Audio Video News

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 |  Dec 31, 2000  |  0 comments

Both <A HREF="">CBS Television</A> and <A HREF="">Sony</A> report that they have recently entered into an agreement for CBS to produce the upcoming 2001 Sony Open golf tournament live in HDTV on the CBS Television Network starting January 20.

 |  Dec 31, 2000  |  0 comments

Twenty bucks buys plenty of processing power these days. If you're a manufacturer shopping for a DVD chip, <A HREF="">Cirrus Logic Corporation's Crystal Semiconductor</A> has just what you're looking for. The San Mateo, CA-based company is now shipping its "98k"&mdash;an all-purpose, stand-alone DVD decoding device versatile enough to let designers write their own control code.

 |  Dec 24, 2000  |  0 comments

In an effort to simplify the mess that the 500-channel TV universe has become, <A HREF="%20">Panasonic</A> announced last week the shipment of its new DirecTV-enabled HDTV receiver to retailers. In addition to receiving and decoding both DirectTV and DirecTV HD satellite transmissions, the TU-HDS20 is a DTV-ready multiple-format tuner capable of receiving all 18 ATSC digital television broadcast formats as well as current analog (NTSC) signals.

Jon Iverson  |  Dec 24, 2000  |  0 comments

It has repeatedly been predicted that video rental stores are heading for the graveyard, most recently with the advent of small satellite services and online rental competitors such as Netflix. The latest foe that, pundits claim, is likely to deal the fatal blow to rental stores is video-on-demand over high-speed networks.

 |  Dec 24, 2000  |  0 comments

The year 2000 was a box office record breaker for the film industry, but the chance of repeating that feat in 2001 is being dimmed by the possibility of labor strikes that could halt film production for months.

Robert Deutsch  |  Dec 24, 2000  |  0 comments

F<I>rank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly. Directed by George Sidney. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (original full-frame). Dolby Digital 1.0. 140 minutes. 1945. Warner Bros. 65070. NR. $19.99.</I>

Barry Willis  |  Dec 24, 2000  |  0 comments

One of the most honored films in the history of the movie business, <I>Ben Hur</I>, will make its DVD debut this coming March, 42 years after its theatrical release. On December 18, <A HREF="">Warner Home Video</A> announced a March 13 street date for the disc. The film has been digitally restored and has a new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The suggested retail price will be $24.98.

HT Staff  |  Dec 21, 2000  |  0 comments
Improvement wrought by Sony and other manufacturers is bringing flatscreen monitors into territory they weren't originally intended to serve. First developed for commercial signage and public information display, flatscreen monitors---especially the type known as plasma display panels (PDPs)---have seen huge advances in contrast ratio and reduction of motion artifacts, to such an extent that they can be seriously considered by even hard-to-please home theater fans.
HT Staff  |  Dec 20, 2000  |  0 comments
Modular multichannel amplifiers solve plenty of problems for home theater fans: freeing floor space tops among them. An interesting new offering in this product category is the MDB1000 from Pennsylvania's Accusonic. A "Class H" amplifier weighing 60 lbs., the MDB1000 puts out 200 watts/8 ohms x 5 channels, ideal for almost all traditional surround sound systems.
HT Staff  |  Dec 20, 2000  |  0 comments
As former Chrysler chairman Lee Iococca used to say in the television ads, some companies lead and others follow. British manufacturer Meridian Audio Limited is one that has always lead in the effort to squeeze the most out of any given digital entertainment format.
 |  Dec 17, 2000  |  0 comments

Competitions and awards usually indicate that an art form has reached some degree of commercial viability. By that standard, movies made for the Internet have attained maturity: The <A HREF="">Sundance Institute</A> has announced that it will host parallel festivals this winter, one concentrating on traditional films and the other showcasing films made for the Internet. Both events begin January 18.

 |  Dec 17, 2000  |  0 comments

In a deal said to be the first of its kind, online DVD rental service <A HREF="">NetFlix</A> has entered revenue-sharing agreements with Columbia Tristar and Warner Home Video. The agreement, announced December 7, will allow NetFlix to buy movies in larger quantities and at deeper discounts than previously. NetFlix is the first DVD Internet dealer to have a revenue sharing agreement with major motion picture distributors.

 |  Dec 17, 2000  |  0 comments

The film industry's yearlong pursuit of DVD hackers has hit a roadblock. On Thursday, December 14, the California Supreme Court issued an order that may result in the dismissal of charges against several defendants accused of promulgating a DVD decryption code known as DeCSS. Developed last year by a 16-year-old Norwegian computer hobbyist to allow DVDs to play on Linux-based PCs, the code also defeats copy prptection. CSS (copy scrambling system) is built into DVD movies and software to prevent illegal copying.

Joe Leydon  |  Dec 17, 2000  |  0 comments

R<I>osanna Arquette, Amanda Donohoe, Gina Gershon, Buck Henry, Salome Jens, Frank Langella, Andrew McCarthy, Elizabeth Perkins. Directed by Bruce Wagner. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 103 minutes. 1998. Sterling Home Entertainment 7325. NR. $24.95.</I>

 |  Dec 17, 2000  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="">EchoStar Communications</A> announced the availability of its optional 8VSB tuner cartridge, which enables customers who have the Dish Network Model 6000 satellite television receiver to receive off-air analog and digital broadcasts such as those in the High Definition Television (HDTV) format, where available. EC says that the cartridge is now available at participating Dish Network retailers for a introductory price of $100. After Jan. 1 the cartridge will be available for $149.