Plug & Play Volume 8 Issue Number 16 Circulation over 1,457 Members & Registered Readers. Official newsletter of the Interactive Digital Media Association and the DVD Association Contents. The 1999 Awards and the Summit. Tech stuff. DVDA membership has reached 663 and is rising. >From the Editor. Make no mistake we are , 100% behind DVD. We know it will succeed. But so far this years awards entries have proved one thing, so far it has not yet succeeded in the Sales, Marketing, Kiosks and Training world where most of our members work. After all if you worked in CD-I and VideoCD, digital video on a disc is nothing new. DVD Video can do what VideoCD could do and do it better, but DVD Video as yet can't do many of the things that CD-I has been doing for ten years. When will this change, when the new Interactive DVD Video players arrive, hopefully at this years summit. A Nuon enhanced DVD Video player can and will do what CD-I does and do it better. VMLabs have a high level authoring tool available, so you don't even have to be a C+ programmer to make it work. There is at least one more DVD-Interactive player about to be launched and more on the way. That is why we have set up a working group to create best practices for Interactive DVD. That is another reason you should support the DVDA. Technical Director for the DVDA Jim Taylor has accepted the position of Technical Director of the DVDA. Jim will act as a liaison with the heads of each of the working groups and speak on behalf of the DVDA on technical matters. New Chapters. There is now an Australian chapter. Jeff Sunderland of DVD Technologies, e-mail [email protected], has offered to start work on a DVDA chapter for down under. Max Nguyen of DVD Master is starting a chapter in Orange County, CA. You can contact Max at [email protected] Phone (714) 962-4098 Fax (714) 962-4198 If you have a suggestion regarding a local chapter in your area, or your country, please call. The ninth annual awards for excellence in interactive digital media. It really is time to enter. Yes, the awards entries close on Sept 15. Enter now! These awards are open to all Plug & Play, interactive disc based technologies and provide a unique opportunity to compare the best that can be done by developers using many different platforms. As usual we expect a lot of entries on CD-I, VideoCD, M2 and of course we expect that this year we shall see many entries on DVD Video and DVD-ROM. The Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies will be presented at the annual summit conference. Dallas 22-24 Oct. The entry forms are available on the web at www.dvda.org, by e-mail at [email protected], or to obtain a fax copy, call (440) 349 9661. If you know of any interactive digital titles that should be considered, call me. The IDMA-DVDA Summit Dallas 22-24 Oct. The 1999 Summit is shaping up to be another exciting event this year. Once again it will be the place were the 'Experts come, to become the experts." We will see the first appearance of some new Interactive DVD players, have a whole day of DVD updates, organized by three of the top experts in the field of DVD. But don't forget if you are still creating CD-I, VCD, SVCD or M2 titles this is the place to be as well. All Friday afternoon is devoted just to these platforms. So if you want to know what's happening to the platform you are currently developing on, then it is important to be there. Saturday evening, delegates attend the Gala awards dinner, sponsored by Panasonic and free to all those registered. Sunday morning, specially invited experts will give us a glimpse into the future, beyond 2000. Then the session where everyone speaks, asks questions and becomes part of the Summit, the Town Meeting. During the whole three days, at the mini-expo you will be able to talk to the experts, try the latest authoring tools and get hands on experience with the new equipment. That's how you become an expert. Registration forms are on the web site at www.dvda.org,available by e-mail at [email protected], or to obtain a fax copy, call (440) 349 9661. If you know of any interesting speakers, with something new and exciting to say, please contact me. $125 early bird savings. September 15 is the last day for the $125 early bird savings, so if you have not already done so please register and make your reservation before then. Book your hotel by e-mail at '[email protected]' for the special rates Join the DVDA or the IDMA for $100 and save another $100 off the summit conference. That means you get the whole thing, conference, mini-expo, gala dinner and the other meals for $200. We can only do this because of our sponsors who cover the costs of the food, equipment etc. There are still some opportunities for your company to sponsor parts of the summit and the awards categories. Send me an e-mail for a list of remaining sponsorship opportunities. [email protected] Membership forms are on the web site. Mini-Expo at the Summit. If your company is a member of the IDMA-DVDA then you can demonstrate your products in our mini-expo. No booths, are allowed, but for $100 (the cost from the hotel) we will provide, a draped table with electricity and where possible the necessary equipment. If you are an equipment manufacturer and would like to provide your equipment for the other members to use during the mini-expo, contact us. We have worked hard to make this summit conference an exciting weekend that will benefit everyone attending, don't get left out, it's your future. General news. Advance notice DVD Summit III Burlington Hotel, Dublin, 15-18 April 2000 Web site: www.dvdsummit.com This is the third European DVD conference on strategic issues, alliances and publishing opportunities. Last year's conference was so successful that Dublin is again the chosen venue. Ireland, the gateway to Europe, hosts two days of pre-conference workshops on 15-18 April, followed by DVD Summit for industry leaders on 17-18 April. The event culminates in the Gala Evening and European DVD Awards, held in Dublin Castle on 18 April. A 4-day exhibition accompanies this major conference. For speaker and sponsorship opportunities email John Barker at [email protected] We are supporting the conference as the DVDA's European event for year 2000. VM Labs Licenses Spyglass Device Mosaic for NUON Interactive DVD Think of your favorite DVD movie on your television, in your family room. Now imagine with the click of a button on your DVD remote, being transferred to the Movie's own web site. Creating interactive content has become this easy with VM Labs' next-generation NUON enhanced DVD technology. NUON technology transforms DVD Video players into Interactive DVD players for, enhanced DVD movies, games, and many other applications such as Sales, Marketing, Kiosks and Training. With its embedded high-speed media processor, associated firmware and operating system, NUON provides a powerful platform to bring dynamic interactive features to your living room, the training room, or you companies Point of Sale Kiosk in the Mall. VM Labs has now added an easy-to-use browser to their package, a Spyglass Device Mosaic to allow Interactive DVD users to view content written in HTML. Now developers can create truly interactive DVD titles and Web-sites can deliver MPEG2 Video right into your family room, using a Web connected DVD title. Toshiba has already agreed to include NUON in future digital consumer products, and VM Labs predicts that during the year 2000, NUON will become a de-facto standard in DVD players worldwide. Daikin Authors Epic Film C-Cube Microsystems, Daikin U.S. and Digital Ventures have announced that the James Cameron film, Titanic, scheduled for DVD release on August 31st, was produced using their DVD video encoding and authoring technology at Sunset Post, a leading Hollywood post production facility. "Titanic has elements that pose unique challenges for anyone in DVD production, pushing the envelope of digital video compression and testing the industry's ability to apply high technology to a creative world," said Richard Mizer, president and CEO of Digital Ventures Diversified. "The film's wide ocean expanses and heavily detailed night shots are two of the most difficult elements to digitize - water and detailed dark imagery," added Mizer. "Because of this complexity and the movie's great length, the Titanic video stream was significantly larger than those of other films and nearly impossible to digitize onto a single disc without visible artifacts. By providing flexible control of the encoding process to address Titanic's especially challenging changes in resolution, bandwidth and color depth we have earned this prestigious opportunity to encode this epic film." "C-Cube's MPEG-2 compression algorithms have been used worldwide to encode hundreds of movies," said Didier Le Gall, chief technical officer for C-Cube, and patent holder of several MPEG compression schemes. "Our engineers are pleased that our research and development in the area of MPEG compression is validated by successfully encoding Titanic." Due to the sheer length of the film, Titanic was stored on two layers of a single DVD disc. Two separate versions of the dual-layer DVD disc were made, one for full screen and the other in the original theatrical aspect ratio. >From Bob Rager, Remember 'Memory Works'? Whether interested in improving your memory skills, or just curious about the latest science has to offer on how your brain functions, MemoryZine, a new website is now open to older adults of all ages. Located at www.MemoryZine.com, the site was conceived to provide news about human memory performance, as well as offer innovative aids that can enhance your ability to learn and remember. A center of memory excellence, PMI's mission is to help people improve everyday memory skills with new programs developed from NIH funded research. The site has now been selected by the Novartis Foundation for mini-site inclusion on their www.HealthandAge.com web site for physicians and patients. Editors comment. Bob Rager is a well known CD-I producer. Technical section. 10x DVD-ROM drive Digital Video Systems, Inc. have announced that its 10X DVD-ROM Drives will be available in sample quantities in late November, with delivery starting in December 1999. The new drive is compatible with DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, and virtually all CD formats including CD-ROM, CD-Audio, CD-R, CD-RW, Video CD, Multi-session Photo CD, or Photo CD. For more information on DVS' products, email to [email protected], call Bob Werbicki 1-650-564-9699 or visit: www.dvsystems.com. DVD-RAM. Today and tomorrow REALmagic Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is being featured at DVD-RAM...Today and Tomorrow, a briefing and industry update sponsored by Hitachi, Panasonic, and Toshiba. During the event, Sigma's DVR will play a key role in showing the versatility and functionality of DVD-RAM for low-cost, real-time DVD video production, editing, storage, and playback. Corporate publishing is moving to video as its favored medium. Educators and corporate in-house production staff want to put video on their web sites or distribute it to other people in their organization. But corporate marketing and training departments are cost-sensitive and need equipment that is easy to use. Paying $1,000 for a digital camera is typical; the camera creates images for use in data sheets and other marketing collateral. Now, Sigma's REALmagic DVR enables professionals to capture images, edit MPEG video, and publish DVD titles for less than $1,000. The demand for the functionality included in REALmagic DVR is growing at a rapid pace, not only in businesses and educational organizations, but also with home consumers. International Data Corporation predicts that as many as one million households will own a digital video recorder by 2000 -- an aggressive forecast for a products that is only in its second year of existence. "Our focus in developing REALmagic DVR has been on maximizing functionality and optimizing value in an easy-to-use package," said William K. Wong, Sigma's vice president of marketing. "REALmagic DVR is as easy to install and use as our hallmark Hollywood Plus DVD decoder card. "It can be used on any Pentium-class PC, including older 200 MHz systems frequently found in schools and businesses. Getting DVD encoding, editing, authoring, and DVD playback for less than $1,000 is quite a bargain." REALmagic DVR supports any DVD-RAM or DVD-ROM drive (IDE or SCSI). REALmagic DVR will be available during the third quarter of this year and will be sold through OEMs and system integrators. A number of end-user upgrade kit producers are planning to release retail kits incorporating REALmagic DVR in time for the holidays. The kits will enable customers to upgrade their Windows 98/NT PCs to video and DVD production systems. CONTACT: Sigma Designs http://www.sigmadesigns.com Visible Light Announces Onstage‚ DVD Visible Light have announced their new DVD product line. OnStage DVD Xtra and OnStage DVD Active X are scheduled for release in the 4th Quarter of 1999. OnStage DVD playback technology is designed to integrate interactivity and control of DVD content into a wide variety of authoring languages, including Macromedia Director‚. The OnStage DVD Xtra and OnStage Active X are Windows‚-based tools for use in a hard drive presentation, such as on a notebook or kiosk, or to create enhanced hybrid DVD titles for wide distribution. "Authors are free to focus more on new award-winning creative designs and use DVD technology to its fullest, incorporating interactive menus, multiple audio (language) tracks, video angles, subpictures and speed control. It opens the door to a new era of interactivity and sensual experience for the viewer." says Steve Perlman, President of Visible Light. For over two years, Visible Light's OnStage product line has served over 500 customers worldwide, with flawless playback in hard-drive presentations and on CD-ROM. Visible Light's investment into the OnStage playback technology will assure the stability and success of OnStage DVD. Additional information about OnStage DVD can be found at Visible Light's web site: www.visiblelight.com/onstage "Plug and Play" is published by the Interactive Digital Media Association as a free service to our members and readers. The Editor is Paul Holmes, he can be reached at [email protected] (440) 349-9661 If you know of anyone who would like to receive Plug & Play, free, just send an e-mail, to [email protected] with "Subscribe" on the Subject line and the persons e-mail address, name and phone number. If for some reason you do not want any more copies of Plug & Play, just send an e-mail, to [email protected] with "Unsubscribe" on the Subject line. 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