AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Barry Willis Posted: Nov 07, 1998 0 comments

The next generation of flat-panel displays might be on the horizon, thanks to the work of scientists at the State University of New York in Buffalo. SUNY professor of physics and chemistry Zhifang Ren heads a group of researchers who announced last Thursday that they have found an easier way to grow "nanotubes" on thin sheets of glass, which might make them perfect for use as video screens.

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Posted: Nov 07, 1998 0 comments

T<I>he Wizard of Oz</I> is 59 years old and still going strong. The beloved saga of a young Kansas girl's adventures in a magical land has just been re-released in more than 1800 theaters. Enhanced with a THX/Dolby Digital soundtrack, the restored film from Warner Bros. will carry millions of fans into the holiday season, many of whom haven't stepped into a theater in years. The visual improvements to the film are reportedly so good that each of Dorothy's freckles is clearly visible.

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Posted: Nov 01, 1998 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.b-movie.com">B-Movie Theater</A>, a Web site celebrating the art and industry of the low-budget film, announced the first round of inductions into the new B-Movie Hall of Fame. The honorees were selected from over 1000 nominations submitted by cinephiles around the world, who selected the classic films and most prolific artists of the B-Movie genre.

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Posted: Nov 01, 1998 0 comments

This week, high-definition television officially begins broadcasting. As part of the rollout, Irvine, California-based <A HREF="http://www.mitsubishi-tv.com/">Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics America Inc.</A> (MCEA) has started its first volume shipments of HDTV systems to dealers. Seven models of HDTVs will be available in all markets.

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Barry Willis Posted: Nov 01, 1998 0 comments

H<I>elen Hunt, Jack Nicholson, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding, Jr. Directed by James L. Brooks. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Dolby Digital 5.1. Additional language: French. 139 minutes. 1997. Columbia TriStar DVD 21709. Rated PG-13. $29.95.</I>

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Barry Willis Posted: Nov 01, 1998 0 comments

One of every five American children is seriously overweight, and government officials are pointing their fingers at television as a major contributing cause. Health experts have been observing the trend for years, but it has finally grown to the point that high-level policy makers are beginning to take note. Some, like experts speaking at a <A HREF="http://www.usda.gov/">US Department of Agriculture</A> conference last week, are calling it an epidemic.

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Posted: Oct 25, 1998 0 comments

HI-FI Show management announced October 22 that <A HREF="http://www.avacademy.com/">The Academy Advancing High Performance Audio and Video</A> will be sponsoring Trade Days at <A HREF="http://www.hifishow.com">HI-FI '99</A>, The Home Theater and Specialty Audio Show, taking place at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago from May 11-13, 1999. This marks the fourth consecutive year that The Academy has sponsored Trade Days at the HI-FI Shows. Show management and The Academy also announced today that the Music and Film Seminar Series will be expanded in 1999 to a two-track educational program. Each track will consist of the five disciplines showcased at the Seminar Series in 1998: Sales Techniques, Digital Technologies, Room Acoustics, Video Technologies, and Multi-room Design and Installation.

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Posted: Oct 25, 1998 0 comments

On October 22, <A HREF="http://www.seagram.com">The Seagram Company Ltd.</A> and <A HREF="http://www.mgm.com">Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.</A> (MGM) announced that they have entered into an agreement in principle to transfer certain library assets of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (PFE), a unit of PolyGram N.V., to MGM's wholly owned subsidiary, Orion Pictures Corporation, following Seagram's pending acquisition of PolyGram. The purchase price for the library will be $250 million, of which $235 million will be paid in cash at the closing in January 1999; the remaining $15 million will come from the library's cash flow prior to closing.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Oct 25, 1998 0 comments

J<I>ames Taylor. Directed by Beth McCarthy. Aspect ratio: 4:3. Dolby Digital 5.1 and 24-bit/48 kHz, two-track PCM. 109 minutes. 1998. Columbia Music Video CVD 50171. NR. $24.95.</I>

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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 25, 1998 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.thx.com/">Lucasfilm THX</A> and <A HREF="http://www.dolby.com">Dolby Laboratories Inc.</A> introduced a new co-developed and jointly owned 6.1-channel theatrical surround sound format: Dolby Digital Surround EX. Dolby claims that the new format "redefines the performance parameters of conventional surround-sound technology."

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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 24, 1998 0 comments

Until prices for HDTV receivers come down from the stratosphere and high-def programming is available full-time, most viewers will be watching the new format on legacy TVs with the aid of set-top converter boxes. Hearing the clarion call of opportunity, <A HREF="http://www.sciatl.com/">Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.</A> has introduced a line of products to help meet the early demand for HDTV. Among these products is a new HD version of their Explorer 2000 advanced digital set-top box, which will be available in January. This "all-formats" decoder will translate incoming HDTV signals into NTSC video, easing a myriad of consumers into the coming age of digital television.

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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 24, 1998 0 comments

Earlier this month, the <A HREF="http://www.disney.com/">Walt Disney Company</A>, <A HREF="http://www.tw.com/">Time Warner</A>, and the <A HREF="http://www.mpaa.org/">Motion Picture Association of America</A> succeeded in getting Congress to pass legislation that will extend copyrights an additional 20 years, assuming President Clinton signs the changes into law. Copyright owners presently have control over intellectual property for 75 years, after which it passes into the public domain, where it is free for all to use without paying fees or receiving permission.

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Derek Germano Posted: Oct 18, 1998 0 comments

S<I>igourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara, Harry Connick Jr., J.E. Freeman, Will Patton. Directed by Jon Amiel. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby Surround (French). 123 minutes. 1995. Warner Home Video 14168. Rated R. $24.98.</I>

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Jon Iverson Posted: Oct 18, 1998 0 comments

A new country has taken the lead position in the modern media world. Is it in Europe or Asia? Africa? Australia? Nope, the newest media moguls on the block reside on the small South Pacific group of atolls known as Tuvalu.

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Barry Willis Posted: Oct 17, 1998 0 comments

Build it and no one will come. That's been the broadcasting industry's worst nightmare since discussions about high-definition television began more than 10 years ago. Many executives have expressed dismay over the fact that the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> mandated their compliance with HDTV's launch---an effort that costs each station millions of dollars in new equipment and technical training---when there is almost no audience to see it. Dozens of stations are ready for the official nationwide launch of HDTV in just two weeks, but the few people who will see the first broadcasts will be engineers, journalists, and a handful of customers and salespeople in electronics stores.

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