The <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> was correct when it formulated rules preventing cable operators from offering integrated security and channel-surfing features in cable set-top boxes, a District of Columbia appeals court has declared. The regulations, which will take effect in 2005, are derived from a proper interpretation of provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the court found.
In news that is sure to strike fear in the hearts of videophiles everywhere, <A HREF="http://www.macrovision.com">Macrovision</A> announced last week the implementation of its copy protection technology for higher resolution DVD playback on players with 525p progressive scan outputs. The company says that 525p copy protection has now been licensed to Genesis Microchip, JVC, Matsushita, Oak Technology, and Pioneer.
Like the 1959 Cadillac convertible, Cinerama was one of the peak expressions of 1950s excess. With three synchronized projectors casting overlapping images on a curved screen 96 feet wide, the format was the era's ultimate form of cinematic entertainment and the precursor to today's IMAX.
According to the results of the "PVR and Enhanced TV Potential" study, released last week by <A HREF="http://eBrain.org">eBrain Market Research</A> in cooperation with the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A>, despite the continuing popularity of videocassette recorders in the US, the number of Americans who own hard-disk–based personal video recording devices (PVRs) is likely to increase significantly in the next 12 months.
Last week, <A HREF="http://www.thx.com">Lucasfilm THX</A> announced a new DVD software feature that they claim will allow the performance of a home-theater system to be optimized for individual DVD releases. The process, called THX Optimode, consists of a series of tests "that make it easy for consumers to fine-tune the audio and video performance of their home components."
Home-theater equipment continues to be one of the fastest-selling segments of the consumer electronics market, according to the most recent figures from the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org/">Consumer Electronics Association</A>. How good is it? Try $2 billion in factory-to-dealer sales of video equipment in the first quarter of this year. That's a 20% increase over the first three months of 1999, according to the May 31 report. The figure is even more astounding in light of 1999's growth, in which home theater revenues increased by 11% over 1998's totals.
R<I>obert Arkins, Michael Aherne, Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Johnny Murphy, Andrew Strong, Colm Meany. Directed by Alan Parker. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (pan&scan). Dolby Digital 2.0. 119 minutes. 1991. 20th Century Fox 112892. R. $28.99.</I>
Recently, <A HREF="http://www.ti.com/dlp">Texas Instruments</A> and <A HREF="http://www.technicolor.com">Technicolor</A> unveiled what they term "the latest major expansion" of digital cinema technology, at the AMC Empire 25 in New York City, which they say is the world's only theater to feature two all-digital screens. AMC Empire 25 is currently using a digital system for a special showing of the digitally animated feature film <I>Dinosaur</I>.