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2004 Computer Video Magazine News
H8x speed DVD burning
Pioneer and NEC DVD writers to offer 8x burning to +R/-R discs and 4x
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
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; www.pioneer.co.uk
Pinnacle upgrades Studio
Support for surround
sound and widescreen, and new tools for video and audio enhancement
feature in V9 of Pinnacle Studio
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)
442 003; www.pinnaclesys.com
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; www.canopus-uk.com
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: www.dvforums.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ 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.
0871 871 2020; www.sonybiz.net
Apple updates budget video apps
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
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
Toast with Jam 6
Dolby Digital encoding
and DVD Audio are among improvements to V6 of Roxio's Mac disc-burning
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
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
The missing link?
network box lets you watch/listen on TV to Windows PC content
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.
01895 442003; www.pinnaclesys.com
DVD Video get interactive
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
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
create project files for Mac and Windows in a single step, unlike previous
Upgrades from V8.5 and MX cost £375; educational and volume licensing
deals are also available.
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
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
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, www.videoforum.co.uk
TDK CD/DVD printer
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: www.tdk-europe.com/products/uk/hardware/04/LPCW-100/Macintosh.
TDK, 01737 771 212;
DV<>SDI video converter
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
Canopus UK, 0118
921 0150; www.canopus-uk.com
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
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
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.
01159 723405; www.oneclickpower.co.uk
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; www.ulead.co.uk
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
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; www.apple.com/uk
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: www.macrosystem.de/e/avio_smartedit3.html.
Hama (UK distributor), 01256 374700; www.hama.co.uk
Macro System Digital Video, +49 (0)2335 9600; www.macrosystem.de
Read more news in
March 2004's Computer Video magazine.
Reviewed in this issue:
Pinnacle Instant VideoAlbum
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
Video Forum 2004
TDK CD/DVD printer
DV<>SDI video converter
Cut-price Xpress DV
Smart mains panel