Clint Walker  |  Jun 25, 2000  |  First Published: Jun 26, 2000  |  0 comments
A new value-driven benchmark in high-performance theater.

I've been sitting here at my computer for over an hour without typing a word. I'm showing signs of terminal writer's block, but I wish I were that lucky. In truth, I'm just speechless, and the Cinénova Grande amplifier from Earthquake Sound Corporation is the reason why. Several weeks ago, a massive wooden crate stamped "heavy" arrived at our sound lab in Woodland Hills. I had seen crates like this during my stint in the military—they usually contained Patriot missile warheads. We gathered around it like cavemen observing fire, poking at it and wondering what it might be. Finally, I worked up the nerve to open it up.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 25, 2000  |  0 comments

V<I>oices of Jennifer Aniston, Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick, Jr., Vin Diesel, Christopher McDonald. Directed by Brad Bird. Aspect ratios: 2.35:1 (anamorphic), 1.33:1 (full-frame). Dolby Digital 5.1. 99 minutes. 1999. Warner Home Video 17644. PG. $24.95.</I>

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="">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>

Barry Willis  |  Jun 18, 2000  |  0 comments

After bleeding money for two years, <A HREF="">Hollywood Entertainment Corporation</A> has announced that it is pulling the plug on <A HREF=""></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 and arranged a deal with <A HREF=""></A> to fulfill orders. The site is still active, with a pop-up advisory telling customers the bad news.

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="">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.

 |  Jun 18, 2000  |  0 comments

Video displays just keep getting better and cheaper. <A HREF="">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.

 |  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.

 |  Jun 11, 2000  |  0 comments

The <A HREF="">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.