Surround Sound Standouts

It's been almost two years since DVD-Audio was introduced and a little more than a year since Super Audio CD (SACD) went multichannel. In that time, SACD has amassed a catalog of about 150 surround sound music titles, while DVD-Audio has put out around 200.

Block Busters

Yes, an R2D2-sized subwoofer with an 18-inch driver and a thousand-plus watts of amplification can look and sound awfully impressive - and can cause some pretty serious seismic damage to boot. But let's get real: how many of us can afford something like that?

Access Denied II

Illustrations by Sandra Shap

You're all set to record a pay-per-view movie through the digital set-top box your cable provider installed just hours ago. But when you program it to record, your DVD recorder flashes a cryptic message indicating that the show can't be copied. Must be the usual screw-up by the cable company, you reason.

DVR Sales Slowing?

Consumer interest in digital video recorders appears to be slowing, according to an August 13 report from <I>Screen Digest</I> magazine.

Inherit the Wind on DVD

<I>Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Donna Anderson, Harry Morgan, Claude Akins. Directed by Stanley Kramer. Aspect ratio: 1.66:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 1.0 (English, French, Spanish). B&W. 128 minutes. 1960. MGM 1002740. NR. $14.95.</I>

Industry News Roundup

The cable industry isn't a happy one these days. Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable provider in the US, is under investigation by federal prosecutors for possible accounting irregularities. Owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Charter was on the receiving end of a grand jury subpoena delivered Thursday, August 15 by the US Attorney's office in St. Louis, MO, Charter's home city. The cable service has more than 6.8 million customers in 40 states.

Added to the Archives This Week

Michael Fremer meets up with the <A HREF="">Kenwood Sovereign VR-5900 audio/video receiver</A> and reports whether or not a curvaceous all-in-one receiver can float his home theater boat.

EchoStar's Good Fortune

Financial life is looking good for <A HREF="">EchoStar Communications Corporation</A>. The Littleton, CO-based direct broadcast satellite operator reported second-quarter profits of $45.8 million, with revenue up 21%, to $1.17 billion. EchoStar's subscribership increased by 295,000 during the quarter, and the company is predicting that it could add more than 1.2 million new subscribers to its DISH network in 2002, with a total approaching eight million by year's end. EchoStar reported the results August 15.

Runco PlasmaWall

Tired of stumbling around in pitch-blackness? Want to watch movies in a well-lit room? Runco's "CX" series of plasma screens lets you do just that. The 42", 50", and 61" models of the company's PlasmaWall displays offer incredible brightness and extraordinary contrast.

Fosgate Audionics FAA1000.5

Fosgate Audionics has begun shipping a new five-channel modular amplifier that enables custom configuration and simplifies in-field service.


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