Now that e-cinema—using a non-film, digital projector in a movie theater—has started to take off, several companies are offering new technologies for getting the high-resolution data to the movie house. Last week brought news of the new <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?837">FMD 100GB disc</A> from C-3D, while this week we focus on news concerning the use of a high-bandwidth satellite to do the job.
Moving the consumer-electronics world a little closer to a universal high-end DVD player, <A HREF="http://www.national.com">National Semiconductor</A> announced last week the second generation of its DVD-on-a-chip product family, the Mediamatics NDV8501. National reports that this is the first chip on the market with progressive-scan video support and DVD-Audio capability in one package.
Despite their excellent capabilities, bulky video projectors haven't achieved huge market penetration because many homeowners object to their size. Toshiba has two solutions: lightweight, portable LCD projectors offering amazing brightness and resolution.
Have you been curious about 6.1 channel surround sound, but reluctant to overhaul your entire system just to try it? San Francisco-based Parasound has the answer with its new CSE 6.1 Center Surround Expander.
Digital cinema has begun to pick up speed in movie houses (see <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?738">previous story</A>), but finding ways to deliver the huge datafiles needed to present theater-grade imaging has remained an obstacle. Hoping to provide a solution to the problem of digitally storing high-resolution feature-length films, <A HREF="http://www.c-3d.net">Constellation 3D</A> announced last week the impending demonstration of its Fluorescent Multilayer Disc (FMD) videodisc technology at a satellite-delivered digital cinema film premiere of the film <I>Bounce</I>, to be hosted by <A HREF="http://www.miramax.com">Miramax Films</A>.
The slow-as-molasses rollout of digital television has riled <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> chairman William Kennard. If he has his way, broadcasters will eventually pay for the surplus radio-frequency spectrum they now control, and electronics manufacturers will be required to make all new television sets capable of receiving digital signals. The two suggestions were among several that Kennard made in a forceful speech at New York's Museum of Television and Radio on Tuesday, October 10.
VHS-quality video streaming at modem data rates may be coming your way shortly after the first of the year, if Campbell, California–based <A HREF="http://www.motiontv.com/">MotionTV</A> can make good on its promise. More than 20 months in development, the technology is the jewel in the crown of the Silicon Valley company, which claims that it will deliver full-screen video at data rates below 200 kilobytes per second (kbps).
E<I>dmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman. Directed by Ida Lupino. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-frame). Dolby Digital mono. 70 minutes. 1953. The Roan Group AED-2028 ($19.95), Kino Video K144 ($29.95). NR.</I>