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Friday, March 17, 2006
CeBIT 2006

22. Roxio

Again this year, we were happy to visit Sonic-Roxio at CeBIT where we met with European Marketing Manager David Burton, Senior Manager EBusiness EMEA Niko Bozok, and OEM Sales - Europe John Newman.

We were given a demonstration of Roxio's Blu-ray Disc recording and playback solutions which also included a brief viewing of the world’s first BD title "Chronos", which was produced by Technicolor using the Sonic suite of tools. It was interesting to see the features that have been added to HD content, such as picture in picture, more elaborate menus, popup hints, you can even view the film's script in a side panel. In general, far more interactivity with far more choices to both the "author" and hence, viewer. Apart from the higher quality, the big difference is in the way options are available to the viewer. Traditionally, if you want to go back to the starting menu of any currently available title, the movie stops while you make your choice. With new HD content titles, this is no longer the case, and any menus are overlayed on top, while the movie continues to play. In other words, the movie itself and any options available to the viewer can exist and operate simultaneously on screen.

All HD content authoring is achieved with BD-J, a Java based language for Blu-ray or iHD, an XML based language for HD-DVD, both of which are supported by the Sonic-Roxio products. Content authors can also incorporate dynamic content, downloadable from the internet (for PCs or set top boxes that have internet connection) which can include trailers or even recommend titles based on the genre of the current movie playing.

We were also shown a very basic backup demonstration where files on a computer hard disk were backed-up onto Blu-ray RE (re-writable) media. What was impressive here was how quickly the 180MB of data was written to the disc, a matter of a few seconds.

Sonic also provides a "client" software which is initially being shipped in Broadcom based set-top boxes, providing the capability of downloading HD titles on demand over an internet connection.




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