Audio Video News

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Jon Iverson  |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

Both <A HREF="">Sony Electronics</A> and <A HREF="">Panavision</A> say they will soon deliver the first prototype 24-frame-progressive high-definition camera system to <A HREF="">Lucasfilm</A> for testing prior to its being used in shooting the next two <I>Star Wars</I> films. The companies say that this announcement signifies the beginning of a new era in high-definition digital cinematography.

Michael Metzger  |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

L<I>eni Riefenstahl. Directed by Ray M&#252;ller. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-screen). Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono). 188 minutes. 1993. Kino Video/Image Entertainment K107. Not rated. $34.99.</I>

 |  Nov 14, 1999  |  0 comments

Flat-panel displays are moving up to the next level of performance, thanks to <A HREF="">International Business Machines</A>. On Wednesday, November 10, the company announced what observers called an "eye-popping" LCD screen with an astounding 123 pixels (picture elements) per square inch&mdash;more than twice the typical 55-per-square-inch pixel count of high-definition television screens. The almost-21-inch-diagonal screen, dubbed the QX20, is capable of resolutions as high as 2048x1536.

Barry Willis  |  Nov 14, 1999  |  0 comments

Children's programming seems to fill a huge number of time slots on television these days. What once was a minor business in the broadcasting industry has become a giant in its own right. The industry is throwing increasing amounts of capital at developers of children's programming in the hope of creating brand loyalty and thereby pulling in lucrative advertising dollars.

Jon Iverson  |  Nov 14, 1999  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="">The Walt Disney Company</A> and <A HREF="">Texas Instruments</A> announced that DLP Cinema technology will be featured in an all-digital showing of Disney/Pixar's new computer-animated film, <I>Toy Story 2</I>, at six locations in North America. According to the companies, <I>Toy Story 2</I> will be the first major studio feature to be released simultaneously in both digital and traditional film formats.

Wes Phillips  |  Nov 14, 1999  |  0 comments

O<I>prah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Kimberley Elise, Beah Richards, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Albert Hall. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (widescreen). Dolby Digital 5.1. 171 minutes. 1999. Touchstone Home Video 17243. R. $29.99.</I>

Barry Willis  |  Nov 14, 1999  |  0 comments

What's an American industrial icon worth? Try 200 million bucks. That's what <A HREF="">LG Electronics</A> paid when it acquired <A HREF="">Zenith</A> in a bankruptcy settlement completed November 8 in a Federal court in Glenview, Illinois. As Zenith's largest creditor, LG electronics agreed to accept 100% of Zenith's assets in exchange for $200 million in claims against the former consumer-electronics giant.

Jon Iverson  |  Nov 07, 1999  |  0 comments

Here's proof that the early adopter plays a dangerous game: Less than a year after the official release of their hard-disk-based video recording system, <A HREF="">RePlay Networks</A> announced last week that it is releasing a major upgrade to its system. RePlay says the new device, named the RePlayTV 2020, is a personal video recorder with twice as much storage capacity as the company's current best-selling model, and&mdash;here's the part that tweaks early adopters&mdash;at no increase in price: 20 hours of storage for $699.

 |  Nov 07, 1999  |  0 comments

In recent months, <A HREF="">Fujitsu</A> has steadily lowered the prices for its groundbreaking 42" plasma display (see <A HREF="">previous story</A>), while steadily improving the basic design's performance. Last week, the company announced that the newest models will be jumping back up in price with the latest additions to their Plasmavision product line, the PDS4221 and PDS4222. These two new models increase the number of current Plasmavision offerings to seven.

Barry Willis  |  Nov 07, 1999  |  0 comments

Hackers have succeeded in defeating the Digital Versatile Disc's copy-protection encryption, according to several reports that popped up in late October and early November. Source code for decrypting entire movies is now circulating on the Internet, and an underground trade in illicit copies has arisen.

Shannon Gee  |  Nov 07, 1999  |  0 comments

B<I>ill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts. Directed by Ivan Reitman. Aspect ratio: 2:35:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1. 107 minutes. 1984. Columbia/TriStar COL04139DVD. PG. $29.98</I>

Barry Willis  |  Nov 07, 1999  |  0 comments

The world's largest Internet service provider is teaming up with the world's largest video rental chain to deliver movies and as-yet-unspecified content over broadband connections. <A HREF="">America Online</A> is pumping $30 million into a three-year joint venture with <A HREF="">Blockbuster Video</A>, with the intent of leveraging the two companies' huge customer bases for mutual benefit. AOL members will have access to Blockbuster's enormous library of discs and tapes, and Blockbuster will promote AOL by giving away CD-ROMs of AOL version 5.0 at its more than 4000 outlets in the US.

 |  Oct 31, 1999  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="">Texas Instruments</A> announced that its Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology has received the "Golden Note" award from <A HREF="">The Academy for Advancing High Performance Audio & Video</A>. The award recognizes DLP as "The Most Innovative Video Technology," and was received at the Academy's Award Banquet at the Indianapolis Westin Hotel.

Jon Iverson  |  Oct 31, 1999  |  0 comments

Is the world ready for interactive television? The <A HREF="">Public Broadcasting Service</A> (PBS) apparently thinks so. Last week PBS, along with several of its member stations, LG Electronics, and <A HREF="">LG Electronics Research Center of America</A> (LGERCA), began demonstrating "enhanced digital television and data broadcasting" to their viewers as part of PBS Digital Week 2.0.

 |  Oct 31, 1999  |  0 comments

One of Silicon Valley's most aggressive semiconductor companies has surrendered to the siren song of merger and acquisition. On October 27, Milpitas, California-based <A HREF="">C-Cube Microsystems</A> announced that it has entered into an agreement to combine its <A HREF="">DiviCom</A> digital television subsidiary with <A HREF="">Harmonic</A>, a Sunnyvale designer and maker of digital and fiber-optic systems that deliver video, voice, and data via cable, satellite, telephone lines, and wireless networks. DiviCom products enable digital video broadcasting over the same variety of networks. Blending the two companies may be a good fit for the coming age of digital TV and Internet-based "infotainment."