It was a night like any other Hollywood premier: lavish parties, hundreds of fans crowding police barricades surrounding the theater, stars sauntering down the red carpet, paparazzi yelling at them: "Turn to the right! No, <I>my</I> right!" But few premiers feature Imperial Storm Troopers, Wookies, and Darth Vader himself working the crowd.
New TV technologies crop up almost as often as new reality-TV shows, but among all the Celebrity Fear Factors, Obnoxious Bosses, and Strange Loves, there's only one American Idol - the kind of show that can save a network and bury the competition.
Despite rumors of a pending peace treaty, the possibility of a much desired agreement between the HD DVD zealots (led by Toshiba) and Blu-ray partisans (led by Sony) creating a single high-definition DVD standard look about as likely as the re-unification of North and South Korea thanks to multiple HD DVD-related announcements over the last few days.
No home-entertainment technology in years has been as eagerly anticipated as the upcoming Blu-ray and HD DVD high-definition disc systems. In fact, the last time we techie types were this excited about something new was when the CD was introduced.
The latest DVD recorders have so many advanced features that they can be daunting to use. Just pick up the instruction manual, and you'll likely find yourself slogging through pages of editing commands as well as countless rules for recording on different disc formats.
The problem with DVDs is they're just too damn cool. With their pristine pictures, multichannel digital sound, and cheap prices, what's not to love? Storing and managing your collection, however, can be a problem. Though I don't consider myself a huge collector, I have amassed close to 100 DVD movies. My current storage solution is a trunk my wife picked up at a yard sale for $3.
Key Digital Systems (KDS) is no stranger to the world of video signal processing. They've been manufacturing video scalers for several years, including some models that had more functions than a Swiss army knife.
In our ongoing run-up to our 10th anniversary in early 2005, Michael Fremer looks at his experiences working on the soundtrack to the groundbreaking movie Tron. This article was first published in our Fall 1997 issue. We've made a few edits to account for changes since then (particularly in the references to laserdiscs!), but MF's description of the creation of an early-1980s soundtrack is as fascinating, interesting, and pertinent as ever. Modern digital techniques have revolutionized the film-sound business, but a good soundtrack is still a good soundtrack.