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April 23, 2004

Table of Contents

NTI Announces Support for Latest Panasonic DVD MULTI Drives
Bella Corporation Introduces the World's First Hybrid Editing Keyboards
Optibase to Release MPEG MovieMaker 200S For Mac OS X
Sonic Debuts eDVD 3
Avid Integrates Sonic's DVD Solutions Across NLE Product Lines
Panasonic and Apple Collaborate to Bring HD over FireWire
Condor CD Spain Expands With Digital Matrix
Visual Circuits Announces Mantis MC
How Ya Like Dem Apples?

NTI Announces Support for Latest Panasonic DVD MULTI Drives

NewTech Infosystems, Inc. has announced that its new CD & DVD-Maker Ver. 6.7 Gold Suite supports the latest Panasonic DVD MULTI Drives, including the new burners that provide 3x DVD-RAM and 4x DVD-R write speeds. The combination of Panasonic's DVD MULTI Drives and NTI's Gold Suite provides consumers with all the tools they need to create, safeguard, organize, and share content on a broad range of DVD and CD disc formats.

NTI's software suite delivers the industry's easiest CD/DVD burning software, a complete set of tools for capturing/creating videos and slideshows, and backup/recovery software that provides complete protection for system files and individual files/folders.

Offering read and write support for DVD-RAM/,-R/,-RW media with storage capacities ranging from 4.7GB to 9.4GB, and 650-700MB CD-R and CD-RW discs, Panasonic DVD MULTI Drives and NTI CD & DVD-Maker Ver. 6.7 Gold Suite give users the flexibility to choose the best disc format and the best capacity for each application.

NTI CD & DVD-Maker Ver. 6.7 Gold Suite can be used in Windows 98/ME/2000/XP environments. Retail customers can purchase the Suite from leading retail stores and NTI's online store, as well as other online retailers. Businesses can obtain a Volume Site License directly from NTI at a discount price based on volume. The OEM bundle version of NTI CD & DVD-Maker Ver. 6.7 Gold Suite is also available for CD and DVD drive manufacturers and PC/notebook system manufacturers.

www.ntius.com
www.panasonic.com

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Bella Corporation Introduces the World's First Hybrid Editing Keyboards

Bella Corporation, a leading supplier of digital video solutions, has announced the introduction of the world's first series of editing keyboards with built-in Hybrid Technology, providing the flexibility of using the same keyboard on both Windows and Macintosh computers.

This new technology has been integrated into their editing keyboards: the DV Keyboard designed for consumer users, and the Professional Series, targeted towards broadcast professionals. The patented keyboards boast an integrated jog/shuttle controller and work with leading video applications including Apple Final Cut Pro, Avid Xpress Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, and many others. The keyboards can also be used as standard keyboards, enhancing applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and others.

Bella also announced its new Advantage Series of video editing keyboards. Also incorporating the Companies Hybrid Technology, the keyboards feature color and icon coded keycaps in an affordable package.

Editors and consumers will become more efficient and learn their favorite editing application in less time with the included shortcut sticker sets. The new black and silver DV Keyboards come with a high-quality sticker set for Pinnacle Studio, Sony Screenblast Movie Studio, and Apple Final Cut Express. US customers can also get one additional sticker set free (via mail-in rebate) for Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Xpress Pro and Xpress DV, Pinnacle Liquid & Edition products, or Sony Vegas.

www.bella-usa.com

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Optibase to Release MPEG MovieMaker 200S For Mac OS X

Optibase, Ltd., a leader in digital real-time, hardware video encoding, and streaming solutions, has announced that its MPEG video encoder, the MPEG MovieMaker 200S, is being enhanced to support the Power Mac G5 and Mac OS X. MPEG MovieMaker 200S encoding boards come bundled with Optibase's fully featured encoding management application. The product offers several professional features including, analog and digital inputs, VTR controls, batch mode encoding, encoding preview, and support for high end DVD compliant MPEG-2 and Dolby Digital encoding.

www.optibase.com

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Sonic Debuts eDVD 3

Sonic Solutions has introduced eDVD 3, the latest upgrade to its industry-leading application for linking DVD to the Internet. The new version of eDVD allows corporate and creative producers to Web-enable their DVD titles and provides significant technology enhancements including the ability to link to documents such as PDFs or high-resolution JPEG files from a DVD, the ability to add URL links to a finished DVD volume, and cross-platform playback on both the PC and Macintosh.

eDVD 3 is based on InterActual's Player 2.0 Web-enabling technology which was incorporated into over 80% of the top selling (U.S. market) DVDs of 2003. eDVD 3, which is a stand alone PC-based application, offers functionality that previously was available only as an integrated component of Sonic's DVD Creator workstation for the Macintosh. eDVD 3 is compatible with the majority of DVD authoring applications on the market today, enabling corporate and creative producers to easily add web-links and other connectivity features to their DVD titles.

eDVD 3 is expected to ship in May 2004 through Sonic's worldwide network of value-added resellers at a U.S. suggested list price of $899.

www.sonic.com
www.interactual.com

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Avid Integrates Sonic's DVD Solutions Across NLE Product Lines

Sonic Solutions and Avid Technology, Inc. have announced that they have entered into a multi-year licensing and co-development agreement to integrate Sonic's DVD technology across Avid NLE product lines. As part of the agreement, the two companies are debuting Avid DVD by Sonic, a professional DVD creation product that is fully integrated with the new Avid Xpress Studio suite, as well as the Avid Studio Tools option for Media Composer Adrenaline. Avid also plans to bundle Sonic's DVDit! 5 and ReelDVD LE software as standard components of Avid Xpress DV, Avid Xpress Pro, and Media Composer Adrenaline products.

Avid DVD by Sonic offers easy creation of sophisticated, interactive DVD titles and supports the OpenDVD standard, which allows finished DVDs to be edited without requiring re-authoring. The product also smoothly combines 4:3 and 16:9 video aspect ratios in a single project, supports the new double-layer disc burning technology, and includes up to eight tracks of 5.1-channel Dolby Digital audio and 32 subtitle tracks for easy versioning and localization.

Avid plans to include Sonic DVDit! with Avid Xpress DV 4.5 software, scheduled to ship in Q2 2004. ReelDVD LE will be included with both the Avid Xpress Pro 4.5 and Media Composer Adrenaline 1.5 products, also scheduled to be available in Q2 2004. Avid DVD by Sonic is expected to be available in Q2 2004 and will be priced at $1,995 as a standalone product; it will also be included in the Avid Xpress Studio and Avid Studio Tools packages.

In other Avid news, Avid Technology, Inc. has announced that Avid Xpress Pro software will support a wide range of HD formats. Planned for availability in late 2004, a future version of Avid Xpress Pro software will offer the ability to edit native HDV MPEG and Panasonic DVCPRO HD formats, as well as support Avid DNxHD--a 10-bit HD encoding technology that enables HD postproduction with the same storage bandwidth and capacity requirements as SD files. The Avid DNxHD technology is engineered to deliver pristine image quality after multi-generation compositing, offering HDV users high-quality processing for stunning composites, titles, and graphics.

The version of Avid Xpress Pro software with HD capabilities is expected to be available in late 2004. Customers who purchase Avid Xpress Pro software after April 18, 2004, will be able to upgrade to this new version for $49.95 USMSRP. Avid Xpress Pro 4.5 software is expected to be available in Q2 2004 as a free upgrade for current Avid Xpress Pro customers. The Avid Xpress Pro software is priced at $1,695 USMSRP.

www.avid.com
www.sonic.com

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Panasonic and Apple Collaborate to Bring HD over FireWire

Panasonic and Apple have announced the world's first implementation of IEEE 1394 FireWire with 100 Mbps DV-HD (the native video compression of Panasonic DVCPRO HD recording systems) to bring unmatched capabilities and dramatically lower price points to high definition (HD) post-production and content distribution. Together, Panasonic and Apple are bringing HD over FireWire capabilities to desktop and mobile editing with Panasonic's new AJ-HD1200A, the first HD production VTR to offer a FireWire interface, and Apple's newly-announced Final Cut Pro HD professional video editing software, enabling mass adoption of HD resolution images on the desktop, and even on PowerBooks.

With Panasonic's new, compact AJ-HD1200A DVCPRO HD VTR, 24fps or 60fps progressive scan material shot by Panasonic's AJ-HDC27 VariCam HD Cinema camera or 1080i studio/sports truck footage recorded by DVCPRO HD VTRs can be transferred via the VTR's IEEE 1394 interface directly into Final Cut Pro HD without generation loss. Once transferred, the material is instantly available for real-time editing operations. All footage maintains its camera-original quality, because the IEEE 1394 FireWire interface transfers the native DV-HD high definition files, as originally recorded on tape in the VTR or Varicam, directly to the Power Mac G4 or Power Mac G5 host computer's internal hard drive. Final Cut Pro HD users can also automatically extract 3:2 pulldown from any 24fps HD VariCam footage, saving an additional 60 percent in disk storage space, thus providing a highly-streamlined 24fps native HD ingest and editing process. At that point, users can edit camera-original quality HD content on their desktop, utilizing a Final Cut Pro-equipped Power Mac G5; or if field operations are required, a Final Cut Pro-enabled PowerBook G4 - all without purchasing any proprietary hardware.

In less than three years, Panasonic and Apple have teamed to revolutionize high-performance desktop video editing by enabling the direct digital transfer of native 25Mbps DV 4:1:1 (DV and DVCPRO), 50Mbps DV 4:2:2 (DVCPRO50) and now at 100Mbps DV-HD (DVCPRO HD) via IEEE 1394 FireWire into Final Cut Pro based non-linear editing systems.

www.panasonic.com/broadcast
www.apple.com

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Condor CD Spain Expands With Digital Matrix

Condor CD, one of the largest compact disc producers in Spain, has expanded its stamper-making capacity with the addition of a Digital Matrix 3 cell SA/3m Electroforming system at its plant. The new equipment was added in conjunction with the recent addition of 8000 m2 to its production facility.

In related news, the Digital Matrix Corporation has launched its new SD/100 Spin Dryer for use in the optical media manufacturing of CD, DVD, and similar discs. The SD/100 is a fully programmable system for rinsing of stampers and automatic spin drying both sides simultaneously, whether punched or unpunched.

The system utilizes durable, polypropylene construction for chemical resistance and long life. The mother for the spin cycle is 1/8 hp and speeds can be adjusted from 0 to 1,800 rpm.

www.galvanics.com

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Visual Circuits Announces Mantis MC

Visual Circuits has announced the world's first multi-channel, high definition video player, Mantis MC. Designed around Visual Circuits' Gemini 2 Universal Media Card, Mantis MC integrates 32-bit accelerated graphics with high definition (HD) video, and scrolling text; supporting Multi-Zone playback and offering extreme flexibility in digital media file integration on one or two display channels.

A "store and forward" network appliance to computer integrators and a dedicated player to professional AV contractors, Mantis MC brings the best of the AV and IT worlds together in one device. As a network appliance, it offers the flexibility of remote or centralized organization and management of playlists and schedules. As a dedicated player, it offers highly reliable performance and trouble-free operation for intense commercial settings.

Like Firefly MC, Visual Circuits successful standard definition multi-channel video appliance, Mantis MC is a single rack-mount unit. Mantis MC will be shipped in either one or two channel units with SmartCard technology for in-field service upgradeability. Mantis MC was on display at NAB 2004 in the Focus Enhancements booth, SL3501. Technical specifications are available at www.visualcircuits.com/mantis_pr.

www.visualcircuits.com

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How Ya Like Dem Apples?

Apple didn't waste any time at NAB, dropping five major announcements the day before the show even began. On Sunday, April 18, the company announced new versions of existing software—Final Cut Pro HD, DVD Studio Pro 3, and Shake 3.5—as well as the brand-new Motion, a $299 motion-graphics tool, and the Xsan enterprise storage area network file system.

As the name suggests, Final Cut Pro HD adds native, real-time HD support to the non-linear editing system for the first time, and it does it without requiring any additional hardware for capture. The new version of the software edits HD with no recompression or image degradation, and enables HD preview monitoring on an Apple Cinema HD display. Final Cut Pro HD also offers RT Extreme for HD, with real-time playback of the same Final Cut effects users already access for SD content. Final Cut Pro 4 users can download a free upgrade, while users of versions 1, 2, and 3 can upgrade to Final Cut Pro HD for $399. For new purchasers, Apple has kept the price of Final Cut Pro HD the same as Final Cut Pro 4—$999.

The big overhaul in DVD Studio Pro 3 is obvious from the moment you open it up. A new Graphical View provides a storyboard-like window that makes clear the links between menus, tracks, slideshows, stories, and scripts. The window is printable, facilitating the sharing of a project's architecture between authors, or between author and client.

Studio Pro 3 also features 30 new transitions—including QuickTime-based Alpha Transitions that blend images transparently—that can be applied to video clips, slides, or even menu buttons. Version 3 includes Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio support, and the software's Compressor encoding tool has been upgraded to version 1.2 and now offers single-step, HD-to-MPEG-2 encoding. DVD Studio Pro 3 will for $499 when it hits the market in May, and current users of versions 1 or 2 will be able to upgrade for $199.

Apple has added spline-based morphing and warping tools in version 3.5 of the Shake effects compositing software. The company also is claiming improvements to Shake's Qmaster network render manager, which can now handle distributed rendering tasks for both Shake and Alias' Maya, letting effects artists spread their rendering tasks across a cluster of G5s or Xserve servers. Registered users of Shake 3 can upgrade immediately for $799, while new users will have to pony up $2,999, which includes unlimited render licenses. (It's also available for Linux and IRIX systems for $4,999.)

Apple's first foray into motion graphics, Motion motion offers real-time previews; interactive text, graphic, and video animation; and "Behaviors," procedural-based effects that allow the addition of natural phenomena like gravity- and wind-based movement to text and graphics without keyframes. Motion also features particle presets for effects like smoke, sparkles, and fire, and virtually any graphic element on screen can be turned into a particle and then modified for custom effects. Motion will retail for $299, but it won't be available until this summer.

The Xsan is a 64-bit cluster file system designed specifically for the professional video environment. It's a straightforward storage area network (SAN) solution, but it lets up to 64 users access a single storage volume that supports multiple high-bandwidth video streams. It's currently in beta testing and won't be available until Fall 2004, but the price should make it worth the wait: $999.

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