Barry Willis  |  May 30, 1999  |  0 comments

We've all heard of electronic devices so advanced they do everything but make your breakfast. However, you can almost smell the bacon frying with <A HREF="">EchoStar</A>'s DishPlayer. The price? Try two hundred bucks.

 |  May 30, 1999  |  0 comments

On May 19, residents of Seattle, Washington, were treated to another HDTV first: Local ABC affiliate <A HREF="">KOMO</A> launched the dual broadcast of all its newscasts in analog standard-definition on channel 4 and high-definition on KOMO-DT channel 38, making history with its 5 o'clock broadcast. KOMO-DT says it will broadcast more than 30 hours of local HD news each week.

Barry Willis  |  May 30, 1999  |  0 comments

DVD's early adopters were almost entirely technophile males, and their tastes in films were completely predictable: action and science fiction. Now that DVD players are finding their way into more homes, the popularity of other film genres in the digital format is growing.

 |  May 30, 1999  |  0 comments

Your cable company might not be the only television pipeline in town for much longer, thanks to legislation passed late Thursday, May 20, by the US Senate. The measure, backed by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), allows direct broadcast satellite (DBS) program providers to begin beaming local TV channels into the same localities from which they originate, just as cable providers have always done. A similar bill was recently passed by the US House of Representatives.

Jon Iverson  |  May 30, 1999  |  0 comments

Last week saw several IEEE 1394 announcements in anticipation of the third annual 1394 Developers Conference coming up June 2 in San Jose, California. (See <A HREF="">previous report</A>.) IEEE 1394, also known as FireWire, is a high-bandwidth local-area network (LAN) technology gaining considerable interest from consumer-electronics and computer manufacturers. IEEE 1394 can link a virtually unlimited number of home-entertainment devices with a single cable, and manufacturers hope to lower the cost of goods through a reduced number of necessary jacks, cables, and circuits.

Derek Germano  |  May 30, 1999  |  0 comments

K<I>athleen Turner, Nicolas Cage, Barry Miller, Catherine Hicks, Don Murray, Barbara Harris, Jim Carrey, Wil Shriner, Maureen O'Sullivan, Leon Ames, John Carradine, Joan Allen, Helen Hunt. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 2.0 (Dolby Surround). 103 minutes. 1986. Columbia TriStar Home Video 81849. Rated PG-13. $29.98.</I>

 |  May 23, 1999  |  0 comments

According to <A HREF="">CyberStar L.P.</A>, the world's first satellite-broadcast distribution of high-definition, all-digital motion-picture content to a movie theater was successfully conducted last week at the Cannes Film Festival. The company, which is a provider of broadband services developed by <A HREF="">Loral Space & Communications</A>, teamed with independent film producers/distributors <A HREF="">Wavelength Releasing</A> and digital film-server manufacturer QuVIS to distribute and show two short films: the Academy Award-winning <I>Bunny</I>, directed by Chris Wedge, and <I>Protest</I>, directed by S.D. Katz. Audiences viewed both films at Cannes' eCinema exhibition at the Palais Miramar on May 18-20.

Jon Iverson  |  May 23, 1999  |  0 comments

In a perfect home-theater world, <I>all</I> consumers would demand ever-better video technologies with which to watch films and other programming at home. We would enthusiastically support companies that brought us video displays of increasing size and resolution, and we would favor movie studios that supported our quest for images and sounds of the highest definition. But the real world could be an unfriendly place for HDTV fans, according to a report just released by the <A HREF="">McLaughlin Consulting Group</A>.

Barry Willis  |  May 23, 1999  |  0 comments

Move over, TiVo. Step aside, ReplayTV. Canada's <A HREF="">MGI Software</A> has introduced new software that will turn Pentium III computers into digital VCRs. The development was announced in mid-May at the Electronic Entertainment Expo '99 in Los Angeles.

Barry Willis  |  May 23, 1999  |  0 comments

The race for home networking could be over before it really begins. On May 11, <A HREF="">Enikia Inc.</A> demonstrated a working model of a 10-megabit-per-second network using active AC powerlines as the medium. The demo took place at the Networld + Interop gathering in Las Vegas, a confab for the networking industry.