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HT Staff  |  Feb 20, 2003  |  0 comments
DVD: The Color Purple Special Edition—Warner Brothers
Audio: 4
Video: 4
Extras: 4
Although many critics criticized The Color Purple as a "safe" version of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel at the time of its theatrical release, the film still garnered 11 Academy Award nominations in 1985. Inexplicably, it managed to lose in every single category. To make matters worse, Steven Spielberg wasn't even nominated for best director, despite the film's nomination for best picture. There were rumors at the time of a Hollywood conspiracy against the ultra-successful Spielberg, and, after watching the new two-disc special-edition DVD of The Color Purple, I almost believe them. Perhaps best known for the powerful big-screen debuts of Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, The Color Purple boasts superb acting performances across the board.
 |  Feb 16, 2003  |  0 comments

High definition television (HDTV) and video-on-demand (VOD) services will help push the cable industry to the next level in the coming years, according to a study recently released by Boston-based technology research firm <A HREF="">TRACE strategies</A>.

 |  Feb 16, 2003  |  0 comments

From the January issue, Michael Fremer plugs the <A HREF="">Musical Fidelity M250 monoblock power amplifier</A> in and puts it through the home theater paces. As Mikey notes, "The idea was to produce a 'non-temperamental, bomb-proof' amplifier capable of high power and high end sound quality."

HT Staff  |  Feb 16, 2003  |  0 comments
Direct satellite broadcaster DirecTV is making an aggressive move with live high-definition coverage of National Basketball Association games this season. Following transmission of the first NBA All Star game in HDTV Sunday, February 9, DirecTV, and the NY Knicks/LA Lakers game February 16, DirecTV will produce several more live NBA games in HDTV.
 |  Feb 16, 2003  |  0 comments

The <A HREF="">Motion Picture Association of America</A> (MPAA) is pushing for a crackdown on offshore industrial piracy, a phenomenon that is a way of life in many countries. The trade group estimates that the American video industry loses as much as $3.5 billion annually to illegal copying worldwide.

Barry Willis  |  Feb 16, 2003  |  0 comments

High definition video may be the Holy Grail for couch potatoes, but it's not good enough for the cinema. At least that's what members of the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) concluded at a Hollywood technology retreat February 8.

HT Staff  |  Feb 13, 2003  |  0 comments
DVD: X-Men 1.5—20th Century Fox
Audio: 4
Video: 5
Extras: 4
X-Men 1.5 is a sneaky way to squeeze a few more dollars out of the public's hands and get X-Men back in their minds for the sequel, which hits theaters in May. X-Men, based on the comic of the same name, is about a group of mutant humans who fight other mutant humans to decide their place in society. The disc's audio and video quality seem to be no different from the first DVD release. The 2.35:1 anamorphic video is excellent, with lots of fine detail. One new addition is the DTS soundtrack, which is just as good as the original Dolby Digital 5.1.
HT Staff  |  Feb 13, 2003  |  0 comments
Some things in life are just so much fun that they hardly need explanation, and Ellula's HotAir inflatable multimedia speaker is one such thing. The HotAir is compatible with any type of computer or portable music source, including personal CD players and MP3 players. With a little help from a connection kit, gameheads can even use these speakers with most gaming consoles. Do the HotAirs sound good? At $49 each, why not grab a couple and find out?
(646) 935-0912
Steve Guttenberg  |  Feb 11, 2003  |  First Published: Feb 12, 2003  |  0 comments
DVD-Audio: The long and winding road to the future of music?

DVD is a hit. Lauded as the most successful format launch since—well, I guess nothing has had this overwhelming level of acceptance in a long, long time. I wish I could say the same about DVD's younger sibling, DVD-Audio. Introduced three years ago, it's just now starting to gather some momentum. On the hardware side, DVD-Audio offerings run the gamut from saucy little $200 players to budget-busting state-of-the-art machines. New DVD-Audio titles are still just trickling out, but even a cursory glance at a typical disc's fairly lengthy production credits might explain the relative paucity of releases. I counted 13 DVD-Audio-related producers, engineers, and mixers on R.E.M.'s Reveal disc and a crew of 21 on Queen's epic A Night at the Opera. Releasing a DVD-Audio reissue or brand-new title is a labor-intensive effort.

jon iverson  |  Feb 11, 2003  |  0 comments
Having a great product at a fair price is mandatory practice in the ever-competitive audio business. But getting the word out and placing those products in front of the customer is just as critical—some might argue, even more important. If this is true, then Canadian speaker company Athena has just made the score of a lifetime.
HT Staff  |  Feb 10, 2003  |  0 comments
Long known as a leader in digital audio and video technologies, Meridian Audio Limited has taken digital signal processing (DSP) into a new realm with the introduction of the DSP420, an "architectural" in-wall speaker that applies the British manufacturer's expertise to the problems of built-in designs.
Barry Willis  |  Feb 09, 2003  |  0 comments

Telecommunications conglomerate SBC Communications may be next in line to attempt an acquisition of Hughes Electronics' DirecTV satellite television service, according to several reports the first week of February.

 |  Feb 09, 2003  |  0 comments

Executives from four major television networks are backing a legislative tax proposal that would help minority companies first entering the broadcasting arena.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 09, 2003  |  0 comments

As noted in a number of British journals in early February, including <A HREF="">New Scientist</A> (February 6, 2003)&mdash;reports brought to our attention by <I>SGHT</I> contributor J. Gordon Holt&mdash;scientists at the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have developed a new super-black coating that is said to reflect less the 0.35% of the light that strikes it, an absorption efficiency about seven times better than black paint. The coating can be put on materials ranging from metals to ceramics.

HT Staff  |  Feb 09, 2003  |  0 comments
Showtime Networks has announced that it will "substantially increase" its high-definition programming for 2003, with sports events, movies and many of its original series airing in the digital format.