LATEST ADDITIONS

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.

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>

Mark J. Peterson  |  Mar 28, 2000  |  First Published: Mar 29, 2000  |  0 comments
Adventures in loudspeaker placement.

Oh for the simplicity of days of yore, when a home-entertainment system came entombed in a massive slab of French Provincial furniture, with the television tube in the middle and built-in loudspeakers flanking it on either side. There was little decision-making as to speaker placement, usually boiling down to which wall of the living room was equipped with the twin-lead connection to the aerial on the roof. With this simplicity and lack of flexibility, there was little one could do wrong (or right, for that matter) in terms of speaker placement.

Clint Walker  |  Mar 28, 2000  |  First Published: Mar 29, 2000  |  0 comments
M&K reaches new heights in audio engineering.

It's not uncommon for a company to come along and make the claim that they've reinvented the wheel in audio or video. In fact, every year at the Consumer Electronics Show, I chuckle when some yahoo representing one of these companies comes up to me and begins to peddle their wares. Sure, there have been several advancements in audio engineering over the last few decades, but let's face it—no one has truly reinvented the wheel.

Mike Wood  |  Mar 28, 2000  |  First Published: Mar 29, 2000  |  0 comments
Sèleco shows us that you can get excellent color fidelity and great resolution at a budget price.

If you don't want a front projector, you should. Projectors rock! A big-screen image is the only way to get that cinematic feel with home movies (prerecorded movies, that is—not the jittery Handicam shots of your baby's first steps).

Mike Wood  |  Mar 28, 2000  |  First Published: Mar 29, 2000  |  0 comments
A "choose your own adventure" television.

I might be dating myself (or just admitting more than I should), but as a kid I used to read a lot of those "choose your own adventure" books. You know, the ones where a junior adventurer goes looking for Mayan treasure, and, at the end of each page, the reader must choose which subsequent page to turn to and thus which path the story will take. Sometimes, you'd end up dead; other times, you'd strike it rich. The books were a literary video game. It was pretty much the only thing my parents could get me to read (hence the lack of Hemingway influence in my writing).

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."

 |  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.

 |  Mar 26, 2000  |  0 comments

Affordable set-top boxes for the reception of digital television signals from Direct Broadcast Satellites are popping up like spring flowers. At prices from under $250 to about $400, the STBs (set-top boxes) offer a lot of bang for the buck.

 |  Mar 26, 2000  |  1 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.chips.ibm.com">IBM</A> announced a family of chips that it hopes will accelerate the transformation of TV sets into fully interactive, two-way information appliances. IBM says it is combining high-speed PowerPC processors and other television set-top box (STB) components onto a single "system-on-a-chip" that will give STB makers "significant benefits in system performance, price, and design." IBM claims that the chips will also help drive new capabilities for electronic program guides, Web browsing, and interactive applications such as home banking, e-commerce, and information retrieval.

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