Audio News

Audio News for May 25, 2005

Soaring Consumer Electronics Use; Philips and Microsoft in DRM Alliance, Koch Entertainment Sold; "Two Dead Formats?"

Published on May 25, 2005

Audio News for May 25, 2005
Soaring Consumer Electronics Use
- A new study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) shows
U.S. households now own an average of 25 different consumer electronics
products and spend more than $1,250 annually on CE products. The
content is also important to consumers, who own an average of about 100
music CDs and more than 40 DVDs. The study shows that the CE industry
grew 11% in 2004 and should grow the same amount this year. The average
U.S. home now has 3.1 TV sets, up from 2.4 last year. HDTVs are present
in 13% of households, and both flat-panel displays and Digital Video
Recorders in about 10%. The penetration of DVD players is about to
eclipse that of VCRs. Portable MP3-type players can be found in about
15% of homes.

Philips and Microsoft in DRM Alliance
- A set of agreements between Philips Electronics and Microsoft will
optimize the transfer of digital entertainment content between
Windows-based PCs and Philips components using the Nexperia family of
semiconductors. The multimedia semiconductors will support Windows
Media AV with its Digital Rights Management 10 technology and will be
used in media receivers, PVRs, portable audio players, set-top boxes
and video phones. Guess it’s hopeless to fight the convergence of
computers and consumer electronics devices, but let’s hope the computer
nerds pay attention to reliability, ease of use and simplicity which
have been pretty much ignored thus far.

Koch Entertainment Sold
- Koch Entertainment – comprising the record labels, music publishing
and CD distribution, and an independent video label and distribution -
has been purchased by ROW Entertainment Income Fund. ROW is the largest
wholesaler in Canada of CDs and DVDs as well as the largest specialty
retailer of CDs and DVDs there. Koch contends that their classical CD
division will be unaffected. They have also become a player in the
continuing litigation over the bankruptcy sale of Dorian Records Group,
in which the Reference Recordings label is also involved.

Two Dead Formats?
- In a comment on the war between SACD and DVD-Audio, Audio Revolution
has just stated “That format war, unlike the VHS vs. Beta battle, left
no winners – just two dead formats.” Where are they getting their
information? We’re not sure about DVD-A, but as to SACD how can you
possibly call a format with 3500 releases worldwide and growing
steadily a “dead format?” See our article on the subject last month. 

- John Sunier




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