TCI's Malone Says No to HDTV
Plans by the NBC and CBS networks to transmit 1080i HDTV this fall are "suicidal," according to John Malone, chairman of <A HREF="http://www.tci.com/">Tele-Communications, Inc.</A> On May 5, at the <A HREF="http://www.ncta.com/">National Cable Television Association's</A> annual convention in Atlanta, Malone vowed that TCI won't carry HDTV in its ultimate form. A single channel of full-bore HDTV occupies the same transmission bandwidth as 12 low-resolution channels or several standard-resolution channels.
Blade Runner: The Director's Cut on DVD
H<I>arrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, Joe Turkel. Directed by Ridley Scott. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1. Dolby Surround. Two sides. 117 minutes. Theatrical version, 1982; director's cut, 1991. Warner Bros. Home Video 12682. Rated R. $29.95.</I>
Three Days of Home Theater, Music, and Advice Only Weeks Away
It's just about a month away: <A HREF="http://www.hifishow.com">HI-FI '98</A>, The Home Theater & Specialty Audio Show, will attract thousands of home-theater enthusiasts when it visits The Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel in Los Angeles, California from Wednesday, June 10 to Sunday, June 14, 1998.
More Video-On-Demand News from the Cable Kingdom
On April 30, <A HREF="http://www.gi.com">General Instrument Corporation</A> and <A HREF="http://www.divatv.com">DIVA Systems Corporation</A> signed a letter of intent defining an agreement to market DIVA's OnSet video-on-demand (VOD) service on GI's DCT-1000 and DCT-1200 interactive digital-cable set-top boxes. This joint effort will enable cable operators who use the GI system to commercially deploy an OpenCable-compliant implementation of the OnSet VOD service by this fall.
Build It and They Will Come?
DVD interloper Divx has not won the hearts and minds of early adopters, but that isn't stopping its proponents from laying out some serious cash for future orders. Last week, <A HREF="http://www.nimbuscd.com">Nimbus CD International, Inc.</A> and <A HREF="http://www.divx.com">Digital Video Express</A>, developer of the Divx system, announced that they have signed a five-year, multi-million-disc replication agreement.
NetChannel Abandons TV/Internet Service
Surprise, <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com">Microsoft's</A> <A HREF="http://www.webtv.com">WebTV</A> is now the only player in the TV/Internet game. On Wednesday, April 29, NetChannel Inc. threw in the towel, announcing that it was getting out of the business of bringing the Internet into homes via set-top converter boxes. The $20-per-month service never gained a large enough following to become profitable.
The Fifth Element on DVD
B<I>ruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker, Milla Jovovich. Directed by Luc Besson. Aspect ratios: pan&scan, 2.35:1 anamorphic. Dolby Digital 5.1. Two sides. 126 minutes. 1997. Columbia TriStar Home Video 82409. Rated PG-13. $29.95.</I>
Paramount Relents, Will Issue Open-Format DVDs
Trekkers, rejoice! <A HREF="http://www.paramount.com">Paramount Home Video</A>, owner of the Star Trek franchise and Indiana Jones movies, will release open-format DVDs this year, the company announced Monday, April 27. The decision comes two weeks after <A HREF="http://www.blockbuster.com/">Blockbuster Music & Video</A> announced that it would begin a big push with DVD rentals. The growing popularity of DVD was a major factor in both decisions: Consumer-electronics industry analysts predict that there will be as many as one million DVD players in American homes by the end of 1998.
The Silence of the Lambs on DVD
J<I>odie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Dolby Surround (3.1). One side. 118 minutes. 1991. Image Entertainment ID4069ORDVD. Rated R. Price: $29.95.</I>
Computer Makers Focus on Set-top Boxes to Merge TV, PC
Despite the ocean of ink that has been spilled on the subject, most consumers are indifferent about the inclusion of TV tuners in their computers. "Convergence" might be simply another intellectual fad---popular among journalists because it seems so logical, yet flopping among consumers because it really isn't. Most computer users who have responded to marketing studies indicate they don't care if they can receive television on their computers or not.