We know that DVD is hot, but few could have predicted that the video format would become the fastest growing in the history of consumer electronics. The latest statistics reveal that, in 2001, consumer spending on DVD purchases and rental combined were $6 billion, 2.4 times more than the previous year. This represents an increase that put DVD purchases ahead of VHS purchases for the first time, despite an installed player base of 25 million DVD households versus a VCR installed player base of 96 million households.
Last week, <A HREF="http://www.timewarnercable.com">Time Warner Cable</A> said that it has successfully tested distribution of a high-definition TV feed from Home Box Office and will soon begin delivering it in the upgraded areas of its Tampa, Florida cable operation using equipment from <A HREF="http://www.sciatl.com">Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.</A> According to Time Warner, this marks the first time HBO's HDTV signal has been made available to cable customers using a form of signal-modulation technology known as QAM, which allows two HDTV channels to be delivered in the same bandwidth needed for one off-air HDTV channel.
If you've been steadfastly waiting for the perfect reason to buy a new HDTV set, here it is: <A HREF="http://NBCOlympics.com">NBC</A> and <A HREF="http://www.hd.net">HDNet</A> announced last week they will broadcast selected events at the upcoming 2002 Olympic Winter Games from Salt Lake City in 1080i high definition video with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio.
Last week, <A HREF="http://www.panasonic.com">Panasonic Consumer Electronics</A> announced the retail launch of its new digital VCR—or, as they call it, a D-VHS VCR. The new PV-HD1000 will begin shipping this month. It carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $999.95 and marks the first DTV-compatible VCR to hit the US market.
A new report released by analyst and consulting company <A HREF="http://www.ovum.com">Ovum</A> suggests that, as digital television opens new frontiers, competition between telecommunications giants and the TV industry will increase rapidly. Ovum also predicts that digital television connections will grow from 62 million in 2001 to 350 million in 2006, creating numerous opportunities for companies throughout the new media sector.
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