Audio News for October 16, 2009

by | Oct 16, 2009 | Audio News | 0 comments

Burn Hi-Res DSD DVD-Rs – Gus Skinas is president of the Super Audio Center in Boulder, CO and inventor of the Sony Sonoma System, used in the recording of many SACDs for its more analog-like sound. He’s convinced that 44.1K PCM digital music has distortions in the spatial time domain and the Sonoma fixes that. His goal is to right the wrongs committed by the recording industry in the early days of digital audio. He recently reported that DSD (the basic recording format for SACD release) recordings made on devices from Korg and other manufacturers can be burned to DVD-R blanks, producing a disc that plays on Sony PS3s and Sony’s new 5400 SACD player. (However they may not play on other SACD players.) The discs cannot be called SACDs because they lack the physical watermark and DRM restrictions required by the SACD license.  But they can be called DSD Discs and are a legitimate hi-res format which can take its place among several recent options.

Another New SACD Label – A new addition to the growing number of smaller record labels and individual artists issuing SACDs is the Bavarian Radio with their BR-Klassik label.  The label is devoted to making performances of the symphony orchestra of the Bayerischen Rundfunks more widely available. Mariss Jansons is its chief conductor and among the eight new CDs (which will be distributed in the U.S. by Naxos) will be Haydn symphonies and Mahler’s Seventh Symphony. Leonard Bernstein‘s first opera – Trouble in Tahiti – and Hartmann’s Des Simplicius Simplicissimus’s Youth are also among the first eight albums. Some but not all of the recordings will be issued as SACDs. There is also a BR-Klassik Archive series, mining great past performances from the extensive archives of the Bavarian Radio.

Sony Adds PSP Copying to Blu-rays
– Sony American has announced a new feature on certain Blu-ray movies which allows Sony Play Station owners to directly transfer digital copies directly from their PS3s instead of using their computers to burn a separate DVD disc. The feature is intended to let users take their movies and entertainment content on the go. The first Blu-ray releases to use the new feature will be Godzilla and The Ugly Truth.

Blu-ray Penetration Slightly Ahead of DVD’s Track
– According to Futuresource research, the hardware penetration in the U.S. of Blu-ray Disc is running ahead of standard-def DVD adoption at similar points in the two format’s lifetimes. The research takes 2002 as Year Five for DVD, with 2010 for Blu-ray. In 2002 standard DVDs had reached 32.6% of households and by 2010 Blu-ray is expected to reach 34.1%. According to Futuresource, Blu-ray will never catch up to standard DVD players’ presence in homes at the same point in their lifecycles, due to rising digital entertainment options, but penetration could speed up if pricing for Blu-ray Disc software falls.

New Fox Blu-ray Features – Fox will be releasing Blu-ray movies with some interesting new bonus features to keep you entertained even if the feature itself is a bore. Live Lookup works with BD-Live to let you automatically look up information about any actor in the film on their IMDB page. It’s already part of the Wolverine Blu-ray. Remote Device Accessibility allows you to control the Blu-ray player from an iPhone – or you could look up an actor’s IMDB page on the iPhone while other viewers continue to watch the movie. The longish load times for some Blu-rays is being integrated into the preview content, so the feature can be loading while you are watching various previews. Fox also plans to add memory capabilities to Blu-ray, just like those enjoyed by DVD viewers; after you eject a disc you will be able to pick up where you left off the next time you insert it in the player. [How about a new feature making Blu-ray navigation easier?  It’s a complete disaster on some discs…Ed.]

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