Perhaps more than any other art form, movies are about blurring the line between reality and fantasy. For the sake of entertainment, film scripts take great liberties with historical figures and events, and the film industry spends millions on each production to create effects that could never happen in life.
<A HREF="http://www.comcast.com">Comcast Cable Communications</A> announced last week that it will make high definition TV (HDTV) programming available to subscribers in its major markets by the end of 2002, beginning in the Washington Metro/Virginia region this summer.
Veteran readers of <I>Stereophile Guide to Home Theater</I> and <I>Stereophile</I> will know that my longtime reference speaker for 2-channel playback has been the <A HREF="http://www.stereophile.com//551/">Energy Veritas V2.8</A>—it's capable of dominating a room in a way that few other speakers in its price range can. For years now at trade shows, I've badgered Energy to produce a suitable center-channel and surrounds, but what Energy has had in the works the last few years were not additional models to fill out a home-theater setup based on the V2.8, but a complete new Veritas line. Everything about the current flagship of that updated and expanded range, the Veritas V2.4—from drivers to cabinet—is new, and many of those new developments are carried over to the full Veritas line.
All is not well in entertainment land. Of the music industry's Big Five, only Universal Music managed to report a profit last year. That was a curious development in view of parent company <A HREF="http://www.vivendi.fr">Vivendi Universal SA</A>'s recent report of a net loss for 2001 in the amount of 13.6 billion euros, or $15.63 billion. Vivendi is also the parent company of Universal Pictures, its film unit.
Texas Instruments' Digital Light Processing is high-resolution video's hottest technology. Integra is the latest name to join the DLP fraternity with its DLV-1000 video projector, a product that---when combined with its companion processor, the Faroudja FPV-1---should make even the most demanding movie fan ecstatic.
The four letters D, I, V, and X will trigger memories of horror for most DVD and home theater fans. The ill-fated pay-per-view DVD format from Circuit City died an ugly death a couple of years back. However, the acronym has been reborn as DivX, a video compression technology from <A HREF="http://www.divxnetworks.com">DivXNetworks</A> that is seeing the kind of popularity its former namesake only dreamt of.
<I>Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, Barbara Hershey. Directed by Richard Rush. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital Surround EX, DTS-ES, THX. Two discs. 130 minutes. 1979. Anchor Bay Entertainment 04526. R. $34.98.</I>