What's new in home video? How about a camcorder that floats? A television remote you can talk back to? A home video for the blind? According to Video Magazine, the following innovations are among those now appearing on the video scene:
- Hitachi's Surf & Snow VM-SPIA 8mm camcorder weighs only 2.6 pounds. It has an extra shell with rubber seals that protect it from moisture, dirt and dust - and best of all, it floats. While not classified as an underwater camera, the Surf & Snow is designed to weather most elements that would ruin ordinary camcorders. The Surf & Snow is essentially a point-and-shoot model with some nice digital editing effects. It retails for $1,500.- For $170, Voice Powered Technology has come out with the VCR Voice Programmer. When prompted by user-speaking key words, the remote will program your VCR and operate key functions for a VCR, a television and a cable box. Up to four voices can be programmed into the remote.
- What may be the nicest innovation in video in the past few years is the growth of "described video" for the blind and visually impaired. A specially written narration explains what the main characters of a movie or television show are doing. The descriptions, sandwiched between a program's normal dialogue, are carried on Special Audio Program channels. To receive described video, a viewer needs a TV set with multichannel television sound stereo, or a stand-alone MTS decorder, which costs as little as $40.