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Home Electronics Industry News -- August 2002

NOTE: This page is an archive for previously posted news stories from August 2002 - Since most of the links are now inactive, they have been removed. However, the headlines and summaries are still posted to historically document the news headlines from the dates listed.

CEA May Challenge Tuner Ruling
The feud between the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) and the FCC continues as the CEA considers filing a legal action to prevent the FCC from implementing its mandate that all manufacturers begin including Digital TV tuners in all TVs. For more specifics, check out the latest update on this continuing controversy from Guide To Home Theater.

Zenith Kicks Off $30M HDTV Ad Campaign
While the FCC and the CEA argue over Digital TV conversion deadlines, Zenith throws its weight toward the HDTV cause by committing $30 million dollars to sponsor HDTV Fall programming on CBS and ABC.

Sony Ejects Betamax At Long Last
After 27 years, Sony is finally stopping production of its consumer-level BETAMAX VCRs. For a full report, check out the above article posted by CNET and Reuters.

New WB Shows in High-Def
The WB-network joins NBC, CBS, and ABC as the fourth national broadcast newtwork to broadcast a portion of their prime-time programming in High Definition (FOX has already made the decision not to broadcast in high-def). For more details on WB's fall HD programming schedule, check out the above report from Stereophile Guide To Home Theater.

SONICblue, JVC Reach Dual-Deck
JVC has obtained an agreement from SONICBlue in which JVC will utilize SONICBlue's patented dual-deck VCR technology in several upcoming products.

Vinyl Record Day
According to one California community, the Vinyl Record deserves a special day of recognition. As such, San Luis Obispo celebrated Vinyl Record Day on August 12th, which included booths, bands, and other celebrations commemorating the legacy of the Vinyl Record. For full details on this interesting event, check out the above report from Stereophile Magazine.

Sunfire: 2 Products To Heat Up Sales
Sunfire, lead by audio pioneer Bob Carver, launches two new products, including its first foray into the home theater AV receiver market. The "Ultimate" AV receiver features a whopping 200 watts X 7 channel amplifier.

Panasonic announces a new miniDV camcorder with the ability to shoot in both 30 frame-per-second standard video mode or 24 frame-per-second film mode.

Gemini ‘For Dummies’ Kits To Aid CE Product Set-Up
Finally, someone has come up with a great idea to assist consumers in hooking up their home theater components as Gemini announces a product line of "Dummies" hook-up kits.

RadioShack Lowers Third Quarter Estimates
Radio Shack has had its ups and downs over the years (remember Incredible Universe?). However, after an extensive makeover appeared recently to be on the upswing. However, in a disappointing turn of events, the mainstay of consumer electronics retailing is lowering its revenue expectations for the third quarter.

DVR Sales Slowing?
Is the DVR slowly getting lost in the crowd as a viable home video recording medium? For a perspective on the state of the DVR (Digital Video Recorder), check out the above report from Stereophile Guide To Home Theater.

Report Says: Downloadable Music Not Responsible For 15% Slump In Music Sales
The era of the CD may be coming to an end, but it probably isn't the fault of Napster-like music download services, but limitations placed on the format itself. For more details, check out the above report from Audio Revolution.

Philips Wins Top TV And DVD Recording Honors
Philips received top recognition recently from EISA (European Imaging And Sound Association) for its excellence in direct-view TV technology and its latest generation of consumer DVD recorders. For more details, check out the above press release from Philips.

DVD Tips The Scales On "Rings" Shipments
The power of the DVD market is really evident as 65% of the Lord Of the Rings video release sales are on DVD and only 35% are on VHS.

Satellite TV Claims 18.9M Subscribers
Satellite TV continues its growth in popularity, however, cable providers are still the dominant force in Pay-TV.

Americans Should Not Be Forced to Buy DTV Over-the-Air Tuners, Says CEA
The debate over the most recent decisions by the FCC regarding the timetable for inclusion of DTV/HDTV tuners in TVs continues as the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) stands firm their opposition to the new FCC ruling.


The convergence of home theater and multimedia continues as Altec Lansing debuts a new multimedia surround sound system that can also be used as a modest TV or DVD player sound system. For more details, check out the about press release, reprinted by permission, from Altec Lansing.

DVD-Audio Redux?
Recording industry and manufacturing supporters of DVD-Audio met at Dolby Labs in Los Angeles recently to reaffirm their commitment to the fledging high-end audio format. But will all this energy breathe more life into DVD-Audio in its quest to replace the CD or at least co-exist with SACD? For a detailed perspective, check out the above report from Stereophile.

Sony's New HDTV Box
With DirecTV offering more high definition programming as part of their service, Sony introduces a new set-top satellite receiver that fills the bill. In addition, the SAT-HD200 also includes a DVI interface that will allow owners of DVI-equipped Televisions to receive uncompressed HDTV images. For more details on features, pricing, and availability, check out the above report from Stereophile Guide To Home Theater.

Could HDTV Significantly Impact Ticket Sales for Sporting Events?
In the early 50's it was the movie studios that complained that TV would put an end to movie going. Then, in the seventies, the VCR was to do the same. Neither happened to any great degree, in fact, moviegoing is at an all time high. However, it seems that the sports industry is concerned that HDTV might give the sports fan a good excuse to just stay home and watch the game on TV, instead of going to the stadium. Is this really a possibility or is this just a case of undue paranoia by the sports industry? For more on this, check out the above report from Audio Revolution.

FCC Votes To Require Digital Tuners In TVs
In an effort to untangle the Digital TV adoption logjam, the FCC decides to make some hard decisions regarding the timetable on the inclusion of DTV tuners in new TV sets.

RCA Brings Audio To Scenium Brand
Expanding on its Scenium line, RCA introduces several audio-related products including the RTD101 DVD/CD Home Theater-In-A-Box system, and RT2660R stand-alone AV Receiver.

Sony Intros First XBR Plasma TV
With the popularity of Plasma and LCD TVs on the rise, SONY increases its commitment to flat-panel display formats with the introduction of its new XBR line of Plasma and LCD Widescreen HDTVs.

5.1 Entertainment To Lower Price Of DVD-Audio Titles
Seeing the long-term benefits of the DVD-Audio format, 5.1 Entertainment Group has announced lower DVD-Audio prices, bringing DVD-Audio titles more in line with standard CD prices.

Zenith To Deliver DTV, Other Products Through Amazon.com
In an effort to gain market share, Zenith has concluded an agreement with Amazon.com to sell its digital TV products through the popular online retailer. Products to be offered even include high-end projection and Plasma screen TVs.

In commemoration of the "King's" 25th anniversary of his death, NBC will be broadcasting a newly remastered print of the film "Loving You" in 1080i High Definition format on Saturday, August 17, 2002. For more information on the broadcast, check out the above report from NBC Media Village.

HTiBs Get New Names, 6.1 Surround Sound
With the sales of Home-Theater-In-A-box products experiencing double-digit gains, manufacturers are getting more serious about incorporating higher-end features in HTIB systems. Following Onkyo's recent announcement, both Zenith and Pioneer are following the trend of offering HTIB's with 6.1 channel capabilities.

As if the current popularity wasn't enough, major hollywood studios are beginning a push for quick adoption and marketing of high-definition DVD players and software.

Wal-Mart Adds First RCA DISH IRDs
Wal-Mart expands their Satellite TV offerings with an agreement to sell RCA-branded DISH Network receivers.

Clones Attack In November
Star Wars - Epsisode II: Attack Of The Clones will be released on DVD November 20, 2002. The DVD edition will will be a double-disc set packed with six hours of extra materials on the making of the film.

DVD Forum Standardize DVD-Audio Playback Behavior
As DVD-Audio makes inroads into the marketplace, some inconsistencies on how DVD-Audio discs interface with DVD-Audio players are showing up. As a result, the DVD Forum lays down the law on how DVD-Audio disc content is to be formatted for use in all DVD-Audio Players. For more details, check out the above report from High Fidelity Review.

For additional News Stories check out my Home Electronics Industry News Archives.

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