AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments

Until recently, the ticket price for consumers wishing to get into the high-definition TV game was $5000-$6000. With a new receiver/monitor combination that began shipping the first week of October, <A HREF="http://www.rca.com/">RCA</A> has slashed that price in half. The model MM36100 is a 36"-diagonal digital high-resolution television monitor with a suggested list price of $2499. A companion receiver/converter box, the DTC100, carries a suggested retail price of $649. The pair are expected to sell together for around $3000.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments

In a recent poll conducted on the <I>SGHT</I> website, a majority of home-theater fans expressed their desire for an HDTV version of DVD to get them interested in the new high-definition formats. But so far, the storage capacity required to store the massive amounts of data needed by even 20 minutes of HDTV exceeded anything likely to be available in the foreseeble future.

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Wes Phillips Posted: Oct 10, 1999 0 comments

B<I>reno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira, Lea Garcia. Directed by Marcel Camus. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (widescreen). Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono). 107 minutes. 1959/1999. Criterion Collection 48. NR. $20.96.</I>

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Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments

DVD is finally getting the endorsement it deserves. On Monday, September 27, <A HREF="http://www.blockbuster.com/video">Blockbuster Video</A> announced an aggressive plan to bring the format to 3800 domestic rental locations and 1000 foreign stores by the end of the year. DVDs currently enjoy shelf space in only 900 of Blockbuster's 6600 outlets.

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Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments

Digital television (DTV) sales to dealers exceeded 50,000 units at the end of August, according to figures released last week by the <A HREF="http://www.cemacity.org/">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA). At CEMA's recent DTV Summit, the organization's fifth, CEMA president Gary Shapiro stated that "DTV is moving forward at a promising pace, and we expect continued success in the third and fourth quarters."

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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments

As most home-theater fans know, DVD, the format, arrived ahead of digital television. Despite the fact that video is encoded on a DVD as 480 lines of progressive-scan MPEG-2, the first generations of DVD players put out signals in 525 interlaced lines, otherwise known as NTSC "legacy video." Converter circuitry inside the players makes MPEG-2 video back-compatible with existing TVs. Until recently, it was primarily consumers with DVD-ROM drives in their computers who could enjoy the full benefits of progressive-scan video.

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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments

Think there's a huge market for personal video recorders, or PVRs? So does Wall Street. On September 30, <A HREF="http://www.tivo.com/">TiVo Inc.</A>, the Sunnyvale, California-based maker of hard-disk time-shifters, earned more than $88 million with an initial public stock offering. TiVo shares rose from an opening price of $13.94 to $29.94 each in the first day of trading, a gain of 87%. A total of 5.5 million shares were sold at $16 each.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 03, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.warner.com/">Warner Home Video</A> announced North American shipments to dealers of 1.5 million DVDs of <I>The Matrix</I>, generating $23.4 million in revenues and establishing yet another benchmark in DVD's market acceptance. Setting another industry record, <I>The Matrix</I>, released on DVD September 21, generated sales to consumers of approximately 780,000, or 52% of the shipment totals mentioned above, making it the most successful DVD in first-week sales. According to VideoScan, first-week consumer sales of <I>The Matrix</I> on DVD were three times greater than the next-highest-selling title to date.

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Posted: Sep 26, 1999 0 comments

L.A.'s Beverly Hilton Hotel will be swarming with television executives and technical gurus this week as the <A HREF="http://www.cemacity.org/">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A> (CEMA) hosts its fifth Digital Television Summit conference. The conference officially begins Tuesday, September 28, preceeded by a reception Monday evening featuring a high-definition broadcast of <I>Monday Night Football</I>.

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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 26, 1999 0 comments

Actor George C. Scott was found dead at his home in Westlake Village, California, on Wednesday, September 22. Medical examiner Dr. Janice Frank said the 71-year-old film star died of an abdominal hemorrhage. Scott had been in ill health in recent years; Frank characterized his demise as "a natural death."

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Dave Thompson Posted: Sep 26, 1999 0 comments

J<I>imi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Free, Joni Mitchell, Jethro Tull, Joan Baez. Directed by Murray Lerner. Aspect ratio: 1.66:1 (widescreen). Dolby Digital stereo. 120 minutes. 1995. Sony/Legacy LVD 49335. NR. $19.95.</I>

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Posted: Sep 26, 1999 0 comments

By the first day of November, more than half the nation's television viewers&mdash;those within reach of the <A HREF="http://www.cbs.com/">Columbia Broadcasting System</A>'s 40 major stations&mdash;will be in the "footprint" of HDTV broadcasting from CBS. The network has announced an ambitious production schedule for the fall season that includes at least 12 hours of prime-time HDTV programming each week.

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Posted: Sep 26, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.motorola.com">Motorola</A> and <A HREF="http://www.mds.com/">Momentum Data Systems</A> announced that the THX Surround EX (see <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?277">previous story</A>) audio technology, co-developed by <A HREF="http://www.thx.com">Lucasfilm THX</A> and <A HREF="http://www.dolby.com">Dolby Laboratories</A>, will now be available to THX licensees with their Symphony digital signal-processing (DSP) technology.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Sep 26, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.cirrus.com">Cirrus Logic</A> and <A HREF="http://www.digitalharmony.com">Digital Harmony Technologies</A> announced a licensing agreement that aims to "proliferate affordable, high-bandwidth digital home-entertainment systems." Under the terms of the agreement, Cirrus Logic has licensed the rights to Digital Harmony's IEEE 1394 intellectual property, thereby merging its Crystal audio technology with Digital Harmony's non-proprietary high-bandwidth data bus.

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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 19, 1999 0 comments

Movie fans don't normally associate an organization as stodgy as the <A HREF="http://www.AICPA.org/">American Institute of Certified Public Accountants</A> (AICPA) with the glamour of Hollywood, but as of Tuesday, September 14, the accountants' group will have had an everlasting effect on the industry and its notoriously loose accounting procedures. A new set of rules about the way the industry figures profits and losses will soon cause some irrevocable changes in the financial picture of the movie business.

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