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April 18, 2003

Table of Contents

Microtech Increases Capacity of Xpress CD-R/DVD-R Publishing and Duplication System
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics Introduces XD350U ColorView Projector
Globalstor's TransPro II Wins NAB Award for Innovation in Media
Samsung Announces Production of New Multimedia Cards
MontaVista Linux Powers New Panasonic Broadband TV Tuner
Tvia Unveils MPEG-4 Technology for Embedded Interactive Consumer Devices
Canon Introduces New Elura 50 DV Camcorder
Digital Audio and MP3 Players Turning up the Volume in the Worldwide Market

Microtech Increases Capacity of Xpress CD-R/DVD-R Publishing and Duplication System

Microtech Systems, Inc. has announced a major enhancement to its Xpress CD/DVD publishing and duplication system. Now, Microtech provides support for up to two additional recorders to the Xpress base system, permitting a total of six recorders. When used in conjunction with 48x CD recorders (standard), Xpress is equipped for the production of 80 full CDs per hour.

When coupled with 4x DVD recorders, the Xpress system produces 24 full DVDs per hour; allowing up to 24 hours of unattended operation. The enhanced Xpress system is ideal for users with volume DVD-R manufacturing requirements.

The added capacity is also available for existing Xpress systems already in the field. Systems can easily be upgraded from four drives to the new six drive configuration, dramatically boosting throughput by adding a dual-drive module.

The additional throughput is well balanced by the 600-disc capacity of Xpress. With its embedded PC running the Windows operating system, Xpress is easily integrated within the customer's enterprise network, enabling automated production of CDs, DVDs, or both. Labeling options for output discs include inkjet and/or thermal printing, including over-printing on silk-screened media.

(http://www.microtech.com)

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Mitsubishi Digital Electronics Introduces XD350U ColorView Projector

Mitsubishi, maker of high quality presentation and display products, launched its XD350U ColorView DLP projector this week. At 2500 ANSI lumens, the XD350U ColorView is among the brightest projectors available on the market in a six-pound package, and the brightest in Mitsubishi's ultra-portable line of projectors.

Setup is quick and easy with the XD350U ColorView. Images can be refined with many user-friendly features including both horizontal and vertical keystone correction. The universal remote control unit that ships with the projector can be programmed to operate two additional video sources, such as a DVD player or VCR, switching smoothly between displays and eliminating the need for expensive control systems.

The XD350U ColorView is fully compatible with Mitsubishi Digital's new ProjectorView networking system, which connects its projectors via an external serial-to-Ethernet translator. With ProjectorView, Mitsubishi projectors are instantly connected to a local area network through an assigned IP address and controlled and monitored with a web browser from a node in the LAN or through the Internet.

Attaining accurate colors is possible through the XD350U ColorView's intuitive six-axis color adjustments and dynamic gamma mode controls. sRGB compliance is also supported as a color preset.

The XD350U ColorView has an MSRP of $6,495, and comes with Mitsubishi's full three-year warranty on parts and labor, plus a 90-day warranty on the lamp. And, like all Mitsubishi XGA ColorView projectors, the XD350U ColorView comes with the Express Replacement Assistance Program, a nationwide comprehensive service provided for units under warranty that offers next business-day replacement for down units when or where available.

(http://www.mitsubishi-presentations.com)

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Globalstor's TransPro II Wins NAB Award for Innovation in Media

Globalstor Data Corporation announced earlier that its new TransPro II Digital Dailies Solution was awarded one of the first NAB Awards for Innovation in Media (AIMs), an annual technology awards program debuting at NAB2003. The TransPro II was developed to save broadcast and film professionals valuable video production time and money by burning daily "takes" or "rough cuts" directly to industry standard DVD-R media for convenient, view-anywhere, random access to the day's shoot.

The top five products within each of the Creation, Content Management, and Content Delivery categories received recognition with a 2003 AIM. Three of these products will receive additional recognition when a judging panel composed of key industry editors reviews the AIM-winning technologies to select an overall winner within each product category. The 2003 Editor's Choice Award winners were announced on Thursday, April 17.

NAB2003 took place April 5-10 in Las Vegas, exhibits opened on April 7. The NAB spring convention is the world's largest electronic media show covering the development, delivery and management of professional video and audio content across all mediums.

(http://www.globalstor.com), (http://www.nab.org/conventions/nab2003)

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Samsung Announces Production of New Multimedia Cards

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor memory technology, recently announced mass production of its multimedia cards (MMCs) used in mobile phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, and other handheld products. The MMC line supports high storage capacity and rapid transmission of still photos and moving pictures, which are now essential features of top-end 2.5G and 3G mobile phones. The 128MB card stores 2,500 still photographs, 32 MP3 music files or 20 video minutes.

The MMC line is available in densities of 16MB, 32MB, 64MB, and 128MB in both regular and reduced size versions. The reduced-size multimedia card (RS-MMC) has a form factor of 2.4cm by 1.8cm, approximately half the size of a standard MMC. The use of an extender makes the RS-MMC backward compatible with existing digital camera and PDA models.

Samsung's multimedia cards include a NAND flash memory component and controller. Samsung's MMCs operate on 3.3 volts and can read or write data at 1.3MB/s. Moving picture streams of VGA quality can be stored in real time.

(http://www.samsung.com)

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MontaVista Linux Powers New Panasonic Broadband TV Tuner

MontaVista Software, Inc. recently announced the selection of MontaVista Linux as the development platform and operating system for Broadnow, the new broadband TV tuner from Panasonic.

The Broadnow TV tuner is the first product in Matsushita's new line of Broadband TVs that will allow consumers to experience high quality video, music, and other content distributed through broadband networks such as fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and ADSL, with remote control of video recording via email. MontaVista Software will be displaying the Panasonic Broadnow at its booth (# 2210) at the Embedded Systems Conference, April 23-25, 2003, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

With the rapidly growing use of ADSL and other broadband services, especially in Japan, new broadband content services and new categories of information appliances such as Matsushita's Broadnow TV tuner are emerging in consumer markets, offering consumers new entertainment options in their homes. Consumers in Japan, for example, will now be able to use a convenient remote control unit to easily navigate and select broadband broadcasting program guides from the "On TV Japan BB" service for video content or "iM Radio" service for radio programs. Broadnow incorporates a tuner for the reception of TV broadcasting services and a hard drive, enabling time-shift viewing and use of electronic program guides. Broadnow can be connected to the Internet 24 hours a day so owners can select and record TV programs any time through their mobile phone. This function is called "preprogrammed recording by e-mail."

Broadnow, essentially an advanced Set-top Box, can be connected to a broadband router, hub, or TV broadcasting antenna. It includes an electronic TV program guide using the G-GUIDE mode for analog broadcasting, which enables simple recording of TV programs. TV programs can be recorded to Broadnow's internal hard disk drive and retrieved with ease through a simple and intuitive on-screen menu.

The new Broadband TV tuner is available now exclusively in the Japanese market through PanaSense, a Web-based shopping site run by Matsushita Network Marketing Co., Ltd. MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition is available from MontaVista Software and the company's sales and distribution channels worldwide. It is offered as a product subscription, providing customers with the MontaVista Linux kernel, utilities, development tools, software updates, and access to the MontaVista Zone and full technical support.

(http://www.mvista.com), (http://www.panasonic.com)

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Tvia Unveils MPEG-4 Technology for Embedded Interactive Consumer Devices

Tvia, Inc., a leading provider of multimedia display processors for the advanced TV and emerging display markets, announced earlier that it has unveiled its MPEG-4 software technology designed for embedded systems in consumer products. The TVM4 software technology can be used in enhanced DVD players, interactive TVs, digital video broadcasting set-top boxes, information appliances, and mobile devices that utilize MPEG-4 to perform interactive multimedia applications.

MPEG-4 is the newest international standard for fixed and mobile web multimedia. Developed over five years by the Moving Picture Experts Group of the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization, MPEG-4 is acclaimed by the industry as the convergence technology between the Internet and television. It is believed that MPEG-4 will simplify the development process of interactive content. Whereas interactive content has until now been overlaid onto active video from the client systems, MPEG-4 offers an integrated solution for interactive multimedia. The expected result will be a more enhanced and creative interactive experience. Examples include the ability for a viewer to provide instant feedback relating to a news or entertainment program; to go directly from a broadcast commercial to a website that provides discount coupons and purchase an advertised product; and to simultaneously watch a movie and browse a slide presentation for supplemental information relating to the movie.

Tvia's TVM4 software technology includes all the features of the MPEG-4 industry standard, including superior video quality as compared to VCD (MPEG-1) or DVD (MPEG-2) at a bit rate using as much as 50% less bandwidth. Furthermore, the embedded-centric design of the TVM4 software technology is modular, allowing functions to be scalable to the size and application of the system. Mobile interactive devices, for example, might require more basic features than an advanced interactive set-top box. The optimized design and performance of the TVM4 software technology can be applied to both products. In addition, TVM4 can operate over multiple embedded operating systems including Windows CE and LINUX.

Initial evaluation of the TVM4 software technology can be made by downloading Tvia's TVM4 player for the Windows operating system at www.tvia.com. Users downloading the TVM4 player will gain access to multiple Tvia MPEG-4 files as well as links to other MPEG-4 sites. Tvia Inc. is an active member of the MPEG-4 Industry Forum. More information on M4IF is available at www.m4if.org.

(http://www.tvia.com)

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Canon Introduces New Elura 50 DV Camcorder

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in analog and digital cameras and camcorders, is introducing the new Elura 50 DV camcorder. Along with its exceptional quality digital video and digital photo capabilities, the Elura 50's ultra-compact design makes it the perfect recording companion anywhere your travels take you. The Elura 50 provides Direct Connect print capabilities when used with Canon's CP-10 Card Photo Printer and select Canon Bubble Jet Direct Printers making it easy and fast to print photos at home or while traveling. Distant objects are brought to the forefront by a 10x zoom lens with genuine Canon optics plus a digital zoom from 40x to 400x.

The Elura 50 accepts either a Secure Digital (SD) or Multimedia (MMC) card for recording digital photos. Users can easily select between two picture-quality modes: XGA (1024x768) and VGA (640x480), which in turn can be set to three different resolutions - standard, fine and super-fine - based on the image quality that best suits their needs.

The Canon Elura 50 is the latest in Canon's line of DV camcorders to include a Direct Print feature, allowing users to connect directly to a number of Canon Bubble Jet Direct Printer and the Card Photo Printer CP-10 dye-sublimation printer. Once connected with the supplied USB cable, users can select the image and quantity to be printed, making it easy and fun to print at home and share photos with family and friends.

DIGIC DV provides dual image signal processing capabilities, which can differentiate between the video and digital still formats. DIGIC DV makes it possible to achieve accurate color for both video and digital photos by utilizing two different color techniques to maximize video quality on a TV and still image quality for print or computer display.

The Canon Elura 50 features an exclusive connection circuit called VIC. In the past, multiple chips have been needed to perform the camcorder's input and output functions. However VIC manages it all with one single chip, which results in reliable connectivity whether one is connecting to a computer, TV, or VCR.

Beyond its numerous recording capabilities, the high-quality video and digital photos produced with the Elura 50 can be attributed to a number of key design features including its 1/6-inch, 680,000 pixel CCD image sensor and DIGIC DV processor, which improves the color reproduction for TV playback and printing color photos.

Additional Features include the following:

? 16:9 Widescreen Mode
? Built-In Microphone Terminal
? Integrated Speaker
? Photo Search/Date Search
? Time Code
? Self-Timer
? LANC Terminal

The Elura 50 kit includes two CDs with a suite of helpful software for image management and editing. The Canon Digital Video Solutions CD includes ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) and ImageBrowser (Mac) that make it easy to download, organize, browse and resize digital photos for email. Photo Record, a printing utility that makes it easy to add frames and captions to the images and arrange a page layout for printing, is also included. Photo Stitch makes it easy to import a series of still images and create an extra wide-angle panoramic digital photo.

The Canon Elura 50 comes complete as a kit which includes the camcorder, Battery pack NB-2L, AC adapter CA-PS700, Battery Charger CB-2LT, USB Cable, 8MB SD Memory Card SDC-8M, Wireless Remote WL-D77, S-Video cable S-150, Stereo Video Cable STV-250. The Application Software CD-ROM included in the kit offers a USB Driver, ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) and ImageBrowser (Mac), Photo Stitch, Photo Record (Windows), and Canon DV Messenger.

The Canon Elura 50 DV camcorder kit will be available at dealers nationwide in May and have a suggested retail price of $899.00.

(http://www.canondv.com)

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Digital Audio and MP3 Players Turning up the Volume in the Worldwide Market

According to a recent report from In-Stat/MDR, the digital audio industry is poised to do well, with online subscription services gaining momentum, portable device manufacturers offering an increasing variety of features and devices, and an increase in interest in home jukeboxes and receivers. The high-tech market research cites that consumers have access to an increasing variety of devices and methods to appreciate digital music, including the ability to enjoy music online, from a portable player, or via their living room stereo. Additionally, a growing number of consumer electronics devices, such as DVD players, Personal Video Recorders, and PDAs, are incorporating digital audio technology.

Worldwide portable digital music player unit shipments (including solid state, HDD, CD/MP3, and NetMD products) will grow from about 6.8 million in 2002 to over 36 million in 2007, with hard disk drive-based players experiencing the highest growth rate. CD/MP3 players will have the highest volumes, however, with about 22% of all portable CD players incorporating MP3 technology in 2003.

While online services have introduced their next generation of services, several hurdles remain before this market reaches its potential. According to Cindy Wolf, an Analyst with In-Stat/MDR, "Although subscription services are offering some of what consumers are asking for (streaming, downloading, burning), issues related to service bundling, pricing, and regulations remain. These services will need to attract more subscribers in the coming year in order to continue to be a viable option for consumers."

The home jukebox and receiver markets are still in their infancy, and are growing at a slow rate in terms of volume. "However, the increased penetration of broadband and home networking technologies, and the ability to share content around the house will have a positive affect on this market," says Wolf. Both home jukeboxes and receivers will experience their highest growth in 2004, but jukeboxes will continue to out-ship receivers.

(http://www.instat.com)

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