without new CD releases – since Sony Classical dropped them – the
Philadelphia Orchestra has announced signing a three-year recording
partnership with the Finnish classical label Ondine Records. A new
recording contract was one of the goals of Christopher Eschenbach when
he took over as Music Director of the Orchestra. The first disc will be
released this fall, and the entire series will be recording in
multichannel during live concerts and issued on hybrid SACDs. The
project has similarities to the self-labels launched by the San
Francisco and the London Symphony Orchestras, although it with an
already-existing label. The high rates required by the American
Federation of Musicians for U.S.-based labels to record American
orchestras has prevented many of the leading orchestras from recording.
The AF of M is currently reconsidering their rates to encourage more
recording activity by U.S. orchestras.
– The Consumer Electronics Association has asked the FCC to not allow
the 50% DTV tuner mandate timetable desired by TV manufacturers. It
calls for 50% of new analog (NTSC) TV sets to incorporate a digital
tuner to receive DTV signals by July 1 of this year. The CEA wants a
100% deadline to ensure a faster transition to digital broadcasting.
This step could also decrease the number of TV sets manufactured with
ATSC tuners. In another DTV matter, the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled
that the FCC has no jurisdiction in the so-called “broadcast flag”
regulations. The regulation was designed to protect OTA (over-the-air)
TV content from mass redistribution over the Internet. The CEA states
that the freedom to innovate should be preserved while still protecting
the interests of copyright owners, and that the court ruling will not
impact the ongoing transition to DTV. They urge policy makers to help
accelerate the transition by setting a hard date for the ending of
analog TV signals.
Audio Pioneer Bud Fried Dies
– Speaker-designer Irving M. Fried, who was age 85, was a no-nonsense
sort of music lover and audiophile who began by importing Lowther
corner horns and Quad electrostatic speakers into the U.S. He
registered his IMF trademark in l961. Some of his contributions to the
speaker art were the first modern satellite-subwoofer system, the first
satellite transmission line subwoofer and the B satellite series. His
enthusiastic promotion of transmission line design is at least partly
responsible for the increasing number of speakers which incorporate it.