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September 30, 2005

Table of Contents

The Driving Range: Samsung WriteMaster SE-W164C
Dupliquote.com Serves Up a Competitive Online Bidding Environment Where Duplication Services Compete for Jobs
TMPG's New Media Editor Designed to Make Video Editing Easy Even in HD
New Console Software Remotely Controls Canon's XL H1 High-Definition Camcorder
RE:Vision Effects, Inc. Releases Twixtor 4.5 and ReelSmart Motion Blur 3.0 for Avid Systems
Advanced Media Introduces RIDATA-Brand 150x MMC Plus and 150x MMC Mobile Flash Cards
AudioDev unveils HD DVD analyzer
Traxdata announces DVD-R Dual Layer 4X

The Driving Range: Samsung WriteMaster SE-W164C

Samsung's new WriteMaster 16X DVD/CD recorder reliably gets the job done, albeit a touch slower than its competition and at a slightly higher price ($199).

External DVD/CD recorders are handy to have. They're a snap to install and move among machines if needed, reassure in case of equipment failures, and even pack-up for road trips. Fresh onto the scene is Samsung's WriteMaster SE-W164C. Incorporating the latest mechanism from Samsung's TSST joint venture with Toshiba, the WriteMaster combines competent performance with compact external style.

Connection is made through USB 2.0 and the unit operates either horizontally or vertically, which saves desktop space but requires the use of an included cradle and sacrifices support for 8cm discs. An external power brick keeps the case conveniently unobtrusive and the lack of an internal fan keeps its noise at level reasonable level. Software duties are tackled by Nero's ubiquitous PC OEM suite.

The WriteMaster offers high performance but still trails the competition in a few areas. Using the latest version of Nero's CD-DVD Speed benchmarking tool, full DVD+Rs and DVD-Rs burned at 16X CAV (taking 5:34 and 6:02 respectively), CD-Rs at 48X CAV (2:43), and CD-RWs at 32X ZCLV (3:26). Thanks to the latest Verbatim and Ritek media, high-speed rewritable DVD performace also proved up to snuff with DVD+RWs at 8X ZCLV (7:52) and DVD-RWs at 6X ZCLV (10:22). Double and dual-layer DVD burns, however, are less remarkable, with DVD+R DLs clocking in at 5X ZCLV (22:06) and DVD-R DLs at 4X CLV (27:16).

It's interesting to note that while the WriteMaster rates DVD+R DL operation at 5X, technically the unit employs 6X ZCLV writing (oscillating between 4X and 6X). So, hats off to Samsung for its sensible marketing! Disappointingly, however, this lags significantly behind Plextor's latest PX-740UF and other rivals which churn out full DL discs in as little as 14 minutes.

The news is pretty much the same on the reading front with some speeds on par while others trail a generation behind the competition. For example, prerecorded DVDs are taken at 16X CAV (4:56) but DVD±Rs are limited to 12X CAV (6:34) and DVD±RW and DVD±R DLs to 8X CAV (9:36 and 19:07 respectively). Prerecorded CDs clock in at 48X CAV (2:25) and CD-Rs and CD-RWs at 40X CAV (2:40). Quality-conscious buyers should be aware, however, that the WriteMaster doesn't support Nero CD-DVD Speed's rudimentary C1/C2/PI/PO error checking abilities.

More than most other features, comprehensive blank disc support is practical and thus desirable in any disc recorder. Using firmware current as of mid-September, the unit accommodated at full speed discs from nine out of ten 16X DVD-R manufacturers tested but only five out of eight 16X DVD+Rs (the laggards wrote at 12X, 8X, and even as slow as 4X). The unit also does not write slower-rated discs at a higher clip. For example, nine out of nine 8x DVD-R and 11 out of 11 DVD±R discs tested wrote at their prescribed speed. And predictably, out of three manufacturers tested, only Verbatim DVD±R DLs discs wrote at 4X and 5X.

Overall, Samsung's new WriteMaster reliably gets the job done, albeit a touch slower than its competition and at a slightly higher price.

Minimum system requirements: 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 running Windows 98SE/ME/XP/2000; 256 MB RAM; USB 2.0 interface.

www.samsung.com

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Dupliquote.com Serves Up a Competitive Online Bidding Environment Where Duplication Services Compete for Jobs

CCE Holdings, Inc. has launched DupliQuote.com, a competitive online bidding environment where duplicators compete for jobs posted by producers. Producers log on, anonymously submit the details of their job for free, and receive bids.

A producer pays nothing to submit an RFQ on DupliQuote.com. And vendors never pay a percentage or commission to DupliQuote, just a nominal fee of up to $3.00 to bid on jobs that fit their capabilities and schedule. Chief Software Architect Carl W. Hoerth explained the basics of using DupliQuote.com. "A producer requests a quote by filling out an online form detailing their job," he said. "Vendors browse these jobs and bid on those that fit their available resources. The producer reviews the bids for things like price and the vendors' customer service ratings. The producer then selects the best bid, contacts the vendor and awards the job. After the job is completed and delivered, the producer will leave quality ratings and feedback."

DupliQuote.com helps vendors plug gaps in their business cycles, according to DupliQuote. Duplicators and producers interested in using DupliQuote.com simply need to log on to http://www.dupliquote.com to get started, or call 1-877-DUPLIQUOTE (387-5478).

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TMPG's New Media Editor Designed to Make Video Editing Easy Even in HD

TMPG, Inc. has announced the release of its TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor. Now supporting High Definition (HD) video, TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor enables fast and easy video editing that retains original image quality, even in HD, according to TMPG.

TMPG's TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor will be available in stores across North America beginning in mid-October at a suggested retail price of $49.95. Users can download a free trial version from the company's Website at www.tmpg-inc.com or from www.download.com beginning in early October.

The new TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor features frame-level cut-editing, audio filters, integrated DolbyR Digital (2ch AC-3) support, a batch encoder for rendering multiple files simultaneously, and tools for multiplexing and de-multiplexing capabilities. TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor supports both standard (SD) and High Definition (HD) video with Dolby Digital (2ch AC-3) sound support. TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor also feature high-speed thumbnail viewing and scrolling along with Smart Rendering makes for extremely smooth and fast cut-editing.

Media Editor's HD-ready video editing supports Microsoft Media Center Edition (DVR-MS), XDVD (eXtended DVD), MPEG-1 and 2, and also supports files from standalone DVD recorders. TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor runs on a Pentium III 1GHz, Athlon MP, XP or higher, and is also optimized for multicore CPUs. It requires a PC-compatible computer running WindowsR 2000, XP, or Media Center Edition, with at least 256MB RAM. For HD video editing and processing, a display with a 1600x1200 resolution on a Pentium 4 3GHz or Opteron 246 or higher (with more than two logical processors) and 1GB or more of RAM is recommended.

TSUNAMI MPEG Media Editor will be available at retail stores across North America beginning in mid-October, 2005, at an MSRP of $49.95.

www.tmpg-inc.com

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New Console Software Remotely Controls Canon's XL H1 High-Definition Camcorder

As a complement to the new Canon XL H1 High Definition camcorder, Canon has introduced a new PC-based software program that provides extensive control over a wide variety of camera features and settings as well as recording operations.

Designed for broadcast and filmmaking applications, Canon's Console software program can be helpful in virtually any production environment, reducing set-up time and maximizing the productivity of crew members, according to Canon. Canon's Console software, named for the large video control boards commonly found in television studios, provides control over four key XL H1 camera functions: image control, camera operation, video recording in HDV or SD and playback. This allows users to remain in command of the XL H1 camcorder remotely, such as when mounted on a camera crane or jib arm, between a studio and control room or even an inaccessible or risky location.

Professionals can control many XL H1 camcorder features and settings with Canon's Console software; including the Gamma, Master Pedestal, Color Phase, Custom Presets and AE Metering. Also changeable is zoom, focus, shooting mode and frame rate. The program permits a PC monitor to show a split-screen view of the record and playback control panels and viewing windows. Operators may use the playback viewer to watch video recorded to the hard drive while, at the same time, adjusting camera settings for the next shot using the recording panel.

Additionally, the Console software includes a Wave Form and Vector display for measuring and adjusting video and phase parameters. These features can add convenience on film locations or in TV studios when time or crew is restricted. Commands and responses are exchanged between the XL H1 camcorder and a PC through a single IEEE1394 cable, making it efficient to set up and remotely control the camera using an elegant and intuitive user interface. Canon's Console software is also fully compatible with the Canon XL2 MiniDV camcorder while recording standard definition video. In SD mode, users can benefit from the individual Frame Recording feature for animation and simulation videos. System requirements include Windows XP OS (Home or Professional) and Service pack 2 (SP2), a Pentium 4 2.5GHz CPU or better, 512MB memory or better and IEEE 1394 connector.

Users may receive a trial version of Canon's Console software, which allows them to examine and access the program for a period of 14 days or 20 trials. Once satisfied, trial users may purchase a license key to the program for $599. Trial versions and the license key to Canon's Console software will be available in November. To obtain a trail version of Canon's Console software people should visit the company's Web site at www.canondv.com.

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RE:Vision Effects, Inc. Releases Twixtor 4.5 and ReelSmart Motion Blur 3.0 for Avid Systems

RE:Vision Effects has announces major upgrades of their Avid compatible versions of Twixtor, their retiming solution and ReelSmart Motion Blur, which adds and removes motion blur based on per-pixel calculated motion.

Twixtor 4.5 introduces a complete rewrite of its tracking. Twixtor is much more accurate, tracks objects farther, and exhibits fewer artifacts when there are objects crossing in the scene, according to RE: Vision Effects. This means less tearing and stretching of objects as they cross or go out of the frame. Twixtor now includes a smart blending method for pans and zooms to prevent inappropriate streaking or weird artifacts at frame borders. Twixtor also adds an option to automatically enhance dark imagery or imagery with poorly defined edges. For a comparison of the previous versions of Twixtor and Twixtor 4.5, visit RE: Vision Effects' comparison page.

ReelSmart Motion Blur 3 adds the new tracking found in Twixtor 4.5. Both plug-ins now support the Mac versions of Xpress Pro 4.8 and Adrenaline 1.8. Twixtor AVX 1.5 plugin priced at $329.99, while ReelSmart Motion Blur AVX 1.5 plugin has an MSRP of $134.95. Upgrades from previous versions are free. AVX 1.5 support required. Supported Windows applications include the following Symphony 2.0 and later, Media Composer 9.0 and later, XPress 3.0 and later, XPress DV 1.5 and later, and Media Composer Adrenaline. Supported Macintosh OS X include Media Composer 12.0 and later, Symphony 5.0 and later, Xpress Pro 4.0 and later and Xpress DV 4.0, and Media Composer Adrenaline. Volume pricing available.

www.revisionfx.com

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Advanced Media Introduces RIDATA-Brand 150x MMC Plus and 150x MMC Mobile Flash Cards

Advanced Media, Inc., has added the most advanced flash memory cards in its RIDATA line. The ultra-portable products are the 150x MMC Plus and 150x MMC Mobile cards. The new cards will be on display at Mobile Business Expo at the Navy Pier in Chicago October 9-12, 2005. 

A new interface enables 150x data transfer for both of these rewritable products. (The 150x rate is nearly 20 times faster than previous standards.) They are designed for users of newer model camera phones as well as small handheld electronic devices, as they easily and quickly store media-rich content. Both cards feature an up to 22MB/sec read speed. The MMC plus has a write speed of up to 19MB/sec; the MMC Mobile write speed is up to 18MB/sec.

To further support more data-intense devices, both versions also support multiple bus widths of x1, x4 and x8 bit. The RIDATA 150x MMC Plus memory card is available in 64MB through 2GB capacity sizes; its 150x MMC Mobile card comes in 64MB through 512MB sizes. The MMC mobile supports both high-level mobile phones using 1.8v (such as 3G models) and traditional mobile phones using 3.3v. The MMC plus supports 3.3v operation. The cards are non-volatile, so no power is required to retain stored data.

Other features include very low power consumption; waterproof and rugged design; and full, backward compatibility with previous MultiMedia Cards. They are CE, FCC, and VCCI certified, and meet all MultiMedia Card system specifications.

The RIDATA 150x MMC Plus and 150x MMC Mobile flash cards are available now through selected retailers, RIDATA distributors, and at various online outlets. They feature popular pricing for a wide variety of quantities.

www.ritekusa.com

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AudioDev unveils HD DVD analyzer

AudioDev is unveiling its CATS HD DVD analyzer. A pre-release version of the analyzer will be on display at the upcoming industry event, Mediatech showcase and conference, in Frankfurt, Germany, October 4-5.

The new analyzer joins the CATS family of blue laser analyzers and shares many attributes of CATS analyzers for the Blu-ray Disc format launched earlier this year. The HD DVD analyzer, named CATS H100 HD DVD Pro, is based on the reference drive platform which is result of a joint venture between AudioDev AB and Toptica Photonics AG. The analyzer incorporates AudioDev's latest measurement hardware, which uses state-of-the-digital design for optimum signal processing and measurement accuracy, according to AudioDev. It shares the compact design and small footprint of the Blu-ray Disc analyzers. "

The CATS H100 HD DVD Pro measures the HD DVD-ROM format. A version measuring the recordable and rewritable formats will be launched during 2006.

www.audiodev.com

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Traxdata announces DVD-R Dual Layer 4X

Conrexx Technology, the European subsidiary of the RITEK Corporation, has announced the launch of the new Traxdata DVD-R Dual Layer 4X. As one of the first brands to market this exciting development in capacity, the Traxdata DVD-R Dual Layer 4X has two layers to record to with a capacity of over 8.5GB.

Offering nearly twice the capacity of a single 4.7GB layer disc, the Traxdata DVD-R Dual Layer 4X allows users to record 4 hours of DVD-quality video without ever having to change discs. With speeds of up to 4X, users can burn a massive 8.5GB of data or video in approximately 25 minutes.

Dual Layer media is based on the principles of -R format whereas the existing Double Layer media has been developed from the +R format but both share similar technology. Dual Layer media is compatible with most popular DVD-based video players, game consoles, DVD drives and DVD playing devices so the consumer does not have to replace their hardware to take the advantage of the technology.

Traxdata DVD-R Dual Layer media will be available in Jewel Case packaging throughout various European resellers and retailers.

www.conrexx.com
www.traxdata.com
www.ritek.com

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