New multimedia products. (Multimedia PC) (Product Announcement)
It's a Wonder
Now you can combine full-motion video and high-performance graphics in a single card.
The VIDEO WONDER captures and compresses full-motion video in realtime in a single step. It also displays live video in a window in full motion (30 frames per second) at any graphics resolution.
The VIDEO WONDER is easy to install and use. There are no cables to connect, since the graphics are built in. This saves a PC slot and ensures maximum performance, compatibility, and ease of use, since all the components are designed to work together and have a common user interface. The product offers high-quality video playback, allowing video images to be played back in full motion without being limited to the original captured image size. It also has comprehensive software utilities supporting video capture, compression, editing, video-quality adjustment, and special effects. The card is available in versions for the ISA bus, PCI local bus, and VESA local bus.
ATI Technologies (416) 882-2600 $999
Information Hat Trick
Are you job-hunting? Do you want more information about your PC? Do you have an interest in photos or graphics? Allegro New Media has three new reference titles that should appeal to a broad range of users.
Business 500 provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on over 500 major U.S. companies--both public and private. Easily search through the database and extract the information you need.
Access stock and financial information, as well as executive names, addresses, and phone numbers, and learn about the products and services of these companies with over 30 minutes of interactive multimedia videos. You'll find detailed company descriptions and histories, ten years' worth of employment data, and lists of brands and competitors.
InPrint Art Library Volume 2 is a two-disc set that's subtitled Graphic Photos and Scenic Photos. It's a stock photo library and personal graphics tutor featuring over 200 high-resolution graphics that work with popular programs. The photos are royalty-free.
PC Library is an interactive computer encyclopedia. It includes the full text--as well as thousands of pictures, tables, and charts--from over 30 best-selling computer reference books, tutorials, and manuals. It also contains over 70 interactive multimedia videos, ranging from configuring a desktop to building a complete PC. The manuals cover hardware, databases, help, word processing, spreadsheets, operating systems, and productivity. The reference books include networks, as well as home computing. Allegro New Media (800) 424-1991 Business 500--$49.95 InPrint Art Library Volume 2--$59.95 PC Library--$99.95
Teach your children a second language through a series of home learning products by Sanctuary Woods. The I-Learn Library for children ages 7-10 teaches reading, vocabulary, and creative writing skills in English, French, and Spanish.
The series covers a wide range of subject areas and incorporates multisensory features such as animation, sound, and music to provide an enlivening, integrated learning experience for a child. The primary objective of the series is to teach language skills, but it also covers music appreciation, geography, social studies, and so on.
Sitting on the Farm is the first title in the series. It's both a story and a song about a farm girl whose peaceful picnic is invaded by hungry animals. There are four levels, playable in all three languages, where children can learn and explore. You can also adjust the levels of learning. A parent or teacher can turn off certain features that might distract or frustrate younger kids.
The Listen-along feature allows children to hear a story being read while the pages automatically turn. Read-along uses animations and pictures to expand vocabulary as the children read. They can click on individual words to hear the words pronounced, select a word to get a pictorial or animated definition, or play any of the 27 reading comprehension games. Using a microphone, a child can record and hear his or her own voice to practice pronunciation.
Sing-along is a musical exploration feature that helps children learn concepts such as notation and rhythm, as they record themselves singing the story's song along with accompanying music. The CD-ROM can also be used as an audio CD to play the more than 50 Red Book audio files. Write-along encourages creativity as children compose their own stories to go with original pictures from the story or fill in blanks to write new stories in different settings. They can also learn about six geographic regions and the animals found there. Built-in sophisticated print capabilities allow children to print and publish their own stories and coloring books.
Sanctuary Woods (415) 578-6349 $39.95
What a Decade!
Feeling nostalgic? How about ten of the best DOS games from the past ten years on one CD-ROM? It's called the Classic Collection, and it's available through Interplay in honor of its tenth anniversary.
"The Classic Collection is like a time capsule illustrating the evolution of computer games from the old text-based adventures to today's highly sophisticated games," says Brian Fargo, president of Interplay. The Classic Collection contains the following critically acclaimed games: Mindshadow, Tass Times in Tone Town, Bard's Tale, Wasteland, Dragon Wars, Battle Chess, Lord of the Rings, Castles, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, and Out of This World.
Interplay Productions (714) 553-6655 Price TBA
Creative Labs has new versions of its Sound Blaster Discovery CD 16 and Sound Blaster Edutainment CD 16 kits. Both kits meet the MPC Level 2 specifications for 16-bit audio and include a multisession double-speed CD-ROM drive.
The Sound Blaster Discovery CD 16 kit also contains Aldus PhotoStyler SE Photo CD software, which allows you to access and manipulate Photo CD images quickly. In addition, the kit comes with a Sound Blaster 16 and a great collection of educational software, including The Software Toolworks Multimedia Encyclopedia, The Animals!, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe Edition, and Just Grandma and Me.
The Sound Blaster Edutainment CD 16 kit is aimed at the high-technology-entertainment enthusiast. It has a Sound Blaster 16; The Software Toolworks Multimedia Encyclopedia; Aldus PhotoSyler SE Photo CD software; Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe; The Secret of Monkey Island; Loom; Lemmings; Indianapolis 500: The Simulation; and Sherlock Holmes, The Simulation.
In other news, Creative Labs has announced the Sound Blaster 16 Value Edition, an entry-level product for the price-conscious consumer. It's a fully upgradable Sound Blaster sound board featuring CD-quality audio, a built-in CD-ROM interface, and real-time compression and decompression. It features 8- and 16-bit CD-quality stereo sampling and playback up to 44.1 kHz. It's also compatible with all software titles written for the Sound Blaster platform.
Creative Labs (408) 428-6600 Sound Blaster Discovery CD 16--$449.95 Sound Blaster Edutainment CD 16--$599.95 Sound Blaster 16 Value Edition--$149.95