Audio News for December 16, 2006

by | Dec 16, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

Blu-ray Marketing Campaign Underway – A core group of Blu-ray Disc supporters, including Sony, Pioneer, Panasonic and Philips, is working with advertising agency Sicola Martin in Austin, utilizing the power of hi-def television and other advertising and marketing initiatives to reach target audiences during this holiday shopping season. A 30-second spot was shot especially for hi-def TV.  Advocates claim that Blu-ray format is now supported by more than 170 Hollywood studios, consumer electronics manufacturers, personal computer makers, music companies and gaming companies. The 50 BG of storage of Blu-ray is the highest capacity of any consumer media format to date, and 1080p resolution plus up to 7.1 channels of advanced surround sound are offered. The blurb also states it is “fully compatible with preexisting DVD libraries.”  What does that mean?  Blu-ray discs are not hybrid discs. It is similar to the first few years of Sony’s own label SACDs, which were also not hybrid – one of the primary selling points vs. DVD-Audio.

RIAA Seeks to Cut Performers’ Royalties
– The Recording Industry of America has filed to but back the rate they have been paying music publishers and songwriters for use of the lyrics and melodies used on their recordings.  The Digital Freedom campaign (digitalfreedom.org) criticized the big recording labels for gouging musicians and trying to maximize their profits at the artists’ expense. Dan Goldberg, spokesman for the organization said, “We urge the big labels to treat artists fairly. We hope the copyright royalty judges reject the big labels’ attempt to evade their obligations to the creative community.”

Home Audio Without Wires – As channels, speakers, and music in various rooms of the home have expanded, the wiring has become a most aggravating issue in consumer electronics.  Wireless is firmly established now with computers, notebooks and phones, but other electronic equipment remains connected thru tangles of wires.  Wireless transmission of video is a big challenge – the  files can be huge and there often hasn’t been enough bandwidth to handle it. There are also problems of sound quality and sync. Distances and walls in the home have been hazards to good wireless.  In Europe transferring the signals along the electrical wires in the home has been more popular than in the U.S.  Wi-Fi signals can encompass most homes easily, but bandwidth is very low and its 2.4 MHz spectrum is becoming absurdly overcrowded with some cities beginning to offer free service to the public, which can affect performance. Some of the electronics giants such as Samsung, Sony and Philips are backing ultrawideband and other technologies to link devices to one another. UWB advocates speak of data transfer speeds of 1 Gig per second.  The latest version of wired HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) handles 1080p video and up to 8 channels of digital audio, requiring about 5 Gigs per second. Work is proceeding on wireless HDMI.

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