Audio News for August 15, 2007

by | Aug 15, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

All Types of Media Get Used to Limited Expectations – The online world of today is causing all the media to rethink their approach and even experiment a bit. Back in the 1940s a popular radio program on one of the networks could command almost half of the nation’s population as listeners.  Nothing even close to that is possible in today’s world of multiple multimedia opportunities. A growing number of listeners access their favorite radio stations via the Internet, and many of those stations don’t even broadcast over the air. Satellite radio has done fairly well, although not so smashingly that the two companies – XM Radio and Sirius – aren’t trying to merge to introduce economies. HD Radio is being offered by thousands of analog stations – partly attracted by its ability to broadcast on more than a single channel.  But it hasn’t been publicized much (just like SACD & DVD-Audio) and most people aren’t ready to spend around $200 for an HD receiver which may or may not receive their favorite station digitally and may or may not sound better. The iPod proliferation is having an impact on the “Top 40” tight playlists of most pop and rock radio stations. Those with mobile digital music players tend to have a wild variety of styles of music on them, and they are now expecting similar versatility when listening to on-air stations.

Onkyo Releases HD DVD Player – One of the first manufacturers besides Toshiba to announce a HD DVD player is Onkyo, with their DV-HD805 which will be available this fall at about $900. It uses the latest HDMI 1.3a and decodes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio as well as other formats.

DirecTV Adding Service Over AC Powerline
– Satellite TV provider DirecTV has made a distribution agreement with the broadband-over-powerline provider Current Group. By sometime around the end of this year or the start of 2008, DirecTV will be able to offer its subscribers high-speed Internet service and video simply by plugging a broadband-over-powerline (BPL) modem into any AC power outlet in their home. Data will be sent faster than the typical cable modem service. The BPL network also offers Smart Grid solutions, which improve efficiency and reliability of electric service while reducing its environmental impact.

IBM to Handle Coupons for DTV-to-NTSC Converter Boxes
– The Department of Commerce has awarded IBM the contract to provide services for the implementation and administration of the national digital-to-analog TV converter box coupon program. They will handle consumer education , distribution of the discount coupons, processing to reimburse retailers and maintaining records. The boxes will be needed after Feb. 17, 2009, when all analog transmitters are turned off. The coupons are available two to a household and are worth $40 each toward purchase of the converters – which it now appears will cost considerably more than that.


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