Audio Video News

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Barry Willis  |  Mar 29, 1998  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.dolby.com">Dolby Laboratories</A> won a bidding war for a four-storey office building near its Potrero Hill headquarters in downtown San Francisco. Dolby president Bill Jasper plunked down $18.25 million in cashier's checks for the glass-block building, which had fallen into bankruptcy after it had been used as a diamond-cutting and distribution center linked to both the De Beers cartel and the Russian government.

 |  Mar 29, 1998  |  0 comments

On March 17, <A HREF="http://www.tvpc.com">Ino Technologies</A> of Austin, Texas announced that, for only $799, its new TVPC with DVD has "cracked the code" of the long-elusive home-convergence device. Otherwise known as the "Living Room PC," the TVPC connects directly to a regular television; unlike other so-called living-room devices, TVPC comes complete with a full-function remote keyboard, a hand-held remote, and a DVD drive.

 |  Mar 22, 1998  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.cablelabs.com">Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.</A> specified an existing high-speed serial protocol called IEEE 1394 (also known as FireWire) as the link between OpenCable digital set-top boxes and devices such as television sets and DVD players. <A HREF="http://www.opencable.com">OpenCable</A> is a CableLabs-sponsored initiative aimed at developing key interface specifications in order to foster interoperability among digital set-top boxes built by multiple vendors and used in broadband, two-way cable networks.

Steven Stone  |  Mar 22, 1998  |  0 comments

A<I>lbert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds, Rob Morrow. Directed by Albert Brooks. Aspect ratio: 1:85:1. Dolby Surround. Two Sides. 104 minutes. 1996. Pioneer Entertainment LV 332473-W. Rated PG-13. $39.95.</I>

 |  Mar 22, 1998  |  0 comments

According to the latest <A HREF="http://www.cema.org">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA) statistics, released March 16, overall video-product sales had their best showing ever for the first eight weeks of a calendar year, with sales up 7%, to 6 million units. Video products also enjoyed their best February performance ever, with overall sales up 7%, to 3.2 million units. Leading an impressive set of video-hardware sales, large-screen and projection TVs were up 8% and 14%, respectively, in the year to date for 1998.

 |  Mar 22, 1998  |  0 comments

Recently, <A HREF="http://www.hrrc.org">The Home Recording Rights Coalition</A> (HRRC) sounded an alert to consumers and all other users of home VCRs and personal computers. In passing legislation to implement copyright treaties, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee rejected an amendment that would have preserved consumers' rights to buy and use digital VCRs and PCs capable of making home recordings.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 15, 1998  |  0 comments

Last week, Dallas broadcaster WFFA turned on its new HDTV transmitter for the first time. Surprisingly, the transmission overwhelmed heart monitors at Baylor University Medical Center, which were operating at the same frequency. Nurses and doctors were temporarily unable to monitor their patients' heartbeats. When the cause of the problem was discovered, WFFA turned the transmitter off.

 |  Mar 15, 1998  |  0 comments

On March 9, <A HREF="http://www.pioneerusa.com">Pioneer New Media Technologies</A> announced the availability of its first DVD-Recordable (DVD-R) drive, the DVR-S101, bundled with DVD mastering software from Prassi Software USA and five blank DVD-R discs. Aimed at the professional desktop DVD market, Pioneer's SCSI-2 DVD-R drive lists for $16,995 and provides a data-transfer rate of 1.428 megabits per second, a data-buffer capacity of 4 MB, and a tray-loading system. Together with the mastering software, this products constitutes the first fully functional DVD-R drive to be offered for sale that allows users to create a disc image file and record on the desktop. "The Pioneer/Prassi bundle provides the DVD-mastering market with the only DVD-R solution available," says Paul Dempsey, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Pioneer New Media Technologies. "This is a powerful product offering that is incredibly easy to use."

 |  Mar 15, 1998  |  0 comments

This year began with a strong performance in the video market, confirming previous forecasts of a vibrant holiday season. According to data released by the <A HREF="http://www.cema.org">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA), total January video shipments to US hardware dealers rose 8% to nearly 2.8 million units. Color televisions represented more than half that volume, sporting a 20% rise. In fact, color TVs enjoyed their best January sales since 1993.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 15, 1998  |  1 comments

R<I>obert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Dolby Digital 5.1. 179 minutes. Univeral 20159. Rated R. $26.98.</I>

Jon Iverson  |  Mar 15, 1998  |  0 comments

In early March, <A HREF="http://www.thesync.com">The Sync</A>, an Internet audio/video broadcasting company, announced that history has been made with the first modern feature film to be offered for viewing on the World Wide Web: American director Erica Jordan's acclaimed 1994 independent film, <I>Walls of Sand</I>. This important debut ushers in a new era in entertainment: video on demand from your PC, with feature films available at any hour of the day. Net surfers can watch <I>Walls of Sand</I> for free in the RealVideo format on The Sync's "<A HREF="http://thesync.com/ondemand">ondemand</A>" page.

 |  Mar 08, 1998  |  0 comments

Jeannie Kane, publisher of <i>Stereophile Guide to Home Theater</i>, is very pleased to announce the appointment of Maureen C. Jenson as Editor at Large, effective March 9, 1998. This appointment coincides with the launch of the <i>Guide</i>'s new custom-installation section, which will debut in the June 1998 issue.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 08, 1998  |  0 comments

Who'd've thunk it? The movie-going public can't get enough of James Cameron's <I>Titanic</I>, the three-hour disaster flick starring the mismatched Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as a pair of doomed lovers.

Jon Iverson  |  Mar 08, 1998  |  0 comments

On March 2, <A HREF="http://www.ncube.com">nCUBE</A>, a developer of scalable video servers, announced a reseller agreement with <A HREF="http://www.vela.com">Vela Research LP</A>, a developer of video-compression products for the cable and broadcast industries. nCUBE will integrate Vela's MPEG2 video-encoding technology as part of an approach that enables cable operators to offer video-on-demand (VOD) and near video-on-demand (NVOD) services over analog networks and real-time feeds for digital networks.

 |  Mar 08, 1998  |  0 comments

Home theaters are becoming ever more affordable according to new data just released by the <A HREF="http://www.cema.org">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA). In 1997, dollar sales of home-theater products reached $8.2 billion---a slight drop from the $8.3 billion generated in the previous year---but many of the essential components of home-theater systems sold more units than ever before. Overall unit sales of home-theater products rose 5%.

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