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March 2004 Computer Video Magazine News

H8x speed DVD burning

Latest Pioneer and NEC DVD writers to offer 8x burning to +R/-R discs and 4x to +RW/-RW

Pioneer and NEC are both getting ready to launch DVD burners able to write to DVD-R and DVD+R at 8x, and to -RW and +RW discs at 4x. However, the launches - and those of other comparable burners - don't look likely to go ahead until the DVD Forum ratifies high-speed -R and -RW blank media, something that should take place around January 20.
Both burners - prices still unknown - are said to read DVD discs at 12x and CDs at 40x. Pioneer's offering will be the DVR-A07, which can burn to CD-R and CD-RW discs at 24x. NEC's will be the ND-2500A MultiSpin 8x -/+ Writer, with 32x burning for CD-R and 16x for CD-RW.
Each drive boasts a range of technologies said to ensure error-free and enhanced-quality burns. NEC reckons that the 2500 has an improved version of the company's Active Optimized Power Control (Active OPC) for monitoring writing power and reflection of the media used, and calculating the best laser power and adjusting it in real-time. Among Pioneer's disk technologies is its Liquid Crystal Control system used for precise writing onto the surface of discs that have become warped or are of uneven thickness.
NEC's software bundle is likely to include Sonic's MyDVD 4.5 Video Suite for editing, authoring and burning, plus Ahead Nero 6 copying suite, but the programs are subject to further tests by NEC and could be changed. Pioneer, though, hasn't announced its software bundle, but whatever is chosen is expected to allow capture and editing, DVD authoring and burning, and playback of content.

NEC, 020 8752 3535;
Pioneer, 01753 789789;

Pinnacle upgrades Studio

Support for surround sound and widescreen, and new tools for video and audio enhancement feature in V9 of Pinnacle Studio

Image-stabilisation, auto colour-correction, audio noise-reduction, clean-up tools for analogue video, and support for widescreen and surround sound are the headline new features of Studio 9 - Pinnacle's replacement for its big-selling budget video editing and DVD authoring program, Studio 8.
Sold on its own, Studio 9 will carry an SRP of £59.99 (inc VAT). But, as with Studio 8, the program is being bundled with a wide range of Pinnacle analogue and digital video capture hardware, prices for which range from £79.99 to £199.99. Owners of previous Studio versions can upgrade to V9 for £39.99. Although Pinnacle has made no official announcements.
As well as offering sophisticated editing features, the program has a new automatic movie-creation tool aimed at those who want to produce movies and DVDs without a lot of manual editing. With SmartMovie, users select the video footage, add a favourite music track, and then choose an editing style for the movie - leaving Studio to do the rest, with cuts synchronised to the beat of the music. Well, that's the theory.
Pinnacle says that the new tools for video and audio enhancement mean that, prior to burning to DVD, Studio can rescue poorly-lit footage or brighten old movies; steady shaky footage; remove snow and video noise seen on analogue tapes; and get rid of wind noise, camcorder whine and other background audio problems.
The company reckons that the program's surround sound features give users an intuitive control to place or move the movie's audio within the surround sound space, and create scenes with more dramatic impact. And, it says, the program's ability to support video shot in widescreen will allow users to take full advantage of their big-screen televisions or HD ready monitors.
Although Studio 9 doesn't support industry-standard plug-ins, Pinnacle has opened up the program's architecture to third-party developers, allowing them to produce video and audio plug-ins for Studio that extend users' creative options.
As with Studio 8, movies can also be burned to VCD and SVCD, transferred to tape and saved to the web. With the addition of Pinnacle's ShowCenter hardware (news, p11), movies, slideshows and music tracks can also be enjoyed on a TV set accessing a PC over the home network.
The program is said to fully support Intel's Hyper-Threading processor architecture. Minimum (and recommended) spec is Windows 98SE (Win XP); 800MHz CPU (1.5GHz+); 256MByte RAM (512MByte); DirectX 9-compatible sound and graphics cards (ATI Radeon or Nvidia Geforce 2)

Pinnacle, 01895 442 003;

Edius gets OHCI support

Mk II Canopus Edius video editing program runs on standard
FireWire cards and offers DVD authoring, MPEG editing and real-time render-free MPEG output

Canopus has finally released an OHCI-compliant version of its Edius video editing software (V1.5 review, Feb 04, p54) that can run on standard FireWire cards and ports, not just the company's own hardware - DVStorm, DVStorm2, DVRex RT and DVRex RT Pro.
OHCI support and an SRP of £434 (inc VAT) put version 2 of Edius in the same frame as other fully-featured editing programs - notably Adobe Premiere, Avid Xpress Pro, Pinnacle Edition, Sony Vegas and Ulead MediaStudio Pro - and should enable Canopus to sell a lot more copies, helped along by a number of other significant improvements.
These are said to include DVD authoring direct from the timeline, with chapter support, and the ability to edit MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 files in real-time using Canopus's MPEG Codec technology. The program is also said to make possible real-time, render-free output to DV, uncompressed video and MPEG-1 and MPEG-2. To complete the package, Inscriber TitleMotion is included for creating graphics, titles and motion effects.
Upgrade price is £152, but £234 for owners of the lite version. Recommend specs for running Edius 2 are Windows XP; 512MByte RAM; 2.4GHz P4/Athlon processor. Dual processors and Hyper-Threading CPUs are supported and likely to boost performance significantly.

Canopus UK, 0118 921 0150;

Sony PD170 recall?

Audio hum with LCD screen open stops production of Sony's latest DVCAM camcorder

It's happened again! Readers who remember the audio-hiss problems with some of Sony's DSR-PD150 DVCAM camcorders will be dismayed to learn that the company has stopped production of the PD170 DVCAM camcorder (IBC show report, Dec 03, p6) and looks set to recall the first batch sold.
The fault this time is hum or buzz recorded when filming with the LCD monitor open - see DV Doctor's Global Digital Videographers' Club's Camcorder forum at: Forum15/HTML/000101.html.
The problem is reckoned to be most noticeable when no microphone is used and when the headphone audio out level on screen is set to high. The degree of hum also depends on the position of the screen. When the LCD screen is closed, the hum disappears.
We've yet to receive a response from Sony, but comments posted on the forum indicate that Sony dealers are aware of the issue, and that Sony in Europe has recalled all first-release models.
We think that the noise is probably caused by a simple earthing fault, or a shielding problem where radiation from the LCD backlight's high-voltage inverter is interfering with the audio circuits. We'll update you as soon as we know more, but do keep an eye on that forum thread.

Sony Professional, 0871 871 2020;

Apple updates budget video apps

Added functionality and features bring iLife to V4 and FCE to V2

Apple is updating its consumer-end video programs Final Cut Express and iMovie, and revising the entire iLife software suite, including the DVD-creation package iDVD.
Final Cut Express (review, Jun 03, p54) is a trimmed-down DV version of Final Cut Pro 4 (review, Oct 03, p26). Version 2 is selling for £199 (inc VAT), or £69 for an upgrade. The lead new features in V2 are real-time colour correction tools for colour balancing between clips, and a carryover from FCP - RT Extreme - for real-time compositing and effects of up to five DV streams.
There's also an improved and fully customisable interface, with a new height-adjustable timeline, and a tweaked capture tool that can continue capturing across breaks in timecode on tape and split the footage up into separate clips.
Audio editing enhancements include multi-track support; real-time volume and audio filter adjustments; solo and mute controls in the timeline; and scoring markers for use in Apple's Soundtrack program.
The iLife media management suite (V3 review, May 03, p56) moves to V4 and costs £39 or £15 shipping and handling for the upgrade. It contains iMovie 4, iDVD 4, iPhoto 4 and iTunes 4.2, plus a new easy-to-use music-creation program - GarageBand. This allows users to play, record and create music tracks and comes with 50-plus software instrument samples, 1,000 audio loops and 200 effects presets.
iMovie 4 features new graphical audio waveforms and live audio scrubbing, along with alignment guides to help synchronise audio and video. Other features include live video import from an iSight Webcam and improved movie sharing via the Internet, email or the .Mac HomePage.
iDVD 4 comes with 20 new preset menu themes - some with intro movies and sub-menus. Movies, stills and audio from the other iApps can be added directly to a project via the media browser, and transitions can be added to iDVD-created slideshows and menus. The new DVD Map shows an overview of an entire DVD project.
iPhoto 4 is said to let users scroll through and resize up to 25,000 stills in a matter of seconds. The new time-based photo organiser gives easier access to stills, which can be organised by date, a keyword or the user's own rating. Slideshow options now include cinematic transitions and controls for rotating, rating and deleting photos on the fly. Photos can be shared using Apple's Rendezvous networking technology.
All programs require a minimum of OS X 10.2.6 (or later); a PowerPC G4 processor (or faster); at least 256MByte of RAM for iLife and 384MByte for FCE 2 (512MByte for RT Xtreme); and QuickTime 6.4 or later.

Apple UK, 0800 783 4846;

Toast with Jam 6

Dolby Digital encoding and DVD Audio are among improvements to V6 of Roxio's Mac disc-burning audio suite

Toast with Jam 6, the latest version of Roxio's Mac audio studio suite, promises major enhancements for editors needing high-quality audio for CDs and DVDs. It will be available from March, SRP£150 (inc VAT) or £125 for the upgrade from V5 of the suite or Toast Titanium.
The package consists of the Toast 6 Titanium disc-creation bundle (news, Nov 03, p8) together with Jam 6 audio software. Jam 6's big new feature is Dolby Digital sound encoding for creating professional quality audio for DVD Video and DVD Audio, and this is backed up by Music Album for creating menu-driven DVD Audio discs.
Other highlights include audio mixing and mastering; and the inclusion of Bias Peak Express for editing. The CD and DVD recording side of Toast 6 takes in CD Spin Doctor 2 for audio digitising; Motion Pictures for slide shows; Déjà Vu for data backup; and Discus RE for disc labelling.
Jam 6 can also make professional CD masters and DJ-style CD mixes that can then be burned to disc using the integrated (and 'enhanced') burn-engine. Audio CDs will, Roxio says, be 100 per cent Red Book-compliant. The program has an improved interface, automatic track naming and in-line editing, and more flexible cross-fading. It uses Toast's Universal Audio Converter, said to support any QuickTime format.
Bias Peak Express is for editing 16-bit (48kHz) music files and soundtracks. It launches directly from Jam and Toast, and is the same software included with Apple's video editing program Final Cut Pro (review, Oct 03, p26). The editor can also be used to enhance and clean up audio, and edit QuickTime files. It supports Mac OS X Audio Unit effects, Bias VST plug-in effects and DSP filters.
Files can be dragged-and-dropped from Apple iTunes into DVD Music Album, and the menu-driven DVD Audio discs created are said to hold over 72 hours of music.
Minimum system requirements are OS X 10.2; a PowerMac G3; 200MByte free disk space; and QuickTime 6.

Roxio, 0049 2405 45080;

The missing link?

Pinnacle set-top network box lets you watch/listen on TV to Windows PC content

Pinnacle's ShowCenter could turn out to be the most important product in the company's history. Surprisingly, ShowCenter has nothing to do with video editing - Pinnacle's speciality - but is, instead, a set-top box (SRP £200, inc VAT) that links the user's Windows PC network to a TV set, VCR or AV system. A supplied IR handset, and large menus displayed on the TV set, are used to control access to video, audio and still images held on the user's PC network.
ShowCenter comes ready to connect to a network via 10/100Base-T Ethernet, and has a PCMCIA card slot for an optional wireless network adaptor conforming to the 802.11b standard. Using Ethernet, it's possible to watch on TV a DVD playing on a PC, but 802.11b is too slow for this, so Pinnacle will be adding support for the newer and faster 802.11g (54Mbit/sec) wireless standard. Like most readers, we'd welcome the chance to watch and listen on TV to the media on our PCs. However, we don't think it makes sense to watch a DVD playing on a PC in another room - it's more convenient to use a set-top DVD player sitting next to the TV set.
The video formats that the box is said to play are MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX AVI (DivX 4.2 and higher) and Xvid AVI. Incompatible video formats, such as DV AVIs and Windows Media, can, Pinnacle claims, be transcoded on a PC to a ShowCenter-compatible format using supplied software while leaving the original unchanged.
Much the same is the case for other media. Two audio formats are supported - MP3 and PCM. Non-supported formats, including Windows Media Audio, can be transcoded to MP3 at 128Kbit/sec files. The support-list for stills consists of JPEG, PNG and GIF. Portrait layout images are rotated 90 degrees and scaled to the relevant PAL or NTSC video resolution, and converted images are stored in JPEG format.
On the front, the box has just an on/off switch and three LEDs. At the back, though, there's a wide spread of output options - a single Scart socket wired for S-video, RGB and stereo audio; separate composite video and S-video (miniDIN); two pairs of L/R audio phonos; two for digital stereo audio, one S/PDIF RCA, the other optical Toslink; and three phonos for component video (YprPb). The rear also has an RJ45 socket for wired networking, the PCMCIA slot for an optional wireless network card, and the mains-power input.
The supplied Windows software is critical for organising media and helping turn a PC into a multimedia server - and needs to be installed before the box is set up. A standard Ethernet cable and a network cross-over cable are supplied so that the ShowCenter box can be connected to a network hub/switch or directly to a PC. System requirements, minimum (and recommended), are Win XP or 2K with SP2 (XP); 10Base-T network (100Base-T); 1GHz PIII or Athlon, or 1.2GHz Celeron/Duron (P4 1.8GHz or Athlon XP1800); 256MByte RAM (512MByte); an EIDE hard disk with 10GByte free space (UDMA with 80GByte free); and graphics and sound cards compatible with DirectX 9. Watch out for a full review as soon as we can bring it to you.

Pinnacle Systems, 01895 442003;

DVD Video get interactive

Macromedia Director MX 2004 allows use of streaming video files in DVD Video, Windows Media, RealMedia, QuickTime and Flash formats

Although many DVD authors aspire only to make shiny discs with respectable-looking menus, others want to do a lot more and will welcome the arrival of Director MX 2004, from Macromedia, despite its £1,127 (inc VAT) suggested price.
Director MX 2004 promises tools to create interactive DVD Video discs and works on Win 2000/XP, and Mac OS X 10.2.6 or higher.
Macromedia claims that Director has extensive video capabilities, allowing use of streaming video in DVD Video, Windows Media, RealMedia, QuickTime and Flash formats. And, it says, developers will be able to embed, control and play back DVD Video content within multimedia projects.
The program is reckoned to support most major media formats. It also supports JavaScript and Flash MX 2004 content. The program can also create project files for Mac and Windows in a single step, unlike previous versions.
Upgrades from V8.5 and MX cost £375; educational and volume licensing deals are also available.


Two-megapixel Canons

Canon two-megapixel CCD camcorder duo with analogue and DV in/out

The latest addition to Canon's range of MiniDV camcorders is a pair of single-CCD, two-megapixel models with analogue and DV in/out - one likely to sell for £1,200 (inc VAT), the other £1,400.
The upright, compact MVX10i and the more expensive, traditionally-shaped MVX3i share the same basic feature set, with the X3i seen by Canon as offering a more affordable alternative to the prosumer three-CCD XM2 (review, December 2002, p38). Naturally, the extra £200 for the X3i buys some (actually, quite a few) more features than the MVX10i. These include a manual focus ring; manual audio level controls; an optical image stabiliser rather than electronic; an ND filter; backlight correction; zebra exposure warning; custom keys; an accessory shoe; and an inch larger, 3.5in (246k pixels), LCD screen. Like the XM2, the X3i has a six-blade iris for taking continuous stills - either to tape or the supplied 8MByte SD card.
The 1/3.4in CCD in each uses 1,770,000 effective pixels for 4:3 filming; 1,500,000 for high-resolution 16:9; and 2,000,000 for recording JPEG stills at a maximum resolution of 1,632 x 1,224 pixels to card. Similar to Sony's Precision 16:9 recording, the Canons use more effective pixels horizontally on the CCD block to create a 16:9 picture.
Both newcomers use the same RGB primary colour filter found in the XM2 and better-spec'd XL1 (review, Jan 02, p36) - said to allow signal processing with little noise or colour degradation - along with Canon's Digital Image Core (Digic) DV processor. The result is said to be high-quality, natural-looking images matching those from three-CCD models. The Digic DV processor is said to act like an 'intelligent' eye (shouldn't that be brain? - Ed) that doesn't just reproduce what the lens 'sees', but recreates colour, tone and detail more realistic to the human eye. It's also said to compensate during playback for the automatic gamma correction built into modern TV sets.
The zoom lens on each camcorder is 10x optical (200x digital) with a focal range of 4.7-47mm. But, on the X3i, the maximum aperture is wider (f1.6, rather than f1.8) and the lens takes larger-diameter filters - 46mm, rather than 30.5mm.
Among other features common to both are auto/manual white balance, focus and exposure; modes for auto exposure (AE) and digital effects; night mode and super night mode (0 lux); MPEG-4 video recording to memory card; and shutter speeds between 1/2000 sec and 1/2sec. Also on the list are sockets for USB, headphone, microphone and S-video; on-board flash for taking stills (a pop-up version on the X3i); and Direct Print with PictBridge compatibility for stills printing on suitable printers via the Canon Direct Print (USB) terminal.
The supplied software bundle includes USB drivers and programs for still-image download, editing and management - ZoomBrowser EX (Win), ImageBrowser (Mac) - plus PhotoStitch (Mac/Win) for panoramic imaging, and DV Messenger V2 (WinXP) for video conferencing and camcorder remote control.
The X3i weighs 725g without battery or tape and measures 80(w) x 90(h) x 201(d)mm. Figures for the X10i are 420g and 52(w) x 118(h) x 102(d)mm.

Canon UK, 0870 241 2161;

Video Forum 2004

The UK's biggest and best video editing show takes place in Wembley, Feb 10-12, so be there or be a four-sided, two-dimensional thing with right angles

The list of exhibitors at February's Video Forum looks like a roll call of the great and good of video editing, so, as you'd expect, Computer Video will be there once again, with a stand (No.480) bigger than last year's and peopled by even more experts able to answer your queries.
Watch out for Gary MacKenzie, Alan Roberts, Ray Liffen and Paul Dickin - who between them probably solve more problems on our DVdoctor-hosted message boards than any other quartet of contributors - though CV reviewers Tom Hardwick and Peter Wells have also built a lot of credit on the boards, and will be on the stand as well. And, at least a couple of their number will also be presenting seminars - Ray, with an introduction to desktop editing, and Peter, who'll be looking once again at the nitty-gritty of DVD authoring. And, on the subject of seminars, the demand is always huge, so it's good to know that there will be 50 per cent more of them this year.
The show - at Wembley Exhibition Centre, Halls 1 and 2 - runs Tuesday to Thursday (Feb 10 to 12) and is an event that shouldn't be missed. All the UK's top editing system builders are set to attend, including the trusted names of CVP, DVC, Planet PC and Red Submarine, so there should be plenty of chances to see the latest video editing hardware and software running, and to compare and contrast.
If you don't see what you want on a system builder's stand, don't worry - there are going to be so many makers there that you could put together a decent exhibition with just the As.
Adobe will be showing off its new quarter of video and audio software; and Apple its very latest products, too, including Final Cut Express 2 and V4 of iMovie and iDVD. Avid (with Softimage) will doubtless be running its Xpress Pro and DV editing software, while ADS Technologies, the king of FireWire enclosures, and pretty hot on analogue<>digital converters, too, will return after making its debut in 2003. There's also a better than evens chance that CPU maker AMD will be showing how its 64-bit processors can make editing faster and more enjoyable.
The long list includes camcorder makers Canon, JVC and Sony, along with Sony Pictures, the software division of the company that now owns and develops great programs for editors, such as Vegas and Sound Forge. Canopus will be there, too, having introduced more products in the last year than any other big video editing player we can think of. Mind you, Pinnacle ran Canopus close in terms of new products, so let's hope they've both got BIG stands - something that a keen rival, Matrox, usually does have to accommodate the large number of visitors.
Ulead, maker of some readers' favourite programs - including MediaStudio Pro 7, VideoStudio 7 and Cool Edit 3D - will be back for a second year and showing the on-steroids Mk II version of its highly-regarded authoring program DVD Workshop.
And watch out for a trio of companies that haven't exhibited before. Pioneer will be there to show off its hotly-awaited 8x/8x, four-way DVD burner, the A07; while Verbatim, a maker of high-quality DVD media in a huge range of formats, will hopefully be showing eight-speed DVD-R and DVD+RW. Finally, Reflecmedia will be demonstrating the latest developments in background cloths used for chromakey work - with lower prices than you might expect.

Video Forum,

TDK CD/DVD printer

TDK second-generation CD/DVD disc printer prints better and faster and adds Mac OS X support

The LPCW-100, TDK's second-generation CD/DVD thermal printer, runs on Mac OS X, not just Windows like its predecessor, and is said to offer increased resolution - 300dpi, rather than 200dpi - and faster printing.
Street price is currently around £100 (inc VAT) but may fall soon, just as happened with its forerunner, the LPCW-50 (review, Apr 03, p52), which remains available in some outlets for around £65.
Printing is still restricted to two small (74mm x 16mm) areas at centre top and centre bottom of the disc in a single colour, and these have to be printed one after the other. However, printing should be faster and easier, because the machine itself turns the discs around between the two phases, rather than the user.
A new colour ink ribbon - green - has been introduced to the existing range of blue, red, black, and silver. Ink ribbons sell for around £6, but the company claims that the new printer can produced more discs per ribbon than the old model - 48 on average, rather than 40.
Windows software for creating and printing labels is included with the printer, but not for a Mac. Mac software is available - running only on OS X 10.1 (or later) - as an 800Kbyte download from:

TDK, 01737 771 212;

DV<>SDI video converter

Canopus's third-generation video converter supports DV and SDI I/O

The third professional two-way video converter in Canopus's Mac and Windows-compatible ADVC range is aimed at the broadcast and post-production market and features DV<>SDI (Serial Digital Interface) connectors.
This means that the ADVC-1000 - SRP of £1,522 (inc VAT) - allows users to pair professional SDI-equipped digital kit with standard DV, and cross convert between the two.
SDI is a 8/10-bit video interface standard (SMPTE 259M) supporting four channels of embedded audio and providing a 270Mbit/sec connection through a single, standard 75 Ohm BNC connector. Benefits are reckoned to include no loss of resolution or chroma, and no picture noise, ringing, or artefacts during conversion. SDI is also said to maintain the full 6.75MHz bandwidth available in the DVD format.
The external converter comes in a 19in rack-mountable box with a front panel LCD monitor for status and settings readings. Ports include SDI (BNC) and DV (four-pin and six-pin) in/outputs; composite video (RCA) and unbalanced audio outputs for monitor preview; and an RS-422 interface for VCR deck control via FireWire.
The ADVC-1000 features Canopus's DV Codec technology, and is said to include genlock and locked audio support for more stable and better-synchronised pictures, as well as providing VITC and LTC timecode and AES/EBU audio support.

Canopus UK, 0118 921 0150;

Cut-price Xpress DV

Avid slashes V4 of DV editing software to £576

Avid has taken an axe to the price of its Mac and Windows DV-only video editing program, Xpress DV. The newly released V4, which has both versions in the box as before, goes out for £576 (inc VAT). That's considerably less than half the price of V3.5, and quarter that of the V3.5 Power Pack edition when we reviewed it (Jan 03, p30).
Version 4, though, doesn't include the LANShare connectivity, film support, 3D effects or professional DVD authoring found in Avid's £1,530 Xpress Pro (review, Feb 03, p44), so V3.5 users shouldn't regard it as an upgrade. However, a step up to Pro is available to them for £316, with Avid Mojo hardware (£1,527) an option for real-time capabilities.
Among features said to be offered by V4 are automatic colour correction, 24-bit audio support, JKL trim, title rolls and crawls, real-time motion effects, AAF support (and forthcoming MXF support), and keyframable colour effects. Copies of Sorenson Squeeze 3 Lite, Boris Graffiti LTD and Sonic DVDit! SE are also included for video transcoding, title animation, and entry-level DVD authoring.

Avid, 01753 655999;

Smart mains panel

OneClick controls mains power to all computer peripherals

OneClick is a crafty gadget that will appeal to many readers. It's a trailing mains socket adaptor that turns off all computer peripherals 10 seconds after the computer is turned off, and turns them back on when the computer is turned on.
The adaptor, SRP £25 (inc VAT), has enough sockets for five peripherals, plus the PC, and more can be controlled if other socket adaptors - even non-intelligent ones - are connected to it.
The maker - OneClick Technologies - says that the product not only saves power but also saves money in another ways by prolonging the life of plug-mounted power adaptors and of peripherals such as monitors, printers, FireWire hubs, speakers and external modems which would otherwise be left in standby. Sounds like a great idea to us.

OneClick Technologies, 01159 723405;


Ulead HDV support

Support for High Definition Video (HDV) has been added to Ulead MediaStudio Pro 7 (review, Aug 03, p28) and is expected to be added to Ulead's other video editing and DVD authoring software.
HDV, established by Canon, JVC, Sharp and Sony, enables consumers and professionals to record and playback HD video on standard DV and MiniDV cassettes as MPEG-2 footage.

Ulead; 01327 844880;

Smoother DV playback with QT 6.5

QuickTime 6.5 for Mac and Windows is reckoned to enhance DV playback with the option to deinterlace fields for smoother video, particularly when text is part of the image. It's also said to improve performance for iMovie, iDVD and Final Cut Pro, but no specifics are given. The download - 19MByte for OS X; 10MByte for OS 8.6/9; and 11MByte for Windows - is available from:
Other features include support for QuickTime's core wireless network standards 3GPP and 3GPP2 - to allow import, export, and playback of .3gp and .3g2 files - and for authoring and playback for the AMC mobile multimedia format and cross-platform Unicode text.

Apple UK, 0800 783 4846;

Casablanca software upgrade

Owners of Casablanca Avio, Kron and Prestige black-box video editors can now upgrade via UK distributor Hama to the latest SmartEdit V3 video editor.
Avios with V1 can be upgraded for £245 (inc VAT) and Krons (review, Aug 02, p62) for £275. From V2, the cost is £132.
Improvements are said to have been made to the storyboard, audio, inserts and effects. A full features list can be found at:
Hama (UK distributor), 01256 374700;
Macro System Digital Video, +49 (0)2335 9600;

Read more news in March 2004's Computer Video magazine.


Recent features...
View The Archive

Reviewed in this issue:

Hitachi DZ-MV380
Pinnacle Instant VideoAlbum
Pinnacle InstantCD/DVD V8

In March's news:
8x speed DVD burning
Pinnacle upgrades Studio
Edius gets OHCI support
Sony PD170 recall?
Apple updates budget video apps
Toast with Jam 6
The missing link?
DVD Video get interactive
Two-megapixel Canons
Video Forum 2004
TDK CD/DVD printer
DV<>SDI video converter
Cut-price Xpress DV
Smart mains panel

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