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="">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="">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="">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=""></A>, which just can't make a profit no matter how hard it tries. The nation's second-largest video rental chain, <A HREF="">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.

Mike McGann  |  Feb 28, 2000  |  First Published: Feb 29, 2000  |  0 comments
Editor makes stupid grounding mistakes and pays with fried gear.

Those of you who have installed your own satellite systems have seen RG-6 coaxial cable with a second wire attached to the outside. I can't speak for the rest of you, but I know I never paid a whole lot of attention to that second wire. Sure, it was handy for tying the cable to stuff and so on, but, frankly, who really gives it a whole lot of thought? Even our detail-oriented (PC for anal retentive) technical editor Mike Wood admits he's never found much need for it, either. That is, until he heard my tale of woe.

Mike Wood  |  Feb 28, 2000  |  First Published: Feb 29, 2000  |  0 comments
Mike Wood Conducts a Five-Way Face Off of Step-Up DVD Players. Christmas may be over, but tax day is only a few months away. You know what that means? Refunds! Assuming you file your tax return correctly (or cheat), you should be getting some money back, and we know just the way to spend it: Buy a new DVD player! This format has skyrocketed by leaps and bounds. By this, I don't mean the typical "Well gee, DVD has started off better than CD's or VHS's launch," even though it has. I'm talking the "according to one source, DVD sales are up at least 300 percent over last year" kind of skyrocketing. Three-hundred percent! Everyone else is obviously doing it, so why aren't you? If you haven't witnessed the startling visual and audio clarity available with the shiny little discs, you need to jump on the bandwagon.
Barry Willis  |  Feb 27, 2000  |  0 comments

Television viewers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area of Florida now have a real choice between their local cable system and direct broadcast satellite services. On February 21, <A HREF="">EchoStar Communications Corporation</A> announced that its <A HREF="">DISH Network</A> had begun offering local WFTS-ABC (Channel 28), WTSP-CBS (Ch. 10), WFLA-NBC (Ch. 8), and WTVT-Fox (Ch. 13) by satellite television to 10 counties in the region.

 |  Feb 27, 2000  |  0 comments

In a unique collaboration, <A HREF="">Hewlett-Packard</A>, <A HREF="">Philips</A>, <A HREF="">Ricoh</A>, <A HREF="">Sony</A>, and <A HREF="">Yamaha</A> took part in a demonstration at last week's CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany, intended to publicly reinforce their commitment to 4.7 Gigabyte DVD+RW technology. Thomson Multimedia also revealed its support of DVD+RW technology at CeBIT.