Audio News for March 23, 2006

by | Mar 23, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

Digimarc Supports Peer-to-Peer Industry With Digital Watermarking – Digimarc Corporation, based in Beaverton, OR, supports the P2P Digital Watermarking Working Group of the Distributed Computing Industry Association.  The recently-formed group seeks to leverage the power of digital watermarking to protect copyrighted music, movies and images which are distributed across peer-to-peer file-sharing online networks. Digimarc wants to collaborate with the content industry, DCIA members, technology providers and their business partners in addressing the challenges of distributing legitimate P2P entertainment content. They concur with the U.S. Supreme Court statement that digital watermarking “offers meaningful resolution to the issue at hand.”

DTS Demonstrates Hi-Def Video with 7.1 Discrete Hi-Res Audio
– At the recent CES in Las Vegas, DTS Inc. demonstrated their DTS-HD Master Audio solution for the next-generation hi-def media. DTS-HD Master Audio has been selected an an option in the standards for both the upcoming Blu-ray and HD-DVD media formats. The presentation featured 1080 progressive super hi-def video from major Hollywood films and concert videos, heard for the first time with 7.1 discrete channels of surround sound bit-for-bit identical to the master soundtrack. Jon Kirchner, CEO of DTS, said “…for the first time we have sound that matches high definition video images and allows people to truly live the high-definition life.” 

DTS is also heavily involved in the hi-def image. It has introduced the DTS Digital Cinema Encoder, which provides constant quality encoding for D-Cinema presentation. Using JPEG 2000 image compression with DTS Variable Bit Rate encoding, it produces the highest-quality images for D-Cinema, with a 30% to 50% file size reduction vs. competing systems. DTS-VBR makes the most efficient use of the available “bit budget” by encoding complex frames at a higher bit rate and simpler frames at a lower bit rate to maintain quality and optimize the image quality of the entire motion picture.

Tape Players for the Blind Thrive – Cassettes and VCRs have become obsolete today, but tape players are thriving in one field – providing talking books for the blind and vision-challenged. More than a million special heavy-duty, slow-speed tape players are in use around the U.S. by such people, allowing them to access virtually any magazine or book thru their state library and listen to them at home for free. They don’t even have to pay postage. Volunteers around the national record the tapes for the machines. And other volunteers repair the machines – about 10% a year – that give up the ghost from heavy use. They spend thousands of hours a year tearing the players apart and reassembling them into working units again. The group, called the Elfuns, figures it has saved half a million dollar’s worth of tape players and components in the past decade. People live and die by the machines, but many who have a need for the program know nothing about it. Applications for the program most be signed by a doctor, nurse or other professional who can attest to the applicant’s visual or physical impairment. Applications are available by calling 1-800-622-4970.

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