AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Wes Phillips  |  Aug 30, 1998  |  0 comments

M<I>ark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, Nicole Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Directed by P.T. Anderson. Aspect ratio: 2:35:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 155 minutes. 1998. New Line Platinum Series N4650. Rated R. $24.99.</I>

Jon Iverson  |  Aug 30, 1998  |  0 comments

Plasma display panels (PDPs) are arguably the most revolutionary new video-monitor technology to come along in the last few years. First-generation models are exciting, but they're known to have limitations. However, a recent announcement from <A HREF="http://www.fujitsu.co.jp/index-e.html">Fujitsu Limited</A> should move the plasma approach closer to many living rooms next year.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 29, 1998  |  0 comments

New music revitalizes old movie: the Kronos Quartet has just completed an intense eight-day recording session at Lucasfilm's Skywalker Ranch studio in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The Quartet laid down a Philip Glass score for a reissue of <I>Dracula</I>, the 1931 horror flick starring B&#233;la Lugosi. The effort is part of a <A HREF="http://www.mca.com/home/">Universal Home Video</A> project that will bring classic early horror films to a new audience.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 29, 1998  |  0 comments

Satellite broadcasting will be first out of the chute with HDTV. While local broadcasters scramble to comply with FCC mandates to be HD-ready by 1999, satellite services are almost there. On August 25, U.S. Satellite Broadcasting (USSB) announced that it will lease transponder space from DirecTV at the 95&#176;W fixed location so it can begin transmitting HDTV previews. DirecTV will also beam HD programming from the same satellite.

 |  Aug 23, 1998  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.image-entertainment.com">Image Entertainment</A> announced the acquisition of Ken Crane's LaserDisc/DVD Internet-based direct-to-consumer business, a division of <A HREF="http://www.kencranes.com">Ken Crane's Home Entertainment</A> of Hawthorne, CA. Long a favorite among laserdisc aficionados, and more recently DVD fans, the business was purchased for approximately $6.5 million in a combination of cash, stock, and the assumption of certain liabilities, subject to adjustment.

Wes Phillips  |  Aug 23, 1998  |  0 comments

I<I>an Holm, Maury Chaykin, Peter Donaldson, Bruce Greenwood, David Hemblin, Brooke Johnson, Arsin&#233;e Khanjian, Tom McCamus, Stephanie Morgenstern, Earl Pastko, Sarah Polley, Gabrielle Rose, Alberta Watson. Directed by Atom Egoyan. Aspect ratio: 2:35:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 116 minutes. 1998. New Line Platinum Series N4654. R. $24.99.</I>

 |  Aug 23, 1998  |  0 comments

Interactive TV will reach 10 million viewers by 2002, but a new report from <A HREF="http://www.forrester.com">Forrester Research, Inc.</A> concludes that television providers and interactivity vendors have completely misunderstood the promise of the new medium. For interactive television to succeed, programmers must embrace lazy interactivity---an approach designed for TV viewers of short attention spans.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 22, 1998  |  0 comments

Ongoing financial losses to the Indian film industry from widespread video piracy provoked a one-day strike last week in the city of Bombay. On Tuesday, August 14, about 5000 people---including actors, producers, directors, and technical workers---streamed into the city's business district in a protest march from the suburb of Bandra. The strike was led by the Film Makers Combine, an industry association that called on the Indian government to step up enforcement of copyright laws.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 22, 1998  |  0 comments

Convergence might be the brunt of jokes in some quarters, but not at 7 Mark Drive in San Rafael, CA. That's the home of <A HREF="http://www.net-tv.net/">NetTV</A>, which has just announced its new ExtremeDVD home-entertainment system. ExtremeDVD is optimized for 3-D gaming, Internet access, satellite downloads, and high-resolution movie playback.

Jon Iverson  |  Aug 16, 1998  |  0 comments

It's been a glorious week for folks who rent or buy open-DVD videos. <A HREF="http://www.paramount.com">Paramount Home Video</A> and <A HREF="http://www.foxhome.com/">Twentieth Century Fox</A> have each announced a string of releases that signal their entry into the open-DVD market. Both companies, relative laggards in the rollout of the new format, have said that copyright issues are the delaying factor.

 |  Aug 16, 1998  |  0 comments

At the DVD Production '98 conference last week, the International Recording Media Association (IRMA) released sales forecasts for the growth and worldwide expansion of the international DVD marketplace. The numbers are part of a study on the growth and direction of the world optical-media marketplace.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 15, 1998  |  0 comments

In the comic books of the 1960s, "X-Ray Specs" were hot commodities in the back-page ads. The mail-order eyeware supposedly enabled users to see through walls, doors, and ordinary clothing---a compelling motivation for millions of adolescent males who saved their lunch money for weeks to buy them. In what was probably their first introduction to marketing hype, the disappointed boys discovered that the specs were a fraud.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 15, 1998  |  0 comments

The format war is heating up. <A HREF="http://www.circuitcity.com/">Circuit City</A> has enlisted a third ally as it prepares to go nationwide with the launch of Divx. On August 11, Denver's 30-store <A HREF="http://www.ultimateelectronics.com/">Ultimate Electronics</A> chain threw its weight behind the pay-per-view format. California-based retailer <A HREF="http://www.goodguys.com/">The Good Guys</A> has been a Divx partner since early in the game.

 |  Aug 15, 1998  |  0 comments

Public awareness of HDTV has almost doubled in the past year, according to a survey recently conducted by the <A HREF="http://www.cemacity.org/">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A>. Over the week of July 6-14, CEMA interviewed 1000 adults, selected at random, to find out how far the coming television format has penetrated into the American consciousness.

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