Barry Willis  |  Nov 28, 1999  |  0 comments

The Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999, <A HREF="">recently passed</A> by Congress and expected to be signed into law by President Clinton, will usher in a new level of competition to the television broadcasting industry&mdash;and a new era of service for viewers, according to direct-broadcast satellite service <A HREF="">DirecTV</A>. The bill allows DBS companies to provide signals from local TV stations, just as cable companies have always done.

Jon Iverson  |  Nov 28, 1999  |  0 comments

A recently released study has found that the high price of digital television sets, high capital investment costs, lack of advertising support, and scant offerings from broadcasters have restrained the penetration of digital television since its rollout in November 1998. But the report concludes that "despite its anti-climactic beginning, digital television still represents an important and potentially lucrative market in the consumer television industry."

Barry Willis  |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

The nation's 10 million satellite TV subscribers may soon be able to receive local broadcasts through their dish antennas, thanks to a bill passed in Washington on Thursday, November 18. Direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) services had been hamstrung in their efforts to compete with cable companies because of <A HREF="">Federal Communications Commission</A> restrictions that forbade them to retransmit local signals within areas reachable by stations originating those signals.

Barry Willis  |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

A new Nielsen report claims that kids are watching slightly less TV than they were 10 years ago, but another study claims that they are spending almost an entire work week, every week, with media of all kinds. That's the conclusion of <I>Kids & Media @ The New Millennium</I>, released recently by the Menlo Park, California philanthropic organization <A HREF="">The Kaiser Family Foundation</A>. TV and music are by far the biggest occupiers of kids' time, the report states, with computers and the Internet a distant second. Reading for pleasure&mdash;that done apart from schoolwork&mdash;occupies only about 45 minutes per day for 80% of the children surveyed.

 |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

Factory-to-dealer sales of digital television sets exceeded 20,000 units in October, a new one-month record. October's total of 21,432 units shipped was an increase of 42% over September's 15,600, the previous one-month record. More than 88,000 units have been sold since the new format was rolled out in 1998, with 75,000 of those units sold in 1999.

 |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

All was going reasonably well with HDTV until recently, when <A HREF="">Sinclair Broadcasting Company</A>, which owns several TV stations around the US, threw the FCC a curveball by claiming that the adopted 8-VSB standard was insufficient to roll HDTV out around the country. Sinclair had conducted tests which, it said, proved that the COFDM technology, favored by European and Asian broadcasters, would be a better choice. (See <A HREF="">previous report</A>.)

Jon Iverson  |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

Both <A HREF="">Sony Electronics</A> and <A HREF="">Panavision</A> say they will soon deliver the first prototype 24-frame-progressive high-definition camera system to <A HREF="">Lucasfilm</A> for testing prior to its being used in shooting the next two <I>Star Wars</I> films. The companies say that this announcement signifies the beginning of a new era in high-definition digital cinematography.

Michael Metzger  |  Nov 21, 1999  |  0 comments

L<I>eni Riefenstahl. Directed by Ray M&#252;ller. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-screen). Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono). 188 minutes. 1993. Kino Video/Image Entertainment K107. Not rated. $34.99.</I>

Jon Iverson  |  Nov 14, 1999  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="">The Walt Disney Company</A> and <A HREF="">Texas Instruments</A> announced that DLP Cinema technology will be featured in an all-digital showing of Disney/Pixar's new computer-animated film, <I>Toy Story 2</I>, at six locations in North America. According to the companies, <I>Toy Story 2</I> will be the first major studio feature to be released simultaneously in both digital and traditional film formats.

Wes Phillips  |  Nov 14, 1999  |  0 comments

O<I>prah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Kimberley Elise, Beah Richards, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Albert Hall. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (widescreen). Dolby Digital 5.1. 171 minutes. 1999. Touchstone Home Video 17243. R. $29.99.</I>