Audio Video News

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Barry Willis  |  Sep 19, 1998  |  0 comments

DVD will be getting a big boost this fall. <A HREF="">Sony</A> has announced a multipronged promotion with Internet film distributor <A HREF="">NetFlix</A> and several major video retailers that will expose thousands of movie lovers to the new format. The program will run simultaneously with one <A HREF="">announced</A> recently by <A HREF="">Blockbuster Video</A> and <A HREF="">Philips Electronics</A>. The Sony/NetFlix and Blockbuster/Philips promotionals were announced in the wake of <A HREF="">Circuit City</A>'s <A HREF="">admission</A> that, without outside funding, it will have to cut back on its Divx marketing effort.

Jon Iverson  |  Sep 13, 1998  |  0 comments

The annual Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) show has just vacated New Orleans, leaving several interesting announcements for home-theater fans in its wake. Custom-installation products and home-automation technologies usually cram the aisles, but among the in-wall speakers and specialized wiring systems were plenty of new consumer-electronics products.

Barry Willis  |  Sep 12, 1998  |  0 comments

Later this month, more than 500 of <A HREF="">Blockbuster Video</A>'s approximately 6000 stores will install rental kiosks stocked with DVD players from <A HREF="">Philips Consumer Electronics</A>. Participating stores will also expand their selection of DVDs to more than 350 titles for rent and 150 for sale.

Barry Willis  |  Sep 12, 1998  |  0 comments

Akira Kurosawa is gone, but his legacy lives on in repertory cinema houses around the world and on video. The man whom Steven Spielberg called "the pictorial Shakespeare of our time" died of a stroke at his home in Tokyo on September 6. He was 88.

Barry Willis  |  Sep 12, 1998  |  0 comments

An otherwise good year for <A HREF="">Circuit City</A> could be marred by the debut of Divx. On August 31, the Richmond, VA-based company announced that earnings for the most recent quarter of their fiscal year would increase from 44 to 46 cents per share, up primarily on the sales strength of DSS, computers, wireless and mobile electronics, and major appliances. However, investments in Divx could reduce earnings substantially for the second half, during which the pay-per-view DVD alternative will get its official launch.

Jon Iverson  |  Sep 06, 1998  |  0 comments

Most folks in the US take it for granted that they can easily watch broadcasts from networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox. But let's say you live in the Oregon hills, about 45 miles from the nearest major city. You've never been able to receive a decent television signal with an antenna, and cable hasn't come within miles of your house. If you want to watch network TV, that new direct broadcast satellite (DBS) dish on your roof is the only option you've got. Due to a recent injunction, however, that option might soon expire.

Jon Iverson  |  Sep 06, 1998  |  0 comments

Video-on-demand (VOD) got another boost last week when <A HREF="">Concurrent Computer Corporation</A> and <A HREF="">Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.</A> announced that they have sealed their agreement to jointly develop and supply "full-function true VOD systems." The agreement finalizes a letter of intent announced in May and follows an April 1998 VOD agreement between Scientific-Atlanta and SeaChange International (profiled in a <A HREF="">previous story</A>).

Barry Willis  |  Sep 05, 1998  |  0 comments

Video stores decked out like ships, replicas of the doomed ocean liner carved from huge blocks of ice, memorabilia priced off the chart---it was all part of the seemingly endless hysteria surrounding James Cameron's <I>Titanic</I> as the first video copies hit the street last week. Stores remained open late to serve eager fans, who waited in long lines to buy the film when it went on sale at 12:01 am, Tuesday, September 1. According to Bruce Apar, editor of <I>Video Business</I> magazine, "Inarguably, <I>Titanic</I> is the biggest video event in years. This is the kind of marquee title that gets people into the stores to buy other titles as well."

 |  Sep 05, 1998  |  0 comments

Danger, Will Robinson! How do you make a bad TV series worse? Make it into a movie. Or a computer game. Or both! That's the concept behind <I>Lost in Space</I>, a new DVD from <A HREF="">New Line Home Cinema</A>.

 |  Aug 30, 1998  |  0 comments

Television viewers could soon find themselves in a "walled garden" of digital flora if the predictions of a new report are correct. The report, called <I>Digital Television: How to Survive and Make Money</I>, was generated by technology-analysis firm <A HREF="">Ovum</A>. It outlines the changes taking place in the broadcast industry as a result of the digitization of the medium and the Internet.

Wes Phillips  |  Aug 30, 1998  |  0 comments

M<I>ark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, Nicole Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Directed by P.T. Anderson. Aspect ratio: 2:35:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 155 minutes. 1998. New Line Platinum Series N4650. Rated R. $24.99.</I>

Jon Iverson  |  Aug 30, 1998  |  0 comments

Plasma display panels (PDPs) are arguably the most revolutionary new video-monitor technology to come along in the last few years. First-generation models are exciting, but they're known to have limitations. However, a recent announcement from <A HREF="">Fujitsu Limited</A> should move the plasma approach closer to many living rooms next year.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 29, 1998  |  0 comments

Satellite broadcasting will be first out of the chute with HDTV. While local broadcasters scramble to comply with FCC mandates to be HD-ready by 1999, satellite services are almost there. On August 25, U.S. Satellite Broadcasting (USSB) announced that it will lease transponder space from DirecTV at the 95&#176;W fixed location so it can begin transmitting HDTV previews. DirecTV will also beam HD programming from the same satellite.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 29, 1998  |  0 comments

New music revitalizes old movie: the Kronos Quartet has just completed an intense eight-day recording session at Lucasfilm's Skywalker Ranch studio in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The Quartet laid down a Philip Glass score for a reissue of <I>Dracula</I>, the 1931 horror flick starring B&#233;la Lugosi. The effort is part of a <A HREF="">Universal Home Video</A> project that will bring classic early horror films to a new audience.

 |  Aug 23, 1998  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="">Image Entertainment</A> announced the acquisition of Ken Crane's LaserDisc/DVD Internet-based direct-to-consumer business, a division of <A HREF="">Ken Crane's Home Entertainment</A> of Hawthorne, CA. Long a favorite among laserdisc aficionados, and more recently DVD fans, the business was purchased for approximately $6.5 million in a combination of cash, stock, and the assumption of certain liabilities, subject to adjustment.