The race for home networking could be over before it really begins. On May 11, <A HREF="http://www.enikia.com/">Enikia Inc.</A> demonstrated a working model of a 10-megabit-per-second network using active AC powerlines as the medium. The demo took place at the Networld + Interop gathering in Las Vegas, a confab for the networking industry.
In a perfect home-theater world, <I>all</I> consumers would demand ever-better video technologies with which to watch films and other programming at home. We would enthusiastically support companies that brought us video displays of increasing size and resolution, and we would favor movie studios that supported our quest for images and sounds of the highest definition. But the real world could be an unfriendly place for HDTV fans, according to a report just released by the <A HREF="http://www.mcgweb.com">McLaughlin Consulting Group</A>.
Consumer Days begin this Friday, but Wednesday saw the first of two Trade Days. Although not the full-blown killer demos that crank up when Joe Public roams the halls, there were a few notable displays.
Last week, <A HREF="http://www.cbs.com/">CBS</A> announced that <A HREF="http://www.mitsubishi-tv.com">Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America</A> will sponsor the most extensive digital broadcast programming package ever, underwriting exclusively the costs associated with producing the majority of the CBS Television Network's primetime series entertainment programming in HDTV, beginning this fall and running through the 1999/2000 television season.
Lately, the movie business has been nothing but trouble for <A HREF="http://www.seagram.com/">Seagram, Ltd.</A> The Montreal-based liquor and entertainment conglomerate reported losses totaling $199 million on a net income of $461 million for its third fiscal quarter, ending March 31.
Last week, <A HREF="http://www.timewarnercable.com">Time Warner Cable</A> said that it has successfully tested distribution of a high-definition TV feed from Home Box Office and will soon begin delivering it in the upgraded areas of its Tampa, Florida cable operation using equipment from <A HREF="http://www.sciatl.com">Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.</A> According to Time Warner, this marks the first time HBO's HDTV signal has been made available to cable customers using a form of signal-modulation technology known as QAM, which allows two HDTV channels to be delivered in the same bandwidth needed for one off-air HDTV channel.
While the music industry reels from the explosion of freely traded music on the Internet, the looming possibility of a video equivalent has made Hollywood extremely interested in a small startup company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. <A HREF="http://www.sightsound.com/">Sightsound.com</A>, as it was named by partners Authur Hair and Scott Sander, has what appears to be a secure patent on technology for digitally downloading movies over the Internet.
Direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television service might soon gain a competitive edge against cable, thanks to broadcasting-reform legislation passed by the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 26. The bill, which won near-unanimous approval in a vote of 422 to 1, lifts restrictions on the transmission of local television signals by satellite services, which is one of the primary advantages held by cable companies. Representative Robert Brady (D-PA) cast the sole dissenting vote. So-called "local-into-local" retransmissions are banned by the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A>, whose arcane regulations have been upheld by Federal judges, as happened in Miami last month in a <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?392">case</A> brought by major networks against <A HREF="http://www.directv.com/">DirecTV</A>.
Last week, <A HREF="http://www.ti.com/dlp">Texas Instruments</A> announced that it has signed an agreement with <A HREF="http://www.hitachi.co.jp">Hitachi</A>, which will use TI's Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology to develop the world's first all-digital, large-screen, high-definition rear-projection television. Hitachi plans to release the new television in Japan and the US in the second half of 2000.