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Streaming Media
April 11, 2003

Table of Contents

Sony Introduces New 4x DVD+RW Capable Drives
Aurora Video Systems Announces IgniterX Family of Video Editing Tools
Digital Rapids Introduces Stream 500p Video Capture and Streaming Solution for Laptops
Dell Expands Thin & Light Notebook Offerings with Value-Priced Notebooks
Sorenson Media Collaborates with Avid to Launch Integrated Editing Software
Philips Adds High-End Features to its DVD+R/+RW Design
Avid Chooses Sonic ReelDVD for Avid Xpress DV 3.5 PowerPack Bundle

Sony Introduces New 4x DVD+RW Capable Drives

Sony Electronics is introducing two new Dual RW drives that support 4X DVD+RW recording.  Sony's Dual RW drives are among the first combination drives for the PC to support the DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW, and DVD-R formats.

Sony's next-generation Dual RW drives, the internal DRU-510A and the external DRX-510UL, are the first DVD+R/DVD+RW drives in the industry capable of recording to compatible 4X DVD+RW discs at up to 4X speeds, which enables users to burn a full 4X DVD+RW certified disc in about 15 minutes. The drives also support up to 4X DVD+R and DVD-R recording, as well as 2X DVD-R, 24X CD-R, and 16X CD-RW recording, making them among the fastest and most proficient on the market.

Like their predecessors, the DRU-510A and DRX-510UL combine the DVD-rewriteable (DVD+RW/-RW) formats with the DVD write-once (DVD+R/-R) formats for the utmost in recording functionality and playback compatibility.  By allowing consumers to write to all of the popular DVD and CD standards, Sony's Dual RW drives eliminate the confusion and risk sometimes associated with DVD recording.

The internal DRU-510A drive comes with an ATAPI interface for easy installation inside a PC, while the external DRX-510UL drive features both an FireWire and a hi-speed USB 2.0 interface for simple set-up and maximum flexibility.

Both Dual RW drives come with DVD/CD burning and video editing, authoring and mastering software.  The full-featured software suite also includes backup and packet-writing software for users to easily create custom backup discs of up to 4.7 gigabytes of audio, video and data, along with software to organize music files on a PC and record them onto a CD or DVD.  The software suite includes:

• VERITAS RecordNow DX mastering software that allows users to create custom CDs and DVDs, in addition to creating backup copies of CDs or DVD-ROMs
• VERITAS Simple Backup which is full-featured backup and data recovery software that provides users instant backup and disaster recovery capabilities
• VERITAS DLA packet-writing software that enables users to format, drag-and-drop or delete files similar to a hard drive or floppy disk
• Sonic Solutions MyDVD authoring software that allows users to quickly and easily transfer home videos to DVD-video and Video CD discs
• Arcsoft ShowBiz video editing software for customizing video footage with easy import/export to and from the Sonic Solutions MyDVD software
• CyberLink PowerDVD DVD-Video playing software that enables interactive viewing of both DVD-Video and Video CD discs on a PC
• MUSICMATCH Jukebox personal music system for playing, recording, organizing, and discovering new music with a guide to thousands of streams of personalized music programming

The internal DRU-510A Dual RW drive will be available in early May for an estimated retail price of under $350, and the external DRX-510UL model will be available in June for less than $430. Sony supports what it calls "worry-free" installation and easy operation with toll-free customer and technical service, Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CST, along with a one-year limited warranty from the original date of purchase.


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Aurora Video Systems Announces IgniterX Family of Video Editing Tools

Aurora Video Systems Inc., a leading provider of video editing systems exclusively for Macintosh systems, has announced immediate availability of its next-generation family of Igniter video editing tools, IgniterX. The new suite of products provides all film and video professionals using Final Cut Pro on Mac OS X with high productivity, high quality, and ease-of-use features for greater creative and technical control. The announcement was made at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), held at the Las Vegas Convention Center earlier this week.

New IgniterX features include the following:

• Multiple Codec Support: IgniterX cards can use uncompressed files from many popular solutions for greater compatibility.
• Highest Quality QT Video Codec: Along with 8-bit codecs, Aurora Video Systems introduces the 10-bit eXtreme codec. Using proprietary algorithms, the Aurora 10-bit eXtreme codec provides maximum accuracy over standard 10-bit codecs for easier and highest quality compositing and rendering.
• Real-Time Graphic Overlays with Alpha and Gain: When working on an uncompressed timeline, graphics can be added with real-time playback capability. Additionally, users can fade titles and video overlays in and out.
• Multiple Uncompressed Formats in One Timeline: The ability to drop any uncompressed file into a timeline without the need for rendering.
• Keyframing: All RT effects can now be keyframed and nested as much as is required.
• Scalability: From the IgniterX Lite to the full-featured IgniterX Studio, all IgniterX products are fully scalable to grow with the needs of its users.

IgniterX builds on the success of earlier Igniter family products while retaining such strengths as true 24fps and 23.976fps support, hardware MJPEG compression, low system resource requirements, and user-selectable field ordering.


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Digital Rapids Introduces Stream 500p Video Capture and Streaming Solution for Laptops

Digital Rapids Corporation announced today the Stream 500p a new portable solution for laptops that allows professional quality video capture, encoding, and streaming at remote locations.  The Stream 500p is an external expansion unit which plugs into the cardbus slot of existing laptops. It is among the first laptop solutions to support high quality video and audio pre-processing along with multi-format video and audio encoding.

Stream 500p supports the following capture formats:

• Lossless Compression
• Uncompressed
• Windows Media 9
• Real Helix
• MPEG 1
• MPEG 2 (4:2:0 or 4:2:2)

Stream 500p video inputs include the following:

• S-Video
• Composite
• Component (option)
• SDI (option)
• DV (option)

Stream 500p audio inputs include the following:

• Unbalanced (RCA)
• Balanced Audio (two stereo pairs)
• AES (option)
• DV (option)
• SDI (option)


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Dell Expands Thin & Light Notebook Offerings with Value-Priced Notebooks

Dell has announced two thin & light notebook computers that are easy to carry, easy to use, and easy on the budget. The Latitude D500 and the Inspiron 500m feature the new Intel Pentium M processor and start at prices of less than $1,200.

Featuring a sleek moonlight silver design, the Inspiron 500m notebook computer is designed for small businesses, students and consumers who demand powerful mobile computing and connectivity. The Inspiron 500m supports Intel's Centrino Mobile Technology capability, and features impressive battery life—up to four hours—in an easy-to-carry form factor that delivers many wireless connectivity options. Customers can choose Intel's Pro/Wireless 2100 (802.11b compatible) for $49, Dell's TrueMobile 1300 (802.11b/g compatible) for $69 or, TrueMobile 1400 (802.11a/b/g compatible) for $89 as wireless solutions, as well as integrated Bluetooth capability at the time of purchase for $49.

Weighing less than 5.5 pounds, the Inspiron 500m is a powerful notebook that can handle photo editing, music management, productivity applications, or DVD viewing. Optional integrated wireless solutions enable users to stay connected in public wireless hotspots such as coffee shops, student unions, and airports. In addition, two USB 2.0 ports make transferring music files and digital video files quick and efficient.

The notebook, with Venice blue accents (pictured), also includes Dell's QuickSnap personalization color kits that snap on and cover the entire LCD back of the notebook. Available for $39.99, colors include Venice Blue, Red Lava, Bamboo, Graphite Swirl and Burlwood.

Starting at $1,199, the Inspiron 500m includes an Intel Pentium M processor at 1.3 GHz, 128 MB DDR shared SDRAM, 14.1-inch XGA display, a 20GB hard drive and one-year limited warranty. A configuration with Intel's Centrino Mobile Technology including an Intel Pentium M processor at 1.4 GHz and Intel Pro/Wireless 2100 wireless (802.11b) card, as well as 256MB DDR shared SDRAM, 14.1-inch XGA home display, 30GB hard dive, and 24X CD-RW/DVD combination drive is priced at $1,629.

The Latitude D500 is the latest member of the recently unveiled Latitude D-Family portfolio, and especially appeals to price-sensitive education customers and small and medium businesses with a networked environment, providing true mobility without sacrificing reliability, flexibility or performance.

Starting at $1,199, the D500 features Intel's new Centrino Mobile Technology. The D500 comes standard with Intel's PRO/Wireless 2100 (802.11b compatible) card, or customers can choose Dell's TrueMobile 1300 (802.11b/g compatible) or TrueMobile 1400 (802.11a/b/g compatible) wireless solutions.

For desktop functionality and convenience, D500 users have the option of the D/Port advanced port replicator, as well as the new space-saving D/View notebook stand. This unique accessory takes advantage of the new bottom docking port, allowing users to elevate the notebook display to eye-level and making an external monitor optional.


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Sorenson Media Collaborates with Avid to Launch Integrated Editing Software

Sorenson Media announced earlier that Avid Technology Inc. will integrate a customized version of Sorenson Media's Sorenson Squeeze 3 Compression Suite encoding software into the new Avid Xpress Pro nonlinear editing software. The customized version of Sorenson Squeeze 3 Compression Suite for Mac OS X enables Avid Xpress Pro editors to deliver encoded video for Apple QuickTime, Macromedia Flash and MPEG-4 (including Visual Simple Profile and Visual Advanced Simple Profile). Additionally, the Windows version includes support for MPEG-1, MPEG-2, RealNetworks RealMedia 9, and Microsoft Windows Media 7, 8, and 9 formats.

Through the Avid Xpress Pro interface, Avid video editors are able to send their video files directly to Sorenson Squeeze 3 Compression Suite without having to export intermediate files. As a result, editors can quickly compress and produce high quality video into a wide variety of popular formats for streaming, progressive download, and portable media including DVD, VCD, and SVCD delivery.

The customized version of Sorenson Squeeze 3 Compression Suite supports One-Pass and Two-Pass Variable Bit Rate (VBR) encoding and offers advanced features. Intelligent presets automatically adjust the bit rate, frame rate, filter controls, and many other settings without requiring a video editor to master the intricacies of video encoding. By editing the presets, video producers have complete access to fully adjustable advanced settings. Video editors are also able to save their own settings and batch process video files through the use of Watch Folders.

Avid will bundle the customized Sorenson Squeeze 3 Compression Suite in the upcoming version of Avid Xpress Pro software, currently planned for shipment in Q2 2003. Pricing for the Avid Xpress Pro software is $1,695 MSRP, with Windows XP and Macintosh OS X versions included in one box.

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Philips Adds High-End Features to its DVD+R/+RW Design

Royal Philips Electronics announced today it has added enhanced functionalities to Philips Nexperia DVD+R/+RW reference design. By integrating Philips Nexperia media processors (such as the pnx1300 or pnx1500) with pnx7100 MPEG codecs at the heart of the system solution, Philips is offering consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers the ability to differentiate its end products based on a single flexible platform. In addition to the easy-to-use DVD+R/+RW recording functions, additional high-end features on the finished device may include the ability to connect to the Internet and process multiple media formats like MPEG-4 and DivX.

Philips Nexperia media processors include an Ethernet controller for Internet connectivity—the first step to any connected home. The media processor then offers compatibility with all of the leading multi-format streaming media standards such as MPEG-4, H.264, and DivX.

Philips Nexperia DVD+R/+RW reference design is based on a front-end solution built around the Nexperia pnx7850 processor and an OPU manufactured by Philips. The back-end solution is built upon the Nexperia pnx7100, a single-chip AVG (Audio/Video/Graphics) MPEG-2 codec. Philips Nexperia family of media processors is powered by a high performance TriMedia CPU core with additional instructions for optimized MPEG video processing. Fabricated in a low-power 0.13-Micron process, it is a power-efficient, high-performance, multi-format media processor for a variety of CE applications. Philips has combined both the pnx7100 and pnx1300/pnx1500 onto one platform.

A demonstration of the DVD+R/+RW platform complete with Philips Nexperia media processor will be shown this month in Tokyo, Japan, and Seoul, South Korea.


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Avid Chooses Sonic ReelDVD for Avid Xpress DV 3.5 PowerPack Bundle

Sonic Solutions announced at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB) this week that Avid Technology, Inc. will bundle Sonic ReelDVD LE with its Avid Xpress DV v3.5 PowerPack digital video editing software and its successive products.

Based on the same Sonic DVD technology that is among the standards for Hollywood title production, ReelDVD LE offers affordable, professional DVD authoring and is designed to bring the power of DVD publishing to nonlinear video editors. The combination of Sonic's ReelDVD LE and Avid Xpress DV software provides producers and editors with the ability to edit analog or digital video, encode projects to MPEG-2, and author compelling DVD titles with motion menus, exciting still and slide shows, multiple audio and subtitle streams, and the highest level of DVD player compatibility. Avid Xpress DV 3.5 PowerPack, featuring ReelDVD LE, was demonstrated at NAB this week.

Avid Xpress DV v3.5 is built on a revolutionary real-time architecture that delivers more than 100 customizable real-time effects, professional-level color correction with waveform and vectorscope analysis, and multiple simultaneous real-time streams—all in software. Users can preview a title, apply a dissolve, perform color correction, and animate a picture-in-picture effect simultaneously—all without rendering. Avid Xpress DV v3.5 software allows users to customize every parameter of every real-time effect and see it all right away.

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