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AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Jon Iverson Posted: Sep 06, 1998 0 comments

Video-on-demand (VOD) got another boost last week when <A HREF="http://www.mediahawk.com">Concurrent Computer Corporation</A> and <A HREF="http://www.sciatl.com">Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.</A> announced that they have sealed their agreement to jointly develop and supply "full-function true VOD systems." The agreement finalizes a letter of intent announced in May and follows an April 1998 VOD agreement between Scientific-Atlanta and SeaChange International (profiled in a <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?138">previous story</A>).

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Posted: Sep 05, 1998 0 comments

Danger, Will Robinson! How do you make a bad TV series worse? Make it into a movie. Or a computer game. Or both! That's the concept behind <I>Lost in Space</I>, a new DVD from <A HREF="http://www.newline.com/">New Line Home Cinema</A>.

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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 05, 1998 0 comments

Video stores decked out like ships, replicas of the doomed ocean liner carved from huge blocks of ice, memorabilia priced off the chart---it was all part of the seemingly endless hysteria surrounding James Cameron's <I>Titanic</I> as the first video copies hit the street last week. Stores remained open late to serve eager fans, who waited in long lines to buy the film when it went on sale at 12:01 am, Tuesday, September 1. According to Bruce Apar, editor of <I>Video Business</I> magazine, "Inarguably, <I>Titanic</I> is the biggest video event in years. This is the kind of marquee title that gets people into the stores to buy other titles as well."

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Wes Phillips Posted: Aug 30, 1998 0 comments

M<I>ark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, Nicole Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Directed by P.T. Anderson. Aspect ratio: 2:35:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 155 minutes. 1998. New Line Platinum Series N4650. Rated R. $24.99.</I>

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Posted: Aug 30, 1998 0 comments

Television viewers could soon find themselves in a "walled garden" of digital flora if the predictions of a new report are correct. The report, called <I>Digital Television: How to Survive and Make Money</I>, was generated by technology-analysis firm <A HREF="http://www.ovum.com">Ovum</A>. It outlines the changes taking place in the broadcast industry as a result of the digitization of the medium and the Internet.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 30, 1998 0 comments

Plasma display panels (PDPs) are arguably the most revolutionary new video-monitor technology to come along in the last few years. First-generation models are exciting, but they're known to have limitations. However, a recent announcement from <A HREF="http://www.fujitsu.co.jp/index-e.html">Fujitsu Limited</A> should move the plasma approach closer to many living rooms next year.

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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 29, 1998 0 comments

Satellite broadcasting will be first out of the chute with HDTV. While local broadcasters scramble to comply with FCC mandates to be HD-ready by 1999, satellite services are almost there. On August 25, U.S. Satellite Broadcasting (USSB) announced that it will lease transponder space from DirecTV at the 95&#176;W fixed location so it can begin transmitting HDTV previews. DirecTV will also beam HD programming from the same satellite.

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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 29, 1998 0 comments

New music revitalizes old movie: the Kronos Quartet has just completed an intense eight-day recording session at Lucasfilm's Skywalker Ranch studio in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The Quartet laid down a Philip Glass score for a reissue of <I>Dracula</I>, the 1931 horror flick starring B&#233;la Lugosi. The effort is part of a <A HREF="http://www.mca.com/home/">Universal Home Video</A> project that will bring classic early horror films to a new audience.

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Posted: Aug 23, 1998 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.image-entertainment.com">Image Entertainment</A> announced the acquisition of Ken Crane's LaserDisc/DVD Internet-based direct-to-consumer business, a division of <A HREF="http://www.kencranes.com">Ken Crane's Home Entertainment</A> of Hawthorne, CA. Long a favorite among laserdisc aficionados, and more recently DVD fans, the business was purchased for approximately $6.5 million in a combination of cash, stock, and the assumption of certain liabilities, subject to adjustment.

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Wes Phillips Posted: Aug 23, 1998 0 comments

I<I>an Holm, Maury Chaykin, Peter Donaldson, Bruce Greenwood, David Hemblin, Brooke Johnson, Arsin&#233;e Khanjian, Tom McCamus, Stephanie Morgenstern, Earl Pastko, Sarah Polley, Gabrielle Rose, Alberta Watson. Directed by Atom Egoyan. Aspect ratio: 2:35:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 116 minutes. 1998. New Line Platinum Series N4654. R. $24.99.</I>

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Posted: Aug 23, 1998 0 comments

Interactive TV will reach 10 million viewers by 2002, but a new report from <A HREF="http://www.forrester.com">Forrester Research, Inc.</A> concludes that television providers and interactivity vendors have completely misunderstood the promise of the new medium. For interactive television to succeed, programmers must embrace lazy interactivity---an approach designed for TV viewers of short attention spans.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 23, 1998 0 comments

Prescient comedy group <A HREF="http://benway.cnchost.com/firesign/">The Firesign Theater</A> once exclaimed:

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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 22, 1998 0 comments

Convergence might be the brunt of jokes in some quarters, but not at 7 Mark Drive in San Rafael, CA. That's the home of <A HREF="http://www.net-tv.net/">NetTV</A>, which has just announced its new ExtremeDVD home-entertainment system. ExtremeDVD is optimized for 3-D gaming, Internet access, satellite downloads, and high-resolution movie playback.

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Barry Willis Posted: Aug 22, 1998 0 comments

Ongoing financial losses to the Indian film industry from widespread video piracy provoked a one-day strike last week in the city of Bombay. On Tuesday, August 14, about 5000 people---including actors, producers, directors, and technical workers---streamed into the city's business district in a protest march from the suburb of Bandra. The strike was led by the Film Makers Combine, an industry association that called on the Indian government to step up enforcement of copyright laws.

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Posted: Aug 16, 1998 0 comments

At the DVD Production '98 conference last week, the International Recording Media Association (IRMA) released sales forecasts for the growth and worldwide expansion of the international DVD marketplace. The numbers are part of a study on the growth and direction of the world optical-media marketplace.

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