Audio News

Weekly Audio News for April 27, 2005


Published on April 27, 2005

Dolby Pro Logic II for Digital Radio – The Pro Logic II matrix
surround sound audio format has been approved by licensee Dolby
Laboratories and iBiquity Digital Corporation for the HD Radio system,
which is finally being offering by a growing number of radio stations
in the U.S., on the same frequency as the station’s present analog
transmissions. Since HD Radio is only a two-channel system, this will
enable stations to broadcast surround sound sources by encoding them
into the Dolby Pro Logic II matrix on two channels, to be received as
either standard stereo or decoded to five-channel surround by the tens
of millions of tuners, receivers and AV preamps with Pro Logic II
decoders. (This usually provides improved surround sound over merely
processing a standard stereo source with Pro Logic II.) Network TV has
been using Pro Logic II on certain programs.

Boston Acoustics Digital HD Radio
- The Recepter Radio HD will be introduced by speaker-maker Boston
Acoustics in June as one of the first home radios for HD to be made
available. In addition to the usual FM and AM it will offer reception
of the iBiquity Digital HD Radio signals now being added to the service
of many stations nationally. The table radio will have a stereo input
for iPods and a stereo headphone output which may also be used for
connection to any component audio system (enabling surround sound
decoding with Pro Logic II as described above).

DTV Transition Ups & Downs
- The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has announced that sales
to dealers of digital TV products during February rose 43% over
February 2004 and dollar sales were nearly $700 million. DTV remains
the fastest-growing area of consumer electronics, with a high demand
for flat panel and rear-projection HDTV. However CEA president Gary
Shapiro said the association had been wrong in assuming that the
broadcast and cable industries would help to spur sales growth this
year. Instead he finds both industries have created roadblocks to slow
the transition. Broadcasters don’t want a “date certain” on which all
analog telecasting will cease and viewers without a DTV will have to
purchase a set top convertor in order to have any TV, and have also
tried to slow the timetable for manufacturers to provide digital tuners
in all TV sets. Cable providers refuse to promote Digital Cable Ready
products such as the CableCARD. The CEA sees these as critical steps to
ensure rapid consumer adoption of DTV.

- John Sunier




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