Audio News for December 18, 2007

by | Dec 18, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

Studio Panel on Blu-ray & HD DVD – Home Media Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Merchants Association held a recent conference in Los Angeles which included a panel on hi-def packaged media. The executives present were predominantly pro-Blu-ray, but a Sony representative expressed concern about Toshiba recently reducing the price of one of their rival HD DVD players to $99 – resulting in “a commodity mentality directed at a largely indifferent consumer.”

Participants talked about the increased momentum in hardware and software offerings of Blu-ray, and the increased proliferation of HDTV sales. They felt that the corner will be turned from early adopter to mass adoption in 2008.  The report was that 75% of Blu-ray movie sales are now attributable to owners of the Sony PlayStation 3 game system.  Experts on hi-res audio discussed their passion for sound and how difficult it can be fitting the new improved audio tracks on hi-def discs. They pointed out that Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD deliver lossless audio “which is as close to the master recording as possible” [some would disagree…Ed.] and requires less disc capacity. One observed how HD audio exposes consumers to a new listening experience – less passive than that of portable MP3 players and ring tones. [It appears there was no discussion of Uncompressed 5.1 PCM, which is the best fidelity of all but does of course take more space…Ed.]

Mark Levinson Designs Music Phone
– Famed audio pioneer Mark Levinson, currently head of Red Rose Music, has been a consultant to South Korea’s LG Electronics and has designed for them the new Rhapsody in Music slider phone with camera. It features a wheel song browser, volume control, 1GB of built-in memory (expandable to 4GB), a two-inch LCD, a 2-megapixel camera, a terrestrial DMB TV tuner for Korea, and Bluetooth A2DP stereo audio. The phone comes bundled with songs by seven Korean singers and retails there for $542. Levinson says he helped make sure the new hone has the best sound quality and developed an exclusive earphone for it. LG is now second in the global home theater audio market after Sony.

New Technology Holiday Gifts – Brookstone has a $50 men’s leather wallet with a removable digital photo viewer built in. It stores 55 color images via USB transfer. The HP Photosmart R937 Digital Camera has 8-megapixel resolution and a 3.6-inch touch screen, yet slips into pocket or purse. Has advanced red-eye removal plus pet-eye fix, steady photo anti-shake, and adds email addresses to photos by tapping the virtual keyboard. The enhancement features even include a unique slimming feature! It can stitch together panorama photos and connect directly to USB printers with no PC necessary. It has hi-quality video (which fancier digital SLRs don’t have anymore) plus audio via a built-in mic. SRP is $249.  Speaking of touch screens, Apple has married the iPhone’s multi-touch interface to their popular iPod digital media player. You use your fingers to flick thru your music, photos and videos. Plus it’s the first iPod with Wi-Fi support to access the Net. Models at $299 & $399.

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