1. Technology

Home Electronics Industry News -- December 2002

NOTE: This page is an archive for previously posted news stories from December 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.

12/31/02
Rockford Corporation Acquires Now Hear This (NHT) Loudspeaker Brand
Rockford corporation, makers of high-end audio products for the mobile market has acquired NHT, makers of high-end speaker systems and subwoofers for the home audio and home theater market.

12/30/02
HTiBs With DVD Increasingly Dominate: NPD
A recent study by NPD Techworld shows that most consumers purchasing home theater-in-a-box systems prefer systems that already include a DVD player.

12/29/02
Thin Is In
Flat panel TVs are getting more popular all the time, despite their high prices. However, their success doesn't have as much to do with technology as much as it has to do with space. For more specifics, check out the above report from Home Theater Magazine.

12/28/02
Dark Side Will Be An SACD
Contrary to a previous report that Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon would be released as a 5.1 channel surround mix in the DVD-Audio format (see my news entry for 12/17/02), it is now "officially" announced that the pioneering rock album will be actually be released as a multi-channel SACD in March 2003. For more details, check out the above report from Audio Revolution.

12/27/02
ReplayTV Lowers Price To $199 For 40 Hour - 5040 Unit
Hard disk video recorders have been on the scene several years now, but have not always been the most cost effective way to record video. Now, with falling hard drive prices and potential competition from DVD recorders, ReplayTV takes a bold marketing move by signifigantly lowering the prices of its current line of hard disk video recorders. For more details on models, prices, and availability, check out the above report from Audio Revolution.

12/26/02
Best Buy Shares Wilt, May Close Some Music Shops
Alhough it is still outperforming its rivals, the nation's number one CE retailer is missing the mark on sales projections for the holiday season, especially in its Sam Goody and Musicland operations.

12/25/02
Velodyne Previews The World's First Digital Subwoofers
Velodyne, long noted for their high-performance subwoofers, introduces a new subwoofer line with "Digital Drive". The new subwoofers can be "tuned" to memorize any room's acoustic properties as well self-correcting for any possible distortion during use. For more details on this, check out the above report from Widescreen Review.

12/24/02
Tweeter's Holiday Sales Slump
Tweeter's stock price takes a bath as it announces much lower than expected holiday sales.

12/23/02
NFL-DirecTV Deal Includes HDTV Games
DirecTV will sponsor NFL-Sunday Ticket through 2007, which not only inludes 14 games each week, but DirecTV will be adding enhanced features, such as HD broadcasting, viewer selected camera angles, and viewer selected replay capability. For more details, check out the above report from Stereophile Guide To Home Theater.

12/22/02
Moribund Digital TV Showing New Life
Digital TV set-top boxes are flying off the shelves in the U.K. as a new free digital TV service breathes new life in what seemed like a very slow-growth market. However, in the U.S. the sales of digital TV set-top boxes, although steady, are not seeing the same growth as in the U.K.

12/21/02
Thomson, CBS Team Up For NFL Playoffs In HDTV
Despite CBS's concern over long term copy-protection issues for DTV broadcasts, it will be broadcasting the upcoming NFL Playoffs in HDTV, in partnership with Thomson Multimedia (parent of RCA).

12/20/02
CEA, NCTA Ink Digital TV Agreement
As years of squabbling, the Consumer Electronics Association and the Cable TV industry have finally settled on standards to make it easy for DTV products to connect with Cable TV systems.

12/19/02
CBS: "No Copy Protection, No HDTV"
Up until now CBS has been the main driving force in HDTV broadcasting, however, if some form of standardized copy protection that will prevent consumers from recording HDTV content isn't mandated this coming year, CBS just may pull the plug on its HDTV schedule. For more details, check out the above report from Stereophile Guide To Home Theater.

12/18/02
Discount Chains Make Inroads with DTV
Digital TV and Home Theater are no longer exclusively available at dedicated CE retailers as Big Box discounters, such as Wal-Mart, Target, and K-Mart discover that adding DTV and home theater products in their stores brings in more customers and profits. For more details, check out the above report from Home Theater Magazine.

12/17/02
Dark Side of the Moon on DVD-Audio Confirmed by Alan Parsons
Now, it is more than just a rumor as it is announced that Pink Floyd's classic rock album Dark Side Of The Moon is going to get the full 5.1 Channel DVD-Audio treatment. For more specifics, check out the above report from Audio Revolution. Note: A further update on this story is featured in my 12/28/02 news entry.

12/16/02
DVD-Audio Firewire Standard Approved - Manufacturers Hurry To Get Their Gear Ready
Currently, DVD-Audio necessitates the connection of a separate cable for each channel from your DVD-Audio Player to your AV receiver. Now, with a uniform DVD-Audio firewire standard adopted, future players and AV receivers will have a single cable to transfer the multi-channel DVD-Audio signal from player to receiver. For more specifics on this breakthrough, check out the above report from Audio Revolution.

12/15/02
Movie Studios Sue Companies That Sanitize DVDs
Hollywood moves in on companies that alter DVD and video releases to eliminate foul language, violence, and sex and, in turn, sell the altered DVDs and videos to Video rental outlets.

12/14/02
HDNet Scores HD Rights To Paramount TV Series
Hogan's Heroes, Wolk Lake, and several other TV series will make their way to HDTVs everywhere as HDnet secures rights to rebroadcast them in 1080i High Definition via DirecTV.

12/13/02
Door Opens For Second DirecTV Bid
Now that the DirecTV/Dish Network merger has collapsed, international media mogul, Rupert Murdoch may make his own move for acquisition of DirecTV.

12/12/02
Strong Start For CE Holiday Sales
Holiday sales seem to have gotten off to a frenzied record-breaking start, but overall Consumer Electronics sales may still fall short.

12/11/02
EchoStar, Hughes Scrap Merger Plans
Unable to get over regulatory hurdles from the FCC, the planned Dish Network/DirecTV merger is officially terminated.

12/10/02
Study: Citizens Unaware of DTV
Digital and HDTV products are in stores everywhere, but does the average consumer know anything about them? According to a recent Government study, perhaps not. For a full perspective on this, check out the above report from Stereophile Guide To Home Theater.

12/09/02
Christmas Shoppers Warned Of DVD Pirates
Pirated DVDs for sale of the latest theatrical features are abundant on the Internet, but they are not the bargains they seem to be (and they are illegal to make or knowingly purchase).

12/08/02
Court To Rule On Software That Copies 'Protected' DVDs
The battle over the legality of consumers being allowed to copy DVDs takes a new turn as a California court is being asked to rule on a case involving a popular computer software package that allows users to make copies of DVDs, even if they are copy-protected. For more details, check out the above report from New Scientist.

12/07/02
Best Buy, Circuit City Post Mixed 3rd-Quarter Sales
Despite strong day-after-Thanksgiving sales, the shorter holiday shopping season and lackluster economy is putting a sales squeeze on the two largest U.S. CE retailers.

12/06/02
DVDs Emerging As Season's Hot Gift
While much of the holiday retail sales picture is cloudy this year, sales of DVD players and DVD movies are fast becoming THE gift for the holiday season, as the price of players has fallen through the floor and the abundance of available movies is pushing VHS into the back corner.

12/05/02
Sony Introduces Progressive Scan 301-Disc DVD Changer
Having trouble finding enough storage space for your ever-growing DVD collection? Sony introduces the new DVP-CX875P 301 disc DVD changer that will allow to you store all your DVDs in the DVD player itself. In addition, this unit will automatically play both sides of a dual-sided DVD and even has a progressive scan output for those with digital TVs.

12/04/02
Korea Triples DTV Exports
Korea capitalizes on the DTV revolution as it is now a major source of DTV products, including Projection TVs, LCD monitors, and Plasma Screens. For more details, check out the above report from Stereophile Guide To Home Theater.

12/03/02
Toshiba Introduces Industry's First 1080p Projection TV
HDTV becomes Turbocharged with Toshiba's new 57HLX82 Cinema Series rear projection TV based on LCOS (Liquid Crystal On Silicon) technology.

12/02/02
Maxwell Introduces New High-Capacity 9.4 GB DVD-R Discs
Get ready, DVD recorder fans. Now you can record on both sides of a DVD-R using Maxell's new 9.4 GB dual-sided blank disks. Ideal for recording long movies and other applications.

12/01/02
Tower Records SACD and DVD-A Holiday Sale
If you are having a hard time finding SACD's and DVD-Audio discs, you might check out Tower's SACD/DVD-A sale. Tower hopes that this will increase exposure for the fledgling audio formats and, at the same time, make itself the prime destination for SACD and DVD-Audio shoppers. For more details, check out the above report from High Fidelity Review.

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