AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 09, 2000 0 comments

Several eagerly awaited special DVD releases are poised to hit the shelves in coming months. <I>American Beauty</I>, winner of five Academy Awards earlier this year, will debut on DVD on October 24. DreamWorks says that the film will be released in a special "Awards Edition," which will include a "storyboard" feature with commentary by director Sam Mendes and director of cinematography Conrad L. Hall, as well as a "Making of" featurette.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jul 02, 2000 0 comments

Walter Matthau, the gruff-voiced, droopy-faced master of deadpan comic acting, died early Saturday morning, July 1, after suffering a heart attack. He was pronounced dead at 1:42am, shortly after being taken to St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Matthau was 79.

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Michael Metzger Posted: Jul 02, 2000 0 comments

C<I>lark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Jameson Thomas. Directed by Frank Capra. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-frame). Dolby Digital mono. 105 minutes. 1934. Columbia 03949. NR. $24.95.</I>

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jul 02, 2000 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.pioneer-america.com/">Pioneer North America</A> announced plans to open the newest addition to its North American operation: Pioneer Research Center USA (referred to as PRA), which the company describes as a new research-and-development unit. Pioneer says that PRA will open in San Jose, California on July 5 and will develop both digital television and digital network technologies to be incorporated into audio-video products sold primarily in the US market.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jul 02, 2000 0 comments

Two years ago it was widely predicted that, by summer 2000, high-definition television would be pretty well established. At mid-year of that target date, the industry is still bickering over technical specifications and terminology, receiver prices are still high, and there is only a token amount of HD programming available.

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Posted: Jun 25, 2000 0 comments

In the long term, interactive television (ITV) may not be the joke it has been so far. On June 21, Los Gatos, California&ndash;based <A HREF="http://www.ictv.com/">ICTV</A> announced that it has pulled in $57 million in investments from financial sector and telecommunications industry heavyweights. ITCT describes itself as the "leading provider of the cable industry's most robust solution for delivery of broadband Internet TV services to digital set-tops."

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 25, 2000 0 comments

It's a DTV jungle out there, with manufacturers, broadcasters, consumers, and other market forces fighting for their ecological niches. Always an aggressive participant in the struggle, the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA), in comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission last week, stated that "ensuring that today's viewers continue to enjoy free, over-the-air service should be the primary focus of the digital television (DTV) transition." While new services should be "permitted and encouraged," argued the CEA, they should be consistent with broadcasters' "continued delivery of free over-the-air programming in the digital era."

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 25, 2000 0 comments

V<I>oices of Jennifer Aniston, Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick, Jr., Vin Diesel, Christopher McDonald. Directed by Brad Bird. Aspect ratios: 2.35:1 (anamorphic), 1.33:1 (full-frame). Dolby Digital 5.1. 99 minutes. 1999. Warner Home Video 17644. PG. $24.95.</I>

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Posted: Jun 25, 2000 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.dishnetwork.com">EchoStar Communications</A> announced that the DISH HD Model 6000, an integrated satellite television receiver with the ability to receive high-definition television (HDTV) signals, is now available at select DISH Network retail outlets. The 6000 is the company's newest high-definition satellite TV receiver and is priced at $499.

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Posted: Jun 25, 2000 0 comments

In mid-June, <A HREF="http://www.dtstech.com/">DTS</A> announced a new version of its DTS-ES Extended Surround Format for home theater. Designated DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, the system is a "new, proprietary technology for the playback of discrete, 6.1-channel content from DVDs and CDs," according to a company press release. The innovation is said to "elevate the performance standard for playback of the DTS 6.1-channel Extended Surround format introduced in motion picture theaters last year."

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Barry Willis Posted: Jun 25, 2000 0 comments

Ever wonder how all those short films you never heard of get nominated for Academy Awards? They have to run for a weekend at theaters in Los Angeles or New York in order for <A HREF="http://www.oscars.org/">Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences</A> members to get a chance to view them. Those are the rules, the Academy stated on June 13, after deciding to exclude from Oscar consideration any film debuting on the Internet.

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Posted: Jun 18, 2000 0 comments

Adventure fans are still waiting for the <I>Star Wars</I> and Indiana Jones films, but <A HREF="http://www.universalstudios.com">Universal Studios Home Video</A> has promised to release Speilberg's <I>Jurassic Park</I> and <I>The Lost World: Jurassic Park</I> on DVD as Collector's Editions on October 10, 2000. Both titles will be available with Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 audio (in place of some of the added features) and anamorphic widescreen for $26.98 retail each.

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Barry Willis Posted: Jun 18, 2000 0 comments

For home theater fans, plasma display panels (PDPs) are among the most promising technologies. The space-saving flat panels eliminate the need for projectors and screens or huge boxy rear projection sets, but their acceptance by critical viewers has been hampered by a low (400:1) contrast ratio which renders black as more like charcoal gray.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 18, 2000 0 comments

Surround formats are coming on the market fast and furious, which means yet more buttons on equipment. Last week, <A HREF="http://www.del.denon.com">Denon Electronics</A> announced the introduction of its new $3,800 flagship AVR-5800 A/V Surround Receiver, which the company claims is the world's first audio component to offer DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, DTS-ES Matrix 6.1 and DTS Neo:6 surround sound decoding. The receiver also boasts THX Surround EX decoding, 24-bit/192kHz D/A conversion, FireWire capability and seven channels, each capable of 170 watts output power.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 18, 2000 0 comments

N<I>arrated by Liam Neeson. Directed by David Brashears, Greg MacGillivray, and Stephen Judson. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full frame). 45 minutes. 1998. Dolby Digital 5.1. Miramax Collector's Series 16539. NR. $24.98.</I>

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