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Streaming Media
July 22, 2003

Table of Contents

Exatel Announces New Multimedia Home Center
SONY's Lowering Prices On The New 4X DVD+RW Capable Drives
KANO Introduces 4X DVD+RW/R Drives For MACS, PCS
BitJazz Launches Real-Time Nondestructive Video Codec
Apple Offers Premiere Users Easy Switch to Final Cut Pro
Apple Introduces Soundtrack as Standalone Product
PowerFile, Inc. Launches One-Terabyte Optical Storage Library for MAC OS X
Verity Systems Unveils Automatic CD/DVD Printing Solution

Exatel Announces New Multimedia Home Center

Exatel Visual Systems Ltd. a provider of digital video solutions and TV integrated hard disk (HDD) based personal video recorders (PVR), announces its new Multimedia Home Center (MHC), which consists of a multiple-program HDD based PVR, DVD player, DVD recorder, digital set-top box (STB) and networking support on a single compact platform.

Exatel's hardware and software implementation enables simultaneous operation of the MHC functions on a single MPEG-2 encoding/decoding platform.   The MHC accepts analog and digital (satellite feed) simultaneous video inputs and enables live display of a selected program. While several input programs are recorded in real time on HDD, the MHC can playback either HDD files or standard DVD. The DVD recording, either in real-time or from HDD files, is a software upgrade, that will be available by Q3 2003.

A stand-alone HDD PVR and DVD player/recorder platform or add-on of such features to digital STBs is today a clear market requirement. Exatel's solution is an immediate answer to this requirement and may be used as a rapid software upgrade for STB manufacturers.

The MHC will be demonstrated at the IFA Berlin consumer electronics show at the end of August.


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SONY's Lowering Prices On The New 4X DVD+RW Capable Drives

Sony Electronics is lowering prices on the two new Dual RW drives that support 4X DVD+RW recording.  The new prices for these burners have dropped to $309 for the internal model and $379 for the external version.  On top of the price cut, which is now in effect, Sony is offering a $30 mail-in rebate for both drives through the end of the month, so the drives can be purchased for just $279 and $349, respectively.  Sony's Dual RW drives are 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-RW, 24X CD-R and 16X CD-RW 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 i.LINK (IEEE 1394) and a hi-speed USB (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 customized 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 to play, record, organize and discover new music with a guide to thousands of streams  of personalized music programming.


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KANO Introduces 4X DVD+RW/R Drives For MACS, PCS

Kano Technologies has introduced its K4Xtreme 4x DVD+RW/R drive. The new drive is available in an internal model for the PC and external models for both PCs and Macs.  The K4Xtreme has a 4x write speed for both DVD+RW and +R media.  With a storage capacity of 4.7GB per DVD, the K4Xtreme can record an entire DVD in less than 15 minutes.  It can also write to and read CD media at speeds of 24X10X40, and can read DVD-ROM at a speed of 8X.

Using a USB 2.0 or FireWire 400 (1394A) connection, a user can add K2Xtreme DVD+RW burning capability to a PC or Mac laptop or desktop.  PC users opting for the internal model can connect with an IDE interface.

The +R format allows the K4Xtreme to create home movies that play in most set-top DVD players.  K4Xtreme PC models use Roxio DVD Creator 6 to quickly create photo and video archives, business training videos, and promotional videos on DVD.  Roxio features drag-and-drop video, menu backgrounds, video transitions and titles.  The PC models also use WinDVD4 for DVD video playback on a PC desktop.  The K4Xtreme Mac model includes Roxio Toast Lite for audio and video recording and playback.  

All K4Xtreme models have the ability to schedule automated backups.  The PC models offer NTI Backup NOW! and Mac models feature Dantz Retrospect for data backup.  

The K4Xtreme drive comes complete including cables for the external models, drive mount screws, DVD+R and DVD+RW media, and an instruction manual.  MSRPs are:   $199 for the K5240RI-WHT internal model for Windows ; and $299 for the K5240RU external USB 2.0 Windows model and the K5240RF external FireWire Mac model.


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BitJazz Launches Real-Time Nondestructive Video Codec

BitJazz Inc. announces the immediate availability of SheerVideo Pro, its nondestructive software video codec for the production and archival of professional video and film. Designed to replace uncompressed studio-quality RGB[A] and Y'CbCr[A] formats, SheerVideo simultaneously doubles both the speed and the capacity of storage and transmission devices while encoding and decoding on the fly with perfect fidelity.

This technology opens up many new possibilities. For example, with SheerVideo, it's possible to stream uncompressed-quality standard-definition video to or from an ordinary cheap hard disk (without RAID or bleeding-edge spindle speeds) while encoding or decoding on the fly in real time. To take another example, SheerVideo makes it possible to stream uncompressed-quality HD video at the highest definition (1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second) over a single FireWire 800 line, while running SheerVideo on the fly in real time.  SheerVideo encodes and decodes nearly instantaneously.  On a single-CPU 1 GHz G4, SheerVideo compresses 110 MB/s in RAM.

Like Zip and StuffIt, SheerVideo preserves every bit of image data with perfect fidelity. An optional self-check mode decodes each frame  immediately after encoding it and compares the restored image to the  original to verify that it is bit-for-bit identical. In both encoding and decoding, SheerVideo is 100% exact, without any information loss,  noise, approximation, artifacts, or other errors whatsoever. Thanks to  this nondestructive characteristic, SheerVideo is ideally suited for  production and archival, where quality cannot be compromised. In  contrast, destructive codecs such as JPEG, MPEG, DV, and DigiBeta, which degrade the video on every compression and every decompression, are better suited for distribution, where compactness is more important than coding speed and quality.

SheerVideo supports both RGB[A] 8b, for film and computer-generated  imagery, and all popular professional Y'CbCr[A] 8b formats, including  both 4:4:4[:4] and 4:2:2, for native video. Support for 10-bit and 16-bit channels is on the way. SheerVideo supports any resolution, including SD and HD, NTSC and PAL, 4:3 and 16:9, progressive and interlaced. price and availability SheerVideo is implemented as a set of QuickTime codecs, so it can be used with all popular professional video applications, including Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, Pinnacle Commotion, and hundreds more. On Windows, SheerVideo will also be available as a Windows Media (AVI) codec. SheerVideo is currently available for Mac OS X and Mac OS 8/9. PC/Windows and Linux editions are due out later this year.  SheerVideo for Mac includes versions of each codec optimized for both G3 and G4 (AltiVec), and the decoders are multiprocessor-enabled, so it can make the most of whatever processors are available. SheerVideo  Pro costs $149 for a single license, $99 in quantity.


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Apple Offers Premiere Users Easy Switch to Final Cut Pro

Apple announced an easy new way for Adobe Premiere customers on Mac or Windows to switch to Final Cut Express or upgrade to Final Cut Pro 4. Through September 20, 2003, Premiere customers have the choice of trading in their disks for a free copy of Final Cut Express, Apple's industry-leading video editing software optimized for DV, or receiving a $500 rebate from the purchase of Final Cut Pro 4.

Additionally, Apple is offering customers who purchase any new Macintosh computer the opportunity to purchase Final Cut Express at the same time for just $99-a savings of $200 from the suggested retail price.

Video enthusiasts editing in DV can use Final Cut Express to capture, manage, and edit digital video and achieve professional results. Final Cut Express provides users with the ability to apply transitions, titles and video effects in real-time; create composite layers and produce high-quality graphics and animations; and perform color correction. Additionally, Final Cut Express projects can be exported for use in iDVD or DVD Studio Pro, saved back to tape, or exported to any QuickTime format, including MPEG-4.

Final Cut Pro 4 is packed with more than 300 new features including RT Extreme for real-time compositing and effects, powerful new interface customization tools, new high-quality 8- and 10-bit uncompressed formats, full 32-bit floating point per channel video processing, advanced trimming and timeline tools such as support for dynamic and asymmetrical trimming, and enhanced audio editing capabilities with multi-track audio mixing and multi-channel audio output. Final Cut Pro 4 also includes four complimentary applications-LiveType for advanced titling; Soundtrack, an innovative, royalty-free music production tool with over 4,000 royalty-free, professionally-recorded audio loops also available separately for $299 (US); Compressor for full featured batch transcoding; and Cinema Tools for 24 fps capabilities with support for film cut lists and 24-frame EDLs for HD video.


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Apple Introduces Soundtrack as Standalone Product

Apple announced that Soundtrack, royalty-free music production tool previously available only with Final Cut Pro 4, will be available in August as a standalone product for $299 (US). Soundtrack includes more than 4,000 royalty-free, professionally-recorded audio loops and sound effects, giving creative professionals such as video editors, DVD authors and web developers a tool to create high-quality music scores. Soundtrack scales to meet the needs of audio producers, DJs and remix artists who start their projects in Soundtrack and then migrate to a digital audio workstation, such as Logic or Pro Tools, for the rest of their work.

Soundtrack offers creative professionals an intuitive and easy-to-navigate user interface and workflow with each loop treated as an audio building block that users simply drag and drop into a composition. Regardless of the musical key or tempo in which the loop was originally recorded, Soundtrack will match the audio loops and sound effects within a composition in real-time, making the project sound harmonious instantly. Such simplicity is also prevalent in Soundtrack's powerful search engine, which gives users the means to quickly locate desired sounds by instrument, genre or mood. This advanced search engine works with a new open audio format called, "Apple Loops," or any AIFF, WAV, and Acid format audio files.

Soundtrack also ships with over 30 professional, high-quality audio plug-ins from Apple and Emagic. Plug-ins like Platinum Verb, SpectralGate, Multiband Compressor and AutoFilter, enable users to combine effects with individual tracks to create sophisticated audio. Furthermore, Soundtrack's support for Mac(r) OS X's Audio Units plug-in architecture allows users to further expand their capabilities with additional third-party audio effects developed through Apple's open-standard plug-in format.

Soundtrack will be available in August through The Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $299

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PowerFile, Inc. Launches One-Terabyte Optical Storage Library for MAC OS X

PowerFile Inc, a provider of optical storage library solutions, announced the immediate availability of optical storage libraries available for Mac OS X: the C200 MFX and R200 MFX. The new MFX products are priced between $2,799 - $4,799 (MSRP).

PowerFile's read-only solution, the C200 MFX, allows a user to archive, catalog and access up to 200 existing DVD/CD's for access over a network. The read-write PowerFile R200 MFX libraries allow users to publish, archive, catalog and access almost a terabyte of data per unit. The MediaFinder X (MFX) software that comes bundled with the PowerFile C200 and R200, allows users to store and catalog almost any type of DVD/CD easily while providing fast access to those files on the host computer or over a LAN/WAN. The new products are also compatible with most other Mac content management solutions including Cumulus from Canto and Portfolio from Extensis.
The new PowerFile MFX products offer:

* High Capacity - Each PowerFile Library can hold almost a terabyte of optical storage.
* Scalability - A 19" rack mount design and capacity that can scale from 1-5TB's per FireWire (IEEE-1394) connection. Up to 5 units can be daisy-chained to offer up 4.7TB of reliable optical storage capacity.
* Affordability - PowerFile libraries are the most cost effective on the market and the only to support OS X.
* Exclusive Cross-Platform Support - Using an OS X server, share the PowerFile library with Mac OS X, Apple-Share, Windows (CIFS), Unix (NFS), and FTP clients. No client software is required!
* Perfect complement to Apple(r) Xserve RAIDTM and Xserve
* Easy-to-Use - Plug in the library and it appears right on the desktop!
* Automated Disc Management - Discs automatically mount and un-mount as needed.
* Easy Administration - Manage discs by control-clicking on them in the Finder, and work with your PowerFile as if it were a hard drive.
* Easy Configuration- Change the library settings in Mac OS X System Preferences.
* Improved Security Features - Library contents may have Mac OS X user/group privileges assigned to them.
* Easy Catalog and Fast Access - Directory cache is automatically maintained using an included license for DiskTracker for Mac OS X from Portents.
* Integration with Other Mac OS X Applications - The new products are compatible with other Mac applications including Cumulus from Canto and Portfolio from Extensis.


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Verity Systems Unveils Automatic CD/DVD Printing Solution

Verity Systems have introduced the CopyDisc OptiPrinter, an automated system for the high-speed, photo-quality inkjet printing of up to 220 discs at a time. With its high speed, precision robotics the  CopyDisc OptiPrinter will automatically load and unload discs into the OptiPrinter.

The CopyDisc OptiPrinter operates by utilizing Verity Systems' TrueCopy NET software to integrate it into your existing network system, or it can be connected directly to your PC with the  installation of a network card & crossover cable.

Once connected, simply create an image in the design software included then using the "Print to File" feature, create a PRN file and choose the quantity of disc you wish to print. This information can then be sent directly to the CopyDisc OptiPrinter where printing will commence immediately.

The OptiPrinter inkjet CD/DVD printer utilizes HP PhotoREt III precision technology, and offers 4800 dpi photo quality print resolution, delivering stunning color graphics and laser-sharp black text. PhotoREt III works by accurately placing the highest number of tiny inkjet droplets per pixel, much smaller than those of previous printers, at the highest firing frequency and with no compromise in speed. The result is a 16.7 million-color palette, finer color control, perfect clean crisp graphics and faster disc drying times. The OptiPrinter uses standard, cost effective HP color & black print cartridges.


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