AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Posted: Jun 04, 2000 0 comments

Like the 1959 Cadillac convertible, Cinerama was one of the peak expressions of 1950s excess. With three synchronized projectors casting overlapping images on a curved screen 96 feet wide, the format was the era's ultimate form of cinematic entertainment and the precursor to today's IMAX.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 04, 2000 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.thx.com">Lucasfilm THX</A> announced a new DVD software feature that they claim will allow the performance of a home-theater system to be optimized for individual DVD releases. The process, called THX Optimode, consists of a series of tests "that make it easy for consumers to fine-tune the audio and video performance of their home components."

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Posted: Jun 04, 2000 0 comments

Home-theater equipment continues to be one of the fastest-selling segments of the consumer electronics market, according to the most recent figures from the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org/">Consumer Electronics Association</A>. How good is it? Try $2 billion in factory-to-dealer sales of video equipment in the first quarter of this year. That's a 20% increase over the first three months of 1999, according to the May 31 report. The figure is even more astounding in light of 1999's growth, in which home theater revenues increased by 11% over 1998's totals.

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Posted: May 28, 2000 0 comments

Rumors of network television's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Despite a declining viewership&mdash;several studies have shown that a smaller proportion of the population than ever is watching network TV&mdash;the networks are pulling in a record amount of money from advertising. Total "upfront" ad sales&mdash;those sold in the spring, before Memorial Day, for the following season&mdash;for all six broadcast networks will reach $8 billion, according to several news reports the last week in May. The networks have already sold about 80% of available prime-time advertising slots.

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Michael Metzger Posted: May 28, 2000 0 comments

P<I>roduced by Steven Churchill. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-screen). Dolby Digital stereo, mono. 57 minutes. 1998. Image Entertainment ID7096ODDVD. NR. $19.99.</I>

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Jon Iverson Posted: May 28, 2000 0 comments

Recently, <A HREF="http://www.ti.com/dlp">Texas Instruments</A> and <A HREF="http://www.technicolor.com">Technicolor</A> unveiled what they term "the latest major expansion" of digital cinema technology, at the AMC Empire 25 in New York City, which they say is the world's only theater to feature two all-digital screens. AMC Empire 25 is currently using a digital system for a special showing of the digitally animated feature film <I>Dinosaur</I>.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 28, 2000 0 comments

Entertainment systems may be easier for consumers to hook up in the near future, thanks to an agreement on labeling standards reached in Washington, DC on May 24 by representatives of the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org/">Consumer Electronics Association</A> and the <A HREF="http://www.ncta.com/">National Cable Television Association</A>. Labels to appear on new equipment will make it clear whether the digital TV sets provide only cable programming, or whether they are also compatible with other digital devices, such as set-top boxes providing interactive capabilities, video-on-demand, and other services.

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Posted: May 21, 2000 0 comments

According to figures released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) last week, early sales of digital television (DTV) outpace those of color TVs, video cassette recorders (VCRs), and digital broadcast satellite (DBS) systems combined. Speaking at the International Electronic Cinema Festival (IECF) in Portland, Oregon, CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro called DTV "our biggest blockbuster yet," while expressing concern about limited DTV and high-definition television (HDTV) programming availability.

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Jon Iverson Posted: May 21, 2000 0 comments

It would appear inevitable that digital video recorders are going mainstream when one of the largest manufacturers of conventional taped-based VCRs leaps into the market with a competitive product. This is exactly what was announced last week, when <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony Corp.</A> revealed that it has released the SVR-2000 Digital Network Recorder, based on the <A HREF="http://www.tivo.com">TiVo</A> Personal TV Service.

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Dan Yakir Posted: May 21, 2000 0 comments

T<I>oshiro Mifune, Kyoko Kagawa, Tatsuya Nakadai, Tatsuya Mihashi, Takashi Shimura. Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (letterbox). Mono. 143 minutes. 1963. The Criterion Collection 24. NR. $39.95.</I>

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Barry Willis Posted: May 21, 2000 0 comments

One of the most overhyped experiments in multimedia is disappearing. Two-year-old <A HREF="http://www.den.net">Digital Entertainment Network</A>, which attempted TV-style programming over the Internet, has decided to close down its operations after finding itself unable to raise the capital needed to continue. The company ran through approximately $65 million dollars during its short life, according to several news reports.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 21, 2000 0 comments

The finger-pointing and barb-hurling over the slow rollout of digital television continued through mid-May. The latest episode occurred on Wednesday the 17th, when the <A HREF="http://www.nab.org/">National Association of Broadcasters</A> (NAB) laid the blame on the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> (FCC) for its laxity in requiring cable providers to carry digital signals. Electronics manufacturers should also be held to stricter standards, the NAB said.

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Posted: May 14, 2000 0 comments

The sky will become a bit more crowded next year as <A HREF="http://www.bellsouth.com/">BellSouth Corporation</A> debuts a new direct-broadcast satellite service. The Atlanta-based telecommunications company announced May 8 that it will launch the new service in 2001 in the hope of expanding its communications and programming services.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 14, 2000 0 comments

The business world has a strange way of making putative adversaries into the best of friends. <A HREF="http://www.blockbuster.com/">Blockbuster Inc.</A>, the nation's largest video rental chain, has struck a sweetheart deal with <A HREF="http://www.directv.com/">DirecTV</A>, the nation's largest direct-broadcast satellite service. The two businesses have long been viewed as competitors for the same customers.

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Paula Nechak Posted: May 14, 2000 0 comments

T<I>oni Collette, Bill Hunter, Rachel Griffiths, Matt Day. Directed by P.J. Hogan. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (widescreen). Dolby Digital Surround. 105 minutes. 1994. Miramax Home Entertainment 16542. R. $29.95.</I>

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