Sonic Solutions has announced a suite of products and technologies aimed at combining its DVD heritage with the current hot property market of streaming media over the Internet. It has also let out some details about a new addition to the DVDit! Range of products, brought DVDit! to the Mac for the first time, and released an extension to the DVD-Video format that allows it to be placed on CD-ROMs and read from CD-ROM drives.
Central to the DVD/Web mix is streaming DVD. This has nothing to do with the solid storage format, but instead streams video across the Internet in DVD-Video and MPEG-2 video form. Sonic claims that this delivers higher quality video than any of the current streaming formats. Users can view these broadcasts using updated versions of RealPlayer or through a new desktop player.
On the flipside, Sonic has also partnered with InterActual, the leading Web-enabled DVD technology manufacturers. The end result of this is designed to be the addition of Web-enabling features to Sonic’s DVD creation tools.
Facilities for adding these tools to Sonic’s higher-end packages DVD Creator and DVD Fusion are likely to be added as upgrades. For the simpler DVDit! range Sonic has added a new product called DVDit! PE. This adds the Web tools – as well as including facilities for multiple audio streams (for example, to include a choice of language tracks). A subtitle generator sits alongside this. A simple timeline has also been added with basic trimming and editing tools, as has a chapter point editor and support for Dolby Digital Audio.
DVDit! PE, the streaming DVD player and updates for DVD Fusion and DVD Creator should all ship in July. DVDit! PE will cost around £600.
The Mac version all three versions of DVDit! – DVDit! IE (Introductory Edition), DVDit! SE (Standard Edition) and DVDit! PE – should ship in October. The feature sets will be equivalent to the PC versions with minor differences, and the prices should be comparable as well.
Also included in Sonic’s huge range of announcements at NAB this year was the cDVD format. This allows DVD-Video to be burned onto CDs and read by CD-ROM drives. However, it will not allow standard CD-ROM drives to read DVD discs, an impression gained by many visitors to the show. The video can then be watched through the CineMaster cDVD player from Ravisent, who co-developed this and the other Web-enabled technologies.
Finally, as featured yesterday in the Terran story, Sonic also announced that its DVD technology will be used to build DVD-Video functionality into Media Cleaner Pro