Formac Shows Off Latest Video Devices

Oliver Bergman, CEO of Formac, came into the demo room last week to show us some of his company's latest products, including Studio, ProFormance 4, and a new DVD-RAM drive. Bergman also introduced us to Formac's revamped Web site, which lets you buy directly from the company.

Studio, Formac's latest product, is due out in December. The smartly designed external unit is a TV/video digitizer that handles most video formats. The box, which is roughly the size of an external CD-RW drive, features Composite-In/Out, SVHS-In/Out, and Audio CA-In/Out connections, plus input connections for television and radio.

The device, which draws power through FireWire, can convert analog signals to digital and vice versa, giving users the power to convert video and DVD captures to QuickTime, VHS, and other video formats. Studio also allows users to capture FM stereo signals. The product is expected to ship by Christmas; a price has not yet been determined.

Next up was Formac's new DVD-RAM drive, which features the same casing that houses Studio. That's no accident; the devices are meant to compliment each other and reflect Formac's new focus on design. Also like Studio, one of the DVD drive's cooler features is its ability to draw power directly from its FireWire connection, removing the need for an external power supply. The drive ships next week.

Formac also gave us a brief presentation on their latest graphics card, the Proformance 4 graphics accelerator, an AGP card built on two 3Dlabs GLINT R3 processors. It supports most types of monitors, including Apple's new ADC displays. Although Proformance 4 boasts some impressive specs, the cards real draw lies in its ability to support two monitors at once. The card also lets users strap on a pair of ProCyber 3D glasses for total immersion in gaming or graphical worlds. Proformance 4 retails for $749 and will be available in mid-December.

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