VIDEO CAMERA 1993

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JULY NEWS

 

DAEWOO DEBUT

Here's another new name to twist around your tongue. They're Daewoo who, like Samsung and SKC are a broad-based Korean-based corporation with interests ranging from heavy industry to consumer electronics. The reason we're telling you this is because they're about to launch a number of video products in the UK, including a couple of budget VHS video recorders, several TVs and an 8mm camcorder. It's called the DVM-210 and it will go on sale shortly for around 550. In fact this particular model has been around for a  while in various other guises and to be honest the looks and specification are somewhat dated but for those who may be tempted here are the main features:

* 8x zoom

* 3-lux low-light sensitivity

* 2-page.8-colour title superimposer

* mono FM sound

* 7-speed shutter up to 1/10,000 th sec

* backlight compensation

 

DRIVING FORCE

The third of Panasonic's new Super Drive VCRs arrives this month in the shape of the NV-HD1000 stereo NICAM VCR, costing just under 580. Like the SD30 and SD40 (test report next month) the HD100 features a faster and quieter deck mechanism and energy efficient switched-mode power supply which, amongst other things, runs a lot cooler than a conventional power supply and has allowed Panasonic to do away with any ventilation slots on the cabinet. Like the other two models the HD100 has a simple to use Video Plus timer programming system; this marks the end of the Panasonic's barcode system which has struggled valiantly against the odds for the last eight years. Other notable features include:

* jog/shuttle dial 

* syncro edit

* insert edit

* audio dub

* modular construction

* self-diagnostic service mode

* auto head cleaning

* index search and intro scan

* NTSC playback

* twin SCART sockets

* recyclable and labelled parts

* 8-event/31-day timer

 

 

MEMOREX CAMCORDER SOON?

Big changes are afoot at the Tandy Corporation. They own Memtek UK who in turn are responsible for the Memorex brand of  video and audio tapes. Under a widespread restructuring plan the UK arm will become  known as TE or Tandy Electronics. Over in the US the Tandy Corporation are becoming less involved with manufacture, and more with retailing consumer electronics; they have recently opened two giant technology supermarkets called the Incredible Universe selling video, hi-fi and computers, one of them covers some 3-acres of land! They're also opening a nationwide chain of computer superstores, called Computer City. Over here it's likely we'll be seeing more Memorex branded electronics products, in addition to their tapes, these will include TVs and VCRs, and there's a very strong possibility that will be marketing one or more camcorders in the near future.

 

Whether or not Memorex camcorders will be sold through UK Tandy stores remains to be seen, they're not part of  the Tandy Corporation anymore and were sold off some time ago to a Canadian company called Intertan. By the way, this seems like an opportune  moment to draw your attention to a number of  interesting camcorder-related products now available at your local Tandy store, some of which are now on special offer. They include a useful little mixer/enhancer (cat no. 15-1995) which is on sale now for 19.95, instead of 29.95, and one of the better SCART lead kits (15-7020) which is also selling at 19.95, a a saving of 10 on the previous price.

 

REMOTELY INTERESTING

The majority of 8mm camcorders, and a growing number of VHS-C machines now come with some sort of infra-red remote control, increasingly of the credit-card size variety. Being so small they're highly vulnerable and we suspect many go missing, get damaged, or chewed up by the family pet. The real problem occurs when it comes to buying a replacement handset, we have heard of camcorder owners being asked to pay 80 for some types. There is an alternative, One-For-All replacement infra-red handsets, which were originally intended to unify or replace lost TV and VCR  handsets, is now factory programmed with Sony and Sanyo camcorder control codes. There are three One For All remotes, models 143 (25), 144 (30) and 146 (50) and they all share the same code libraries which covers most makes and models. In case of difficulty there is a helpline service which carries up to date details of all the IR codes and control systems used by the major electronics manufacturers. Incidentally, we understand that all One For All remotes are programmed with codes for JVC camcorders. Several of their machines have remote control facilities but the handset, which gives access to a number of additional features, are sold as optional extras, costing as much as 70. We're looking into this interesting prospect and hope to feature a One-For All handset in a forthcoming Minitest.

 

NETWORK TELEVISION

Network Electronic Industries, better known as NEI are about to launch a range of NICAM televisions, with screen sizes of 25 and 28 inches. These sets, which are designed and built in Turkey, are moderately camcorder-friendly, having separate AV inputs in the shape of twin SCARTs, configured for S-Video signals, but it's the prices that will be attracting most attention. The 25-inch 2591 FXTN has a recommended selling price of 479, and its larger brother, the 2891 FXTN will sell for just 529. In addition to digital stereo sound these TVs also feature:

* 70 channel tuners

* infra-red remote control

* automatic sleep timer

* on-screen displays

 * pseudo spatial sound

* optional fastext

* optional satellite tuner                                                                                                                                                                

WHEELS IN MOTION

Compact Disc interactive, or CD-i  will begin to realise its full potential this Autumn with the launch of the eagerly-awaited full-motion video (FMV) cartridge. This will slot into existing decks, giving them the capability to resolve VHS-quality video and graphics from CD-i software. There has even been talk that one-day CD-i discs with FMV recordings one day rival tape as the main carrier of movies on video.

 

In advance of the launch Philips have announced that FMV cartridges will have an additional megabyte of random access memory (RAM) bringing the total system memory up to 2.5MB, that's more than any other consumer product currently on the market. The extra memory  will increase response times, speeding up image transitions, and allowing the use of faster, more detailed graphics on games software.

 

Whilst we're on the subject, news of three new CD-i releases this month. They are: International Tennis (35), an action game, based around live action footage and graphics set on the international tennis circuit; Alien Gate (20) is a challenging shoot 'em up adventure over 26 levels of play, blasting extraterrestrial nasties; and just to show CD-i is not all fun and games, there's Rock Guitar, a tutorial programme that the authors promise will allow the viewer to see and learn how top rock guitarists do it. Rock Guitar is the second in a series of discs called Private Lessons, the first dealt with the classical guitar, and both are on sale now for 50 each.

 

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R.Maybury 1993 1405

 

 

 

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