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Krissy Rushing Posted: Apr 28, 2000 Published: Apr 29, 2000 0 comments
Winning the war over remote reproduction.

If you've got as much gear as the average home theater writer, you can relate to the panicky feeling you get when you go to the kitchen for a beer and some snacky cakes, come back, and find that two of your remotes have shacked up to make a third . . . and a fourth . . . and a fifth—to the point where your collection of expensive coffee-table books is hidden under a pile of black, rectangular gadgets. That's a scary feeling—some of us have even gone into therapy because of it. Don't worry, you're not hallucinating, but you do have a problem. You need to simplify. With all the remote possibilities out there, the possibility that you'll find one that will jibe with your system and your needs isn't remote at all. You just need to figure out what sort of remote is best for you. And since we're, well, sort of control freaks (as the expression goes), we can help you figure out if you want a universal remote, a learning remote, a programmable touchscreen remote, or some combination thereof.

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Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

At the NAB show in Las Vegas, <A HREF="http://www.sonicsolutions.com/">Sonic Solutions</A> announced a technology partnership with <A HREF="http://www.ravisent.com">Ravisent Technologies</A> that is intended to bring high-definition DVD to content developers and consumers for the first time. Sonic says that the new format, called hDVD, expands DVD beyond standard-definition video to include any of the 18 ATSC video formats, including 1080i and 720p.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> has begun looking into problems presented by the proliferation of digital cable systems, problems that could offer pirates the opportunity to make an infinite number of perfect copies of high-definition movies from transmissions over pay-per-view channels like Showtime and Home Box Office. The lack of a reliable copyright-protection technology is hindering the rollout of high-definition television.

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Michael Metzger Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

J<I>udy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Frank Morgan, Margaret Hamilton, Billie Burke. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-frame). Dolby Digital 5.1 and mono. 101 minutes. 1939. MGM/Warner Bros. 65123. G. $24.95.</I>

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

As many as 12 recent releases from <A HREF="http://www.miramax.com/">Miramax Films</A> will be streamed over the Internet in the coming months, the Walt Disney Company&ndash;owned studio announced April 19. Among the offerings will be 1998 Oscar winner <I>Shakespeare in Love</I>, which will be transmitted using encryption technology from <A HREF="http://www.sightsound.com/">SightSound</A>, a company that has been renting films at its site for the past year, and that recently launched an Initial Public Offering of its stock.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

Direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) companies have fought hard to gain parity with cable TV providers. A recent regulatory decision allowing the retransmission of local TV signals by satellite will go a long way toward giving DBSers equal footing with cable, and is the result of a long campaign of invoking "the free market" and "open competition."

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Posted: Apr 23, 2000 0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> reported last week that manufacturers' shipments of video products grew by "an incredible" 30% during March. "The strong March increase brought total first-quarter sales to 13.3 million units, a 21% increase over the first quarter of 1999. The growth in March was reflective of a larger trend of prosperity in video product sales, as all categories posted double-digit increases for both the month and year-to-date," stated the organization.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Apr 16, 2000 0 comments

At last week's <A HREF="http://www.nab.org">National Association of Broadcasters</A> (NAB) convention, the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA) called on broadcasters to step up digital television (DTV) programming efforts while announcing new market data and projections that they claim demonstrate the link between DTV sales and available content. The CEA says that the data include specific sales numbers for DTV receivers in 1999. The CEA also released revised DTV sales projections based on three different programming scenarios.

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Posted: Apr 16, 2000 0 comments

The changeover from analog to digital television was once envisioned as a smooth, peaceful process. The reality has proven to be rocky and contentious. The broadcast standard has been debated continuously since the beginning, continuing as the first generations of digital television transmitters and receivers went on the market. In March of this year, the Advanced Television Systems Committee, under pressure from Sinclair Broadcasting Group and others, began a review of the technical standards that it recommended in 1996, with the possibility of changing the modulation scheme for DTV. If the ATSC finds that a change is needed, the FCC could require its implementation. Any changes could adversely affect the desirability of products now on the market or in production.

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J. Gordon Holt Posted: Apr 16, 2000 0 comments

J<I>ohn Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones. Aspect ratio: 4:3. Mono. 441 minutes. 1969&ndash;70. A&E AAE 700441 (discs 1&ndash;6), A&E AAE 70044 (discs 7&ndash;13). NR. $24.98 each.</I>

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