Plug & Play Volume 8 Issue Number 20 Millennium plans special issue Official newsletter of the Interactive Digital Media Association and the DVD Association Contents: The future plans of the IDMA and DVDA. >From the Chief Executive. May I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy holiday, whatever you celebrate and a safe and Y2K problem free, new year. IDMA/DVDA in the year 2000. Interest in DVD has increased dramatically over the last few months. So much so that providing support and answers to all the questions, coupled with all the other tasks involved in running an association, has become more that one person can handle. At the same time, a greater interest in DVD has started to emerge in Europe. Europe, however, is very different from North America. It has different needs, different products and different suppliers. During the start up phase of the DVDA we did not have the resources to differentiate, but as European interest in DVD increases we feel the time is right to have a separate organization. As there is not currently a DVD developers' association in Europe, we have decided to reorganize the DVDA to include this important market. The following structure has been agreed by the Board of Directors and will be in place by Jan 2000: The overall body with the corporate responsibility for taxes and policy will remain the DVD Association, based at the present address and staffed as now by the Chief Executive. However, the day to day operation of the association will be undertaken by two new regional associations, DVDA-North America and DVDA-Europe. Both will be staffed by an Executive Director, based in their respective regions. Each will have their own Board of Directors, be supported financially by their own Corporate Sponsors and guided by their own Advisory Council. Sue Cook has been appointed Executive Director for DVDA-Europe and David McDowall, Executive Director for DVDA-North America. The next issue of Plug & Play will have contact details and much more information on the new organization. Sue, David and myself will share the workload to best suit our strengths and I am sure between us we can create and run a credible support association for everyone involved with the DVD platform, both in Europe and in North America. The main objectives of the association will continue to be the support of our members and the promotion of DVD in the corporate world, with the help of the Plug & Play newsletter, our website, the awards, regional summits and an exhibition program. Regional chapters We are all agreed, however, that the strength of the new association will come from the regional chapters. DVDA-North America will have chapters in the main areas of activity throughout North America, while DVDA-Europe will have a national chapter in each European country. The mid-Atlantic and New York regions have both demonstrated how important chapters are, having held successful first meetings resulting in new members and a great deal of interest. Prospects for year 2000 The new millennium provides an exciting opportunity for all of us, particularly those involved with new technologies at the beginning of their life cycle, such as DVD. We feel that the DVDA has an important part to play in the success of the DVD platform, which in turn means the success of your companies. There is one thing above all that we need to make DVD successful, and that is your support. When you become involved with the association you are no longer out there on your own, you are a member of the DVD family. Working together, helping each other, providing information and support, that is what we can do for each other. In return, you have to be involved… involved in your local chapter, attending the annual Summit meetings, entering your best efforts in the awards competitions. Making sure we know about your successes so we can tell the other members. Making sure we know about your mistakes so we can warn the other members. DVD is a big wheel, let's not invent it one at a time, let's all do it together - it will be quicker and less expensive. The IDMA, which is currently providing funds for virtually all the DVDA activities, will continue to do so until the DVDA and it's two regional associations are self supporting. The IDMA The IDMA will also continue to support new emerging Plug & Play technologies - principally Panasonic's M2 - while continuing to support those working in platforms such as CD-i, SVCD, VideoCD and Web-TV. Over the last three years, M2 has achieved credibility and recognition as the successor to these older platforms and is emerging as a strong alternative to DVD for titles requiring special features. Developers can custom configure the M2X player to meet their clients' needs in a way that is not possible within the confines of the DVD spec. This modular construction enables another important feature, the ability to replace any individual component in the event of failure, rather than the complete player. Most of M2's successes involve the larger developers and Fortune 500 companies, and are currently closely guarded secrets. But as these projects are rolled out during early 2000, it is our opinion that many other companies looking for high impact, interactive titles not bound by the restrictions of the DVD specification will consider using M2X. The IDMA will therefore continue to support M2 developers, redesigning our website www.IDMAnet.org as the principle source of information and support on this platform. Meanwhile, www.DVDA.org will be restructured as an entirely DVD orientated website, which should go a long way to answering the critics who find the present websites' dual personality confusing. Membership Many of you have been enjoying free trail membership while we built the DVDA into something worth joining, with benefits you could see and take to your accounts department. Many of you have also been listed on the DVDA website for free. Well, it is time for the DVDA to stand on it's own two feet. It is now an association that you can be proud to be a member of. Many of you are adding the logo to your websites and letterheads; there is value in being a member. Early next year we will ask you, if you are not already a member, to join the association, pay your corner and help us to continue building this exciting association, making it self funding and independent of the IDMA by the end of 2000. As most of our active members are still involved with, and making a living using the older platforms, anyone joining either association will be a member of both IDMA and DVDA until at least the end of 2000. Mid-Atlantic chapter Today, Thursday, December 9, 1999 is the date for the next meeting of the mid-Atlantic chapter of the DVDA. This meeting will have the voting for DVDA chapter posts, and the award winning DVD, Sherlock Holmes, will be shown by its creator, Duane Tucker. Food and drink provided. The meeting will be at Henninger Arlington, 2601-A Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22201. Call 703-243-3444 for directions. RSVP to [email protected] New York chapter 40 people attended the first New York chapter meeting. Several of them have since joined the association. Philips SVCD Toolset Philips has appointed Script IMS as distributor for its Super Video CD toolset throughout the Western countries. Contact: Peter Theihzen. Tel: +31 570010655. E-mail: [email protected] www.script.nl. Bill Foster, until last month VP International at AIX Media Group, tells us that AIX has decided to concentrate its current efforts and resources on the U.S. market and its recently announced Australian joint venture. As a result, the U.K. joint venture with Sensible Music Group is being wound up. Any leads on employment opportunities for someone with an extensive knowledge of DVD that dates back to the format's inception in 1995 are therefore most welcome, Foster says. He can be contacted at +44 20 8449 5399 - e-mail: [email protected] More CD-i players for sale UPI have about 200 new Philips 615 CD-i players available for sale. Contact UPI Interactive Inc. Bob Kames Jr. ([email protected]), (262) 798-9779, ext 20. Nimbus name change As you probably know, Nimbus Manufacturing merged with film industry giant Technicolor a little over a year ago. Since the merger, Nimbus has been referred to as "Nimbus, a Technicolor Company", but from now on both companies are to be known as Technicolor. Plug and Play" is published by the Interactive Digital Media Association as a free service to its 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 person's 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. If you wish to join IDMA-DVDA, just ask for an 'E-mail membership application' or visit our web site at www.dvda.org
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