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EchoStar in Merger Talks with GM
Direct broadcast satellite service <A HREF="http://www.echostar.com">EchoStar</A> is serious about acquiring <A HREF="http://www.directv.com">DirecTV</A>, its larger competitor, by acquiring Hughes Electronics, a subsidiary of General Motors. Hughes operates DirecTV. On August 5, EchoStar announced that it had proposed an all-stock transaction valuing Hughes at $32 billion based on EchoStar's stock closing price on August 3.
Superbit DVDs Coming
Is there still some video quality to be wrung out of the DVD format? Will you buy yet another version of <I>The Fifth Element</I> on DVD? <A HREF="http://www.cthe.com">Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment</A> (CTHE) thinks so, announcing last week the launch of "The Superbit Collection," slated for release starting October 9. CTHE says that the Superbit titles will utilize a special high^#150;bit-rate digital encoding process which "optimizes video quality" while offering a choice of both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
TI Announces New 16:9 DLP Chip
<A HREF="http://www.ti.com">Texas Instruments</A> continues to push the envelope of high definition video. On August 8, the Dallas-based technology company announced a new version of its HD-1 Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). The semiconductor chip is the heart of TI's Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology, considered by many to be the best choice for creating high-quality images.
The HDTV Internet?
Last week, <A HREF="http://www.2netFX.com">2netFX</A> reported that its ThunderCastIP technology was used successfully in a recent HDTV-over-IP live demonstration conducted by the government's NASA Research and Education Network (NREN). ThunderCastIP is a multicast server for high-definition video streaming over ordinary IP-based networks; it was also <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?968">used last March</A> to send HDTV from Hawaii to California.
In the Line of Fire On DVD
<I>Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1. 127 minutes. 1993. Columbia TriStar Home Video 52317. R. $29.95.</I>
Mordaunt-Short Speakers Round Out Marantz HT Lineup
Is your enthusiasm for home theater bigger than your available space? Love great sound but hate stacks of amplifiers? Check out Mordaunt-Short
's new Declaration Series System 500 THX select home theater speaker system. The legendary British loudspeaker maker has recently returned to the US with several high-performance lines.