AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Robert Deutsch Posted: Feb 07, 1999 0 comments

R<I>ichard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero, David Hemmings, Lionel Jeffreys, Laurence Naismith. Directed by Joshua Logan. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (alternate music-only track). 180 minutes. 1967. Warner Bros. 12238. Rated G. $24.95.</I>

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Posted: Feb 07, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://abc.go.com/">ABC Internet Group</A> and the <A HREF="http://www.oscars.org/">Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences</A> launched <A HREF="http://www.oscar.com">Oscar.com</A>, the "official website of the Academy Awards." Beginning on February 9, the day Oscar nominees are to be announced, Oscar.com will present a live video stream of the Academy Awards nominations announcement and the full list of nominees, as well as a history of the Academy Awards, photos, and a synopsis of each nominated film.

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Barry Willis Posted: Feb 06, 1999 0 comments

Michael Nesmith could soon be back in the business: The former Monkee has been awarded $47 million by a jury in a Los Angeles Federal-court case. The judgment came Tuesday, February 2, after the jury found the <A HREF="http://www.pbs.org">Public Broadcasting Service</A> guilty of fraud, breach of contract, and contract interference over a video-distribution deal it signed with Nesmith's now-defunct Pacific Arts Corporation in 1990. Malfeasance by PBS caused the demise of Pacific Arts, jurors decided.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 31, 1999 0 comments

In a world of Amazon.coms and Wal-Marts, it takes a well-funded, compelling idea---or a very sharply defined niche market---to successfully set up shop. In the spirit of tightly defining a selling space, a new website has been launched by <A HREF="http://www.projectorcentral.com">ProjectorCentral</A>. The site is designed to create a very "vertical" Internet-based marketplace for buyers and sellers within the A/V and projection industry. It's intended as a "community environment" where industry professionals can trade ideas and information as well as products and services.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 31, 1999 0 comments

Amid a flurry of activity last week, <A HREF="http://www.tivo.com">TiVo</A> announced new agreements with several content providers to help support its new hard-disk-based A/V recording and playback system. As reported during last month's Consumer Electronics Show <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?338">coverage</A>, TiVo and rival start-up <A HREF="http://www.replaytv.com">Replay</A> intend to market digital devices with sophisticated software that finds and time-shifts TV programming, giving viewers more control over selecting and watching television content.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 30, 1999 0 comments

The market for advanced television equipment is growing, thanks to the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A>'s digital TV mandate. But the changeover will be slow. According to a study conducted by research and consulting firm <A HREF="http://www.frost.com/">Frost & Sullivan</A>, industrial users of television equipment are likely to opt for converting their existing gear rather than replacing it during the transition, and they will move to software solutions for their production and editing needs.

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Posted: Jan 30, 1999 0 comments

When is a choice not a choice at all? When the same product comes in different packages. In April, the Disney/Pixar computer-animated hit movie <I>A Bug's Life</I> will hit the stores in four different boxes. Each box will highlight a different character from the film. The intention is to grab the children's-video market by its eager eyeballs.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 24, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.philips.com">Philips</A>, <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.sun.com">Sun Microsystems</A> formally announced plans to collaborate in connecting Sun's Jini technology with the <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?317">Home Audio-Video interoperability</A> (HAVi) architecture, which is being developed by several consumer-electronics manufacturers. According to a joint statement, the companies plan to provide a solution that links HAVi-compliant appliances in the home to services provided by Jini technology over a network.

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Posted: Jan 24, 1999 0 comments

Late last week, <A HREF="http://www.hughes.com">Hughes Electronics</A> announced that it had reached an agreement with <A HREF="http://www.primestar.com">PrimeStar</A> to acquire the 2.3-million-subscriber PrimeStar direct broadcast satellite (DBS) medium-power business and Tempo high-power satellite asset in two transactions valued at approximately $1.82 billion. The combination of <A HREF="http://www.DirecTV.com">DirecTV</A> and PrimeStar---along with United States Satellite Broadcasting (USSB), the multichannel movie service that agreed to merge with Hughes last month ($1.3 billion in cash and stock)---makes DirecTV one of the top three television subscriber services in the US.

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Posted: Jan 24, 1999 0 comments

On January 19, <A HREF="http://www.filmscouts.com">Film Scouts</A> announced the Internet premiere of the legendary film <I>Koyaanisqatsi</I>, which will occur at 7 pm PST, Sunday, February 7, 1999. Originally released in 1983, the film was produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by Godfrey Reggio, and it features a score by Philip Glass. The Web debut of <I>Koyaanisqatsi</I> is presented by Film Scouts in collaboration with the Internet Protocol Multicast Initiative (IPMI) as the centerpiece of the IP Multicast Summit, an event showcasing advancements in IP multicast technology.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 23, 1999 0 comments

Digital video-production equipment by <A HREF="http://www.sony.com/professional/">Sony Electronics</A> is one highlight at the <A HREF="http://www.sundance.org/">Sundance Film Festival</A>, currently taking place in Park City, Utah. During the first weekend, the Festival's New Media and Technology Center featured camcorder demonstrations, panel discussions, and video presentations of Sony's HDCAM, Digital Betacam, DVCAM, and consumer DV digital-video formats. This is the fourth consecutive year that Sony has put on this demonstration at Sundance.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 23, 1999 0 comments

Although the original intent behind digital television was simply "better quality," the unfolding format will create unimagined opportunities for both Internet entrepreneurs and makers of widescreen computer displays, according to a recent report from electronics-industry observers <A HREF="http://www.mcgweb.com/">The McLaughlin Consulting Group</A>. The implementation of HDTV was the stated agenda by those involved in its design and rollout, but the biggest opportunities won't befall broadcasters, satellite providers, or traditional makers of television sets, the report says. In fact, many of the original participants might not reap the full rewards of the new technology.

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Posted: Jan 17, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.cirrus.com">Cirrus Logic</A> announced an agreement that will make possible broad deployment of THX-grade home-theater systems. In a press release, the company says it has licensed THX home-theater DSP (digital signal processing) algorithms from Lucasfilm for upcoming audio products. "Cirrus Logic thus becomes the first semiconductor manufacturer to combine THX post-processing capabilities with economical, embedded certified software for all popular audio DVD decoding standards. For leading-brand mass-market suppliers, this solution will simplify designs, reduce costs, and lower the price point for implementing THX audio technology into A/V hi-fi receiver amplifiers that support playback of DVD movies."

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 17, 1999 0 comments

Buried in all the hoopla and exciting digital television news at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month was the answer to many DVD fans' prayers: <A HREF="http://www.philipsusa.com">Philips Electronics</A> announced that it has developed a technology for real-time recording of DVD-Video discs. According to Philips, the recorded discs can be played back on existing DVD-Video players, offering up to four hours of record/playback time at various levels of quality.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 16, 1999 0 comments

Is your local cable company tempting you with a low-cost upgrade package? The improvement it's offering isn't coming from the kindness of its corporate heart, but because cable companies are feeling the heat from satellite competitors, thanks to some strategic alliances with regional telephone companies.

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