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Plug & Play      Volume 8     Number 6 Circulation over 1,750
Member & Registered Reader Issue. 

To our regular readers.  In this issue:  The new web site. www.IDMAnet.org.

The Association's new web site is now in place.
The most important thing to remember about the IDMA web site is that it is 
solely for the benefit of you the members and will only work with your help.
Among our members and the readers of Plug & Play there are many who could 
help us make the web site even better and make it more effectively represent 
the capabilities of the Interactive Digital Media Association's members.
In this day and age, one's Web Site has become both ones business card and 
ones company brochure.
The second sentence of almost every telephone call I receive these days 
contains the words, "Do you have Web Site?" 
Like everyone else, passing through our Web Site, becomes the gateway to 
further communication and establishes the Associations credibility. 
What the person sees and reads on our web site, determines how they perceive 
the Association and its members. 
How they perceive the members, determines if they decide to use their 
services, whatever they are.  So, please help us make it worthy of the 
members it represents.
For a handful of our members the Web Site, Plug & Play and the Annual IDMA 
Summit conference have become a cornerstone of their public relations 
activities.  This widely varied group have not only made many new contacts 
through the association, they have turned those contacts in to actual 
business opportunities, both here and in Europe.  These companies have one 
thing in common, they made the effort to get themselves listed on the Web 
Site, get their successes mentioned in Plug & Play and have a physical 
presence at the Summit.  Maybe you should do the same for your company.
Right now we need, both, technical help to improve the actual working of the 
Web Site and just as important, information which will make the Web Site 
worth a second visit.
Please take the time to visit the new web site, after all it is 'your' new 
web site.  In the next Plug & Play, I will tell you how to get your company 
listed in the directory and some other ways to derive the maximum benefit 
from membership of the Association.

I would like to thank the people who have made the new web site possible so 
far. The site was designed by Laurie Smith, of Backporch Productions.  
Richard Maynard the web master has moved the contents from the old site, to 
the new one and I am updating the material as fast as possible.  Jeremy Finn 
at McGill Multimedia, who graciously host the site on their server, is 
responsible for keeping the site up and running.

For those looking for information on CD-I, don't forget the ICDIA.org site, 
hosted for us by Novare. 




POPIA & the i3 show.

This exhibition was very successful for the television based multimedia 
industry.
One of our members DCI Marketing, won all three Interactive kiosk awards, two 
of them with television based entries.  The Kmart - Exide battery kiosk, 
which won the IDMA's gold award for best kiosk last October, was again a 
winner.  When you consider, that DCI won the Supreme Award last year, with 
the Jack Nicklaus kiosk they must now be ranked as the number one kiosk 
provider in North America and we are proud to have them as members.
Among other members at the show, TEP Systems, UPI, RISE Int'l, Acme Media and 
McGill. Another member exhibiting excellent kiosks and a past POPIA winner 
was Telescan.  This exhibition is so huge that it was impossible to visit all 
our members, but one thing was obvious, the percentage of computer-based 
kiosks has dropped considerably in favor of the simpler, less expensive and 
more reliable television based kiosks.
Unfortunately, the high-tech companies who provide the television based 
players, were tucked away in a far corner of this vast exhibition hall and 
I'm sure were missed by many people.
However those that did find them, saw an exciting display of DVD Video 
peripherals created by our members and featured on the Philips booth, along 
with several titles running on DVD Video, M2 and M2X featured on the 
Panasonic booth, who also hosted the IDMA.
Videotronics, now operating in the U.S. had, as you would expect from the 
worlds largest kiosk provider, an excellent display of kiosks made for 
companies as far away as Australia and featuring the Aerome, scent technology 
for which they are now worldwide distributors. 
The Aerome scent technology continues to amaze people.  In the example on 
show, one could watch a Coke advertisement and at the moment the bottle top 
was removed one could clearly smell the distinct aroma of Coca-Cola.
What will be a great interest to our members, is the fact that Videotronics 
now have a stock of kiosks available in the USA, for lease as well as sale.  
These versatile kiosks contain a television and can be fitted with either a 
VCR, VideoCD, CD-i, DVD or an M2 player.  This coupled with the fact that 
they can be rented for relatively short periods, makes them ideal for 
marketing tests and other short term projects.  
As well as seeing a lot of old friends, I met many Plug & Play readers for 
the first time, which coupled with the success of our members made it a great 
few days. 

The Second Annual Pan-European DVD Summit in Dublin.

With over 250 delegates the conference was a sellout event.
Europeans got their first real glimpse of Microsoft's WebDVD, VMLab's new 
interactive DVD Player and other basically American technology, seen by our 
members at last year's IDMA Summit.
Strangely enough for a conference , featuring a brand-new technology of the 
future, several speakers apologized for the fact that as good as DVD was they 
were still a long way from achieving  the results they require to satisfy 
their clients.  Several speakers remarked that of course it could not do what 
CD-I had been able to do.
There was a sense of having been here before.  The same faces, just a new 
technology.  Volvo (Quite rightly) again winning the best Corporate award 
title and Tender Loving Care (Which won its first award in the 1997 IDMA 
awards) carrying off the most creative use of DVD technology award.
At the awards dinner, Bernard Luskins, Dr. Edmund Sun and Jean-Paul Commin 
were presented with lifetime achievement awards.
The IDMA's chairman, Richard French of RISE Int'l received a special 
achievement award for the Philips DVD demonstration disc.
The main difference between the Dublin Summit and the IDMA Summit, was that 
the Dublin Summit took place in a castle and we all wore evening dress for 
the awards.  At the IDMA Summit in Orlando, it was all we could do to get 
people to change out of their Golf outfit's.

Here are the complete results of the first European DVD Awards. 

Most Creative Use of DVD Technology  
Tender Loving Care - DVD International / Dvant Digital, USA.

Best Professional / Corporate DVD
Volvo C70 - AVM dialog / Volvo, Sweden

Best Educational DVD 
Guitar Hits - Ubi Soft, France.

Best Entertainment DVD Video
Super Speedway - Big Picture DVD Productions, Canada / Image Entertainment, 
USA. 

Best Entertainment DVD ROM
I'm your man - Choice Point / Planet Theory, USA.

Best Technical Achievement / Special Effects
The Adventures of Valdo and Marie - Ubi Soft, France.

Best Audio
Super Speedway - Big Picture DVD Productions, Canada / Image Entertainment, 
USA.

Best Web DVD
Troma Edge DVD Magazine -  Troma Entertainment Inc, USA.

Best Packaged DVD
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels - SKA  Films / Polygram Filmed 
Entertainment (UK) Ltd.
Special Achievement Awards for DVD Production were presented to Philips 
Corporate DVD - RISE Int'l, USA and Riverdance - Published by VCI, Tyrone 
Productions, Screen Scene, Ireland
The awards were sponsored by Philips and Enterprise Ireland.
Planning for next year's conference has already started.  It will be 16th 
-19th of March and will again take place in Dublin.


Panasonic Launches second generation Portable DVD Player.

The Panasonic DVD-L10, was the portable DVD Video player we all wanted to 
take out of our briefcases to impress our clients and friends.  No longer, 
now it has to be the new DVD-L50.  This miniature miracle is even more 
compact and versatile making it the world's smallest and lightest portable 
DVD player with a built-in LCD screen. 
The DVD-L50 weighs 2.07 pounds with the battery.  It measures 5.51 inches by 
5.96 inches and is less than 2 inches thick.  The player features a built-in, 
5" LCD monitor with 280,000 pixel resolution for outstanding picture quality 
with a wide viewing angle. The touch of a button lets you select either the 
4:3 standard TV screen dimension or the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio 
supported by most DVD titles. 

Advanced Virtual Surround Sound and a DTS audio output are among the new 
features found on this new player.  Other improvements include up to 3 hours 
of playback time, thanks to a new lithium ion battery pack.  The DVD-L50 has 
its battery recharger built right into it, so recharging is easier than ever. 
 For added convenience, a "credit card" sized remote control is supplied. The 
DVD-L50 also comes with a multi-voltage AC adapter for power supply from 110V 
to 240V, making it more convenient than ever to take your favorite DVD movies 
on the road. 

Although designed to travel, the ultra-compact DVD-L50 offers the same wide 
array of features found on full-size DVD decks, and can optimize the 
performance of the most sophisticated home theater systems. The player 
features S-Video output, composite video outputs, and direct digital audio 
output for convenient connection to a TV and audio system for home enjoyment. 

A 10-bit video DAC (digital-to-analog converter) provides superb picture 
quality by minimizing digital artifacts. On-screen menu icons make navigating 
the player's features and functions fast and simple. Features include 
multiple language selection, title/chapter search with marker function, auto 
switching field/frame still, frame advance (forward and reverse), repeat mode 
and more. 

The DVD-L50 also provides the advanced audio features needed to completely 
appreciate the DVD experience.  Its 96 kHz, 24-bit audio DAC produces optimal 
sound quality whether you're playing a CD or DVD disc. The player can deliver 
superb sound through built-in, front-firing stereo speakers, or through 
external headphones via a headphone jack. And if you wish to connect the 
DVD-L50 to your home theater system, Panasonic's Advanced Virtual Surround 
Sound feature simulates a 5.1 channel surround sound effect, down mixed from 
either a 5.1 channel or 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack, from the stereo 
speakers of any home audio system. The player also features output for both 
DTS and Dolby Digital decoding. 

The Panasonic DVD-L50 PalmTheater portable DVD player carries a suggested 
retail price of $1,099.95, and you can have one next month.

Pioneer Ships First Professional 4.7GB DVD-Recordable Drive and Media
The DVD Recordable drive the industry has been waiting for is now shipping, 
albeit only as samples.  But at $5,400 the DVR-S201, the industry's first 
4.7GB DVD-Recordable (DVD-R) drive at a sensible price is worth waiting for. 
Designed for industrial use, this second-generation DVD-R drive provides 
greater capacity and with its low cost-per-megabyte and compact design, 
should be ideal for industrial DVD authoring and long-term data archival. 
The DVD-R discs are available at cost of $40. 
Contact:   Pioneer New Media Technologies Web Site: www.pioneer-usa.com 

Get into DVD for under $25,000.

In the last issue we promised to give you information on the recently 
released  Microboards DVD kit that features a DVD authoring tool, 
AuthorQuick, and the ZP 200 / 300 series of MPEG 2 encoders from Zapex all 
for under $25,000 including a. 4.7 GB Pioneer DVD-R recorder
Chuck Alcon Jr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing, believes it's a great 
offer for the membership of the IDMA and readers of Plug & Play to consider:

As he says it has, "Easy to use, full featured, intuitive Windows NT based 
authoring
Software.  Board level audio and video, MPEG 2 encoding , with Dolby Digital 
AC 3 two channel support (on one board, no daughter board required ) It is 
easily integrated into any standard PC and comes complete for under $25,000 
for the board, software, and a. 4.7 GB Pioneer DVD-R recorder.

Visit their website at www.microboards.com, or give Chuck a call at 800 646 
8881.....
Please mention the IDMA or Plug & Play.                                 

Panasonic and Car Toys launch first-ever mobile DVD theater in U.S.

Panasonic and Car Toys kicked off sales of a new mobile DVD theater.  An 
in-dash DVD player, processor and rear monitor, the first of its kind 
available to U.S. consumers. 

In addition to the mobile DVD theater system that was custom installed in a 
mini-van for use at the kick-off event, mobile DVD theater systems have also 
been installed in a sport utility vehicle and sedan for product 
demonstrations around the country. 
At 7" x 2" x 6-5/8", the new player, model CX-DV1500, fits in the dashboard 
like any double din-size car stereo and delivers the video and audio benefits 
of DVD-format movies with digital surround sound and conventional CD audio 
playback.  The flat 7-inch diagonal LCD monitor, is designed to be installed 
for rear passenger viewing between the front seats, in an overhead rear 
panel, or elsewhere in the back of the vehicle. 
While the system can use the automobile's existing speakers for audio 
playback, in full mobile theater mode, the DVD player can be combined with 
the CY-AC300 Dolby Digital/DTS (Digital Theater Sound) processor along with 
three amps to drive front and rear, center and subwoofer speakers. 
Contact:  Panasonic  web site:  http://www.panasonic.com

Question from a member, What's a Margie card?

A less expensive DVD Video player and one that can play DVD on CD-R. 

Those looking for a less expensive solution, can install a MARGI Systems 
DVD-to-Go, 
high performance PC Card that slips easily into all ZV notebooks. This 
hardware-based card integrates DVD decoding technology to provide full color, 
full-motion video along with Dolby Digital Surround Sound. 

What is probably even more important is the fact that the Margie card will 
play DVD Video,  recorded on a CD-R using an ordinary CD-Recorder, which most 
of us have.  This will empower mobile professionals to conduct effective 
interactive training sessions and give persuasive multimedia presentations, 
using DVD Video without the hassles or expense of a DVD Recorder and using 
less expensive CD-R discs.  
The compact PC Card also turns notebooks into a home theater system, creating 
in effect a computer which doubles as a portable DVD player for much less 
money. 

Hardware Versus Software for DVD decoding. 

According to Margie Systems, in comparison tests conducted in the world's 
largest Zoomed Video laboratory, software decoding has failed to provide the 
smooth flowing video that users seek in watching DVD. 
The DVD-to-Go PC Card excels over software decoders in the following ways: 

1. Compatibility, as it works on ZV notebooks, and will work on CPUs as low 
as 150MHz.

2. The products graphical user interface (GUI) is easier to use, with a 
professional look and is also more comprehensive, providing a complete set of 
DVD navigational options.

3. Minimal VGA memory requirement.  Software decoding solutions need high VGA 
allocation for basic playback functionality, forcing a reduced graphics 
screen resolution to 8 bit color.

4. Better Mouse Control.  With software, mouse capability is limited and 
often disappears, hindering navigational capabilities.

5. Flexibility.  The board can be swapped from notebook to notebook.

6. Customization.  MARGI Systems offers customization of DVD-to-Go, for 
special corporate needs.

7. NT 4.0 Support.  This is not yet available for software decoders.

Contact:   MARGI Systems   Web Site:   http://www.margi.com.  
Please mention the IDMA.

Internet font companies, to enhance television display quality.

Those of our members who have been working in Television Based Multimedia for 
many years, long ago recognized the problem of Font's for use on television.  
With the advent of DVD many developers, used to working with monitors are 
facing the problem for the first time.  Spyglass, have introduced a Thin GUI 
Library with scaleable font technology to significantly improve the look of 
Web content displayed on a television.  Spyglass Thin GUI Library is bundled 
with their Device Mosaic Web browser and Device Mail Internet mail technology 
to assure a highly customizable, portable user interface for television 
implementations.

By integrating Agfa's and Bitstream's Internet font technology in the 
Spyglass ThinGUI Library, developers will now have access to a broader range 
of font capabilities. 
In addition, these technologies provide anti-aliased fonts, fonts that are 
designed to look
good on television displays. Combine that with the functionality provided by
Spyglass' Internet technologies, developers will be able to offer a more 
compelling interactive television solution.

Spyglass, Inc. http://www.spyglass.com

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.  Many readers asked to pay with 
American Express.  The Association has therefore added Amex to the various 
methods of payment.
The objective of the request is 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." 
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.  
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.


"Plug and Play" is published by the Interactive Digital Media Association as 
a service to our members and readers. 
The Editor is Paul Holmes who can be reached at  (440) 349-9661

If for some reason you do not want any more copies of Plug  & Play, just send 
an e-mail telling us to stop, to IDMA1999@AOL.com.  

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






Thanks Kinetic!

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