Barry Willis

Barry Willis  |  Apr 19, 1998  |  0 comments

Hollywood is now cranking out DVD titles at a rate of more than one per day, but rental outlets have only a few of the most popular titles in stock. This is clearly a problem for home-theater owners and movie fans looking for new material.

Barry Willis  |  Apr 19, 1998  |  0 comments

Manufacturer <A HREF="http://www.faroudja.com/">Faroudja, Inc.</A>, famous for its video projectors, line-doublers, line-quadruplers, and other ultra-high-quality video processors, kicked off a nationwide HDTV road show last Thursday with a well-attended open house at The Audible Difference, a high-end dealer in Silicon Valley, about 25 miles south of San Francisco.

Barry Willis  |  Apr 19, 1998  |  0 comments

On April 13, <A HREF="http://www.warnerbros.com">Warner Bros. Home Video</A> announced a program intended to introduce the DVD to a new generation of movie fans. WB will bundle DVD players and discs for video dealers to rent to their customers. "The rapid growth of DVD now makes rental a viable business opportunity for rental retailers," says Thomas Lesinski, Warner Home Video senior vice president for marketing.

Barry Willis  |  Apr 12, 1998  |  0 comments

Delays in tower construction could cause broadcasters in some big cities like New York and Chicago to miss their government-mandated May 1, 1999 deadline for initiating HDTV. The problem is this: The strength of terrestrially transmitted digital signals is dependent on the height of transmitting towers, and big-city broadcasters are having trouble finding the space to build them. "The rollout might be a little slower than anyone anticipated," said <A HREF="http://www.nab.org/">National Association of Broadcasters</A> executive vice president Chuck Sherman at the NAB's annual convention in Las Vegas.

Barry Willis  |  Apr 12, 1998  |  0 comments

Digital Satellite System dish owners could soon be enjoying Dolby Digital surround sound. Next month, DSS dealers will start taking delivery on RCA's new DS5451 receiver. The new receiver will incorporate an optical Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format (S/PDIF) jack that sends a Dolby Digital signal to an appropriate surround decoder or A/V receiver.

Barry Willis  |  Apr 05, 1998  |  0 comments

TriStar Pictures and Columbia Pictures will soon be one big happy family, <A HREF="http://www.spe.sony.com/">Sony Pictures Entertainment</A> announced on March 31 in Culver City, CA. The two production companies, which were purchased separately by Sony in 1989, have been operated independently, except for a common marketing and distribution department. John Calley, Sony Pictures president, said it no longer made financial sense to have the two companies competing for the same projects.

Barry Willis  |  Apr 05, 1998  |  0 comments

In Shanghai, <I>Titanic</I> was available on Video Compact Disc last November, a month before it appeared in theaters in the United States. According to <I>New York Times</I> correspondent Seth Faison in a story dated March 28, illegally copied discs are flooding into China at the rate of half a million per day, primarily from Macau, a Portuguese colony near Hong Kong. China has no legal jurisdiction over Macau, which is not a signatory to the World Trade Organization's International Treaty on Intellectual Properties. Both the US and China signed the pact to control piracy.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 31, 1998  |  0 comments

Widescreen pictures and 5.1-channel audio will soon be accompanied by stenches, scents, fragrances, and aromas. Parfum Recherche SA, a Paris-based olfactory research firm, has announced a partnership with Snout & Proboscis Development Corp. of Santa Clara, California, to license its scent-encoding and -decoding technology to film studios and home-theater hardware makers worldwide. S&P's new chip division will be known as Scentronics.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 29, 1998  |  0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="http://www.dolby.com">Dolby Laboratories</A> won a bidding war for a four-storey office building near its Potrero Hill headquarters in downtown San Francisco. Dolby president Bill Jasper plunked down $18.25 million in cashier's checks for the glass-block building, which had fallen into bankruptcy after it had been used as a diamond-cutting and distribution center linked to both the De Beers cartel and the Russian government.

Barry Willis  |  Mar 15, 1998  |  1 comments

R<I>obert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1. Dolby Digital 5.1. 179 minutes. Univeral 20159. Rated R. $26.98.</I>

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