|  Dec 24, 2000  |  0 comments

In an effort to simplify the mess that the 500-channel TV universe has become, <A HREF="%20">Panasonic</A> announced last week the shipment of its new DirecTV-enabled HDTV receiver to retailers. In addition to receiving and decoding both DirectTV and DirecTV HD satellite transmissions, the TU-HDS20 is a DTV-ready multiple-format tuner capable of receiving all 18 ATSC digital television broadcast formats as well as current analog (NTSC) signals.

Robert Deutsch  |  Dec 24, 2000  |  0 comments

F<I>rank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly. Directed by George Sidney. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (original full-frame). Dolby Digital 1.0. 140 minutes. 1945. Warner Bros. 65070. NR. $19.99.</I>

Barry Willis  |  Dec 24, 2000  |  0 comments

One of the most honored films in the history of the movie business, <I>Ben Hur</I>, will make its DVD debut this coming March, 42 years after its theatrical release. On December 18, <A HREF="">Warner Home Video</A> announced a March 13 street date for the disc. The film has been digitally restored and has a new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The suggested retail price will be $24.98.

Jon Iverson  |  Dec 24, 2000  |  0 comments

It has repeatedly been predicted that video rental stores are heading for the graveyard, most recently with the advent of small satellite services and online rental competitors such as Netflix. The latest foe that, pundits claim, is likely to deal the fatal blow to rental stores is video-on-demand over high-speed networks.

 |  Dec 24, 2000  |  0 comments

The year 2000 was a box office record breaker for the film industry, but the chance of repeating that feat in 2001 is being dimmed by the possibility of labor strikes that could halt film production for months.

HT Staff  |  Dec 21, 2000  |  0 comments
Improvement wrought by Sony and other manufacturers is bringing flatscreen monitors into territory they weren't originally intended to serve. First developed for commercial signage and public information display, flatscreen monitors---especially the type known as plasma display panels (PDPs)---have seen huge advances in contrast ratio and reduction of motion artifacts, to such an extent that they can be seriously considered by even hard-to-please home theater fans.
HT Staff  |  Dec 20, 2000  |  0 comments
As former Chrysler chairman Lee Iococca used to say in the television ads, some companies lead and others follow. British manufacturer Meridian Audio Limited is one that has always lead in the effort to squeeze the most out of any given digital entertainment format.
HT Staff  |  Dec 20, 2000  |  0 comments
Modular multichannel amplifiers solve plenty of problems for home theater fans: freeing floor space tops among them. An interesting new offering in this product category is the MDB1000 from Pennsylvania's Accusonic. A "Class H" amplifier weighing 60 lbs., the MDB1000 puts out 200 watts/8 ohms x 5 channels, ideal for almost all traditional surround sound systems.
Joe Leydon  |  Dec 17, 2000  |  0 comments

R<I>osanna Arquette, Amanda Donohoe, Gina Gershon, Buck Henry, Salome Jens, Frank Langella, Andrew McCarthy, Elizabeth Perkins. Directed by Bruce Wagner. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 103 minutes. 1998. Sterling Home Entertainment 7325. NR. $24.95.</I>

Jon Iverson  |  Dec 17, 2000  |  0 comments

A new report released by analyst and consulting company <A HREF="">Ovum</A> suggests that, as digital television opens new frontiers, competition between telecommunications giants and the TV industry will increase rapidly. Ovum also predicts that digital television connections will grow from 62 million in 2001 to 350 million in 2006, creating numerous opportunities for companies throughout the new media sector.