When Pioneer commissioned Allen Boothroyd, a British industrial designer best known for his work with Meridian Audio, to come up with a unique appearance for its new surround-sound speaker system, they apparently knew what they <I>didn't</I> want: another boring set of square boxes. Nor did they want a speaker system that would blend into Ethan Allen surroundings.
Last week, <A HREF="http://www.cthv.com/">Columbia TriStar Home Video</A> (CTHV) and <A HREF="http://www.universalstudios.com">Universal Studios Home Video</A> (USHV) jointly announced an agreement to distribute USHV DVDs outside North America. According to the companies, the agreement represents a milestone in the international expansion of DVD. CTHV, the first major Hollywood studio to release films on DVD outside the US (i.e., in Europe, Latin America, and Japan), is now joined by USHV as one of the few major studios releasing its movies on a consistent basis internationally.
Move over, Brazil. Step aside, China. Make room for Israel, king of the copyright-violation hill. US Trade Representative Charlene Barshevsky announced in mid-February that sanctions could soon be imposed on the Middle Eastern nation for what the State Department calls piracy of "epidemic proportions."
As the professional-broadcast industry readies itself for the technology transformation brought about by the rapid growth of digital-media distribution, the need for a single, high-resolution digital master format is becoming essential. In an effort to fill this need, Sony Electronics, in collaboration with LaserPacific Media Corporation, has unveiled the 24 Frame Progressive (24p) High Definition Post Production System.
Read it and weep, fans of open DVD: more than one million Divx discs have been sold since the official launch of the pay-per-view format on September 25, 1998. The magic number was reached over the weekend of February 20-21, according to an announcement released last week by <A HREF="http://www.divx.com/">Digital Video Express</A>.
C<I>lark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia De Havilland, Thomas Mitchell, Hattie McDaniel, Butterfly McQueen. Directed by Victor Fleming. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1. Dolby Digital 5.1. 233 minutes. 1939. MGM 906311. Rated G. $24.95.</I>
High-speed access is almost universally acknowledged as the most important next step in the development of the Internet. Interactive capabilities, transaction time, and the ultimate resolution of digitally transmitted audio and video are all limited by the speed with which data can be sent.