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September 12, 2003

Table of Contents

Sharp Ships New 37-Inch 16:9 LCD Monitor
Philips Announces Five New Licensees for its 8X Nexperia DVD+R/RW Reference Design for Set-Top Recorders
MainConcept Releases MPEG Encoder 1.4
Maxell Announces Across-the-Board Price Hike on All CD-R Media
Intel Launches New Processors for Digital Imaging Products
New Plug-ins From Algolith Provide eyeon Digital Fusion 4 Users With Advanced Image Processing Techniques
HEURIS Announces ConnexIT OS X QuickTime Plug-In for Panasonic DVD-Multi Drive
Panasonic Introduces Centrino-Based Toughbook CF-29 Offering Simultaneous Support for Six Communications Devices

Sharp Ships New 37-Inch 16:9 LCD Monitor

Sharp Electronics has shipped the LC-M3700, a 37-inch LCD video monitor available for an MSRP of $7995. This marks Sharp's inaugural entry into the market of professional LCD video/data monitors.  Sharp electronics is the U.S. sales and marketing subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, a worldwide participant in liquid crystal display (LCD) technology.

The LC-M3700 is designed with tamper-proof
security features and wide viewing angles, according to Sharp, and   is compatible with digital television input signals, PCs, and multiple computer resolutions.  The LC-M3700 incorporates component video inputs and provides optimal viewing for video sources from HDTV signals to DVDs. When paired with television inputs, the LC-M3700 offers a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366 native resolution for HDTV display.  The monitor contains a non-glare screen, offering low reflectivity, and delivers a contrast ratio of 800:1. With a 170 degree viewing angle, a picture can be seen from a variety of areas.

TheLC-M3700's backlight has a 60,000-hour life, nearly double the life expectancy of similarly sized plasma models.  Unlike plasma displays and some competitive LCD models, the LC-M3700 contains a replaceable backlight, serving to indefinitely extend the unit's life. It also features a Black TFT/Bright Pixel Elimination function that ensures the invisibility of failed pixels.  The LC-M3700 offers low reflectivity, which heightens the perceived image contrast when viewed in a well-lit space.  Higher contrast allows viewers to discern details they might otherwise miss in dark scenes.

Measuring 38.3" (W) by 24" (H) by 3.9-" (D), and weighing less than 44 lbs, the LC-M3700 is intended for use in integrated information systems. The monitor is backed by a one-year parts and labor warranty.

(http://www.sharplcd.com )

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Philips Announces Five New Licensees for its 8X Nexperia DVD+R/RW Reference Design for Set-Top Recorders

Royal Philips Electronics has five additional manufacturers who will use its Nexperia 8X DVD+R/RW turnkey reference design. These include Changhong, Skyworth, Argus Electronics, Syber and Xingqiu.

Philips was the first company to offer a complete reference design for DVD+R/+RW digital video recorders. Since its introduction in Q4 2002, Philips' complete system solution has been used in DVD recording devices from Daewoo Electronics, Mico Electric, Tae Young Telstar, Vestel, Quanta Storage Inc., and BenQ.

(http:// www.semiconductors.philips.com)

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MainConcept Releases MPEG Encoder 1.4

MainConcept has released MPEG Encoder 1.4, a Windows-based software encoding tool featuring two-pass encoding, real-time MPEG capture from analog and DV sources, Quick time import, WAV audio export, smart rendering, 4:2:2 support, image flip cropping, and scaling. This new version of MainConcept's software is available for purchase at $149 and is a free upgrade for existing registered users at MainConcept's Web site.  A free demo version is also available.  The release of Mac and Linux versions is planned before the end of 2003.

(http://www.mainconcept.com)

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Maxell Announces Across-the-Board Price Hike on All CD-R Media

Maxell Corporation of America has announced that it will increase prices on all of its CD-R media products, effective immediately. Although the exact amount of the increase is still under consideration, the company expects it to be from 10% to 15%.

"Due to escalating demand for DVD media that has surpassed anyone's expectations or forecasts, factory capacity has had to be shifted from CD-R to DVD production," explained Don Patrican, executive vice president of Maxell. "The shift will bring the CD-R supply-demand ratio into balance for the first time and will create the potential for tight inventories of CD-R products. This combined with an increase in petrochemical costs has caused our suppliers to increase their prices to us and we have no choice but to pass the price increase on to our customers. We feel that while we may be the first to announce CD-R price increases, we will certainly not be the only supplier to do so."

Patrican added that for the foreseeable future the combined volume demand for CD-R and DVD will stretch manufacturing capacity worldwide for disc-based products."The days of price elasticity due to excess factory capacity are over," Patrican said.

(http://www.maxell.com)

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Intel Launches New Processors for Digital Imaging Products

Intel has unveiled two high-performance, programmable digital media microprocessors, the MXP5800 and MXP5400.  Developed in cooperation with Xerox, the media processors have been optimized for the document imaging marketing segment and are being sampled by manufactures worldwide.  During the joint development effort, Xerox helped to refine the processor's design by mapping complex document imaging algorithms to the processor as it was being developed. This step was taken to assure the processor's suitability for document imaging applications.

With the combination of high-performance, custom-made, application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC), and the programmability of a microprocessor, the Intel MXP5800 and MXP5400 can perform complex tasks required of mid-range and high-end digital imaging products. The MXP5800 incorporates a scalable array of eight compute engines that combine data flow-driven processors and specialized hardware accelerators to achieve high performance in digital media processing tasks. The MXP5400 contains four compute engines.

Functioning in applications of digital copiers, scanners, printers and multifunction devices, these processors reduce the development costs and design cycles for document imaging manufacturers.  The result is products with ASIC-like performance that are based upon programmable silicon building blocks.

The multiple compute engines inside the processor are independently programmable; thus, each can perform a different operation in parallel.  Furthermore, the programmability of the two media processors leaves room for continual upgrades and improvements.  Manufacturers are able to add new features and capabilities via software either during the design cycle or as an upgrade afther the products are already in use.  They can also use the MXP5800 and MXP5400 across multiple product lines rather than designing and manufacturing a different ASIC for each product.

Manufacturers can purchase the Intel MXP5800 digital media processor development kit for $2,995. It includes the new digital media processor, PCI development card, programming tools, sample code and documentation. The MXP5800 is priced at $68 in quantities of 10,000, while the MXP5400 is priced at $51 in quantities of 10,000. Both will be available in volume by the end of the year.

(http://www.intel.com/go/imageprocessing)

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New Plug-ins From Algolith Provide eyeon Digital Fusion 4 Users With Advanced Image Processing Techniques

Algolith, Inc., a spin-off of Miranda Technologies and a new provider of digital visual effects plug-ins for the film, post-production, and video industry,  has developed a series of Algolith Plug-ins for Digital Fusion 4, eyeon software's flagship compositing and visual effects solution. The Algolith plug-in pack offers state-of-the-art image processing techniques that can easily transform any film, computer-generated, or video image.

Algolith Plug-ins integrate into the Digital Fusion user interface and include many useful tools such as up/down scaling, de-interlacing, format and frame-rate conversion, and three-dimensional digital and mosquito noise reduction. Algolith Plug-ins are resolution-independent and include multiprocessor support for faster rendering.

With the new Algolith Plug-ins for Digital Fusion 4, digital artists will be able to scale, format convert, de-interlace, anti-alias, frame-rate convert, clean up, and noise reduce more effectively and efficiently film, video, and computer-generated images, including DCT-compressed material such as DVDs and DV.

Algolith Plug-ins for Digital Fusion 4 will be available this fall. Prices range from $295 for the Algolith Anti-Aliaser (AAA) to $795 for Algolith Frame-Rate Converter GUI versions. Render nodes pricing varies from $95 to $245 for one to five CPUs and even less for six or more.

(http://www.algolith.com)

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HEURIS Announces ConnexIT OS X QuickTime Plug-In for Panasonic DVD-Multi Drive

HEURIS software has developed a QuickTime plug-in specifically for A/V and PC convergence between Panasonic DVD-RAM products. With DVD ConnexIT for Apple OSX and QuickTime, it is now possible to make movies on DVD in one easy step, without cables or wiring, according to HEURIS.  

This one-step process is made possible through the introduction of Software Architect's ReadDVD! v2.0 UDF file system reader for Mac OS X. The utility mounts and reads UDF-formatted discs, including VR-formatted media, on any Apple Mac system. The software simply represents the recordable disc as a drive icon on the Apple "desktop."  ReadDVD! is compliant with all DVD Forum and OSTA (Optical Storage Technology Association) recording specifications.

Along with a compatible, Mac-attached Panasonic OEM SW-9571 CYY DVD Multi drive, these new tools allow OSX users to seamlessy convert and read material recorded on their DVD recorder.  Furthermore, this material can be played from within QuickTime Movie Player, or edited with a QuickTime-based editing tool such as Final Cut Pro.

The HEURIS software for the Panasonic OEM DVD MULTI Drive includes  direct read capability for RTRW file format, instant access to video data on DVD-VR discs, and support for programs and playlists within DVD-VR.  The ConnexIT also can also export to any digital format available in compatible NLE systems, according to HEURIS, and features support for all Panasonic DVD recorders, Panasonic DVD cameras, and Hitachi DVD cameras.

HEURIS' DVD ConnexIT technology is available for licensing and OEM arrangements. Interested parties should contact Brian Quandt at bquandt@heuris.com, 314-534-1514.  Software Architects' ReadDVD! is available for $39.95 US and the WriteDVD! upgrade for OSX will be available in Fall 2003 for $39.95. For information about ReadDVD!

(http://www.heuris.com), (http://www.softarch.com)

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Panasonic Introduces Centrino-Based Toughbook CF-29 Offering Simultaneous Support for Six Communications Devices

"Faster, lighter and more durable" is how Panasonic Computer Solutions Company characterizes their new and recently released Toughbook.Panasonic claims the CF-29 as the new gold standard in high-performance, MIL-STD-810F, wireless-enabled notebook computers.

Based on Intel's Centrinomobility platform, the 7.9 lb.moisture,dust and impact-resistant CF-29 features boasts enhancements in chassis design, ruggedization, wireless connectivity, and touchscreen display technology.

Performance features include the following:  a low-voltage 1.2GHz PentiumM CPU with 1MB on-die L2 cache, 256MB DDR-SDRAM (768MB max.), 40GB hardened hard drive, shock-and-vibration-dampened 13.3-inch XGA outdoor-readable display with optional touchscreen, and integrated 802.11b, Bluetooth, wide-area wireless, and GPS support.

Utilizing Intel's Centrino system architecture, 1.2GHz low-voltage Pentium M CPU, and 855GM graphics controller embedded chipset, the CF-29 flies through both standard business and custom industrial/public service agency applications.  Its embedded technologies serve as a stack manager to simplify internal CPU auditing, micro-ops fusion of system operations, and advanced branch prediction which helps avoid repetitive instruction execution.  
Thirty-two bit color video resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels internal, and 1024 x 768 pixels external, is enhanced by Intel's Extreme Graphics 2 technology and up to 64MB of shared video RAM. The optional touchscreen uses Panasonic's new SuperClear technology for enhanced transparency, gaining 25 percent improvement on brightness over previous model.

Designed in accordance with MIL-STD-810F standards, the CF-29 is the first Toughbook to utilize Panasonic's double-cross-rib technology.  The CF-29 weighs a full pound less than its predecessor, the CF-28 so the rib technology works to increase the rigidity of its lightweight magnesium-alloy case.

Other rugged enhancements include the addition of a dispense gasket for increased water resistance, improved drop-shock resistance, hardened case hinges, enhanced antenna durability, and anti-twist LCD-mounting technology.  Additional rugged enhancements to the CF-29 include a sealed keyboard, display panel, touchpad, multimedia bay, shock-mounting systems such an easily removed hardrive, and connectors to protect against impact, vibration, moisture and dust.

Panasonic has equipped the CF-29 with an array of simultaneously available communications and connectivity options in its class. In addition to Intel Pro/w2100 802.11b wireless LAN support, the new Toughbook supports Bluetooth, GSM/GPRS or 1xRITT/CDMA, GPS, and wired analog modem service. Four ruggedized internal antennas and a chassis redesign simplifies upgrades for customers opting not to have public wireless pre-installed. The CF-29 also offers a simplified upgrade path from one wireless system to another. Wired input and output ports include the following: USB 2.0, 100BASE-TX/10 BASE-T Ethernet, 56K analog modem, serial, parallel, ext. keyboard/mouse, microphone, ext. monitor, and port replicator.

(http://www.panasonic.com)

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