And HDTV For All

Last week, <A HREF="">STMicroelectronics</A>, which manufactures semiconductor devices used in set-top boxes (STBs), High Definition Television (HDTV), and other sophisticated digital consumer equipment, announced what it describes as the "world's most advanced chip" for the HDTV market. STM says that the new STi7020 "brings an unprecedented level of integration to the HDTV industry" and adds that the chip is expected to play a key role in the transition from standard definition to HDTV technology.

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DTV: Powell, CEA Press Cable Industry

The cable industry continues to be the major obstacle to expanding the market for digital television (DTV). That's the view of the <A HREF="">Consumer Electronics Association</A>, which in June asked the <A HREF="">Federal Communications Commission</A> to consider instituting what it termed "a capacity-based dual or multicast cable carriage rule" to encourage the growth of the format.

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Satellite HDTV Gets a Boost

EchoStar's Mark Jackson puts it succinctly: "Our customers want access to more channels, and they are increasingly demanding bandwidth-intensive HDTV channels." But there is only so much bandwidth available between the satellite in the sky and the dish on the ground, and that bandwidth is carefully divided among channels. The more channels on the system, the less bandwidth available for added features like HDTV.

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Onkyo's TX-DS696 Receiver Does High-Def

Many home theater receivers have excellent audio capabilities, but not many boast state-of-the-art video features. Onkyo has changed that with its TX-DS696, a 5 x 100-watt home theater receiver with component video switching and the ability to mix and match composite and S-video components. This feature is the result of a proprietary YC separator/mixer that "reconciles the incompatibility of composite and S-Video signals," according to company publicity. "Without this circuit, the video source, receiver, and video monitor must all use the same type of video connection."
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Home Theater in a Box Gets Serious: JBL ProPack 600

It's no secret that home theater is the fastest growing sector of the consumer electronics industry. The HT phenomenon has been a boon to manufacturers and retailers alike.
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InFocus Launches Sage LP530 Projector

Video projectors keep getting smaller, lighter, and better looking&mdash;especially from companies like <A HREF="">InFocus Corporation</A>. InFocus choose the recent INFOCOMM show in Las Vegas, held June 13&ndash;15, to debut the new LP530 digital video projector, which incorporates Sage's FLI2200 deinterlacer. The FLI2200 is the world's first 10-bit single-chip motion adaptive deinterlacer, with Faroudja's deinterlacing and post-processing algorithms to convert standard interlaced video signals into progressive scan signals. The resulting image is said to be among the best available, with an absolute minimum of motion artifacts, flicker, or color irregularities.

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The World of Chess Prodigies

<I>Joe Mantegna, Joan Allen, Max Pomeranc, Ben Kingsley, Laurence Fishburne. Directed by Steve Zaillian. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 2.0. 109 minutes. 1992. Paramount 32673. PG. $29.99.</I>

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European Commission Begins Probe of DVD Pricing

It's no secret that plenty of commodities cost more in Europe than they do in the United States. Gasoline, for example, is typically two to three times more expensive on the eastern side of the Atlantic.

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NEC Ships World's First 61" Plasma Monitor

<A HREF="">NEC</A> announced last week that it will begin sales in Japan on July 23 of what it describes as the industry's largest plasma display monitor, with a panel size of 61 inches (155cm diagonal) and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The introduction of the PX-61XM1, NEC says, will make it the first company to take the jumbo-size screen from the prototype stage to mass production. The suggested retail price of the plasma monitor is initially expected to be $27,995.

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Dual Channel PVRs Announced

When the hard-disk&ndash;based personal video recorder (PVR) products like TiVo and ReplayTV hit the shelves last year, they brought a new flexibility to time-shifting television programming. But the first products still had shortcomings: What could you do if you wanted to time-shift two programs from two different channels simultaneously? Buy two machines?

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