Jon Iverson  |  Nov 28, 1999  |  0 comments

A recently released study has found that the high price of digital television sets, high capital investment costs, lack of advertising support, and scant offerings from broadcasters have restrained the penetration of digital television since its rollout in November 1998. But the report concludes that "despite its anti-climactic beginning, digital television still represents an important and potentially lucrative market in the consumer television industry."

Jon Iverson  |  Nov 28, 1999  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="">Pioneer</A> announced that next year it will be the first to offer DVD recorder/players and recordable DVDs to consumers in North America and Europe. According to Pioneer, the new machines will allow recording times of up to six hours, indicating that the recorder will compress the video beyond the MPEG-2 compression found on commercially released DVDs.

Lawrence B. Johnson  |  Nov 28, 1999  |  0 comments

A<B>ll Quiet on the Western Front</B> (DVD)<BR><I>Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Slim Summerville, William Bakewell. Directed by Lewis Milestone. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1. Dolby Digital mono. B&W. 130 minutes. 1930. Universal 20510. NR. $24.98.</I>

 |  Nov 28, 1999  |  0 comments

Rockets launched into space move slowly at liftoff, but with thrust continually applied, they gain momentum until they break free of Earth's gravity. The Digital Versatile Disc has done something similar, according to the latest figures from the <A HREF="">Consumer Electronics Association</A>: As of November 23, the DVD is the hottest-selling consumer-electronics product in history.

Barry Willis  |  Nov 28, 1999  |  0 comments

Want to own a piece of the studio that produced <I>Saving Private Ryan</I>? If you're a big player, you may soon have a chance to do so&mdash;through your broker. <A HREF="">DreamWorks SKG</A>, the entertainment combine founded by Stephen Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen, wants to raise $525 million through the sale of debt securities. The infusion of cash will be used to refinance old debts as well as to fund new productions, and will be repaid by worldwide box-office receipts, and video revenues from movies already in inventory or as yet unmade.

Barry Willis  |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

A new Nielsen report claims that kids are watching slightly less TV than they were 10 years ago, but another study claims that they are spending almost an entire work week, every week, with media of all kinds. That's the conclusion of <I>Kids & Media @ The New Millennium</I>, released recently by the Menlo Park, California philanthropic organization <A HREF="">The Kaiser Family Foundation</A>. TV and music are by far the biggest occupiers of kids' time, the report states, with computers and the Internet a distant second. Reading for pleasure&mdash;that done apart from schoolwork&mdash;occupies only about 45 minutes per day for 80% of the children surveyed.

 |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

All was going reasonably well with HDTV until recently, when <A HREF="">Sinclair Broadcasting Company</A>, which owns several TV stations around the US, threw the FCC a curveball by claiming that the adopted 8-VSB standard was insufficient to roll HDTV out around the country. Sinclair had conducted tests which, it said, proved that the COFDM technology, favored by European and Asian broadcasters, would be a better choice. (See <A HREF="">previous report</A>.)

Michael Metzger  |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

L<I>eni Riefenstahl. Directed by Ray M&#252;ller. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-screen). Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono). 188 minutes. 1993. Kino Video/Image Entertainment K107. Not rated. $34.99.</I>

Jon Iverson  |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

Both <A HREF="">Sony Electronics</A> and <A HREF="">Panavision</A> say they will soon deliver the first prototype 24-frame-progressive high-definition camera system to <A HREF="">Lucasfilm</A> for testing prior to its being used in shooting the next two <I>Star Wars</I> films. The companies say that this announcement signifies the beginning of a new era in high-definition digital cinematography.

 |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

Factory-to-dealer sales of digital television sets exceeded 20,000 units in October, a new one-month record. October's total of 21,432 units shipped was an increase of 42% over September's 15,600, the previous one-month record. More than 88,000 units have been sold since the new format was rolled out in 1998, with 75,000 of those units sold in 1999.