Cassettes Coming Back – Believe it or not, cassettes are making a comeback not unlike that of turntables and the vinyl format, though nowhere near those numbers. (Nor the tiny niche of nuts into 8-track.) Many audiophiles into either format are looking down their noses at those with the latest digital gear, no matter how expensive. Nakamichi cassette decks are now getting high prices on eBay. (I personally have an Aiwa cassette deck which Audio magazine had once said was probably the last cassette deck you would ever buy, and it my case they were right. It now eats cassettes so am spending a considerable amount to have it refurbished; it even has D-to-A processors to convert digital sources to record as Dolby S on the deck.)
Neural Surround – Last Saturday’s Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Concert Finale was telecast on Pay-Per-View using DTS Neural Surround to provide the 5.1 channel surround field. Two XMHD channels of SiriusXM satellite radio are using Neural Surround for full 5.1 surround: XM 76 and XM Pops. Neural Surround takes a 5.1 signal and digitally encodes it using a proprietary process to create a compatible two-channel stereo signal while retaining the surround information as an embedded watermark. Thus Neural Surround-encoded music can be distributed on any media and will play as stereo. Receivers decoding Neural Surround, such as some Yamaha models, provide the original 5.1 surround sound, and can even enhance it up to 7.1 channels. The effect is claimed to be superior to Dolby ProLogic processing. A partnership with THX will soon expand the technology to 50 FM stations nationwide, and the Neural Surround algorithms are being updated and improved. Neural Surround can also function similar to ProLogic in taking a standard stereo signal and processing it to 5.1 or 7.1 channels to create a faux-surround mix.
Wireless Technology To Be Focus of 2013 CES – The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show January 8 to 11 in Las Vegas will highlight Wireless Tech. More than 1200 exhibitors will showcase wireless technologies, and there will be keynote addresses, supersessions, conference tracks and TechZones dedicated to present and future trends in wireless. The Wireless Communications conference track will offer five sessions on the ever-expanding wireless world, and there will be six keynotes and four panel discussions on Content In the Cloud. Wireless Mobility will also be addressed in more than 20 TechZones.
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