written by Mike Shea on 2 July 2000
Most of the information for this article comes from Widescreen Review, Stereophile's Guide to Home Theater, The Digital Bits, Slashdot or Home Theater Forum.
Movies over the Net: It seems that my prediction of the MPAA having to worry about the same intellectual property problems that the RIAA is facing (take a look at my editorial, The RIAA Needs to Grow Up) has come true earlier than I expected. While movies like Gladiator and Mission Impossible 2 are appearing on the net almost before they are in the theater, movies like 405 are released ONLY on the net. For some, this can help to get a little known flick almost infinite coverage (hell, the internet lets even an idiot like me can write all this crap and get people to read!), for others like the MPAA, it can be a nightmare to figure out how to still hold on to intellectual property rights when all of your material can be acquired for free.
A New Front in the Gender War: The boom in home theater for the every day family seems to have started a new war at home. This time, we are fighting for quality vs aesthetics. Many companies (sniffle***BOSE***cough) seem to build their entire business process around aesthetics, while others don't even consider it. All of that fancy hardware has to go somewhere, and whether we like it or not, the money you spend on a good system is wasted if it is covered by a 1" thick doily. This month's Widescreen Review (issue 40) has a good piece from a home theater installer and his take on the war. I am pretty sure you don't want to even ask me how I feel on this one.
Winning the 16x9 Battle: The best news recently has been the huge percentage of 16x9 enhanced movies that are being released. It is very rare to see a movie come out in standard letterbox, and when it does, it usually is a sign of an older movie without a high definition remaster. It has been a while since I have seen a new movie come out without being 16x9 enhanced. The days of Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting DVD atrocities seem to be over for the most part, but we still have to keep an eye out.
Noteworthy releases last month
Coming in July
Coming in August
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