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Streaming Media
April 29, 2005

Table of Contents

Sonic Introduces Mastering-Quality H.264/AVC High Definition Encoding
HP Introduces New SFF Hard Drive
VBrick Systems Announces VB6200 MPEG-4 Encoder
Apex Digital Announces Availability of DivX Certified DVD Player
Samsung Introduces Serial ATA II Hard Drives
Nero Showcases Blu-ray Disc Burning with Nero 6.6 and Video Playback with Nero ShowTime
Sony Rolls Out Next-Generation DVDirect Direct-to-DVD Recorder
CyberLink Previews Blu-ray Disc Rewritable Format

Sonic Introduces Mastering-Quality H.264/AVC High Definition Encoding

Sonic Solutions, a developer of digital media software, has introduced its HD-Series AVC encoder, a mastering-quality encoding system specifically designed to meet the image-quality demands of major motion picture studios and high-end authoring facilities. The HD-Series AVC encoder provides title creators with a solution for developing discs in the new HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats.

Sonic's HD-Series AVC encoder makes use of the high-profile features offered in the AVC specification, and has been optimized to provide mastering-level image quality at low bitrates while maintaining the HD performance. It also features Sonic's segment-based re-encoding, which allows users to efficiently optimize image quality on a frame-by-frame basis. Additionally, the encoding process may be customized via detailed parameter access.

Specifications for Sonic's HD-Series AVC encoder include:
-- High-profile, Level 4.1 AVC HD streams
-- Bitrate-controlled CBR/VBR and quantization-controlled VBR encoding modes
-- DTS HD and Dolby Digital audio codec support
-- Support for uncompressed, 4:2:2, 10-bit AVI, and QuickTime source video files

Sonic plans to release the product in the summer of 2005.

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HP Introduces New SFF Hard Drive

HP has announced it has partnered with leading hard disk drive vendors Fujitsu, Hitachi, and Seagate to create a new small form factor (SFF) 2.5-inch, 10K RPM hard drive. The drive is designed to deliver increased performance, improved server/storage density, and greater thermal efficiency. HP also plans to increase shipments of 3.5-inch, 15K RPM drives for server and storage applications requiring the highest levels of system performance.

SFF drives will enable greater flexibility in server usage models. For example, the HP ProLiant DL360 server outfitted with the new drives and using HP's RAID 6 technology can now be tasked to more performance-oriented and mission-critical applications.

Both new models feature Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interfaces, offering customers improved performance, reliability, and scalability while delivering reduced power consumption and greater configuration flexibility. The 15K performance increase will enable IT managers to meet their data throughput requirements with smaller, more densely packed storage systems.

The new 3.5-inch, 15K RPM SAS models offer up to 147 gigabytes (GB) of storage capacity. The new 2.5-inch, 10K RPM SAS models offer more drive spindles per server at the volume capacities of 36 GB and 73 GB.

The 2.5-inch, 10K hard drive is expected to be available in HP ProLiant servers in mid-2005. Implementation into HP BladeSystem, HP Integrity, and HP StorageWorks portfolios will continue throughout 2006. HP expects to deliver the 2.5-inch, 15K hard drives in 2006.

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VBrick Systems Announces VB6200 MPEG-4 Encoder

VBrick Systems, Inc., a provider of affordable video over IP network solutions, has announced VB6200, a video appliance that enables anyone with an Internet connection to capitalize on interactive video capabilities. The VB6200 is an MPEG-4 encoder/decoder that provides enterprises, government agencies, and educational institutions with dynamic video via low- and medium-bandwidth IP networks.

VB6200 is a self-contained portable video appliance for video communications, which allows users to set-up one-way streaming or two-way conferencing sessions. Moreover, the VB6200 can seamlessly support interactive conferencing and web-casting to thousands of viewers globally.

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Apex Digital Announces Availability of DivX Certified DVD Player

Apex Digital Inc., a provider of consumer electronics, has announced that it is releasing its first DivX-certified home DVD player. The AD-1250X offers users flexibility in watching pre-recorded discs and discs that they have created from their own multimedia content.

The AD-1250X couples high quality, progressive scan, pre-recorded DVD video, and CD audio playback with the ability to also handle DVD+R/RW, CD-R/RW, and Kodak Picture CD discs. In addition to the DivX compatibility, the AD-1250X can also display JPEG images and playback audio files stored in the MP3 and Windows Media Audio formats.

AD-1250X will be available nationwide in April, with a suggested retail price of $69.00.

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Samsung Introduces Serial ATA II Hard Drives

Samsung Electronics Ltd., a developer of digital consumer electronics and information technology leader, has introduced Serial ATA II hard drives. Samsung¹s new Serial ATA II hard drives support native 3.0GB per second (Gbps) I/O transaction capabilities in addition to Serial ATA Native Command Queuing. The 3.0 Gbps speed doubles the 1.5 Gbps data transfer rate of current Serial ATA hard drives.

With the increased data transfer rate, Samsung¹s Serial ATA II hard drives provide a more complete offering for companies used to SCSI hard drives. In addition, Samsung¹s Serial ATA II drives are designed for network and RAID systems that use multiple drives simultaneously. Moreover, the increased transfer rates will benefit professionals in the digital video and streaming video systems industries.

The all new Samsung Serial ATA II hard drives feature a 7,200 rpm spindle speed, an 8.9 millisecond average seek time and a 8MB cache buffer.

Samsung offers a complete family of Serial ATA II hard drives:
· 80GB HD080HJ ($93)
· 120GB HD120IJ ($120)
· 160GB HD160JJ ($150)

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Nero Showcases Blu-ray Disc Burning with Nero 6.6 and Video Playback with Nero ShowTime

Nero, a developer of digital media technology, has demonstrated their optical recording software's CD/DVD/blue laser burning capabilities at the Blu-ray Disc (BD) Association member seminar.

Nero is a CD/DVD/blue laser burning solution and now possesses the ability to record data and video with a blue laser onto Blu-ray media. Nero ShowTime allows users to playback all digital recordings including video recorded on Blu-ray discs, movies, TV programs, home videos, and DVD video.

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Sony Rolls Out Next-Generation DVDirect Direct-to-DVD Recorder

Sony has announced its next-generation DVDirect (pronounced DVD Direct) recorder, which lets users convert footage in real-time, from a digital camcorder to a DVD without using a computer. The DVDirect recorder also works with analog camcorders, VCRs, and other video sources. What's more, it can be attached to a computer for more advanced DVD burning projects.

This second-generation model includes a digital video (DV) input (i.LINK/FireWire®/IEEE 1394) that allows for quick and easy high-quality video transfers from a digital camcorder, including full camcorder control from DVDirect in synchronized recording mode. Sony has also added standalone recording support for DVD-R and DVD-RW discs, in addition to DVD+R, DVD+R double layer (DL), and DVD+RW discs, providing an array of media options.

Transferring home movies to DVDs is as easy as connecting a camcorder to the DVDirect drive and pressing the record button. The recorder automatically creates a DVD menu and can automatically or manually generate titles and chapters on a disc. "With DVDirect, converting taped footage to DVD is as simple as dubbing an audio cassette tape," said Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager for branded storage products in Sony Electronics' IT Products Division. "It can be used for basic camcorder-to-DVD transfers in standalone mode or it can be attached to a computer for more advanced DVD authoring projects."

The DVDirect recorder can burn up to 12 hours of high-quality hardware encoded MPEG-2 video onto compatible DVD+R DL discs or up to six hours onto standard single-layer discs, which can then be played back and enjoyed on most home DVD players.

DVDirect can be attached to a PC via Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0) for advanced DVD authoring and burning projects, such as adding graphics and music to home movies. In computer-attached mode, DVDirect can burn DVD-R and DVD+R discs at 16X, which equates to about six minutes of recording time. It also supports 8X DVD+RW, 6X DVD-RW, 48X CD-R, and 24X CD-RW recording speeds.

The hybrid DVD recorder comes with the Nero software suite to use when it is attached to a computer. The package features software for DVD video authoring and DVD/CD burning, as well as for packet writing, so you can easily burn files and folders by dragging them to the icon of a DVD+RW/CD-RW disc. Rounding out the bundle are DVD-Video playback software, backup software, virtual disc drive software, management/jukebox software, disc label creation software, and drive tool software. All tasks and applications are accessible via the Nero StartSmart launcher.

The DVDirect recorder (model VRD-VC20) will be available in May for $299 MSRP. Sony DVD/CD rewritable drives are sold through resellers and retailers nationwide, mail order catalogs, and select online shopping sites, including Pre-orders for this model are now being accepted on

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CyberLink Previews Blu-ray Disc Rewritable Format

CyberLink Corp., a provider of integrated solutions for the Digital Home, and a contributing member of the Blu-ray Disc Association, has unveiled Blu-ray Disc Rewritable (BD-RE) playback via CyberLink PowerDVD.

CyberLink showcased its support at the Blu-ray Disc Association's member seminar and information meeting in San Jose, US, by demonstrating playback with navigation of BD-RE video content. Attendees were shown navigation via thumbnails on a browser menu, access to playlists, and fast forward and rewind controls.

CyberLink is currently working on broader support for Blu-ray Disc technology throughout its leading disc authoring and burning products PowerProducer and Power2Go.

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