AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Barry Willis  |  Jan 16, 1999  |  0 comments

Is your local cable company tempting you with a low-cost upgrade package? The improvement it's offering isn't coming from the kindness of its corporate heart, but because cable companies are feeling the heat from satellite competitors, thanks to some strategic alliances with regional telephone companies.

Barry Willis  |  Jan 16, 1999  |  0 comments

Chip makers continue to up the ante as computers and television converge. <A HREF="http://www.intel.com/">Intel Corporation</A> has announced the Pentium III, the latest in its famous line of high-speed microprocessors. The new chip, which will replace the highly regarded Pentium II, has been optimized for audio/video, graphics, and data communication with the addition of 70 new instruction codes. It will run at a basic clock rate of 450-500 MHz---fast enough to process high-definition television signals.

Barry Willis  |  Jan 16, 1999  |  0 comments

Millions of video tapes are being recalled by Walt Disney Company because of a production prank that took place 23 years ago. A re-release of <I>The Rescuers</I>, which originally played in theaters in 1977 and was first released on video in 1992, is being pulled from distribution to clean up a couple of frames in which someone inserted the image of a nude woman---an image so short-lived that it can't be seen during normal viewing.

Fred Manteghian  |  Jan 06, 1999  |  0 comments

J<B>anuary 7, 11am</B><BR>Using a new 61" ProScan HDTV, Thomson Consumer Electronics demonstrated a high-definition DVD that uses Divx technology to decode the fully encrypted digital signal coming from a special ProScan Divx-compatible DVD player. According to Thomson's Larry Pesce, "The beauty of our high-definition process is that the HD signal is never sent unencrypted to the display device."

Jon Iverson  |  Jan 03, 1999  |  0 comments

1999 started off in fine detail for the thousands of early adopters who have picked up a high-definition television. January 1, the 110th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, was broadcast to digital-television viewers for the first time in full 1920x1080 HDTV. Tribune Broadcasting's <A HREF="http://www.ktla.com/">KTLA-DT</A> transmitted this year's parade in hi-def using a <A HREF="http://www.nmtv.com/">National Mobile Television</A> (NMT) remote broadcast truck, known as the HD-2.

Jon Iverson  |  Dec 30, 1998  |  0 comments

We knew it <i>had</i> to happen---it was merely a matter of who and when. Sony or Pioneer seemed likely candidates to first blaze the multi-DVD trail, maybe with a five-disc changer to ease us into the concept, but high-end video-projection company Runco has gotten a jump on both of those giants.

Barry Willis  |  Dec 29, 1998  |  0 comments

It's extremely rare for low-budget foreign films to catch on with American audiences. Most that are lucky enough to get distribution in the States spend a few poorly attended weeks in the art houses, then quietly disappear. <I>The Full Monty</I>, a British film about a group of unemployed Sheffield steel workers putting together a "Chippendales"-type revue, has done just the opposite.

Barry Willis  |  Dec 28, 1998  |  0 comments

Movie fans the world over are mourning the passing of Toshiro Mifune, Japan's greatest film actor. Mifune died December 24 at a hospital in Mitaka, Japan, not far from his home in Tokyo. The cause of death was an unspecified "organ failure." Mifune was 77.

Barry Willis  |  Dec 28, 1998  |  0 comments

The Associated Press reported Dec. 22 that Japanese film director Juzo Itami died after jumping from the top of an eight-storey building that housed his office. Itami was director of the international hit film <I>Tampopo</I>.

 |  Dec 28, 1998  |  0 comments

In installment <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?42">one</A> and <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/shownews.cgi?48">two</A> of this series, we presaged the crawl of HDTV, the rise of the flat-panel TV, and the demise of Divx. For our final set of guesses---er, prescient opinions, we tackle four more topics.

Barry Willis  |  Dec 28, 1998  |  0 comments

Director James Cameron's <I>Titanic</I> is not only afloat but appears to be eminently seaworthy. The epic disaster drama's three-hour-and15-minute length is apparently no drawback for film fans, who packed theaters to the tune of a $51.9 million gross in the first week following the film's release, according to Exhibitor Relations Company, which tracks box-office results.

Barry Willis  |  Dec 28, 1998  |  0 comments

Dawn Steel, widely regarded as one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, succumbing to brain cancer at the age of 51.

Dave Thompson  |  Dec 27, 1998  |  0 comments

O<I>skar Werner, Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack, Anton Diffring, Jeremy Spenser, Alex Scott. Directed by Fran&#231;ois Truffaut. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (widescreen). Dolby Digital (mono). 112 minutes. 1966. Universal ID4231. Not rated. $24.99.</I>

 |  Dec 27, 1998  |  0 comments

E<I>veryone with a TV has seen the traditional winter holiday fare: </I>Miracle on 34th Street<I>, </I>It's a Wonderful Life<I>, and any one of a dozen versions of Charles Dickens' </I>A Christmas Carol<I>. If you're not totally burned out on the subject, there are less-well-known films with Christmas (and other) themes that are worth seeking out. Here's a short list of recommendations from the staff that might round out your holiday viewing:</I>

Jon Iverson  |  Dec 27, 1998  |  0 comments

The inherent portability and relatively simple setup and calibration of LCD projectors have allowed them to carve out a place in the home-theater market in the last several years. But state-of-the-art picture quality has never been an LCD strong suit, with critics citing lack of contrast and noticeable pixelization as the primary weaknesses.

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