DVD (digital video disk) has been hovering on the horizon of multimedia for some time, but its time may be at hand. I think a year from now that’s all you’re going to see, says Jack Noon, founder of president of Midi Inc. I think it will replace what CD-ROM is today.

His Thanet Road-based multimedia firm and the Moving Image Professionals will co-host an open house of computer-based video delivery systems on Wednesday, September 24, at 6 p.m. at 100 Thanet Circle. The cost: $10. Call 609-924-4817.

The DVD video disk looks identical to a CD but has tons more storage, enabling it to store very high quality MPEG video files, Noon explains. The DVD-ROM has 4.7 gigabytes of storage, but has more storage grooves because its lasers are much finer. DVD-ROM enables the PC to store and deliver information, and is backward compatible, meaning that regular old CDs can be played on DVD players (although DVDs can’t be played in CD players). DVD is going to allow us to have very high quality multimedia applications, he says.

To get video to the desktop via networks as opposed to disks, the bandwidth must be expanded. As Noon explains, LANs used to be connected primarily by ethernets that delivered information at 10 MB per second or token rings that worked at 16 MB per second. But during the last three or four years the plumbing has been improved; switched networks now allow even more bandwidth to be delivered to the desktop, which is bringing about the conditions highly conducive to getting video piped through LANs to the desktop.

Kaboom!

Disaster fanatics go to town on Friday, September 19, when the Mercer County Office of Emergency Management conducts a dual-scenario disaster Å a bomb explosion on a commercial aircraft while in flight and a chlorine tanker accident. The purpose? To test the effectiveness of interagency response to a mass casualty incident, says a press released by Mercer County.

It is necessary to conduct exercises such as this in order to ensure that our emergency management agencies are prepared for any type of incident that may occur, said Ralph Persico, emergency management coordinator. These tests allow us to coordinate with hospitals, fire departments, police and ambulance crews so that in the event of a catastrophe all casualties can be managed effectively.

Participating towns include Hamilton, East Windsor, West Windsor, Washington, Hopewell, Princeton, and Trenton. For information about the location, call 609-799-8868.

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