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Barry Willis Posted: May 02, 1999 0 comments

Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television service might soon gain a competitive edge against cable, thanks to broadcasting-reform legislation passed by the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 26. The bill, which won near-unanimous approval in a vote of 422 to 1, lifts restrictions on the transmission of local television signals by satellite services, which is one of the primary advantages held by cable companies. Representative Robert Brady (D-PA) cast the sole dissenting vote. So-called "local-into-local" retransmissions are banned by the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A>, whose arcane regulations have been upheld by Federal judges, as happened in Miami last month in a <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?392">case</A> brought by major networks against <A HREF="http://www.directv.com/">DirecTV</A>.

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Posted: May 02, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.ti.com/dlp">Texas Instruments</A> announced that it has signed an agreement with <A HREF="http://www.hitachi.co.jp">Hitachi</A>, which will use TI's Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology to develop the world's first all-digital, large-screen, high-definition rear-projection television. Hitachi plans to release the new television in Japan and the US in the second half of 2000.

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Dave Thompson Posted: Apr 25, 1999 0 comments

J<I>ames Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley, Julian Glover. Directed by Roy Ward Baker. Aspect ratio: 1.66:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround/5.1. 98 minutes. 1967. Anchor Bay DV 10505. Rated PG. $29.95.</I>

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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 25, 1999 0 comments

At last week's <A HREF="http://www.nab.org">National Association of Broadcasters</A> convention in Las Vegas, <A HREF="http://www.dolby.com/tvaudio">Dolby Laboratories</A> unveiled the first Dolby E encoder and decoder products, which are intended to help television broadcasters make the transition from two-channel to multichannel audio. According to the company, the DP571 Dolby E Encoder and DP572 Dolby E Decoder allow broadcasters to distribute up to eight channels of audio, as well as additional data, with a pair of channels on a single AES/EBU cable, two audio tracks of a digital video tape, digital audio tape, or video server.

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Posted: Apr 25, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.plasmavision.com">Fujitsu</A> announced a price reduction that brings their Plasmavision 42 below $10,000. According to the company, this move makes the technology more accessible for both corporate customers and home-theater enthusiasts. The new suggested list price will be $9995 for the PDS 4203, which was first introduced in January 1998 for $10,999.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 25, 1999 0 comments

The television-broadcasting industry is undergoing a metamorphosis. Some observers at last week's <A HREF="http://www.nab.org/">National Association of Broadcasters</A> convention in Las Vegas called it a "generation change" embodied by a new group of energetic "digital content providers"---with a different concept of entertainment---gradually replacing older producers and executives. Other reporters have pointed to technological developments such as high-definition TV and the nascent trend toward interactivity as motive forces behind the 60-year-old industry's growing transformation.

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Posted: Apr 25, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.warnerbros.com">Warner Home Video</A>, in partnership with <A HREF="http://www.CTHV.com">Columbia TriStar Home Video</A> and <A HREF="http://www.mgmhomevideo.com">MGM Home Entertainment</A>, announced the June 29 release of <I>The Stanley Kubrick Collection</I>, a compilation of nine of the legendary director's most powerful films. The collection will be available on both VHS and DVD two weeks before the theatrical debut of <I>Eyes Wide Shut</I>, Kubrick's final feature. Warner says the collection is the first extensive review of Kubrick's major works in a format and package design approved by the late director, which guarantees a faithful presentation of his exacting vision.

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Posted: Apr 18, 1999 0 comments

Last week, Canadian company <A HREF="http://www.VisuaLABS.com/">VisuaLABS Inc.</A> announced what it describes as a prototype of the first high-definition 3D video projector using the company's proprietary 3D technology. A company statement claims that "for the first time, the sparkling, filmlike reality of HDTV can be seen with true, measurable depth onscreen. The 3D images are entirely viewable with the naked eye."

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Posted: Apr 18, 1999 0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.eetimes.com">EETimes</A> recently reported that <A HREF="http://www.jvc.com/">JVC</A> and <A HREF="http://www.sony.com/">Sony</A> are cooperating to develop IEEE 1394 interface technologies for digital video recorders using Sony's i.Link and JVC's D-VHS format. The idea is to entice consumers to use D-VHS recorders in entertainment systems connected with 1394 cables.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 18, 1999 0 comments

Last week, an important milestone in the development of broadcasting in China was marked with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the <A HREF="http://www.dvb.org">Digital Video Broadcasting Consortium</A> (DVB), a group committed to designing a global family of standards for the delivery of digital television, and the Academy of Broadcasting Science (ABS) of the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television of China. The ABS is a research organization responsible for formulating recommendations for digital-television standards for China.

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