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Barry Willis

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Barry Willis Posted: May 30, 1998 0 comments

Is DVD hot news or merely lukewarm? Will it sell like hotcakes this year or more like day-old bagels? It all depends on whom you consult.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 23, 1998 0 comments

Known for ultra-high-quality analog and digital audio electronics, <A HREF="http://www.sonicfrontiers.com">Sonic Frontiers</A> will soon enter the home-theater market. The Oakville, Ontario company announced its intentions less than two months after being acquired by the Lenbrook Group, which also owns <A HREF="http://www.psbspeakers.com">PSB</A>. In addition, Sonic Frontiers recently joined the growing group of companies represented by public-relations firm <A HREF="http://www.jbstanton.com">JB Stanton Communications, Inc.</A>

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Barry Willis Posted: May 23, 1998 0 comments

Home theater just keeps getting better. New products from <A HREF="http://www.toshiba.com">Toshiba,</A> <A HREF="http://www.meitca.com">Mitsubishi,</A> and other companies promise huge improvements in picture quality and greater system flexibility. For example, Toshiba's ColorStream PRO technology in its Platinum Standard SD7108 DVD-Video player preserves the MPEG-2 480-line progressive video scanning inherent in DVDs and outputs it directly to one of the company's new Cinema Series projection TV sets, such as the 71-inch TP71H95.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 17, 1998 0 comments

Like its nymphet namesake, <I>Lolita</I> seems to create nothing but trouble for those who fall under its spell. Director Adrian Lyne's cinematic interpretation of Vladimir Nabokov's still-controversial novel about a middle-aged man's obsession with a teenage girl spent a year in the Hollywood revolving door because no major studio was willing to risk a distribution deal---until now. <A HREF="http://www.viacom.com/press.tin?ixPressRelease=40000482">Showtime Networks</A>, a cable-TV unit of <A HREF="http://www.viacom.com">Viacom</A>, has picked up the film's US rights.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 10, 1998 0 comments

Merger news: <A HREF="http://www.IMDb.com">IMDb</A> to <A HREF="http://amazon.com">Amazon.com</A>. If this sounds like a chess move, it certainly is for a few folks at the top of the Web's food chain. On April 27, the Internet Movie Database became part of Amazon.com, the world's largest online bookseller.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 10, 1998 0 comments

Plans by the NBC and CBS networks to transmit 1080i HDTV this fall are "suicidal," according to John Malone, chairman of <A HREF="http://www.tci.com/">Tele-Communications, Inc.</A> On May 5, at the <A HREF="http://www.ncta.com/">National Cable Television Association's</A> annual convention in Atlanta, Malone vowed that TCI won't carry HDTV in its ultimate form. A single channel of full-bore HDTV occupies the same transmission bandwidth as 12 low-resolution channels or several standard-resolution channels.

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Barry Willis Posted: May 03, 1998 0 comments

Surprise, <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com">Microsoft's</A> <A HREF="http://www.webtv.com">WebTV</A> is now the only player in the TV/Internet game. On Wednesday, April 29, NetChannel Inc. threw in the towel, announcing that it was getting out of the business of bringing the Internet into homes via set-top converter boxes. The $20-per-month service never gained a large enough following to become profitable.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 27, 1998 0 comments

Trekkers, rejoice! <A HREF="http://www.paramount.com">Paramount Home Video</A>, owner of the Star Trek franchise and Indiana Jones movies, will release open-format DVDs this year, the company announced Monday, April 27. The decision comes two weeks after <A HREF="http://www.blockbuster.com/">Blockbuster Music & Video</A> announced that it would begin a big push with DVD rentals. The growing popularity of DVD was a major factor in both decisions: Consumer-electronics industry analysts predict that there will be as many as one million DVD players in American homes by the end of 1998.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 26, 1998 0 comments

The living room in most American homes has traditionally served ceremonial purposes. It's the place where your parents entertained visiting dignitaries, like the local minister who came to offer consolation after your grandmother's funeral. It's the place where they took pictures of you and your senior-prom date. As a showcase for stiff, uncomfortable, and rarely used furniture, the traditional living room is an ornamental vestige of a bygone, formal era, like buttons on the sleeve of a dinner jacket.

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Barry Willis Posted: Apr 26, 1998 0 comments

Despite the ocean of ink that has been spilled on the subject, most consumers are indifferent about the inclusion of TV tuners in their computers. "Convergence" might be simply another intellectual fad---popular among journalists because it seems so logical, yet flopping among consumers because it really isn't. Most computer users who have responded to marketing studies indicate they don't care if they can receive television on their computers or not.

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