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Barry Willis  |  Apr 09, 2000  |  0 comments

The march of progress comes at a price to the environment. Old computer monitors and television sets often wind up in landfills, where they can leak lead, cadmium, mercury, and other toxic chemicals into the groundwater. The federally mandated changeover to digital television, projected to be complete within the next six years, may exacerbate the problem as millions of consumers consign their old displays to the trash.

Jon Iverson  |  Apr 09, 2000  |  0 comments

Both <A HREF="http://www.dwin.com/">Dwin Electronics</A> and <A HREF="http://www.faroudja.com">Faroudja</A> announced satisfaction last week in the resolution of a patent-infringement lawsuit brought by Faroudja a little over one year ago. According to Faroudja, the patents included in the settlement relate to detecting the 3:2 pulldown sequence of film-originated video and deinterlacing techniques used to improve the picture quality of high-resolution and large-screen video displays. Financial terms of the settlement agreement between the parties were not disclosed.

Michael Metzger  |  Apr 09, 2000  |  0 comments

J<I>imi Hendrix, Little Richard, Pete Townshend, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton. Aspect ratios: 4:3 (full-frame), 16:9 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 2.0. 102 minutes. 1973. Warner Bros. 11267. R. $24.95.</I>

 |  Apr 09, 2000  |  0 comments

S<I>tar Wars</I> fans might prefer to watch <I>Episode 1&mdash;The Phantom Menace</I> on DVD, but they aren't saying "no" to the videotape version. More than 5 million copies of the VHS version were snapped up within 48 hours after the tape went on sale April 4, accounting for almost $100 million in retail sales. The 133-minute film, which debuted last year, reached #2 in all-time box-office statistics.

Barry Willis  |  Apr 09, 2000  |  0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.bbc.co.uk/">British Broadcasting Corporation</A> is creating a new film division that will develop projects with American producers and distributors for theatrical release in the US and elsewhere in the world, according to an official announcement made April 4 in London. The new division is part of a corporate restructuring that will free up $318.5 million annually for dramatic programming, according to the BBC's new director general, Greg Dyke.

Jon Iverson  |  Apr 09, 2000  |  0 comments

Watching TV on your computer is not a new idea. In fact, companies have been bringing regular DTV to the desktop for over a year now (see <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?289">previous story</A>). But HDTV is another matter&mdash;the high-definition specification for digital television has been struggling to get out of the chute ever since its launch in November 1998. Several factors have slowed the emergence of HDTV, with the high prices of HDTV sets a deciding factor in most cases.

Michael Metzger  |  Apr 02, 2000  |  0 comments

C. <I>Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Leif Garrett, Tom Waits. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Aspect ratios: 2.35:1 (widescreen), 4:3 (full-frame). Dolby Digital 5.1. 91 minutes. 1983. Warner Bros. 11310. PG. $24.95.</I>

Jon Iverson  |  Apr 02, 2000  |  0 comments

DVD is recognized as a mainstream consumer format at this point, and several of the recent Oscar-winning and -nominated films are already available for purchase in the digital format, with the majority of the others on their way.

Barry Willis  |  Apr 02, 2000  |  0 comments

Divx, Circuit City's pay-per-view DVD format, may be dead, but DivX, a new video-copying phenomenon, is alive and well. The hacker-developed technology is said to allow copying and transmission of "high-quality pictures" over the Internet in much the way MP3 audio files can be shared by music fans. With DivX and a broadband connection, a full-length film can be downloaded in a few hours and stored on a recordable CD, according to several reports in late March.

 |  Apr 02, 2000  |  0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> announced last week that factory-to-dealer sales of digital television (DTV) display devices reached their second-highest total ever this February, surpassing 22,000 units. The CEA claims that February's sales total of 22,844 units is second only to the December 1999 figures, and brings total sales since the introduction of DTV (in August 1998) to 178,254 units.

 |  Apr 02, 2000  |  0 comments

High-quality bi-directional video is on its way from <A HREF="http://www.lucent.com/">Lucent Technologies</A>. The company has announced a new venture, called GeoVideo Networks Inc., that will deliver what Lucent is calling "HDTV-quality" video over the Internet. Entertainment&mdash;including video-on-demand&mdash; is part of the intended package, but Lucent is emphasizing the medical, financial, and business-to-business applications of the broadband fiber network. The announcement was made March 29 at Lucent's Murray Hill, New Jersey headquarters.

Barry Willis  |  Apr 02, 2000  |  0 comments

First Sony made the PlayStation 2, a $370 "gaming console." Then users discovered that it could play Digital Versatile Discs from all regions, a clear violation of DVD Forum engineering specifications intended to accommodate the entertainment industry's longstanding policy of releasing films on video at different times in different parts of the world&mdash;after they've run in commercial theaters. Shortly thereafter, users also found that they could make perfect videotape <A HREF="htpp://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?680">copies</A> of DVDs via the RGB outputs on the machine, thereby circumventing Macrovision, the copy-prevention technique built into the DVD format. Seems the PlayStation 2 was a two-front nightmare for the film business.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 26, 2000  |  0 comments

Fear that its programming will be given short shrift by the combined might of America Online and Time Warner has led the <A HREF="http://www.disney.com/">Walt Disney Company</A> to lobby US lawmakers about the media giants' impending merger. Disney has made quiet but persistent efforts to influence legislators who must approve the merger, according to several reports appearing in late March.

 |  Mar 26, 2000  |  0 comments

February's manufacturer-to-dealer shipments of video products were up 22% over the same period last year, according to figures released March 17 by the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org/">Consumer Electronics Association</A>. Every segment of the video market showed strong growth, including analog direct-view televisions, which were up by 8%, with 2.9 million units shipped.

Jon Iverson  |  Mar 26, 2000  |  0 comments

The Linux operating-system movement appeared to have taken a leap forward last week with the announcement of <A HREF="http://indrema.com">Indrema</A>, a new consumer-electronics company specializing in open-source digital products for home entertainment. Using the Linux operating system, enhanced by a set of open-source multimedia standards such as the Direct Rendering Infrastructure, the new OpenStream video architecture, and Mesa 3D compatible graphics components, Indrema says it plans to "turn the consumer-electronics industry on its head."

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