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Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> reported last week that manufacturers' shipments of video products grew by "an incredible" 30% during March. "The strong March increase brought total first-quarter sales to 13.3 million units, a 21% increase over the first quarter of 1999. The growth in March was reflective of a larger trend of prosperity in video product sales, as all categories posted double-digit increases for both the month and year-to-date," stated the organization.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

As many as 12 recent releases from <A HREF="http://www.miramax.com/">Miramax Films</A> will be streamed over the Internet in the coming months, the Walt Disney Company&ndash;owned studio announced April 19. Among the offerings will be 1998 Oscar winner <I>Shakespeare in Love</I>, which will be transmitted using encryption technology from <A HREF="http://www.sightsound.com/">SightSound</A>, a company that has been renting films at its site for the past year, and that recently launched an Initial Public Offering of its stock.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

Direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) companies have fought hard to gain parity with cable TV providers. A recent regulatory decision allowing the retransmission of local TV signals by satellite will go a long way toward giving DBSers equal footing with cable, and is the result of a long campaign of invoking "the free market" and "open competition."

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Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

At the NAB show in Las Vegas, <A HREF="http://www.sonicsolutions.com/">Sonic Solutions</A> announced a technology partnership with <A HREF="http://www.ravisent.com">Ravisent Technologies</A> that is intended to bring high-definition DVD to content developers and consumers for the first time. Sonic says that the new format, called hDVD, expands DVD beyond standard-definition video to include any of the 18 ATSC video formats, including 1080i and 720p.

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Michael Metzger Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

J<I>udy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Frank Morgan, Margaret Hamilton, Billie Burke. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-frame). Dolby Digital 5.1 and mono. 101 minutes. 1939. MGM/Warner Bros. 65123. G. $24.95.</I>

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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 16, 2000 0 comments

At last week's <A HREF="http://www.nab.org">National Association of Broadcasters</A> (NAB) convention, the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA) called on broadcasters to step up digital television (DTV) programming efforts while announcing new market data and projections that they claim demonstrate the link between DTV sales and available content. The CEA says that the data include specific sales numbers for DTV receivers in 1999. The CEA also released revised DTV sales projections based on three different programming scenarios.

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Posted: Apr 16, 2000 0 comments

The changeover from analog to digital television was once envisioned as a smooth, peaceful process. The reality has proven to be rocky and contentious. The broadcast standard has been debated continuously since the beginning, continuing as the first generations of digital television transmitters and receivers went on the market. In March of this year, the Advanced Television Systems Committee, under pressure from Sinclair Broadcasting Group and others, began a review of the technical standards that it recommended in 1996, with the possibility of changing the modulation scheme for DTV. If the ATSC finds that a change is needed, the FCC could require its implementation. Any changes could adversely affect the desirability of products now on the market or in production.

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Posted: Apr 16, 2000 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://jvc.com">Victor Company of Japan</A> announced that it has developed a new copyright-protection system for prerecorded D-VHS content, as well as for in-home analog and digital recording. JVC says that the copyright-protection feature will be included within the D-VHS standard and adds that "this new standard makes it possible to develop and produce prerecorded HD (High Definition) video content as well as add momentum to the development of D-VHS hardware products."

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 16, 2000 0 comments

W<I>e inadvertently left out the sidebar of the measurements TJN did of the Proceed BP3 amplifier, which was intended to accompany FM's review of the BP3 and BP2 amps in our May issue.</I>

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J. Gordon Holt Posted: Apr 16, 2000 0 comments

J<I>ohn Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones. Aspect ratio: 4:3. Mono. 441 minutes. 1969&ndash;70. A&E AAE 700441 (discs 1&ndash;6), A&E AAE 70044 (discs 7&ndash;13). NR. $24.98 each.</I>

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