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 |  Mar 12, 2000  |  0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.ce.org/">Consumer Electronics Association</A> has accused the American broadcasting industry of delaying the transition to digital television by refusing to make the necessary investments in equipment and programming. The consumer electronics industry and related businesses are moving forward aggressively while broadcasters drag their feet, the CEA stated in a letter delivered March 8 to <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> chairman Bill Kennard.

Jon Iverson  |  Mar 12, 2000  |  0 comments

What looks on the surface to be an announcement for a new video-game platform may turn into an attempt to control the implementation of interactive services in the digital home. Last week, Bill Gates announced at the annual Game Developers Conference that <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com">Microsoft</A> is entering the world of video games with the introduction of a "future-generation" dedicated video game console, currently code-named X-Box, designed to deliver "action-packed" games.

Jon Iverson  |  Mar 12, 2000  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.iblast.com">iBlast Networks</A>, which comprises 12 major television broadcast groups, announced that it has formed a national network that it says will use a dedicated portion of the digital spectrum assigned to local television stations to deliver a "wide array of high-speed, over-the-air broadband digital content and services" direct to consumers. iBlast claims that this digital content will include music, video, games, software, and other applications.

Jon Iverson  |  Mar 05, 2000  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.tivo.com">TiVo</A> and Britain's <A HREF="http://www.sky.com">Sky Broadcasting Group</A> (BSkyB) announced an alliance that the companies claim marks the introduction of personal television to the United Kingdom. According to TiVo, "state-of-the-art personal video recorders similar in size and shape to VCRs and digital set-top boxes will deliver the personal television service, which will be co-branded by TiVo and Sky." The companies say that products and services are expected to be available in retail outlets this fall, with pricing and distribution to be announced shortly.

Jon Iverson  |  Mar 05, 2000  |  0 comments

Home networking is getting hot, and the last few months have seen numerous announcements of new technologies and proprietary standards. To help sort out the confusion, last week the Technology and Standards Department of the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA) said it has reorganized its standards-setting committees to "reflect the changing home-networking industry." According to the CEA, the R-7 Home Networking Committee, created in May 1999, will now oversee and coordinate the work of the integrated home systems and home automation standards committees, which previously worked within specific product categories.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 05, 2000  |  0 comments

As of March 1, <A HREF="http://www.sony.com/sel/">Sony Electronics</A> is offering a nice inducement to home-theater fans: a 30% reduction in the suggested retail prices of 53" and 61" high-definition rear-projection television sets. 1999 list prices for 53" and 61" HDTV RPTV models were $4499 and $5499, respectively. The equivalent models for the year 2000, the KP-53HS10 and KP-61HS10, will be priced at $3199 and $3699&mdash;a discount of approximately 30% from the previous year. Both sets are capable of displaying pictures at 1080i, the highest quality of all varieties of digital video. The price reductions are encouraging news for broadcasters as well as for consumers, as more than 120 stations nationwide now offer HD programming.

 |  Mar 05, 2000  |  0 comments

Last week, the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA) reported that in January 2000, for the fourth consecutive month, factory-to-dealer (not through to consumers) sales of digital television (DTV) products surpassed the 20,000-unit mark. The CEA's figures reveal that January's total of 21,008 units brings the total sales since the introduction of DTV in August 1998 to 155,410 units.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 05, 2000  |  0 comments

Net loss: Video vendor Hollywood Entertainment Corporation would be doing well if it weren't for its publicly traded online operation <A HREF="http://www.reel.com/">Reel.com</A>, which just can't make a profit no matter how hard it tries. The nation's second-largest video rental chain, <A HREF="http://www.hollywoodvideo.com/">Hollywood Video</A> enjoyed strong growth last year but was driven into the red by losses incurred by the Internet business, which reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $21.7 million.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 05, 2000  |  0 comments

Back in the good old days of video rentals, you just popped the tape in the player and started watching the movie. Then film studios figured out that they could add "trailers"&mdash;short ads for other movies&mdash;to the beginning of tapes in the hope of getting a little more exposure for their products&mdash;just like in the theater.

Clint Walker  |  Feb 28, 2000  |  First Published: Feb 29, 2000  |  0 comments
A tasty trio of tweeters?

I once dated a girl in college who had a unusually large mouth. I was so taken in by the possibilities that I failed to explore the reality—a big mouth equals a loud mouth. Likewise, when it comes to speakers, you can usually get a good idea of the limitations or exacerbations of a speaker by the types and number of drivers it has.

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