Audio News for May 15, 2006

by | May 15, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

New Record Industry Consumer Threat – It’s called the “Perform Act,” and this bill – now in the Senate – would hobble users of the two satellite radio services, XM and Sirius. The bill, which may soon move on to the House, requires satellite radio broadcasters to use “reasonably available” technology to prevent users from recording satellite broadcasts. Although it forbids most “automated recording,” time-shifting of entire programs seems to be allowed, but not recording of particular tunes or artists. The Perform Act appears to be meant to block any TiVo-like digital recording features for satellite radio – putting restrictions on users in their own homes and cars. Plus it will require the satellite broadcasters to pay music licenses twice, which is not required of terrestrial broadcasters. You can send an email opposing the bill to your senators and representatives at the Home Recording Rights Coalition website:  www.hrrc.org

IPTV Taking Over Broadcasting? – The Next Big Thing in electronic communications seems to be Internet Protocol Television.  Been noticing all the folks around you sporting cell phones with tiny video screens?  That’s it! The trend in TV is similar to that in the audio world.  While we now have the highest-res multichannel audio available via SACD, DVD-A and the audio for the new hi-def DVD formats, the majority of the population is listening to data-reduced MP3 stereo.  In the video world we now have 1080p widescreen HDTV and the two new HD disc formats, yet the exploding base of IPTV subscribers are signing up rapidly for programming that downreses video to be able to be transmitted wirelessly to a tiny squarish 1 1/2-inch display for viewing on mobile phones!

Those white earbuds are becoming permanently implanted in some people, and soon the same people will have to have their little video with them all the time. It’s already happening in Japan and Korea. Users are mostly young people with very good eyes! Here’s a few statistics: In the U.S. there are already three million subscribers to streaming wireless video content, paying an average $40 per month for the service. 50% of U.S. homes have video cable and 26% have satellite. By 2010 there is expected to be nearly 191 million cable subscribers worldwide, but industry analysts say that only 63% of U.S. households will have converted to HDTV by then. By 2009 there will be an estimated 53 million IPTV subscribers. Hundreds of IPTV networks will fight over them.  930 million mobile phones will be sold this year.  41% of their owners are “interested” in videos. The growth of broadband connections and improved video compression codecs has also changed the playing field: 47% of Europeans now use the Net; In Iceland, Korea, the Netherlands and Denmark more than 25 out of 100 inhabitants have broadband connectivity; the total Internet community is now over one billion users.  See why the IPTV people see themselves as being the main TV network of tomorrow?

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