Audio News for June 30, 2007

by | Jun 30, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

Sony Debuts First HD Radio Products – Sony will join the growing group of companies making digital radio a feature of their audio products starting in July. According to the HD Digital Radio Alliance, more than 1200 AM & FM stations have adopted the technology so far. An HD radio is required to hear the broadcasts, which are carried on the same frequency spot as the analog station; about 50 different models are already available. Sony’s first products will be a $200 AM/FM/HD table radio and a $100 tuner module to convert most Sony car stereo units. (The HD does not stand for hi-def but for Hybrid Digital.)

HRRC Opposes Audio Broadcast Flag
– The Home Recording Rights Coalition has gone on record opposing H.R. bill 4861, which requires the FCC to impose anti-consumer copy control restrictions on in-home, private, personal and lawful recording from HD radio sources. According to HRRC Chairman Gary Shapiro the bill appears to set up licensing on new HD radios and on satellite radios for XM and Sirius, but it is actually an “attack on traditional home taping practices that consumers have engaged in since the first analog cassette recording reached the U.S. market in 1964, and the reel-to-reel recorder decades before.” The Supreme Court held in the famous Betamax case that although home recording may not be “authorized”  by copyright owners, it is not “unlawful.” Consumers have been using their “fair use” rights to lawfully time-shift programs and make tapes of music off the air for more than 50 years now. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) believes that when anyone records a song off the radio they have engaged in piracy and should be criminally prosecuted – as they are doing to both innocent and guilty individual consumers in the area of illegal Internet music downloading. For updates on copy protection issues, and related Congressional and FCC proceedings, visit

Added Content Protection for Blu-ray
– BD+ Technologies has announced the completion of its licensing program for an exclusive added layer of content protection on movies and other video entertainment released on Blu-ray discs.  The program affects the makers of the players, the chip manufacturers, and the producers of the discs. The features of BD+ have already been implemented into all Blu-ray players in the marketplace, but updated technical specs are now available. The president of Lionsgate said that the addition of this extra layer of protection make him even more confident that they had made the right choice for the studio and the public interest. An MGM spokesman said that content providers can now release more produce knowing there is strong copy protection – giving consumers a greater choice of films.

Samsung Ships First 1.8-inch 64GB Flash Hard Drive
– Samsung Electronics is offering the first 64GB flash memory-based hard drive in a tiny 1.8-inch form; current solid-state drives top out at 32GB. SSDs offer faster application start times, greater reliability and faster boot times, plus improved battery life. Circuit paths in the memory chips are said to be 1/2500th the width of a human hair. The company expects the industry to rapidly adopt SSDs in place of existing platter-based hard drives in notebook and desktop computers. They also foresee their use in other home electronic such as camcorders and feel they will give rise to entirely new types of digital devices. The cost-per-GB, however, will ensure they remain in the domain of high end products over the next year.
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