Digital Content Publishing Isn't Just for Print
Rimage introduced a turnkey system designed for delivering on-demand digital content at the retail counter and the photofinishing counter. The Rimage Digital Manufacturing Center offers retailers the ability to profit from new revenue streams by producing Hybrid DVDs, as well as photo and music CDs for their customers.
According to Tom Cuffari, Rimage's vice president, Business Development— Photo, the system combines an easy-to-use consumer interface for use on a retailer's own kiosk input terminal(s), along with one of multiple configurations of a Rimage CD/DVD recorder/full-color, direct-to-disc surface printer. For those retailers who require a customized solution, a software development kit is available.
With the Digital Manufacturing Center, retailers can offer a range of products, including: conventional photo CDs and music CDs; Hybrid DVDs, a new format that combines photos with a theme, musical soundtrack, or video; digital stationery, the design and printing of a company logo or other artwork on blank discs (Cuffari sees this service as ideal for businesses that need a small order of around 100 discs or so created at one time); music CDs; digital tape conversion, videotape-to-DVD conversion of home movies; and mobile applications, the downloading of ringtones, games, and other applications to consumers' mobile phones. In the future, Rimage plans to add video on demand, where customers would be able to create custom DVDs of movies, TV, and internet video content.
Cuffari explains that because it's a modular system, retailers can either choose to offer everything (Hybrid DVDs, photo CDs, audio CDs, digital stationery, etc.) or just purchase the options they feel will work in their local markets— however the variety adds to new offerings that retailers and minilabs can offer their customers. "Interestingly, we developed the applications we did because photo dealers are looking to bring in added revenue," Cuffari says (such as music, movies, and upselling customers from a photo CD to a DVD with images set to music, he explains).
Cuffari explains that the music content can originate from any content provider the retailer is using, or from Rimage, which currently has a music library of more than 2 million audio tracks.
For more information, visit www.rimage.com.
Sony Offers Four New PictureStation Kiosks
Sony introduced four new PictureStation digital kiosks that offer increased speed in outputting prints, improved productivity, and more creative options for consumers, including additional sizes and digital scrapbooking software. The new PictureStation systems were designed with smaller footprints for retailers who don't have a lot of counter or floor space to spare.
The PS500DLX3/BL kiosk system utilizes three printers— two high-speed UP-DR150 roll printers and one UPD75 printer— and a scanner for print-to-print pictures. The new PS500DLX4/BL system offers the same, plus a fourth printer, Sony's new UP-CX1 4x8 photocard model. The UP-CX1 printer can output 4x8 photo greeting cards, as well as 3.5x5, 4x6, and 5x7s. Print speeds are about 13 seconds for 3.5x5s; about 16 seconds for 4x6s; about 17 seconds for 5x7s; and about 21 seconds for 4x8 photo greeting cards (actual print time). Both the PS500DLX3/BL and PS500DLX4/BL systems output prints in sizes from wallet up to 8x10.
The third new system is the PS500CTR/150 countertop model, which incorporates a Sony UP-DR150 printer. The print speed of the UP-DR150 digital roll printer has been improved. According to the company, it can now produce 500 4x6 prints per hour. Speeds have also increased to about 6.6 seconds for a 4x6 print, and about 12 seconds for a 5x7 print (actual print time).
The last of the new kiosk models is the PS500CTR/X1 model with a UP-CX1 photocard printer.
Sony has also updated the software for the PictureStation kiosks. Consumers now have more choices to be creative with their digital photos, adding borders and text, and making personalized cards, collages, and digital scrapbook pages.
All four kiosk configurations are available now.
Check out www.sony.com/dpf for more information.
Mitsubishi's Flexible Photo Lab Solution Eliminates Need for Chemical Lab
Earlier this year, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America launched its Flexible Photo Lab Solution, a scalable, self-service system that offers connectivity to a photofinishing workflow already in place.