LATEST ADDITIONS

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 02, 2000 0 comments

First Sony made the PlayStation 2, a $370 "gaming console." Then users discovered that it could play Digital Versatile Discs from all regions, a clear violation of DVD Forum engineering specifications intended to accommodate the entertainment industry's longstanding policy of releasing films on video at different times in different parts of the world&mdash;after they've run in commercial theaters. Shortly thereafter, users also found that they could make perfect videotape <A HREF="htpp://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?680">copies</A> of DVDs via the RGB outputs on the machine, thereby circumventing Macrovision, the copy-prevention technique built into the DVD format. Seems the PlayStation 2 was a two-front nightmare for the film business.

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Posted: Apr 02, 2000 0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> announced last week that factory-to-dealer sales of digital television (DTV) display devices reached their second-highest total ever this February, surpassing 22,000 units. The CEA claims that February's sales total of 22,844 units is second only to the December 1999 figures, and brings total sales since the introduction of DTV (in August 1998) to 178,254 units.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 02, 2000 0 comments

Divx, Circuit City's pay-per-view DVD format, may be dead, but DivX, a new video-copying phenomenon, is alive and well. The hacker-developed technology is said to allow copying and transmission of "high-quality pictures" over the Internet in much the way MP3 audio files can be shared by music fans. With DivX and a broadband connection, a full-length film can be downloaded in a few hours and stored on a recordable CD, according to several reports in late March.

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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.

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).

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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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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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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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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