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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for July 2, 2003

Single-layer Hybrid DVD-A Disc Dropped - At the recent DVD-A event during HE2003 in San Francisco, Dolby’s John Kellogg announced that problems that came up with attempts at a hybrid DVD-A disc with a standard CD layer have resulted in the idea being dropped. The problems were evidently similar to those experienced with an “All In One” prototype furnished and reviewed by AUDIOPHILE AUDITION recently from D&G in Germany. That one had not only both video and audio DVD plus standard CD but also SACD. But some of the options refused to play on many players. However, Kellogg said there might be another approach, and that may include a form of a DVD-A “flipper disc,” with recordings on both sides. One side DVD-A and Dolby Digital with the other side standard stereo CD. DVD Plus is a proprietary technology involved in this and Warner Bros. suggested the name Dual Disc for marketing the final product. The DVD-A camp feels that many owners of the over 75 million DVD video players in the U.S. are interested in obtaining their music on DVD now, but would like to be able to also play it in their cars and on their computers and portables.

DVD-Audio Marketing Council Formed - Warner Music Group, Silverline Records, BMG, EMI Recorded Music, 5.1 Entertainment Group, Meridian Audio, Dolby Laboratories and Panasonic have formed the DVD-Audio Marketing Council to serve as a resource for all technical, press and marketing information related to DVD-Audio in the U.S. and Europe. The Council also plans an education program with hardware and software retailers as well as promoting greater consumer awareness of the new format.

Multichannel Audio Confab - More than 200 audio engineers, sound researchers, developers and academics met last week in Banff, Alberta, Canada for the 24th annual AES Conference. The theme was “Multichannel Audio: The New Reality,” and demonstrations, seminars and presentations on surround sound technologies and equipment were featured. Guest speakers included Tomlinson Holman, Michael Bishop, Bob Ludwig and George Massenberg. Presentations included “Surround Sound for Documentaries” and “Radio Drama With Surround Sound.” 5.1 alternatives for surround such as Ambisonics and Ambiophonics were discussed.

New Hi-Res Players - At the HE2003 Show, new universal hi-res disc players were either shown or announced by Krell, Farouja, McCormack, and Bel Canto. SACD players were shown from Meitner Labs (under the Blue Light Audio brand name), Audio Aero, Musical Fidelity, and Music Hall. (We have already reviewed the Shanling.)

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