Seven Samurai Done Justice on DVD

T<I>oshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Ko Kimura. Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Aspect ratio: 4:3. Monaural (Japanese with English subtitles). Two layers. 203 minutes. 1954. Criterion Collection #2. Not Rated. 39.95.</I>

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Warner Bros. and MGM Negotiate Early Termination of Video-Distribution Agreement

In an effort to regain full control of its video library worldwide, <A HREF=http://www.mgm.com">Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer</A> announced last week that it has entered into an agreement with <A HREF="http://www.warnerbros.com">Warner Bros.</A> for an early termination of its existing video-distribution agreement with Warner Home Video. The original agreement with WHV was to end in May 2003.

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Pro BB: Trail Blazers Defeat Timberwolves in HDTV

The Oregon Trail Blazers of the National Basketball League lived up to their name in more ways than one on Friday, March 5, when they teamed up with <A HREF="http://www.unitymotion.com/">Unity Motion</A> and Oregon Public Broadcasting for the West Coast's first-ever professional basketball game in HDTV. Oregon PBS has the only functional HDTV system in the state.

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Audio/Video Hard-Disk Technology Announced for HDTV Applications

Using hard-drive technology to store audio and video data has become a growth industry of late, with startups <A HREF="http://www.tivo.com">TiVo</A> and <A HREF="http://www.replaytv.com">Replay</A> taking the lead (see <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?353">previous</A> articles). Consumer-electronics giant Sony has also gotten into the act with its <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?321">announcement</A> last December that it will team up with Western Digital to develop hard-disk-based products.

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Kubrick Left Legacy for Home Theater Fans

Stanley Kubrick's death on Sunday, March 7, stunned the film community and millions of the director's fans worldwide. He was in the process of completing the finishing technical touches on his last film, <I>Eyes Wide Shut</I>, and editing a trailer for it. His family reported that he died in his sleep, just five days after the film's first private screening for Warner Bros. executives.

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Faroudja Experiences Mixed Results from Recent Patent Suits

Last week, video-technology developer <A HREF="http://www.faroudja.com">Faroudja</A> announced the resolution of a patent dispute with <A HREF="http://www.snellwilcox.com/">Snell & Wilcox</A>. In the dispute, Faroudja alleged that S&W's Interpolator infringed a patent held by Faroudja as well as two patents licensed by Faroudja from General Instrument on an exclusive basis in certain fields.

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DTV Sales Figures for 1998

Based on DTV-sales data released by the <A HREF="http://www.cema.org">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A>, <A HREF="http://www.mitsubishi-tv.com">Mitsubishi</A> is the market-share leader in digital televisions sold in the US for 1998. According to its own figures, Mitsubishi sold 9639 units, which constitutes 73.2% of all units reported by CEMA to have been sold last year.

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DTV Summit Concludes

Four major industries banded together last week to focus on the business issues necessary to bring digital TV to the American consumer. More than 300 people attended the fourth DTV Summit, which was sponsored by the <A HREF="http://www.cema.org">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA) in conjunction with the <A HREF="http://www.mstv.org/">Association for Maximum Service Television</A> (MSTV), the <A HREF="http://www.nab.org">National Association of Broadcasters</A> (NAB), the <A HREF="http://www.ncta.com/">National Cable Television Association</A> (NCTA), and the <A HREF="http://www.sbca.com/">Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association</A> (SBCA). The one-day summit featured leaders from the consumer-electronics, broadcast, cable, satellite, and retail industries discussing their latest plans and strategies for the DTV transition.

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The Thing Rises on DVD

K<I>urt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard A. Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat. Directed by John Carpenter. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 109 minutes. 1982. Universal Home Video 20329. Rated R. $34.98.</I>

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CableLabs Certifies the First Consumer Cable Modems

Competition to dominate the market in providing high-speed data connections to the home keeps heating up. In an effort to make cable modems broadly available, the cable industry has recognized the need for the modems to use a common interface. Thus was born the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) process. Just as computer owners today know they can buy a modem that will work on any phone line, cable-industry leaders want their subscribers to be able to buy a "CableLabs Certified" modem at a retail outlet and know it will work with any cable system that uses the DOCSIS platform.

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