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Streaming Media
March 16, 2004

Table of Contents

Hitachi Introduces 400GB Hard Drive
I-O Data Releases Fully DivX Certified DVD Player for Japanese Market
Sonic Studio Ships ATRAC3plus Encoding Software
MainConcept Releases PVR Software
1394 Trade Association Creates Latest Home Entertainment Network
Visual Circuits Announces Firefly MZ
VDS Announces Release of Text Anarchy for Quantel's generationQ
Canopus to Unveil Realtime HD Editing Solution NAB2004

Hitachi Introduces 400GB Hard Drive

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced the world's highest capacity 3.5-inch ATA hard drive, the 400GB Deskstar 7K400. The new drive has been designed for audio video (AV) and ATA nearline environments, where large capacities and a lower per-gigabyte cost are key requirements.

Hitachi has designed the Deskstar 7K400 to address the growing demand for high-capacity DVRs. The drive is the first to include a new AV feature, known as Streaming Command Set. The AV feature is designed to enhance streaming functionality in digital video applications. Streaming Command Set integration optimizes the drives for storing and retrieving digital video content on a DVR. Hard drives are key to enabling technology that will drive future growth of the DVR market.

Yankee Group, a Boston-based research and consulting firm, predicts that DVRs will be found in approximately 24.7 million homes by the year 2007. High definition television broadcasts are among the many factors that are driving the need for additional DVR storage capacity. 8.7GB of storage is required for each hour of broadcast HDTV recording. The Deskstar 7K400 provides enough capacity to store 400 hours of standard TV, 45 hours of HDTV, or more than 6,500 hours of digital music. In addition to its capacity, the Deskstar 7K400's 7,200 rpm performance is also well-suited to meet the rigorous demands of HDTV recording.

Several Deskstar 7K400 design attributes combine to protect customer data and increase capacity. Among these features are a new anti-rebound actuator latch and Rotational Vibration Safeguard technology (RVS). The RVS technology is used to ensure drive performance in high rotational vibration environments, where there are multiple drives in a single enclosure. The Deskstar 7K400 also features a spindle motor that is used in enterprise-class hard drives.

The Deskstar 7K400 has an 8MB-buffer and carries a three-year warranty. Hitachi is currently shipping Deskstar 7K400 drives in limited quantities.

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I-O Data Releases Fully DivX Certified DVD Player for Japanese Market

DivXNetworks, Inc., the company that created the patent-pending DivX video compression technology, has announced that I-O Data Device, Inc., a leading consumer electronics manufacturer, is the first major partner to release a fully DivX Certified DVD player in Japan. The I-O Data AVeL LinkPlayer is capable of playing back all versions of DivX video including DivX 5.1.1, the latest version, at the highest level of visual quality and is available now in Japanese retail stores.

The I-O Data AVeL LinkPlayer is the first major DVD player for the Japanese market to pass DivX Certification testing, including support for subtitles, multiple audio tracks, and the ability to securely playback content from DivXNetworks video-on demand service. The I-O Data device is the only DVD player available in Japan to include support for these features, which DivXNetworks has implemented in response to the high demand by the global DivX community of over 120 million users.

The DivX Certified Program includes a full DivX software development kit, rigorous certification testing, and marketing and sales support focused on helping third party development and OEM partners create DivX Certified consumer electronics solutions such as DVD and portable players, set top boxes, PVR, and digital video and still cameras.

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Sonic Studio Ships ATRAC3plus Encoding Software

Sonic Studio's first cross platform, software-only product, N-code, is a professional encoding tool for preparation of audio files for secure download and future music delivery formats. Working in cooperation with Sony's e-Platforms Technology division, N-code is the first professional encoding tool to support their ATRAC3plus codec.

Short for "Adaptive TRansform Acoustic Coding 3 plus", ATRAC3plus is an enhancement of Sony's original ATRAC3 compression technology originally developed for the MiniDisc format. This latest version analyzes longer periods of audio signals to obtain more detail on input signals and also introduces a newly developed algorithm that achieves optimal bit allocation for a wide range of audio signals. The result is higher quality sound at higher levels of compression. Connect, Sony's new music service which is due to launch in the spring of 2004 will support the ATRAC3plus format.

N-code includes both Macintosh OSX and Windows XP versions and is protected with a hardware key, allowing the product to be easily moved between workstations. 44.1 KHz PCM AIFF and WAV file formats are supported at 16, 24, and 32 bit resolution. Four compression bit rates are provided from 48 to 256kbps. N-code is available exclusively from authorized Sonic Studio resellers worldwide.

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MainConcept Releases PVR Software

MainConcept, a world leader in codec and video editing technology, has announced the immediate availability of MainConcept PVR, full-featured Personal Video Recorder software for Microsoft Windows. The PVR uses MainConcept's fast, high-quality MPEG codecs to record material from television via a video card. Commercials and other unwanted portions can be easily removed, and the material can be burned directly to a DVD, Video CD or Super Video CD. MainConcept PVR includes a user-friendly interface with many powerful features:

-- Compatibility with a wide variety of video capture cards
-- CD/DVD authoring/burning engine; lets users record material directly to DVD, VCD, or SVCD
-- Full MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 support
-- Timeshifting; allows playback of clips while recording

MainConcept PVR is now available for purchase and immediate download at for the low price of just US$39.90. A free demo version is available. The product is also available for OEM bundling.

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1394 Trade Association Creates Latest Home Entertainment Network

The 1394 Trade Association featured the latest and most advanced home entertainment network, moving video and audio at up to 800 Megabits/second over CAT-5 and plastic optical fiber, at the Electronic House Expo in Orlando March 10-13.

Populated with the latest in HDTV, Digital VHS, computer, storage, and audio equipment from industry leaders worldwide, the home entertainment network demo will showcase how FireWire can connect a wide range of different devices over distances up to 80 meters at significant speeds.

In the network demo, high definition video originated in a pair of D-VHS systems provided by Mitsubishi and JVC, and is delivered over CAT-5 cabling through a master network hub developed by USTec, a leader in advanced home wiring systems. From there, it moved to a Mitsubishi HD5000 for display on a plasma or flat panel display, and to a Hewlett-Packard Media Center PC. The demonstration also included file sharing between Sony VAIO and Media Center computers, as well as a shared Internet connection between them. It also incorporated whole house audio, using a Pioneer DVD player.

At the center of the demo was USTec's TP-FH4 FireWire five-port 1394b hub. It is designed to connect four 1394b wall plates using CAT-5 or better cables. The wall plates are powered via the CAT-5 from the hub. The fifth hub port is a bilingual jack used to connect to 1394-enabled equipment located in the cabinet, or to connect two TP-FH4 hubs together to work as an eight-port system.

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Visual Circuits Announces Firefly MZ

Visual Circuits, a leading developer of network digital media players and servers, has announced the newest member of the Firefly family of digital media players, Firefly MZ. Firefly MZ takes the best from a PC and industrial DVD player and integrates it into one network appliance that transforms a display into a powerful digital communications tool.

Firefly MZ, together with Visual Circuits' Media Messenger system management software, gives users the ability to partition various areas of a display screen into zones, assign different types of digital media content to play in each zone, and update this digital content from any Internet location in the world. Additionally, users can move the zones around and resize them to ensure optimal use of the display for various types of messages. The result of this functionality delivers the equivalent of the cable news broadcast look, first introduced by CNN, to any type of display -- flat panel, plasma, LCD, TV, or a kiosk. Any combination of graphics (overlays or on-screen display), pre-scheduled or Web-driven scrolling text, Web pages, and digital video files can be displayed in the zones.

The Firefly MZ will be available April 2004, with a MSRP of $1,995.

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VDS Announces Release of Text Anarchy for Quantel's generationQ

VDS, a leading developer of broadcast automation software, content design applications and plug-in products, announces the release of Digital Anarchy's renowned Text Anarchy for Quantel's generationQ range of products. This special version of Text Anarchy and Synapse allows generationQ V2.0 users access to Text Anarchy's sophisticated text animation and effects capabilities in context. Synapse is VDS' proprietary plug-in product designed to support After Effects plug-ins within the Quantel user interface. VDS now offers 10 distinctive plug-in packages for generationQ, each offering an array of dramatic effects.

Text Anarchy 2.1 is a set of eight filters that provide specific methods for producing a wide variety of text effects, ranging from randomly animating text for background effects to creating effects for titles. For instance, some of the filters use particle systems specifically designed for text, while others allow the animation of characters on a letter-by-letter basis or by using paths to control the look and attributes of the text. Improved font support is the biggest new feature, as well as many other optimizations and improvements. Text Anarchy includes Cool Text, Text Spiral, Text Hacker, Font Changer, TypeOn, Text Matrix, Text Grid, and Screen Text.

All new Quantel generationQ products will be shipping with trial versions of Synapse, Neurons bundles, and Text Anarchy already installed. As Synapse, Neurons and Text Anarchy are compatible with the entire generationQ product range, they are very attractive additions to any Quantel customer interested in expanding their system's capabilities. See VDS at NAB 2004, Booth C6748. Register on VDS' website to receive a complimentary NAB 2004 VIP Exhibits Pass.

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Canopus to Unveil Realtime HD Editing Solution NAB2004

Canopus Corporation has announced EDIUS HD, a new affordable, realtime turnkey editing solution that will be unveiled at NAB2004 in Las Vegas. EDIUS HD includes an HD-SDI card and the new EDIUS Pro video editing software to deliver true realtime HD capabilities, mixed SD and HD editing on the timeline, and Canopus's advanced HD codec technology for exceptional video quality output.

Canopus will also debut MediaEdge2, the latest version of its video distribution system with MPEG-4 support, as well as Imaginate 2.0 still-image animation software that features multiple image support, soundtrack capabilities and a host of smart productivity tools to streamline production. Canopus will offer demonstrations of these new products at booth #SL5805 on the NAB show floor.

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