DTVs Up, VCRs Down in CEA Sales - The latest Consumer Electronics Association chart of unit sales of video products to U.S. dealers shows an over 70% rise in the sales of digital television over last year. At the same time there has been a 60% drop in sales of VCR decks and a 40% drop in sales of VCR/Analog TV combos.
Activists Rally Against FCC Rulings - A major town meeting on the subject The Future of Media took place last week in Portland OR. The two dissident FCC commissioners appeared - Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein. They spoke out against the recent decision by the FCC to allow huge media conglomerates such as Clear Channel to not only grow even larger but to add newspapers and other outlets to their empires. A chorus of protest has been heard against the selling out of the airwaves which are supposed to be owned by the American public. Congress is going to tackle new telecom legislation next year.
New Dolby Digital Chips for PCs - The latest Intel Desktop Boards for High-Def Audio will incorporate the Dolby Digital Live encoder chip. The technology converts audio signals into Dolby Digital 5.1 bitstreams for playback thru a home theater audio system with a single coax or optical digital connection. PC gamers will also be able to enjoy 5.1 surround effects during game play.
TruSurround Chosen for Consumer Virtual Surround - Another surround technology has been chosen by MIPS Technologies for their Consumer Audio Platform, which offers the industrys most popular codecs for digital audio. SRS TruSurround is a pseudo-surround process similar to Dolby Pro Logic II and Circle Surround II, except it creates a surround sound experience from only a pair of frontal stereo speakers. It is being used in AV receivers, LCD TVs, plasma displays, mobile devices and auto entertainment systems. The latest version of TruSurround has very low memory and power consumption, making its use possible in smaller portable and mobile gear.