RESTORED MOVIE PRINTS SHARPER THAN ORIGINALS

Ultra Resolution, a digital process used to restore old Technicolor movies, has succeeded in making the newer prints sharper and more realistic than the originals, the Hollywood Reporter observed today (Wednesday). The process, which has been nominated for a Scientific and Technical Academy Award this year, can correct registration glitches that occurred in making the original prints, the trade paper noted. Technicolor used a printing process -- rather than a chemical-developing process -- similar to the one used by magazines and newspapers to produce color prints; three separate rolls of film were exposed in the huge Technicolor cameras to produce the color-separation negatives that were used to make the prints, with one color laid over the other. Ultra Resolution, devised by sisters Keren and Sharon Perlmutter, lines up the images of each frame precisely, something that was not always possible when the original prints were produced.

SONY ENCOUNTERS NEW BLU-RAY GLITCHES

The Sony Blu-ray high-definition version of Lionsgate's horror flick The Descent plays fine on Sony's new PlayStation3 game device, but those who attempt to watch it on an ordinary Sony Blu-ray player will see only a blank screen, according to reports that have emerged over the past few days on several websites devoted to high-definition video formats. A similar problem was reported with Pioneer Blu-ray players. The Descent disc features numerous "extras" produced exclusively for the Blu-ray format, including a picture-in-picture video commentary. And therein lies the problem, according to the HD websites. Lionsgate used BD-Java technology for the extras, which is not compatible with the Sony BDP-S1 and Pioneer Elite Blu-ray players. Sony says it is aware of the problem and is working to provide an update to the operating system of its players by early this year.

WI-FI-RECEIVING TV SET TO BE INTRODUCED BY SAMSUNG

Samsung may be about to get a jump on Apple's ITV device (Apple says that ITV will have a different name when it is released) that will allow consumers to watch videos stored on their PCs on their TV sets instead. In Samsung's case the device, featuring a wi-fi receiver, will be built right into a new HDTV set that Samsung reportedly plans to unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. The set will also feature a digital recorder.

ORANGE EXTENDS DEAL TO PROVIDE TWO-FOR-ONE MOVIE TICKETS

The British wireless phone service Orange has extended a deal with major movie houses in the U.K. to provide two tickets for the price of one on Wednesday nights for anyone who dials the numbers 241 and sends a text message on their cell phones to their local theater. The promotion by the cell-phone company, which is owned by France Telecom but headquartered in the U.K., has been highly visible in movie theaters during the ad blocs that run on screen prior to the features. Orange said that more than 90 percent of British theaters are participating in the Wednesday-night offer. Traditionally, Wednesday night is the slowest night of the week for movie ticket sales.

Brian B.