Plug & Play      Volume 8     Issue Number 11.

The official newsletter of the IDMA & the DVD-Association

Circulation over 1,750 Members & Registered Readers. 

Contents:  New DVD-Association. General news, success stories and technical 
information.

>From the Editor.

A new Association, just for DVD.  

The Interactive Digital Media Association, (IDMA) in conjunction with the 
members of the DVD group, today announced the formation of a new association 
for the DVD industry.  The new organization will be known as the 
DVD-Association, or DVDA, and will be operated as a sister organization, by 
the Interactive Digital Media Association.
The new Association will support the DVD platform in North America and Europe.
Two new directors selected from the members of the DVD Group will join the 
IDMA Board immediately.  The DVDA will also have an advisory council made up 
of industry representatives to assist in the shaping of this exciting new 
industry. The first two honorary members of this Advisory Council are the two 
chairpersons of the leading DVD conferences in North America and Europe, Dana 
Parker and John Barker.  
Panasonic Home and Commercial Products Company are the first Manufacturer to 
join the Advisory Council.  They will be represented on the council by 
Mr.Stan Cook.

 "Plug & Play, the IDMA's free e-mail newsletter for the interactive digital 
media industry, has for some time concentrated almost entirely on supporting 
the DVD Platform." said Paul Holmes, Chief Executive of the new Association 
and editor of Plug & Play.  "Now with the influx of experts from the DVD 
group the contents should be even more helpful and informative for the 
readers." 

The DVDA will share, both the new web site, www.DVDA.org, currently being 
designed for the IDMA and the IDMA-DVDA Summit conference scheduled for 
Dallas, October 22-24. Richard French Chairman of the IDMA and now of the 
DVDA,  said. "The IDMA was originally formed to support the developers of all 
the new digital platforms.  As DVD has emerged as the predominant platform 
for this decade, it seemed only sensible to focus our support on this 
platform and what better way than by utilizing the existing frame work of the 
IDMA to create a DVD-Association."

The first meeting of the new group which is scheduled for Sunday, August 15, 
will be held in the 'Seacliff  D'Room from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, during the 1999 
DVD Pro conference at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, San Francisco.  Dana 
Parker DVD PRO Conference Chair said."  We welcome the chance to host this 
important meeting and wish the new Association every success."

Existing members of the IDMA and those joining the DVD-Association before the 
annual meeting in Dallas on October 22, will automatically become charter 
members of the new association.

Three months FREE membership for charter members.

To encourage everyone involved in DVD to join the new Association, the 
IDMA-DVD-Association is offering free individual membership during the ninety 
day start up period.  
To enroll as a charter member, all you need to do is send an e-mail with the 
following information: Subject line: "Enroll me."  Followed by:  Name-          
E-mail address- Phone #-        Company or affiliation-
You will become a member of the DVD-Association for three months.
You will receive Plug & Play the IDMA-DVDA e-mail newsletter, bi-weekly and 
be given the password to the 'Members only' section of the new IDMA-DVDA web 
site.

Manufacturers and other companies wanting a seat on the DVDA Advisory Council 
should talk to either the DVDA Chairman, Richard French (riserlf@flash.net) 
or the Chief Executive, Paul Holmes. (IDMA1999@aol.com),

This association is not for profit, it's for you.  

Make the most of it.  Join now.

Information for the new IDMA-DVDA web site.

Among the items on the new www.DVDA.org web site will be:
Web site links.
If your web site links with ours, please tell me so that we can check that 
our web-site links with yours.
Association Web Links.
If you have an association that features DVD, please tell us and we will 
arrange a link. 
A Calendar of events.
If you know of any events that our readers should be aware of, please let me 
know.
Breaking news from our members
If you have a press release please make sure we have a copy.  
Even if you have a simple success story please tell us.
Remember we don't make the news, we only pass it on.

News and Information of General interest.

Digital Video Express Calls It Quits.

In case anyone has not heard yet, Digital Video Express will cease marketing 
of the Divx home video system and discontinue operations.
Digital Video Express will provide a $100 cash rebate to all consumers who 
purchased Divx-enhanced players prior to June 16, 1999. Rebate forms will be 
available at www.divx.com, participating retailers and by calling 
1-888-639-DIVX. The rebate will ensure that no Divx customers have paid more 
for the Divx-featured player than they would have paid for the least 
expensive, comparable DVD player available at the time of their purchase. All 
Divx-featured DVD players are fully functional DVD players and will continue 
to operate as such. All Divx discs, including those previously purchased by 
consumers and those remaining in retailer inventories, can be viewed on 
registered players anytime between now and June 30, 2001. Subsequent viewings 
also will be available during that period. Discs can no longer be upgraded to 
unlimited viewing, known as Divx Silver. Customers who have converted discs 
to Divx Silver can continue viewing the discs until June 30, 2001, or can 
receive a full refund of the conversion price at their request. Divx expects 
to provide registered owners with written notification of the details related 
to the system phase-out. Effective today, Divx will no longer register new 
customers. 

Success stories.

First DVD-Video touch-screen Kiosk application.

"Faces of Asthma"  A DVD-Video touch screen application debuted at the 
National Library of Medicine, the largest medical library in the world, on 
March 22 along with special guests Olympic gold medallist Jackie 
Joyner-Kersee and the Sesame Street Muppet characters Rosita, Luis, and Dani.

"Faces of Asthma" is the National Library of Medicine's first DVD program and 
may be the first DVD touch-screen application opened to the public in the 
United States.  This interactive program features nine Americans who share 
their thoughts on the impact asthma has had on their lifestyles, 
accomplishments, and goals for the future.  The individuals featured on the 
program range from young children and teenagers, young adults, entire 
families, to retired senior citizens with asthma.  The program is also closed 
captioned for the hearing impaired. This DVD program is running daily on the 
Philips 170 Professional player interfaced to a 20" Sony monitor and Neuro 
Logic touchscreen. 
This DVD program was produced by Thomas Held, Germantown, Maryland 
(tomheld@aol.com, 301-540-2539).

Success story from Valkieser in the Netherlands.

'Kamp Westerbork' is the title of the latest release of an interactive DVD
Video title produced by the Dutch companies Valkieser Solutions and Scoop. 
The title serves as an audio-visual on demand medium for visitors to the 
permanent exhibition at Westerbork concentration camp, a second World War 
museum near Groningen, the Netherlands. The program comprises 96 minutes of 
professionally produced (16 mm) film, which is made available via an 
attractive 12 section-navigation interface.
"We have deployed DVD Video and a Philips ProDVD170 as a system since this
provides the highest achievable picture quality in combination with 
durability and ease of use", explains Bob Nieskens, account manager of 
Valkieser Solutions from Hilversum. "Visitors access this documentary, with 
at times highly emotional content, via a touch screen TV monitor. We are 
pleased with the result, and pleasantly surprised by the robustness of the 
this advanced solution".
More info: Web: www.valkieser.nl

Black Isle Ships 'Baldur's Gate' DVD

Black Isle Studios, the role-playing game division of Interplay Entertainment 
unveiled the release of the DVD version of their award-winning hit, 
``Baldur's Gate''. The DVD game will include the original version of 
``Baldur's Gate'' developed by BioWare Corp., previously only available on 
five PC CD-ROM disks. The DVD version will eliminate the player's need to 
switch disks between areas in the game and allowing for more seamless 
adventuring. 

Set in the Sword Coast region of the popular Forgotten Realms Advanced 
Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting licensed from TSR, Inc., ``Baldur's 
Gate'' takes the player on a visually dazzling adventure. It brings to life 
the grand traditions of a true AD&D role-playing game experience for the 
personal computer through cutting-edge art and loyalty to the AD&D rule set. 
The story begins with looming economic strife and mysterious murders 
terrifying the local residents of the city of Baldur's Gate. This causes 
local leaders to point the finger at the neighboring nation of Amn. War seems 
imminent, and the player's character is thrust into the dangerous regional 
conflict to unravel the mystery with a party of adventurers. 
Contact:   Black Isle Studios   Web Site:   http://www.blackisle.com

Large number of used CD-I players for sale.

AccentHealth has in excess of 12,000 Philips CD-i players for sale.  The 
breakdown is
approx. 1000 CDI450's, 8000 CDI550's and 3000 of the new CDI490's.  They
will all be sold "as is", so in an interest to move them, the pricing will
be $50 for each CDI450/550 and $350 for each CDI490.  Quantity discounts
will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.  Interested parties can contact
Bob Strader at bstrader@accenthealth.com phone:  813.349.7118 fax:       
813.349.7218

The Cambridge DVD Seminars.  

To be held in England at Cambridge University. 7th July 1999 and 22nd 
September 1999
Presented by Cambridge Multimedia, Daikin Industries, Optibase, Philips and 
Pioneer.
For the modest fee of 35.00
Booking Form, fax back 011 44 1638 743572 or send a request by post to: 
The Cambridge DVD Seminar Bookings. St Andrews, North Street,  Burwell,  
Cambridge CB5 0BB UK

Get free movie rentals.

If you rent your DVD movies from NetFlix you will know how easy it is and how 
efficient they are.  When you first sign up you get three free movies rentals.
Now you can get two more free rentals just for referring a friend.  What is 
more, the friend will be entitled to five free rentals, when they sign up.  
Of course if you are that close friends you would expect them to share their 
free rentals with you, so you get to see seven movies free, for each friend 
you recommend. 
But the deal gets better still! In addition to your two free DVD rentals, 
each month they will award a ReplayTV model #2003, valued at $899.00, to the 
customer who brings the most friends to NetFlix.com. 
Now there's a deal, go to:  
http://referral.netflix.com/5free/index.html?nfso=opal19419303, and give them 
the name of the friend you'd like to refer.

To find out more about RePlayTV.  Go to: http://www.replaytv.com


Sigma Integrates DVD Player With Microsoft TV

Sigma Designs reported a Microsoft TV-compatible reference platform for 
adding DVD playback to the Microsoft Windows CE operating system .
The combination of DVD video playback with a Microsoft TV-based device 
represents a major breakthrough in home convergence appliances. 
``Microsoft TV is designed to provide a rich television and Web experience 
for consumers,'' said Alan Yates, director of Platform Marketing, Microsoft 
Corp. ``The integration of the Microsoft TV experience and Sigma Designs' DVD 
player creates a consumer electronics product that can deliver new levels of 
interaction into the living room.''

Hitachi Names Veteran To Lead Sales For DVD Storage Products

Hitachi reported that James D. Kaufmann has joined the company as director of 
general sales in the Optical Storage Group. 
Kaufmann, a 25-year veteran of the data storage industry, will manage a team 
focused on expanding channel sales of Hitachi's award-winning DVD-RAM and 
DVD-ROM drives. 
Before joining Hitachi America, Kaufmann served as vice president of sales at 
Digital Video Systems, a DVD-ROM manufacturer that launched its OEM product 
line in late 1998. He has worked in the optical data storage industry since 
1993, serving as vice president of sales and marketing both at MOST, Inc. and 
Nikon, Inc. 
During his 25-year career in the computer data storage industry, Kaufmann has 
managed sales and marketing operations for both tape and disk drive 
manufacturers. Prior positions include tenures as vice president, sales and 
marketing, for Computer Memories, Inc. and Rexon, Inc. He holds a B.S. in 
Business Administration from California State University, Northridge. 

Contact:   Hitachi   Web Site:   http://www.hitachi.com

Technical information.

Sony Develops ''Open System'' DVD Video Encoding Utility

Sony Electronics reported the compatibility of the DVA-1100 DVD Authoring 
System with Daikin's Scenarist NT, Sonic Solution's DVD Creator, and Spruce 
Technologies' DVDMaestro systems. 
The DVA-1100 allows facilities that already have an investment in authoring 
systems to improve their picture quality, using Sony's MPEG-2 encoding 
technology, as well as offering added flexibility of a high quality video 
stream to facilities interested in entering the DVD market in the future. 

Sony's DVA-1100 DVD Authoring System includes the capability to export MPEG-2 
encoded video that has been compressed using the DVA-V1100 Video Encoder for 
use in other, non-Sony, authoring packages that customers may already be 
using. By providing these capabilities, Sony allows facilities that already 
have an investment in authoring systems to improve the picture quality they 
can provide at a cost comparable to other high-end encoders. 
Contact:   Sony   Web Site:   http://www.sony.com

Gomotion Delivers High-Quality MPEG-2 Files To Rewritable DVD

Panasonic and Ligos Technology jointly revealed that the Panasonic LF-D101 
DVD-RAM drive supports MPEG-2 video and multimedia files encoded by Ligos' 
GoMotion software-only, real-time MPEG-2 encoding technology. 
GoMotion provides corporate in-house developers, OEMs, ISVs and IHVs with a 
cost-effective means of delivering high-quality, full-motion video without 
the additional cost of hardware encoders. With support for GoMotion MPEG-2 
encoded files, businesses and individuals will be able to take advantage of 
the Panasonic LF-D101 drive's high capacity and low-cost media for reliable 
storage of home videos, corporate training and marketing films, and 
entertainment videos. 

The GoMotion codec is scalable for all MMX and SSIMD-enabled Pentium 
processors. It performs real-time, 30 frames-per-second, with full IPB frame 
compression at D1 (720x480) pixel resolution on a 500 MHz Pentium III 
processor, Half D1 (352x480) pixel resolution on a 350 MHz Pentium II, and 
SIF (352x240) resolution on the 266MHz Pentium II processor. Based on Ligos 
Technology's patent-pending LightSpeed motion estimation algorithm, GoMotion 
technology is being incorporated in products as diverse as ATI's 
All-in-Wonder 128 multimedia graphics boards and ICTV's ISX 2000 interactive 
television system. 

Based on the rewritable DVD standards approved by DVD Forum, the Panasonic 
DVD-RAM drive provides a single solution for reading data, video clips and 
audio files from both CDs and DVDs. The drive can read from discs currently 
accepted by CD-ROM, CD Audio, CD-R, CD-RW and video CD drives, as well as DVD 
video, DVD-ROM and DVD-R drives. Files recorded to DVD-RAM media can also be 
played back on Panasonic's current 5X and 6X DVD-ROM drives and future 
higher-speed DVD-ROM drives.

DVDconductor Authoring Software And DVDstationcx Authoring System
Spruce Technologies' DVDConductor is a professional-caliber, entry-level DVD 
authoring application based on Spruce's award-winning DVDMaestro, a Windows 
NT-based DVD authoring solution. 

The new product provides new media producers and corporate departments with 
an inexpensive and upgradable platform for delivering DVD titles. 
DVDConductor is available as a stand-alone application and as the software 
component of the new Spruce DVDStationCX DVD authoring system. 

DVDConductor includes all the software tools needed to design DVD titles, 
including software-based encoding for MPEG audio and video, installed on a 
fully configured Windows NT system. Users can easily create vivid titles that 
leverage the capabilities of DVD -- including interactive menus, multiple 
audio and language tracks, multiple camera angles -- while benefiting from a 
robust authoring environment that includes an intuitive drag-and-drop style 
interface, real-time full-quality preview system, and an on-screen navigation 
simulator. 

DVDStationCX bundles the DVDConductor authoring system with high-quality 
MPEG-2 and Dolby AC-3 hardware encoders from Spruce. 

DVDConductor is upgradeable in increments, based on the user's needs, up to 
the full DVDMaestro feature set with the addition of three upgrade packages. 
DVDPowerPack provides nine camera angles, eight audio streams, 32 subtitle 
streams, motion menus, and more. The DVDEntertainmentPack includes such 
features as CSS encryption, parental lock, Karaoke support, Divx support, and 
more. The DVDEncoderPack provides segment re-encoding, multipass VBR, forced 
I-frame insertion, and inverse Telecine. 

Pricing for the DVDConductor authoring system starts as low as $11,950 (U.S). 
DVDStationCX starts at $24,950 (U.S.). 

Contact:   Spruce Technologies   Web Site:   http://www.spruce-tech.com 

Philips Ships New Lines of DVD Players with SRS Labs' Trusurround

Through a new licensing agreement with Philips Consumer Electronics, SRS 
Labs' TruSurround technology has been selected as the virtual surround sound 
standard for Philips' new 700, 800 and 900 Series DVD players that are now 
available worldwide. These new DVD players are the first implementation of 
the TruSurround-featured STi5505 DVD chip solution offered by 
STMicroelectronics, an SRS chip licensee and world leader in silicon 
solutions for digital consumer products. 

DVD players mark the first products offered by Philips that include an audio 
technology from SRS Labs. ``We're very pleased with the virtual surround 
sound that TruSurround offers,'' stated Rob Beukeboom of Philips. ``It's the 
perfect complement for our DVD players, providing consumers with 
unprecedented sound performance -- whether they're using two or five 
speakers.'' 

The 700, 800 and 900 Series DVD players are the latest product innovations 
from Philips. They boast advanced DVD technology including a 10-bit video DAC 
and 24-bit/96kHz audio DAC. The Series is CD-R and CD-RW compatible with 
DVD/Super VCD/Video CD/Audio, and CD Playback. Additionally, they are 
full-featured Karaoke devices with 2-microphone inputs, echo and key control. 
( SVCD playback only available in Asia.)

TruSurround is designed to take advantage of the new multi-channel audio 
standard for DVD (Dolby Digital). While the Dolby Digital format brings 
unparalleled quality, a consumer must have multiple speakers in order to take 
full advantage of the 5.1 separate audio channels of Dolby information. SRS 
Labs realizes that this is not always an option as it is often difficult to 
surround an individual with six separate speakers. To overcome this 
challenge, SRS Labs developed TruSurround which processes the six discrete 
channels of digital AC-3 audio into just two channels, retaining all of the 
original audio information and giving the listener the perception that they 
are surrounded by additional ``phantom'' speakers. With its heritage traced 
to the patented Head Related Transfer Function-based (HRTF) SRS technology, 
TruSurround envelopes the listener in the most sensational two speaker sound 
ever experienced. 

Contact:   SRS Labs   Web Site:   http://www.srslabs.com

__________________________________________________________

"Plug and Play" is published by the Interactive Digital Media Association and 
the DVD-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, to IDMA1999@AOL.com. with "Unsubscribe" on the Subject line.

If you wish to join IDMA-DVDA , just ask for an 'E-mail membership 
application.'





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