Monster Cable Buys Name of 49ers Stadium - Monster Cable has just bought the naming rights (for six million dollars) to the rebuilt (formerly Candlestick Park) San Francisco stadium where the 49ers will play for the next three years at least. Who said nobody is making a lot of money in the specialty audio business?
DualDisc On Its Way - Ready Or Not might be added to that since the five major record labels have decided to move ahead on it in spite of some possible problems with the technology. The hope is that the new format - which allows for a standard CD on one side of a double-sided disc, with a DVD Video or DVD Audio program on the other side - will bolster the sagging attention DVD-A is receiving compared to hi-res competitor SACD. There have been problems with the thickness of the DualDiscs, which causes them to hang up in some changers, car CD decks and computers as well as in DVD players.
Since they dont strictly adhere to Red Book specs, Philips and Sony wont allow them to sport the familiar Compact Disc logo, the DVD Forum wont allow them to display its logo either, and the German developer of a similar (he says better) technology called DVD-Plus is threatening to sue the DualDiscs consortium. A couple other possible hangups are that it is said the maximum time on the CD side may be only 60 minutes instead of the 80 minutes which many CDs now carry, and the DVD side can only be single layer rather than double layer - meaning that a single side cannot hold an entire movie if it runs two hours or more in length.
Universal SACD Activity - Last week Universal Music (which has not issued any more classical DVD-As recently) continued their SACD program with a 2-piano disc featuring Argerich and Pletnev, the first five Mercury Living Presence SACDs (some of the them 3-channel) - including the complete Bach Cello Suites played by Janos Starker, the complete Firebird and Respighis Ancient Airs & Dances with Dorati, and Paul Paray conducting Suppe and Auber Overtures. The complete Symphonies of Beethoven with Jaap van Zweden conducting the Residentie Orchestra on Philips and the complete Don Giovanni with Bryn Terfel and Claudio Abbado conducting on DGG were also in the release. Next week will see Universal SACDs from Eric Clapton, Nick Drake, Michael McDonald and five titles from Elton John.