AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 26, 1998 0 comments

The living room in most American homes has traditionally served ceremonial purposes. It's the place where your parents entertained visiting dignitaries, like the local minister who came to offer consolation after your grandmother's funeral. It's the place where they took pictures of you and your senior-prom date. As a showcase for stiff, uncomfortable, and rarely used furniture, the traditional living room is an ornamental vestige of a bygone, formal era, like buttons on the sleeve of a dinner jacket.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 26, 1998 0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.nab.org">National Association of Broadcasters</A> (NAB) show earlier this month featured all manner of professional high-tech toys, from HDTV cameras to the latest video-production devices. But among the broadcast-industry announcements, several products of interest to cutting-edge consumers were also presented.

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Wes Phillips Posted: Apr 26, 1998 0 comments

J<I>odie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Dolby Surround (3.1). One side. 118 minutes. 1991. Image Entertainment ID4069ORDVD. Rated R. Price: $29.95.</I>

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Posted: Apr 26, 1998 0 comments

More set-top box news this week: On April 21, <A HREF="http://www.sciatl.com">Scientific-Atlanta</A> announced an agreement with <A HREF="http://www.schange.com">SeaChange International</A> to develop a complete server-to-set-top digital video-on-demand (VOD) system for cable networks. This agreement makes Scientific-Atlanta the first company to offer cable operators all network components for an integrated, commercially feasible digital VOD service in 1998.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 19, 1998 0 comments

Hollywood is now cranking out DVD titles at a rate of more than one per day, but rental outlets have only a few of the most popular titles in stock. This is clearly a problem for home-theater owners and movie fans looking for new material.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 19, 1998 0 comments

On April 13, <A HREF="http://www.warnerbros.com">Warner Bros. Home Video</A> announced a program intended to introduce the DVD to a new generation of movie fans. WB will bundle DVD players and discs for video dealers to rent to their customers. "The rapid growth of DVD now makes rental a viable business opportunity for rental retailers," says Thomas Lesinski, Warner Home Video senior vice president for marketing.

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Posted: Apr 19, 1998 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.intertainer.com/">Intertainer, Inc.</A> announced that both <A HREF="http://www.uswest.com/">USWest Communications</A> and <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony Corp.</A> have invested in the company, which provides a broadband entertainment-on-demand programming service of the same name. The two investors join <A HREF="http://www.intel.com/">Intel</A>, <A HREF="http://www.comcast.com/">Comcast</A>, and Sterling Ventures in committing capital and technological resources to Intertainer. As part of the agreement, <A HREF="http://www.uswest.com/interprise">USWest !nterprise Networking</A>, the data-integration arm of USWest Communications, will supply the Interprise service to its customers via Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) wire centers in 40 cities starting in June 1998.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 19, 1998 0 comments

Manufacturer <A HREF="http://www.faroudja.com/">Faroudja, Inc.</A>, famous for its video projectors, line-doublers, line-quadruplers, and other ultra-high-quality video processors, kicked off a nationwide HDTV road show last Thursday with a well-attended open house at The Audible Difference, a high-end dealer in Silicon Valley, about 25 miles south of San Francisco.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 12, 1998 0 comments

Lately, there's been a deafening buzz in the high-tech community: Developing digital networks for consumers' homes is going to be the Next Big Thing. There are <A HREF="http://www.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.anchordesk.com/story/story_1961.... skeptics</A>, but the clamor has caught the attention of every big computer company out there; everyone from Sun to Apple to Microsoft to IBM is getting in on the act. However, there hasn't been much noise from the consumer-electronics companies---until now.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 12, 1998 0 comments

Digital Satellite System dish owners could soon be enjoying Dolby Digital surround sound. Next month, DSS dealers will start taking delivery on RCA's new DS5451 receiver. The new receiver will incorporate an optical Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format (S/PDIF) jack that sends a Dolby Digital signal to an appropriate surround decoder or A/V receiver.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 12, 1998 0 comments

Video on demand (VOD) inches ever nearer: <A HREF="http://www.xingtech.com/">Xing Technology</A> and <A HREF="http://www.fantastic.ch">The Fantastic Corporation</A> have announced a partnership intended to bring live and on-demand digital video streaming to high-bandwidth satellite, cable modem, and ADSL operators.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 12, 1998 0 comments

Delays in tower construction could cause broadcasters in some big cities like New York and Chicago to miss their government-mandated May 1, 1999 deadline for initiating HDTV. The problem is this: The strength of terrestrially transmitted digital signals is dependent on the height of transmitting towers, and big-city broadcasters are having trouble finding the space to build them. "The rollout might be a little slower than anyone anticipated," said <A HREF="http://www.nab.org/">National Association of Broadcasters</A> executive vice president Chuck Sherman at the NAB's annual convention in Las Vegas.

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Posted: Apr 05, 1998 0 comments

According to Italian researchers, seizures caused by flashing video games and television shows can be minimized by using higher-frequency display rates. Such seizures affect about 10% of epilepsy sufferers between the ages of 7 and 19. In December, <I>Pokomon</I>, a popular Japanese television show with brightly flashing scenes, induced blackouts and epileptic seizures in more than 700 young victims, many of whom required hospitalization.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 05, 1998 0 comments

TriStar Pictures and Columbia Pictures will soon be one big happy family, <A HREF="http://www.spe.sony.com/">Sony Pictures Entertainment</A> announced on March 31 in Culver City, CA. The two production companies, which were purchased separately by Sony in 1989, have been operated independently, except for a common marketing and distribution department. John Calley, Sony Pictures president, said it no longer made financial sense to have the two companies competing for the same projects.

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Sarah Bryan Miller Posted: Apr 05, 1998 0 comments

J<I>ames Cromwell, Magda Szubanski. Animatronic creatures by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Directed by Chris Noonan. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Dolby Surround. Two sides. 92 minutes. 1995. CLV. MCA Universal Home Video 42692. Rated G. $34.99.</I>

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