HDTV Sales Rise 10% - Figures just released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) show a ten percent increase in DTV products during August vs. August of last year. Dollar sales totaled over $479 million for August and the year-to-date total was more than $3.3 billion. CEA is holding five local HDTV update meetings this fall on where the transition of analog to DTV is going.
Record Labels Clean Up Online - Only a short while ago the RIAA and individual major labels were in full battle dress over Napster and music downloading in general. Now it appears both labels and copyright owners have found that online selling of their music can be their friend - in fact they can make much more money per track than selling CDs in shops. Spearheaded by the revolution started with its iTunes service, Apple Computer has become the dominant legal download business in both the U.S. and Europe. However, Apple only gets 4 cents from each 99-cent track sale while mechanical copyright holders (generally the labels themselves, who own copyright in the recording) take 62 cents or more. Music publishers get the rest, about 8 cents. This major chunk of profits is achieved with almost no manufacturing cost once the recordings are made - no pressing, artwork, printing, distribution! Pop fans are turning to online music purchase and staying away from brick-and-mortar record stores - many of which may go out of business. [Figures from The Independent.]
Wireless Audio Cables - Harmonic Technology has introduced a new technology to the high end cable industry using fiber optic cable instead of wire. However, their CyberLight Analog Interconnect, as its name suggests, is not digital like TosLink but converts analog signals at one end to light (without digitizing) and then decodes the signal back to audio at the other end. The interconnect is powered by either a wall-wart AC adapter or an optional UPS-type batter/charger delivering 11V DC. The approach has zero capacitance, zero inductance, zero phase shift, no signal loss and no ground loop hum. And the impedance can be controlled to fit the equipment it connects. A 1.5 meter pair is $1200 and the optional power pack is $500.
AES Convention in SF Next Month - The 117th Audio Engineering Society Convention is scheduled for San Franciscos Moscone Center October 28 - 31. Hi-Res and Surround Sound are hot topics for the technical papers and workshops during the convention. Dolby Labs will chair Spatial Coding of Surround Sound, A Progress Report. An All-Software Recording Studio is the subject of another session. Other interesting workshops: High Resolution Audio in An Age of Universal Playback, Which Audio Recording/Storage Medium for What Purpose?, Lossless Audio Coding: MPEG & De-Facto Standards. There will also be sessions on: Multichannel Sound, Psychoacoustics/Perception/Listening Tests, Music Synthesis, and of course: Loudspeakers.