AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Posted: Feb 21, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.apple.com">Apple Computer</A>, <A HREF="http://www.compaq.com">Compaq Computer</A>, <A HREF="http://www.panasonic.com">Panasonic</A>, <A HREF="http://www.philips.com">Philips Electronics</A>, <A HREF="http://www.sony.co.jp/">Sony</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.toshiba.com">Toshiba</A> announced their support of the high-speed IEEE 1394 digital interface and their intention to form a patent pool to efficiently license patents required to implement the standard. The six companies say they will work together to create a joint licensing program and promote the industry-wide adoption of IEEE 1394.

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Barry Willis Posted: Feb 21, 1999 0 comments

On Tuesday, February 16, five major computer and consumer-electronics companies---<A HREF="http://www.hitachi.com/">Hitachi</A>, <A HREF="http://www.ibm.com/">IBM</A>, <A HREF="http://www.nec.com/">NEC</A>, <A HREF="http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/">Pioneer</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.sony.com/">Sony</A>---announced that they have achieved an acceptable copyright-protection system for digitally reproduced movies and videos. The five companies are original members of the 11-member Copy Protection Technical Working Group (CPTWG), which has been at work on the problem for two years under the auspices of the DVD Forum.

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Lawrence B. Johnson Posted: Feb 21, 1999 0 comments

C<I>lark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia De Havilland, Thomas Mitchell, Hattie McDaniel, Butterfly McQueen. Directed by Victor Fleming. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1. Dolby Digital 5.1. 233 minutes. 1939. MGM 906311. Rated G. $24.95.</I>

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Posted: Feb 14, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.cqmt.com/">C-3D Digital</A> and PICKSat announced that they have agreed to uplink an IP (Internet protocol) broadband version of C-3D Digital's three-dimensional (3D) satellite channel, which now transmits via the SpaceNet3 satellite. The uplink will originate from PICKSat's gateway facilities in Miami. In addition to its existing C-band distribution, the new format will allow C-3D Digital's programming service to be received by broadband Internet subscribers.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Feb 14, 1999 0 comments

In a joint statement by Steve Jobs, chairman and CEO of <A HREF="http://www.pixar.com">Pixar</A>, and Thomas Schumacher, president of <A HREF="http://disney.go.com/">Walt Disney Feature Animation</A>, it was announced that <I>A Bug's Life</I> will be the first feature-film video release on DVD to be created entirely from digital data. Video releases of previous "completely digital" films, such as <I>Toy Story</I>, were created through an analog film-to-videotape process. The DVD for <I>A Bug's Life</I> is the first to be created using the original digital computer data and an all-digital process. The DVD release presents the film in its original widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is due for release on April 20, 1999.

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Dave Thompson Posted: Feb 14, 1999 0 comments

J<I>imi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox. Directed by Chuck Wein. Aspect ratio: 4:3. Dolby Digital stereo. 137 minutes. 1971. Rhino Home Video R2 4461. Rated R. $24.95.</I>

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Barry Willis Posted: Feb 14, 1999 0 comments

High-speed access is almost universally acknowledged as the most important next step in the development of the Internet. Interactive capabilities, transaction time, and the ultimate resolution of digitally transmitted audio and video are all limited by the speed with which data can be sent.

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Posted: Feb 13, 1999 0 comments

Not exactly April Fools' Day, but close: <A HREF="http://www.whv.com/">Warner Home Video</A> announced last Tuesday that it will celebrate the annual Masters Golf Tournament with a reissue of the 1980 film <I>Caddyshack</I> on April 6. The Special Edition reissue package will include the original comedy starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Ted Knight, and Cindy Morgan, as well as <I>Caddyshack: The 19th Hole</I>, a new documentary including outtakes, rare footage, and interviews with the film's stars, producers Jon Peters and Mark Canton, and director Harold Ramis. Fans will also learn more than they ever wanted to know about Bill Murray's nemesis in the film, the indestructible gopher.

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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://www.image-entertainment.com">Image Entertainment</A> signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Eagle Rock Entertainment that paves the way for 28 music titles to be released on DVD in the coming months. According to Martin Greenwald of Image, "Music DVD is a relatively untapped genre in comparison to the number of motion pictures being released on DVD. Image has recognized a real opportunity and taken the lead in this category of DVD programming. To date, Image has released dozens of music-related DVDs, and we will continue to aggressively explore other licensing opportunities for all types of music programming: pop, rock, jazz, and classical."

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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

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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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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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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