Audio News

Weekly Audio News for April 13, 2005


Published on April 13, 2005

Satellite Radio Has 5 Million Subscribers – From a slow start
about 3 1/2 years ago, the two satellite radio services – XM and Sirius
- have now signed up over five million subscribers at from $10 to $13 a
month – that’s well over $100 a year for a type of product that has
been free in this country for over 80 years. One factor aiding its
success has been the dismal condition of terrestrial commercial radio -
way too many commercials, too narrow song playlists, and a stultifying
sameness of programming. The 120 or so separate channels of each
service offer a huge variety of specialty programming, and those
channels with commercials run a fraction of the number heard on
standard radio. More new cars are coming out with one or the other
service receivers built in. The threat is causing commercial
broadcasters to loosen up their formats and reduce the number of
commercials, though with the relaxed FCC regulations multiple station
ownership and sameness continues. While the complete freedom from
multipath distortion in vehicles is a welcome benefit of the satellite
services, their audio quality on music is nowhere near that of CDs.
However, it is not that different from MP3 files, and the news, sports
and talk channels sound fine.

Pro Mastering Software Includes DSD
- Two different firms have announced disc production software for SACD
production. The well-known Sonic Studio-DDP premastering application
for Mac OSX has added in Version 2 exceptional editing abilities with
DSD files, plus WAV, AIFF and other formats. And Steinberg Media
Technologies in Germany has announced a new version of its world
standard Audio Stream Input.Output (ASIO) architecture to support the
DSD standard. It allows transporting DSD audio between audio
applications and hardware supporting the standard, thus opening up
possibilities for hardware and audio application manufacturers to
include DSD in their products.

Yamaha Introduces 7.1 Receiver with HD Radio & HDMI
- Yamaha Electronics; new RX-V4600 AV digital home theater receiver is
the first to include not only the usual FM and AM reception but also
the new HD terrestrial digital radio technology from iBiquity which
will eventually replace analog broadcasting as DTV will replace analog
telecasting. 275 stations are already broadcasting HR Radio. The
130-watt-per-channel receiver also features the latest HDMI digital
interface connection which includes both video and audio, and provides
Dual i.Link terminals for digital connection to universal SACD/DVD-A
disc players using that interface, including Yamaha and Denon.

- John Sunier




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