Audio News for November 22, 2013

by | Nov 22, 2013 | Audio News

2014 International CES to Feature Record Number of Automotive Exhibitors – Nine auto makers will exhibit at the January International CES January 7-10 in Las Vegas, showing an enhanced lineup of automotive technology. CEA president Gary Shapiro mentioned how consumers are demanding increased interaction between their mobile devices and their car. It is predicted sales of factory-installed vehicle technologies will increase by nearly 20% in 2014. 17% of U.S. households now own a vehicle with a connected communication and safety system, and the figure is expected to rise quickly in the coming years. More than 125 total automotive tech companies will showcase their latest technologies at the 2014 CES.

New Noise-Cancelling Headphone – Audio-Technica’s ATH-ANC70 headphones feature up to 90% noise-cancelling, a mic and a phone call/music controller which work on most smartphones.  All the functionality is built into the left ear cup. Both ear cups have been enlarged in diameter (with 40mm drivers), the headband hugs the head for a lighter feel and ear cushions and headband are made of memory foam. The phones fold flat for storage in a hard carrying case, there is an airline adapter, and the AAA battery provides 40 hours of operation. The price (around $200) is less than competing noise-cancelling phones.

Acoustic Sounds HiRez Store Offering Titles in DSD – One of the leading hi-res download sites has begun offering certain reissue DSD titles obtaining from Sony. (DSD = Delta-Sigma Modulation.)  They include Santana’s Abraxas, Wynton Marsalis’ Hot House Flowers, Herbie Hancock’s Head Hunters and Luther Vandross’ Never Too Much. There are a total of 151 titles and the cost is about $25 each. While CDs are sampled at 44.1 thousand times per second, the effective sampling rate with DSD is 2.8 million, but there is no digital word rating because the technology is just a one-bit stream. It provides a step closer to natural sound and believability, and works even with original analog tape masters as well.  More audio gear is being made available to decode downloaded DSD and even double-DSD files.  Most DSD DAC chips today convert to PCM before converting the signal to analog. dCS originated DoP, which stands for DSD over PCM. It is the protocol enabling the transfer and playback of DSD files packed into a PCM frame. Single rate DSD is felt to be the best possible combination of sound quality, bandwidth and storage space. (And remember a great deal more hard drive storage is required for these files.)

TiVo Systems Added to Blue Ridge Cable – TiVo has reached a deal with Blue Ridge Communications in Eastern PA to provide a next-generation whole-home TV solution to advanced service subscribers. It will deploy TiVo’s suite of products and services, including their whole-home gateway DVR, HD set-top boxes for non-DVR households (TiVo Preview), TiVo Mini, the TiVo Stream, a TiVo web portal, and mobile applications for both iOS and Android mobile devices. TiVo’s highly-regarded unified discovery, search, navigation, personalization and commendation features will be experienced by the advanced subscribers.

Reelin’ in the Years Finds Unseen Screen Tests from ‘80s & ‘90s – RITY, home of the world’s largest music footage library, has recently discovered a treasure trove of screen tests of people who became notable actors. The auditions include candid interviews, with the performers talking about themselves at the dawn of their careers. Included are Brad Pitt, Billy Bob Thornton and Pamela Anderson. They will be made available on DVD.

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