MORE DVD FORMAT WARS

There continues to be chaos in the world of recordable DVDs. The blur of acronyms has not changed in the last year or two – DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-Ram and the rest. There is some movement to reduce the impact on consumers by making players that can play all the formats, but you’re still well advised to stay away from digital video until you’re ready to study hard. […] continued

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BROADCAST FLAGS AND THE FUTURE OF TELEVISION

The FCC is preparing to move forward with regulations to support the embedding of a “broadcast flag” to encrypt digital television signals. This is a complex issue but it may directly affect your pocketbook and your life for years to come.

Here’s a helpful FAQ by Cory Doctorow about the broadcast flag and the likely consequences if it is imposed on us. […] continued

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WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN

Lord of the Rings fans: You have a long memory, right? Think back to last year – you bought the DVD of Fellowship of the Ring right away, and then found out that the extended edition – the one you really wanted – wasn’t released until three months later. You wound up with two copies, right? […] continued

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MOVIE TRAILERS ONLINE

There’s a huge library of files to download at Download.com. I just found out that it includes movie trailers for 50 or 60 new and upcoming movies at this Movie Trailers – Download.com page. A good way to get psyched for Pirates of the Caribbean, which has an exceptional trailer. […] continued

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AMAZING HONDA COMMERCIAL

You’ve just gotta see the Honda commercial airing in the UK. Here’s a page where you can view the commercial in your browser – Flash required. It’s about 4Mb total, so it may be jerky or slow to appear on a dialup connection. Here’s an article about how the commercial was created. […] continued

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THE MATRIX RELOADED

You can read the conversation between Neo and the Architect here, in case you missed anything the first time. (For goodness’ sake, don’t read it if you haven’t seen the movie yet!)

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THE TWO TOWERS ON DVD

The Two Towers will be released on DVD in two editions, as with The Fellowship of the Ring. On August 26, the theatrical release will be available on DVD – but the one you really want is the special edition with 48 extra minutes of footage, available on November 18. Mark your calendar! […] continued

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HOME MEDIA CENTERS

There’s an exploding market for home media centers. I can’t cover all the new equipment, but maybe this will help.

I have a huge digital music library on my computers, which I maintain scrupulously – all sorted into folders, with ID3 tags for artist and album and genre, all carefully groomed. […] continued

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ANOTHER REASON TO HATE REAL ONE PLAYER

Learn to live without Real One Player. You won’t be able to play some audio and video streams – but your computer will thank you.

Real Networks has earned a special place for its devious behavior – installing flashing icons down by the clock, popping up incessant pitches for money, concealing the checked boxes during installation that cause you to start receiving volumes of junk mail, and lots more. […] continued

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SPACE SHIFTING

A great new buzz word has turned up. You’ve heard about “time shifting,” in which you use a video-recording device – a VCR or a TIVO – to delay the viewing of live content, such as TV shows.

This year will see the introduction of a wealth of portable video devices. […] continued

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THE FUTURE OF HOME TECH

There’s exciting stuff being developed that will change the way your home entertainment system works. It will take a couple of years for it all to come to fruition, but the devices in the pipeline look very appealing.

Here’s an article that sums up some of the trends. An interesting prediction from the columnist:

“I’ll go out on a limb and say that, in less than five years, it will be pretty hard to buy a midrange home PC that doesn’t come with a built-in TV tuner and the ability to digitally record television programs.

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VIDEO ON DEMAND IS HERE TODAY

The New York Times has an article today with an intriguing premise: the world of video on demand is here, and it’s being delivered by . . . the Post Office.

DVDs hold digital versions of movies. Netflix is mailing out digital data on DVDs – an estimated 1.5 terabytes per day. […] continued

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TELEVISION LOCKDOWN IN PROGRESS

The FCC has proposed draft regulations on two issues:

(1) Beginning July 1, 2004, all new televisions with 36” screens or larger must include digital receivers; in 2007, all new televisions must include digital receivers.

(2) The digital receiver will be required to include copy protection technology, making it impossible to copy digital programs.

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VHS STARTS TO FADE AWAY

If you’ve been holding off on buying a DVD player, the time has come to face facts: VHS is dead. You’ve already noticed the shift at Costco, always a reliable indicator – the VHS tapes are almost gone. Now Circuit City has become the first major retailer to announce that it intends to discontinue sales of VHS titles altogether. […] continued

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ADVERTISING ON TIVOS

A nasty surprise lies ahead for users of personal video recorders.

TiVo and Replay market devices that are godsends to serious TV hounds. They connect at night to a program directory, then let you record 30 or more hours of programming to replay at your leisure. What’s more, they recommend or record programs based on your viewing habits – all the episodes of a weekly show, or all the films with a certain actor. […] continued

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