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Streaming Media
August 06, 2004

Table of Contents

ADS Tech Announces Instant VideoMPX for Capturing, Creating and Direct Recording of MPEG-1, WM9, and DivX Videos
Advanced Media Launches RIDATA Printable DVD±R Discs
Armor-Plated DVD Discs Utilize UV Protection and Disc Technologies to Create DVD Media For Home and Camcorder DVD Applications
Toshiba Offers Higher Capacity in New Line of 1.8-inch Hard Disk Drives
The Orphanage Releases Free Plug-Ins for Adobe After Effects
Imagineer Systems Releases monet
Marcan Adds Rimage 2000i to CD/DVD Publishing Product Offering
framepool Adds High-Speed HD Material to its Collection
Beta max: A Pre-Release Peek at discreet 3ds max 7

ADS Tech Announces Instant VideoMPX for Capturing, Creating and Direct Recording of MPEG-1, WM9, and DivX Videos

ADS Tech has announced Instant VideoMPX. This new device can be used with a Windows XP system and the bundled Ulead VideoStudio 8 Basic video editing software for capturing, creating and direct recording of videos in the MPEG-1, Windows Media 9 (WM9), and DivX video formats.

ADS Tech's new Instant VideoMPX transfers high-quality, uncompressed video to over its USB 2.0 connection. The PC then compresses video into MPEG-1, DivX, or WM9, based on the video compression engine selected.

With Instant VideoMPX, users can maximize the capacity of a 700MB CD. When the MPEG-1 (VideoCD) format is selected, one hour of video can be recorded to a single CD. For even higher storage capacity, WM9 and DivX compression can be used to record two hours of video to a CD.

Instant VideoMPX includes Video Studio 8 Basic, a full-featured video capture and editing application. By setting the capture options, users can record direct to the VCD, DivX or Windows Media 9 formats to create content that can be played back on their PC and then burned to a CD, saved to flash memory media, or played in their portable video player.

In addition to its USB 2.0 connection, Instant VideoMPX includes RCA (composite) and S-Video (Y/C) video inputs and is equipped with a nine-bit video digitizer and four-line comb filter. Audio input is provided by the RCA stereo (left and right) input. The device also includes support for the NTSC, PAL, and SECAM video formats for multi-national use.

Instant VideoMPX is available from leading video dealers, etailers and distributors with an MSRP of $99. The USB 2.0 audio/video capture solution is compatible with Windows XP Home and Professional systems. The external device comes with an integrated six-ft. USB 2.0 cable, a six-ft. RCA audio/video connection cable and VideoStudio 8 SE Basic video editing software, as well as a user guide and an installation CD.

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Advanced Media Launches RIDATA Printable DVD±R Discs

Advanced Media, Inc. and Primera Technology, Inc. have announced plans to display compatible products for production of inkjet printable discs. The new inkjet-printable RIDATA DVD±R discs will be introduced at the 14th annual Wedding and Event Videographers Association (WEVA) Expo in Las Vegas, August 16-19. The display at the RIDATA Booth #805 will feature Advanced Media's RIDATA-brand DVD+/-R inkjet printable discs, and Primera's Bravo II Disc Publisher.

The new RIDATA inkjet printable DVD+/-R disc has a 4.7GB capacity, is available in 4X and 8X speeds, and features a specially formulated white printable surface.

The Primera Bravo II Disc Publisher is a CD/DVD duplication and printing system with 4800dpi capability, USB 2.0 functionality, and AccuDisc technology. Instead of copying and labeling discs one at a time, Bravo II is designed for hands-free, automatic production of up to 50 CDs or DVDs. The Primera Signature Z6 CD/DVD printer offers six-color printing for photo-quality output. The Signature IV model utilizes inkjet technology that produces 1200X1200dpi and prints full-color material. All three models are Windows-based for the PC. The Bravo II is also MAC-compatible.

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Armor-Plated DVD Discs Utilize UV Protection and Disc Technologies to Create DVD Media For Home and Camcorder DVD Applications

TDK is expanding its line of Armor Plated DVD media with the introduction of 8cm Armor Plated DVD, recording media that is optimized for consumer and professional 8cm DVD camcorders. TDK 8cm Armor Plated DVD media features next-generation disc technologies and incorporates an exclusive anti-UV protective feature, achieving durability and guarding against UV damage.

TDK's 8cm Armor Plated DVD media is a solution for professional and hobbyist videographers who use DVD-recordable camcorders and want protection for video, images, and data.

TDK 8cm Armor Plated DVD media includes proprietary ultraviolet protection, which helps prevent damage from exposure to ultraviolet rays. The exclusive Armor Plated disc technology guards against the scratches that can occur when discs are transferred between the camcorder, cases and DVD players. In addition, the disc technology provides dirt resistance, making it easier to wipe off fingerprints, contaminants, and even accidental food and beverage spills without damaging the disc. The Armor Plated disc technology also has anti-static qualities that help resist dust accumulation. TDK Armor Plated discs release 50% of an electrostatic charge in 50 minutes.

Rated for recording at up to 2X speed, TDK's new 8cm Armor Plated DVD media with UV protection is currently available in the DVD-R format for an estimated price of $8.99 each. 8cm Armor Plated DVD-RW media without UV protection is available at an estimated price of $11.99 each.

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Toshiba Offers Higher Capacity in New Line of 1.8-inch Hard Disk Drives

Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD) has announced a new family of 1.8-inch hard disk drives (HDDs) that deliver high capacities in this category with its 30GB "MK3006GAL" and 60GB "MK6006GAH." These drives also feature improved shock tolerance, power consumption, and vibration control.

To achieve this capacity, Toshiba has set a benchmark for areal density in the 1.8-inch HDD category at 93.5GB per square inch. This has allowed Toshiba to put 30GB of data onto a single 1.8-inch platter, an increase of 50 percent over current models, delivering drives that are suited for consumer electronics products such as mobile audio players and mobile notebook PCs.

Engineered to meet the requirements for mobile devices such as MP3 players, handheld video players and handheld computers,Toshiba's new 30GB (single platter) and 60GB (dual platter) HDDs offer operating shock tolerance of 500G and non-operating shock tolerance of 1,500G through the employment of fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) motor technology. The drives' FDB motor also provides improved acoustics.

Toshiba's new 1.8-inch drives are capable of withstanding 2G of vibration during operation. Power consumption of the MK6006GAH and MK3006GAL are approximately 20 percent lower on average than the company's current drive due to application of pulse width modulation (PWM) to control the disk rotation speed. A DC-DC converter is also used in the power unit to reduce power consumption.

The 1.8-inch 30GB and 60GB HDDs will begin shipping in the fourth quarter 2004. Toshiba's new 1.8-inch HDD family joins the company's current mobile HDD lineup, which includes 2.5-inch HDDs available in 20GB, 30GB, 40GB, 60GB, 80GB, and 100GB capacities. Toshiba's 1.8-inch HDD's are currently available in 10GB, 20GB, 30GB (currently a dual-platter drive), and 40GB capacities for embedded applications, and in a 5GB PC-Card-type mobile HDD. Toshiba most recently announced its 0.85-inch HDD, which has planned capacities of 2GB to 4GB and is featured in this year's Guinness Book of World Records as the world's smallest multi-gigabyte HDD.

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The Orphanage Releases Free Plug-Ins for Adobe After Effects

The Orphanage, Inc. has announced the release of a key piece of its visual effects technology to the public. Called eLin, the software consists of a suite of plug-ins and scripts for Adobe After Effects 6.5 that allow compositors to work in the expanded photographic color space of film. eLin is free of charge for non?commercial use.

eLin works for 3D compositing because it addresses issues such as motion blur, depth of field, glows, and basic transformations that appear when you combine 2D and 3D imagery. eLin's technology creates more photographic results from the tools After Effects users are already familiar with, even other third-party effects. With support for industry-standard Cineon film scans as well as Industrial Light + Magic's open source EXR file format, eLin integrates well with most production pipelines.

eLin supports Adobe After Effects, version 6.5, and is available for commercial use for $499 through Red Giant Software. Multiple and site license discounts can be requested.

The software can also be obtained free of charge for non?commercial use. Fully functional downloads, with no watermarking or restrictions, are available at the Web site.

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Imagineer Systems Releases monet

Imagineer Systems has announced the release of monet, its new product for broadcast, film, and video post-production markets. monet offers a start-to-finish solution for replacing elements in film and video. It offers lens distortion-aware, 2D motion tracking with tools that allow adjustments of the track to be made. It allows properties of the source material, such as lens distortion, shadows, highlights, and grain/noise, to be applied to the new element. This combined with options for per pixel motion blur, focus blur, and color controls allows the artist to perform package replacements, language adaptations, and screen inserts.

monet includes Imagineer's unique 2D planar track for motion estimation, as well as tools for manual augmentation of the tracking data, lens distortion analysis, extracting and re-applying shadows, highlights and noise, per-pixel motion blur, masking, and compositing.

monet will ship in two editions: monet extreme, a turnkey solution including fardware and software accelerator card, monet software, a workstation from BOXX Technologies or other recommended brand, Aspex Accelera hardware card that accelerates software processing, and optional SD/HD/2K video I/O card by DVS Centaurus; and monet software solution, including monet software based on FLEXlm floating license.

monet software solution will be available through authorized partners starting in August 2004. monet extreme will be available through authorized partners starting in September 2004.

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Marcan Adds Rimage 2000i to CD/DVD Publishing Product Offering

Marcan, Inc. has announced the addition of Rimage's 2000i to its current line of desktop CD/DVD publishing solutions. This professional-level CD/DVD publishing system is fully contained and requires no assembly to get started. Features include a 100-disc input bin, 2-to-1 recorder-to-printer ratio to reduce production bottlenecks, unattended network solution, job feedback provided with LCD display, and small ink droplets (3 pico-liters) for ink control.

Rimage's patented data-streaming technology transmits data to each individual recorder simultaneously. The LCD display keeps track of the job status.

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framepool Adds High-Speed HD Material to its Collection

framepool has teamed up with DOP Kay MacKenneth to produce shots of ice cubes tumbling into water, liquids pouring into glasses, strawberries falling into milk, and many more "food scenes." The production was filmed using a new HD high-speed camera that brings new dimensions to HD filming. Originally developed by the Frauenhofer Institute, Erlangen in cooperation with major German car makers to film crash tests, it can run up to 1000fps in full 1080i progressive mode.

The following are some scenes that can be found in this collection: shining silvery ice cubes gliding gently through water, by themselves or with pieces of lemons; a drop, plunging into the water surface, perishing, but then returning suddenly as if thrown back by a trampoline, again floating above the water level, eventually just to relapse into the pale blue wet underneath; streams of melting chocolate, rivers of white cream, milk shakes; whiskeys, cognacs, Camparis, cocktails, drinks on the rock; beer, poured in a gush, foaming into glasses or steins.

The material is now available for licensing to customers worldwide through framepool's Web site. A demo DVD is available on request at info@framepool. The new camera and the DOP can be booked for shootings via

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Beta max: A Pre-Release Peek at discreet 3ds max 7

On August 2, in anticipation of SIGGRAPH 2004, discreet announced 3ds max 7, a full-step upgrade to the company's popular 3D modeling and animation tool whose visual effects talents were most recently showcased in the summer blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow. Foremost among the new features is the integration of the character motion toolset character studio into the core feature set of 3ds max. Formerly available only as a $995 add-on module for 3ds max, character studio adds a constraint-based non-linear animation mixer, scalable behavioral crowd simulation capabilities, and motion capture filtering and editing tools to 3ds max's native feature set.

"The character studio 4 that will be built into 3ds max 7 is the complete version previously available as the standalone product," says 3ds max product manager Dan Prochazka. "There will be no additional functionality that can be purchased outside 3ds max."

The new features target multiple segments of the 3D market, from game developers to filmmakers, broadcast post, and design visualization, with an overarching emphasis on speed and customizable workflow. Key new features of 3ds max 7 include Normal Mapping, a workflow accelerator for gaming applications; Edit Poly Modifier, which simplifies and accelerates the creation, modification, and animation of polygonal surfaces; TurboSmooth, a new smoothing algorithm designed to enhance performance of high-resolution models; and Skin Wrap Deformer, which improves character animation workflow with easy application of props and clothing to pre-skinned 3D models.

3ds max 7 will also feature Paint Selections, a new interactive method for building selections with a brush-based interface. Prochazka says the name is self-descriptive: "Paint Selections allows for the use of painting tools to select objects, vertices, etc. It is a new method by which people can use the familiar workflow of `painting' to make selections."

According to Prochazka, the changes will have little impact on the usability of 3ds max for users familiar with version 6; they'll simply have to learn how to use the added features. "The interface for 3ds max 7 will basically be the same as that for 3ds max 6," Prochazka says. "This also includes the SDK, which has sustained compatibility between the releases (meaning that plug-ins for 3ds max 6 will run in 3ds max 7 without recompile). There are obviously additions to the user interface," he continues, "but users familiar with 3ds max 6 will be able to jump straight into version 7 without hesitation."

Additional improvements to 3ds max's character animation arsenal include Skin Wrap and Skin Morph, and an updated Reaction Controller. A new implementation of Sub-Surface Scattering boasts a dedicated Skin shader designed to add credibility to human models. Version 7 also includes Parameter Collector, which Prochazka says "will allow animators to `collect' animation controls and sliders for multiple characters and rigs in one unified and centralized `box' for greater asset control and management."

3ds max 7 also takes several steps forward in scalability to large datasets. Built on a longtime R & D project known as "Project Quicksilver," these features include "smart" object culling for high-performance manipulation of large numbers of 3D objects.

Prochazka says discreet has also made changes to backburner, the utility that allows 3ds max users to distribute rendering over multiple systems on a network (system reqs for a render server are the same as for a full seat of the software). Enhancements include greater compatibility with mental ray, 3ds max's internal rendering engine.

3ds max 7 is currently scheduled to ship in fall 2004 with an MSRP of $3495. Registered users of 3ds max 6 can upgrade for $795; upgrade pricing for 3ds max 5 users is $1295.

A 30-day trial version is now available for download at

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