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Posted: May 12, 2002 0 comments

Cable companies may soon be competing with local audio/video retailers. <A HREF="">Charter Communications</A> will be the first cable provider in the nation to begin distributing the <A HREF="">Motorola</A> DCP501 Home Theater System, at the end of the second quarter of 2002.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 12, 2002 0 comments

Networks and cable providers are slowly getting behind the HDTV effort. Responding to criticism that it has lagged behind competitors ABC and CBS in rolling out HDTV programming, <A HREF="">NBC</A> has announced that it will offer more HD prime-time shows next season.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 09, 2002 Published: May 10, 2002 0 comments
Can home theater really be simplified into one box?

A home theater in a box? Can it really be that simple? Do you really get everything you need in one package? HTIBs are huge sellers. Some complete systems sell for less than $500, and others cost more than $2,500. We gathered three that fall somewhere in the middle: the JBL Cinema ProPack600, the Sony DAV-C900, and the Unity, codeveloped by Kenwood and Boston Acoustics. All three retail for $1,200, but you should be able to find them for a bit less. Promising free ice cream, I gathered the usual suspects to participate in the Face Off: audio editor Chris Lewis, executive editor Adrienne Maxwell, copy editor Claire Lloyd, and the ubiquitous Ron Williams, our technical consultant. Much was voiced about the ruse of free ice cream, which was a lie.

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Kevin Miller Posted: May 09, 2002 Published: May 10, 2002 0 comments
A new player in the home theater arena.

In the past few years, DLP technology has come a long way in terms of both picture quality and affordability. Not long ago, an entry-level one-chip 800-by-600 projector cost about $10,000. With the advent of the higher-resolution (1,024 by 768 and now 1,280 by 720) one-chip projectors, the front-projection world has become accessible to many more people. As the technology is rapidly becoming one of the hottest of the new fixed-pixel-display alternatives for both rear- and front-projection applications, new companies are constantly joining the DLP fold. InFocus—a company that, until now, concentrated solely on the professional business market—has entered the home market. The company's first offering is the ScreenPlay 110, a dual-mode one-chip DLP front projector with a resolution of 800 by 600 in the 4:3 mode and 853 by 480 in the enhanced-widescreen or anamorphic mode.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 09, 2002 Published: May 10, 2002 0 comments
This Samsung flat-panel multimedia monitor raises the bar on the high end.

Many of my coworkers in New York City tend to sum up flat-panel LCD monitors as "cool," a concise but shallow understatement. Flat panels are the envy of big-ass CRTs (and their owners) everywhere, a sexy combination of performance and space economy in an inspiring "Where's the rest of me?" form. They are also getting better and less expensive by the minute.

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Chris Lewis Posted: May 09, 2002 Published: May 10, 2002 0 comments
Our first look at Ultra 2 and the first certified system from Snell and Pioneer.

It may be time to start asking the question that's asked of all pastimes with hobbyist roots when their popularity surges: Is home theater a permanent cultural phenomenon or just another fad destined to burn out before its time? Recent evidence certainly shades the former. DVD-Video has been the catalyst for an unprecedented boom in the popularity of home theater and should probably be credited with completing home theater's undeniable transition from novelty act to mainstream entertainment that began with Dolby Surround and the first inexpensive multichannel speaker system. But is home theater a cultural phenomenon the way that the computer is a cultural phenomenon? Do a majority of Americans actively seek to make it a part of their lives day in and day out? Not yet—but home theater's high-water mark is still to come.

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Posted: May 05, 2002 0 comments

<A HREF="">EchoStar</A>'s fortunes are looking up. The Littleton, CO&ndash;based direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service has yet to win regulatory approval in its bid to acquire rival DirecTV, but it is enjoying a surge in revenue, the result of massive growth in its subscriber base.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 05, 2002 0 comments

<I>Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Michael Biehn, Powers Booth, Robert Burke, Dana Delaney, Sam Elliott, Stephen Lang, Joanna Pacula, Bill Paxton, Jason Priestly, Michael Rooker, Jon Tenney, Billy Zane, Charlton Heston; narrated by Robert Mitchum. Directed by George P. Cosmatos. Aspect ratio: 2.35 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, THX. Two DVDs. 134 minutes. 1993. Touchstone Home Video 23118. R. $29.99.</I>

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Barry Willis Posted: May 05, 2002 0 comments

New Year's Day, 2003 may be a day of special celebration for sports and movie fans. Ten of the nation's biggest cable providers have pledged to begin delivering digital signals by then, according to a May 2 report by Bill McConnell in the trade journal <I>Broadcasting and Cable</I>.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 05, 2002 0 comments

Plans by the entertainment industry to control the distribution of digital programming could have dire consequences for consumers, a <A HREF="">Philips Electronics</A> executive told US congressmen in late April.


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