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Video alternatives for old equipment

By Times staff and wire report

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 13, 2000

I came, I saw, iMovie
Apple's iMac DV and its new video editing software, partnered with a digital camcorder, put home videographers in the director's chair.
Companies such as Dazzle Multimedia (, Matrox Graphics Inc. ( and Sony ( have devices that will allow home users to turn their home PCs and Macs into video editing machines. They can be connected to older "analog" camcorders as well as new digital ones.

At Dazzle, the emphasis is on simplicity for the user, said Prem Talreja, vice president of marketing, referring to its $249 Digital Video Creator. "The editor doesn't look like a rocket science thing."

It has versions that can connect a camcorder -- either the old analog type or a new digital version -- to Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports or through a parallel port where printers connect to older computers. It includes the editing software.

The Marvel G400-TV system by Matrox Graphics Inc. allows most of the digital editing features of the iMac. A device called a dual head video converter connects to a special card inserted in a PC and allows the user to transfer videotapes onto the hard drive. The converter then allows output of videos into a VCR after they have been edited with special software.

Studies done for Matrox by ZD Market Intelligence found a substantial overlap between personal computer owners and camcorder owners.

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