The great thing about a video store is being able to walk right in, see what's available on the shelf, and then grab what you like for some instant home theater gratification. The bad thing about video stores is that getting your rental back on time can be a hassle, not to mention the late fees the stores count on to bolster their profits.
Ask most folks what it will take to get HDTV rolling and the answer is content, content, and more content. Two weeks ago, Discovery Network announced its <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?1273">first all HDTV 24-hour/day</A> channel, which is set to go live in a couple of months, and last week Showtime Networks and DirecTV announced that the satellite provider will carry the East Coast SHO HDTV channel beginning April 30.
Federal Communications Chairman Michael Powell isn't the only powerful figure in Washington who is working toward a solution to the digital television impasse. Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA) is doing his part, too.
Sunfire Corporation has introduced the third generation of its Theater Grand surround sound processors. The new Theater Grand III supports all current surround formats, including Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround EX, and is software upgradeable via a watermarked CD.
<I>Michael Douglas, Kathleen Tuner, Danny DeVito, Marianne Sägebrecht. Directed by Danny DeVito. Aspect ratio: 1:85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. 116 minutes. 1989. 20th Century Fox 25392. R. $19.98.</I>
<I>John Cameron Mitchell, Andrea Martin, Michael Pitt, Miriam Shor. Directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Surround (English). 91 minutes. 2001. New Line N5401. R. $24.98.</I>
One of the hottest buzz phases in telecommunications is "video-on-demand," a service that allows customers to plug into the universal content library and watch anything they wish whenever they wish. VOD and interactive television (ITV) are the twin holy grails of cable companies and Internet service providers.
High definition television has been slow to gain traction in consumer markets, partly due to ongoing struggles between the content providers and equipment manufacturers. Movie studios wish to restrict the consumer's use of an HDTV signal while manufacturers recognize that consumers will be slow to embrace any technology that becomes too cumbersome or restrictive to implement.