Sure, it's great to be an "early adopter" of new technology. You get to play with the latest, coolest gear before any of your oh-so-20th-century friends, and you can learn about new trends as they emerge, transforming yourself into a thundering bore . . . er, valued cocktail-party guest.
Chips galore: <A HREF="http://www.ati.com">ATI Technologies Inc</A>. announced December 20 that in 2004 its digital television division shipped more than five million chips for high-definition TVs, HD cable and terrestrial set-top boxes. ATI's "NXT Theater" and "Xilleon" chips are claimed to "enable consumer electronics manufacturers to create a wide variety of products that feature exceptional reception and video display performance," according to the announcement. OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) that purchase ATI chips also "have access to ATI's extensive software support and reference designs to help them bring to market unique products that conform to worldwide industry standards." ATI Technologies will be exhibiting its DTV solutions at the upcoming International CES 2005 at booth 3/30342 at the South Hall, Upper Level, in the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Backward compatibility with today's DVDs is important to the success of any new high-definition format. Japan Victor Corporation (JVC) may have the solution with a hybrid prototype that combines the high-definition Blu-ray disc with a standard DVD.
As if having a flat-panel plasma or LCD TV hanging on your wall weren't enough to cause the neighbors and friends to drool with covetous envy, New York-based ready-to-assemble furniture maker Bush Industries is primed to introduce several new console and entertainment wall units designed specifically to complement - rather than emphasize - the newest, highest tech TVs. Bush says the new designs are the result of the fact that "the days of the silver video base that places the TV prominently in the center of attention are numbered." Bush's primary design criteria are now media and component storage.
Although the new DualDisc format - a two-sided hybrid disc with a CD on one side and a DVD-A on the other - has had a rough beginning, a recent announcement from Dolby and 5.1 Entertainment's Silverline Records label brings to light another benefit of the flipping disc.
Yamaha's remarkably trim DVD-S1500 manages to go beyond most other "universal" players. Of course it plays DVD movies plus DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD music discs, most varie-ties of recordable DVDs, and CDs with standard audio, MP3 files, or JPEG-format still images. But it also plays DVDs in the European PAL format on a U.S.-standard TV.
A few minutes into ColdMountain, a U.S. Civil War version of The Odyssey , the Union Army detonates massive explosives hidden beneath a Confederate encampment. To say that I flinched would be an understatement - diving for cover was more like it.