Last week, Panasonic Consumer Electronics announced the retail launch of its new digital VCR—or, as they call it, a D-VHS VCR. The new PV-HD1000 will begin shipping this month. It carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $999.95 and marks the first DTV-compatible VCR to hit the US market.
Last week, Saco SmartVision announced that the world's largest video screen has been activated at 4 Times Square, flooding the area with nine-story-tall video images. The new screen is based on millions of discrete, individually energized red, green, and blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and measures 120x90 feet, following the curved form of the new Conde Nast Building at the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue and 43rd Street.
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.
In these TiVo-centric times it's tough for advertisers to figure out how to get their expensive to produce and place commercial messages in front of people. The burgeoning DVR market allows more and more users to not only time shift their content, but to zip right past those commercials the advertisers have paid millions of dollars to place on your favorite show. While the TV networks keep coming up with studies showing that their customers' ads are still buying them some impact with the DVR- generation, a recent survey from DIGDIA shows viewers would pay more for on-demand movie content to avoid commercials entirely.
A new report released by analyst and consulting company Ovum suggests that, as digital television opens new frontiers, competition between telecommunications giants and the TV industry will increase rapidly. Ovum also predicts that digital television connections will grow from 62 million in 2001 to 350 million in 2006, creating numerous opportunities for companies throughout the new media sector.
Would you like to subscribe to both satellite radio and satellite television in one convenient package? You might get a chance if Liberty Media's John Malone gets his way. He's thinking of bundling Sirius XM, in which he now owns a minority interest, with DirecTV, in which he owns a controlling interest.
As part of its mission "to provide home entertainment however consumers want to receive it," Blockbuster announced last week that it has taken a "significant first step" in the development of a national program to deliver movies and games to the home. Under a home-delivery agreement with Food.com, Blockbuster says that its videos will be delivered by Food.com through Takeout Taxi, a restaurant delivery service. Blockbuster has also recently announced a deal with MGM to develop digital streaming technologies for movie delivery.
HDNet took a break from filming high-definition bikinis on beaches to bag veteran news anchor Dan Rather who will produce and host a new program called "Dan Rather Reports". The show will premiere exclusively on HDNet beginning in October.
Planar Home Theater is a new division of the parent company, Planar Systems (primarily known for commercial and industrial flat-panel displays), aimed at bringing unique video technologies to the specialty home theater market. The new division's first product is a front-projection screen, the Planar Xscreen.
Perhaps you're thinking, "Hey, that new Xbox 360 looks pretty hot," along with the thought, "Man, how many remote controls do I need to figure out in order to use my home entertainment system?" It might just be, then, that the idea of adding a remote control for the Xbox 360 into your living room will be too much for your precarious state of mind.
Gaming sites all over the web were abuzz last week with reports of Microsoft offering an external Blu-ray Disc drive for its Xbox 360 game console. The hubbub started when Microsoft’s Peter Moore stated, in an interview with a Japanese gaming site, that if Blu-ray becomes the apparent winner in the format war Microsoft could accommodate that format easily with an external drive. By the end of the week Microsoft, staunchly in the HD DVD camp along with Intel, was spinning his comments, and reiterating the computer giant's support for HD DVD.