Audio News for January 27, 2007

by | Jan 27, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

Warner Bros. Claims a Solution to the HD Format War – At the recent CES in Las Vegas, Warner Bros. introduced their new Total HD disc solution – a double-format hi-def DVD with separate layers for both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. The new discs, developed together with engineers from disc manufacturer Cinram, will not be licensed by Warner Bros. because they see them as a solution – not a technology play. (So it will be similar to DVDs offering a choice of either Dolby Digital and DTS audio.) Warner Chairman Barry Meyer hopes the new discs will solve consumer confusion and hesitancy, thus spurring sales of hi-def titles on DVD. Total HD is said to be not “materially more expensive” than pressing Blu-ray or HD DVD discs. The new disc has the support of Universal, Microsoft, Amazon, HBO and New Line, and an Amazon VP said that Total HD can make buying hi-def movies a much easier proposition for Amazon shoppers.

Sounds like a good move to counteract the original bad idea of this dumb format war.  We have some other suggestions to help promote HD:  Make the players work at least as well as those $40 DVD players at Home Depot, and bring the price down to under $300. Also, improve the reliability of HDCP copy protection so that any AV equipment with HDMI can be connected with confidence that it will work.

Samsung Introduces 1.8-inch 60GB Hard Drive
– The world’s first 1.8-inch hard drive, just 5 mm thick, and with a 60GB capacity, is now available from Samsung Electronics. The single disc can store 60 movies of 135-minute length, 1,500 40MB music videos, or 15,000 4MB MP3 music files. They are among the quietest running small drives and their power consumption is just .3 watts in low power idle. The drives should be showing up soon in many small portable electronic devices.

German High End Audio Firm Steps Into Multichannel
– Germany’s top manufacturer of high end electronics and speakers – Burmester Audiosystems – has introduced its first multichannel components and speakers.  The products are being handled by a new wholly-owned operation the company has established in the U.S. This is a major step for the formerly strictly two-channel perfectionist manufacturer. In the elegant suite of equipment is the 007 Reference Surround Processor, with an external power supply, sample rate conversion on all channels, and modular design to allow hardware and software upgradeability. Its SRP is $40K.  A “more affordable” model is the 057 Top Line Surround Processor at $20K. The 037 Multichannel Power Amp has three channels of 171 watts each at 8 ohms and is $15K.  Burmester’s S8 powered subwoofer has a rounded shape and features a 2000-watt amp. Its SRP is $16K.

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