Barry Willis  |  Aug 22, 1998  |  0 comments

Ongoing financial losses to the Indian film industry from widespread video piracy provoked a one-day strike last week in the city of Bombay. On Tuesday, August 14, about 5000 people---including actors, producers, directors, and technical workers---streamed into the city's business district in a protest march from the suburb of Bandra. The strike was led by the Film Makers Combine, an industry association that called on the Indian government to step up enforcement of copyright laws.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 22, 1998  |  0 comments

Convergence might be the brunt of jokes in some quarters, but not at 7 Mark Drive in San Rafael, CA. That's the home of <A HREF="">NetTV</A>, which has just announced its new ExtremeDVD home-entertainment system. ExtremeDVD is optimized for 3-D gaming, Internet access, satellite downloads, and high-resolution movie playback.

Jon Iverson  |  Aug 16, 1998  |  0 comments

It's been a glorious week for folks who rent or buy open-DVD videos. <A HREF="">Paramount Home Video</A> and <A HREF="">Twentieth Century Fox</A> have each announced a string of releases that signal their entry into the open-DVD market. Both companies, relative laggards in the rollout of the new format, have said that copyright issues are the delaying factor.

 |  Aug 16, 1998  |  0 comments

At the DVD Production '98 conference last week, the International Recording Media Association (IRMA) released sales forecasts for the growth and worldwide expansion of the international DVD marketplace. The numbers are part of a study on the growth and direction of the world optical-media marketplace.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 15, 1998  |  0 comments

The format war is heating up. <A HREF="">Circuit City</A> has enlisted a third ally as it prepares to go nationwide with the launch of Divx. On August 11, Denver's 30-store <A HREF="">Ultimate Electronics</A> chain threw its weight behind the pay-per-view format. California-based retailer <A HREF="">The Good Guys</A> has been a Divx partner since early in the game.

 |  Aug 15, 1998  |  0 comments

Public awareness of HDTV has almost doubled in the past year, according to a survey recently conducted by the <A HREF="">Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association</A>. Over the week of July 6-14, CEMA interviewed 1000 adults, selected at random, to find out how far the coming television format has penetrated into the American consciousness.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 15, 1998  |  0 comments

In the comic books of the 1960s, "X-Ray Specs" were hot commodities in the back-page ads. The mail-order eyeware supposedly enabled users to see through walls, doors, and ordinary clothing---a compelling motivation for millions of adolescent males who saved their lunch money for weeks to buy them. In what was probably their first introduction to marketing hype, the disappointed boys discovered that the specs were a fraud.

Jon Iverson  |  Aug 09, 1998  |  0 comments

Sandor Hasznos of Denver, Colorado, purchased a television on July 31, and it was delivered last week. This might not seem like a big deal---unless you consider that this was the first HDTV officially sold in the US. The set, a <A HREF="">Panasonic</A> PT-56WXF90, was the first one bought at <A HREF="">Ultimate Electronics</A> during an HDTV preview event that drew over 4000 digital-television enthusiasts.

Jon Iverson  |  Aug 09, 1998  |  0 comments

The new holy grail of the media business is video-on-demand (VOD)---the ability to make high-quality video, audio, and Web content available on customers' TVs when they want it, not according to a broadcaster's schedule. When you add shopping-on-demand supported by live video and sound, you have the makings of a new media empire.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 08, 1998  |  0 comments

Currently, a relative handful of people worldwide subscribe to Internet-on-TV services. However, according to a recent study by <A HREF="">SRI Consulting</A>, a research firm based in Menlo Park, California, the number of Net-TV subscribers will mushroom to over 12 million in less than four years, and the cable industry is in the best position to serve these new customers.