But What About That Personal Copy They Promised Us?
In spite of our <A HREF="http://hrrc.org/">guaranteed right</A> to make a personal copy of the CDs and videos we purchase, <A HREF="http://www.foxhome.com/">Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment</A> and <A HREF="http://www.macrovision.com/">Macrovision Corporation</A> announced last week that they have signed a one-year agreement to copy-protect all of Fox's DVDs produced in the US and Canada. Fox will also use the triangular "CP" (copy protection) logo in a substantial number of its trade advertisements to inform video retailers that its DVDs are copy-protected.
The Future of Audio/Video Content Storage?
Last week, <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony</A> and computer storage company <A HREF="http://www.westerndigital.com">Western Digital</A> announced that they will form a strategic partnership to co-develop a new hard-disk drive (HDD) for consumer audio and video applications. According to the announcement, prototypes of the AV HDD will be developed and tested for verification of basic technologies by the end of March 1999. Commercialization of the AV HDD is being targeted for the year 2000.
Hughes Electronics Buyout Will Combine USSB, DirecTV
The two biggest names in the direct broadcast satellite (DBS) business are about to become one. On Monday, December 14, Hughes Electronics Corporation announced that it will buy <A HREF="http://www.ussb.com/">United States Satellite Broadcasting Company</A> (USSB) for $1.3 billion in stock and cash.
Cable vs. Satellite vs. DSL
TV life used to be pretty simple: Stick a pair of rabbit ears on the set, and if you lived near a big city, pull in a dozen channels or so---more if you had a UHF tuner. Now we have cable as well as satellite dishes big and small. In the near future, even your phone company could get into the act with some form of digital subscriber line (DSL) service. But of all these choices, which offers the best value? Two recent studies attempt to unravel the choices facing consumers with an analysis of the options.
FireWire Home Networks Get Hot
The Doom Generation Spills Onto DVD
J<I>onathan Schaech, Rose McGowan, James Duval. Directed by Gregg Araki. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1. Dolby Surround 2.0. 83 minutes. 1995. TRI6836. Not rated. $24.95.</I>
Seagram to Blend PolyGram/Universal Units; Will Eat Costs
Several months into one of the biggest mergers the entertainment industry has ever seen, Seagram Company has announced that many of the film and video operations it acquired in its buyout of PolyGram NV will be absorbed into its Universal Studios division. A flurry of pink slips for PolyGram employees, a shuffling of Universal management following a box-office slump, and a hefty write-down for the current quarter are all part of the script.
CEMA: Forrester Research Wrong on HDTV
Gary Shapiro, president of the <A HREF="http://www.cemacity.org/">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA), lashed out last week at technology-trends research firm Forrester Research after FR issued a November <A HREF="http://www.forrester.com/Marketing/0,1051,58,00.html">report</A> dismissing consumer interest in high-definition television (HDTV). The report, authored by Josh Bernoff, foresees that digital TV will take off, but that most consumers won't be sufficiently smitten with hi-def pictures to go for the technology in a big way---or at least not in a way that will fully benefit makers of HD receivers.
Each Month, the Strategy Becomes More Clear . . .
Software titan <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com">Microsoft</A> has big eyes <I>and</I> a big stomach, as evidenced by the company's announcements at the Western Cable Show in Anaheim, California, last week. It's no secret that the software giant has been eyeing consumers' living rooms for years, hoping to get Windows CE (WinCE), a junior version of the ubiquitous Windows operating system, into portable devices and TV sets.
Broadcast Bigwigs Gather at the Western Cable Show
Cable companies have found themselves under assault from the direct broadcast satellite (DBS) forces for several years now, and they face new potential competition from local phone companies' digital subscriber line (DSL) systems. As a result, they have begun to circle their wagons in an attempt to ward off further damage.