Jon Iverson  |  Mar 05, 2000  |  0 comments

Home networking is getting hot, and the last few months have seen numerous announcements of new technologies and proprietary standards. To help sort out the confusion, last week the Technology and Standards Department of the <A HREF="">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA) said it has reorganized its standards-setting committees to "reflect the changing home-networking industry." According to the CEA, the R-7 Home Networking Committee, created in May 1999, will now oversee and coordinate the work of the integrated home systems and home automation standards committees, which previously worked within specific product categories.

Jon Iverson  |  Mar 05, 2000  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="">TiVo</A> and Britain's <A HREF="">Sky Broadcasting Group</A> (BSkyB) announced an alliance that the companies claim marks the introduction of personal television to the United Kingdom. According to TiVo, "state-of-the-art personal video recorders similar in size and shape to VCRs and digital set-top boxes will deliver the personal television service, which will be co-branded by TiVo and Sky." The companies say that products and services are expected to be available in retail outlets this fall, with pricing and distribution to be announced shortly.

Clint Walker  |  Feb 28, 2000  |  First Published: Feb 29, 2000  |  0 comments
A tasty trio of tweeters?

I once dated a girl in college who had a unusually large mouth. I was so taken in by the possibilities that I failed to explore the reality—a big mouth equals a loud mouth. Likewise, when it comes to speakers, you can usually get a good idea of the limitations or exacerbations of a speaker by the types and number of drivers it has.

Mike McGann  |  Feb 28, 2000  |  First Published: Feb 29, 2000  |  0 comments
Editor makes stupid grounding mistakes and pays with fried gear.

Those of you who have installed your own satellite systems have seen RG-6 coaxial cable with a second wire attached to the outside. I can't speak for the rest of you, but I know I never paid a whole lot of attention to that second wire. Sure, it was handy for tying the cable to stuff and so on, but, frankly, who really gives it a whole lot of thought? Even our detail-oriented (PC for anal retentive) technical editor Mike Wood admits he's never found much need for it, either. That is, until he heard my tale of woe.

Mike Wood  |  Feb 28, 2000  |  First Published: Feb 29, 2000  |  0 comments
Mike Wood Conducts a Five-Way Face Off of Step-Up DVD Players. Christmas may be over, but tax day is only a few months away. You know what that means? Refunds! Assuming you file your tax return correctly (or cheat), you should be getting some money back, and we know just the way to spend it: Buy a new DVD player! This format has skyrocketed by leaps and bounds. By this, I don't mean the typical "Well gee, DVD has started off better than CD's or VHS's launch," even though it has. I'm talking the "according to one source, DVD sales are up at least 300 percent over last year" kind of skyrocketing. Three-hundred percent! Everyone else is obviously doing it, so why aren't you? If you haven't witnessed the startling visual and audio clarity available with the shiny little discs, you need to jump on the bandwagon.
Barry Willis  |  Feb 27, 2000  |  0 comments

Versatile, low-cost set-top boxes are coming soon, thanks to a joint venture announced February 23 by digital television software developer <A HREF="">OpenTV</A> and direct-broadcast satellite service <A HREF="">EchoStar Communications Corporation</A>. The device will incorporate both interactive features and a hard-disk recorder, and may be rolled out by EchoStar's DISH Network by the end of the year.

Barry Willis  |  Feb 27, 2000  |  0 comments

Television viewers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area of Florida now have a real choice between their local cable system and direct broadcast satellite services. On February 21, <A HREF="">EchoStar Communications Corporation</A> announced that its <A HREF="">DISH Network</A> had begun offering local WFTS-ABC (Channel 28), WTSP-CBS (Ch. 10), WFLA-NBC (Ch. 8), and WTVT-Fox (Ch. 13) by satellite television to 10 counties in the region.

 |  Feb 27, 2000  |  0 comments

More than two-thirds of American television viewers get their programming by cable. They may soon be able to receive digital television signals over their existing systems, if all goes according to an agreement signed February 23 by the <A HREF="">Consumer Electronics Association</A> and the <A HREF="">National Cable Television Association</A>.

 |  Feb 27, 2000  |  0 comments

In a unique collaboration, <A HREF="">Hewlett-Packard</A>, <A HREF="">Philips</A>, <A HREF="">Ricoh</A>, <A HREF="">Sony</A>, and <A HREF="">Yamaha</A> took part in a demonstration at last week's CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany, intended to publicly reinforce their commitment to 4.7 Gigabyte DVD+RW technology. Thomson Multimedia also revealed its support of DVD+RW technology at CeBIT.

Jon Iverson  |  Feb 27, 2000  |  0 comments

Most of us have had to return videos to the rental store, sometimes making a mad dash late at night while still in our loungewear or worse. But if you thought nobody was noticing, think again.