LATEST ADDITIONS

Mike Wood Posted: Mar 28, 2000 Published: Mar 29, 2000 0 comments
A "choose your own adventure" television.

I might be dating myself (or just admitting more than I should), but as a kid I used to read a lot of those "choose your own adventure" books. You know, the ones where a junior adventurer goes looking for Mayan treasure, and, at the end of each page, the reader must choose which subsequent page to turn to and thus which path the story will take. Sometimes, you'd end up dead; other times, you'd strike it rich. The books were a literary video game. It was pretty much the only thing my parents could get me to read (hence the lack of Hemingway influence in my writing).

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Mark J. Peterson Posted: Mar 28, 2000 Published: Mar 29, 2000 0 comments
Adventures in loudspeaker placement.

Oh for the simplicity of days of yore, when a home-entertainment system came entombed in a massive slab of French Provincial furniture, with the television tube in the middle and built-in loudspeakers flanking it on either side. There was little decision-making as to speaker placement, usually boiling down to which wall of the living room was equipped with the twin-lead connection to the aerial on the roof. With this simplicity and lack of flexibility, there was little one could do wrong (or right, for that matter) in terms of speaker placement.

Clint Walker Posted: Mar 28, 2000 Published: Mar 29, 2000 0 comments
M&K reaches new heights in audio engineering.

It's not uncommon for a company to come along and make the claim that they've reinvented the wheel in audio or video. In fact, every year at the Consumer Electronics Show, I chuckle when some yahoo representing one of these companies comes up to me and begins to peddle their wares. Sure, there have been several advancements in audio engineering over the last few decades, but let's face it—no one has truly reinvented the wheel.

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Mike Wood Posted: Mar 28, 2000 Published: Mar 29, 2000 0 comments
Sèleco shows us that you can get excellent color fidelity and great resolution at a budget price.

If you don't want a front projector, you should. Projectors rock! A big-screen image is the only way to get that cinematic feel with home movies (prerecorded movies, that is—not the jittery Handicam shots of your baby's first steps).

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Posted: Mar 26, 2000 0 comments

February's manufacturer-to-dealer shipments of video products were up 22% over the same period last year, according to figures released March 17 by the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org/">Consumer Electronics Association</A>. Every segment of the video market showed strong growth, including analog direct-view televisions, which were up by 8%, with 2.9 million units shipped.

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Posted: Mar 26, 2000 0 comments

Affordable set-top boxes for the reception of digital television signals from Direct Broadcast Satellites are popping up like spring flowers. At prices from under $250 to about $400, the STBs (set-top boxes) offer a lot of bang for the buck.

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Barry Willis Posted: Mar 26, 2000 0 comments

The cat has really gotten out of the bag with Sony's new Playstation 2. In mid-March, we <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?672">reported</A> that the machine can play Digital Versatile Discs from all regions, reinforcing one of the film industry's biggest fears: that the new format will circumvent carefully orchestrated release dates. Now it appears that the machine can do more.

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Posted: Mar 26, 2000 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.chips.ibm.com">IBM</A> announced a family of chips that it hopes will accelerate the transformation of TV sets into fully interactive, two-way information appliances. IBM says it is combining high-speed PowerPC processors and other television set-top box (STB) components onto a single "system-on-a-chip" that will give STB makers "significant benefits in system performance, price, and design." IBM claims that the chips will also help drive new capabilities for electronic program guides, Web browsing, and interactive applications such as home banking, e-commerce, and information retrieval.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Mar 26, 2000 0 comments

The Linux operating-system movement appeared to have taken a leap forward last week with the announcement of <A HREF="http://indrema.com">Indrema</A>, a new consumer-electronics company specializing in open-source digital products for home entertainment. Using the Linux operating system, enhanced by a set of open-source multimedia standards such as the Direct Rendering Infrastructure, the new OpenStream video architecture, and Mesa 3D compatible graphics components, Indrema says it plans to "turn the consumer-electronics industry on its head."

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Barry Willis Posted: Mar 26, 2000 0 comments

Fear that its programming will be given short shrift by the combined might of America Online and Time Warner has led the <A HREF="http://www.disney.com/">Walt Disney Company</A> to lobby US lawmakers about the media giants' impending merger. Disney has made quiet but persistent efforts to influence legislators who must approve the merger, according to several reports appearing in late March.

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