DualDisc Hassles - Both Sony and Pioneer have sent bulletins to their dealers concerning actual and possible problems with the new DualDisc format just launched by several labels last week - hoping to provide the growing audience for music videos on DVD with separate music audio material at the same time, and also to save the faltering DVD-Audio format. Both Sony and Pioneer pointed out that the CD side of such discs fails to meet the technical standards of Red Book CD and therefore cannot be called Audio Compact Disc. Sony said the DVD side of the two-sided DualDiscs should be compatible with all their DVD players, but that none of their DVD players or SACD players support DVD-Audio, and due to the CD side not meeting specs, their players - including their CD-only players - may not read the CD side of the DualDisc. Pioneer suggested that their consumers not use DualDiscs with any Pioneer products until Pioneer has been able to test them.
The five major record labels backing DualDisc have acknowledged that the disc may not work in certain players, but they do not believe the percentage large enough to prevent the new formats success. To date, reports have come in of problems playing the disc on some PC drives, Mac drives, some car stereo players, boom boxes, and among hi-res players the Denon 3800 and Pioneer 563A universal players, the Toshiba SD-9200 DVD player and Sony SACD players XA777ES and C333ES have been affected. A Warner Music representative said that some of their artists preferred to have their releases packaged as both a DVD and separate CD in the same box, though the price would then be higher than for the single DualDisc.
FCC Petitioned to Advance 100% Digital Tuner Implementation - The Consumer electronics Association (CEA) and Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition (CERC) have urged the FCC to speed up the mandate timetable for digital TV tuners in sets. The current DTV tuner mandate calls for 50% of TVs in a 25 to 36-inch screen size to have digital tuners by July 2005. The industry groups are asking the FCC to drop the 50% rule and move the deadline for 100% digital tuners from its present July 2006 date to March 2006. They said the 50% rule runs counter to the purpose of the FCCs tuner mandate and slows the transition to digital television.
Edison Cylinders for the 21st Century - Shawn Bori has reopened Thomas Edisons original l888 company, North American Phonograph, as a wax-cylinder-recording studio. He records tracks first on the wax cylinder, and then transfers them digitally using a state-of-the-art digital cylinder recorder called the Archeopone. Bori has been fascinated with wax cylinders since a child, and says it gives a presence to the recording that no other method can duplicate.