Federal lawmakers believe the response to hurricane Katrina was hampered by communication problems among public safety personnel and are pushing for legislation to speed up the transition to Digital TV, which will free up precious analog spectrum for emergency responders.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Your favorite <I>first-run</I> movies could be coming soon to a theater near you—your own home theater—in full high definition.
If you haven't shopped at Costco in a while, you might not know that the giant membership-warehouse chain now accounts for a sizeable chunk of U.S. retail HDTV sales. Most stores prominently display an assortment of HD-capable TVs, ranging from 32-inch direct-view TVs to 70-inch rear-projectors. But pride of place belongs to the sexy (and highly profitable) flat-panel LCD and PDP (plasma) displays, which are mounted up high and carefully positioned to be visible to shoppers from most of the sales floor. (The new industry buzzword for plasma displays, which you'll find in the remainder of this report, is PDP, for plasma display panel.—Ed.)
What a difference nine months can make. At CES 2005 in January the HD-DVD group hosted a gala event at a posh Vegas strip nightclub to unveil its plan to be the first HD disc format to market with the most- Toshiba said they’d have a $999 player in the fourth quarter of 2005 and representatives from major studios such as Warner, Paramount, and Universal strode to the podium amid swirling lights and pledged their support for the format to the tune of 90 HD-DVD titles at launch. All the elements seemed in place for a strong pre-emptive strike against Blu-ray, which has yet to announce a US launch date of either hardware or pre-packaged movie titles. The splashy 2005 holiday season launch was to be one of HD-DVD’s key advantages over the rival Blu-ray Disc format.