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Sony is revamping its Vaio range of FireWire-equipped laptop PCs with
the addition of four models that could be used for video editing. Two
come with the lite version of Adobes Premiere 6 editing software,
and all have Sonys own MovieShaker video editor, DVgate video
still/capture utilities, and PictureToy image manipulation program.
Each runs Windows XP Pro, has a MagicGate (MG) Memory Stick slot for
MPEG-1 video storage and a magnesium alloy chassis, and centres on an
Intel SpeedStep technology Pentium III Mobile chipset.
Premiere (and Adobes Photoshop Elements image editor) are supplied
with the two top models the 1.7GHz GRX316SP and 1.6GHz GRX316MP
(prices still unknown), which take over from Sonys GR series models.
These machines are larger than previous models, accomodating 16in TFT
screens with UXGA resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels, and weighing in
at 3.8kg. The GRX316SP has a 40GByte hard disk and 512MByte DDR-SDRAM;
the MP has a 30GByte HDD and 256MByte RAM (upgradable to 512MByte).
Each uses an ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 3D graphics chipset with 16MByte
on-board DDR-SDRAM and has a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive though a DVD-RW
burner is promised as an option in the near future.
Sony IT, 08705 424424; www.vaio.sony-europe.com/
price cut should boost streaming video
Monthly ADSL broadband access costs for UK users are set to fall markedly,
and the number of users rise dramatically, as a result of an unexpected
cut by BT of its wholesale price to internet service providers (ISPs).
From April 1, ISPs will pay £17.33 (inc VAT) per customer per
month for the recently introduced user self-install service, instead
of the current £29.38. A number of ISPs have already announced
new lower prices to the public that should make broadband much more
BT is cutting its own price from £40 per month to £30 for
existing domestic users and new. New users are offered two schemes.
One is self-install, where customers have to buy from BT an Alcatel
USB modem (and two splitters/filters that allow ADSL and phone connections
to be used
at the same time) and pay a £65 line-activation charge, though
this fee is being waived until May 31. The other, where an engineer
runs a cable near to the PC and fits a wall-socket with a built-in splitter/filter,
includes a modem loaned free but has a £250 fee for line activation
The keenest monthly charge weve seen so far for self-install
is £23.44 (inc VAT), for Pipexs Xtreme Solo service. This
was introduced only at the beginning of February at £30 a month
at the time undercutting BTs own Openworld engineer
assisted installation service by £10 a month and
was claimed to already be bringing in over 300 new users a day.
8MB-cache 120GB EIDE HDD
Video editors looking to get fast performance from EIDE hard disks
especially for use with dual-stream editing cards may be attracted
to the performance claims for Western Digitals Special Edition
120GByte Ultra ATA/100 Caviar drive.
The company says that the 7,200rpm drives use of an 8MByte cache
four times larger than normal on EIDE models, and more typical
of expensive SCSI drives provides a higher percentage of cache
hits and significantly faster data access than with 2MByte versions.
The larger buffer is said to reduce the the number of physical accesses
to the disk, allowing data to stream from the disk uninterrupted.
The best street price we could find for the drive was £244 (inc
VAT) from www.komplett.co.uk thats around £22 more
than komplett charges for the version with a 2MByte cache. Watch out
for a review in a coming issue.
Western Digital, 01372 360 387; http://www.wdc.com
Video Forum 2002
This years Video Forum must have been the most successful to date.
Wembleys Hall 1 was crowded throughout most of the three days
(February 5-7) and the show organiser reckons there was over 6500 visitors,
a lot of whom also took the chance to check out Sounds Expo 2002
a new audio show running alongside in Hall 2.
Free seminars on DVD authoring, video streaming and post-production
including Computer Videos own - were all massively over-subscribed
despite the fact that the number of seminars had increased hugely.
Big-name editing hardware firms were out in force and all had packed
stands. Few, apart from Avid, were debuting new products. Nonetheless,
all acknowledged the importance of compatibility with Windows XP and
Mac OS X - some even offering related software upgrades.
For more news, see
the April 2002 issue of Computer Video.
Reviewed in April's issue:
Ulead DVD Workshop
In April's news:
Edit ready Sony Vaios
ADSL price cut
Video Forum 2002