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AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Barry Willis Posted: Mar 15, 1998 0 comments

Last week, Dallas broadcaster WFFA turned on its new HDTV transmitter for the first time. Surprisingly, the transmission overwhelmed heart monitors at Baylor University Medical Center, which were operating at the same frequency. Nurses and doctors were temporarily unable to monitor their patients' heartbeats. When the cause of the problem was discovered, WFFA turned the transmitter off.

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Barry Willis Posted: Mar 15, 1998 0 comments

R<I>obert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Dolby Digital 5.1. 179 minutes. Univeral 20159. Rated R. $26.98.</I>

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Jon Iverson Posted: Mar 15, 1998 0 comments

In early March, <A HREF="http://www.thesync.com">The Sync</A>, an Internet audio/video broadcasting company, announced that history has been made with the first modern feature film to be offered for viewing on the World Wide Web: American director Erica Jordan's acclaimed 1994 independent film, <I>Walls of Sand</I>. This important debut ushers in a new era in entertainment: video on demand from your PC, with feature films available at any hour of the day. Net surfers can watch <I>Walls of Sand</I> for free in the RealVideo format on The Sync's "<A HREF="http://thesync.com/ondemand">ondemand</A>" page.

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Posted: Mar 15, 1998 0 comments

This year began with a strong performance in the video market, confirming previous forecasts of a vibrant holiday season. According to data released by the <A HREF="http://www.cema.org">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA), total January video shipments to US hardware dealers rose 8% to nearly 2.8 million units. Color televisions represented more than half that volume, sporting a 20% rise. In fact, color TVs enjoyed their best January sales since 1993.

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Barry Willis Posted: Mar 08, 1998 0 comments

Who'd've thunk it? The movie-going public can't get enough of James Cameron's <I>Titanic</I>, the three-hour disaster flick starring the mismatched Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as a pair of doomed lovers.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Mar 08, 1998 0 comments

On March 2, <A HREF="http://www.ncube.com">nCUBE</A>, a developer of scalable video servers, announced a reseller agreement with <A HREF="http://www.vela.com">Vela Research LP</A>, a developer of video-compression products for the cable and broadcast industries. nCUBE will integrate Vela's MPEG2 video-encoding technology as part of an approach that enables cable operators to offer video-on-demand (VOD) and near video-on-demand (NVOD) services over analog networks and real-time feeds for digital networks.

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Posted: Mar 08, 1998 0 comments

Home theaters are becoming ever more affordable according to new data just released by the <A HREF="http://www.cema.org">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA). In 1997, dollar sales of home-theater products reached $8.2 billion---a slight drop from the $8.3 billion generated in the previous year---but many of the essential components of home-theater systems sold more units than ever before. Overall unit sales of home-theater products rose 5%.

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Posted: Mar 08, 1998 0 comments

Jeannie Kane, publisher of <i>Stereophile Guide to Home Theater</i>, is very pleased to announce the appointment of Maureen C. Jenson as Editor at Large, effective March 9, 1998. This appointment coincides with the launch of the <i>Guide</i>'s new custom-installation section, which will debut in the June 1998 issue.

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Posted: Mar 05, 1998 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="www.philips.com">Philips Semiconductors</A> announced the first single-chip MPEG2 video encoder for home PCs. Dubbed the SAA6750H, this chip provides a low-cost way to store analog (VCR) video in a digital form on various media, such as CD or proposed recordable forms of DVD. Previously, consumers had to rely on expensive professional equipment that could easily run into thousands of dollars.

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Barry Willis Posted: Mar 02, 1998 0 comments

What's the worst thing that happens to vinyl records during normal use? Taking them out of the sleeve. The resulting surface abrasion and static charge, which attracts every dust particle in sight, cause more damage to LPs than playing them.

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Barry Willis Posted: Feb 23, 1998 0 comments

Media giant <A HREF="http://www.fox.com">20th Century Fox Home Entertainment</A> has joined DreamWorks SKG, <A HREF="http://www.paramount.com">Paramount Home Video</A>, <A HREF="http://www.disney.com">Disney</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.mca.com">Universal</A> in their support for Divx. The announcement was made jointly last Thursday, Feb. 19, by 20th Century Fox representatives in Beverly Hills and by <A HREF="http://www.divx.com">Digital Video Express</A> executives at corporate headquarters in Herndon, Virginia.

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Barry Willis Posted: Feb 23, 1998 0 comments

Five electronics heavyweights have agreed on an encryption scheme for digitally transmitted movies and music that they hope will prevent widescale piracy by consumers. <A HREF="http://www.intel.com">Intel</A>, <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony</A>, <A HREF="http://www.toshiba.com">Toshiba</A>, <A HREF="http://www.hitachi.com">Hitachi</A>, and Matsushita announced the agreement in Burbank, CA last Thursday.

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Wes Phillips Posted: Feb 23, 1998 0 comments

V<I>al Kilmer, Elizabeth Shue, Rade Serbedzjia. Directed by Phillip Noyce. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Dolby Digital. 118 minutes. 1997. CLV. Paramount Home Video LV335363-WS. PG-13. $39.95.</I>

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Barry Willis Posted: Feb 22, 1998 0 comments

Microsoft Corporation and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) have agreed to jointly participate in an educational-enhancement data-distribution system that takes advantage of unused bandwidth in broadcast television's vertical blanking interval, or VBI, according to a <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com">Microsoft</A> press release dated Feb. 17.

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Barry Willis Posted: Feb 21, 1998 0 comments

Does the United States Patent and Trademark Office operate on a first come, first served basis, or will it bow to the applicant with the biggest bucks? The issue of legal ownership of the "Titanic" trademark---a name worth millions in the wake of the biggest blockbuster movie in history---is being contested at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in Arlington, Virginia.

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