DVD playback

DVD playback – Buyers Guide

Sony has introduced two five-disc DVD changers, the DVP-C670D and the DVP-C660. Both changers feature Sony’s Precision Drive system and Advanced SmoothScan picture search. The changers allow up to 200 discs to be parentally locked, preventing them from being played. The DVP-C670D also adds Digital Image Enhancer technology, which helps to sharpen images, and Dolby Digital decoding. The DVP-C670D will be available for approximately $500, and the DVP-C660 for approximately $400.

Sony’s new single-disc players include the DVP-S360, the DVP-S560D (which features Dolby Digital decoding), and the DVP-S570D. The three players are expected to be available at suggested prices of $250, $300, and $500 respectively.

Sony has also introduced two DVD portables, the DVP-FX1 and the DVP-F5. Sony’s DVP-FX1 is a portable DVD/CD player with a seven-inch LCD TFT 16:9 display. Widescreen DVD titles can be viewed in their correct aspect ratio. The player is housed in a magnesium alloy case, and includes a lithium ion battery. Sony’s DVP-F5 features the same design features as the DVP-FX1, but without the LCD screen. The DVP-FX1 will be available at an estimated price of $1,500, while the DVP-F5 will be available at an estimated price of $600.

Finally, Sony has unveiled its DVD Dream System (DAV-S300). The 5.1-channel system features a digital switching amplifier to deliver 180 watts of system power, an AM/FM receiver, and Dolby Digital and DTS decoding. The DAV-S300 will be available at an estimated price of $600.

(Sony Electronics, Inc., 3300 Zanker Road, San Jose, CA 95134; 408/955-5068; Fax 408/955-5340; http://www.sel.sony.com)

I-Jam Introduces DVD-ROM Drive, First-of-Its-Kind DVD/MP3 Player

I-Jam Multimedia LLC has announced two new DVD products, the IJ-888 and the IJ-883. The IJ-888 is a DVD/MP3 combo player that works with home theater systems. Key features include a jogging knob to adjust playing speed, support for eight languages and 32 subtitles, and a 10-bit video DAC, which offers a horizontal resolution of more than 500 lines. A Dolby Digital/DTS RF output allows the user to connect to any Dolby Digital AC-3 5.1 home theater system. The IJ-888 can also playback MP3 files from a disc, and includes a karaoke feature. The IJ-883 is an internal DVD-ROM drive for the computer. The drive sports 6X DVD and 32X CD-ROM read speeds. The IJ-888 and IJ-833 both support single- and dual-layer CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, and VCD. The IJ-888 will be available at an estimated retail price of $229, while the IJ-883 will be available at an MSRP of $129.

(I-Jam Multimedia LLC, 1208 Remington Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173; 888/326-4526; Fax 847/839-1277; http://www.ijamworld.com)

Pioneer Unveils Second-Generation DVD Player

Pioneer New Media Technologies has announced the DVD-V7400, its second-generation DVD-Video player. The DVD player features Y, C-R, and C-B video output terminals, which allow connection to a range of monitors and displays. Both NSTC and PAL video playback are supported, as well as Pulse Coded Modulation (PCM), Dolby Digital, and Digital Theater Systems (DTS) format. The weekly timer function of the DVD-V7400 has been increased from 7 to 21 days, and now supports up to three events per day. User selections can be stored in the player’s Flash RAM memory. The player supports DVD-R (3.95GB and 4.7GB), CD-R, and CD-RW discs. Additional features of the DVD-V7400 include mouse and keyboard control, frame search capability, video blackboard functions, and DVD barcode/Laser Disc barcode compatibility.

(Pioneer New Media Technologies, Inc., 2265 East 220th Street, Long Beach, CA 90810-1639; 310/952-2111; Fax 310/952-2990; http://www.pnmt.com)

Clarion to Incorporate Sigma DVD decoder into AutoPC

Sigma Designs, Inc. has announced that its REALmagic EM8400 DVD decoder has been designed into the DVD video subsystem of Clarion’s AutoPC. The AutoPC was developed using Intel’s Extended Temperature Pentium MMX processor and Microsoft’s Windows CE operating system, and offers voice-activated controls, computing, GPS satellite navigation, vehicle diagnostics, and hands-free telephone use. LCD screens can be installed so passengers can watch DVD movies. According to Clarion, the AutoPC can be installed just as any other aftermarket car stereo system.

(Sigma Designs, Inc., 355 Fairview Way, Milpitas, CA 95035-3024; 408/262-9003; Fax 408/957-9740; http://www.sigmadesigns.com)

Acer to Include WinDVD on PCs

Acer, Inc. has announced that InterVideo’s WinDVD software DVD player will be incorporated in a number of its current computer lines, including Aspire and AcerPower. WinDVD can play back DVD, SVCD, VCD, MPEG1, MPEG2, MP3, AVI, and AC3 files. DVD APIs, including DirectShow, DirectDraw, and DirectSound, are also supported. The player features software video window scaling, software and hardware sub-picture alpha blending, software video signal de-interlacing, and software color and brightness control. WinDVD can run on Windows 95, 98, NT4, and 2000.

(Acer America Corporation, 2641 Orchard Parkway, San Jose, CA 95134; 800/733-2237; 408/432-6200; Fax 408/922-2933; http://www.acer.com. InterVideo, Inc., 47350 Fremont Boulevard, Fremont, CA 94038; 510/651-0888; http://www.intervideo.com)

Toshiba to Incorporate Zoran Chips into New DVD Players

Zoran Corporation has announced that Toshiba Corporation is using its Vaddis IV decoder IC in its new DVD players. Toshiba’s DVD players that will incorporate Zoran’s technology include the SD-K330TA, SD-2109TA, SD-3109TE, and SD-K520 models. Key features of the Vaddis IV decoder IC-enhanced Toshiba drives include 3D virtual surround sound, Dolby Digital HDCD, and 5.1 channel playback. The Vaddis IV incorporates NTSC/PAL video encoder and a 10-bit video digital-to-analog converter (DAC).

(Zoran Corporation, 3112 Scott Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95054; 408/919-4111; Fax 408/919-4122; http://www.zoran.com. Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., 1060 Rincon Circle, San Jose, CA 95131; 800/879-4963; Fax 714/859-3963; http://www.toshiba.com)

C-Cube Announces Digital Video Encoder/Decoder Chip

C-Cube Microsystems, Inc. has announced its DVxcel MPEG-2 CODEC chip. The chip encodes and decodes video in Digital Video Recorder (DVR) devices, as well as DVD and D-VHS recorders. DVxel makes use of the PerfectView MPEG-2 compression algorithm that is included in C-Cube’s DVxpert and DVxpress. DVxcel is priced at $29 in high-volume quantities.

(C-Cube Microsystems, Inc., 1873 Barber Ln., Milpitas, CA 95035; 408/944-6300; Fax 408/490-8590; http://www.c-cube.com)

Sigma Designs Announces Progressive DVD Player Design

Sigma Designs, Inc. has announced its new progressive scan DVD player reference design. When used on a high-definition television (HDTV), the progressive scan feature offers twice the resolution of non-progressive designs, and it eliminates interlace artifacts. Sigma’s REALmagic EM8300 and EM8400 decoders were designed for 480p (progressive) decoding and display. According to Sigma, its design can be manufactured for the same cost as standalone players sold today.

(Sigma Designs, Inc., 355 Fairview Way, Milpitas, CA 95035-3024; 408/262-9003; Fax 408/9579740; http://www.sigmadesigns.com)

Marantz Selects Spatializer N-2-2 for its New Line of DVD Players

Spatializer Audio Laboratories, Inc. has announced that Marantz Japan, Inc. has incorporated Spatializer N-2-2 technology into its new line of DVD players. Spatializer’s N-2-2 technology delivers virtual surround sound from two speakers. Marantz will release three DVD player models with the Spatializer technology: the DV-4000, DV-7000, and DV-18.

(Marantz Japan, Inc., 35-1, Sagamiono 7-chome, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa, Japan; +03 3719-2231; http://www.marantz.co.jp. Spatializer Audio Laboratories, Inc., 20700 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 134, Woodland Hills, CA 91364; 818/227-3370; Fax 818/227-9750; http://www.spatializer.com)

EchoStar Introduces

DISH DVD

EchoStar Communications has introduced its DISH DVD, a combination satellite television receiver with a built-in DVD player. The DISH DVD is available with a DISH 500 satellite dish, which receives signals from two different satellites, and offers up to 500 channels (including local networks from over a dozen US cities), foreign language programming, DISH Latino, and DISH-0n-Demand pay-per-view programming. A four-device remote control is included, which operates both the satellite TV receiver and the DVD player. DISH DVD will be available at an estimated retail price of $399.

(Dish Network, P.O. Box 33577, Northglenn, CO 80233; 800/333-3474; http://www. dishnetwork.com)

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