Cinestream combines the features of a digital video-editing tool and a streaming media-deployment solution in one easy-to-use package. The software can directly interface to a DV camcorder and capture video from it. One of its components, called Media 100 DV Tester, lets you check the connectivity of the camcorder.
Installing and setting up the product is a breeze, and it installed several components, besides the core Cinestream and DV Tester. These include Cleaner 5 Ez, RealPlayer and Quicktime. The last two are needed to provide support for output file formats. It can be used on Win 98/2000/XP as well as Mac OS 8.6 or later. The manuals accompanying Cinestream are very detailed and useful, giving everything from installations instructions to how to operate and use its features.
Cinestream gives you presets for all the popular video standards, like PAL, NTSC, PAL Widescreen, etc. It gives you multiple window access to all your Project information, such as history, effects, monitor and sequencer. While the main Project window displays a list of media files it uses, the Monitor window shows both the source and edited/compiled files. The Sequencer window has a multi-track timeline interface, where each track represents an audio or a video track. You can drag and drop video or audio tracks onto the timeline and then render a final movie sequence. A feature called Clip trimming allows you to remove the excess media from a clip, allowing you to remove irrelevant parts of a video.
The software has a number of titling effects for creating professional videos. These include speed control to add ‘slow-motion’ or ‘fast-forward’ effects, multiple key frames with spline-based animations. You can also drag and drop these effects onto your compilation and preview the results in the FX monitor window. You can add an unlimited number of videos clips and filters hence making it easy for you to create long complex videos, the only consideration being your hard disk space!
Cinestream incorporates something called Eventstream filters to create interactive videos and projects. These filters let you do things like open a specific URL when the video reaches a specific point of time, replace a movie by some other movie, display specific text and go to a particular time in the video when an Eventstream filter is encountered.
Coming to the other components, Cleaner 5 Ez is used for encoding files into different formats, like AVI to MPEG and vice versa. Other output options available here are QuickTime, RealMedia, Windows Media for streaming purposes and even MPEG, MP3 and still image formats. Streamable files can be directly published on the web and MPEGs can be distributed through video CD formats.
The Bottom Line The product is a complete solution for capturing, editing and publishing video. It’s a great software for creating streaming media from digital video.
Ankur Saxena at PCQ Labs