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July 12, 2005

Table of Contents

The DVD Writer: Enter the Backulator
25 Media Creation Companies Join Forces with Sonic Solutions to Form High-Definition Authoring Alliance (HDAA)
Leitch Releases Next-Generation VelocityHD and VelocityQ Turnkey NLE Systems
Canopus Offers Free Trial Version of EDIUS Pro 3
TDK Ships 8cm, 60-minute Double-Sided ScratchProof DVD Camcorder Media
Sonopress Increases DualDisc Production Capacity to 175,000 Discs per Day
Magnet Media Ships DVD-Based Training for Apple Motion 2
Condre Technology Expands DVD Duplication Systems Line
Optoma Ships MovieTime Digital DVD Projector

The DVD Writer: Enter the Backulator

Question: What do you get when you cross a data backup system with an automated optical disc duplicator?
Answer: A "backulator!"

There's no end of reasons, of course, to backup and archive hard drive contents: disasters, accidents, mischief, viruses, breakdowns, legal obligations, and even posterity. Home offices, as well as small and medium-sized businesses, typically turn to magnetic tape, other hard drives, and optical storage to fill these needs. But tape and drives are corruptible, manually operated DVD/CD recorders are inconvenient, and mechanized jukeboxes are expensive one-trick ponies. Enter what I call the "backulator."

Offline backup and archiving operations are simply straightforward extensions of existing DVD/CD copying and publishing functions. To harness automated disc duplication systems to perform these additional tasks just makes sense. Seizing upon this opportunity, "backulation" units are appearing from familiar duplicator names. Early entries include MF Digital's Baxter, which incorporates Novosoft's Handy Backup, and new solutions from Primera and Rimage employing StorageQuest's Reflector software and Data Storage Solutions' Solidsave, respectively. More are on the way.

Rather than spend money on dedicated tape drives or DVD/CD jukeboxes, small enterprises can economize by purchasing multifunction products that will not only backup and archive but also do small-run disc duplication. And for those with existing name-brand copying equipment, add-on backup software can now be had rather than purchasing entirely new systems.

In addition to simply recording information, many "backulators" incorporate direct disc-surface label printing. Unheard of in the tape world, units automatically impart human readable content labels as large or small, simple or complex, plain or colorful as needed. Even for those lacking thermal transfer, re-transfer, or inkjet printers, it isn't a stretch to envisage simple "backulators" incorporating laser-labeling capabilities such as LightScribe.

There is, of course, room for improvement. For example, write-once discs are well suited to information distribution and unalterable long-term storage. But when it comes to rolling backups, rewritable media is far more flexible, environmentally friendly, secure, and cost-effective. Currently supported DVD±RW discs are functional but I'd like to see manufacturers go the extra mile and include DVD-RAM, as it offers enhanced data integrity through robust defect management and 100,000 rewrite cyclability.

Another challenge is the sheer number of discs required for large data sets. Individual DVDs hold 9.4GB to 17GB (assuming 2:1 compression) so lots of information requires piles of discs to be physically stored and managed. Competition between Blu-ray Disc (BD) and HD DVD will retard the market and again tarnish optical storage's reputation, but progress should eventually come with next generation blue laser technology. For instance, writable Blu-Ray (BD-R/RE) discs will hold 50GB to 100GB (compressed) and perhaps 200GB in the future.

Reaching the intended market may be tricky. Disc duplicator manufacturers are virtually unknown in the backup and archiving worlds, so it remains to be seen if they can make the ascent or if perhaps partnerships with established names such as Quantum, Dell, HP, IBM, StorageTek, Plasmon or others might have a better chance of success.

Hugh Bennett (hugh_bennett@compuserve.com), an EMedialive contributing editor, is president of Forget Me Not Information Systems (www.forgetmenot.on.ca), a reseller, systems integrator and industry consultant based in London, Ontario, Canada. Hugh is the author of Understanding Recordable & Rewritable DVD and Understanding CD-R & CD-RW, both published by the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA).

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25 Media Creation Companies Join Forces with Sonic Solutions to Form High-Definition Authoring Alliance (HDAA)

Sonic Solutions today announced that it has founded the High Definition Authoring Alliance (HDAA), a worldwide association of top DVD authoring houses dedicated to facilitating the rollout of titles for release in the new high-definition HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) optical disc formats.

Building on Sonic's role in DVD authoring solutions and its long-standing ties to Hollywood and the consumer electronics industry, the HDAA will work to increase momentum for successful introduction of the formats, and ensure the timely availability of quality titles by providing members with exclusive access to key information, HD-enabled tools, and comprehensive training. > 

For authoring houses, adapting to the new HD DVD and BD formats will involve more than simply working with video material in HD. It will also mean learning how to take full advantage of the formats' new > interactive capabilities. These capabilities greatly expand the > viewer experience by integrating menus and content into a unified presentation similar to that available during PC playback of premium DVDs created with Sonic's patented InterActual technology. To speed the learning process and facilitate the communication of format requirements back to Sonic, HDAA members will participate in group meetings, special events and technical seminars with Sonic engineers who are involved in defining the new standards to exchange information, contribute ideas and discuss the practicalities of HD title development.

HDAA members will have early access to Sonic's toolset for the new formats, which are the first available solutions to address all aspects of authoring for complex-interactive HD titles. The first phase of the HDAA program includes delivery of vital components > required to build HD titles, including Sonic HD-series encoding, Scenarist HD for creating "Standard Content" HD DVD titles, and the Sonic Advanced Interactivity Toolkit, a combination of hands-on tools and in-depth documentation addressing design issues for advanced interactive titles.

The HDAA is a Sonic-sponsored association of top authoring houses worldwide. The HDAA is dedicated to accelerating the development of the authoring skills, capacity, and technological infrastructure required to support rapid adoption of HD DVD and BD high definition optical disc formats. HDAA activities, including training and seminars, are focused in three geographical centers: Burbank, California for the Americas, London, England for Europe, and Tokyo, Japan for Asia. The group currently has over 25 members, including the following:

  • 1K Studios, LLC - Burbank, CA USA
  • Ambient Digital - Santa Monica, CA USA
  • Ascent Media - Burbank, CA USA
  • Audio Intervisual Design - Los Angeles, CA USA
  • B1 Media, Inc. - Studio City, CA USA
  • Click Active Media, Inc. - Santa Monica, CA USA
  • Comchoice Corporation - El Segundo, CA USA
  • Daikin Industries, Ltd. - Tokyo, Japan
  • Deluxe Digital Studios, Inc. - Burbank, CA USA
  • DGP, Ltd - London, England
  • DMP - Digital Media Production - Prague, Czech Republic
  • Egmont Nordisk Film - Valby, Denmark
  • Elektrofilm - Los Angeles, CA USA
  • Enteractive Entertainment, GmbH - Hamburg, Germany
  • Imagica Co. - Tokyo, Japan
  • International Digital Management (IDM) - Oxford, England
  • JP Corp. - Tokyo, Japan
  • microSTREAM Pty Ltd. - Sydney, Australia
  • Motionlink Pty Ltd. - Sydney, Australia
  • MX Entertainment - San Francisco, CA USA
  • Sonopress, GmbH - Gütersloh, Germany
  • TBS Service, Inc. - Tokyo, Japan
  • Technicolor Creative Services - Burbank, CA USA
  • Toppan Printing - Tokyo, Japan
  • Video Tech Co, Ltd. - Tokyo, Japan

For more information on the HDDA contact Sonic at HDAA_INFO@sonic.com.

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Leitch Releases Next-Generation VelocityHD and VelocityQ Turnkey NLE Systems

Leitch Technology Corporation has announced new turnkey configurations of Leitch's VelocityHD and VelocityQ non-linear editing (NLE) solutions. The new turnkey systems, available immediately in the North American and Latin American markets, are built upon the HP xw8200 Workstation platform.

VelocityHD and VelocityQ integrated turnkey systems incorporate Leitch's high-performance editing hardware and software into complete, "ready-to-run" real-time NLE workstations. Designed to take advantage of VelocityHD and VelocityQ's real-time capabilities, quality, and flexibility, these systems feature Intel Xeon processors, and an optional rack kit is available for rackmount applications such as mobile trucks and tight-fitting studio environments.

The turnkey systems are available with or without video media storage. A wide range of storage capacities and configuration options are available, featuring the Ciprico Huge Systems MediaVault line of storage arrays.

The VelocityHD HD/SD NLE combines the innovative Altitude hardware platform with the Velocity software interface. VelocityQ combines the Velocity software with the Quattrus(tm) multi-stream, real-time non-linear editing hardware, forming an integrated, multi-layer, standard-definition NLE solution. The HP xw8200-based VelocityHD and VelocityQ turnkey editing systems are available now through authorized Leitch post production resellers. For customers wishing to integrate their own systems, VelocityHD and VelocityQ are also available as boardset-and-software bundles for installation into qualified Microsoft Windows XP Professional workstations.

www.leitch.com

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Canopus Offers Free Trial Version of EDIUS Pro 3

Canopus Corporation has launched its EDIUS Pro 3 30-day trial version, which gives customers access to the full catalog of EDIUS Pro 3 features, including realtime HDV and mixed-format editing. Canopus has also launched its free EDIUS Pro 3 Training DVD to help customers get the most from their EDIUS Pro 3 realtime nonlinear editing software. Customers can download the software trial (also available on CD) and order the free training DVD from the company's Web site and get to know EDIUS Pro 3.

EDIUS Pro 3 nonlinear editing software provides native editing and realtime processing of uncompressed SD, HD, HDV, DV, MPEG-2, and MPEG-1 formats. EDIUS Pro 3 lets professionals mix and share video content in multiple formats and work with unlimited video, audio and effects layers, while providing realtime high-quality, on-screen display. EDIUS Pro 3 delivers increased quality and realtime performance through the company's acclaimed variable-bitrate Canopus HQ codec.

EDIUS Pro 3 includes professional features, such as realtime HQ batch capture from 1080i HDV cameras and decks, advanced audio tools and precise color correction controls, designed to help editors create the highest quality productions. EDIUS Pro 3 is also included with Canopus's line of EDIUS hardware and software editing solutions, including the new HDV offering, EDIUS NX for HDV.

www.canopus.com

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TDK Ships 8cm, 60-minute Double-Sided ScratchProof DVD Camcorder Media

TDK has introduced its 8cm ScratchProof Double Sided DVD recording media for the latest generation of DVD camcorders. In addition to providing double-sided DVD recording functionality, the new product also incorporates TDK's exclusive DURABIS hard coating technology. Both sides of TDK 8cm ScratchProof Double Sided DVD media feature DURABIS technology to protect the disc surfaces against common contaminants such as scratches, fingerprints, and dust adherence.

Offering 2.8GB capacity, a TDK 8cm ScratchProof Double Sided DVD provides a full hour of recording in a DVD camcorder. The discs can be played in virtually any home DVD player, according to TDK.

In addition to giving TDK 8cm recording media up to 100 times greater scratch-resistance than standard optical discs, according to TDK, DURABIS also makes it easy to wipe off fingerprints, ink smudges, and accidental food and beverage spills without damaging the disc. DURABIS enhances the disc's static discharge rate, thereby reducing dust adherence. While a conventional DVD releases 50% of an electrostatic charge after 15 hours, TDK discs featuring DURABIS quickly release 50% of a charge in 50 minutes resulting in a lower rate of dust adherence. Because the TDK DURABIS coating technology protects the recording layer, it can prevent write/read errors, jitter, and even recording and playback dropouts, TDK reports. Reducing the amount of dust that can contact a camcorder's delicate internal optics can help maintain hardware performance and may extend the device's longevity. DURABIS also effectively prevents damage from exposure to ultraviolet rays.

TDK's full 8cm DVD media lineup includes 8cm ScratchProof Double Sided DVD-R, 8cm ScratchProof DVD-R and 8cm ScratchProof DVD-RW, all of which feature DURABIS technology. TDK also offers standard 8cm DVD-R and DVD-RW. Rated for recording at up to 2x speed, TDK's 8cm ScratchProof Double Sided DVD-R media, ScratchProof DVD-R and ScratchProof DVD-RW are all currently available at estimated street prices of $6.99, $3.99 and $4.99 each, respectively. TDK's standard DVD-R and DVD-RW 8cm media is also currently available at estimated street prices of $1.99 and $2.99 each, respectively.

www.tdk.com

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Sonopress Increases DualDisc Production Capacity to 175,000 Discs per Day

Sonopress LLC has announced that it has increased DualDisc production lines in its Weaverville, NC facility in response to the popularity of the new DualDisc product. Sonopress now has 12 operating lines, which increases its DualDisc capacity to 175,000 discs per day.

The increased DualDisc capacity places Sonopress at the forefront of DualDisc replication and enables the company to enhance its time-to-market capabilities around this increasingly popular product.

A DualDisc is a branded product that is a standard DVD-5 on one side while the opposite side contains music that can be played in nearly all CD players. Along with specific packaging requirements, DualDisc will require that the same music found on the CD player side must also be available on the DVD side. The music on the DVD side can be as simple as standard LPCM or as rich as 5.1 DVD-Audio. The audio on the CD player side must be less than 60 minutes 17 seconds including any additional ROM data and buffers. In order to be considered a DualDisc, some video content must be included.

www.sonopress.com

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Magnet Media Ships DVD-Based Training for Apple Motion 2

Magnet Media has released Inside Motion 2, an interactive self-paced training DVD for Apple's latest version of its motion graphics software, as the latest installment in its Digital Media Training Series (DMTS). This new training DVD covers new features of Motion 2 with explanations and demonstrations of features like The Replicator and Midi Assignable Parameters, as well as explanations and examples of the interoperability between Motion 2 and Final Cut Studio applications on the one hand, and After Effects on the other.

Included media files let you work alongside the DVD's instructor to tackle real-world projects and problems. DMTS training DVDs are available in some Apple retail stores, as well as local Apple specialists and Authorized Apple Pro Video Resellers. Users may also purchase the training directly from Magnet Media's website at www.digitalmediatraining.com. Free lessons from the training are available online. Other recently released products produced by Magnet Media include Inside Mac OS X: Tiger, Inside iWork ‘05, and Inside Final Cut Pro 5.

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Condre Technology Expands DVD Duplication Systems Line

Condre Technology has announced the expansion of its line of DVD Tower Duplication Systems. In addition to the DVD Tracer series, Condre Technology now offers a standard line and a professional line of systems. Condre's new line of DVD duplicators is now shipping and available from a Condre authorized Dealer or Reseller.

Condre's complete line of CD and DVD+/-R systems are integrated and supported in U.S.-based facilities located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

www.condre.com

 

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Optoma Ships MovieTime Digital DVD Projector

Optoma Technology Inc. is now shipping its MovieTime digital DVD home theater projector. The MovieTime DVD projector features a built-in DVD player and integrated speakers in a stylish, compact design. With its ultra bright, theater-quality projection and easy-to-use features, movie enthusiasts can enjoy stunning and engaging video and sound for instant home entertainment.

MovieTime is designed for a wide range of home entertainment options, from watching the latest DVD movie releases to hooking it up to a gaming console to play the latest, hottest gaming titles on a large screen with friends and family. Because of MovieTime's integrated digital DVD player and speakers, as well as its short-throw lens, it is easy to turn any room in the house into an instant screening room -right out of the box.

MovieTime features Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology from Texas Instruments, providing a direct digital signal from the DVD to the projector to produce accurate color and details, and ensuring that the images on the screen do not fade or degrade over time. MovieTime offers HDTV compatibility for HD content from a number of sources, as well as an optimized display setting for true widescreen theater-quality performance. The MovieTime DVD projector also offers an optical audio output, which can deliver up to 7.1 channels of surround sound. MovieTime is also compatible with gaming consoles, VCRs, and PCs, as well as other devices to provide large-screen entertainment.

MovieTime is a pure digital DVD projector and accepts direct digital signals from a DVD disc to the projected image. There is no analog to digital conversion in the signal processing, resulting in a DVD viewing experience with guaranteed color accuracy and distortion-free pictures. MovieTime provides true 480p from DVD to DLP, with no scaling errors.

Features include:

  • DarkChip2 DLP display technology by Texas Instruments
  • 1000 Lumens brightness
  • 480p (854x480) native resolution , SXGA+ (1400x1050) compressed
  • 4000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • 1.26 - 1.41 Throw Ratio
  • 16:9 native aspect ration, 4:3 and 5:4 compatible
  • 36 to 335 inches image size
  • 4.9 to 32.8 feet projection distance
  • Weight: 7.8 lbs 

MovieTime by Optoma is now available through major retail and e-tail outlets with an MSRP of $1,499.

www.optoma.com

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