AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Posted: Jul 26, 1998 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.mvis.com/">Microvision, Inc.</A> announced that it has successfully conducted its first demonstrations of a laser-projection television display. The company claims that the full-color 17" image projected by the prototype system has the resolution of a VGA computer monitor and provides full-motion video. With additional development, the company plans to increase the size of the projected image and improve the resolution to extremely high levels that "exceed high-definition television (HDTV)." Prototypes are planned to be unveiled later this year.

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Jon Iverson Posted: 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."

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Barry Willis Posted: 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.

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Jon Iverson Posted: 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.

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Posted: 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.

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Derek Germano Posted: 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>

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Barry Willis Posted: 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.

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Barry Willis Posted: 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.

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Barry Willis Posted: 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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Posted: Jul 12, 1998 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.nimbuscd.com">Nimbus CD International, Inc.</A> announced that it has produced a combined total of more than 3.5 million commercial DVD-Video and DVD-ROM discs since the launch of the format one year ago.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jul 12, 1998 0 comments

Yesterday, Japan; today, America; tomorrow, the world: <A HREF="http://www.disney.com">Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment</A> and <A HREF="http://www.wb.com">Warner Home Video</A> have signed a pact to distribute DVDs in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union. Distribution of more than 100 titles to more than 30 regional territories will begin this fall. Studios to be represented include Warner, Disney, <A HREF="http://beta.choicemall.com/hollywoodpictures/">Hollywood Pictures</A>, and <A HREF="http://beta.choicemall.com/touchstone/">Touchstone Pictures</A>. Some independent films have also been picked up for distribution.

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Barry Willis Posted: 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.

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Jon Iverson Posted: 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.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jul 05, 1998 0 comments

July 1, 1998---"These presentations always attract more Hollywood lawyers than engineers." That's how Dick Davies of the <A HREF="http://www.1394ta.com">1394 Trade Association</A> summed up Brendan Trawl's update on DVD Copy Protection issues at the second annual FireWire Developers' Conference last week in San Jose, CA.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 05, 1998 0 comments

For the first few days in July, the engineering elite held forth at the posh Fairmont hotel in San Jose to discuss IEEE 1394. Also known as FireWire (Apple Computer), or I-Link (Sony), 1394 is being hailed as a "breakthrough technology for anyone in the world who uses a PC and a Television."

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