In regard to Mark Anbinder’s article "Watch Out, QuickTime" in TidBITS-139, Robert Wilson offers this clarification.
I had an opportunity to check out the IBM Multimedia solutions a few weeks ago. It was impressive and it looks like IBM is sinking a good amount of resources into this technology.
In the recent TidBITS article you mentioned these machines could do full-screen, 30 frames per second video, but failed to mention that these machines use a Micro Channel adapter card, ActionMedia II, developed by Intel and IBM, which does the real-time decompression from the hard disk. This dedicated hardware does most of the work, not the 386 SLC chip.
The ActionMedia II display adapter with an educational discount is $1,197. The ActionMedia II capture adapter with an educational discount runs an additional $570. So the hardware isn’t all that cheap, and I’m sure QuickTime works much better with a card that can decompress in hardware.
[And in fact, to judge from some other email we received, SuperMac and other companies have such hardware for QuickTime coming soon (most notably the $6,000 Digital Film due from SuperMac at the end of the year), along with some cool new software as well. -Adam]
Robert Wilson — [email protected]