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Disney Announces Opening Dates for New Star Tours Ride

Mark your calendars, “Star Wars” fans. Disney has announced opening dates for the new Star Tours attraction. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will open May 20, 2011, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, and June 3, 2011, at Disneyland in Anaheim.

In production since 2005, the Star Tours revamp will feature high-definition video in 3D, updated flight simulator technology and new special effects. Guests will board a Starspeeder 1000 for a tour of several planets in the “Star Wars” galaxy. Though Disney has remained mum on which planets will appear, a new trailer shows scenes on Bespin, Coruscant, and Alderaan. By combining the planets with other ride experiences, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will offer 54 unique journeys.

Disney’s new Star Tours ride takes place between the two “Star Wars” trilogies, happening after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith but before Star Wars: A New Hope.

Story by Karen WymanYahoo! Contributor Network

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LG Brings Cinema 3D To The Stars

Santa Monica, Calif. – LG Electronics used Oscar weekend to send movie lovers the message that its Cinema 3D LCD TVs will give viewers a more cinema-like 3D experience in the home.

In the past two weeks, LG has taken that message to both the fashion industry and Hollywood as it prepares to deliver the first sets to retail shelves. Its passive-glasses single-lens 3D LCoS projector was used topresent fashion designer Marc Bouwer’s 2011 fall collection in New York two weeks ago, and then the manufacturer sponsored the Film Independent Spirit Awards after-party Saturday night.

Every year, Film Independent gives awards for independent films, with a wide range of budgets from paper thin to big enough for 3D production.

The bash drew a gaggle of movie stars, including Jason Ritter, Gerard Butler and Hillary Swank, who were joined by industry producers, writers and even a handful of CE retailers (guests of LG), all of whom had an opportunity to hear about LG’s forthcoming Cinema 3D passive-glasses 3DTVs.

Tim Alessi, LG home electronics product development director, attempted to give the chatty crowd a brief education on the benefits of passive-glasses technology, including the absence of image cross-talk that sometimes appears in active-shutter technologies, and greater comfort to the glasses wearer.

Although LG continues to offer 3DTVs with active-glasses technology in both high-end LCD TVs and plasma sets, its messaging at the FISA event was laser-focused on the passive-glasses technology. LG will be one of the biggest set makers to introduce the capability this year.
“It’s a better experience overall. More like you get in the cinema,” said James Fishler, LG go-to-market operations senior VP. “What’s great about Cinema 3D is that they are inexpensive glasses. You can use them from the theater and get a bunch of them for your friends to use. We will also be able to demonstrate Cinema 3D to a wider audience without having some of issues of active shutter glasses — like charging the batteries.”

LG is reserving active-shutter glasses for its top-performing models and plasma sets, where the picture quality is better optimized to the technology and purchasers are less troubled by the added expense of the glasses.

During the event, Wayne Park, LG Electronics U.S. president, told TWICE the company is expecting a “very tough year” ahead for the CE industry, and Cinema 3D presents a big opportunity for LG to better its competitors.

“We think we can take advantage of — at least in 3DTV — the leadership position for the whole industry,” Park said. “With our distinguishing 3D technology, we can bring a much more affordable and enjoyable experience to the consumer, so that our 3DTVs can leap ahead of the industry.”

Park said he believes passive-glasses technologies will ultimately win out over active-shutter systems due to the many benefits that resonate with consumers.

“We are working with most of the major retail partners that we have on the launch of Cinema 3D, and we will be taking advantage of our NCAA March Madness Promotion,” Park said.

By Greg Tarr — TWICE, 2/28/2011

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Verizon Joins the Executive Board of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC

Verizon Enterprise Solutions will lend its technology expertise to the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) through a seat on ETC@USC’s executive board. Verizon’s global cloud, IP and wireless networks, managed security services, end-to-end digital content solutions and technology-related professional services are used by media and entertainment companies to create, transport, manage and deliver digital content around the world, on any platform,  anytime.

ETC@USC is a nonprofit, member-funded entertainment technology think tank and research center, affiliated with the USC School of Cinematic Arts. It brings together senior executives, innovators, thought leaders and catalysts in a neutral setting to explore issues related to the creation, distribution and consumption of entertainment content. Verizon’s participation on the executive board will provide media and entertainment companies with opportunities to learn how Verizon’s media-focused solutions, network and technology expertise can help the industry transform its future.

“The goal of the ETC@USC is to bring industry and technology experts together to develop the solutions that will propel us through the next 20 years,” said Kenneth Williams, CEO and executive director of the ETC@USC. “Verizon’s broad set of technologies and deep industry experience will provide a unique voice on the executive board. We look forward to their active participation.”

Scott Spector, global head of Verizon’s media and entertainment vertical, added: “Verizon is committed to the media and entertainment industry, and our participation with ETC@USC will allow us to support and potentially drive innovation in the industry. There’s a vast range of opportunities to integrate technology and improve everything from digital content production through digital distribution, creating an optimal experience for the industry.”

Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and help shape tomorrow’s biggest ideas. With industry-specific solutions provided over Verizon’s secure mobility, cloud, strategic networking and advanced communications platforms, Verizon helps open new opportunities around the world for innovation, investment and business transformation. Visit to learn more.

The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) is a think tank and research center within the USC School of Cinematic Arts that brings together senior executives, innovators, thought leaders, and catalysts from the entertainment, consumer electronics, technology, and services industries along with the academic resources of the University of Southern California to explore and to act upon topics and issues related to the creation, distribution, and consumption of entertainment content.  ETC@USC helps drive collaborative projects among its member companies and engages with next generation consumers to understand the impact of emerging technology on all aspects of the entertainment industry, especially technology development and implementation, the creative process, business models, and future trends. (

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq:  VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 108 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide. A Dow 30 company with more than $127 billion in 2014 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 177,300. For more information, visit

VERIZON ENTERPRISE SOLUTIONS ONLINE NEWS CENTER: News releases, blog posts, media contacts and other information are available in Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ online News Center at News from Verizon Enterprise Solutions is also available through an RSS feed at

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