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Streaming Media
October 26, 2004

Table of Contents

Conexant Unveils Next-Generation Video Encoder with Support for Intel-Developed sDVO Interface
Ulead Digital Media Software Included with NEC Internal Double Layer 16X DVD/RW Writer
NVIDIA DVD Decoder Now Available
VASST Announces Sony Vegas Plug-In
Digital View Releases EasyMPEG 3.1.2
Visible Light Introduces Portable Digital Video Production System Production
Sonic Studio Releases HD Version of Flagship Application
Panasonic Delivers IEEE 1394, 16:9/4:3 DVCPRO Camcorder

Conexant Unveils Next-Generation Video Encoder with Support for Intel-Developed sDVO Interface

Conexant Systems, Inc. has introduced a new family of video encoders for notebook and desktop personal computers that are fully compliant with Intel's new serial digital video output (sDVO) front-end interface. The CX2590X encoder family combines an integrated dual DVI transmitter with standard and high-definition TV-out, and VGA outputs that are capable of operating simultaneously and independently from one another through the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 in the Intel 915G Express Chipset. This capability allows individuals to view different images concurrently on multiple display screens. For example, an individual can download photos from a digital camera onto their personal computer, assemble a slideshow, edit images and captions, and then display the pictures on a television. At the same time, they can continue to edit images on a flat-panel screen that is connected to the PC.

The new chip further enhances the HDTV-out functionality of the previous encoder by incorporating six separate digital-to-analog converters enabling the simultaneous interconnect of composite, S-Video, and component interfaces. Additional features include adaptive flicker filtering.

Conexant offers a suite of components and system solutions for major consumer video applications ranging from standard and high-definition video to interactive consumer entertainment services delivered through a set-top box, PC, digital video recorder, or game console. The company's video and multimedia product offering includes analog video encoders and decoders, PCI video decoders, MPEG encoders and codecs, software, and reference designs.

Samples of the CX2590X video encoders are available now, with volume production scheduled for December 2004. The integrated circuit is offered in several pin-compatible configurations to support a variety of display signals, with options to drive one, two or three display media simultaneously. The device is packaged in a compact 14mm x 14mm 128-pin exposed thin quad flat pack (ETQFP). Prices range from $6 to $7 each in quantities of 10,000, depending upon feature set.

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Ulead Digital Media Software Included with NEC Internal Double Layer 16X DVD/RW Writer

Ulead Systems Inc. has announced the inclusion of a suite of Ulead digital media software with NEC's new ND-3500A drive. The ND-3500A is a double-layer internal DVD rewritable drive sold for $99.99. To match the overall value of the ND-3500A, the drive includes Ulead's software for DVD creation, video editing, burning, and playing DVDs, as well as NovaStor's backup software.

The NEC ND-3500A is designed to meet the needs of consumers, video editors, and DVD enthusiasts looking to upgrade. Combined with Ulead's digital media software, the ND-3500A gives consumers a device that turns videos and photos into edited DVD and CD productions, as well as storing PC data. Leveraging the 16x16 maximum write speed of the NEC ND-3500A and the Ulead BurnNow engine, consumers can burn projects on all major brands of CD, DVD±R/RW, and double-layer media. By including the Ulead DVD player software on the DVD, viewers can watch the final DVD production on a computer without needing additional software. To back up data easily and quickly, the suite includes NovaBACKUP 7.1.

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NVIDIA DVD Decoder Now Available

NVIDIA Corporation announced the immediate availability of the NVIDIA DVD Decoder. Designed to take advantage of NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs), the NVIDIA DVD Decoder enables DVD and MPEG-2 playback with consistent color fidelity and performance. The NVIDIA DVD Decoder is available to download for $19.95.

Featuring Dolby Digital surround sound audio and hardware acceleration for compatible graphics processors, the NVIDIA DVD Decoder also delivers features and capabilities such as adaptive de-interlacing and filtering. Additional key features of the NVIDIA DVD Decoder include DVD playback with Media Player and Media Center Edition, the ability to view recorded TV and timeshifted TV in Media Center Edition with compatible TV Tuners, and the decoding of HD Digital transport streams in Windows Media Player. The MPEG-2 decoder supports third-party software applications, minimizes CPU utilization by offloading the video playback onto GPUs, boasts Dolby Digital surround sound (down-mixes 5.1 into stereo sound), is compatible with Portable Media Centers, and features S/PDIF pass-through for DTS and Dolby Digital.

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VASST Announces Sony Vegas Plug-In

VASST announces Ultimate S, a scripting tool available for Sony Vegas software. Ultimate S contains 51 editing and creative functions to be used in conjunction with Sony Vegas, and assigns them to a single button, saving time and repetition in the editing process, according to VASST. Ultimate S incorporates many of the most commonly used editing features of Sony Vegas and adds new options. Ultimate S creates single-button tasks within the Vegas Toolbar, giving users multiple editing actions in one click and saves them extra keystrokes and mouse movements. Nine separate action tabs define what style of function will be initiated, and most tabs offer customized preset options that can be saved to be used again and again.

Ultimate S offers action tabs that provide a variety of behaviors such as the Editing Tools tab, which offers shortcuts to ten everyday editing functions within Vegas. The Photo Montage Tools tab creates slideshows synched to the user's music, while the Filmlooks Tools tab offers unique film-style effects, according to the manufacturer.

To ensure Vegas projects are error-free and commonly used pre-sets are saved, users will appreciate the Ultimate S Auditing and Project Setup Tools tabs. Ultimate S also offers a Visual Effects Tools tab that includes color correction presets, and allows storage of FX chains within Vegas so these actions can be utilized for future use.

TheAudio Tools tab helps find and re-synchronize audio files, streamline voice-overs, and automate fades. The DuoCam Tools tab optimizes standard two-camera edits while the Marker Tools tab gives users the ability to create and delete markers within multiple projects. All Ultimate S tools are designed to save time by processing multiple actions with fewer clicks.

Ultimate S is available via electronic download or by CD for a special price of $99.99 (download) and $109.99 (CD) for the next 25 days only. After that, MSRP is $129.99 and $139.99.

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Digital View Releases EasyMPEG 3.1.2

DigitalView has released version 3.1.2 of EasyMPEG, a PC-based software package that can edit and author VCD/SVCD in "real time." For users with a DV camcorder who want to save the content as VCD/SVCD, EasyMPEG helps edit video files in a short time, and then allows the users to create the disc independently.

After video is saved to disc as .mpg file, EasyMPEG will show the mpeg file on the disc as a thumbnail list. EasyMPEG uses a Virtual-Play technique to preview the content during the editing operation. This feature is very useful and exciting because the user can see the result almost immediately after the editing, and without any time-consuming work. EasyMPEG produces the new file after all editing is finished. Users will find that selecting several scenes to build a new 600MB video file takes only five minutes, according to Digital View. EasyMPEG also supports .dat files on VCD/SVCD and .vob files on DVD, which allows users to add more data into a file.

EasyMPEG has two modes for authoring VCD/SVCD: Sequence Mode and Menu Mode. Menu Mode creates the disc by designing a very complicated multi-level menu. Not merely a static picture, the dynamic video file can serve as a control menu, too. EasyMPEG uses a picture array and background music to create a menu mode. When the user wants to make a disc with a simple structure, Sequence Mode is suitable. In this mode, EasyMPEG can split the content over several discs to fit the capacity of the disc automatically.

Another feature is the ability to view the detail of video files and demux the MPEG stream. EasyMPEG works together with a DV camcorder.

EasyMPEG runs under Windows 98/NT/2000/XP and requires a PC with PIII500 or higher CPU, at least 64MB Ram. EasyMPEG costs $29.95(US).

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Visible Light Introduces Portable Digital Video Production System Production

Visible Light announced that its VKube line of portable digital video production systems is now available in several configurations to meet the digital video compression and playback needs of specialists within the post-production community and the event video industry. Visible Light's VKube is a small form factor PC with compact case and carrying handle, designed for the studio or on-location anywhere. The VKube includes an Intel Pentium 4 processor with hyper threading, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, CD or DVD writer, 80GB or higher hard drive, 256MB RAM minimum, integrated 10/100 Ethernet, integrated Intel graphics and AC'97 audio.

For legal media specialists, VKube LME systems capture video in real-time to MPEG-1. Visible Light includes templates optimized to produce two hours of deposition video for distribution on CD-ROM, plus templates for higher quality video for trial presentations and settlement packages. The VKube LME-1 includes the Darim MPEGator encoder. The VKube LME-100 includes the Optibase MovieMaker 100S Xpress encoder. MPEG-1 files are compatible with all trial presentation software. For post-production professionals, VKube Post systems capture video in real-time to both MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, with support for elementary streams used in the DVD authoring process. The VKube Post-200 is based upon the Optibase MovieMaker 200S Xpress PCI encoder. Features include real-time capture to both MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, and Sony deck control. For offline post-production, VKube Post SP includes the Cinema Craft SP, for multi-pass, variable bit rate encoding of AVI, QuickTime, and DV files to MPEG-1 and MPEG-2.

VKube systems come with a one-year limited warranty; the VKube Post-200 is priced at $2,950

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Sonic Studio Releases HD Version of Flagship Application

Sonic Studio, LLC has begun distribution of version 1.9.1 of its digital audio workstation (DAW) for the Macintosh platform. SonicStudio HD version 1.9.1 is the latest incarnation of the SonicStudio line. Two years of development have culminated in version 1.9.1's release.

The Sonic Studio product line is comprised of the flagship HD high-resolution PCM audio production mastering workstation, and attendant hardware and software options. SonicStudio HD is a combination of hardware processing boards, external I/O units, and application software, which runs exclusively on the Mac OS platform.

Sonic Studio, LLC offers a selection of hardware interface, processor, and CD imaging options. There are also a number of third-party products, which are qualified and approved for use with the SonicStudio HD workstation.

Version 1.9.1 of SonicStudio HD represents just one in a new group of offerings designed specifically for discriminating media production professionals.


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Panasonic Delivers IEEE 1394, 16:9/4:3 DVCPRO Camcorder

Panasonic's new AJ-SDC615 DVCPRO camcorder is now available, offering 520,000 pixel, 2/3" 3-CCDs and a built-in IEEE 1394 interface for in-field direct transfer of digital component video to a laptop nonlinear editing system.

Able to change between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios, the AJ-SDC615's three 2/3" IT CCDs provide 750 lines of resolution, a 63dB signal-to-noise ratio, a high sensitivity of F13 at 2000 lux, and low-light shooting down to 0.1 lux (at +48dB) with minimal smear, according to Panasonic.

Its newly-developed 12-bit A/D DSP circuits provide improved picture quality, color reproduction, and luminance gradation, and a 12-axis matrix color correction system allows very specific colors to be adjusted without affecting overall color tone.

This camera is equipped with a Digital Super Gain function, allowing noise-free gain in various capture rates, such as 30P, 15P and 6P (adding 6dB, 12dB and 20dB of gain, respectively). The AJ-SDC615 delivers a maximum record time of 66 minutes, and incorporates two channels of 48kHz/16-bit digital audio.

At 11 pounds fully equipped, the AJ-SDC615 is lightweight and well balanced. It also provides an electronic shutter (speeds from 1/100 to 1/2000 sec), and synchro-scan capability (1/60.3 to 1/250 sec.).

The AJ-SDC615's features include Shockless White Balance, allowing the camera operator to track moving subjects from inside to outside without changing the filter position; a built-in, two-second "news pre-record" mode that facilitates unattended video recording with the camera always recording two seconds ahead of the record button (and two seconds after the camera is paused); and a tape-saving ReTake function whereby the shooter can program the camera to back up and record over the previous, unusable take.

Other versatile shooting-assist functions include: a four-position (3200K, 3200K+ 1/8ND, 5600K and 5600K+1/64ND) optical filter wheel; four built-in user scene files and three user-customizable function buttons; a marker selector function (for displaying a 4:3 marker); Super-Iris for one-button backlighting; multi-functional zebra pattern/display adjustment; SD memory card for storage of operational settings; built-in time code generator/reader with genlock; 48V phantom power for microphone inputs; low power consumption of 24W when recording; and color playback.

The AJ-SDC615 is available at a suggested list price of $14,995.

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