Audio News

Weekly Audio News for Jan. 12, 2005


Published on January 12, 2005

Last U.S. Analog Tape Manufacturer Closes
- The blank tape company in Opelika Alabama now known as Quantegy but
originally as Irish and then Ampex Tape, closed its doors just after
Christmas. This followed on the heels of BASF, the German tape
manufacturer, ceasing business a short time ago. The company was
started in l945 after General Eisenhower had recorded and broadcast a
speech to the people of occupied Europe. The Army was using the German
Magnetophon recorders and German tape and the tape was not fully
erased. Listeners occasionally heard Adolph Hitler’s voice replacing
Eisenhower’s. This led to an order that no more captured German tape
was to be used and an American magnetic tape manufacturing company
should be started.

Hot Video Introductions at CES
- At the just-concluded Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, several
manufacturers introduced a new type of product – a combination DVD
Player and Video Front Projector. They were priced at entry level
compared to many front projectors, and were designed for ease of use -
to bring the attractions of front video projection to more mainstream
home theater fans. HP, Optoma and Cinego were the makers of the new
combo units. Another type of front projector was also launched at the
show – palm-sized DLP video projectors which use an LED light source
instead of an expensive high wattage lamp. However, the image size was
limited and required complete darkness. Philips showed a combo bathroom
mirror and TV set, plus a more serious three-way Blu-ray drive for
computers. The latter gives a boast to the more sophisticated and
highest-definition of the two competing HD formats for the new DVD. The
disc reader-writer both records and plays DVDs and CD while also
playing Blu-ray DVDs. LiteON showed a DVD Recorder which allows
recording of still images from a digital camera direct to DVD or CD.
Toshiba, who last year astounded attendees with their 80-inch plasma
display, this year showed off a 102-inch plasma display. But you can’t
buy one yet. Panasonic and HP joined forces to provide DVD Recorders
with increased options for consumers.

HP Enters Home Entertainment Market
- Computer and printer giant Hewlett Packard launched a slew of
consumer electronics products at CES: it’s first digital TVs, a new
display technology, and both PC-using and non-PC-based home
entertainment centers. Their big digital home entertainment hub is the
HP Digital Entertainment Center, and is designed around Microsoft’s
Windows XP Media Center.

For complete illustrated coverage of CES with a focus on the specialty audio exhibits, see EnjoyTheMusic.

- John Sunier




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