LATEST ADDITIONS

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 30, 2000 0 comments

When the retransmission of local TV signals by direct satellite broadcasters became legal, analysts and industry insiders expected an increase in business. They did not expect the surge in new subscribers that came in the wake of the decision. <A HREF="http://www.echostar.com/">EchoStar</A>, the perpetual runner-up to dominant DBSer <A HREF="http://www.directv.com/">DirecTV</A>, added 455,000 new subscribers to its DISH network in the first quarter of this year, bringing its total customer base to more than 4 million as of the end of April.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 30, 2000 0 comments

Steven Spielberg has held out long enough. With as many as 12 million DVD players expected to be in movie fans' homes by the end of the year, Hollywood's most successful director has decided to release his films on digital discs.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 30, 2000 0 comments

C<I>her, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, Lily Tomlin, Baird Wallace, Charlie Lucas, Massimo Ghini, Paolo Seganti, Paul Checquer. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Aspect ratios: 1.85:1 (anamorphic), 1.33:1 (full-frame). Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround 2.0 (French). 117 minutes. 1999. MGM Home Entertainment 907918. PG. $24.98.</I>

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Posted: Apr 30, 2000 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.tvguideinc.com"><I>TV Guide</I></A> announced that it has partnered with <A HREF="http://www.seachangeinternational.com">SeaChange International</A> to bring to market a version of the TV Guide Interactive electronic program guide with a video-on-demand (VOD) service. The companies say that the collaboration will combine the TV Guide Interactive application with SeaChange's ITV system, and that this is the first major deal for TV Guide Interactive in the VOD area and will be the market's first fully integrated interactive program guide/VOD offering.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 30, 2000 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.panasonic.co.jp/">Matsushita Electric Industrial</A> and <A HREF="http://www.quantum.com">Quantum Corporation</A>'s Hard Disk Drive Group announced that they have developed what they describe as the world's first audio/video hard-drive subsystem that records and plays back digital content with random-access digital video recording (DVR) functionality over IEEE1394 (aka FireWire).

Bruce Fordyce Posted: Apr 28, 2000 Published: Apr 29, 2000 0 comments
Finally, you can store all your movies in one tidy, little box— Sony's DVP-CX850D 200-disc changer. Among DVD's grand promises are not just CD-quality sound and 500-line picture resolution but the ability to finally store all your movies in one small, tidy box. Such is the accomplishment of the Sony DVP-CX850D 200-disc DVD/CD changer. Imagine being able to hold 200 movies within a 7.5- by 17- by 19-inch package. The equivalent stack of VHS tapes makes for a 16-foot skyscraper that's neither practical nor elegant. For the average suburban home-movie enthusiast, the ability to store a complete studio of movie (and music) software in a rack-mountable changer goes a long way toward promoting marital (or cohabitant) bliss...or at least a defendable détente. If you're a big-time collector and have more than 200 disc titles, the DVP-CX850D can be daisy-chained to another appropriately equipped changer. Priced at $899, the DVP-CX850D is lavished with so many technical features that filtering it down to a 1,200-word review is an exercise in minimalism, but here goes.
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Mike Wood Posted: Apr 28, 2000 Published: Apr 29, 2000 0 comments
The struggle continues: single versus dual speakers; dipoles versus monopoles.

Lightsabers swirl all around, machines explode to the side, and lasers come from directly behind you. If you saw The Phantom Menace in a Dolby Digital Surround EX-equipped theater, you heard one of the more spatially realistic soundtracks recorded to date. Now, that same technology has entered the home market under the moniker THX Surround EX (non-THX-certified products might refer to a similar process as 6.1), and a familiar question returns to haunt us: Should you use dipole or monopole (also known as direct-radiating) loudspeakers for the back channel? This time around, the question comes with a new twist: Should you use one or two speakers for this channel? Willing to conquer any challenge and answer any question, we at Home Theater took it upon ourselves to test various speaker configurations. After describing the process itself and the advantages and disadvantages of dipole and monopole speakers, we'll let you know what our panel of judges thought of the various options.

Krissy Rushing Posted: Apr 28, 2000 Published: Apr 29, 2000 0 comments
Winning the war over remote reproduction.

If you've got as much gear as the average home theater writer, you can relate to the panicky feeling you get when you go to the kitchen for a beer and some snacky cakes, come back, and find that two of your remotes have shacked up to make a third . . . and a fourth . . . and a fifth—to the point where your collection of expensive coffee-table books is hidden under a pile of black, rectangular gadgets. That's a scary feeling—some of us have even gone into therapy because of it. Don't worry, you're not hallucinating, but you do have a problem. You need to simplify. With all the remote possibilities out there, the possibility that you'll find one that will jibe with your system and your needs isn't remote at all. You just need to figure out what sort of remote is best for you. And since we're, well, sort of control freaks (as the expression goes), we can help you figure out if you want a universal remote, a learning remote, a programmable touchscreen remote, or some combination thereof.

Mike Wood Posted: Apr 28, 2000 Published: Apr 29, 2000 0 comments
The Toyota of HD-ready TVs.

Just as Lexus is to Toyota, Elite is to Pioneer. Until now, most HDTVs and HD-ready TVs have come from the "elite" line of most manufacturers. The advanced technology initially required high sticker prices, which in turn warranted more-elegant products...until now. The SD-532HD5 from Pioneer is one of the first sets to come from a manufacturer's main line. With that comes the promise of more options in the way of more-affordable products.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> has begun looking into problems presented by the proliferation of digital cable systems, problems that could offer pirates the opportunity to make an infinite number of perfect copies of high-definition movies from transmissions over pay-per-view channels like Showtime and Home Box Office. The lack of a reliable copyright-protection technology is hindering the rollout of high-definition television.

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