DTV Takes Off - The Consumer Electronics Association has released the sales figures showing more than $1.3 billion in sales of digital TV products from manufacturer to dealer occurred in January and February of this year. This represents a 124% increase over the same period last year and a 100% increase in dollar sales. The cumulative total of DTV products sold since its introduction in l998 is now 9.73 million. Consumers are paying more for the higher quality performance offered by DTV. CEA analyst Sean Wargo said The DTV transition is no longer theoretical - it is a reality. Every day, more and more consumers are embracing digital television.
High Note SACDs at $9.98 - New York-based High Note Records is the latest jazz label to begin releasing SACDs. [One of them is reviewed in our Hi-Res section this month...Ed.] The new discs are hybrid stereo and carry a $9.98 list price, the lowest list yet for SACD discs. The packaging is attractive but comes without a note booklet insert. The initial releases: Kinda Jazzy Kinda Funky; Jazz in an R&B Groove.
Our Most Sophisticated Audio Equipment - Our Ears - The article Now Hear This, in the April issue of Hi-Fi News, speculates on the implications of our remarkable hearing apparatus in the appreciation of high end audio. Research has shown that our ears/brain has a built-in compressor which allows us to cope with a huge range of sound levels. Without it, the bundles of sensing hairs in our inner ears would not be able to move enough to transfer the full range from softest to loudest. The author wonders if the supersonic frequencies of the new formats - above 20K, could be affecting our perception of sound by subtle mixing with sounds below 20K. He feels it might explain why some people prefer audio systems which seem to be flawed according to the measurements.