Audio Video News

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 |  Mar 05, 1998  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="www.philips.com">Philips Semiconductors</A> announced the first single-chip MPEG2 video encoder for home PCs. Dubbed the SAA6750H, this chip provides a low-cost way to store analog (VCR) video in a digital form on various media, such as CD or proposed recordable forms of DVD. Previously, consumers had to rely on expensive professional equipment that could easily run into thousands of dollars.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 02, 1998  |  0 comments

What's the worst thing that happens to vinyl records during normal use? Taking them out of the sleeve. The resulting surface abrasion and static charge, which attracts every dust particle in sight, cause more damage to LPs than playing them.

Barry Willis  |  Feb 23, 1998  |  0 comments

Media giant <A HREF="http://www.fox.com">20th Century Fox Home Entertainment</A> has joined DreamWorks SKG, <A HREF="http://www.paramount.com">Paramount Home Video</A>, <A HREF="http://www.disney.com">Disney</A>, and <A HREF="http://www.mca.com">Universal</A> in their support for Divx. The announcement was made jointly last Thursday, Feb. 19, by 20th Century Fox representatives in Beverly Hills and by <A HREF="http://www.divx.com">Digital Video Express</A> executives at corporate headquarters in Herndon, Virginia.

Barry Willis  |  Feb 23, 1998  |  0 comments

Five electronics heavyweights have agreed on an encryption scheme for digitally transmitted movies and music that they hope will prevent widescale piracy by consumers. <A HREF="http://www.intel.com">Intel</A>, <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony</A>, <A HREF="http://www.toshiba.com">Toshiba</A>, <A HREF="http://www.hitachi.com">Hitachi</A>, and Matsushita announced the agreement in Burbank, CA last Thursday.

Wes Phillips  |  Feb 23, 1998  |  0 comments

V<I>al Kilmer, Elizabeth Shue, Rade Serbedzjia. Directed by Phillip Noyce. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Dolby Digital. 118 minutes. 1997. CLV. Paramount Home Video LV335363-WS. PG-13. $39.95.</I>

Barry Willis  |  Feb 22, 1998  |  0 comments

Microsoft Corporation and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) have agreed to jointly participate in an educational-enhancement data-distribution system that takes advantage of unused bandwidth in broadcast television's vertical blanking interval, or VBI, according to a <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com">Microsoft</A> press release dated Feb. 17.

Barry Willis  |  Feb 21, 1998  |  0 comments

Does the United States Patent and Trademark Office operate on a first come, first served basis, or will it bow to the applicant with the biggest bucks? The issue of legal ownership of the "Titanic" trademark---a name worth millions in the wake of the biggest blockbuster movie in history---is being contested at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in Arlington, Virginia.

Joe Leydon  |  Feb 17, 1998  |  0 comments

<I>Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Smitz Edwards. Directed by Rupert Julian. Aspect ratio: 4:3. Dolby Digital. 92 minutes. 1925. Image Entertainment ID4097DSDVD. Not rated. $29.95.</I>

Barry Willis  |  Feb 15, 1998  |  0 comments

Los Angeles---Visionaries and vultures, pundits and panderers, gurus and geeks. They were all here at the Beverly Hilton for the first Networked Entertainment World Conference, a meeting of computer and software representatives, cable and online service providers, and film and television executives. Co-sponsored by Softbank Forums and the American Film Institute and attended by aspiring Web producers, game designers, and screenwriters (in addition to established industry types), the N:E:W conference was the first of what could prove to be an important annual event.

 |  Feb 15, 1998  |  0 comments

According to a recent Reuters report, London-based Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) has announced a very original product: a plastic video display. In the report, the company said, "CDT and its Japanese partner, Seiko-Epson Corp., have unveiled the world's first plastic TV display and will set aggressive targets for commercializing the technology." According to CDT chief executive Danny Chapchal, "The announcement will demonstrate that our technology is very close to commercialization for computer and video display applications."

Barry Willis  |  Feb 14, 1998  |  0 comments

All it will take is $20 million to make things right between <A HREF="http://www.mgm.com">Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer</A> and <A HREF="http://www.spe.sony.com">Sony Pictures Entertainment</A>. A suit filed on February 8 by MGM's Orion Pictures Corporation in Los Angeles Superior Court charges Sony and its subsidiaries, Columbia TriStar Home Video and Columbia Pictures Entertainment, with "substantially underreporting revenues" and "failing properly to account for monies received" for distributing Orion's films on video outside the US. Orion had an exclusive distribution contract with Columbia/Sony from 1985 to 1992.

Barry Willis  |  Feb 14, 1998  |  0 comments

Light-emitting polymers (LEPs) in Cambridge? In Tokyo, Sharp Electronics has developed a wafer-thin liquid crystal display (LCD) with computer circuitry built in. Sharp and its research partner, Semiconductor Energy Laboratory, announced in mid-January that they have devised a technology called continuous-grain silicon (CGS) that will allow LCDs to contain their own driver chips. This will permit the integration of displays and computers into sheets of any size, from credit-card-sized personal digital assistants to large-format video screens.

 |  Feb 08, 1998  |  0 comments

At the upcoming <A HREF="http://www.nab.org/conventions/">National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show</A>, <A HREF="http://www.sony.com/">Sony Electronics</A> will be showing a full line of professional products to enable DTV implementation in 1998. The company's Business and Professional Group recently unveiled its strategy and plans, which include interfacing SDTV and HDTV formats for all DTV applications through an MPEG2 environment, the industry's global standard for DTV broadcasting.

Barry Willis  |  Feb 08, 1998  |  0 comments

A two-day stop in San Francisco on Fujitsu's road show last week was enough time to let me scoot downtown and scope out the company's new Plasmavision 42 display. Jon Iverson and I were mighty impressed by it last month at the Consumer Electronics Show, where it was demonstrated under less-than-ideal conditions. This month, in a suite on the 35th floor of the ANA Hotel, the Plasmavision once again stood out as an exceptional feat of engineering.

Jon Iverson  |  Feb 08, 1998  |  0 comments

Due to the astounding box-office success of James Cameron's <I>Titanic</I>, Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox have scrapped their plans for releasing the film's home-video version early this summer.Taken by surprise at the unending box-office interest in the film (over $300 million so far), the studios say that they will have to completely rethink the home video release. Rumors are that <I>Titanic</I> will be released on video for the 1998 holiday season.

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