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Plug & Play      Volume 8     Number 5  Circulation over 1,500

Member & Registered Reader Issue. 

To our regular readers. 

In this issue: - Special offers on Video Art's training titles and 'Getting
started in M2.' plus a $3,000 DVD Video tool set from MTC and a $500 DVD
Verifier from Philips.


Getting started in M2.

I think you will probably agree that one of the highest hurdles facing a
developer who wants to try a new platform, are the costs involved in getting
started. Panasonic and MTC with the support of the IDMA have put together a
package that should allow any potential developer of Panasonic's M2 and M2X
television based multimedia platforms, to 'test the water' and at least create
some demonstration titles for their clients.
Starting on April 9th, the launch date of CDMotion for M2, developers will be
able to sign up for the 'Getting started in M2' package.  Those who do so,
will receive a copy of CDMotion for M2, (the authoring system required to
create M2 titles) and a Panasonic M2 multimedia player plus the official M2
demo disc.
This entire package is at 'No Cost' for 60 days, which allows time for
developers to create brief demo titles and demonstrate the M2 system to their
clients, without any financial outlay or other risks.
At the end of the 60 days the equipment can be returned to Panasonic, or may
be purchased at 50% off the normal VAR cost.  As CDMotion for M2 will normally
sell to developers at $6,000, this represents a saving on the authoring system
alone of $3,000. 
As a part of the package, the IDMA has agreed to start a directory of M2
developers, which will be posted on our new web site.  Any developer signing
up for the package and completing at least one title will qualify to be listed
in this directory, free of charge, courtesy of Panasonic. 
To find out if you qualify for the 'Getting started package,' called Lou
Massucci at 201-392-6658 or e-mail Lou at 'massuccil@panasonic.com'

The ' Getting started in M2' package, will be announced during the
POPIA/Global Shop exhibition in Chicago on March 29th.
The IDMA will be guests on the Panasonic booth number 4280, in the I3 section
of this massive exhibition, so if you are one of the many Plug & Play readers
who will be attending the show please call and say "Hi."  

The Panasonic professional DVD player, which is now also available to
Panasonic VAR's will be on show alongside touch-screen televisions, M2, M2X
and VideoCD players.

Visitors to the booth can register to win Panasonic products including
cordless Phones and Audio\VideoCD 5-disc changers.



Philip's DVD verifier now available.

Philips have started the distribution of their DVD verifier, available to IDMA
Members and Registered Readers of Plug & Play at $500. 
This is an offer nobody involved with DVD production should refuse.
For more information on this product visit www.licensing.philips.com.
To order a copy of the verifier, contact Gerard Smelt, Philips System
Standards & Licensing, at 'Gerard.Smelt@ehv.ce.philips.com' Or- Tel:
+31-40-2739177
Gerard asks that you mention the IDMA in your e-mail.  


One of our technical advisors and a strong supporter of the IDMA  Rick Hallock
has released his CDMotion for DVD-Video tool set.

CDMotion is a well known development tool in the CDi, VideoCD, SuperVCD,
Windows and M2 multimedia developer communities.  CDMotion for DVD-Video now
extends the scope and applicability of CDMotion into the frontier of DVD-
Video.  The roots of CDMotion go back to the early days of CDi.  As such, DVD-
Video developers can exploit over 10+ years of experience and the benefits of
a field proven tool set.

CDMotion for DVD-Video is a complete tool set.  It includes support for all
main features of DVD-Video such as; MPEG1 and 2 Video; MPEG, AC3 and PCM
Audio; Sub Pictures from Raster Image Files; MPEG Stills from Raster Image
Files; 8 Audio Channels; 32 Sub Picture Channels; Multi Level Hierarchical
Menu Structures; Chapterized Random Access Presentations; Seamless Stitching
of Video Segments; Data Capture and Decision Making (GPRM); System Functions
(SPRM); Concatenated VOB Files; Linear and Non-Linear Presentation
Possibilities; and much more.  In essence, CDMotion is a complete tool set
used to develop virtually any type of DVD-Video title desired.

CDMotion for DVD-Video includes the now well known ForDVD Premastering tool
for premastering DVD-Video content files created by CDMotion to DVD compliant
disc image files.  ForDVD supports the ISO9660, UDF and Joliet files systems
and all DVD disc formats including DVD 5, 9, 10 and 18.  ForDVD can be
directed to write disc image files to DLT tape or to hard disk.  Hard disk
stored disc image files can be recorded to DVDR using the Pioneer DVD
recorder.  In addition to this, ForDVD can also be used to premaster DVD-ROM
and DVD-Hybrid disc image files as well.

Perhaps the most important aspect of CDMotion, the aspect that sets it apart
from all other DVD-Video authoring solutions, is its market focus.  CDMotion
was developed specifically for use by the Professional Multimedia Developer.
Developers charged with responsibility to create Kiosk, Training, Education,
Edutainment, Presentation, Advertising and any other type of professional
title quickly find there is a big difference between their needs and the
capability built into tools designed for authoring the simple consumer movie
title.  CDMotion addresses these differences in many ways.  For example,
wizards to automate the task of creating Slide Show presentations.  Anyone who
has had to create a slide show for DVD-Video can attest to the time consuming
complexity involved in creating this rather simple presentation.  In CDMotion
Slide Show construction is an automated task completed in seconds.  The 2
level menu structure proposed in DVD-Video specifications and supported by
most tools is quite uncommon in the Professional developer community where
multi level hierarchical menu structures are the norm.  CDMotion acknowledges
this by providing support of multi level menu structures with no limits in
regard to menu hierarchy structure or depth.

CDMotion excels in the world where quick turn around is expected.  The tool is
both easy to learn and easy to use and in most cases the experienced developer
can complete DVD-Video title authoring in less than 1 day.  A very common
practice in the professional developer market is the use of templates to speed
the redevelopment of repetitive titles such as is found in kiosk applications.
CDMotion acknowledges this approach by providing the built in mechanisms to
address this need.  In this market it is very common to find developers using
"off the shelf" industry standard tools to created content, such as PowerPoint
or Adobe PhotoShop or Photo CD.  Output from these common every day tools can
be used as input to the DVD-Video authoring process if using CDMotion.

CDMotion is available now and priced at just $3,000 US.  A free evaluation
copy of the software can be obtained from the companies Internet site,
WWW.MTC2000.COM.

CDMotion is a Windows (95, 98 and NT4) tool set that runs comfortably in a 64M
byte PC having a 166Mhz or faster Pentium processor and the Hollywood Plus DVD
decoder card.  CDMotion accepts encoded files from any DVD-Video compliant
encoder.  MTC also offers a real time MPEG2 DVD-Video complaint encoder card
for use in Windows PC systems for $2,000 US.

For more information please contact the MTC Internet site WWW.MTC2000.COM or
Multimedia Technology Center, Box 39 194 Ferncliff Road, Mohawk, New York,
13407
Tel: 315.866.4639  Fax: 315.866.4709  Email: sales@mtc2000.com


WebDVD Tool Kit

In the February issue we invited developer members to become Beta testers for
WebDVD and Explorer 5.  The response was impressive, over one hundred
developers signed on as beta test sites. This not only speeds up Microsoft
testing, but, what is even more important is that when the 'WebDVD Fanfare'
starts,  (As I keep saying, with the words, 'Web' + 'DVD' + 'Microsoft,' it
will be a hell of a fanfare) you will be poised and ready.  You will be making
web DVD titles, while everyone else is reading the instructions.  
Don't forget, in return for your assistance as a beta test site, Microsoft
will provide free copies of the software when it is released.
If you forgot to apply, here is one last chance. 
>From the February issue.
Those who were at the 1998 IDMA Summit, were given a sneak preview of
Microsoft's WebDVD.  Obviously any platform with the words, Microsoft, Web and
DVD in them is going to be very important to us all.  
Well, now you have another chance to stay ahead.  Microsoft have just
completed the Beta version of a WebDVD Tool Kit on DVD called "Windows
Interactive DVD - Preview 1/99."  This disc contains some WebDVD demo titles,
Web based playback applications and the beta versions of Internet Explorer 5.
It also has "Windows Media Player" which will play DVD and contains software
development kits (SDK's) for DirectX and DirectX Media.  This gives you
complete documentation and runtime software to prepare a PC for DVD playback.
IDMA members who are genuine developers can get a copy and become beta test
sites by e-mailing DVD@Microsoft.com with a fax number and a request,
mentioning that you are a member of the IDMA.  You will need to sign and
return the beta software agreement.  A DVD disc will then be sent to you.  As
a beta tester, you will also get the final versions of the software when they
are released.  The system works, I have my Beta software, right here in my
hand.

European DVD 2 summit in Dublin.
This event should be both educational and fun.
I am involved in two sessions, one involving Bundling as a way to kick start
DVD in Europe and the other centered around the Professional uses of DVD.  If
the diversity of my panel of speakers for the second session is anything to go
by, it should the very interesting.
Bernie Mitchell, who is now a Philips DVD evangelist, will highlight
opportunities for the use of DVD Video in the corporate world.  Lindsay
Holman, from Panasonic OWL in the UK will discuss the use of DVD ROM.  Chris
Wright from, Freehand Graphics the UK's first one stop DVD producers, will
share his experience, while Bill Rehbock of VMLabs and myself will push for
the use of Interactive DVD in the corporate world. That is with, I hope a
little help from my friend Jim Taylor, Microsoft's WebDVD evangelist.
There is still time to register, it's actually cheaper to fly to Dublin than
Florida.
Go to www.dvdsummit.com

Instant Call.
In Plug & Play a few weeks ago I mentioned a feature called Instant Call.
This company will place an Icon on a web site which when selected, connects
the user's telephone line to that of the information provider whose web site
it is on.
This means, when a client is browsing a web site, or being trained on the web
and needs to talk to the human being, they can do so just by selecting an
icon. 
The reaction from our members indicates that they are very interested in this
procedure, and think it is something they can sell their clients, as part of
their future projects.
Because of the intense interest, Instant Call were in danger being
overwhelmed, so we agreed on a better way to proceed.
John Kirwin, our link man at Instant Call is quite happy, to arrange a
demonstration of Instant Call and discuss how you set up an Instant Call
button on your clients web site.  Instant Call has also agreed to support the
IDMA in return for our help.
As I am sure most of our developer members would benefit from being in touch
with Instant Call I have suggested that John Kirwin should first contact you
by e-mail, then if you wish you can supply John with the name and telephone
number of the appropriate person in your organization and he will arrange to
bring that person up to speed and carry out a demonstration of Instant Call. 
So please watch out for an e-mail from John Kirwin with ' Instant Call' on the
subject line.
Hopefully this introduction will benefit both your company and the IDMA.
This may take some time, if you have an urgent opportunity to try this
technology, send me an e-mail and I will move you to the front of the line.

Philips Partner Program goes International.

Philips have been promoting this concept in the US for some time.  Now they
are making it international.
Quote-
"Philips Professional Disc Systems is starting up a Partner Program, to create
a worldwide community of DVD professionals.  This program targets all
companies creating attractive, effective solutions for professional
applications, from training programs to kiosks.  This encompasses everyone
from multimedia studios and kiosk designers to authoring software houses and
marketing consultancy firms.

The partnership program provides members with benefits and tools for success
in technology and marketing communications. Besides special offers on
Professional DVD players, Solid State A/V products, authoring tools and add-
ons like touch-screens, the program offers support for acquiring new technical
and authoring skills. Members receive special rates on MPEG2 encoding, disc
mastering, burning and replication and a subscription to the reference
publication "DVD Intelligence".  To give some idea of DVD's application
possibilities and scope, project examples and a DVD Software
Production Guide and DVD demo disc are included.  (The demo disc was made by
one of our members, RISE Int'l)
The aim of the Partner Program is not just to provide equipment and technical
skills. 
It also offers support for acquiring key accounts, lead generation and events,
and promotions and PR for your company. This includes publication of
successful cases in our ProVision magazine and trade press activities.

Philips web-site links to members' web-sites.  The 'Partner Corner'* of the
Philips web site gives access to support services, technical FAQ's, manuals,
background information, discussions, pages for presenting services to other
Philips Partners and an email hotline to Philips experts.  Partners join the
Partner Meetings for information sharing, networking and meeting colleague
companies at least once a year.  Every quarter, members have contact with
their Philips account manager to discuss new projects and Philips support
and performance. A partnership document, describing the full agreements and
mutual commitments, is also available.

For more information, please go to www.prodvd.philips.com and click on the
Partner Corner of their Web site.  
*Note you have to become a Partner to be able to enter this part of the web
site.

First DVD VAR meeting for Philips.
Philips hosted the first meeting for the Philips Partners in North America on
Marco Island over last weekend.
>From what I hear it was an enjoyable and instructive affair attended both by
developers and  suppliers of DVD equipment who are also included in the
partner program.



Here is a letter from one of our members in the UK. 
The opening sentence may give you a hint as to, how to get letters published
in Plug & Play.

From: Alan McNaught at McNo Multimedia Services, UK.

I love your Plug & Play newsletters; and am pleased to read that we do not
need to pay $10 to continue receiving it since we are members of the IDMA
and live in a non-spam-concerned country, UK. (Alan is a Scotsman!)
Your readers may be interested to know that McNo Multimedia Services and Video
Arts have made a marketing agreement to handle the worldwide sales of the CD-i
disc-based training titles that Video Arts has developed over several years. 
These Video Arts' training titles are recognized as being among the finest and
most
productive for professional skills training - John Cleese' "Meetings Bloody
Meetings"
has become a standard in the use of psychology and humor in communication. 
The CD-i versions play back through regular televisions under the control of a
course tutor or individually if preferred, and provide the advantages over VHS
tape of immediate
access to any section of the disc, interactive retention testing and
consistently high
audio/video quality. The video versions cost more for some strange reason, so
CD-i is not only better but cheaper too. 
All 32 titles, including those created by Melrose are available at a special
purchase price of only 395 each. Approximately $640 depending on rate of
exchange.

Editors comment
Alan has offered an additional discount to IDMA members and Registered Readers
who would like to sell these titles to their clients or even to use
themselves. 
For those of us that grew up with John Cleese, these titles are not only very
funny, they are also world re-known for their effectiveness.  At this price,
they may even be worth consideration by companies without a CD-I player.
After all, if purchasing one CD-I player for the training room, allows you
access to thirty two of the best interactive, digital training titles, then to
me it's a 'No Brainer' 
For those of you who don't have a CD-i player, both PAL and NTSC format
players are available, (outside the USA) at 375 ( about $600) from McNo.
'www.mcno.com' 
For those in the USA wanting CD-i players contact 'pmpro' at 'www.pmpro.com' 
Order by Credit card from 1-800-340-7888 or fax your requirements to
202-337-2514 

Letter from one our readers.

When creating M2 and M2X multimedia titles how does one achieve the Double
Resolution Video, that has so impressed my clients?

These are our recommendations.
To capture the Video, one can use a Miro PC- 'DC30' capture card, available
from computer stores at approximately $600. 
To encode the captured Video in the MPEG1 higher resolution mode go to
www.Ligos.com and download their encoder, price $179.95.  There is a free
demonstration that you can download before making the actual purchase.
To view the high resolution MPEG 1 files, before proceeding with the
authoring, use Real Magic's 'Hollywood +' DVD decoder, available at a cost of
$95.
Author the M2 title using CDMotion for M2 Cost $6,000.  (CDMotion for M2 is
currently available to IDMA members and Registered Readers of Plug & Play as
part of the 'Get started with M2' package.  The introductory price is $3,000.)
CDMotion for M2 also takes care of recording your M2 program onto a CD-R,
using most CD-R recorders.  
Play your disc.  (The Panasonic M2 player will also be available as part of
the package at 50% discount.)

DVD Authoring tools.
If you are interested in the latest advances with regard to DVD Authoring
tools, this should be interesting.

Sonic Unveils DVD Creator Version 1.5 
Key additions in this release include: 

AssetFinder - Integrated asset management technology identifies both used and
missing assets, allowing project managers to easily track and update content
for each project. Background updating provides for top performance with
minimal impact on workflow.

Reusable templates - Projects can now be developed without content assets,
allowing libraries of standardized templates to be created and re-used for new
jobs. For example, a standard template for a Hollywood feature film production
can be developed, and then re-used for each new film, as new content (video,
menus, etc.) is simply linked to the template.

PlantDirect DVD imaging -- DVD image files can be created remotely, over the
Internet or an Intranet, using integrated FTP networking technology. This
provides the fastest, immediate link for moving DVD projects directly from the
author's workstation to the replication facility.

Menu creation - Menu creation is easier than ever with drag-link placement; an
expert rules system allows buttons to be automatically routed, speeding
interactivity design. New subtitle font selection and positioning capabilities
allow for expanded creativity in graphic design.

Tunable VBR - Sonic's patented VBR technology now provides for user-selectable
effort-levels, allowing the encoding operator to fine-tune for highest quality
or faster throughput, matching each job to its unique requirements.

Super Video CD (SVCD) support -- DVD Creator now produces MPEG-1 and MPEG-2
streams compliant with the new SVCD specification adopted in China.
Configurations that include SVCD authoring are also now available.

Sonic DVD Creator provides an integrated complete solution, on a single
platform, for producing DVD discs that is scalable from a single workstation
to a complete workgroup environment. It consists of modules for high-quality
MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 video encoding, audio prep and encoding, authoring and
proofing.

Contact:   Sonic Solutions   Web Site:   http://www.sonic.com

In the next Plug & Play a special offer from MicroBoards Technology.  
Under $25,000 for, an MPEG2 encoder board, DVD authoring software and the
Pioneer DVD-R recorder. 

Registered Recipient or "Go directly to Jail, do not pass go."
In the last issue of Plug & Play I requested a token payment of $10 to become
a registered reader of this newsletter.  The objective of this request was to
protect The Association from any possible charges of "spamming".  
Following Virginia, California, Washington and a growing number of other
states, the New York legislature recently introduced two bills to control the
proliferation of unsolicited commercial electronic  mail, commonly known as
"spam." 
The bill imposes stiff financial penalties, a fine of $100 per message sent by
the transmitter.
An aggregate fine of up to $15,000 per day may be imposed. 
As, if you have not indicated otherwise, Plug and Play is in fact unsolicited
commercial electronic mail, then at sometime in the not too distant future,
the IDMA will be forced to stop sending you our newsletter.
A simple e-mail containing a credit card number, expiration date, name and
telephone number, instructing us to charge $10 to your account, is all that is
necessary.
If, as many of you have done, you prefer to pay by check, please make sure
your e-mail address is also on the check, as that is the principal way in
which we identify our readers.  Checks should be made out to IDMA.
The $10 is solely to cover the Associations administrative costs, to make
these changes.  
Remember the IDMA is a nonprofit Association.
For those wishing to mail their checks, the IDMA's address is:  5623 Spring
Grove Drive, Solon OH 44139 USA.

Please note.  If you live outside of United States, you do not need to become
a registered reader, unless the country you live in has 'anti-spam' laws. 

If for some reason you do not want any more copies of Plug  & Play, just send
me an e-mail telling me to stop.  

If you wish to join IDMA, just ask for a membership application.





Thanks Kinetic!

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