Classical Bytes Try to Get Non-Classical Listeners to Bite – With covers like these [pictured] Universal is attempting to make classical music attractive to the majority of the public who know nothing about it and could care less. The whimsical artwork is designed to look totally different from the classical album norm, and it certainly does. The greatest hits CDs are the same old same old but perhaps this ploy will work. More power to them!
Surround Without Surround? – Research has shown that nearly 90% of home theater and surround sound installations which were not installed by professionals are being used either without any signal at all going to the surround speakers or signals which are not properly calibrated. (And in spite of this the HT industry wants to sell us on 6.1, 7.1 and beyond!) This sort of cuts the footing out from under the CEA’s stats about the 36% of American households now with surround sound capability, eh?
Maintenance Tips -Perhaps it’s time to get out the Telarc or Aix discs with six-channel test tones and your Radio Shack dB meter and check your own speaker levels again – a couple dB can make a big difference in what you’re hearing on your multichannel system! And while you’re at it, check for tightness and perhaps clean off all the speaker cable as well as interconnect terminations. For your display, run the Joe Kane or Avia video test DVDs once in a while to make sure your set is properly calibrated – especially important if anyone in your home uses it for video games and changes the settings!
MTV Launches HD Channel with DD 5.1 – Last month MTV launched its new HDTV channel, MHD, using discrete Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and a full-resolution 1080i 16:9 image. Music-based HD programming originated by MTV will be carried, including MTV Unplugged, VH1 Storytellers, music events, and the concert series Music With Altitude. MHD uses Dolby E compression technology to transmit signals between their broadcast centers. This is then re-encoded into consumer DD 5.1 for transmission to cable headends and satellite services.
Apple Joins Blu-ray Association – Apple has come on board the Blu-ray group in support of Sony’s next-generation hi-def DVD format, joining Dell, Sharp, Philips, Panasonic, Hitachi, HP and eight other companies. Blu-ray technology will enable Mac users to develop higher-quality videos. Apple also said they will support the new more efficient HD Internet video codec H.264 in the next update of their QuickTime video software later this year.