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Streaming Media
January 11, 2005

Table of Contents

Cinram introduces new hybrid HD/DVD-9 disc
LightScribe and LaCie Partner to Deliver Direct Disc-Labeling for Macintosh Computers
Profound Effects Announces Useful Assistants 1.6
Verbatim 4X DVD-R Dual Layer Media Samples Shipped for Testing
NewSoft Launches Presto! PhotoDisc
Recordable DVD Council Formats Dominate DVD Camcorder Market
InterVideo Showcases Instant Movie Maker at CES
Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator Makes Its Camcorder Debut at CES in New Sony HandyCam

Cinram introduces new hybrid HD/DVD-9 disc

Beginning in January 2005, Cinram will offer a single optical disc capable of storing data in both DVD and HD-DVD formats. The new hybrid HD/DVD-9 discs will allow Cinram's customers to benefit from the flexibility of providing content compatible with existing DVD hardware as well as with new HD-DVD players.

The new read-only discs contain two sides. The first consists of a traditional DVD-9 that can store up to 8.4GB of data, while the other side is an HD-DVD capable of storing up to 15GB of data, or a two-hour movie in high-definition format. The product meets all DVD and HD specifications and will work in all players, according to Cinram. The disc is made using a patented Surface Transfer Process developed at Cinram's Olyphant, Pennsylvania facility.

While HD-DVD players and video software are expected to hit the market in 2005, more than two-thirds of North American homes already own a DVD player. With its dual functionality, Cinram believes the new hybrid HD/DVD-9 format could help spur adoption of HD-DVDs. The application of the hybrid discs can take many forms: high-definition movie and DVD movie, high-definition movie and DVD-ROM game, high-definition movie and DVD added-value materials like Internet connectivity, movie trailers, cross promotions, or targeted advertising.

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LightScribe and LaCie Partner to Deliver Direct Disc-Labeling for Macintosh Computers

LightScribe and LaCie announced at Macworld 2005 that they are partnering to offer the first direct disc labeling drive for Macintosh computers. For the first time, Macintosh customers can burn the data side of a disc, then flip the disc over and burn an iridescent label with their desired text and graphics using the same laser that burns the data. LightScribe uses the LaCie d2 DVD±RW DL drive's existing laser to deliver precisely controlled light energy to the disc through an innovative circular writing system. The light energy causes a visible chemical change in the dye coating. The result is a high-resolution label image of art, text, or photos. Because the labels are laser etched in a coating applied during disc manufacture, no ink or adhesive labels are required.

The LaCie d2 DVD±RW DL supports burning a full 4.7GB DVD in about five minutes, as well as burning to double layer discs that offer twice the capacity. Bundled DVD creation software allows people to create movies with menus, thumbnails and backgrounds. With the LightScribe technology, customers can also burn a label that is a high-resolution reproduction of their artwork, text or photos. LaCie d2 DVD±RW Double Layer drives with LightScribe will be available in early 2005.

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Profound Effects Announces Useful Assistants 1.6

Profound Effects, Inc., a provider of special effects technology, has announced the availability of Useful Assistants (UA) 1.6. Version 1.6 ships with 103 assistants. Thirty-two more available on the Profound eXchange for free download by registered owners.

New assistants include: Scale Layers to Pixel Bounds, Cycle Property Value, Change Color Property Value, Rename Text As Source Text, Shift Layers to Time. Pre-compose Layers Separately, and Move Anchor Point. Useful Assistants version 1.6 is a free upgrade to existing owners and has a list price of $195 for new users.

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Verbatim 4X DVD-R Dual Layer Media Samples Shipped for Testing

Verbatim Corporation has begun shipping engineering samples of its new 4X DVD-R Dual Layer (DL) media to DVD burner manufacturers and their software suppliers for read/write and compatibility testing. Shipments for consumers will begin late in Q1 2005, after the official specification is finalized. The specification enables the new DL-compatible burners to write a complete 8.5GB Verbatim dual-layer DVD-R disc in about 25 minutes. Backed by a limited lifetime warranty, Verbatim 4X DVD-R DL media will be available through retailers, Internet resellers and distributors across the country late in Q1 2005.

Verbatim has also announced that it will begin shipping 1-16X speed DVD-R media later this month. With the ability to record video, photos, music or data files at about 21 MB/sec, users will be able to fill an entire 4.7GB disc to capacity in about six minutes, according to Verbatim. To ensure broad compatibility, Verbatim 1-16X speed DVD-R discs are compliant with the DVD Forum's 16x DVD-R Specifications. Drive manufacturers such as BenQ, Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Lite-On, NEC, Plextor, Sony and others have announced 16X DVD-R compatible drives. The new write-once media, which can be used at all recording speeds between 1X and 16X, is also backward compatible with existing DVD recorders and 1-8x DVD-R burners when appropriate firmware upgrades are installed. Like Verbatim's certified 1-16X-speed DVD+R, the new DVD-R discs are produced with the proprietary Advanced AZO™ recording layer technology developed by Verbatim's parent company, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (MKM).

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NewSoft Launches Presto! PhotoDisc

NewSoft Inc. introduced their new digital photo slideshow suite, Presto! PhotoDisc at CES 2005. The software's templates and step-by-step workflow walk users from photo collection to dynamic slideshow in three steps. PhotoDisc users can b urn their slideshows to DVD, SVCD, or VCD, for viewing using a standard home DVD player and TV. The software includes DVD motion menus, animated titles, transition effects, sound bites, and music.

Users can choose one of the included still or motion backgrounds, or select one of their own photos. After picking the photos for the slideshow project, Presto! PhotoDisc automatically creates a ready-to-burn slideshow, complete with transitions, frames and a Hollywood-style DVD menu. Users can add customized text and motion effects including pan and zoom capability, attach their own music files, import sound effects, or record an audio commentary for each slide up to 30 seconds long. Presto! PhotoDisc users (PC users only) can further customize their digital slideshows by creating and printing a label for their DVD, SVCD or VCD, using the integrated CD/DVD labeling software. NewSoft's Presto! PhotoDisc supports a broad range of standard media formats including: CD-R/RW, DVD±R, DVD±RW, DVD-RAM and DVD+R DL.

Compatible with both Macintosh OS 10.2.6+ and Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP operating systems, downloadable versions of NewSoft's Presto! PhotoDisc are available from the NewSoft Web site for $49.95.

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Recordable DVD Council Formats Dominate DVD Camcorder Market

The Recordable DVD Council (RDVDC) announced at CES 2005 that camcorders featuring its recordable DVD formats (DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM) constitute 100 percent of the DVD camcorder market, according to Techno Systems Research (TSR), a leading market research company. In addition, the RDVDC announced that market research conducted by TSR show that DVD camcorders are one of the fastest-growing segments of the entire recordable DVD market, and that sales of consumer DVD recorders, writers (PC drives/burners). and camcorders have more than doubled in size over the past year.

The TSR studies indicate that consumers have begun to embrace recordable DVD and move beyond simple set-top recorders to embrace a whole range of recordable DVD products. As further proof of this, most of the more than 80 member companies of the RDVDC announced new recordable DVD products at CES 2005 in Las Vegas. Among the new announcements was the launch of fifth-generation DVD camcorders by Hitachi and Panasonic. These new camcorders use the new 8cm DVD-RAM bare discs as opposed to discs that require the use of a cartridge. The new 8cm DVD-RAM bare discs will be available from Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. and Panasonic.

In related news, the RDVDC announced that its Compatibility Working Group (CWG) released details on the progress of the world's largest joint recordable DVD industry compatibility test. The test was conducted in conjunction with the RW Product Promotion Initiative (RWPPI), another industry trade organization. 133 products from 52 companies have been tested thus far. The purpose of the tests is to ensure the widest and highest degree of compatibility between 3X DVD-RAM, 4X DVD-R, and 2X DVD-RW products. Both organizations have embarked upon higher-speed compatibility testing. For example, CWG has started 5X DVD-RAM compatibility testing, the results of which will be reported in early March 2005.

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InterVideo Showcases Instant Movie Maker at CES

InterVideo showcased the new release of Instant Movie Maker at CES 2005. Designed for ease of use, Instant Movie Maker enables consumers to take raw video footage and, in three steps, create their own movie with various movie clips, audio tracks, and scene transitions. Step one imports media sources such as video or image files, and allows for insertion of the desired background music. In step two, users select one of the twelve preset movie styles. In step three, users specify the output preferences such as DVD, VCD, or SVCD, as well as output to the hard drive. Additionally, users can use the preview button to view the movie before output.

Instant Movie Maker contains two modules: Instant Movie and Archive Video to Disc. With InterVideo's editing and filter technology, the editing mechanism integrated in the software will automatically go through captured video clips while analyzing and detecting key scenes from video footage. Once the analysis stage is completed, it automatically cuts and synchronizes these highlights to the rhythm of the chosen music; edits them together into a completed video production along with video effects, transitions, and background music. Also integrated with Instant Movie Maker, is InterVideo's patented UniPass technology that skips the rendering until the end to save editing time.

Another feature included is the twelve movie styles that are available for users to choose the output file. From a wedding theme to a musical video, users can take a piece of unrefined video and produce a dozen different productions. Direct Recording technology allows users to burn videos from camcorders directly to a disc with an added menu and does all the buffering, rendering and burning in the background, in real time, according to InterVideo. The finished video can be saved in a variety of formats, including DV for playing and recording back to a camcorder, AVI for play back on a PC, ASF for streaming out over the Internet, MPEG-1 for burning onto CDs/DVDs and MPEG-2 for burning to DVD. With its broad compatibility, Instant Movie Maker supports most popular video input and output formats: CD-R/RW, DVD+/-R/RW/-RAM disc or hard drive. Instant Movie Maker is sold via InterVideo's web site,, Japanese retail stores, and will also be available throughout major US retail stores at the end of the year. Compatible with Windows® 2000 and XP systems, the suggested price is $49.95.

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Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator Makes Its Camcorder Debut at CES in New Sony HandyCam

Dolby Laboratories has announced the first implementation of Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator in a consumer camcorder product. Sony's DVD Handycam camcorder model DCR-DVD403, which records to 3-inch DVDs, now incorporates built-in multichannel microphones and Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator, enabling consumers to record their home movies in 5.1-channel digital surround sound.

Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator formats audio content into a multichannel Dolby Digital bitstream, allowing consumers to create home movies with full, surround sound. With its coding efficiencies, 5.1-channel Dolby Digital requires less data than stereo PCM, resulting in savings in disc space and allowing consumers to make longer recordings or store higher-quality video content by assigning a higher data rate to video.

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