LATEST ADDITIONS

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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 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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Clint Walker Posted: May 26, 2000 Published: May 27, 2000 0 comments
The receiver that shagged me.

The details surrounding my technical background are really quite inconsequential. Summers in retail, winters in correctional facilities for the perfectly capable. Desperate for the dollar, I'd often drug customers and dress them up like French maids. When they'd awaken, my friends and I would thank them for shaving our backs and assure them we wouldn't tell anybody. This was the sort of activity that would keep food on the table and our young bodies healthy for the beach. In the springtime, we'd make capacitor helmets with heatsinks on them. Then, we'd test each other's knowledge of schematics while running downhill. It was really quite breathtaking . . . you should try it sometime.

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Clint Walker Posted: May 26, 2000 Published: May 27, 2000 0 comments
We've roped in a trio of speaker systems priced under $2,000!

When was the last time you heard somebody say they were looking to spend as much as possible on something? When it comes to A/V equipment, you never hear people say, "Keep the change" or, "That's a little less than I was looking to spend."

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Chris Lewis Posted: May 26, 2000 Published: May 27, 2000 0 comments
A modular twist to the home theater concept.

Having spent the first 18 years of my life in the great state of Alaska, it seems only natural that I've developed a taste for some of Canada's finer exports. As if hockey, some tasty rye whiskeys, and all that fresh powder that sweeps down upon the western ski resorts from the north weren't enough, the disproportionately high number of quality loudspeakers produced there intrigues me, as well. There may be fewer speaker manufacturers in that entire country than in certain regions of the U.S., but I'll wager that Canada's ratio of solid to subpar speaker offerings will hold its own against any other country in the mix.

Mike Wood Posted: May 26, 2000 Published: May 27, 2000 0 comments
The Philips 64PH9905 rear-projection HDTV is like a Weeble— it wobbles, but it doesn't fall down.

"Timber!" was the first word out of my mouth as we rolled Philip's high-definition television into our evaluation room. I could have sworn the TV was going to fall over and crush John, our burly assistant. Fortunately, the cabinet's attractively curved front baseboard makes the set more like a Weeble than a Suzuki 4 x 4 in a Consumer Reports road test. It didn't take more than a nudge from the back to make the TV lean forward; however, no matter how hard I pushed, I couldn't make it crash to the floor. Satisfied that John was safe from being squashed, I dissected the display's performance.

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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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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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