AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Posted: Jun 11, 2000 0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> was correct when it formulated rules preventing cable operators from offering integrated security and channel-surfing features in cable set-top boxes, a District of Columbia appeals court has declared. The regulations, which will take effect in 2005, are derived from a proper interpretation of provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the court found.

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Posted: Jun 11, 2000 0 comments

Information and entertainment technologists have long predicted that reels of films will eventually disappear, replaced by digital datastreams delivered straight to theaters. On June 6, the first such event took place---from Los Angeles to a theater in the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.

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Posted: Jun 11, 2000 0 comments

In news that is sure to strike fear in the hearts of videophiles everywhere, <A HREF="http://www.macrovision.com">Macrovision</A> announced last week the implementation of its copy protection technology for higher resolution DVD playback on players with 525p progressive scan outputs. The company says that 525p copy protection has now been licensed to Genesis Microchip, JVC, Matsushita, Oak Technology, and Pioneer.

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Posted: Jun 11, 2000 0 comments

J<I>ames Belushi, Kylie Travis, Shannon Whirry, Frank Whaley, Jesse Borrego, M. Emmet Walsh. Directed by Louis Morneau. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 91 minutes. 1997. MGM 907788. R. $24.98.</I>

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Wes Phillips Posted: Jun 04, 2000 0 comments

R<I>obert Arkins, Michael Aherne, Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Johnny Murphy, Andrew Strong, Colm Meany. Directed by Alan Parker. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (pan&scan). Dolby Digital 2.0. 119 minutes. 1991. 20th Century Fox 112892. R. $28.99.</I>

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jun 04, 2000 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.thx.com">Lucasfilm THX</A> announced a new DVD software feature that they claim will allow the performance of a home-theater system to be optimized for individual DVD releases. The process, called THX Optimode, consists of a series of tests "that make it easy for consumers to fine-tune the audio and video performance of their home components."

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Posted: Jun 04, 2000 0 comments

Home-theater equipment continues to be one of the fastest-selling segments of the consumer electronics market, according to the most recent figures from the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org/">Consumer Electronics Association</A>. How good is it? Try $2 billion in factory-to-dealer sales of video equipment in the first quarter of this year. That's a 20% increase over the first three months of 1999, according to the May 31 report. The figure is even more astounding in light of 1999's growth, in which home theater revenues increased by 11% over 1998's totals.

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Posted: Jun 04, 2000 0 comments

According to the results of the "PVR and Enhanced TV Potential" study, released last week by <A HREF="http://eBrain.org">eBrain Market Research</A> in cooperation with the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A>, despite the continuing popularity of videocassette recorders in the US, the number of Americans who own hard-disk&ndash;based personal video recording devices (PVRs) is likely to increase significantly in the next 12 months.

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Posted: Jun 04, 2000 0 comments

Like the 1959 Cadillac convertible, Cinerama was one of the peak expressions of 1950s excess. With three synchronized projectors casting overlapping images on a curved screen 96 feet wide, the format was the era's ultimate form of cinematic entertainment and the precursor to today's IMAX.

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Michael Metzger Posted: May 28, 2000 0 comments

P<I>roduced by Steven Churchill. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-screen). Dolby Digital stereo, mono. 57 minutes. 1998. Image Entertainment ID7096ODDVD. NR. $19.99.</I>

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Jon Iverson Posted: May 28, 2000 0 comments

Recently, <A HREF="http://www.ti.com/dlp">Texas Instruments</A> and <A HREF="http://www.technicolor.com">Technicolor</A> unveiled what they term "the latest major expansion" of digital cinema technology, at the AMC Empire 25 in New York City, which they say is the world's only theater to feature two all-digital screens. AMC Empire 25 is currently using a digital system for a special showing of the digitally animated feature film <I>Dinosaur</I>.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 28, 2000 0 comments

Entertainment systems may be easier for consumers to hook up in the near future, thanks to an agreement on labeling standards reached in Washington, DC on May 24 by representatives of the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org/">Consumer Electronics Association</A> and the <A HREF="http://www.ncta.com/">National Cable Television Association</A>. Labels to appear on new equipment will make it clear whether the digital TV sets provide only cable programming, or whether they are also compatible with other digital devices, such as set-top boxes providing interactive capabilities, video-on-demand, and other services.

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Posted: May 28, 2000 0 comments

Rumors of network television's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Despite a declining viewership&mdash;several studies have shown that a smaller proportion of the population than ever is watching network TV&mdash;the networks are pulling in a record amount of money from advertising. Total "upfront" ad sales&mdash;those sold in the spring, before Memorial Day, for the following season&mdash;for all six broadcast networks will reach $8 billion, according to several news reports the last week in May. The networks have already sold about 80% of available prime-time advertising slots.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 21, 2000 0 comments

The finger-pointing and barb-hurling over the slow rollout of digital television continued through mid-May. The latest episode occurred on Wednesday the 17th, when the <A HREF="http://www.nab.org/">National Association of Broadcasters</A> (NAB) laid the blame on the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> (FCC) for its laxity in requiring cable providers to carry digital signals. Electronics manufacturers should also be held to stricter standards, the NAB said.

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Jon Iverson Posted: May 21, 2000 0 comments

It would appear inevitable that digital video recorders are going mainstream when one of the largest manufacturers of conventional taped-based VCRs leaps into the market with a competitive product. This is exactly what was announced last week, when <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony Corp.</A> revealed that it has released the SVR-2000 Digital Network Recorder, based on the <A HREF="http://www.tivo.com">TiVo</A> Personal TV Service.

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