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Wes Phillips Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments

B<I>reno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira, Lea Garcia. Directed by Marcel Camus. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (widescreen). Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono). 107 minutes. 1959/1999. Criterion Collection 48. NR. $20.96.</I>

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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments

The high-resolution benefits of digital television could reach millions of consumers within a year or two, thanks to a new module from electronics giant <A HREF="http://www.motorola.com/">Motorola</A>. On October 4, the company announced its MCT5100 M-DTV module, an integrated device combining the functions of Motorola's 8-VSB demodulator, the MCT2100, with an MPEG decoder and controller. Installed in an appropriate monitor, the module will "implement a complete Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC) digital television," according to advance publicity.

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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments

Think there's a huge market for personal video recorders, or PVRs? So does Wall Street. On September 30, <A HREF="http://www.tivo.com/">TiVo Inc.</A>, the Sunnyvale, California-based maker of hard-disk time-shifters, earned more than $88 million with an initial public stock offering. TiVo shares rose from an opening price of $13.94 to $29.94 each in the first day of trading, a gain of 87%. A total of 5.5 million shares were sold at $16 each.

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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments

As most home-theater fans know, DVD, the format, arrived ahead of digital television. Despite the fact that video is encoded on a DVD as 480 lines of progressive-scan MPEG-2, the first generations of DVD players put out signals in 525 interlaced lines, otherwise known as NTSC "legacy video." Converter circuitry inside the players makes MPEG-2 video back-compatible with existing TVs. Until recently, it was primarily consumers with DVD-ROM drives in their computers who could enjoy the full benefits of progressive-scan video.

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Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments

DVD is finally getting the endorsement it deserves. On Monday, September 27, <A HREF="http://www.blockbuster.com/video">Blockbuster Video</A> announced an aggressive plan to bring the format to 3800 domestic rental locations and 1000 foreign stores by the end of the year. DVDs currently enjoy shelf space in only 900 of Blockbuster's 6600 outlets.

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Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments

Digital television (DTV) sales to dealers exceeded 50,000 units at the end of August, according to figures released last week by the <A HREF="http://www.cemacity.org/">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA). At CEMA's recent DTV Summit, the organization's fifth, CEMA president Gary Shapiro stated that "DTV is moving forward at a promising pace, and we expect continued success in the third and fourth quarters."

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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.warner.com/">Warner Home Video</A> announced North American shipments to dealers of 1.5 million DVDs of <I>The Matrix</I>, generating $23.4 million in revenues and establishing yet another benchmark in DVD's market acceptance. Setting another industry record, <I>The Matrix</I>, released on DVD September 21, generated sales to consumers of approximately 780,000, or 52% of the shipment totals mentioned above, making it the most successful DVD in first-week sales. According to VideoScan, first-week consumer sales of <I>The Matrix</I> on DVD were three times greater than the next-highest-selling title to date.

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Posted: Sep 26, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.motorola.com">Motorola</A> and <A HREF="http://www.mds.com/">Momentum Data Systems</A> announced that the THX Surround EX (see <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?277">previous story</A>) audio technology, co-developed by <A HREF="http://www.thx.com">Lucasfilm THX</A> and <A HREF="http://www.dolby.com">Dolby Laboratories</A>, will now be available to THX licensees with their Symphony digital signal-processing (DSP) technology.

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Dave Thompson Posted: Sep 26, 1999 0 comments

J<I>imi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Free, Joni Mitchell, Jethro Tull, Joan Baez. Directed by Murray Lerner. Aspect ratio: 1.66:1 (widescreen). Dolby Digital stereo. 120 minutes. 1995. Sony/Legacy LVD 49335. NR. $19.95.</I>

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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 26, 1999 0 comments

Actor George C. Scott was found dead at his home in Westlake Village, California, on Wednesday, September 22. Medical examiner Dr. Janice Frank said the 71-year-old film star died of an abdominal hemorrhage. Scott had been in ill health in recent years; Frank characterized his demise as "a natural death."

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