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June 17, 2003

Table of Contents

Pioneer Selects Ulead Digital Media Software for New Multi-Format Burner
InterVideo Delivers PC/TV/Camcorder Convergence with New Release of WinDVR 3 Personal Video Recorder Software
First Meeting of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Essential Patent Holders to be Held June 23-24
Yankee Group Says Microsoft and DivX Will Lead the Charge as Internet Video Over Home Networks Gains Momentum
Hitachi Expands DVD Product Line to Include New DVD-RAM, DVD-R Recorder
Certance Delivers 5th Generation DDS Tape Solutions with DAT 72 and TapeStor DAT 72
Optical Storage Technology Association Publishes 'Understanding CD-R and CD-RW'
SAI announces Blu-ray Disc File System Developer Toolkit

Pioneer Selects Ulead Digital Media Software for New Multi-Format Burner

Ulead Systems, Inc., a developer of video editing, image editing and DVD authoring software, announced a North American agreement to include special editions of VideoStudio 7, DVD MovieFactory 2, DVD PictureShow 2, as well as Ulead DVD player software and burning technology with Pioneer Electronics  Inc.'s new multi-format DVR-A06 DVD/CD writer. The Pioneer drive, coupled with Ulead digital media software, gives consumers a fully-integrated, multi-format solution for editing video content, transforming video into Hollywood-like DVDs, and creating digital image slideshows. Consumers can burn final digital projects to CDs or DVDs in both the DVD-R/RW and +R/RW formats to watch on TV or a computer.

The DVR-A06 will be available in North America in June at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $329.

The Ulead suite is able to handle a variety of formats including the VR (video recording) format. Using Ulead software, consumers who own a DVD camcorder or DVD set top recorder now have a way to edit home videos, create DVDs and watch finished movies on a variety of entertainment devices.

www.ulead.com

(http://www.ulead.com )

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InterVideo Delivers PC/TV/Camcorder Convergence with New Release of WinDVR 3 Personal Video Recorder Software

InterVideo, Inc. announced the release of WinDVR 3, the latest version of its Digital Video Recorder (DVR)) software. In addition to recording TV programs on a PC hard drive for future viewing and providing time-shifting options that allow users to skip commercials, pause and replay live TV, WinDVR 3 now offers new Digital Video (DV) Camcorder Control and File Conversion features. By combining these capabilities with VCD/SVCD/DVD recording features, WinDVR 3 delivers desktop PC/TV/Camcorder convergence and video quality.

WinDVR 3 is based on InterVideo's real-time MPEG-1/2 encoding technology which allows AVI files to be encoded to SVCD- and DVD-compliant MPEG-2 files or VCD-compliant MPEG-1 files. The encoder can also be used to encode to MPEG in real-time while receiving a DV signal from a camcorder via a FireWire connector. The encoded DVD, VCD & SVCD files can be played back from the hard drive with WinDVR 3. Encoded files recorded to a DVD or CD disc can be played back using InterVideo's WinDVD, Microsoft's Media Player and other popular MPEG video playback products.

When combined with a TV tuner card, WinDVR 3 provides an alternative to video recorders and monthly subscription fees. Using the free integrated online Electronic Program Guide (EPG) by TitanTV, consumers can quickly find their favorite programs and schedule them for recording or viewing. For added convenience, the software provides multi-tasking capabilities -- users can watch TV while they check email, surf the Web or record another program. They can also preview up to 16 channels simultaneously to quickly scan available programs. And, with built-in time-shift recording capabilities, WinDVR 3 users can avoid missing part of their TV program if there's an interruption. They can pause at any time, skip commercials or instantly replay a segment.

For future viewing or to make a personalized video, WinDVR 3 can be used to record TV shows to the host PC's hard drive or other storage devices. The VCD, SVCD and DVD-compatible files can then be re-authored by other InterVideo products, such as WinDVD Creator or WinProducer 3, to create a personal video. Utilizing WinDVR 3's CD and DVD burning function, the files can also be used with a DVD/CD burner for output to CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM discs that can be archived and shared.

New to WinDVR 3 is its support for Digital Video (DV) camcorders. Users can now capture video from a DV camcorder via IEEE 1394 support. Files can be captured as AVI or MPEG files, and DV AVI files can be converted back to DV tape for archiving. WinDVR 3 also includes new functions such as fast forward, rewind and advanced seek capabilities to control DV camcorder playback.

To further enhance the consumer's entertainment options, InterVideo has equipped WinDVR 3 with a new module to perform file conversions to MPEG, VCD, SVCD, DVD, and DV files. By combining this feature with the software's authoring and burning functions, WinDVR 3 becomes a very useful tool for creating personal VCDs, SVCDs and DVDs that can be shared with friends and family.

WinDVR 3 is now available on InterVideo's web site www.intervideo.com for $79.95.

(http://www.intervideo.com)

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First Meeting of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Essential Patent Holders to be Held June 23-24

MPEG LA announced that it will convene the first meeting of essential H.264/MPEG-4 AVC patent holders on June 23-24, 2003, to begin the process of determining joint licensing terms and the selection of a licensing administrator in order to make this technology easily accessible to all users.

Patents were submitted by 18 parties for a determination of essentiality to the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard (ITU-T Recommendation H.264 (H.264), Geneva May 2003, and Final Draft International Standard of ISO/IEC 14496-10 (MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC), Pattaya March 2003), and independent patent experts have determined that at least 16 own essential patents, with evaluations still under way.

MPEG LA continues to welcome the submission of patents for an evaluation of their essentiality to the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard by independent patent experts in order to include as much essential intellectual property as possible under one license for the benefit of the marketplace. The objective of this process is to issue joint licensing terms with all possible speed. Initial evaluations were concluded as soon as possible following completion of the final draft standard, and a first meeting of an initial group of essential patent holders is being convened promptly.

In addition, to assure that the joint licensing development process may benefit from the views of parties who potentially may obtain essential patent rights in the future as well as those who currently have them, MPEG LA has expanded its call for essential intellectual property to include essential patent applications. Any owner of a patent application with claims that the owner believes are essential to the Standard and likely to issue in a patent are welcome to submit it for an evaluation of its essentiality by independent patent experts in order potentially to participate in the licensing development process (issued patents would be included in the license). If a patent application with essential claims is found subsequently not to contain essential claims or does not issue as a patent, it will no longer provide a basis for participation.

For each patent or patent application submitted, an initial evaluation fee of US $8,500.00 will be paid to MPEG LA, LLC.

(http://www.mpegla.com)

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Yankee Group Says Microsoft and DivX Will Lead the Charge as Internet Video Over Home Networks Gains Momentum

A new Yankee Group research note, "Who Will Win the Format Battle for Internet Video Downloads?," analyzes the leading video formats across multiple criteria, and picked two winners--Microsoft and DivX.

"However, for PC-to-TV content sharing to mature, device manufacturers and content owners must agree on video formats for encoding and content protection that allow seamless content access, management, and playback," according to analyst Ryan Jones.

The research analyzed formats from Real, Microsoft and DivX along various dimensions including playback quality, security, cost, and industry momentum.

"DivX leads today because of support from the global file trading community and because chipset vendors have been quick to market with affordable decoding solutions. Yet content owners prefer the overall quality and security the Microsoft solution offers. Ultimately, device manufacturers will be able to integrate both formats into their designs," says Jones.

Jones predicts the retail industry soon will feel the impact of these format winners. "Expect 30 to 50 percent of DVD players to have either one or both of these formats by the end of 2004, as video chipset manufacturers refine and economize components, content owners become more comfortable with Internet content distribution, and consumers seek out new video content on the Web."

(http://www.yankeegroup.com)

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Hitachi Expands DVD Product Line to Include New DVD-RAM, DVD-R Recorder

The Home Electronics Division of Hitachi America Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., announced the addition of a DVD recorder to its 2003 product line, the DVRX5000U. Hitachi's first-generation DVD recorder, the DVD-RAM, DVD-R compatible DVRX5000U, is a progressive scan DVD player that records to DVD-R disks, considered the most universal of recordable DVD formats, and DVD-RAM, a format that uniquely allows users to watch the beginning of a recording while the DVD recorder is still recording the end of the program.

The DVRX5000U can play back in a range of formats, including DVD-R, DVD-RAM, DVD-Video, CD-Audio, Video CD and CD-R/RW. The unit also features functions such as chasing playback, time slip recording, and simultaneous recording and playback.

The DVRX5000U features four recording modes (XP/SP/LP/EP) and a range of connectivity options, including component (Y, Pb, Pr), S-video and composite video outputs. Additional features include a multi-brand TV remote control, built-in 125 channel tuner with auto tuner presetting, VCR+ Programming and play list playback, a way to delete and rearrange recorded material.

The DVRX50000U is scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2003 and will retail for $549.99.

(http://www.hitachi.com)

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Certance Delivers 5th Generation DDS Tape Solutions with DAT 72 and TapeStor DAT 72

Certance, a world leader in cost-effective data protection,  announced the immediate availability of its DAT 72 tape drives and TapeStor DAT 72 bundled solutions. DAT 72 solutions offer the highest capacity and performance of any DDS technology solution on the market.

Certance's new DAT 72 drives provide users with an 80 percent increase in capacity, with compressed capacity of up to 72 gigabytes (GB) per data cartridge, and a 25 percent increase in transfer rates of up to 25.2 GB per hour over DDS-4 technology. In addition, Certance's DAT 72 tape solutions maintain backward read-and-write compatibility with previous DDS generations.

The additions to Certance's comprehensive line of DDS technology offerings are based on the latest, 5th generation DDS technology. DAT 72 by Certance, a Seagate affiliate, introduces a new proprietary feature, Fragment Assembly, improving data integrity and interchange as part of a backup for performance workstations and entry-level servers.

The DAT 72 family incorporates features such as an environmental-sealed chamber for the head-to-tape interface and a sapphire media-cleaning blade to virtually eliminate airborne and media-based contaminants as well as automated head and capstan cleaning mechanisms that remove debris during normal tape operations.  Certance DAT 72 tape drives are available in internal and external configurations in both drive-only and TapeStor bundled versions..

Product models include DAT 72 Internal CD72LWH-S) at MSRP $1149; DAT 72 External (CD72LWE-S) at MSRP $1299; TapeStor DAT 72 Internal (CD72LWH-TSS) at MSRP $1249; and TapeStor DAT 72 External (CD72LWE-TSS) at MSRP $1499.

(http://www.certance.com.)

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Optical Storage Technology Association Publishes 'Understanding CD-R and CD-RW'

The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) announced publication of a comprehensive reference guide, "Understanding CD-R and CD-RW," on its website.  The 50-page white paper seeks to answer basic questions about CD-R and CD-RW product technology in an understandable and accessible way.

This reference guide to recordable compact disc technology is a completely updated replacement for OSTA's original "CD-Recordable and CD-ReWritable Questions and Answers."

The new guide covers a wide range of both basic and technical information about recordable compact disc technology.  Highlights include an overview of recording hardware and software, recording speed, disc size and capacity, as well as information on recording audio and digital pictures on CD.  Physical, logical and file system standards are also reviewed, along with physical compatibility.   Additional chapters cover duplication, replication and publishing, disc labeling, disc handling, storage and disposal, longevity, testing and verification, and disc construction and manufacturing.

(http://www.osta.org)

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SAI announces Blu-ray Disc File System Developer Toolkit

Software Architects, Inc., supplier of disk drive utilities that use the Universal Disk Format (UDF), announced the commercial release of its Blu-ray Disc File System developer toolkit for MS Windows. Targeted at developers of video and data storage applications, version 1.0 provides developers with an API to the file system and related formatting code.  

The toolkit allows application developers to format media to the Blu-ray File System format, read, write, append and erase files and handle all operations required to support removable optical media in Windows environments. The toolkit API includes over 100 calls to the file system and formatter.

Targeted at next-generation Blue Laser optical discs, the toolkit supports most removable media types, including recordable DVD.

The Blu-ray Disc Founders Group specifies Blu-ray Disc File System format files for use on
new high-capacity video recorders that use "blue laser" writing technology. Most blue laser-based, high-capacity consumer video recorders are expected to use this format, which is optimized for handling future high definition digital video broadcasts and recordings.  This format is completely different than the UDF format currently used on all DVD video disks and recordable DVD media.  

Developer License Pricing starts at  $15,000.00. Support for Win 98 & ME available in July 2003. Win 2000 & XP support available in August 2003.

(http://www.softarch.com)

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