In-House DVD Production? Yep. They Did It

inhousedvdpIt’s a well-known fact in kitchens around the world that too many cooks spoil the broth. The same is true for most collaborations, and particularly relevant to projects as technically complex and time-consuming as DVD title development. Indeed, the process of taking a title from the planning-on-paper stage–through authoring and encoding–to final production, packaging, and distribution frequently inspires terror in the hearts of the professionals actually responsible for taking someone else’s great idea to the finish line.

Given the “conveyor belt” feel of most title development projects and the frequency with which they now occur, any story of streamlined production is noteworthy. When the authoring, encoding, and testing all happen in-house, the story becomes even more remarkable.

The production cycle behind In the Grip of Evil is just such a story. Distributed exclusively by Fox-Lorber Associates and produced on a …

Some Simple Hard Drive Tips That Can Save You Money

hdtipsOne of the worst things that can happen to someone who spends most of their day, willingly or unwillingly, tied to a computer is when that computer dies. If you need to use the computer for work a dead device might actually be a godsend as that means you can get a break for a bit. However, if you use a computer for fun you’ll probably feel like your entire life is over and that it’s not worth it any more. You may find yourself staring blankly at the black screen attempting to will it alive once more. You may also find yourself banging your head off a table or desk as you try to figure out just what exactly you are going to do next.

There are a lot of reasons a computer can break down such as a …

Pundits Doubted DIVX Early – A Bad, And Wrong Move

divxDespite Digital Video Express’ best efforts to position Divx as DVD’s cousin rather than evil step-sibling, industry insiders have reveled in pitting the two formats against each other.

Anyone who paid even the slightest attention to the battle between David Letterman and Jay Leno over late night TV knows the threat of competition can easily turn complementary contenders into hostile adversaries. Still, the behind-the-scenes rivalry between the two talk show hosts in the early ’90s pales in comparison to the vicious reactions of DVD proponents to Divx, a pay-as-you-play alternative to “open” DVD that has inspired countless “Anti-Divx” Web sites and chat rooms, fast and furious media coverage, and even death threats in the 18 months since Divx was announced.

Despite Digital Video Express‘ best efforts to position Divx as DVD’s cousin rather than evil step-sibling, industry insiders have …

DSR System Changes Media For The Better

dsrcmBy now the importance of quality mastering as a means to a “perfect” disc is well-known While most replicators will “handle” the mastering side of production for their customers, many don’t own the appropriate equipment and must broker out the service–a fact which may or may not always be clear to the customer. This can be particularly inconvenient for customers during the busy season, as some replicators fight for the time and attentions from their competitors (to whom they must broker their mastering).

Why don’t all replicators have their own mastering equipment? The bottom line is money. For a smaller replicator, putting out as much as another $2.5 million for mastering equipment is sometimes simply not in the budget. But now the Netherlands-based manufacturing division of Toolex Europe–called ODME–has a solution: a new type of mastering system called Direct Stamper …

DVDs Ate VCRs… It’s Their Turn Soon!

dvdatevcrIf there is one thing DVD can teach you, it is to take nothing for granted and leave your assumptions at the door. I can still recall my astonishment when I learned, in early 1996, that the first DVD-ROM drives would not be able to read CD-R media. Surely, I thought, that could not be true. Of course, I knew that CD-R dye was wavelength-sensitive, it just never occurred to me to ask whether it would be sensitive to the shorter wavelength of D VD. That was my first exposure to the need to think differently about DVD. By the time I learned that DVD-RAM would not be compatible with existing DVD players, I was long past the astonishment stage and into cynicism–of course it is not compatible, that would make too much sense. I had reached the stage where …

Quicktime 4.0 Blew The Doors Off

quicktimeThe great thing about being the established market leader of an Internet technology is that you get all the good press and your stock price goes through the roof. The bad thing is that everyone always guns for you when announcing new products, and there’s nowhere to go but down since no company can hold 85 percent share forever.

If you’re RealNetworks–and the folks gunning for you are Apple and Microsoft–their product announcements make your stock peak and plummet like a roller coaster. Must be awfully distracting, but it’s a nice problem to have, nonetheless.

What’s Past Is Prologue

Since it invented streaming audio in 1994, RealNetworks has dominated the market with its pre-eminent vision, great products, and flawless marketing. Microsoft plowed through its normal three lackluster revisions with uncharacteristic marketing flaws, like originating the NetShow brand and then merging…