operating system software, and Kaleidescape's Movie Guide Service. A basic Kaleidescape System has one Server (with five disk cartridges for storing up to 160 movies), one Movie Player, and one DVD Reader. Additional cartridges can be added to the Server, up to a total of 12, which is sufficient to store 440 movies. Additional Servers, Movie Players and DVD Readers can be added to the System as required by each homeowner to increase movie storage capacity, the number of viewing zones, and to make it more convenient to import DVDs onto the Server(s). Kaleidescape's proprietary operating system software enables the hardware components to communicate with each other within the home, via the home Ethernet, and with Kaleidescape's Movie Guide Service, via the Internet. The Movie Guide Service provides detailed information about thousands of movies.

The Kaleidescape System works by importing an exact replica of the DVD files onto the server, including the copy protection. Since no additional compression is applied, no quality is lost. The same bits are streamed to the Movie Player located in any desired viewing zone. The content resides on the Kaleidescape Server and can only be played on the Kaleidescape Players within the home; it cannot be copied to PCs, rewritten to blank DVDs, or accessed via the Internet. Kaleidescape manufactures its products under license from the DVD Copy Control Association, Inc. and Macrovision, Inc., among others.

Once the movies are imported, homeowners can have instantaneous access to their entire movie library utilizing a proprietary user interface which provides multiple ways to browse and select movies, play movies, jump to favorite scenes, pause, resume, and exercise parental control over which movies are available in each viewing zone. Each room can be configured for individual preferences such as audio settings, the screen aspect ratio, and parental control. Movies can be selected either by the on-screen movie list sorted by title, genre, director, or actor; or users can peruse the vivid cover art which appears on-screen and automatically shuffles similar titles into view. Homeowners can even scroll through their user-programmable favorites menu, a recommended movie list or a pre-selected "watch-soon" list. The Kaleidescape Movie Guide Service can be controlled with current AMX, Crestron and IP-based touch panels, or universal remote controllers.

The Kaleidescape System has been designed for the anticipated widespread availability of HD content. The capacity of the Server is sufficient for storing large HD movies and the Movie Player hardware is designed to support both 720p and 1080i video output.

Pricing will depend on the amount of movie storage as well as the number of viewing zones. A base Kaleidescape System lists for $27,000 and includes a Kaleidescape Server with sufficient storage for 160 DVD movies, a Movie Player for playback in a single zone, and a DVD Reader for importing DVDs. The storage capacity can be easily expanded to over 400 movies for less than $6,000 and an unlimited number of Movie Players can be added for $3995 per zone.

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Roxio Responds to Optima Patent Allegations

Roxio, The Digital Media Company, has responded to Optima Technology's allegations of patent infringement. Optima holds a patent that they claim encompasses the practice of CD image building prior to recording. They applied for the patent in 1995 and received it in 1997.

Roxio responds: "We are aware of the Optima 531 patent and the claims within and believe that any claim of infringement by Roxio's software products is utterly without merit. At Roxio, we respect the legitimate intellectual property rights of others but in this instance there is no colorable argument that the claims set forth in the patent read on any Roxio products. We intend to aggressively defend ourselves in this litigation."

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DV Expo West: California Stars

Of the two DV Expos held each year, West usually trumps East in terms of both size and new product announcements. Then again, it's usually a solid bet that its Los Angeles locale will provide a balmy respite from the cold that by December takes hold in DV Expo East's New York home. While it wasn't exactly frigid (regardless of the locals who took the evening temperature dips into the 40s as a call to break out the stocking caps), anyone hoping to squeeze in a little beach time during the show probably decided they were better off staying inside the LA Convention Center. Things weren't a whole lot hotter on the floor: both show size and attendance were down far enough that the organizers waived the registration fee on the Expo's second and third days.

Highlights on the floor included the debuts of Ulead's DVD Workshop 2 and Canopus' EDIUS 2.0, both of which served notice that the distinctions between professional and prosumer authoring tools and NLEs are only getting blurrier. That's a good thing, of course; as mid-range tools like these add more functionality while maintaining their user-friendly interfaces, they bring more editing power to the people. DVD Workshop 2, set to hit the market in early 2004, continues its predecessor's template-based approach to menu creation, but adds levels of customization including the ability to create irregularly-shaped edge masks for menu buttons (heavy metal bassist and Workshop 2 spokesman Rudy Sarzo showed off buttons in the shape of guitars and musical notes), as well as buttons that rotate and include video. Workshop 2's upgrades aren't all cosmetic: the subtitling is both simpler and more powerful, and the authoring tool now supports Digital Linear Tape and DVD-9 capability. The niftiest change, though, just might be Workshop 2's playlists, which allow authors to save space by linking a sequence of assets to buttons without duplicating assets—a perfect example of a consumer-oriented approach that makes things easier for the pros. DVD Workshop 2 will retail for $495.

On the NLE side, Canopus's EDIUS 2.0 now captures to MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 in addition to DV, and it offers DVD authoring directly from the timeline. Canopus also juiced up the capabilities of Inscriber TitleXpress, allowing more manipulation and unlocking the x and y axes for more precise horizontal and vertical text sizing. Scheduled for release in January, EDIUS 2.0 will sell for $599, with upgrades to 1.0 and LE available for $109 and $299, respectively.

Higher up the post-production line, Avid's Express Pro with the MOJO portable nonlinear accelerator was first announced at NAB last April, but didn't see release until late September. Though we've known about its features—including real-time analog-DV and DV-analog conversion as well as real-time DV output to tape—for a while, DV Expo presented our first chance to get our hands on the MOJO. Its real genius is in its form factor: not only is it small enough to fit in a backpack, but it doesn't weigh much more than a cell phone, making it a must-have for editing road warriors who don't need to be weighed down any more than they aleady are.

Though no new cameras were unveiled at DV Expo West, Heuris took its section of the JVC booth's real estate to show off the new Pro Indie HD Toolkit, which lets videographers take high-definition footage shot with the JVC JY-HD10U and bring it directly into Apple's Final Cut Pro 4 for eventual output to D-VHS tape. The Toolkit includes the Xtractor HDV import utility, the XtoHD player utility, and the MPEG Power Professional DTVHD MPEG-2 encoding software. That kind of power doesn't come cheap: the Toolkit sells on for $4,785.

Perhaps the coolest tools we saw on the expo floor came from Serious Magic. On the pro studio side, the company has changed the name of its UltraKey software to ULTRA, and it's one of the best chroma keying/compositing tools we've seen. The virtual sets, with themes from newsroom to wedding, are quite professional looking and include animations and multiple angles. But the real gem is the chroma keying itself, which is designed to work with the limitations of both the limited bandwidth of DV-format video sources and the less-than-ideal lighting conditions videographers often face in the field. A tightly-focused spotlight on a green screen proved to be no problem, and neither did a demo subject's unruly hair; ULTRA was able to key cleanly and naturally—it even keyed out 90% of the areas in the shot that were outside of the green screen. Not bad at all for a $795 tool.

Serious Magic's Visual Communicator presentation software was equally impressive. The $400 product comes with a green screen and lets users create professional-quality presentatons in their offices or cubicles, inputting text and graphics and even importing PowerPoint presentations. The chromakeying was again excellent on DV camera shots, but it was nearly as good on scenes shot with a basic Webcam. It outputs to Windows Media and RealPlayer, but the real kicker is that it also outputs to DVD with the bundled Sonic MyDVD 5 software.

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