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Streaming Media
March 26, 2004

Table of Contents

321 Studios Introduces DVDXTREME
AOpen Ships New 8X DVD+/-RW Burner
Medea's VideoRaid RTR, RTRX, and RTS Disk Array Qualified by Pinnacle Systems for CineWave 4.5
Pinnacle Systems Deploys Microtune's Single-Chip Tuner in Very Small, Cost-Optimized PCI Cards
Sonic Introduces Advanced Technology for DVD+R Double Layer Recording
Memorex Introduces Mini DVDs
Eclipse ESP7000 Supports 8X DVD-R/+R And DVD+R DL Formatting
Microboards Introduces MediaBeacon Digital Asset Management
Photo Finish: OSTA Announces New Profiles, Hardware Support for MPV

321 Studios Introduces DVDXTREME

321 Studios has introduced the next evolution of the company's breakthrough DVD and CD creation software in the form of DVDXTREME. DVDXTREME is a complete digital media toolbox that allows you to create, edit, back up, rescue, and share your photos, home video, music, and data with only a few clicks.

"DVDXTREME brings together in one integrated software suite the best of 321 Studios, plus new titles to create a complete set of DVD and CD creation and rescue tools. Now you can create, edit and preserve your photos, home movies, and music--all in one software program," said Robert Moore, president and founder of 321 Studios.

With DVDXTREME you can: edit photos with SNAPSHOTXPRESS, then turn them into a DVD movie that you can email to friends and family with DVDXSHOW; transfer home movies to DVD, then make backups for safekeeping with DVDXMAKER and DVDXCOPY XPRESS RF; create a mix CD of your favorite tunes with AUDIOXTOOLS; create labels for discs, cases, even mini-DVs with LABELXPERT; and backup non-CSS protected DVD movies including trailers and special features

Once you've created these CDs and DVDs, you can protect them with 321 Studios' two rescue software products, conveniently included in this package: restore accidentally deleted photos from your camera's memory card with IMAGEXRESCUE; and rescue scratched or damaged CDs with CDXRESCUE.

DVDXTREME is currently available online at for $79.99 after a $20 mail-in rebate.

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AOpen Ships New 8X DVD+/-RW Burner

AOpen Inc., a global leader in PC component design and manufacturing, has announced that it is now shipping the new AOpen 8X DVD+/-RW Burner (Model DRW8800) in North America. This drive writes both DVD+R and DVD-R media in addition to serving well as a CD media writer and player. It writes to DVD+/-RW at 4X, CD-R at 40X, and CD-RW at 32X.

The AOpen 8X DVD Burner comes bundled with Nero Burning ROM, InCD, VideoStudio 7, Power DVD, and NeoDVD. The AOpen DVD 8X DVD+/-RW Burner is available with either black or beige faceplates, has an MSRP of $139.99 USD and comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

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Medea's VideoRaid RTR, RTRX, and RTS Disk Array Qualified by Pinnacle Systems for CineWave 4.5

Medea Corporation, the leading manufacturer of ATA-based RAID solutions for digital content creation, nearline and streaming media applications, has announced that the company's VideoRaid RTR, RTRX, and RTS disk arrays have been qualified by Pinnacle Systems for use with CineWave 4.5.

"VideoRaid RTR, RTRX and RTS support all of the latest features of CineWave 4.5 including true real-time uncompressed HD effects and Apple's RT Extreme with video out," said Roger Mabon, VP of channel marketing at Medea.

Two VideoRaid RTR/RTS units or a fully populated (10-drives) VideoRaid RTRX have been qualified for use with CineWave 4.5 RT, RT Pro, and HD.

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Pinnacle Systems Deploys Microtune's Single-Chip Tuner in Very Small, Cost-Optimized PCI Cards

Microtune, Inc. has announced that its high-performance MicroTuner MT2050 single-chip tuner is deployed in the new-generation stereo TV card of Pinnacle Systems, Inc. The card, PCTV Stereo, is currently on retail shelves in Europe and Asia.

Pinnacle's PCTV Stereo transforms a desktop computer into a TV that delivers compelling video services--stereo TV, full personal video recording (PVR) functionality, Internet TV, and output to a recordable CD/DVD. With the MT2050 as its radio frequency (RF) core, the Pinnacle PCTV Stereo card is engineered to deliver high-quality pictures and sound in a very small PCI-based form factor (ca. 4.7" x 2.4") and at new, entry-level price points.

The MicroTuner MT2050, based on Microtune's patented single-chip architecture, functions as the RF "gateway" in Pinnacle's PCTV Stereo, enabling the card to receive high-bandwidth, high-resolution audio/video and broadcast content. With capabilities for solid-state reliability and simultaneous analog/digital modes of operation, the MicroTuner chip produces superior video quality, permitting users to enjoy TV pictures and stereo sound that are noise- and interference-free. With a fast signal acquisition time, the MicroTuner also supports multiple screen display and rapid channel changes, allowing users to make fast channel changes while viewing stable video images. The MT2050 also offers compliance to world TV reception standards, enabling Pinnacle products to be marketed worldwide.

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Sonic Introduces Advanced Technology for DVD+R Double Layer Recording

Sonic Solutions, a world leader in DVD creation applications, has announced that it has expanded its HyperMux DVD formatting technology to include advanced algorithms specifically designed to support the new DVD+R Double Layer (DL) recording format. Sonic's new HyperMux-DL engine leverages the company's successful history of creating multi-layer disc authoring systems for Hollywood studios by applying advanced title layout, buffer management, layer-break management, and frame selection technologies to consumer DVD creation applications for the first time.

Sonic's MyDVD, Sonic PrimeTime, DVDit!, and RecordNow! consumer applications as well as Sonic's "Hollywood" professional applications, Scenarist and DVD Producer, are the first to take advantage of this unique technology to create DVD+R DL discs that can hold four to eight hours of video or up to 8.5 billion bytes of data on a single disc.

Sonic's HyperMux-DL formatting technology optimizes the DVD data stream to minimize buffer usage, ensuring better stream quality and integrity while enhancing title playback performance across the broadest range of consumer DVD players. HyperMux-DL has been specially tuned to deliver maximum writing speed and disc compatibility for DVD+R Double Layer media while minimizing MPEG video frame stutter.

HyperMux-DL-enhanced DVD+R Double Layer versions of Sonic's consumer products are currently available and will be included in bundles from major drive and PC manufacturers starting in the second quarter of 2004. Sonic AuthorScript with double layer support has been released to selected licensing partners in the PC and consumer electronics markets. Retail versions of Sonic's professional product lines incorporating DVD+R Double Layer are slated for release in Q2 of 2004.

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Memorex Introduces Mini DVDs

Memorex has introduced the compact and versatile Memorex Mini DVD. At eight centimeters in diameter, the discs are ideal for home video recording with DV camcorders like the Sony Handycam, as well as mobile storage of multimedia presentations, videos, MP3 files, and data.

Available in -R and -RW formats, the Memorex discs let consumers record 30 minutes of video or 1.4 GB of data right to the disc inside the camcorder, saving valuable production time over transferring videos and still photos onto a computer and then burning a DVD. Memorex Mini DVDs read and record at up to 4X speed and rewrite at up to 2X speed. Consumers also can use Memorex Mini DVDs for PC recording and to replay discs in most standard DVD players.

Packages of five Memorex Mini DVD-R discs cost $29.99 and are now available in retail stores nationwide. Packages of three Mini DVD-RW discs cost $29.99 and will be in retail stores nationwide in the middle of April.

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Eclipse ESP7000 Supports 8X DVD-R/+R And DVD+R DL Formatting

Eclipse has added 8X DVD+/-R and DVD+R Dual-Layer recordable format support to the ImageEncoder ESP7000 formatter. The high-performance ESP7000 is installed at a number of facilities mastering recordable and prerecorded CD and DVD formats, including high-speed CAV mastering. The ESP7000 software-based formatter was designed so that it could be easily upgraded to support new and advanced formats, as opposed to older designs requiring costly and time-consuming hardware upgrades. The proprietary software-based analysis engine significantly shortens time-to-market implementation of new formats. The ESP7000's design combines ultra-fast output channel rise and fall times with exceptionally low noise circuitry and features a sophisticated auto-scaling pulse shaping technology that processes the timing and amplitude of each individual pulse, all enclosed in an attractive, standalone enclosure to protect against extraneous electrical noises.

The Eclipse ImageEncoder ESP7000 is software controlled and fully programmable to support current and future format requirements. The ESP7000 is compatible with all LBRs capable of mastering recordable and rewriteable formats, including single and dual-beam recorders. The Eclipse ImageEncoder ESP7000 provides a wide-range of control and flexibility for customers demanding advanced signal processing.

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Microboards Introduces MediaBeacon Digital Asset Management

Microboards has been at the center of the CD/DVD industry since optical media's inception. Today, the proliferation of rich media content is fueling the demand for products that facilitate the lifecycle of digital assets. Microboards offers MediaBeacon, an enterprise-level asset management software platform, more commonly referred to as Digital Asset Management or DAM to fill this need. Developed exclusively as an Internet platform, MediaBeacon can be used and managed through any Web browser.

MediaBeacon allows companies to organize, tag, search, and retrieve images, text, audio, video, streaming media, PDF, templates, etc. With all the ?les being used in advertising, publishing, packaging, and commercial printing, keeping track of those ?les, in all of their uses, is a formidable task. Your asset database will increase in value as its access is increased. It is the nature of "information" that it must be shared, applied and reused to be of any value. MediaBeacon enables users to easily share, store, search, and access all digital assets directly over the Web.

Features: · PDF image catalogs for hard copy documentation · Available on Mac OS X, Redhat, Linux and Sun Solaris · Log every transaction · Create custom Web sites and rebrand MediaBeacon for your company

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Photo Finish: OSTA Announces New Profiles, Hardware Support for MPV

In February 2002, the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) unveiled its MultiPhotoVideo (MPV) specification, which they hoped would one day standardize the way in which digital media files were stored and shared. Nearly two years later to the day, OSTA proudly announced that industry-leading digital camera manufacturers and imaging software companies, including HP, Nikon, Olympus, Samsung, and Software Architects, have officially affirmed their support for the spec and plan on implementing MPV in their products.

MPV provides the standards for structuring metadata that can store information relative to how a media file was created—such as whether a photo was a panoramic or standard-ratio shot. This spec is designed to be the answer for faster, more robust playback of consumers' digital media collections on DVD players, digital video recorders, and PC software. "The intent of MPV is to link the authoring devices with the playback or consumption devices," says Felix Nemirovsky, chair of OSTA's MultiRead Committee and CEO of Chuba Consulting, a company that provides new product development consulting for high-tech firms. "It is the glue that holds the experience that you had while taking the picture to the experience you have when you consume it."

HP has adopted the MPV specification for use in their Image Zone imaging and printing software, which is bundled with most HP Pavilion PCs and notebooks as well as their imaging and printing products. Nikon Corporation will incorporate MPV into its latest photo management software release, dubbed PictureProject. On the hardware side of the digital camera fence, Olympus has developed a prototype digital camera that includes MPV. The company also chairs the OSTA specification group that is defining the use of MPV on portable flash storage cards.

While the XML that MPV is based on is ubiquitous, MPV isn't a one-size-fits-all specification; it's broken down by how you would use it. "The format consists of the core spec, which is like an engine that can be used in many different directions," says Nemirovsky. "We add a profile to the engine to do different things," he explains, meaning that the MPV spec can be shaped to fill whatever needs are demanded of it.

"The key purpose of OSTA is to promote growth in a particular area, not make a profit," says Nemirovsky. "We want to let companies bring their understanding to us, and we can see if we can roll MPV to meet their needs." The camera and imaging industry has realized the value of "structure without boundaries," as Nemirovsky puts it. "The camera field, with all the features that they're introducing, is starving for some kind of structure."

Around the same time that the aforementioned digital camera manufacturers announced their support, OSTA released a handful of new profiles. The profiles that have been ratified are the basic, presentation, and music. The basic is the minimal spec; all usage of MPV should have this built in. The presentation profile goes into more detail, helping to ease the presentation of collections of digital media files. The music profile allows metadata to describe information about songs like album, genre, etc.

When asked about the possibility of a video profile, Nemirovsky demurred, resisting such a broad classification. "There are different applications for video. To say that their consumption or structure is the same is utterly false." This fact cuts right to the heart of how MPV will evolve. "Once the concept of MPV is understood, companies with different applications will know best how to implement them," he concludes.

The missing piece of the MPV puzzle has been the lack of DVD players with the specification built in. While the MPV-formatted data should still work on non-MPV DVD players—assuming the player can natively access the files—consumers won't be able to make use of the available metadata. Recently, Samsung has stepped forward to announce its commitment to use MPV technology. At PMA, Samsung teamed with Olympus to demonstrate the MPV experience through the playback of content from an MPV-enabled digital camera on an MPV-enabled DVD player.

The stars seem to be aligning for universal MPV, but a potentially dark cloud hovers on the horizon in the form of a rival format known as HighMAT, which is backed by Microsoft and Panasonic. "From OSTA's point of view, we were addressing a need in the marketplace. What Microsoft does is address a need of their OS," states Nemirovsky. And in his opinion, this difference could be HighMAT's downfall, as Microsoft pushes for a royalty-based (if you want to use it with non-Microsoft products), PC-centric model.

Nemirovsky, and OSTA as a whole, have been satisfied with MPV's progress these last two years. Currently, there are numerous profiles being developed by various companies and organizations. "We at OSTA are sifting through them to make sure that they're heading in the right direction," says Nemirovsky. Konica Minolta has been providing leadership on the portable storage profile, which will allow for the storage and update of photo and video files on CD, DVD, and portable storage media, including memory cards and hard disk drives. Another vital profile in the works, the CE Playlist, comes from Software Architects, Inc., which is developing the validation test tools and software developer kit that will make it easy for manufacturers to create compliant products and ensure reliable playback on MPV-enabled products.

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