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Streaming Media
February 28, 2003

Table of Contents

AJA Video Systems' Kona SD Card Debuts SAN Solution for Mac OS X
PLUS Vision Expands Five Pound Projector Series
New "Honest" File-Sharing Service Available in Holland
Gracenote Announces First Royalty-Free SDK Combining mp3 Encoding and CDDB Technologies
SunnComm Presents Music Studios with StudioMax
Microsoft Joins DVD+RW Alliance
Ulead Video/DVD Software Supports VR Format with On-disc Editing
Bluefish444 Now Compatible with Curious Software for Windows 2000 & Windows XP

AJA Video Systems' Kona SD Card Debuts SAN Solution for Mac OS X

AJA Video Systems announced earlier that Kona SD, using Rorke Data's ImageSAN OSX to provide a high-speed SAN environment for collaborative work, was debuted at the 9th Annual Snader Video Solutions Expo held at the South San Francisco Convention Center.

At the Expo, AJA featured multiple Kona SD non-linear editing systems using Apple's Final Cut Pro editing software connected to a Rorke Data ImageSAN storage solution. This is the first time where Kona SD is being used with a SAN file management application specially designed for the Mac OS X platform.

Shipping since April, 2002, AJA's Kona SD has made editing tools like Real
Time effects and 8-bit or 10-bit uncompressed SDI video affordable and available on Mac OS X. Featuring a variety of formats including 10-bit SDI, 8-bit SDI, Kona DV, KonaFilm, and a JPEG compression format, Kona SD offers a truly flexible workflow.  Media files are all QuickTime, allowing non-restricted movement between applications with no exporting or re-rendering due to full-resolution output in 8-or 10-bit uncompressed video quality. Additionally, Kona's desktop view feature turns the video monitor into a second Mac monitor on which graphic design elements can be created with non-QuickTime applications including Photoshop, or even PowerPoint.

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PLUS Vision Expands Five Pound Projector Series

PLUS Vision, a leader in projector technology, recently announced two new projectors in its five-pound product family: the U2-1200, a 2000 lumen XGA projector, and the U2-817, a 1500 lumen, SVGA projector.

Both projectors are built on Texas Instruments' next generation Digital Light Processing chip technology, which has led to performance features such as a higher contrast ratio. The new units each have a lamp life of 3000 hours, an option to extend lamp life to 4000 hours, quieter performance, and a 1500:1 contrast ratio.

At 1500 lumens the new U2-817 is PLUS Vision's brightest SVGA projector. The U2-817 includes built-in second monitor output (loop-through), a feature that allows teachers and trainers to project their curriculum to their classes while simultaneously being able to view the course content on their desktop monitors. Both the U2-817 and the U2-1200 feature digital zoom, digital keystone correction, and a presentation timer that can be set for presentation times of 10 to 60 minutes in 10 minute increments while displaying remaining time on the screen.

While in economy mode, the new U2 series PLUS projectors run at 33 dB and extend lamp life by 30 percent while reducing presentation brightness by only 20 percent. This solution-based feature enables the presenter to better balance economy and performance.

The new U2 projectors support the latest in video standards including 480p, 780p and 1080i High Definition imaging. They also allow for DVI (pure digital signaling), RGB (data), component and composite inputs; enabling any multi-media presentation or video viewing.

Both projectors come standard with all necessary data, video and audio cables, a full-function credit card style remote control and soft carrying case; fulfilling all the needs a presenter requires for effective presentations. The U2-817 will be introduced with a street price of $1,995 and the U2-1200 at $3,395.


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New "Honest" File-Sharing Service Available in Holland

PGR BV, a Dutch Internet services company, announced last week the launch of The Honest Thief, a new file-sharing service based in the Netherlands. Additionally, in a joint effort with a consortium of legal experts, The Honest Thief is beta testing new business software to be licensed to file-sharing providers. The company Web site has gone public at and The Honest Thief's new file-sharing solution will be available in April.

The Honest Thief is the first Dutch company to take advantage of a recent Dutch appeals court ruling that paved the way for the Netherlands to become the world's first legal haven for file sharing companies. On March 28, 2002 judges Coeterier, Cornelissen and Sorgdrager from the Gerechtshof in Amsterdam, an appeals court, ruled that the users of internationally popular Kazaa are illegally infringing upon copyrights, not Kazaa itself. Kazaa is a legitimate service that operates much like a copy machine or a CD burner. That is, the user not the device is liable because a device cannot own a copyright and only the user chooses to legally purchase or to illegally download a song.

According to Nielsen/NetRatings figures, 13 million Americans and 6.4 million people in Europe visited Kazaa's Web site in October. In opposition to these file-sharing fans, the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) claims that 99 percent of all music files exchanged on the net is illegal and that in May 2002 there were about 500 million files available for copying at any one time.

Mark Mulligan, Jupiter Research analyst, recently commented in a BBC News article that the music industry would never fully be able to eradicate illegal file sharing. "There will always be those willing to develop alternative illegal services," said Mulligan. "It has got to be accepted that file sharing will always be there just as shoplifting is accepted as wastage in the retail sector."

"Call it file sharing or shoplifting, here in Holland we call it good business," said Pieter Plass, founder of The Honest Thief. "We Dutch are a free thinking people and we've never been the type to legislate morality. With our file sharing service and our new software, we hope The Honest Thief will become to file sharing what the Swiss are to banking."


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Gracenote Announces First Royalty-Free SDK Combining mp3 Encoding and CDDB Technologies

Gracenote, a worldwide leader in information services for digital music and media, has announced the beta release of the Gracenote Encode Software Development Toolkit (SDK) for non-commercial developers on a royalty-free basis. This is the first version of the CDDB SDK to offer full mp3 encoding and decoding functionality, as well as mp3PRO decoding. This offering is a result of Gracenote's unique partnership with Thomson, the licensor of mp3 and mp3PRO technology, to provide music recognition services that are integrated with the world's most popular digital music codec.

The addition of encoding functionality provides non-commercial developers with everything needed to create fully functional mp3 jukeboxes that both create digital music files and utilize the Gracenote CDDB music recognition service. Gracenote CDDB is an Internet-based service providing information for more than 1.8 million albums that enables developers to display artist, title, and track names and automatically label and categorize mp3 files as they are created. Over 8,000 non-commercial developers currently license Gracenote's non-commercial SDK to create software applications that access Gracenote CDDB.

The new SDK also offers a Classical Music user interface, which enables developers to offer more detailed information for classical music aficionados, including fields such as Composer, Conductor, Ensemble and Performer. The beta version of this SDK is available now, with the final production version scheduled to launch in mid-April 2003.


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SunnComm Presents Music Studios with StudioMax

SunnComm Technologies Inc. announced earlier that it has developed StudioMax—a security feature of SunnComm's MediaMax Technology. It is scheduled for presentation to music studios around the world this month. StudioMax will enable artists and studio owners to lock down the original digital audio content during the work-flow process of music production. This set of features will help to prevent insider leaks of audio content.

It is understood throughout the music industry that while music is being produced, a significant breach of security is prevalent. While artists are working step-by-step toward the final cut of a song, it is necessary for the studio to send evaluation copies of that content to many recipients for their input and approval. In many cases, this requires evaluation copies to be distributed to professionals throughout the artist's label as well as outside sound-testing facilities well before the music's scheduled release date. Prior to StudioMax, most music in this development phase remained unprotected and provided opportunities to propagate copies that could find their way onto peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.

The StudioMax technology will be incorporated using an authoring toolkit developed by SunnComm which enhances and protects the content within a very controlled but easy-to-use format. The technology will yield a studio-produced CD-R burn from the artist that will facilitate the secure transport of full-spectrum, uncompressed CD-A files. The full-spectrum audio content incorporated on the CDs original tracks (called the "redbook" session), will be protected by StudioMax but available for unlocking by authorized personnel. The StudioMax CD will also feature a multimedia user interface referred to as a "second session," which is built onto the disc itself and utilizes components from the Microsoft Data Session Toolkit.


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Microsoft Joins DVD+RW Alliance

The DVD+RW Alliance has announced that Microsoft Corporation has become its newest member and will be one of nine companies that sit on the Alliance's policy-setting team, the Executive and Steering Committee.  Other members of the Executive/Steering Committee are Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Mitsubishi Chemical/Verbatim, Philips, Ricoh, Sony, Thomson and Yamaha.

"In an effort to evaluate providing support for writable DVD and other digital media formats, Microsoft has decided to join the DVD+RW Alliance as a core member," said Tom Phillips, general manager of Microsoft's Windows Hardware Experience Group.  "Microsoft is committed to the convergence and compatibility in both PC and consumer electronics applications.  Microsoft is happy to become a part of the DVD+RW Alliance and help promote writable DVD standards that are aligned with the Mt. Rainier technology."

"The Alliance is very excited to have Microsoft's commitment to the organization," said Maureen Weber, general manager of Hewlett-Packard's Optical Storage Solutions Business and worldwide chair of the DVD+RW Alliance. "We look forward to working together to create and promote the best customer experience built on DVD+RW technology."

The DVD+RW Alliance is a voluntary group of industry-leading personal computing manufacturers, optical storage and electronics manufacturers. The companies promote the universally compatible, rewritable DVD+R/+RW format that enables true convergence between personal computing and consumer electronics products. More than 50 additional companies have formally pledged support for DVD+R/+RW technology.


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Ulead Video/DVD Software Supports VR Format with On-disc Editing

Ulead Systems, Inc. and Panasonic recently announced that three new Ulead video editing/DVD authoring products can be used with Panasonic's OEM DVD MULTI drive (Model SW-9571-CYY) to read, edit, and write video created in the Video Recording (VR) format. Ulead DVD MovieFactory 2, VideoStudio 7, and MediaStudio Pro 7 provide "on-disc" editing for VR media that lets users edit directly on a disc to save time and conserve valuable hard disk space. With these VR-enabled products, OEMs can now give consumers who own a DVD-RAM/R camcorder or DVD set top recorder the tools necessary to edit home videos, create DVDs, and watch their finished movies on a variety of entertainment devices.

With read/write support for all recordable DVD formats approved by the DVD Forum (DVD-RAM/R/RW) and read/write support for CD-R/RW discs, the DVD MULTI drive provides users with the convenience of being able to choose the format and capacity that best meets their needs.  When combined with Ulead's VR-enabled video editing software, DVD MULTI drive users can also share content with other entertainment devices. Consumers who own DVD-RAM/R camcorders or DVD set top recorders that support the VR format can edit and write video back to the VR format or convert the video file to a DVD-video format (DVD-R/RW or VCD discs) for more viewing options. Videos can be edited and burned to the same DVD-RAM disc up to 100,000 times without loss of quality.

DVD MovieFactory 2 is currently available in retail stores, catalogs and online stores for an estimated street price of $49.95, while VideoStudio 7 is available for an estimated street price of $99.95. MediaStudio Pro 7 will be available in March 2003 for an estimated street price of $495.

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Bluefish444 Now Compatible with Curious Software for Windows 2000 & Windows XP

Bluefish444 has announced that its range of 10-bit uncompreseed SD & HD SDI video cards are now compatible with Curious Software's 'Curious World Maps' for the Windows 2000 & Windows XP operating systems. The cross-platform compatibility is made possible via the use of Bluefish444's new Quicktime drivers. Bluefish444 Deepblue and Iridium products are available immediately from all Bluefish444 resellers and are priced from $1,495.

Bluefish444 is a division and brand name of Digital Voodoo (Australia) Pty Ltd. based in S. Melbourne, Australia.  It is a leading supplier of uncompressed video cards for the Windows operating systems. Its video cards are used by a number of OEMs specializing in broadcast solutions.

Curious Software is an software company founded in May, 1999. The company's aim is to make high quality professional information graphics available to those creating content for the television, post-production, Internet and corporate graphics industries. Curious Software products provide tools that allow users to create animations and presentations. Their series of professional products are all based on a generic multi-layered animation engine, designed to accelerate the creation of the highest quality graphics.

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