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Streaming Media
October 25, 2005

Table of Contents

The Driving Range: TEAC HD2U80 Portable 2.5" Hard Disk Drive
Registration Opens for Inaugural 4EVER Group Convention
Avid Launches Xpress Pro Roadshow
Apple Enhances PowerBooks With Higher-Resolution Displays, Longer Battery Life
QZEO Announces New Reseller Agreement With JVC Professional Products Company
Digigami Ships "MovieToGo" Converter for Video iPod
Promise Technology Launches Advanced Enterprise Storage Systems
Digital Anarchy Releases Data Animator 1.0

The Driving Range: TEAC HD2U80 Portable 2.5" Hard Disk Drive

TEAC's portable USB 2.0 drive is a 6.8 oz., bus-powered 80GB external hard disk that offers excellent portability and convenience for a drive of its capacity. As the ubiquitous, thumb-shaped USB Flash drives become increasingly popular and capacious, they threaten portable storage contenders on both sides, be they conventional (albeit compact) external hard disks like the TEAC or even more compact flash media. But it's unlikely they'll offer the kind of capacity that a drive like the TEAC can deliver anytime soon. And though it's as compact as any external hard disk we've had in our testing lab--it's roughy wallet-sized at 6"x3.3"x5.3"--the TEAC remains on the high end for "portable" HDD capacity, which tend to vary from 20GB to 80GB in their current generation. (Naturally, these numbers go up all the time, so don't expect it to stay that way).

The TEAC installed instantly on my testbed 3.0GHz Pentium 4 Gateway PC, registering as a Toshiba MK8026. It comes pre-formatted for use with both Mac and Windows machines, which is both good and bad if you intend to use it for storing large video files: because it's pre-formatted as a FAT32 drive, it comes saddled with FAT32's 4GB filesize bodice. If you expect your filesizes to exceed 4GB (like if you're capturing uninterrupted DV streams of more than 20 minutes), you'll need to re-format the drive as NTFS. But theoretically, if you leave it as is and intend to use the drive interchangeably with both Mac OS and Windows systems, FAT32 is your friend.

At 5400RPM, the TEAC 2.5" isn't quite state-of-the-art for external hard drives (today's fastest are 7200RPM), but 5400 is typical of what you'd find in your laptop's internal drive, and generally fast enough to capture video directly to the drive if that's your goal and to accomplish large file transfers and backups without unexpected delays. A 2.8GB DV-AVI file transferred from the Gateway's internal Maxtor 7200RPM SATA drive to the TEAC in a brisk 1:59. The same file copied to a 7200RPM LaCie external USB drive in 1:51. 154MB of files of assorted types and sizes copied to the TEAC in :19; the 7200RPM LaCie clocked in at 18 seconds for the same fileset. The copy times were virtually identical for the Maxtor-to-TEAC copy functions as copying the same files to alternate locations on the Maxtor internal. For more advanced backup functions, the TEAC ships with the bundled version of NTI's industry-standard BackupNOW! software solution.

One of the advantages TEAC also touts for its portable HDDs is the ability to add "unlimited storage" with multiple portable drives of varying capacities. While not an entirely empty claim, since the drives' compact construction certainly leaves bandwidth for carrying more than one at once, you can't daisychain these drives as with many external drives (both magnetic and optical), and it's hard to imagine why you'd want to anyway since they run on bus power. While we didn't have multiple drives to test, it wouldn't be unreasonable to surmise that you'd take a performance hit connecting multiple bus-powered devices to the same USB bus on systems with USB cards that include 2-4 ports.

That said, the TEAC HD2U-80 is an excellent portable storage accessory that delivers solid capacity for an external hard disk drive at a $269 price tag that's more than justified by the drive's performance and compact construction.


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Registration Opens for Inaugural 4EVER Group Convention

Online registration for the inaugural 4EVER Group Event Video Convention & Trade Show has opened at The event will be held January 9-12, 2006, at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL.

"We have an educational agenda that covers all of the topics that are of interest to videographers," said Tim Ryan, Director of Education. "Our proven presenters are among the very best anywhere, and they will have the time to teach their subject matter in real detail." Seminars and workshops will not have a sixty-minute time limit.

"Convention registration prices, and sleeping room rates, are an incredible value," said Steve Wernick, Director of Development. "Members of Local Videographers Associations can register for as little as $225.00 and guest room rates are only $115.00 (plus tax) per night. It's an unbeatable combination."

Among the scheduled presenters are Douglas Spotted Eagle, Mark & Trisha Von Lanken, Steve Fowler, Robert Allen, Randy Stubbs, Chris Watson, Ron Dawson, and many others. There will be more than three dozen open seminars, workshops, and panel discussions, along with about a dozen optional workshops.

The entire schedule is available as a PDF file in the convention registration area of The 4EVER Group Web site. The Trade Show side will run on Tuesday and Wednesday, and there will not be opposing programming scheduled. B&H Photo-Video, JVC, DVS Direct, Armato's Pro Video, and Neeman Video are among the vendors who have already committed to participating in The 4EVER Group Event Video Convention & Trade Show.

Additional vendors will be announced on a regular basis. The Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation will also have an information booth at the trade show. There will also be two other important highlights of The 4EVER Group Event Video Convention & Trade Show. On Monday night, the Artistic Achievement Award-winners will be recognized at a special formal banquet. Tickets are priced at $75.00 per person, and the evening will also include outside entertainment. In the second additional highlight, EventDV magazine will present the EventDV 25, recognizing the 25 hottest and most influential videographers in the industry today. Nominations and voting were recently concluded at their web site,

The 4EVER Group Event Video Convention & Trade Show promises to be something unlike what's been seen in this business. This convention will be part of The 4EVER Group's efforts to improve the professional standing of videographers and "raise the bar" of this industry. Registration information, the complete schedule, and room reservation details can be found on The 4EVER Group Web site by clicking here.

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Avid Launches Xpress Pro Roadshow

Avid Technology has introduced its new Xpress Pro Roadshow program, with on-site demonstrations planned for Windows and Mac users and prospective users of its popular pro/prosumer NLE. Topics include:

  • HDV editing for PC. Native HDV acquisition, Avid DNxHD™ encoding, Avid Open Timeline technology, and multi-resolution multicam editing
  • Tiger OS integration for Mac. The ultimate Tiger editing experience, with unmatched Mac OS X 10.4 integration and blazing real-time effects

Avid Xpress Pro includes Mac and PC versions in the same box. Whichever operating system you choose, you get the following:

  • Proven media management. Work faster with intuitive folder-based media management tools integrated into the editing application.
  • Script-based editing. Avid Xpress Pro makes it easy to compare and find the best takes without shuffling back and forth between script and screen.
  • Real-time animated alpha channels. Bring movies with animated alpha channels back to your editing timeline with no additional rendering.
  • Automatic color correction. One-touch color correction analyzes a group of clips, and applies the exact correction for each individual clip.

Cities and dates announced so far include the following:

  • Chicago, IL - November 1
  • Vancouver, BC - November 3
  • Detroit, MI - November 3
  • Miami, FL - November 3
  • Cherry Hill, NJ - November 8
  • Las Vegas, NV - November 10
  • Washington, DC - November 10
  • Montreal, QB - November 15
  • Los Angeles, CA - November 15 6
  • Dallas, TX - December 1

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Apple Enhances PowerBooks With Higher-Resolution Displays, Longer Battery Life

Apple has upgraded its PowerBook G4 line of notebook computers even more desirable for business and creative professionals with higher-resolution displays and up to one hour more battery life on the 15- and 17-inch models. In addition, every new PowerBook now includes a DVD burning SuperDrive with prices starting at just $1,499.

The new higher-resolution PowerBooks provide significantly more screen real estate and include the 17-inch PowerBook with a 1680-by-1050 pixel resolution -- 36 percent more than the previous generation -- and the 15-inch PowerBook with a 1440-by-960 pixel resolution -- 26 percent more than the previous generation. Ideal for business and creative professionals, the new 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks make reading text and viewing images even easier with brighter displays -- up to 46 percent brighter on the 17-inch model. The 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks also provide up to an additional hour of battery life to get even more work done while on the road.

The PowerBook line includes three models: the 1.5 GHz 12-inch PowerBook with an 8X SuperDrive and the new 1.67 GHz 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks with an 8X SuperDrive with double-layer support. Both the 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks include ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics with 128MB DDR dedicated video memory and now feature built-in Dual Link support to drive Apple's groundbreaking 30-inch Cinema HD Display as an external monitor, providing more than four million pixels of additional workspace. Every PowerBook includes built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), integrated AirPort(R) Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi wireless networking, a scrolling TrackPad and Apple's Sudden Motion Sensor technology.

Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger," the fifth major release of the Mac operating system and iLife '05, Apple's award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications, are included with every PowerBook.

The 12-inch and new 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks are available immediately through the Apple Store (, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 1.5 GHz, 12-inch PowerBook G4, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), includes the following:

  • 512MB of PC2700 333 MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable up to 1.25GB
  • a slot-load 8X SuperDrive (DVD+/-RW/CD-RW) optical drive
  • an 80GB Ultra ATA/100 (5400 rpm) hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor
  • AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi fast wireless networking and internal Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
  • DVI, VGA, S-video and composite video support
  • two USB 2.0 ports and FireWire 400
  • audio line in and headphone out
  • a scrolling TrackPad.

The 1.67 GHz, 15-inch PowerBook G4, for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:

  • a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW)
  • 512MB of PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM running at 333 MHz, expandable up to 2GB
  • 80GB Ultra ATA/100 (5400 rpm) hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor
  • Built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
  • DVI (Dual Link for 30-inch Cinema HD Display support), VGA, S-video and composite video support
  • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T)
  • two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and 800
  • analog and optical digital audio input and output
  • illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor
  • a scrolling TrackPad.

The 1.67 GHz, 17-inch PowerBook G4, for a suggested retail price of $2,499 (US), includes:

  • a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW)
  • 512MB of PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM running at 333 MHz, expandable up to 2GB
  • 120GB Ultra ATA/100 (5400 rpm) hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor
  • Built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
  • DVI (Dual Link for 30-inch Cinema HD Display support), VGA, S-video and composite video support
  • Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T)
  • two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400 and 800
  • analog and optical digital audio input and output
  • illuminated keyboard with ambient light sensor
  • a scrolling TrackPad.

Additional build-to-order options for the 12-inch PowerBook include the ability to upgrade to 100GB (5400 rpm) hard drive, up to 1.25GB DDR SDRAM, a slot-load Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) optical drive, and the AppleCare Protection Plan. Additional build-to-order options for the new 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks include the ability to upgrade up to 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, a slot-load Combo (DVD- ROM/CD-RW) optical drive, and the AppleCare Protection Plan. The new 15-inch PowerBook also offers a 100GB or 120GB (5400 rpm) hard drive as a build-to- order option.

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QZEO Announces New Reseller Agreement With JVC Professional Products Company

QZEO, the pro broadcast reseller division of Computer Modules, Inc., has entered into an audio-video reseller agreement with JVC Professional Products Company. QZEO is now selling audio, professional and broadcast video, and presentation products from JVC Professional Products Company--DV and HDV video cameras, video recorder/ players and video monitors, projectors, and plasma displays.

JVC products being offered by QZEO include the JVC GY-HD100U, a compact, full resolution HD progressive camcorder, and the BR-HD50U ProHD recorder/player--the companion model to the GY-HD100-designed to transfer video and audio data to a nonlinear editing system. The BR-HD50U ProHD® features switchable HDV and DV modes and analog outputs.

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Digigami Ships "MovieToGo" Converter for Video iPod

Digigami today announced it is shipping MovieToGo, a simple batch processing application for converting QuickTime movies into iPod friendly 320x240 H.264 movie files. The Macintosh program, available as a free download from the Digigami Web site, makes it easy to convert a collection of QuickTime movies "To Go" with you on your video iPod. Simple,

Kiyooka. "With only three buttons, MovieToGo makes it extraordinarily easy to convert existing QuickTime-readable files into a format readable by Video iPod." Converting movies to Video iPod format couldn't be easier--simply open the movie file in MovieToGo, click on the "Convert to Video iPod" button, name the new movie file, and sit back and relax. Once the file conversion has completed, simply double-click on the new movie file and it will automatically be added to your iTunes Video library. System Requirements MovieToGo requires QuickTime 7.0.3 (or higher) and iTunes 6.x (or higher). Pricing and Availability MovieToGo is freeware, and can be downloaded from the Digigami web site at

Digigami is a privately held company headquartered in the greater Los Angeles area. Digigami was founded in 1994 and released its first MPEG-1/MPEG-2 encoder, MegaPEG, in 1996 along with an early Netscape plug-in that provided streaming video in AVI, QuickTime and MPEG formats. For the past 10 years, Digigami has been continuously improving its MPEG video compression technology; MPressionist HDTV and MegaPEG HDTV are the most recent additions to the Digigami line. For details and pricing information on all Digigami products, please visit our Web site at

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Promise Technology Launches Advanced Enterprise Storage Systems

Promise Technology, Inc., a supplier of Serial ATA (SATA) RAID data protection and storage solutions, has announced its first Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) storage systems for enterprise applications. The Promise VTrak J-Class SAS storage systems will support both enterprise SAS and SATA drives, enabling tiered storage in a box, while delivering flexibility, advanced data protection features, redundant components, and high-speed bandwidth to help ensure maximum data storage reliability. The new VTrak J300s JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) storage systems will be demonstrated publicly for the first time at the Storage Networking World conference this week in Orlando, FL—Promise Technology booth #C18.

Designed for no active single point of failure, the VTrak J300s features dual redundant I/O modules—each with two host ports and one expansion port—power supplies and cooling modules for optimal enterprise reliability. The twelve hot-swappable drive trays will support SAS or high capacity SATA drives, or both simultaneously. This flexibility enables enterprise customers to standardize on one system for all three application data types: transactional, high-bandwidth and reference data. For performance optimization, the VTrak J300s enables the user to specify SAS cable length through a command line interface. This adjusts signal strength and maintains high-bandwidth performance, signal quality and integrity, and can help minimize the data error rate when longer cables are used. 

Key Features of VTrak J300s include the following:

  • Dual active/active SAS 3Gb/s JBOD I/O modules
  • 12-bay, 2U rackmountable enclosure supports up to 12 hot-swappable 3.5" SAS or SATA hard drives
  • Three 4x-wide SAS connectors per I/O module
  • Two for host connection, one for expansion
  • Dual redundant, hot-swappable power supplies and cooling modules for high availability
  • Command Line Interface (CLI) for management and configuration, with extensive help text and OEM customizable CLI label
  • Comprehensive management functions
  • In-band and out-of-band (serial port) management
  • SES enclosure management
  • SAS topology discovery and configuration
  • SMP in-band access to expander and PHY info as well as performance monitoring and statistics
  • Performance optimization based on user-selectable cable length
  • Auto enclosure thermal management, with user override temperature thresholds
  • Firmware update through in-band and out-of-band
  • Free 24x7 telephone and email technical support for registered users

Promise works closely with leading SAS vendors and its Strategic Technology Alliance Partners in providing comprehensive support to test and qualify a broad selection of SAS host bus adapters and RAID controllers, as well as SAS and SATA hard drives. Offering seamless support and interoperability with Promise SAS/SATA storage systems, this open sourcing flexibility allows customers to choose the vendor and capacity drive they want, while enabling "pay as you grow" capacity. Adaptec, Fujitsu, Hitachi , LSI Logic, Maxtor and Seagate are among the vendors with Promise Technology-qualified compatible products. A full compatibility list can be found on the Promise website at

The VTrak J300s 12-bay, 2U dual host SAS to SAS/SATA JBOD storage system will begin shipping this month through the worldwide Promise distribution network. Suggested list prices start at $2,899 for a single I/O module model without drives.

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Digital Anarchy Releases Data Animator 1.0

Digital Anarchy, a leading provider of cost-effective special effects software for Adobe After Effects, today announced the immediate availability of Data Animator 1.0, a new way of creating animated charts and graphs. Available for purchase on Digital Anarchy's website at, Data Animator is currently available for Windows; a Macintosh version will be released on Nov. 15, 2005.

Data Animator's eight plug-ins create a wide range of chart types from business graphics to scientific visualization. The results are perfect for news programs, simulated displays, corporate communication projects, and any other animated visualization of data. Users import a tab-delimited text file to build the chart, then customize the look and animation of their data. Features include separate controls for the chart and data elements, a column/row sorter, legend/label manager, and a depth choice of 2D or 3D charts.

The eighth plug-in, EasyChart, provides an easy-to-use interface that makes the creation of these seven chart types an even simpler task. Because Data Animator dynamically updates the source data file, it is great for collaborative work and projects started before the data is finalized. Some of the exciting features in Data Animator include:
* Seven different chart types for business graphics and scientific visualization, including: Bar, Line, Pie, Range/Stock, Bubble, Polar and Timeline charts
* Most charts can display as flat 2D, faux 3D (2.5D) or true 3D
* Load data in via standard tab-delimited files and have it update automatically
* Easily handles large data sets, including stock market prices
* Control over the animation of each chart element
* Each chart element can be separated so additional effects can be applied
* Flexible labeling and font control

Data Animator is currently only available for Windows. A Macintosh version is scheduled for release on Nov. 15, 2005. Regularly priced at USD $495, Data Animator will be available for USD $429 during its first month of release. Demo filters are also available at . Data Animator works in After Effects 5.0 and higher, and runs on Windows 98ME-XP Pro.

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