Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Computer Maker Brings Publishers into Video Age

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Computer Maker Brings Publishers into Video Age

Article excerpt

New technology from computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. may move magazines further into the electronic age.

Tapping its expertise in professional broadcasting hardware, the Palo Alto, California-based company recently unveiled a system--dubbed VidJet Pro--that grabs video frames and readies them for output on a color printer.

Touting it as an alternative to conventional printing, HP officials say VidJet will allow publishers to send pages to readers over cable television lines. "Most information still arrives in the driveway or mailbox," says company spokesman Andrew Ould. "But now it can arrive over the wires and then literally be printed in the reader's home. It's faster and it's cheaper."

Though still in its infancy, the technology has caught the eye of multimedia conglomerate Time Warner. The New York-based corporation announced in October that homes linked to its interactive Full Service Network--slated for trial next year in Orlando, Florida--will get VidJet and HP printers free of charge.

Viewers will roam through video versions of Time Warner's Time Inc. magazines and print the stories they wish to preserve. "Initially, we imagined that the Orlando project would be strictly screen-based," says Time Warner spokesman Ed Adler. "But Hewlett-Packard approached us, and we decided that the technology is a good fit."

Adler says company execs have not decided on a format for magazines carried on the Orlando network, but adds that "most of our big titles," like Time and Sports Illustrated, are likely to show up "in some shape or form. …

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