In its continuing crusade to standardize soundtrack-playback levels, Dolby Laboratories has introduced a new soundtrack-loudness meter, the Model 737. The device was unveiled two weeks ago at Variety's Dolby Tech Symposium at the Cannes Film Festival. According to a May 20 Dolby press release, the 737 "enables sound mixers to easily monitor the subjective loudness of trailers and other soundtracks as they are being prepared."
Video is hot and getting hotter. With HDTV looming on the horizon, no-compromise video demonstrations will be among the biggest attractions at HI-FI '98, beginning Tuesday at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel.
Computer-game developers have been moving toward the home-theater market for the last couple of years. And with DVD players now catching on with computer buyers and home-theater buffs, the format is ripe for a crossover hit. What is needed, of course, is the killer title that makes good use of both a computer and a home-theater system.
Last week, Princeton, a manufacturer of computer monitors and PC/TV convergence products, announced a contract with Unity Motion, a high-definition distribution and programming company (see previous article) to develop a flexible, high-quality, widescreen multiscan TV monitor for consumers.
Recently, The Academy Advancing High Performance Audio & Video (AAHPAV) released its 1998 Golden Note Awards Nominations. Winners will be announced at the Golden Note Awards banquet, to be held June 10 at The Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey, CA. John Hoskins, co-founder of Advantage Performance Group, will present the keynote address, "Why Bad Things Happen to Good New Products."
For the last 25 years, about 1000 engineers from all regions of the world have gathered at the annual IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE) in Chicago to review and discuss the emerging technology trends in the consumer industry.
Known for ultra-high-quality analog and digital audio electronics, Sonic Frontiers will soon enter the home-theater market. The Oakville, Ontario company announced its intentions less than two months after being acquired by the Lenbrook Group, which also owns PSB. In addition, Sonic Frontiers recently joined the growing group of companies represented by public-relations firm JB Stanton Communications, Inc.
Home theater just keeps getting better. New products from Toshiba,Mitsubishi, and other companies promise huge improvements in picture quality and greater system flexibility. For example, Toshiba's ColorStream PRO technology in its Platinum Standard SD7108 DVD-Video player preserves the MPEG-2 480-line progressive video scanning inherent in DVDs and outputs it directly to one of the company's new Cinema Series projection TV sets, such as the 71-inch TP71H95.
Like its nymphet namesake, Lolita seems to create nothing but trouble for those who fall under its spell. Director Adrian Lyne's cinematic interpretation of Vladimir Nabokov's still-controversial novel about a middle-aged man's obsession with a teenage girl spent a year in the Hollywood revolving door because no major studio was willing to risk a distribution deal---until now. Showtime Networks, a cable-TV unit of Viacom, has picked up the film's US rights.
On May 14, Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Grundig, Sharp, Sony, Thomson Multimedia, and Toshiba announced that they have compiled a core home-networks specification for AV electronics appliances. The eight companies plan to actively promote this spec, called HAVi (Home Audio-Video interoperability), as a home-network standard for the AV electronics and multimedia industries.
On May 18, James D. Dunning, Jr., Chairman and CEO of the Petersen Companies, Inc., announced an agreement to acquire Stereophile Magazine and Stereophile Guide to Home Theater---two of this country's leading high-end audio and home-theater publications---as well as HI-FI '98, The Home theater & Specialty Audio Show.
Maybe somebody should invent an exer-couch: According to a recent national survey commissioned by Blockbuster, popcorn and soft drinks top the list of favorite foods and drinks that people consume when watching videos at home.