Plug & Play Vol 7 - 11 Circulated to 1,250 Professional Developers
Plug & Play welcomes new readers.
Thanks to the members of the IDMA and this weeks sponsors, this technology
briefing is sent to you free. This is because you are either an important
professional developer using these cutting edge technologies, or else you use
them in the fields of training and marketing. There are sections for
'Marketing', 'New Equipment' and 'Information for Developers' as well as
This issue is sponsored by, Panasonic Home and Commercial Products Company,
Philips, Digital Videos Systems, Telescan, MTC, ActionDigital and Immediate
Plug and Play - Volume 7 Number 11 Circulation over 1,250 Professionals
Well I promised all those who could not get to the IDMA Summit meeting that I
would bring you up to date when I got back.
The IDMA Summit, known as the place where the 'Experts' go to become 'The
Experts,' lived up to it's reputation.
As promised we saw the first glimpse of Web DVD and it just blew everyone
away. Whatever you do, both at home and at work Web DVD will have a great
impact on your life. Together with the new wave of technology exemplified by
the first showing of Motorola's Blackbird, featuring the Project X chip. It
was clear these two platforms are set to influence the digital information
industry until the time when one can down load MPEG 2 Video from the web.
Blackbird is currently just a board, but it will soon be available in players
from several manufacturers. Web-DVD is real and ready for us to use. Indeed
two speakers, HYPERlock and AIX showed examples of Web-DVD that had even,
these seasoned experts on the edge of their chairs. You the developers who
have been reading this newsletter for many years are exactly the ones who will
make Web-DVD fly.
Our readers are used to developing for Television and trust me Web-DVD is
going to be on television. This is the newsletter that will keep you up to
date with both these new technologies.
Xmas presents for all those Ladies in your life.
Need a present for the Ladies in your life; Mother, Sister, Secretary,
Try this site for great jewelry at very good prices, delivered anywhere in
Europe or North America. www.j-o-n.demon.co.uk (I am not biased, it's my
Panasonic will have a huge booth, look them up, see M2 in person, ask for, Lou
Another of our members, Media Galleries, will be located in Booth 106140 at
the Sands Convention center.
Any other readers who will be at Comdex, let me know and I will tell everyone
where to find you.
CD-i the platform that will not die.
One of things that repeatedly emerged from the Summit, was, that as excited as
we are about DVD, it is not yet ready to replace CD-i. Just look at the
awards results, in open competition with DVD, CD-i won every Gold award, the
best DVD could do was a bronze.
When you listened to the speaker from Sears Roebuck, explain the success they
have achieved with CD-I in training and the speaker from DCI Marketing talk
about the great K-mart, Exide battery POP display which also uses this
platform you couldn't help but be impressed. These speakers later picked up
the Gold Awards for training and Marketing.
Fortunately, Digital Video Systems launched their new VE200 CD-i player just
in time to help Philips satisfy the demand for players that this new interest
MTC will have their Beta test versions of the M2 authoring software available
very soon and Panasonic are arranging to loan M2 players to any qualified
developer wanting to try their hand at developing an M2 title, using MTC's
Call Lou Massucci at 201 392 6658 to take advantage of this offer.
One interesting note from the conference, those developers who created their
CD-I titles with CD-Motion for CD-I will be able to port them to M2 with the
new CD-Motion for M2 authoring software. As this is rapidly becoming
accepted as the next television based interactive platform after CD-I this is
a real benefit for these developers.
1998 IDMA Seventh Annual Awards - Results
HYATT REGENCY HOTEL, ORLANDO INT'L AIRPORT 10/24/1998
One of the highlights of the Summit is the annual awards. So that you know
who won and why, here is a transcript of the awards ceremony. The speaker is
Paul Holmes Executive Director of the IDMA and President of Multimedia
If you are not interested in the awards please fast forward, there is lots
more good stuff in the next nine pages.
Good evening Ladies and Gentleman.
Welcome to the Seventh Annual IDMA/ICDIA Awards.
Yes, between the two associations we have now been presenting these awards for
Every year since 1991 the association has presented awards for excellence, for
originality and most important to recognize a job well done in the Television
Based Multimedia Industry.
The first award for 1998 goes to an education title that is part of an
interactive display designed to educate children not in the classroom but in a
new very interactive museum. This title is very educational as well as being
fun. It forms an important part of the new Fire Museum of Memphis.
The 1998 Bronze Award in the Best Education category goes to Rise
International for the Fire Museum of Memphis Interactive Exhibits
Another of our members, working in the area of career education, has won this
years silver award. Over the last few years Check Systems have created nearly
forty titles designed to help students make one of the most important choices
in their lives, their future careers.
The 1998 Silver Award for education goes to Textile Technician
One of a series created by CHEC Systems
It has long been my belief that multimedia would only be successful in
education, when it tackled real schoolwork. It's all right going on the Magic
Bus but you still have to get off, to learn reading, writing and arithmetic.
So I was particularly pleased with the jury's choice of title for the gold
It is a program with over 30 discs in the set, it plays on CD-ROM and CD-I,
though I have to admit it is a lot better on CD-i and I found it so much more
interesting than the old ways of teaching this potentially boring subject.
Because they were the first to prove to me how Pythagorus really works and for
a tremendous effort in education, I am very pleased to see the 1998 Gold Award
for education go to Barrett Kendall Publishing, for,' Algebra: A First
So now we turn to marketing. To my mind marketing is creating a demand or a
need for a product or service.
As they say, "Nothing happens until someone sells something" and "It is easier
to sell it, if they want it." Often today, in our complex world, you have to
understand it, before you want it.
The winners of our marketing trophies are clear examples of how multimedia can
create a demand by explaining complex subjects to simple people.
The winners of the bronze title for Marketing are also a clear example of how
a manufacturer of computer peripherals, looking for expert help at the point
of sale, turned not to computers, but to simple television based multimedia.
The Bronze Award for Best Marketing Title goes to one of our overseas members
Creative Action Holland for the title they created to market the Logitech
range of computer peripherals. Logitech 1998
The silver award winner, is a classic example of using a technology to sell
it's self. When Panasonic decided to market their M2 Multimedia player as a
professional business solution, they had the enormous challenge of being able
to show prospective clients how it could successfully satisfy all their
requirements. So they went to McGill Multimedia and commissioned an M2
demonstration disc to play on M2 players. The 1998 Silver Award for a
marketing title, the first ever award for the M2 platform, goes to McGill
Multimedia for the Panasonic M2 Demonstration Disc.
As anyone who has had a visit from a doorstep evangelist, half way through a
ball game, will tell you, religion is a hard sell. But when the job is to
take not just religion, but real help in to the prisons, where help is often
so badly needed, then one has to hope that the marketing will succeed.
Bill Glass ministries is one such organization and they asked Rise
International to make them a multimedia title that explains the plight of the
prisoners, and what we can all do to help through a ministry such as Bill
I am delighted to present the gold award for marketing to Rise International,
who, succeeded in the eyes of the jury in making a challenging subject into a
compelling multimedia marketing title.
1998 Gold Award for marketing goes to THE PROGRAM WORKS Bill Glass
If there is one category that our members have been outstandingly successful
in it is training. Over the years we have provided training titles for many
of the largest corporations in the world. What is more important, that
training has been successful. We have recently seen whole industries go over
to television based training as an alternative to the use of computers.
Today, you have seen the prospects of newer simpler boxes to connect to your
television, become reality. I am really looking forward to the exciting
training titles we will have to judge in this competition over the next few
The first winner in this category is like the Algebra title we mentioned
earlier, in that it uses the unique power of multimedia to explain an
extremely complicated subject. Electricity and how your cars alternator works.
It trains the mechanics not only how to diagnose and fix the problem, but just
as important how to explain the problem to the customer.
1998 Bronze Award for Best Training Title goes to Western Auto Parts for the
EVR Charging Systems.
One of the marks of success is when the training programs for the same
companies are entered every year, What does it tell you, when some one says,
"Last years was fine, lets stay with a winner." Chrysler have been in these
awards every year for as long as I can remember. Their program for training
sales people at all the Chrysler dealerships has not only been successful, it
has pioneered a whole system of student tracking and testing, that is in my
opinion the simplest yet most comprehensive there is, including those designed
So deservedly once again Chrysler are in the medals. This year with the
Chrysler Product Preview '99 which gets the Silver Award for training.
Another company that has put a huge amount of time and effort into it's
training programs has won this years Gold award for training.
They have created a series of very comprehensive titles, to help train their
store sales associates. Next time you are in one of these stores, check for
yourselves how pleasant and well informed the sales people are. They have
even involved their suppliers. For instance there are not just sections to
show how to sell dishwashers, there are sections for each different make of
dishwasher. It is not just dishwashers, there is a disc for every type of
There are even dictionaries with the 'Buzz ' phrases each manufacturer uses to
explain their particular version of a sales feature. There is tracking,
testing, help and everything one needs in a sales training title that is going
I am proud to present the 1998 Gold Award for training to Sears, Roebuck & Co
for their outstanding series of titles, The Sears Home Appliance Core
Now we move on to Kiosks, another success story for television based
multimedia. During the last year our members have made some enormous hits
with their kiosk titles. You heard about some of them today, you have read
about them in magazines, you have seen them winning other competitions.
Indeed one of our members, Nicklaus Golf won the best kiosk in the world title
at this years international Point of purchase show.
Kiosks need to be simple to operate, inexpensive to purchase, extremely
functional and above all attractive. Those are also the sales features of
television based multimedia.
In some ways kiosks are one of the most difficult platforms to develop for.
You have to attract an audience and then hold that audience's attention
completely. Just like any sales man you have to know when to close, but you
cant' see your customers eyes or read their body language.
You can lose you audience in a split second. They don't have to turn it off,
or stand up, or excuse themselves, they just turn and walk away.
I thought you might be interested in this comment from the jury after we had
judged one of the best kiosk entries. "Every time you make a selection, you
have to watch their logo wizz around for ages." "The first time was great ,
the second was OK, but now I just want the information." On such thoughts as
that, Kiosks will be a success or not.
The bronze winner in the kiosk category, must also be included in the
satisfied customer list. They have been using CD-I for I think six years now
and every year their kiosk title gets better.
Their motor bikes get better as well.
The bronze award for the best kiosk title goes to Yamaha 1999 and will be
received by the people who have been making their titles from the beginning,
from Creative Action Holland.
Our association has very close links to the automobile industry. We train the
employees, we help sell the products, we show people how to fix them when they
The next kiosk title is a complete 'Do it yourself' guide to keeping our cars
Not only can we chose the right touch up paint and sprays for all the various
manufacturers different models, we also get a comprehensive set of videos
which show in considerable detail, how to repair most kinds of surface damage.
When you have finished, the program will give you a complete list of all you
need to finish the job.
The company is MoTip and the 1998 Silver award goes to the creator of this
outstanding title Creative Action Holland.
This year as we had entries using several different multimedia platforms, the
overall criteria given to the all the juries was simply how well does the
title achieve it's purpose. Not how clever is it, not how much did it cost,
just how well does it educate, how well does it train, how well does it do
it's job. Using these criteria the jury had to choose the best kiosk title
When people have to buy a new battery for their car, truck or lawnmower, they
are probably not in a good mood to start with. They would rather spend the
time doing something else and spend the money on something far more exciting
than a battery. There are so many different types and we are all familiar
with the complexities of the manuals. I for one have arrived home with the
wrong battery before now and had to go back and do it all again. The neat
thing about the winning entry was that the day after the judging I actually
went into Kmart and used the kiosk. It worked just as well as when the juries
were trying it. Let me tell you when one of the older ladies on the jury
suggested we try and find a battery for her lawn tractor. (I don't think she
expected to get the answer) It was a very old wheel horse. Wheel-Horse
begins with 'W' right. It was so impressive the speed with which it got down
to the "W's and the huge number of other makes we passed on the way. Then
having found Wheel-Horse so quickly, it then, to everyone's amazement had the
right battery for every model they ever made. Finally one more press and it
told you the warranty and sales benefits of the different manufacturers of
that type of battery.
The simple controls, which were actually sent along with the entry, were
exactly right for the down to earth task of selecting a battery, correctly,
the first time and they worked equally well for Cars and Trucks.
The Gold award for best Kiosk goes to DCI Marketing for the Kmart - Exide
Battery Selection Center.
The last two categories were judged by the attendees during the Summit
In 'The Most Unusual use of Television Based Multimedia.' Category the Bronze
Award went to Sears Roebuck for their Student tracking software. The Silver
award was presented to Videotronic International for the CD-I controlled point
of purchase displays incorporating Scent emitting kiosks. As mentioned earlier
the Gold went to Rise International for the DVD controlled Talking Horse at
the Fire Museum of Memphis.
Now to present the final awards our chairman Rob Whent.
The best new Best New Player or Peripheral for 1998 is the Panasonic M2
CD-i still popular with auto makers.
US Automotive leader Chevrolet has just introduced an outstanding interactive
auto show solution. This revolves around professional CD-I players and touch
In the US, a vast series of 65 car shows is held each year, spanning a seven
month period. The circuit begins in Boston, and ends in Dallas. With the aid
of multimedia studio VuCom, event specialists Gail & Rice designed a dedicated
show kiosk for this cross-country event. The solution offers an interface
incorporating several animated characters, representing various areas of
interest. The different characters guide the show visitor through the program
and help them make the appropriate selections. After choosing a
topic, auto enthusiasts are offered a video presentation of corresponding
At each show, one single, identical CD-interactive program is employed.
However, for every individual occasion local dealer information can be
entered, then selected and displayed. Since only one file needs updating, a
floppy is sent to each show site. There, one of the salespeople in the booth
insert it into the player's disk drive. The system reads the file from the
floppy and loads it into the player's memory.
Whenever a user selects "dealer info," the program looks for the freshly
entered and fully
up-to-date local information.
Chevrolet is currently working the auto show circuit with this setup. Booth
attendants agree that the program is definitely living up to expectations.
Besides offering auto show attendees an entertaining, easy-to-use program,
it gives Chevrolet's representatives the flexibility to incorporate local
dealer information. This title represents the continuation of a long-standing
series of multimedia solutions from Detroit-based Chevrolet and its parent
company General Motors, the world's largest auto manufacturer.
Interactive DVD displays at Guggenheim Museum
Zuma Digital has used Sonic DVD Creator to produce DVD content for the
"Premises" exhibit which opens at the world-renowned Guggenheim Museum in New
York. "Premises" marks the first time that DVD has emerged as the lead
technology supporting a major art exhibition of international importance.
Using 45 DVD players for continuous projection of interactive content, this
show is the largest use of DVD for a single public exhibit.
For "Premises"' interactive kiosks, Zuma Digital used Sonic DVD Producer to
author the project's interactive menus and a control system that allows museum
visitors to choose which of three pieces of art to view. Zuma Digital
programmed the kiosks to return to the "attract screen" state at the
conclusion of the program segments, and also programmed the DVD displays to
automatically switch on and off to reduce the maintenance time required of the
Contact: Sonic Soultions Web Site: http://www.sonic.com
CD-i is not depressed.
Leading Pharmaceutical company, Organon recently released a multimedia
support tool to help introduce the new drug Remeron, or mirtazapine. This is
an anti-depressant. It is particularly useful in reducing the anxiety and
sleep problems which often accompany depression. The Organon Remeron CD-i
allows pharmaceutical representatives to effectively communicate and explain
the workings and correct usage of the medication. The title kicks off with a
general introduction explaining the origins of Remeron. This can be followed
up by a documentary film, a selection of expert opinions, a scientific
analysis and animated pharmacological explanations.
Furthermore, the title includes an extensive inventory of the possible side
effects and how these can be avoided or treated. Most of these side effects
can be lessened with additional medication, altered dosage, or changes in
daily habits. Because Remeron is such a new medication, all of the possible
risks are not yet absolutely clear. Many side effects may simply fade as the
patient adjusts to the medication, others are more serious. The multimedia
support is very useful for discerning between these, and making it
absolutely clear to doctors what they should look for.
Obviously representatives can not be medically competent at the same level
as the doctors. This makes the interactive support vital for flawlessly
getting medical information across. The Remeron CD-i is currently available
in several language versions:, English dutch and spanish.
Philips Disc Systems SPC Group
Megatech Corporation, based in Washington, USA, is a precision engineering
firm, best known for its high quality automotive interior components. Last
year, the company began to expand, growing rapidly into an international
When Megatech found themselves in need of an "image piece" to effectively
communicate its rapid growth, future plans and fast-widening product range,
the company commissioned an interactive multimedia support piece, from IDMA
"Targeted at this year's SAE, one of the world's largest events for suppliers
for the automotive industry, the company originally intended to commission a
video presentation. "However, we offered them a more involving digital
alternative, based on CD-i multimedia."said Robin Dansk, VucomNewMedia's VP of
" Naturally, this sophisticated marketing tool serves to support Megatech's
future-technology oriented image."
The finished presentation, which includes several minutes of video footage,
runs constantly at trade shows. Because it's disc-based, there is no need to
rewind the tape or keep an eye on its progress. Furthermore, any section of
interest may be instantly summoned up and examined in detail. This added
functionality allows the program to effectively attract people into the booth
and helps the sales staff to prequalify prospects and interest them in
Megatech's product offering, which now encompasses everything from car parts
to satellite components."
This is really NeatO.
Do you want to make your CD's shine, then print the label on NEATO's new
glossy lables stock. To try this exciting new product, call 1-800-984-9800,
mention you read about it in Plug & Play. If you want a chance to win $5,000,
enter NEATO's Lable- Mania Competition. Just submit your most inspired label
design, details at www.neato.com/gallery.htm
News for developers.
IDMA member, VITEC Multimedia's MPEG Toolbox-2.
Convert AVI gigabytes into MPEG-2 megabytes and edit them with VITEC
Multimedia's MPEG Toolbox-2.
A world's first product, the MPEG Toolbox-2 encodes AVI (Audio Video
Interleave) into true MPEG 1 and 2 digital video saving time and valuable
drive space. The software kit is priced at $249.
Imagine fitting your home videos or your hour long presentation on a single
CD-R, DVD-R or storing it on your desktop for future use. With VITEC's
Toolbox-2, it's possible.
France Telecom and VITEC have collaborated together in research and
development of the MPEG-2 Editor, which is included in the MPEG Toolbox-2.
News for developers.
Philips Components Mastering & Duplication who are also members of the IDMA
would like to inform you that their web site which contains information about
Philips range of products for DVD Authoring.
We missed them from the Volume 7 Number 9 edition of September 1998,
information about these products is available at the URL: www.md-
Philips Components Mastering & Duplication offer a modular, turnkey DVD-Video
Authoring solution. The system includes all processing functionality to
transform source material into disc images ready for mastering. The
constituent modules are 5 workstations for Disc Design, MPEG2 Video encoding,
MPEG2/PCM Audio encoding (with interface for a Dolby Digital encoder),
Multiplexing/disc building and
Emulation. All operate on Windows' NT platform, interconnected using a local
Super fast 5.2X Speed DVD-ROM Drive
Digital Video Systems is introducing a DVD-ROM drive which operates at 5.2
times standard read speed. Of the top eight DVD manufacturers, relatively few
have chosen to or been able to ship their own third-generation DVD-ROM drives.
According to industry observers, worldwide market demand for DVD-ROM is
expected to quadruple in 1999 to more than 20 million units, and increase to
over 40 million in the year 2000.
The DVS DVD-ROM drive is compatible with all major disc types, including DVD
Video, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD Audio, CD-R, CD-RW, Video CD, CD-I/FMV, and Photo CD.
The DVS 5.2X DVD-ROM drive also reads CD-ROM discs at 32 times speed with the
added capability of reading scratched or finger printed discs.
Commercial production of the DVS 5.2X drive begins in October to meet
substantial PC OEM orders already in for the first quarter of 1999. Samples of
the DVS 5.2X DVD-ROM drive are now being shipped to key customers.
Contact: Digital Video Systems WEB SITE: http://www.dvsystems.com
Mystified, by DVD
If you want a quick primer on DVD go to www.dvreport.com. Here you will find
DVD demystified by Jim Taylor.
Five-disc CD/DVD-Video carousel changer
Sony Electronics has introduced the first five-disc CD/DVD-Video carousel
The DVP-C600D is designed to offer consumers an option for greater enjoyment
of both compact disc and DVD media. For the first time, DVD-Video and CD
enthusiasts can now alternate between the two, shuffling playback of CD's and
DVD music videos. "Our new five-disc CD/DVD-Video carousel changer is a great
replacement for a CD carousel changer and the ideal centerpiece for today's
home theater systems," said Michael Fidler, vice president of DVD marketing at
The new carousel changer, features a built-in Dolby Digital decoder for
enhanced sound. S-Video and component video connections help ensure the best
possible video signal to the television. The carousel changer plays while
exchanging discs. It also offers daisy-chain control of select Sony CD
changers for even more CD/DVD-Video integration and compatibility.
The DVP-C600D is currently available and expected to sell for about $800. The
DVP-S7700, Sony's second generation "reference standard" DVD-Video player,
will be available in November for about $1000.
Contact: Sony Electronics WEB SITE: http://www.sony.com
Panasonic DVD player
Panasonic Home & Commercial Products Company will be offering the Panasonic
DVD-T2000 Professional DVD Video Player directly to their multimedia VAR's.
This unit has an RS232C control interface, and reads DVD-R (recordable). Like
most DVD Video players, it does not read CD-R. Availability depends on
Panasonic Home & Commercial Products Company's product offering continues to
grow and now includes:
SL-VP57 Professional Portable Video CD Player (with wired control interface)
SL-VM500 Video CD Changer
FZ-21S Interactive Media Player (M2-CD)
FZ-3xx Interactive Media Player (M2-DVD)
FZ-tbd Interactive POP Terminal (M2-LCD)
DVD-T2000 Professional DVD Player
CT-20G13T 20 inch Touchscreen TV Monitor/Receiver
EAB508B Monophonic Sound Focus Speaker
EAB819A Stereo Sound Focus Speaker
They are also studying a possible 13" Touchscreen monitor if there is
Lou Massucci [email protected]
Dual-layer rewritable optical disk technology
Matsushita has developed dual-layer rewritable phase-change optical disk
technology using phase-change material that can easily achieve compatibility
with DVD. The new technology bonds the sides of two 0.6mm-thick substrates
with an information layer for approximately double the storage capacity a
single-sided optical disk with the same structure as DVD.
Dual-layer phase-change type rewritable optical disk technology was developed
using material of Germanium-Antimony-Tellurium (Ge-Sb-Te) system. The
developed medium has a Matsushita originated unique structure named BS-
RAM(Balanced Structure RAM) and is formed by bonding disks so that the
recording layers are sandwiched inside. Each recording layer enables Land and
Currently, the rewritable phase-change optical disk has been commercialized as
DVD-RAM with 2.6GB on a single side and 5.2GB on a double-sided 12cm DVD disk.
Next-generation DVD-RAM with 4.7GB on a single side and 9.4GB on a double-
sided disk is now under development. This is the first announcement of the
realization of a rewritable dual-layer phase-change optical disk.
CONTACT: Matsushita WEB SITE: http://www.panasonic.co.jp
Plug and Play, the Interactive newsletter of the IDMA, is sent you by the
Interactive Digital Media Association.
5623 Spring Grove Drive Solon Ohio 44139 USA.
e-mail [email protected] Telephone number (440) 349-9661 Fax (440)349-3311
Web-Sites: www.IDMANET.org and www.ICDIA.org
The IDMA and ICDIA web sites are hosted by McGill Multimedia and Novare
The webmaster is Richard Maynard of Maynard & Associates. [email protected]
About the IDMA.
The IDMA serves as a source of information and help for potential users of and
developers for the Internet, WEB-DVD, DVD-Video, Interactive-DVD, , M2, CD-i,
Video CD, Plug & play CD-ROM, Web TV, Set Top Boxes and other Television-Based
Together the members of the IDMA represent the largest and most influential
group of Multimedia developers in North America and Europe, with access to
most of the larger corporations currently using multimedia in Training,
Marketing and Kiosks.
Among our members are experts in every facet of Interactive Digital Media.
IDMA Mission Statement
The IDMA will provide both a Support Group and an Industry Association for the
next generation of Interactive Digital Media Developers and their clients.
They will provide an unbiased source of information on the various new
Interactive Digital Media platforms, their authoring software, players and
They will help and assist multimedia developers with the transition from their
present media's to the next generation of Interactive Digital Media.
They will provide potential clients with a source of unbiased advice and
information on which to base their choice of Multimedia platform, enabling
them to select the most appropriate platform for the best results.
They will also encourage the continued convergence of the present media in the
interests of their members.
If you wish to join the IDMA please send an e-mail to [email protected]
If for some strange reason you do not want any more copies of Plug & Play,
just send me an e-mail telling me to stop. (Please don't refer to it as Spam
it makes me very cross.)