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

August 18, 2004

OTA-Only TV Viewers - The Consumer Electronics Association has provided research to the FCC showing that about 13% of U.S. households do not subscribe to either cable TV or satellite TV services - relying only on over-the-air reception directly from terrestrial stations (OTA). This is the reason the FCC passed the requirement that all DTV sets will have to feature OTA tuners. But the commission is also concerned about the negative impact to these viewers when analog TV broadcasts are scheduled to cease and the analog spectrum returned to the government for other uses. The survey showed that the majority of those households who do not subscribe to any service made a conscious decision not to subscribe for reasons other than the cost. Unfortunately, the CEA report fails to state exactly what these reasons were...[I know one - it is possible to get a higher-definition picture than from either cable or satellite, which are both data-reduced. Another might be that these households spend their video time viewing good stuff on DVD rather than TV...Ed.]

Many New SACD Releases - Although Sony Music has reduced their new releases in SACD recently, other labels are issuing many. Universal has announced 13 SACDs from DGG, including separate discs of the Beethoven Symphonies set by Herbert Von Karajan. A&M has a new Sheryl Crow release, another Diana Krall SACD is out today from Verve, The Allman Bros. Band next week, and Carpenters reissues are out on both SACD and DVD-A. Next month will see a delightful package of duets with Ray Charles from Concord Records, plus a Marvin Gaye Collection from Motown and DGG releases by Boulez and Berlin Philharmonic in music of Ravel and Anne Sofie Von Otter in Schubert lieder with orchestra.

DualDisc Snags? - The DualDisc we reported on earlier - CD or DVD-A one side and DVD video the other - has hit some legal snags before its introduction. Philips is refusing to let the DualDisc display the CD logo because it doesn’t meet CD specs, including those of thickness. The German firm DVD Plus, which created the DualDisc, claims Warner Bros. has breeched their contract. Lawyers are concerned about possible antitrust claims. The general idea of the DualDisc is to give buyers more for their $16 or so - not just an audio CD or a video DVD but a combination. Many albums today are being released with two separate discs - and there have even been some in which the audio disc is a DVD-A. There is also talk of including ready-to-rip MP3 files on the audio disc and Microsoft’s data-reduced WMV HD hi-def format on the DVD disc. The recent standard-DVD series of IMAX documentaries came with a WMV HD version on a second disc.

Audio Show in Denver - A new high end audio show is scheduled for October 8 thru 10 in Denver, Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2004 will feature six floors of exhibits, including over 70 rooms of live exhibits, vendor booths, seminars and workshops. Equipment from affordable separates to ultra high end will be shown. Seminars and workshops will cover topics such as Proper turntable/tonearm Setup, Hi-def FM Radio, Burning High-Quality CD-Rs, Unique 5.1 DSD Demos, and An Introduction to DIY Audio. Pianist-vocalist Patricia Barber will be one of the music artists entertaining. Details at

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