Barry Willis

Barry Willis  |  Sep 29, 2002  |  0 comments

EchoStar CEO Charlie Ergen has hyped his company's proposed acquisition of DirecTV as "competition against cable" rather than a "monopoly in the sky." Merger or not, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) services have steadily eroded cable's subscribership, a situation that is beginning to yield benefits for consumers in some parts of the US.

Barry Willis  |  Sep 22, 2002  |  0 comments

The television broadcasting picture could change substantially if a bill drafted by US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) becomes law. Among the bill's most drastic requirements is one forcing broadcasters to return their analog TV channels by 2006, for probable auction to wireless services. The <A HREF="http://www.nab.org">National Association of Broadcasters</A> (NAB) is expected to campaign strongly against any such legislation. The Commerce Committee's ranking Democrat, John Dingell of Michigan, helped draft the bill.

Barry Willis  |  Sep 22, 2002  |  0 comments

Some Pioneer DVD recorders and computer drives need a firmware update before they can be used with new high-speed discs, according to a September 17 announcement from Long Beach, CA&ndash;based <A HREF="http://www.pioneerelectronics.com">Pioneer Electronics USA, Inc</A>. Using high-speed discs without first completing the update could cause damage to both discs and hardware, the company explained.

Barry Willis  |  Sep 22, 2002  |  0 comments

On September 13, San Francisco-based Dolby Laboratories announced the availability of a new reference multichannel decoder, the <A HREF="http://www.dolby.com/products/DP564/">DP564</A>. The new tool is able to decode every Dolby&#174; consumer format, making it the "perfect solution for monitoring in DVD, digital TV broadcast, and postproduction applications," according to an official announcement. The DP564 debuted at the International Broadcasting Convention held September 13&ndash;17.

Barry Willis  |  Sep 01, 2002  |  0 comments

Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (<A HREF="http://www.cablelabs.com">"CableLabs"</A>) has issued a new set of specifications for high-definition-compatible set-top converter boxes. The Louisville, CO&ndash;based organization released its "Advanced Host and High Definition STB Host" specifications last week, describing requirements for retail set-top boxes that decode all formats of high definition signals used on digital cable plants. The specs are available to manufacturers, content developers, and the public through the <A HREF="http://www.opencable.com">OpenCable website</A>.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 25, 2002  |  0 comments

The <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA) is considering a legal challenge to the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov">Federal Communication Commission</A>'s (FCC) recent ruling requiring manufacturers to begin including digital tuners in new television sets.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 25, 2002  |  0 comments

Home theater is increasingly a mainstream phenomenon, and no one recognizes this better than <A HREF="http://www.sharp-usa.com">Sharp Electronics</A>. During the last week of August, the manufacturing giant hosted its dealers and some members of the media at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines hotel/golf resort in a celebration of new products that included a DLP video projector with a suggested retail price right around $3000.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 18, 2002  |  0 comments

Financial life is looking good for <A HREF="http://www.echostar.com">EchoStar Communications Corporation</A>. The Littleton, CO-based direct broadcast satellite operator reported second-quarter profits of $45.8 million, with revenue up 21%, to $1.17 billion. EchoStar's subscribership increased by 295,000 during the quarter, and the company is predicting that it could add more than 1.2 million new subscribers to its DISH network in 2002, with a total approaching eight million by year's end. EchoStar reported the results August 15.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 18, 2002  |  0 comments

The cable industry isn't a happy one these days. Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable provider in the US, is under investigation by federal prosecutors for possible accounting irregularities. Owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Charter was on the receiving end of a grand jury subpoena delivered Thursday, August 15 by the US Attorney's office in St. Louis, MO, Charter's home city. The cable service has more than 6.8 million customers in 40 states.

Barry Willis  |  Aug 11, 2002  |  0 comments

Bowing to criticism from investors, <A HREF="http://www.cablevision.com">Cablevision Systems Corporation</A> announced August 8 that it would cut its capital expenditures by nearly half. The cable giant plans to reduce its staff by approximately 7%, sell its Clearview Cinema theater chain, and close 26 THE WIZ electronics stores. There are 59 Clearview theaters in the New York metropolitan area; most THE WIZ stores are also concentrated there.

Pages

X