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Jon Iverson

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 20, 1998 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony</A> and computer storage company <A HREF="http://www.westerndigital.com">Western Digital</A> announced that they will form a strategic partnership to co-develop a new hard-disk drive (HDD) for consumer audio and video applications. According to the announcement, prototypes of the AV HDD will be developed and tested for verification of basic technologies by the end of March 1999. Commercialization of the AV HDD is being targeted for the year 2000.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 13, 1998 0 comments

TV life used to be pretty simple: Stick a pair of rabbit ears on the set, and if you lived near a big city, pull in a dozen channels or so---more if you had a UHF tuner. Now we have cable as well as satellite dishes big and small. In the near future, even your phone company could get into the act with some form of digital subscriber line (DSL) service. But of all these choices, which offers the best value? Two recent studies attempt to unravel the choices facing consumers with an analysis of the options.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 06, 1998 0 comments

Cable companies have found themselves under assault from the direct broadcast satellite (DBS) forces for several years now, and they face new potential competition from local phone companies' digital subscriber line (DSL) systems. As a result, they have begun to circle their wagons in an attempt to ward off further damage.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Dec 06, 1998 0 comments

Software titan <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com">Microsoft</A> has big eyes <I>and</I> a big stomach, as evidenced by the company's announcements at the Western Cable Show in Anaheim, California, last week. It's no secret that the software giant has been eyeing consumers' living rooms for years, hoping to get Windows CE (WinCE), a junior version of the ubiquitous Windows operating system, into portable devices and TV sets.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Nov 22, 1998 0 comments

Networks of computers and digital peripherals in office buildings are becoming old hat. Most organizations have hired a specialist to maintain the network and install new equipment as it comes in. Such an environment makes it possible to add complex new systems and software along with infrastructure (wiring) upgrades on a regular basis.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Nov 22, 1998 0 comments

Back in 1996, when Congress set the timetable for digital television, one of the provisions left open for later discussion was fees the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A> (FCC) would levy on broadcasters who charged for new pay-TV programming. The deadline for converting to DTV was set to be the year 2006, but how much should the government be compensated for special content such as HDTV movies, stock quotes, or other fee-based services that a broadcaster might charge for?

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Jon Iverson Posted: Nov 15, 1998 0 comments

Imagine a dozen alley cats, who would normally claw at each other incessantly, purring happily together in a box. This gives you an idea of what's so remarkable about the <A HREF="http://www.1394ta.org">1394 Trade Association</A> (TA) Theater Demo this week at <A HREF="http://www.comdex.com/">Comdex</A> in Las Vegas. Several consumer-electronics giants, such as <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony</A>, <A HREF="http://www.mitsubishi.com/">Mitsubishi</A>, <A HREF="http://www.samsung.com/">Samsung</A>, <A HREF="http://www.NEC.com/">NEC</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.yamaha.com/">Yamaha</A>, as well as computer titans <A HREF="http://www.intel.com/">Intel</A>, <A HREF="http://www.compaq.com/">Compaq</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/">Microsoft</A>, are pulling together to support the 1394 (FireWire) standard. It is hoped that FireWire will unite the consumer-electronics and computer worlds with a common digital interface. A recent agreement between the consumer-electronics and cable industries has established 1394 as the standard link between digital television sets and DTV set-top boxes.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Nov 08, 1998 0 comments

Many pundits have said that the computer will never make it into the family room, where the TV reigns supreme. They say it's too complicated, and consumers don't really want interactivity or crashing operating systems. But all it will really take is one or two killer applications or technologies, and the consumer-electronics world will get flipped on its head.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Nov 08, 1998 0 comments

If you don't have one of the pricey new digital TVs, but you're curious about those DTV broadcasts that started in your area last week (if you happen to live in one of the lucky cities), your PC might soon be able to provide some relief. With a graphics accelerator that can handle the various DTV formats and MPEG decoding and a low-cost DTV receiver card, viewing DTV on the PC is an affordable option. A graphics accelerator and receiver card with a combined cost under $500 can provide DTV at a fraction of the price for a new digital TV and tuner/decoder.

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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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