Think there's a huge market for personal video recorders, or PVRs? So does Wall Street. On September 30, <A HREF="http://www.tivo.com/">TiVo Inc.</A>, the Sunnyvale, California-based maker of hard-disk time-shifters, earned more than $88 million with an initial public stock offering. TiVo shares rose from an opening price of $13.94 to $29.94 each in the first day of trading, a gain of 87%. A total of 5.5 million shares were sold at $16 each.
Digital television (DTV) sales to dealers exceeded 50,000 units at the end of August, according to figures released last week by the <A HREF="http://www.cemacity.org/">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA). At CEMA's recent DTV Summit, the organization's fifth, CEMA president Gary Shapiro stated that "DTV is moving forward at a promising pace, and we expect continued success in the third and fourth quarters."
DVD is finally getting the endorsement it deserves. On Monday, September 27, <A HREF="http://www.blockbuster.com/video">Blockbuster Video</A> announced an aggressive plan to bring the format to 3800 domestic rental locations and 1000 foreign stores by the end of the year. DVDs currently enjoy shelf space in only 900 of Blockbuster's 6600 outlets.
Last week, <A HREF="http://www.cirrus.com">Cirrus Logic</A> and <A HREF="http://www.digitalharmony.com">Digital Harmony Technologies</A> announced a licensing agreement that aims to "proliferate affordable, high-bandwidth digital home-entertainment systems." Under the terms of the agreement, Cirrus Logic has licensed the rights to Digital Harmony's IEEE 1394 intellectual property, thereby merging its Crystal audio technology with Digital Harmony's non-proprietary high-bandwidth data bus.
By the first day of November, more than half the nation's television viewers—those within reach of the <A HREF="http://www.cbs.com/">Columbia Broadcasting System</A>'s 40 major stations—will be in the "footprint" of HDTV broadcasting from CBS. The network has announced an ambitious production schedule for the fall season that includes at least 12 hours of prime-time HDTV programming each week.
Actor George C. Scott was found dead at his home in Westlake Village, California, on Wednesday, September 22. Medical examiner Dr. Janice Frank said the 71-year-old film star died of an abdominal hemorrhage. Scott had been in ill health in recent years; Frank characterized his demise as "a natural death."
L.A.'s Beverly Hilton Hotel will be swarming with television executives and technical gurus this week as the <A HREF="http://www.cemacity.org/">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA) hosts its fifth Digital Television Summit conference. The conference officially begins Tuesday, September 28, preceeded by a reception Monday evening featuring a high-definition broadcast of <I>Monday Night Football</I>.
Planet Hollywood in New York hosted the world premiere of <I><A HREF="http://www.shootyoudown.com">underdogs</A></I> at the New York International Independent Film Video and Arts Festival this past weekend, but, in an effort to get the film from the launch party into the market, the writer-director has listed the rights to the romantic comedy on <A HREF="http://www.ebay.com">eBay</A>.