Issue No.02 - April-June (2007 vol.14)
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MMUL.2007.40
This department features state-of-the-art products in the multimedia field.
Subsystem Supports HD Video Cards
Infortrend's EonStor S12F-G1420 4-Gbyte RAID subsystem qualifies for use with high-definition video cards from Bluefish444, a division of Bluefish Technologies. The ES S12F is certified for broadcast-quality applications such as postproduction, HDTV, 2K film, digital cinema, near-line digital content, and broadcast server archives.
The ES S12F features a single-controller, fibre channel to a serial attached SCSI subsystem; a system throughput greater than 1,000 megabits per second; 12 dedicated point-to-point drive channels; and hot-swappable, redundant field units.
For more information, including the Bluefish444 report of the product's performance results, visit http://www.infortrend.com.tw/main/2_product/s12f-r-g1420.asp.
Standalone DVD Authoring Tools
Sony Media Software released DVD Architect Studio, a standalone software application for DVD authoring. Features include a drag-and-drop interface for DVD layout; the ability to create single-and multi-movie DVDs, pictures, and music compilations; and support for many DVD burners.
Users can import audio, video, and stills; create still and motion menus; text edit; add shadow effects; add, edit, and move chapter points; and preview the final project before burning to DVD using a virtual remote. The tool offers NTSC and PAL in standard (4:3) and widescreen (16:9) formats, adjustable project and file optimization settings, and 27 customizable themes.
DVD Architect Studio software is available for $49.95. For more information visit http://www.sonymediasoftware.com.
Create Archives for Digital Photographs
OnTheGoSoft's Photo Backup 2.4.0 for Windows stores photo archives in commercial-strength databases. Photo Backup software lets users store and archive information in a MySQL database. The software burns only those files that are new or modified. Every time Photo Backup burns files to a DVD, the tool automatically updates the database.
An HTML index lets users browse the archive from any computer. Users can search the archive with thumbnails organized by folder, date, disc, or tag. Photo Backup can incorporate existing DVD collections, sorting through the DVDs, indexing the files, and recording items already burned.
Photo Backup requires Windows 98/Me/2000/XP and costs $29.95. A 14-day evaluation version is available from the company Web site at http://www.onthegosoft.com.
Microtek introduced two 42-inch LCD HDTVs through its US subsidiary, Microtek Lab. The L42CX2A and Cineon series CL42HA display two million pixels and deliver HD 1,080-pixel resolution, with a native resolution of 1,920 × 1,080 pixels in the widescreen 16:9 format. These LCD HDTVs are suited for 1080i or 1080p video available from broadcast, cable, and satellite TV, Bluray discs, and HD DVDs.
The L42CX2A and the CL42HA models offer a brightness of 500 cd/m 2, a contrast ratio of 1200:1, and viewing angle of 176 degrees. Each individual TV is calibrated at the factory to set the optimum brightness, contrast, sharpness, color saturation, and color balance for a typical home viewing environment.
For the Microtek L42CX2A, factory calibration means the customer can enjoy the picture quality right out of the box with plug-and-play simplicity. For the Cineon CL42HA, factory calibration sets the middle-ground starting point for tuning the TV to a specific viewing environment.
The Microtek L42CX2A costs $1,899.99 and the Cineon CL42HA is $1,999.99. Visit http://www.microtekusa.com for more information.
Business Graphics Software for Tablet PC
SmartDraw announced an update to SmartDraw 2007 (release 8.1), bringing feature enhancements and Tablet PC readiness to its business graphics software. With SmartDraw, users can create business graphics such as flowcharts, org charts, Gantt charts, timelines, and floorplans with no experience or training required.
The update includes easier flowcharting, a new Mind Mapping SmartPanel command set, and improved graphics capabilities and libraries. The new release is also the company's first Tablet PC-enabled version, letting users take notes and create high-quality graphics on the go.
To download a free trial of SmartDraw 2007 visit http://www.smartdraw.com.
One-Click Color Editing
PictoColor released CorrectPhoto 2.0, an upgrade to their digital photo editor. The latest version includes a one-click color correction feature.
The software automatically fixes the white balance, corrects the exposure, and improves the vibrancy of digital images. It also integrates well with Microsoft Windows Explorer so that users can easily transfer, perfect, organize, manage, view, share, and print their digital photos.
Other capabilities of the software include manually adjusting brightness and contrast; independently adjusting shadows, highlights, and saturation; and rotating, cropping, resizing, reducing red eye, and sharpening.
PictoColor costs $29.95. For more information visit http://www.correctphoto.com.
Securing Video Distribution
ATP Electronics, a manufacturer of digital flash media products, announced turnkey solutions for secure distribution of video content on memory cards. Backed by its Smart n' Secure (SnS) technology, ATP partnered with mobile video player companies VisualOn and MMplayer on video solutions for Windows Mobile 5, PalmOS, and Symbian mobile platforms.
Designed to be flexible, easy to deploy, and cost effective, SnS is applicable to any type of data application, but is especially useful for distributing licensed content such as photos, music, movies, and games. The technology employs both a multiple-key, encryption/decryption process to secure content on the flash device and hardware-implemented SnS functions on the flash device.
For more information visit http://www.atpinc.com.
Multimedia Platform Boosts Power
Media-processing company Dialogic announced the Dialogic Multimedia Platform for AdvancedTCA, a product aimed at delivering applications such as voice and video mail, color ringback tones, unified messaging, and audio conferencing over IP and public-switched telephone network interfaces in wireline and wireless environments using standard protocols for session and media control.
The platform integrates an extended implementation of Dialogic's Host Media Processing software with an AdvancedTCA single-board computer that includes two Dual-Core Intel Xeon LV 2.0-GHz processors designed to boost multitasking computing power. The platform uses an Advanced Mezzanine Card (AdvancedMC) for echo cancellation and transcoding offload, which is meant to significantly enhance media processing performance, especially when low-bit-rate audio coders are required at high-density levels. This combination of media processing power, together with over 30 Gbytes of hard disk storage, means the platform can run applications locally on the same blade as an alternative to supporting them remotely over IP connections.
For more information visit http://www.dialogic.com.
Progressive Scan Support
Sony Media Software, a leading provider of professional video and audio editing applications, today announced the immediate availability of a Vegas software update, version 7.0c, free to all registered Vegas 7 users. New functionality includes support for the progressive scan modes on the Sony HVR-V1 series HDV camcorders, and a built-in import module for the HVR-DR60 hard disk recording unit. With the 7.0c update, Vegas will properly handle the V1 series progressive scan modes automatically, without manual intervention.
The Vegas 7.0c professional video and audio editing software update is free to all registered Vegas 7 users. For more information visit http://www.sonymediasoftware.com.
Touting supreme voice quality and unique modularity, SVOX's speech output solutions enable user-friendly human-machine interfaces (HMI). The SVOX architecture reportedly saves integration time, reduces integration costs, and minimizes the risk of software defects. Many automobile suppliers are already providing an integrated HMI concept through a combination of speech recognition and SVOX-powered speech output.
SVOX's text-to-speech technology uses fine-grained text analysis to yield the phonetic representation of each word. The speech signal is then generated by concatenating small units of varying lengths extracted from natural, human speech. The company so far has developed more than 30 voices covering languages spoken in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
For more information visit http://www.svox.com.
External Multidisplay Computer Upgrades
Matrox Graphics announced the DualHead2Go Digital Edition. This external multidisplay upgrade device connects to the VGA output of compatible notebook or desktop computers and through patent-pending technology uniquely expands the desktop across two digital displays. DualHead2Go Digital Edition also enables support for high-resolution panels, offering a stretched desktop of up to 3840 × 1200 (or dual 1920 × 1200) across two displays.
The multidisplay configuration delivered by DualHead2Go lets users work with multiple full-screen documents or applications simultaneously—eliminating the need to constantly open, close, or minimize applications.
The Digital Edition of DualHead2Go enables the connection of two digital or analog displays to compatible notebook and desktop systems. In addition, through the Matrox PowerDesk SE interface, users benefit from the flexibility to select a wider range of resolutions, including support for both widescreen and standard aspect ratios.
DualHead2Go Digital Edition has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $229. For more information visit http://www.matrox.com/graphics.
Comes with AVCHD Certification
Corel announced that its Intervideo WinDVD8 video playback software supports the Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) standard, making it the first playback software to achieve AVCHD certification.
AVCHD is a new high-definition recording format jointly introduced by Sony and Matsushita (Panasonic). It employs an advanced MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video codec to offer users the advantages of 1080i and 720p high-definition, 16:9 widescreen and multichannel digital audio. Unlike other video recording systems, AVCHD doesn't record to tape, but records video to a hard drive, 8-cm DVD, or memory stick/SD. The format offers consumers the possibility of HD video camera recorders that can achieve compact size as well as high-quality video and audio.
Corel, which recently completed the acquisition of InterVideo and Ulead, announced that other InterVideo and Ulead video and DVD-burning products will support AVCHD via update packs and future product releases. For more information visit http://www.corel.com.