Echostar's Ka-band Clipped

<A HREF="http://www.echostar.com">Echostar Communications</A> has been planning to merge its popular Ku-band TV satellite service with Ka-band spectra that could add two-way broadbrand and interactive satellite Internet services, just like its competitors DirecTV and <A HREF="http://www.Direcpc.com/">DirecPC</A>have done. Operating on the 17.7 GHz, 21.2 GHz, 27.5 GHz and 31 GHz spectra, the KA-band slots would enable EchoStar's satellite to cover large areas with broadband service.

John Frankenheimer, 1930–2002

John Frankenheimer, director of <I>The Manchurian Candidate</I> and <I>Birdman of Alcatraz</I>, died Saturday, July 6, of a stroke following spinal surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 72.

The DVD Bootstrap

They say a rising tide lifts all boats. It appears that the popularity of the DVD format is having a tremendous impact on sales of home theater components, according to the latest sales figures released by <A HREF="http://www.npdtechworld.com">NPDTechworld</A>.

Heist on DVD

<I>Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo, Sam Rockwell, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ricky Jay. Directed by David Mamet. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French). 109 minutes. 1999. Warner Video 21321. R. $24.98.</I>

HDMI 0.9 Released

The <A HREF="http://www.hdmi.org">High Definition Multimedia Interface</A> (HDMI) organization announced last week that the draft specification version 0.9 defining <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?1274">HDMI digital interface</A> for consumer electronics is now available for review at the organization's <A HREF="http://www.hdmi.org">Website</A>. The HDMI members include Hitachi, Matsushita (Panasonic), Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson Multimedia, and Toshiba.

Blockbuster Case Dismissed

Chalk up another one for the big guys. A San Antonio, TX judge has dismissed price-fixing <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?1318">charges</A> brought by independent video dealers against video retail giant Blockbuster, Inc. and several Hollywood studios.

Lucasfilm Spins off THX

Lucasfilm Ltd.'s THX division has been spun off as an independent company, according to an end of June announcement.

EchoStar Goes FireWire

The future for high definition digital video connection technology remains cloudy, so having a few choices is a plus. <A HREF="http://www.vividlogic.com">VividLogic</A>, which specializes in creating software for IEEE 1394 (Firewire, iLink) enabled consumer electronics products, announced last week that it has struck a deal with <A HREF="http://www.dishnetwork.com">EchoStar Communications</A> to deploy VividLogic's "FireBus" software to provide digital connectivity and interoperability in a future, next generation HDTV-compatible set-top box (STB).

Manufacturers Push Hard with DTVs

Large electronics makers are in a fierce battle to dominate the emerging market for digital television sets. Tactics include better features and bigger screens at unprecedented prices.

Epson's 1st Home Theater Projector

Epson is making a bold foray into the home theater market. On June 28, the venerable printer maker debuted its "first-ever home theater" video projector. Epson has long made projectors for the business presentation market, and the move into home theater was a natural progression, according to company marketing executives.

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