In Other Video News . . .

Last week, Nimbus CD International, Inc. announced that it has produced a combined total of more than 3.5 million commercial DVD-Video and DVD-ROM discs since the launch of the format one year ago.

According to Lyndon J. Faulkner, chairman and CEO of Nimbus, "DVD is slated to be one of the most successful consumer-electronics product launches ever. Nimbus is extremely proud to be a part of that success through the support of our expanding DVD customer base. Our early commitment to the DVD format, along with our continuing expansion of capacity and capabilities, gives us a critical depth of experience in all aspects of DVD manufacturing. This has been a very important issue for our clients and a key component of our ongoing success in the market."

Nimbus currently manufactures all DVD formats, and the company offers in-house DVD-ROM pre-mastering. Recently, the company announced a $22 million investment toward expanding DVD capacity and capabilities in its plants in the United States and Europe, which will have an annual DVD capacity of 28 million discs when completed.

On July 9, Sharp Electronics Corporation unveiled the product specifications for its first rear-projection HDTV set (64LHP5000), along with additional details on its TU-DTV1000 DTV decoder.

Sharp will sell its first DTV products under the SharpVision brand. Both the rear-projection TV and the DTV decoder are scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 1998, and they are expected to sell for approximately $9999 and $1999, respectively. Both products feature expansion bays to accommodate future digital video and data services.

Several SharpVision projectors already use component-video inputs for direct connection to the DTV decoder. In addition, Sharp will release a line of big-screen DTV-ready sets, the KX series. This line is also equipped with component inputs and will accommodate both NTSC and DTV. Sharp's KX series was developed to complement the SharpVision DTV product line and will work with the decoder. The SharpVision high-definition displays receive and display 1080i; other DTV formats, such as 720p, 480p, and even 480i, are automatically converted to 1080i.

Hewlett-Packard recently announced a promotion to put DVD movies into the hands of new computer buyers. Co-sponsored by NetFlix, the program lets HP Pavilion PC customers rent three DVD movies of their choice from the NetFlix inventory of more than 1400 DVD titles.

"This promotion enables us to help HP Pavilion PC owners experience DVD to the fullest," says Chris Pedersen, worldwide brand manager for HP's Home Products Division. "By providing our customers with simple and convenient access to DVD movies, we are helping them discover what this exciting new medium has to offer."