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AUDIOPHILE AUDITION - web magazine for music, audio & home theater
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January 28, 2004

DVD-A Promotion at CES - The DVD-Audio camp seems to have finally gotten their act together and made a strong presence at the recent show in Las Vegas. The main display at the Meridian exhibit, co-sponsored by Panasonic and supported by other members of the DVD-Audio council, featured a huge arch in the shape of a silver disc and included examples of over 160 different models of DVD-A players from more than 30 different manufacturers, at prices ranging from $90 to $20,000. The display reported that over ten million stand-alone DVD-A players have been sold to date, plus two million PC-based players. Recent DVD-A releases by such artists as Santana, Bjork, Donald Fagen and Sting were played and large-screen videos displayed the images and text that are part of DVD-A disc options. Meridian spokesman Richard Elen said “There’s no doubt about it - the DVD-Audio format has arrived.”

Dolby Points to Four CE Market Trends - Dolby Laboratories was also involved in the CES DVD-A promotion in a major way, including display of a new Acura with a DVD-A factory-installed multichannel playback system. They identified four industry market trends which will underscore the growth and adoption of some of Dolby’s licensed technologies. The first is Personal Surround Sound - delivering the surround experience in environments where a multichannel speaker system is not possible. Dolby Headphone and Dolby Virtual Speaker are the technologies here. Second is DVD Recording, which is slated to replace video cassette recorders this year with a global sales total of over 13 million DVD burners. Dolby Digital is the audio standard for DVD video. Third is HDTV, and Dolby Digital is the standard for HDTV, DTV and satellite telecasting. The CEA projects 5.8 million DTV units to be sold this year, and although far from all HDTV programs employ 5.1 surround, more are beginning to use the option. The fourth trend was Mobile Entertainment - as exemplified by the Acura display. Several auto makers now offer Dolby Digital 5.1, DVD-A, or Dolby Pro Logic II playback as factory options and aftermarket suppliers are also jumping on the vehicle surround sound bandwagon.

Recording Engineer Kenneth Wilkinson Dies
- Noted Decca recording engineer Kenneth Wilkinson died last week in Britain at the age of 92. He had been a main force in the acclaimed Decca/London ffrr and ffss recordings from the 1950s to his retirement in 1980. He helped develop the “Decca Tree” three-omni-mic array for stereo classical recording, and was not above using additional outrigger and spot mikes if needed. Producer Tam Henderson of Reference Recordings said in an appreciation of Wilkinson that his recordings have a “rich balance which gives full measure to the bottom octaves and a palpable sense of the superior acoustics of the venues he favored.” Wilkinson’s favorite of LPs he engineered were Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem and Georg Solti’s version of the Berlioz Symphonie fantastique.

For a complete illustrated report on the recent Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, visit the Enjoy The Music site.

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