LATEST ADDITIONS

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Posted: Jan 30, 1999 0 comments

When is a choice not a choice at all? When the same product comes in different packages. In April, the Disney/Pixar computer-animated hit movie <I>A Bug's Life</I> will hit the stores in four different boxes. Each box will highlight a different character from the film. The intention is to grab the children's-video market by its eager eyeballs.

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Posted: Jan 24, 1999 0 comments

On January 19, <A HREF="http://www.filmscouts.com">Film Scouts</A> announced the Internet premiere of the legendary film <I>Koyaanisqatsi</I>, which will occur at 7 pm PST, Sunday, February 7, 1999. Originally released in 1983, the film was produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by Godfrey Reggio, and it features a score by Philip Glass. The Web debut of <I>Koyaanisqatsi</I> is presented by Film Scouts in collaboration with the Internet Protocol Multicast Initiative (IPMI) as the centerpiece of the IP Multicast Summit, an event showcasing advancements in IP multicast technology.

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Posted: Jan 24, 1999 0 comments

Late last week, <A HREF="http://www.hughes.com">Hughes Electronics</A> announced that it had reached an agreement with <A HREF="http://www.primestar.com">PrimeStar</A> to acquire the 2.3-million-subscriber PrimeStar direct broadcast satellite (DBS) medium-power business and Tempo high-power satellite asset in two transactions valued at approximately $1.82 billion. The combination of <A HREF="http://www.DirecTV.com">DirecTV</A> and PrimeStar---along with United States Satellite Broadcasting (USSB), the multichannel movie service that agreed to merge with Hughes last month ($1.3 billion in cash and stock)---makes DirecTV one of the top three television subscriber services in the US.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 24, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.philips.com">Philips</A>, <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.sun.com">Sun Microsystems</A> formally announced plans to collaborate in connecting Sun's Jini technology with the <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?317">Home Audio-Video interoperability</A> (HAVi) architecture, which is being developed by several consumer-electronics manufacturers. According to a joint statement, the companies plan to provide a solution that links HAVi-compliant appliances in the home to services provided by Jini technology over a network.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 23, 1999 0 comments

Digital video-production equipment by <A HREF="http://www.sony.com/professional/">Sony Electronics</A> is one highlight at the <A HREF="http://www.sundance.org/">Sundance Film Festival</A>, currently taking place in Park City, Utah. During the first weekend, the Festival's New Media and Technology Center featured camcorder demonstrations, panel discussions, and video presentations of Sony's HDCAM, Digital Betacam, DVCAM, and consumer DV digital-video formats. This is the fourth consecutive year that Sony has put on this demonstration at Sundance.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 23, 1999 0 comments

Although the original intent behind digital television was simply "better quality," the unfolding format will create unimagined opportunities for both Internet entrepreneurs and makers of widescreen computer displays, according to a recent report from electronics-industry observers <A HREF="http://www.mcgweb.com/">The McLaughlin Consulting Group</A>. The implementation of HDTV was the stated agenda by those involved in its design and rollout, but the biggest opportunities won't befall broadcasters, satellite providers, or traditional makers of television sets, the report says. In fact, many of the original participants might not reap the full rewards of the new technology.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 17, 1999 0 comments

Buried in all the hoopla and exciting digital television news at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month was the answer to many DVD fans' prayers: <A HREF="http://www.philipsusa.com">Philips Electronics</A> announced that it has developed a technology for real-time recording of DVD-Video discs. According to Philips, the recorded discs can be played back on existing DVD-Video players, offering up to four hours of record/playback time at various levels of quality.

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Posted: Jan 17, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.cirrus.com">Cirrus Logic</A> announced an agreement that will make possible broad deployment of THX-grade home-theater systems. In a press release, the company says it has licensed THX home-theater DSP (digital signal processing) algorithms from Lucasfilm for upcoming audio products. "Cirrus Logic thus becomes the first semiconductor manufacturer to combine THX post-processing capabilities with economical, embedded certified software for all popular audio DVD decoding standards. For leading-brand mass-market suppliers, this solution will simplify designs, reduce costs, and lower the price point for implementing THX audio technology into A/V hi-fi receiver amplifiers that support playback of DVD movies."

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 16, 1999 0 comments

Chip makers continue to up the ante as computers and television converge. <A HREF="http://www.intel.com/">Intel Corporation</A> has announced the Pentium III, the latest in its famous line of high-speed microprocessors. The new chip, which will replace the highly regarded Pentium II, has been optimized for audio/video, graphics, and data communication with the addition of 70 new instruction codes. It will run at a basic clock rate of 450-500 MHz---fast enough to process high-definition television signals.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 16, 1999 0 comments

Millions of video tapes are being recalled by Walt Disney Company because of a production prank that took place 23 years ago. A re-release of <I>The Rescuers</I>, which originally played in theaters in 1977 and was first released on video in 1992, is being pulled from distribution to clean up a couple of frames in which someone inserted the image of a nude woman---an image so short-lived that it can't be seen during normal viewing.

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