AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Posted: Dec 26, 1999 0 comments

The most successful consumer-electronics format of all time has hit a new record for software sales. Well over one million of the silver discs were sold in the week ending Sunday, December 19, the <A HREF="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/">Hollywood Reporter</A> noted on December 22.

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Posted: Dec 26, 1999 0 comments

Last week, the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> reported that factory-to-dealer sales of digital television (DTV) products posted their fourth consecutive month of growth in November by topping 22,000 units, bringing total year-to-date sales to 97,481. According to these numbers, November's record sales brought total sales since introduction (August 1998) to 110,657.

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Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments

Last week, JVC Americas announced that it has consolidated its projector operations&mdash;both JVC-branded projection systems and Hughes-JVC-branded systems&mdash;into <A HREF="http://www.jvc.com/pro">JVC Professional Products Company</A>, and will develop and market all future projection systems under the JVC brand. The company says that this consolidation will result in the creation of a new Visual Systems Division, effective next month. JVC says it hopes that the reorganized company will grow its projection-display business by more than 15% in the year 2000.

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Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments

Most of this site's visitors enjoy home theater. Now, thanks to a huge boost in funding for <A HREF="http://www.Broadwayarchive.com/"> Broadway Digital Entertainment</A> (BDE), we'll be able to enjoy theater at home, too. BDE has just received $3 million to help put its archive of historic theatrical performances out on VHS tape.

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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments

How much responsibility should broadcasters be required to take in serving the public interest? On December 16, the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> launched an inquiry into the subject with a call for comments from the very people who will be served best, or worst, by the dawning age of digital television&mdash;the viewing public.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments

It's the ultimate chicken-or-egg television question: Which will come first, Internet over TV or TV over the Internet? Last week, <A HREF="http://www.broadwing.com">Broadwing</A> gave a nod to the latter when it announced that its subsidiary ZoomTown.com has unveiled <A HREF="http://www.intertainer.com">Intertainer</A>, which the company describes as "a new video-on-demand service" for customers with high-speed, high-bandwidth ADSL online connections. Broadwing says that ZoomTown customers will be among the first in the nation able to receive the service in early 2000. Subscribers will pay the normal monthly fee for DSL service, and will then be charged for their video selections on a pay-per-view basis.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 19, 1999 0 comments

Both <A HREF="http://www.tivo.com">TiVo</A> and <A HREF="http://www.replaytv.com">ReplayTV</A> pioneered a new product category for television addicts that allows consumers to record programs on hard-disk-based digital recorders for later playback (see <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?565">previous story</A>). The market is now heating up with recent announcements from several new players in the field.

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Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments

A demonstration of digital television broadcasting in New York City last week may have laid to rest fears about the viability of the Advanced Television Standards Committee's transmission technology. The technique, known as 8-VSB, has been under attack from some quarters, particularly Sinclair Broadcasting, as being inadequate to prevent severe multipath distortion, which results from reflected signals arriving at a receiver slightly later than direct signals. In digital TV, multipath can cause a screen to go blank.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.thomson-multimedia.com">Thomson multimedia</A> announced a major investment and development partnership with <A HREF="http://www.geocast.com">Geocast Network Systems</A>, in an alliance that the company claims is intended to deploy a comprehensive terrestrial broadcast-based digital television datacasting system and service to millions of homes from coast to coast. Thomson says it is making a $15 million investment in Geocast Network Systems, and that "the result will be seamless, high-quality playback of rich-media content at a moment's notice from home entertainment and information devices."

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Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments

Francis Ford Coppola wants to make you an offer you can't refuse: the five-time Academy Award-winning writer/director and winemaker says he is now turning his creative talents to the Internet and e-commerce. His Napa Valley winery, Niebaum-Coppola, has recently launched a new <A HREF="http://www.niebaum-coppola.com">website</A> that proffers videos, food, and wine, along with contests for movie items from Coppola films.

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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments

A plan by <A HREF="http://www.blockbuster.com/">Blockbuster Inc.</A>, the world's #1 video chain, to turn its major rival's stores into Blockbuster franchises, has been blocked by the <A HREF="http://www.ftc.gov/">Federal Trade Commission</A>, the <A HREF="http://www.wsj.com/"><I>Wall Street Journal</I></A> reported December 10. Blockbuster had planned to put its name on Hollywood Video's approximately 1500 stores.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 12, 1999 0 comments

Every few months we receive news that someone else is trying to bring 3D TV to consumers (see previous stories <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?408">1</A> and <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?362">2</A>). Last week, <A HREF="http://www.ddd.com">Dynamic Digital Depth</A> announced that it will preview its version of 3D cable television, delivered through a <A HREF="http://www.gi.com">General Instrument</A> DCT-5000+ advanced interactive digital consumer terminal, at the Western Show this week in Los Angeles.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 05, 1999 0 comments

In addition to the predictable numbers generated by megabuck-grossing films like <I>The Matrix</I> and <I>Titanic</I> (see <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?587">related story</A>), we figure that <I>SGHT</I> readers might also be interested in what's at the opposite end of the list. After rummaging around, we discovered the website for <A HREF="http://www.awcm.com">The Amazing World of Cult Movies</A>, self-described as "the Internet's definitive reference source for the celebration of alternative cinema."

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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 05, 1999 0 comments

The popularity of DVD and home theater is driving sales of big-screen television sets to new heights&mdash;despite the fact that the rollout of digital television may make them obsolete in the near future. Sales of big-screen sets are up 13% over 1998, according to the latest statistics from the <A HREF="http://www.cemacity.org/">Consumer Electronics Association</A>. Ninety percent of the approximately 1 million units sold in 1990 were equipped to display only NTSC analog signals&mdash;or "legacy video," as industry insiders call it.

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Posted: Dec 05, 1999 0 comments

Last week, we announced the <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?583">stats on DVD players</A>, which have proven to be one of the hottest format launches in consumer-electronics history. This week, we follow up with recent numbers on DVD software. The results show that, four weeks before the all-important Christmas holiday shopping season, shoppers spiked DVD software sales as they snapped up movies and music videos over the Thanksgiving weekend.

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