Audio Video News

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 |  Jun 25, 2000  |  0 comments

In the long term, interactive television (ITV) may not be the joke it has been so far. On June 21, Los Gatos, California&ndash;based <A HREF="http://www.ictv.com/">ICTV</A> announced that it has pulled in $57 million in investments from financial sector and telecommunications industry heavyweights. ITCT describes itself as the "leading provider of the cable industry's most robust solution for delivery of broadband Internet TV services to digital set-tops."

 |  Jun 25, 2000  |  0 comments

In mid-June, <A HREF="http://www.dtstech.com/">DTS</A> announced a new version of its DTS-ES Extended Surround Format for home theater. Designated DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, the system is a "new, proprietary technology for the playback of discrete, 6.1-channel content from DVDs and CDs," according to a company press release. The innovation is said to "elevate the performance standard for playback of the DTS 6.1-channel Extended Surround format introduced in motion picture theaters last year."

 |  Jun 18, 2000  |  0 comments

Video displays just keep getting better and cheaper. <A HREF="http://www.net-tv.net/">NetTV</A> has announced four new advanced progressive scan digital displays, including the DTV36XW, their first "true high definition" CRT. The 36" diagonal unit features a flat screen and conventional component inputs for 480i broadcasts as well as high-resolution component inputs for 480p, 720p and 1080i high definition broadcast signals. A 15-pin RGB input supports computer resolutions up to 1024x768 pixels.

Barry Willis  |  Jun 18, 2000  |  0 comments

For home theater fans, plasma display panels (PDPs) are among the most promising technologies. The space-saving flat panels eliminate the need for projectors and screens or huge boxy rear projection sets, but their acceptance by critical viewers has been hampered by a low (400:1) contrast ratio which renders black as more like charcoal gray.

 |  Jun 18, 2000  |  0 comments

Adventure fans are still waiting for the <I>Star Wars</I> and Indiana Jones films, but <A HREF="http://www.universalstudios.com">Universal Studios Home Video</A> has promised to release Speilberg's <I>Jurassic Park</I> and <I>The Lost World: Jurassic Park</I> on DVD as Collector's Editions on October 10, 2000. Both titles will be available with Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 audio (in place of some of the added features) and anamorphic widescreen for $26.98 retail each.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 18, 2000  |  0 comments

N<I>arrated by Liam Neeson. Directed by David Brashears, Greg MacGillivray, and Stephen Judson. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full frame). 45 minutes. 1998. Dolby Digital 5.1. Miramax Collector's Series 16539. NR. $24.98.</I>

Jon Iverson  |  Jun 18, 2000  |  0 comments

Surround formats are coming on the market fast and furious, which means yet more buttons on equipment. Last week, <A HREF="http://www.del.denon.com">Denon Electronics</A> announced the introduction of its new $3,800 flagship AVR-5800 A/V Surround Receiver, which the company claims is the world's first audio component to offer DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, DTS-ES Matrix 6.1 and DTS Neo:6 surround sound decoding. The receiver also boasts THX Surround EX decoding, 24-bit/192kHz D/A conversion, FireWire capability and seven channels, each capable of 170 watts output power.

Barry Willis  |  Jun 18, 2000  |  0 comments

After bleeding money for two years, <A HREF="http://www.hollywoodvideo.com/">Hollywood Entertainment Corporation</A> has announced that it is pulling the plug on <A HREF="http://www.reel.com/">Reel.com</A>, its high-profile online video sales operation, whose losses have been in the range of $4 million to $5 million monthly. The announcement came June 13, in which Hollywood Entertainment stated that it has laid off all 150 employees of Reel.com and arranged a deal with <A HREF="http://www.buy.com/">Buy.com</A> to fulfill orders. The Reel.com site is still active, with a pop-up advisory telling customers the bad news.

 |  Jun 11, 2000  |  0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> was correct when it formulated rules preventing cable operators from offering integrated security and channel-surfing features in cable set-top boxes, a District of Columbia appeals court has declared. The regulations, which will take effect in 2005, are derived from a proper interpretation of provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the court found.

 |  Jun 11, 2000  |  0 comments

The digital camera is now firmly established as a standard tool and toy for most technophiles. The next frontier for consumers---digitally-recorded moving pictures---is about to open up with a new camcorder from <A HREF="http://www.hitachi.com/">Hitachi</A>. The price will be 248,000yen, or approximately $2340 US.

 |  Jun 11, 2000  |  0 comments

J<I>ames Belushi, Kylie Travis, Shannon Whirry, Frank Whaley, Jesse Borrego, M. Emmet Walsh. Directed by Louis Morneau. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 91 minutes. 1997. MGM 907788. R. $24.98.</I>

 |  Jun 11, 2000  |  0 comments

In news that is sure to strike fear in the hearts of videophiles everywhere, <A HREF="http://www.macrovision.com">Macrovision</A> announced last week the implementation of its copy protection technology for higher resolution DVD playback on players with 525p progressive scan outputs. The company says that 525p copy protection has now been licensed to Genesis Microchip, JVC, Matsushita, Oak Technology, and Pioneer.

 |  Jun 11, 2000  |  0 comments

Information and entertainment technologists have long predicted that reels of films will eventually disappear, replaced by digital datastreams delivered straight to theaters. On June 6, the first such event took place---from Los Angeles to a theater in the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.

Jon Iverson  |  Jun 11, 2000  |  0 comments

A "new breed of Digital High-Definition Television Receivers" is about to be unleashed by <A HREF="http://www.thomson-multimedia.com">Thomson Electronics</A>, manufacturer and marketer of RCA and Proscan. According to the company, four new HDTV models are now in pilot production in Thomson's facilities, including the "world's largest direct-view widescreen HDTV" intended to dramatically reduce consumer prices for HDTV products.

 |  Jun 04, 2000  |  0 comments

According to the results of the "PVR and Enhanced TV Potential" study, released last week by <A HREF="http://eBrain.org">eBrain Market Research</A> in cooperation with the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A>, despite the continuing popularity of videocassette recorders in the US, the number of Americans who own hard-disk&ndash;based personal video recording devices (PVRs) is likely to increase significantly in the next 12 months.

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