LATEST ADDITIONS

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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 26, 1998 0 comments

Early indications don't look promising for <A HREF="http://www.circuitcity.com/">Circuit City</A>'s pay-per-view alternative as the DVD/Divx war begins to heat up in earnest. Recently, a neutral, informative <A HREF="http:www.abcnews.com/sections/tech/dailynews/divx980917.html">introducti... to Divx by Chris Stamper appeared on the ABC News website. Stamper's story included an opportunity for readers---who, presumably, had read the piece and were now reasonably well-informed about Divx---to vote on whether or not they would spend $449.99 for a Divx player.

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Posted: Sep 20, 1998 0 comments

Less than four years old, <A HREF="http://www.directv.com">DirecTV</A> announced last week that its subscriber base has hit the four-million mark, which puts it in one of every 25 TV households in the US. Other interesting statistics about DirecTV: 120 million pay-per-view movies and special-event purchases have been made; a total of approximately 200,000 hours of professional and collegiate sporting events have been broadcast; and a monthly churn rate of 1% has been maintained. (This is the percentage of subscribers who disconnect; DirecTV claims its churn rate is the lowest in the multichannel-video industry.)

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Robert Deutsch Posted: Sep 20, 1998 0 comments

B<I>ill Murray, Joanne Whalley, Richard Wilson, Alfred Molina, Peter Gallagher. Directed by Jon Amiel. Aspect ratios: 1.85:1 (anamorphic), side one; pan&scan, side 2. Dolby Digital 5.1. 94 minutes. 1997. Warner Bros. 15626. Rated PG. $24.95.</I>

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Posted: Sep 20, 1998 0 comments

Less than four years old, <A HREF="http://www.directv.com">DirecTV</A> announced last week that it has hit the four million subscriber mark, a number that the company says puts it in one of every 25 TV households in the US. Other interesting statistics about DirecTV: 120 million pay-per-view movies and special event purchases have been made; A total of approximately 200,000 hours of professional and collegiate sporting events have been broadcast; Maintained a monthly churn rate (percentage of subscribers who disconnect) of 1 percent (DirecTV claims that this is the lowest in the multichannel video industry. )

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Jon Iverson Posted: Sep 20, 1998 0 comments

It's hard enough to transform one facet of the consumer-electronics industry, let alone three or four. But if Motorola's recent gamble with their new set-top box technology (code-named "<A HREF="http://www.motorola.com/semi/blackbird">Blackbird</A>") pays off, they could accomplish just that.

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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 19, 1998 0 comments

DVD will be getting a big boost this fall. <A HREF="http://www.sel.sony.com/">Sony</A> has announced a multipronged promotion with Internet film distributor <A HREF="http://www.netflix.com/">NetFlix</A> and several major video retailers that will expose thousands of movie lovers to the new format. The program will run simultaneously with one <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?242">announced</A> recently by <A HREF="http://www.blockbuster.com/video/">Blockbuster Video</A> and <A HREF="http://www.philips.com/">Philips Electronics</A>. The Sony/NetFlix and Blockbuster/Philips promotionals were announced in the wake of <A HREF="http://www.circuitcity.com/">Circuit City</A>'s <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?243">admission</A> that, without outside funding, it will have to cut back on its Divx marketing effort.

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Posted: Sep 19, 1998 0 comments

Evolution, not revolution. That's how Fujio Nishida, president of <A HREF="http://www.sel.sony.com/">Sony Electronics</A> Consumer Products Marketing Group, characterizes the coming debut of high-definition television. "This is just the beginning," Nishida said at a press conference on September 16 at which Sony's first direct-view HDTV, the KW-HD1, was unveiled.

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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 19, 1998 0 comments

As applied to Hollywood's profits and losses, creative writing could soon become a much more difficult craft. On September 18, a new set of strict accounting guidelines for film studios was taken under consideration by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, a movie-industry panel that establishes rules for accountants. The new standards are designed to bring Hollywood accounting more into line with standard business practices, or "to make the balance sheet tighter, more representationally faithful," as Standards Board project manager Frank Scheuerell puts it.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Sep 13, 1998 0 comments

The annual Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) show has just vacated New Orleans, leaving several interesting announcements for home-theater fans in its wake. Custom-installation products and home-automation technologies usually cram the aisles, but among the in-wall speakers and specialized wiring systems were plenty of new consumer-electronics products.

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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 12, 1998 0 comments

An otherwise good year for <A HREF="http://www.circuitcity.com/">Circuit City</A> could be marred by the debut of Divx. On August 31, the Richmond, VA-based company announced that earnings for the most recent quarter of their fiscal year would increase from 44 to 46 cents per share, up primarily on the sales strength of DSS, computers, wireless and mobile electronics, and major appliances. However, investments in Divx could reduce earnings substantially for the second half, during which the pay-per-view DVD alternative will get its official launch.

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