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Jon Iverson  |  Jul 26, 1998  |  0 comments

For businesses wanting to learn more about the digital TV future, a new report from <A HREF="http://www.phillips.com">Phillips Business Information</A> (not to be confused with Philips Electronics) is stuffed full of juicy information. The report, entitled <A HREF="http://www.phillips.com/PhillipsUK/dtvsummary.htm"><I>Digital Television Broadcasting</I></A>, predicts that DTV "is likely to involve a profound transformation in the consumer's use of the TV set, changing him from a passive receiver of a small number of scheduled programs to an active chooser from a massive range of programming and services, many increasingly available on demand."

Barry Willis  |  Jul 25, 1998  |  0 comments

In March, the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov">Federal Communications Commission</A> adopted new technical standards for so-called "V-chips"---programmable controllers that selectively block programs containing excessive violence, profanity, or sex. The regulations passed with congressional and presidential approval and were heralded as an empowering solution for working parents unable to supervise their children's viewing habits. A voluntary ratings system codes each program for objectionable material, and that code is transmitted with the program. Owners of V-chip-equipped receivers will be able to lock out any broadcast they deem unsuitable.

Jon Iverson  |  Jul 19, 1998  |  0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.cema.org">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> and the <A HREF="http://www.nab.org">National Association of Broadcasters</A> have banded together to drive digital television and its prot&eacute;g&eacute;, HDTV, forward in the US. At a recent DTV summit in Dallas, 300 executives representing manufacturers, retailers, and broadcasters met to learn about DTV rollout plans, study research results, and discuss problems facing the industry.

 |  Jul 19, 1998  |  0 comments

Bringing digital television to your home is not going to be cheap. And it's not only consumers who are going to have to pony up. Broadcasters and their distribution partners, whether cable or satellite, will be investing heavily in new digital technology that will require major upgrades to existing networks. But if someone's got to pay, then someone else will certainly benefit.

Derek Germano  |  Jul 19, 1998  |  0 comments

T<I>he Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr. Directed by Richard Lester (</I>A Hard Day's Night<I>, </I>Help!<I>), The Beatles (</I>Magical Mystery Tour<I>). Aspect ratios: 4:3 pan&scan (</I>A Hard Day's Night<I>, </I>Help!<i>); 4:3 (</I>Magical Mystery Tour<I>). Dolby Digital Stereo. 90 minutes, 90 minutes, 50 minutes. 1964, 1965, 1967. MPI DVD 7082, 7081, 1538. Not rated. $24.95 each.</I>

Barry Willis  |  Jul 18, 1998  |  0 comments

The chicken-or-egg issue that plagued the early ramp-up of DVD may now be history. Sales of both DVD hardware and software are increasing rapidly, attendees learned at last week's <A HREF="http://www.vsda.org/">Video Software Dealers Association</A> convention in Las Vegas.

Barry Willis  |  Jul 18, 1998  |  0 comments

Every few days, the convergence envelope gets pushed a little further. Last week, on July 15, <A HREF="http://www.bostonacoustics.com/">Boston Acoustics</A> announced its new DigitalTheater 6000 loudspeaker system, which the company describes as "a complete Dolby Digital 5.1 surround-sound system created specifically for use with computing and home theater systems." The five-satellites-plus-subwoofer system is being packaged by <A HREF="http://www.gateway.com/">Gateway</A> with its Destination computer systems.

Barry Willis  |  Jul 12, 1998  |  0 comments

Your local mom-and-pop video store might be on its way to extinction because of pricing benefits offered to large chains, complained the Independent Video Retailers Group last week at the <A HREF="http://www.vsda.org/">Video Software Dealers Association</A> trade show and conference in Las Vegas. According to the independents, mass-market outlets like <A HREF="http://www.blockbuster.com">Blockbuster</A> are given an unfair advantage by movie studios eager to increase rentals by putting more copies of hit movies in stores.

Jon Iverson  |  Jul 12, 1998  |  0 comments

You're finally on that plane to Tahiti, and you decide to check what's on for the in-flight movie. Oh-oh, they're running <I>Porky's: Part 12</I>, and you can barely even see the screen 23 rows ahead of you. Then you find the headphones---the type with two plastic tubes coming out of the armrest. Time to whip out some of your own DVDs, sit back with some high-quality headphones, and watch a couple of film versions of <I>Mutiny On The Bounty</I>---the Brando <I>and</I> Gibson varieties.

Barry Willis  |  Jul 12, 1998  |  0 comments

Thursday, July 9, was "an important day for artists," according to Robert Chapman, attorney for film director, producer, and writer Francis Ford Coppola. On that day, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury imposed $60 million in punitive damages on <A HREF="http://www.wb.com">Warner Brothers,</A> the defendant in a lawsuit brought by Coppola.

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