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January 15, 2007

Table of Contents

Jacksonville Skyline: The 4EVER Group's Video 07
Blackmagic Design Announces Immediate Availability of DeckLink HD Studio
Matrox RT.X2 Release 2.0 Now Shipping
Corel Announces Support for AVCHD Standard
Boris FX Qualifies Boris Graffiti and Boris FX for Intel-based Macintosh Systems
Apple TV Coming to Your Living Room
NewTek Announces Universal Version of LightWave v9 for Mac OS X
The Pixel Farm Launches A New Hoe
CodeWeavers Unveils CrossOver Mac, Enabling Mac OS X Users To Run Windows Applications Natively
Verbatim/MKM Ready to Ship 30GB Dual Layer HD DVD-R Media to North American Markets
Matrox Graphics unveils DualHead2Go Digital Edition
Verbatim Launches Ultra-Compact 12GB Store ‘n’ Go USB Drive

Jacksonville Skyline: The 4EVER Group's Video 07

The wedding and event video industry has had a handful of "were you there?" occurences over the years—pivotal moments that happened relatively quickly in the presence of relatively few, but grew into legend over subsequent years with many more people eventually claiming they had been there than could possibly have fit in the room where the actual events occurred. One such moment happened at the world premiere of Graham Fenton's first wedding-day music video in 2001; another took place on January 11, 2007, during Joshua Smith's "Close Your Eyes and Open Your Mind!" seminar at the 4EVER Group's Video 07 convention in Jacksonville, Florida. The 20-year-old first-time presenter cued up a piece of music, and asked his audience to close their eyes and summon whatever images the music brought to mind, explaining that this is more or less how he works. Then he played the video he'd set to that music, with captivating images and striking colors that pretty well exceeded anything his audience might have imagined. The only sound that interrupted the awed hush that followed was a room full of industry veterans collectively retrieving their jaws from the floor.
(Photos by David Chandler-Gick, a deveraux film, for the 4EVER Group)

In a week of peaks, as the conference wound down that Thursday afternoon, this was the moment when the world—or our corner of it—tilted just enough to bring the buzz to a crescendo. And a great buzz it was, beginning with the now-famous Day with Randy Stubbs, and Monday night's Artistic Achievement Awards banquet, which doubled the attendance of last year's event and further cemented the rising-star status of Jason Magbanua, who garnered eight awards (in absentia) including Best in Show. Magbanua was also named to the 2006 EventDV 25, which was presented at the Monday night banquet, and included 13 new honorees in addition to 12 videographers who have been counted among the 25 hottest and most influential in the business for two years running.

Tuesday brought the trade show, with Newtek, Adobe, Grass Valley, and JVC highlighting the exhibit hall, and provocative panel discussions on timeshifting and HD, with Land O'Lakes, Florida-based VH Video reporting from the vanguard of the HD production world as perhaps the first company to shoot and deliver event video in HD resolution on HD disc.

Another sign of the times came Tuesday morning in Jan Ozer's seminar, "Dare to Stream"—on producing and encoding video for streaming—in which EventDV's own Ozer declared that any video you intend to deliver electronically should be encoded in two formats: one streaming format (WMV, Flash, or QuickTime, no surprise) and one iPod format. But perhaps it was Tasra Dawson, partner of EventDV contributing editor Ron Dawson in Cinematic Studios who captured the zeitgeist best in her Tuesday morning session, "Build Your Business with Blogging." Suffice to say she was in high demand the rest of the week by attendees who (for better or worse) will doubtless be launching blogs on event video sites around the country in the months to come.

figure 1Other highlights of the 4EVER Group's second annual convention, which brought dramatically increased attendance (roughly 30%) to a less "destination"-type location than last year's show in Disneyworld (although the venue itself was good, and well-situated within Jacksonville itself), included two lively "Live Edit" sessions, provided by Elysium Productions' Julie Hill (replete with margaritas) and EventDV 25 honoree Chris Watson. In many sessions, such as Jeff Wright's "Creating Short Form Wedding Movies in a Cinematic Style," the focus was on artistry, and with good reason; as Wright explained, whether you're capturing the moment or tactfully staging it, "the focus is on making the bride and groom look good," and few videographers are better at it than he is.

Shawn Lam, by contrast, kicked off his session on "Dance Recital Strategies" with an and-now-for-something-completely-different disclaimer--"Many of you consider yourselves creative artists first, and business owners second. I'm a business owner first"--and proceeded to put business first in his presentation. Of course, he also explained much of the artistry that makes him such a successful business owner, or at least his knowledge of how to frame a dance shot (always show feet and leave jump-room), when to go wide and when to go medium and follow; why to shoot 16:9; and how to cut multicam in Premiere Pro.

Another emergent theme of Video 07 (besides ample and invaluable opportunities for videographers to network with their peers) was the 4EVER Group's plans for 2007. This is in some ways a different organization from the one that put on Video 06 in Orlando last year. In mid-2006 they launched the 4EVER Group Videographers Network, and have added benefits like E & O insurance and credit card merchant status for their affiliates; they've also added committees and committee leaders to delegate some of the workload and extend the efforts of directors Tim Ryan and Steve Wernick. Among the key announcements of this year's show are the organization's plans vis a vis local associations, culminating in a local association film festival due to happen later this year.

As Tim Ryan explained it to me, the first step is to build a library of videos that local associations can draw from; the idea is for all local associations, no matter how small (and some are inordinately small), "to have content for their meetings. For example, if LIVA has five competitions per year, with fifteen videos emerging as winners, we'll make those winners shared. Local associations who want to show them at their meetings can call the 4EVER Group, and we'll send them." The first exchange, he says, has already begun—the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW-PVA) and Long Island (LIVA) associations now have videos in the library, and are in the process of swapping them now.

The film festival will grow out of this exchange. Out of the 15 categories included in the 4EVER Group's Artistic Achievement Awards, 11 are eligible for the local association film festival. Between now and July 31, 2007, local associations will screen videos produced by members in those 11 categories, and choose one video to represent that association, with each association deciding on its how how to select the winner. The associations will then submit their selections to the 4EVER Group, which will author a DVD and send it back to the associations, each of which will vote for its top three selections (not including its own), and when the votes are tallied, the winning video will be played at Video 08.

The 4EVER Group's local association committee will be instrumental in facilitating the competition and the work with the local groups to bring it off. "None of this would be possible without the committee," Ryan said. "The committee members will choose regional representatives, and each association will keep in contact with their reps to keep them aware of the programs going on, keep them active, and keep them working on their libraries."

The 4EVER Group is also providing a CD-based Resource Kit to help get associations off the ground, including sample by-laws, competition rules, and more. The 4EVER Group directors' barnstorming local association outreach tour will also continue in 2007—in fact, 96 hours after the close of Video 07, I'm pretty sure they're back on the road already.

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Blackmagic Design Announces Immediate Availability of DeckLink HD Studio

Blackmagic Design Inc. today announced DeckLink HD Studio, the world's first capture and playback card to support both HDMI and analog component video, is now available to customers worldwide. With DeckLink HD Studio, customers can capture high quality, uncompressed video direct from the HDMI connection on cameras, decks, and video cameras.

DeckLink HD Studio allows capture from HDMI cameras or decks, as well as analog decks and set top boxes. HDMI playback and analog playback allows connection to a wide range of video monitors, big screen televisions and video projectors for incredible quality client monitoring. DeckLink HD Studio instantly switches between HD and SD so you can work with almost any deck, camera or monitor.

DeckLink HD Studio takes advantage of the same high end quality technology for which Blackmagic Design video capture cards are known, including 10 bit capture and playback, high speed 4 lane PCI Express, and 14-bit digital to analog conversion for incredible output quality. DeckLink HD Studio also features the same uncompressed and compressed file formats used by all DeckLink cards, allowing large storage area network based systems to use shared video files for full compatibility.

DeckLink HD Studio and the entire range of DeckLink HD cards from Blackmagic Design are the only video capture cards on the market to feature true 64-bit addressing that eliminates system memory limits, so customers can install as much memory as they need. DeckLink HD Studio is fully compatible with Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, and any DirectShow or QuickTime-based software application. DeckLink HD Studio works with most popular video software.

Product features include the following:

  • Capture and Play via HDMI and component video
  • Work in HD1080i, HD720p, and NTSC/PAL video
  • Both HDMI and analog I/O connections instantly switch between HD and SD video
  • Connect directly to a wide range of affordable video cameras and monitors (non copy protected)
  • Connect to HDMI or Analog Component Devices
  • Supports Standard and High Definition HDMI capture and playback, combined with analog YUV as well as NTSC/PAL and S-Video capture and playback
  • Supports broadcast monitors using 14-bit analog output
  • Highest quality ingest via HDMI and straight to HDMI monitoring

DeckLink HD Studio has a recommended retail price of only US$995, and is available immediately worldwide via authorized Blackmagic Design resellers. DeckLink Studio is software upgradeable, enabling new video formats and features to be added via free software updates from the Blackmagic Design website located at http://www.blackmagic-design.com/support/software.

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Matrox RT.X2 Release 2.0 Now Shipping

Matrox Video Products Group today announced that release 2.0 software for the Matrox RT.X2 realtime HDV and DV editing platform is now shipping. Release 2.0 provides significant new features including realtime native editing of JVC's ProHD HDV 720p format. Matrox RT.X2 is designed primarily for realtime native HDV and DV editing with Adobe Premiere Pro. It also provides a high-quality MPEG-2 I-frame codec so users can capture other HD and SD formats using RT.X2's analog inputs and mix HD and SD material on the timeline in real time.

Other new features in release 2.0 include the following:

  • Support for Matrox HDV files and Matrox Flex CPU effects in Adobe After Effects
  • Realtime playback of 32-bit MPEG-2 I-frame AVI files with alpha
  • Realtime playback and mixing of Adobe native HDV files ­ .MPEG and .M2T
  • Improved color correction tools
  • WYSIWYG video output for Adobe Bridge and Windows Media Player
  • Four new effects: ­cube, impressionist, ripple, twirl

Key features of Matrox RT.X2 include the following:

  • Realtime mixed-format multi-layer workflows that combine HD and SD material from analog and digital sources
  • Realtime Matrox Flex CPU effects: color correction, speed changes, chroma/luma keying and many more
  • Realtime and accelerated Matrox Flex GPU effects ­ 2D/3D DVE, blur/glow/soft focus, shine and many more
  • Native HDV and MPEG-2 4:2:2 I-frame HD editing
  • Native DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, and MPEG-2 4:2:2 I-frame SD editing
  • Realtime mixed-format multi-cam
  • Realtime high-quality hardware downscaling for SD output from an HD timeline
  • Accelerated export to DVD, multimedia formats including Flash Video, and Adobe Clip Notes
  • WYSIWYG for Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and Bridge, Autodesk Combustion and 3ds Max, eyeon Fusion, NewTek LightWave 3D, and Windows Media Player with dynamic Alt+Tab switching
  • Composite, Y/C, HD/SD analog component input and output
  • Full-resolution HD monitoring on an inexpensive flat panel display via independent DVI output

Priced at $1995 US in North America (GBP 1174, €1749) including Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, Matrox RT.X2 is available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. Release 2.0 can be downloaded by registered RT.X2 owners free of charge from the Matrox website.

http://www.matrox.com/video

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Corel Announces Support for AVCHD Standard

Corel Corporation, a leading provider of digital media software, today announced support for the Advanced Video Codec High Definition Standard (AVCHD). Corel' s InterVideo WinDVD 8--the world's best-selling DVD/BD/HD-DVD and video playback software--is the first playback software to achieve AVCHD certification.

Corel, which completed its acquisition of InterVideo, Inc. and Ulead last month, announced that additional InterVideo and Ulead video and DVD burning products will also support AVCHD via update packs and future product releases.

AVCHD is a new high-definition recording format jointly introduced by Sony and Matsushita (Panasonic). It employs an advanced MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video codec to offer users the advantages of 1080i and 720p high-definition, 16:9 widescreen and multi-channel digital audio. Unlike other video recording systems, AVCHD does not record to tape, but record video to hard drive, 8cm DVD, or Memory Stick/SD. The format offers consumers the promise of HD video camera recorders which achieve compact size as well as high-quality video and audio.

For consumers purchasing new AVCHD camcorders, the WinDVD 8 AVCHD support allows them to enjoy their AVCHD content directly without the need for time-consuming format conversions. The software will support playback of DVDs created in AVCHD camcorders or AVCHD files transferred from camcorders or memory sticks to the user's personal computer. Known for superior video playback, WinDVD will provide convenient navigation of AVCHD discs with support for AVCHD menus and playlists.

www.intervideo.com

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Boris FX Qualifies Boris Graffiti and Boris FX for Intel-based Macintosh Systems

Following on the release of Boris Red 4.1 for the Intel-based Mac systems, Boris FX is pleased to announce the release of Boris Graffiti 5.1 and Boris FX 9.1 for Apple's next generation computer platform. As with Boris Red 4.1, Boris Graffiti 5.1 and Boris FX 9.1 run natively on Intel-based Macs as well as provide a Universal Binary plug-in for Apple Final Cut Pro.

All three products take full advantage of the improved OpenGL graphics hardware found in the new Apple Mac Pro and MacBook Pro models. Boris Graffiti 5.1 and Boris FX 9.1 and are offered as a free update for existing Boris Graffiti 5.0 and Boris FX 9.0 customers moving to the Intel-based Macintosh platform.

The new updates can be downloaded from the Boris FX web site at http://www.borisfx.com. Boris FX plans to maintain backward compatibility with qualified PowerPC-based Macintosh systems.

For more information about the new updates, visit the Boris FX web site at http://www.borisfx.com.

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Apple TV Coming to Your Living Room

Apple today premiered Apple TV, an easy to use and fun way to wirelessly play all your favorite iTunes content from your Mac or PC on your widescreen TV, including movies, TV shows, music, photos and podcasts.

Using Apple TV's stunning new interface, anyone can quickly browse and view their entire collection of digital media from across the room using the simple and intuitive Apple Remote. Apple TV easily connects to almost all modern widescreen televisions, and will be shipping in February for just $299.

Apple TV has a 40GB hard drive to store up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each and is capable of delivering high-definition 720p output. Apple TV is easy to connect to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems and comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports.

Using high-speed AirPort 802.11 wireless networking, Apple TV can auto-sync content from one computer or stream content from up to five additional computers right to your TV without any wires. The seamless integration of Apple TV and iTunes lets users choose from over 250 feature-length movies and 350 TV shows in near-DVD quality; four million songs, 5,000 music videos, 100,000 podcasts and 20,000 audiobooks. Users can enjoy their favorite music on a home entertainment system and view slideshows of their photo albums on a widescreen TV.

Apple TV makes it easy for users to explore their entire media collection with an easy to use and intuitive new interface. With the Apple Remote, consumers can easily browse through their favorite movies, TV shows, music and photos from up to 30 feet away.

Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, will be shipping in February through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $299 (US).

www.apple.com

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NewTek Announces Universal Version of LightWave v9 for Mac OS X

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading 3D animation and video products, today announced that the Universal version of LightWave 3D will be available in March 2007. LightWave 3D for the new generation of Intel-based Macs takes full advantage of the advancements in the operating system and development environment from Apple, providing noticeable speed and performance improvements for Mac users. The Universal version enables LightWave to run on both the PowerPC G4 and G5 CPUs and the new Intel-based Macs. Optimized performance will be provided for Mac users natively on both series of CPUs.

The move to a Universal application provides NewTek with a foundation for upcoming advancements in 3D technology for the Mac community. The first 3D application from NewTek beyond LightWave to take advantage of this new technology is 3D Arsenal, NewTek's 3D offering specifically designed for video editors.

LightWave for the Intel-based Macintosh is being prepared for the Open Beta phase. Participation is open to all registered owners of LightWave v9. Qualified owners may access the Open Beta download through the NewTek online registration system. LightWave v9 is available now from resellers and distributors worldwide for a suggested retail price of $795US for full units and $395US for upgrades from previous versions of LightWave. The Universal Binary version of LightWave will be provided at no additional charge to registered owners of LightWave v9 when the product ships in March 07.

For more information or to purchase, visit: http://www.newtek.com.

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The Pixel Farm Launches A New Hoe

The Pixel Farm, renowned technology provider to the world's digital film effects industry, is pleased to announce the launch of PFHoe 2.0 and PFHoePro. Launched in 2004, PFHoe introduced automatic match moving to the pro-sumer market with its ability to bring computer animation and live video together in a seamless fashion at a fraction of the cost of professional software.

Designed as a simple to use "press the button and let it rip" application, PFHoe is built on technology that has already proved its worth by finding its way into countless high-end post production facilities. With PFHoe 2.0, The Farmers have added a faster and more robust tracking engine, along with new UI improvements, making it even easier to use. All major exports are now provided, including the new Pixel Farm open XML format and, with support for HD footage, users can take their work to the next level.

There is, in addition, a new focal length estimation tool that helps solve those tricky shots in the same intuitive way. Along side PFHoe 2.0, PFHoePro provides the more demanding user with the same easy of use with an extended toolset and support for most Linux distributions.

Using the core technology developed in PFTrack - the industry leading tracking and image analysis system--both PFHoe and PFHoePro enable users of all capabilities to have a powerful tool on the desktop, alleviating the need to wait for shots to be dealt with by the "tracking department" or learn complex new applications. They both feature the unique focal length estimation system, a unique automatic lens distortion correction tool, support for importing mattes from third party applications, simple edit tools to modify tracking data and quality graphs to aid the user in making data editing decisions.

New marking menus give fast and easy access to scene orientation and user feature placement.

Now shipping, both PFHoe 2.0(£49/$99) and PFHoe Pro (£99/$199) are available online via http://www.pfhoe.com. PFHoe 1.0 users can upgrade to version 2.0 for £19/$39 or receive £30/$59 credit towards PFHoe Pro. PFHoe is available for Windows and as a Universal Binary for OS X. PFHoePro is also available for Linux and ships with an extended set of exporters including export to Flame.

www.pfhoe.com

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CodeWeavers Unveils CrossOver Mac, Enabling Mac OS X Users To Run Windows Applications Natively

CodeWeavers, Inc., a leading developer of software products that turn Mac OS X and Linux into Windows-compatible operating systems, today announced the release of CrossOver Mac, the company's breakthrough new product that lets Mac OS X users install and use popular Windows applications without the presence of the Windows operating system.

CrossOver Mac will bring welcome flexibility and convenience to companies, schools, and individual Mac users looking for new options in software application availability. CrossOver Mac, currently showcasing at CodeWeaver's exhibit at the Macworld 2007 Conference & Expo in San Francisco (MOSCONE CENTER / BOOTH S233), offers an exceptionally easy to use, single click interface. Once loaded, the utility integrates seamlessly within Mac OS X. Subsequent loading of Windows applications is done via the application's installation CDs; programs are opened for use by simply clicking on the application within the OS X Finder.

Many of the most popular Windows applications are supported by CrossOver Mac, such as Microsoft Office (including native Outlook support for Exchange servers); Microsoft Visio and Project; Intuit Quicken and QuickBooks; and best-selling games like Half Life 2 and Prey.

CrossOver Mac solves many of the major problems faced by Mac owners who occasionally need to avail themselves of Windows-only applications. Buying, loading and dual-booting Windows is no longer necessary; what's more, CrossOver Mac is priced at roughly one-quarter the cost of a Windows license, allowing Mac users to legally circumvent the need for Windows while saving a lot of money in the process.

For enterprise IT staffs--whether corporate or academic--who in the past have had to convert Mac users in order to run applications like Windows Outlook or Exchange 2003 Server, CrossOver Mac is a true lifeline. Other Mac users who keep a separate Windows PC on their desk just to run Windows apps can finally eliminate extra equipment, gain valuable desktop space, and simplify their working lives.

CrossOver Mac mirrors the release of CrossOver Linux 6.0, a new version of CodeWeavers' Windows-to-Linux compatibility product. CrossOver Linux is the new name for CrossOver Office, the company's flagship solution built on Wine, the open source Unix implementation of the Win32 API. At CodeWeavers' Web site, www.codeweavers.com, Mac users can access a Compatibility Center where they can search known Windows applications for CrossOver Mac compatibility. They can also request official support for favorite or critical programs not currently supported. CrossOver Mac is priced at $59.95 (download version) or $69.95 (CD version).

For more information or to see CrossOver Mac in action, visit the CodeWeavers exhibit during Macworld 2007 at Booth S233 in Moscone Center.

www.codeweavers.com 

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Verbatim/MKM Ready to Ship 30GB Dual Layer HD DVD-R Media to North American Markets

Verbatim® Corporation, and its parent company, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (Verbatim/MKM) announced today that it will begin shipping single-sided, dual-layer 30GB HD DVD-R media to customers in North America when HD DVD-R DL-compatible hardware becomes available in Q1. The premium-quality dual-layer HD DVD-R media has been shipping throughout Japan since July 2006, when recordable HD DVD hardware first became available.

The high-capacity Verbatim/MKM HD DVD DL media will find extensive application in computer data storage. Business and home users will be able to back up their laptop PCs onto one long-lasting 30GB optical disc. Consumers will also record and enjoy the amazingly sharp images that high-definition video provides. Users will be able to save the data recorded by high-definition camcorders, author and edit the material on their PC, and then burn the content onto HD DVD-R media for viewing on an HD DVD playback device.

Many new HD DVD hardware devices will be launched in 2007. The new 30GB HD DVD DL media can be used to store about 150 minutes of high-definition video on a single side. Verbatim/MKM HD DVD DL media also supports the AACS (Advanced Access Content System) copy protection technology. To achieve the best balance of reflectivity, transmission and absorption for both recording layers, MKM leveraged its proven dye technology to develop a new highly sensitive recording dye. The high recording sensitivity plus the wider power margin of the new recording layer ensure a low error rate, regardless of drive power fluctuations or smudges on the disc surface. Highly resistant to sunlight and heat, the media provides ultra-stable recording characteristics for a lifetime of high performance--even after long periods of storage--for both recorded and unrecorded media.

Verbatim/MKM HD DVD-R DL media is produced at MKM's technically advanced Singapore factory which is widely recognized for developing and refining the world's premier dual-layer DVD media. By leveraging its DL expertise, the factory provides consistent high-quality HD DVD-R DL discs. Verbatim/MKM is a general member of the HD DVD Promotion Group and a charter member of the DVD Forum.

www.verbatim.com

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Matrox Graphics unveils DualHead2Go Digital Edition

Matrox Graphics Inc., the leading manufacturer of professional graphics solutions, today announced the DualHead2Go Digital Edition, the next version to the acclaimed DualHead2Go, now featuring digital outputs. This external multi-display upgrade device connects to the VGA output of compatible notebook or desktop computers and through patent-pending technology uniquely expands the desktop across two digital displays. DualHead2Go Digital Edition also enables support for high-resolution panels, offering a stretched desktop of up to 3840x1200 (or dual 1920x1200)1 across two displays.

DualHead2Go is the ideal solution for professional and business users looking for a simple and cost-effective solution to quickly increase their productivity. The multi-display configuration delivered by DualHead2Go permits working with multiple full-screen documents or applications simultaneously — eliminating the need to constantly open, close, or minimize applications. With DualHead2Go you can simply see more, do more and be more productive.

The Digital Edition of DualHead2Go enables the connection of two digital or analog displays to compatible notebook and desktop systems. In addition through the Matrox PowerDesk SE2 interface users benefit from the flexibility to select a wider range of resolutions, including support for both widescreen and standard aspect ratios.

Matrox Graphics eXpansion Modules (GXM) are small external boxes that are simple to setup — there is no need to open the computer to insert additional parts into it. The operating system detects the GXM as an ultra-widescreen monitor which is then split into two or more standard resolutions compatible with the attached displays, all the while harnessing the graphics hardware already present in the system for all 2D, 3D, and video acceleration.

DualHead2Go Digital Edition includes support for Windows Vista™, Windows® XP, Windows® 2000, Windows® XP-64 bit operating systems and Mac OSX, and is compatible with many professional and enthusiast class desktops and notebooks. A compatibility list is posted on the Matrox website. For complete details visit http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/gxm/products/dh2go/digital/home.php.

Available in Q1 2007, DualHead2Go Digital Edition has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $229USD. This product will be available from authorized resellers worldwide or, in North America and Europe, directly from Matrox at http://shopmatrox.com.

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Verbatim Launches Ultra-Compact 12GB Store ‘n’ Go USB Drive

Verbatim Corporation unveiled today its newest Store 'n' Go™ USB Drive based on 1" hard drive technology with up to 12GB of storage in a unit slightly larger than a standard USB flash drive. Designed to enable users to carry volumes of data, video, and audio in a single portable unit; the new 12GB Store 'n' Go USB will have a projected street price of $179. Verbatim will show the ultra-slim device for the first time this week at its CES Booth in the South Hall, #4/36249.

The new Store 'n' Go Drive makes it convenient for users to keep vital information such as emails, photos, personal calendars, presentations and video files available at all times. The sleek USB storage device comes pre-loaded with Mobile Launchpad, a utility for downloading applications that can be run directly from the Verbatim USB Drive. Mobile Launchpad also allows users to have complete access to personal files and data without loading the content on a guest system. For quick and immediate access, the drives can also be used in the familiar drag 'n' drop mode.

Providing a true portable working environment with a flip-out USB connector and USB extension cable, the unit is highly compact and delivers high performance, low power consumption and superior reliability. With the device, users can carry and access up to 12 hours of MPEG-1 video, about 6,000 300-DPI photos, 6 hours of DVD-quality video or tens of thousands of personal or business documents. The tremendous capacity, combined with Mobile Launchpad, makes it convenient for users to store mobile applications on the Store 'n' Go USB Drive, ready to use wherever they go.

Many applications specifically designed to enhance the portable experience are available for download online. Programs include mobile photo databases, ID/Password management tools, and applications which use the drive to log in from any computer and make Internet phone calls or have online chats.

A stand-out in both design innovation and durability, the hot-pluggable 12GB Store 'n' Go Drive has a polymer enclosure to provide shock resistance to the hard disc inside. With gently rounded corners, the slender case fits comfortably in the hand. When moving between different locations, the drive can be placed in its designer travel wallet and slipped into your pocket, purse, attaché or backpack. Using the rugged swing-out USB connector, the hot-pluggable Store 'n' Go Drives can be easily moved from computer to computer without having to shut down or reboot the system. For added convenience and usage flexibility, Verbatim also provides a USB extension cable to make it easy to connect to a personal or guest computer. When connected to a computer, the blue center area of the drive lights up, showing the drive is connected and powered. The area blinks when information is being transferred between drive and computer.

The drive's compact size makes it easy for students to carry research and class project files from school to home. Consumers can plug the device into a friend's or family member's computer and instantly share slideshows of family photos, vacation videos and personal MP3 selections. Busy executives who are constantly on-the-go can use a Store 'n' Go USB Drive to keep the latest company presentations, customer and partner contact information, databases, spreadsheets and key business files with them at all times, without having to carry their notebook systems. And, with the convenience of being able to carry diagnostic/repair, configuration and application files in their pocket, Verbatim's Store 'n' Go USB Drive is also a compelling storage solution for IT personnel and service technicians. Weighing just 1 oz., the Verbatim Store 'n' Go USB Drive measures a mere 1.38 x 0.38 x 2.8 inches.

The drive is fully compatible with Windows® 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, CE 3.0 and higher; Mac® OS 9X and higher; Linux® 2.40 and higher systems. Mobile Launchpad is compatible with 98SE, ME, 2000, XP and higher systems. Pricing, Availability The Verbatim 12GB Store 'n' Go USB Drives will be available this month through authorized Verbatim retailers with an approximate street price of $179. The complete package includes a travel wallet, USB extension cable and a quick start user's guide.

For more information on the new Store 'n' Go USB Drive and the full range of Verbatim storage solutions, visit http://www.verbatim.com/hddrive.

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