New Room Calibration Product – LA-based Audyssey Laboratories – specialists in audio EQ technology – have announced a new professional room calibration tool for the improvement of home theater sound. The new Sub Equalitzer applies its audio technology to manage low frequency distortion caused by room acoustics. Audyssey’s technology is marketed under the MultEQ XT brand name and is based on research done at the University of Southern California. The product is now available from custom home theater installers. Chief scientist at the firm is Tomlinson Holman, who invented THX.
Decline in DVD Sales Not Helped by Blu-ray – According to a new report from research group Screen Digest, movie industry revenues feel by more than $2.6 billion in 2008 as DVD sales went down. Hollywood quickly swung into DVD production in the late 1990s after it was launched, and movie studio economics were changed overnight. Now DVD sales often account for more revenue than the theatrical showings. With DVD sales in decline and Blu-ray unable to make up for lost ground, things are looking grim for the studios. Experts say that consumer interest in Blu-ray has been slow due to the global consumer downturn and the lack of the studios mounting a unified marketing campaign. Studios are not expecting many consumers to replace their DVD libraries with Blu-ray. One analyst said “We expect Blu-ray to account for 6.9% of international video spending this year – assuming there is strong promotional activity by the studios.”
New Panasonic Blu-ray Recorder – Panasonic’s DMR-BW500, which becomes available at the end of this month at about $2780, lets you watch Blu-ray and standard DVD movies, transfer home movies from an AVCHD videocam to disc, and watch and record HDTV to Blu-ray, DVD or to the built-in 500GB hard drive. It is capable of recording up to 4.5 hours of digital HD programming or up to 63 hours of analog programming. This model is equipped with built-in tuners for terrestrial digital broadcasting, Broadcast Satellite (BS), 110-degree Communications Satellite (CS110) and terrestrial analog broadcasting. The DMR-E700BD is the world’s first DVD recorder that supports single-side, dual-layer Blu-ray Discs (BD) with a maximum capacity of 50 gigabytes. The 50GB blank discs cost about $69 each and 25GB discs cost about $32 each. The recorder can handle 24 fps video playback and the latest lossless audio formats. It has a built-in SD card slot for photos, music and video clips. It does not have BD-Live compatibility.
Nearly Half of U.S. Consumers Now Have HDTV – According to a Harris Interactive survey of 2401 adults carried out in April, nearly half of all U.S. consumers now own a hi-def TV. However, there appears to be consumer indifference to hi-def players. Last year 9% of survey respondents not owning a Blu-ray player said they’re likely to buy one within the next year, but this year that figure is down to 7%. However, 9% of U.S consumers now own a Sony PlayStation 3, which has been widely praised as the best deal in a Blu-ray player.
50%+ Discount on SACD Packages – Linn Records is offering three special collections of 10 or 20 SACD albums at more than 50% discount as a summer promotion. A diverse range of repertory, artists and styles is represented in the selections from the Scotland-based audiophile label. The SACD Complete Collection is 20 discs of classical, pop, and jazz performers, and there are also two ten-disc packages of either classical or jazz & folk SACDs. www.linnrecords.com