dvd-audio news

Chesky Records to Reinstate DVD-Audio Release Schedule

It has been confirmed that Chesky Records are to return to DVD-Audio and will begin releasing new titles in the format in the near future.

Recipients of the most recent Chesky mailing-list update will have noticed a promotional competition, the prize for five lucky winners being a new DVD-Audio sampler disc. read more…

Mike Oldfield DVD-Video/Audio ‘Tubular Bells’ Box Set

A Mike Oldfield DVD-Audio/Video box set is to be released by Warner Vision to mark the 30th Anniversary of ‘Tubular Bells’.

The set, scheduled to hit the streets in the U.K. on 17th November, will include DVD-Video live performances of ‘Tubular Bells II’ from Edinburgh Castle, ‘Tubular Bells III’ from Horseguard’s Parade, London (originally released as a double-sided DVD-Video disc in 1999), and ‘Art In Heaven’, the concert staged in Berlin to mark the Millennium celebrations of 2000. read more…

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots CD+DVD-Audio Scheduled for 23rd September

The release date for ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ by the Flaming Lips has been confirmed as September 23rd by Rick Gershon of Warner Bros. Records Publicity.

In a message circulated to the industry’s entertainment editors and some wire services, the contents of the “CD+DVDA” package – which consists of two separate discs and not a single hybrid – are detailed, but once again Warner Bros. falls flat on its face when it comes to promoting the benefits of DVD-Audio. Nowhere in the release does it mention high-resolution audio or the presence of a multi-channel version of the album, and even the words “DVD-Audio” are absent from the text!

Here are the contents of the news release: read more…

CEDIA 2003: New Theta Compli Universal Player

CEDIA 2003: Theta Digital has announced its first universal player – the Compli – at CEDIA today.

The only details we have so far are in the press release issued by Theta’s PR Agency, J. B. Stanton Communications:

The Compli plays material formatted for more than 15 popular audio, video, image and content formats. read more…

CEDIA 2003: Rotel Introduce DVD-Audio Equipped Receiver

CEDIA 2003: Rotel have announced a unique DVD-Audio capable product, the RSDX-02, a one-box design that incorporates a DVD player, 5.1 processor/amplifier and AM/FM tuner. To be priced at $1,500 when it is introduced to market in October, the RSDX-02 is said to bring high-performance home theatre and high-resolution audio to an entirely new spectrum of listeners. read more…

Universal Music Group Announce DVD-Audio Release Schedule

Universal have announced their upcoming DVD-Audio release schedule, and it looks like a veritable who’s who of big name artists, including Andrea Bocelli, Diana Krall, Elton John, Shania Twain, Steely Dan, Sting and The Who.

The news heralds Universal Music Group’s first American DVD-Audio releases, which are slated to begin appearing on shelves from September 23rd onwards. According to the official company press release, UMG plans an ongoing DVD-Audio release program that will “…offer best-selling artists and core catalogue titles to major markets worldwide.” read more…

TAG McLaren Audio to Cease Product Development

Exclusive: The future of TAG McLaren Audio looks bleak, all future product development will cease and the company is likely to withdraw completely from the audio/video markets following an internal review; this was the bombshell Chief Executive Office Dr. Udo Zucker dropped on TAG dealers earlier today. read more…

Pioneer DV-757Ai PAL Progressive Upgrade Details

Pioneer have confirmed that the DV-757Ai will boast PAL progressive capabilities, as all examples produced from June onwards are manufactured with the video enhancement on-board. Pioneer’s ‘universal’ player, which supports both DVD-Audio and SACD has been widely acclaimed and is highly popular. read more…

New Polk Loudspeakers Designed for High-Resolution Multi-channel

HE 2003: Polk Audio has announced a loudspeaker line-up specifically designed for high-resolution audio. In a complete re-design of their CSi center channel and FXi surround loudspeakers, the new products have been specifically designed to match Polk’s new RTi Series of floor-standing and bookshelf loudspeakers and feature all-new drivers and tweeters and striking new contemporary cosmetics. read more…

Denon DVD-2900, The First PAL Progressive DVD-Audio/SACD Player

Denon have announced that the PAL version of their DVD-2900 universal DVD-Audio/SACD player will be the only machine capable of delivering ‘legal’ PAL progressive video.

The DVD-2900 brings Denon’s audiophile and videophile performance features to a price point that most enthusiasts can afford. read more…

Acura TL to Include Factory Fitted DVD-Audio System

The latest Acura TL is to be factory fitted with a multi-channel DVD-Audio system, it was revealed today at the New York International Auto Show.

The Acura 3.2 ‘Concept TL’ performance luxury sedan made its debut on April 16th with the promise that the production model would “feature the latest in high technology”, and that includes a high-resolution audio system. read more…

Fleetwood Mac ‘Say You Will’, a Simultaneous DVD-Audio and CD Release

Say You Will’ is the first studio album since 1987 from super-group Fleetwood Mac, and it is being released simultaneously in both Europe and the United States on DVD-Audio and Compact Disc. The European release date is April 28th, while the album debuts two weeks earlier on April 15th in the U.S. read more…

Meridian 880 Reference Music Server features MLP

Meridian Lossless Packing is to be used in the 880 Reference Music Server, one of the recent announcements by Cambridge-based Meridian Audio. MLP is the loss-less compression technology used by DVD-Audio, but its flexibility allows any audio source to be stored in compressed form without compromise, unlike MP3, the standard lossy format used by the majority of music servers. read more…

MDG Demonstrate Hybrid DVD-Audio/CD Disc Prototype

Exclusive: MDG have created the first single-sided ‘hybrid’ DVD-Audio/CD disc prototype, details of which High Fidelity Review can reveal today. With the aid of Sonopress, MDG manufactured the developmental ‘hybrid’ for a specialist (closed door) presentation to music industry representatives at the MIDEM International Music Market convention, which took place in Cannes, France, last week.

A limited number of copies of ‘Piano Concerto and Concertinos’ by Schumann, performed by Christian Zacharias and the Orchestre de Chamber de Lausanne were pressed to test industry reaction to the potential of a ‘hybrid’ DVD-Audio disc and evaluate early compatibility issues.

Our sources at Sonopress explained that the single-sided disc, which comprised separate DVD and CD layers, the former including both DVD-Audio and DVD-Video compatible data, was produced on their “regular machinery”. Representatives of Sonopress suggested that the prototype disc should be playable on most current DVD players, however the company advised those in attendance that the disc format was not for sale and stressed that it was only a prototype as it does not adhere to any published DVD Forum Standard.

Sonopress is a subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG, whose music division (BMG) owns more than two hundred record labels – Arista Records, Jive, RCA Records and Ariola amongst them – and is one of the world’s largest music publishing companies. BMG also promoted DVD-Audio at MIDEM following their announcement of support for the format on January 6th.

Limited testing by MDG revealed that the prototype disc was compatible with all currently available ‘universal’ high-resolution players from Pioneer, Marantz and Onkyo, together with all Pioneer single-format machines and standard CD-only hardware.

A copy of the prototype is winging its way to High Fidelity Review, and although the disc represents a technology that is still in the development and testing phase, we will let you know how it performs. WG4 members, the DVD sub-forum responsible for DVD-Audio, are also quick to point out that the MDG disc is only a test-bed and further work is required, but the move bodes well for ‘hybrid’ DVD-Audio and its impact upon music retailers, replication facilities and audience listening habits.

Dabringhaus und Grimm Audiovision (MDG) are no strangers to pushing the envelope of disc compatibility. The label already offers a number of titles containing high-resolution DVD-Audio content, lossy DVD-Video audio (in the form of 448kb/s Dolby Digital) together with six-channels of uncompressed 48kHz PCM, which is compatible with all DVD-Video players that contain internal six-channel decoders.

MDG plan to release ‘hybrids’ that contain six channels of MLP packed 96kHz 24-bit PCM (that conform to the label’s own 2+2+2 channel configuration), a high-resolution two-channel track, six channels of 48kHz 16-bit PCM, stereo PCM and Dolby Digital for DVD-Video players, together with two-channel 44.1kHz 16-bit PCM on the Red-book compatible CD-DA layer.

When he spoke to High Fidelity Review, Werner DAbringhaus of MDG was clearly pleased at the reaction to the DVD-Audio ‘hybrid’ he received at MIDEM:

“…as a result of our MIDEM discussions I know that the music industry would appreciate such a format. For labels and distributors it would be the best solution: It [the hybrid] looks like a CD or a DVD and even the conservative audience can use it like a CD, up to the moment when they decide to change to DVD-Audio.”

 

Werner was another to stress that further work is required to avoid hardware incompatibilities, but everyone involved is expecting those issues to be addressed in the very near future. A dual-layer ‘hybrid’ is the ideal solution in terms of engineering elegance, but as we reported from CES, dual-sided discs (DVD content on one side and CD on the other) are also a viable alternative, at least until dual-layer compatibility issues have been resolved.

While a dual-sided ‘hybrid’ greatly increases the market appeal of DVD-Audio, a dual-layered disc is clearly the ultimate goal. Its (hopefully) “no-brainer” operational potential, which removes any need for the user to “think” about playing a specific side of the disc, only to be automatically presented with the compatible or preferred format, might prove to be a huge boost for the flagging music industry. Being able to ride on the coattails of DVD-Video and offer fully backward-compatible CD playback should also be the shot in the arm both high-resolution and multi-channel music have been waiting for.

Sonopress

The Sonopress disc replication plant, Gütersloh, Germany.

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