AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Posted: Jan 24, 1999 0 comments

On January 19, <A HREF="http://www.filmscouts.com">Film Scouts</A> announced the Internet premiere of the legendary film <I>Koyaanisqatsi</I>, which will occur at 7 pm PST, Sunday, February 7, 1999. Originally released in 1983, the film was produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by Godfrey Reggio, and it features a score by Philip Glass. The Web debut of <I>Koyaanisqatsi</I> is presented by Film Scouts in collaboration with the Internet Protocol Multicast Initiative (IPMI) as the centerpiece of the IP Multicast Summit, an event showcasing advancements in IP multicast technology.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 24, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.philips.com">Philips</A>, <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.sun.com">Sun Microsystems</A> formally announced plans to collaborate in connecting Sun's Jini technology with the <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?317">Home Audio-Video interoperability</A> (HAVi) architecture, which is being developed by several consumer-electronics manufacturers. According to a joint statement, the companies plan to provide a solution that links HAVi-compliant appliances in the home to services provided by Jini technology over a network.

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Posted: Jan 24, 1999 0 comments

Late last week, <A HREF="http://www.hughes.com">Hughes Electronics</A> announced that it had reached an agreement with <A HREF="http://www.primestar.com">PrimeStar</A> to acquire the 2.3-million-subscriber PrimeStar direct broadcast satellite (DBS) medium-power business and Tempo high-power satellite asset in two transactions valued at approximately $1.82 billion. The combination of <A HREF="http://www.DirecTV.com">DirecTV</A> and PrimeStar---along with United States Satellite Broadcasting (USSB), the multichannel movie service that agreed to merge with Hughes last month ($1.3 billion in cash and stock)---makes DirecTV one of the top three television subscriber services in the US.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 23, 1999 0 comments

Although the original intent behind digital television was simply "better quality," the unfolding format will create unimagined opportunities for both Internet entrepreneurs and makers of widescreen computer displays, according to a recent report from electronics-industry observers <A HREF="http://www.mcgweb.com/">The McLaughlin Consulting Group</A>. The implementation of HDTV was the stated agenda by those involved in its design and rollout, but the biggest opportunities won't befall broadcasters, satellite providers, or traditional makers of television sets, the report says. In fact, many of the original participants might not reap the full rewards of the new technology.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 23, 1999 0 comments

Digital video-production equipment by <A HREF="http://www.sony.com/professional/">Sony Electronics</A> is one highlight at the <A HREF="http://www.sundance.org/">Sundance Film Festival</A>, currently taking place in Park City, Utah. During the first weekend, the Festival's New Media and Technology Center featured camcorder demonstrations, panel discussions, and video presentations of Sony's HDCAM, Digital Betacam, DVCAM, and consumer DV digital-video formats. This is the fourth consecutive year that Sony has put on this demonstration at Sundance.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 17, 1999 0 comments

Buried in all the hoopla and exciting digital television news at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month was the answer to many DVD fans' prayers: <A HREF="http://www.philipsusa.com">Philips Electronics</A> announced that it has developed a technology for real-time recording of DVD-Video discs. According to Philips, the recorded discs can be played back on existing DVD-Video players, offering up to four hours of record/playback time at various levels of quality.

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Posted: Jan 17, 1999 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.cirrus.com">Cirrus Logic</A> announced an agreement that will make possible broad deployment of THX-grade home-theater systems. In a press release, the company says it has licensed THX home-theater DSP (digital signal processing) algorithms from Lucasfilm for upcoming audio products. "Cirrus Logic thus becomes the first semiconductor manufacturer to combine THX post-processing capabilities with economical, embedded certified software for all popular audio DVD decoding standards. For leading-brand mass-market suppliers, this solution will simplify designs, reduce costs, and lower the price point for implementing THX audio technology into A/V hi-fi receiver amplifiers that support playback of DVD movies."

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 16, 1999 0 comments

Millions of video tapes are being recalled by Walt Disney Company because of a production prank that took place 23 years ago. A re-release of <I>The Rescuers</I>, which originally played in theaters in 1977 and was first released on video in 1992, is being pulled from distribution to clean up a couple of frames in which someone inserted the image of a nude woman---an image so short-lived that it can't be seen during normal viewing.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 16, 1999 0 comments

Chip makers continue to up the ante as computers and television converge. <A HREF="http://www.intel.com/">Intel Corporation</A> has announced the Pentium III, the latest in its famous line of high-speed microprocessors. The new chip, which will replace the highly regarded Pentium II, has been optimized for audio/video, graphics, and data communication with the addition of 70 new instruction codes. It will run at a basic clock rate of 450-500 MHz---fast enough to process high-definition television signals.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jan 16, 1999 0 comments

Is your local cable company tempting you with a low-cost upgrade package? The improvement it's offering isn't coming from the kindness of its corporate heart, but because cable companies are feeling the heat from satellite competitors, thanks to some strategic alliances with regional telephone companies.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Jan 06, 1999 0 comments

J<B>anuary 7, 11am</B><BR>Using a new 61" ProScan HDTV, Thomson Consumer Electronics demonstrated a high-definition DVD that uses Divx technology to decode the fully encrypted digital signal coming from a special ProScan Divx-compatible DVD player. According to Thomson's Larry Pesce, "The beauty of our high-definition process is that the HD signal is never sent unencrypted to the display device."

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 03, 1999 0 comments

1999 started off in fine detail for the thousands of early adopters who have picked up a high-definition television. January 1, the 110th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, was broadcast to digital-television viewers for the first time in full 1920x1080 HDTV. Tribune Broadcasting's <A HREF="http://www.ktla.com/">KTLA-DT</A> transmitted this year's parade in hi-def using a <A HREF="http://www.nmtv.com/">National Mobile Television</A> (NMT) remote broadcast truck, known as the HD-2.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 30, 1998 0 comments

We knew it <i>had</i> to happen---it was merely a matter of who and when. Sony or Pioneer seemed likely candidates to first blaze the multi-DVD trail, maybe with a five-disc changer to ease us into the concept, but high-end video-projection company Runco has gotten a jump on both of those giants.

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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 29, 1998 0 comments

It's extremely rare for low-budget foreign films to catch on with American audiences. Most that are lucky enough to get distribution in the States spend a few poorly attended weeks in the art houses, then quietly disappear. <I>The Full Monty</I>, a British film about a group of unemployed Sheffield steel workers putting together a "Chippendales"-type revue, has done just the opposite.

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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 28, 1998 0 comments

Movie fans the world over are mourning the passing of Toshiro Mifune, Japan's greatest film actor. Mifune died December 24 at a hospital in Mitaka, Japan, not far from his home in Tokyo. The cause of death was an unspecified "organ failure." Mifune was 77.

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