Archives for October 1996

SRS 3D Sound On Board the New UMAX 240 MHz PowerPC Mac Compatible

Santa Ana, CA. SRS Labs has announced that UMAX Computer Corp. is including SRS 3D Sound technology in its hot new SuperMac C600/240 PowerPC desktop computers, shipping this week. SRS 3D will also be built in to the UMAX C500 Mac compatible, scheduled to begin shipment in November.

According to the company, SRS 3D Sound is now available in models from every manufacturer currently shipping Macintosh OS-compatible computer products.

The SuperMac C600/240 is a full-featured machine in a mini-tower system enclosure. It includes 24 MB of RAM (expandable to 144 MB), 256K of level 2 cache (upgradeable to 512K or 1 MB), 1 MB of video memory on the motherboard, an 8X SCSI CD-ROM drive, 28.8 bps fax/data modem, 2.1 GB hard drive, 1.44 MB floppy drive, and a bundle of software. UMAX is touting its new offering as “the fastest desktop PC on the planet.”

SRS 3D Sound enhances any audio signal, including mono, stereo, surround sound, or a signal encoded with a 3D sound positional technology. It requires no encoding or decoding and it does not rely on artificial signal manipulation such as time delay or phase shift. Other computer and consumer audio manufacturers currently shipping products with SRS include Sony, Kenwood, RCA, Nakamichi, Sharp, Packard Bell, NEC, Toshiba, Apple, Kurzweil, Pioneer, Samsung, Daewoo, Hyundai and LG Electronics.

Harrison’s TV950 Making Inroads at Major Broadcast Studios

Nashville, TN: The TV950 on-air console, introduced by Harrison by GLW at April’s NAB National Convention in Las Vegas, has been selected for a couple of high-profile installations in Belgium and the U.S.

Harrison has shipped a 52-wide TV950 to the Belgian Radio and Television Network (BRTN). It will be installed in a new BRTN mobile unit for use in live broadcast feeds. The console is configured with 30 mono mic/line inputs, 6 stereo inputs and 6 group modules. Along with standard assignable fader start logic and two program masters, this TV950 is equipped with a 24 multitrack busing on all inputs, groups and master modules, for multitrack output level control.

In the U.S., A.H. Belo Corporation has ordered a TV950 for its new Washington, D.C. bureau. This is a smaller configuration, with with 6 mono mic/line inputs, 6 stereo line inputs and 4 stereo groups, all equipped with mix-minus feed modules and standard assignable fader start logic. The master section contains 2 program masters, monitor module, dual studio module and a master communications module.

According to Dave Hunn, Chief Engineer of Belo’s flagship station, WFAA Dallas: “We chose the TV950 for its flexibility and very complete IFB/mix-minus system, which will meet most any ‘live shot’ situation or production setup. This, combined with the quality and reliability of the Harrison products already in use at other Belo stations made the choice easy.”

The new Washington bureau will provide news facilities for the A.H. Belo Corporation-owned television stations and newspapers. Broadcast facilities will include five edit suites, a production control room and fully-equipped studio. Planned uses include multiple simultaneous live feeds and pre-produced shows which will be shared by all Belo stations.

The TV950 is designed specifically for television broadcast applications. It received an Editor’s Pick of the Show award from Television Broadcast Magazine at the NAB Convention where it was introduced in April (1996). Its available features include assignable machine logic, three mix-minus options, either 4 or 8 stereo buss groups, mono or stereo input modules, control room/studio/comm module with tallys and automated router interface, and LCRS panning for surround applications. Frame sizes may be configured for up to 64 positions, in virtually any combination of stereo or mono inputs, groups, communications and program modules. Pricing begins in the $40,000 (U.S.) range.

QSound’s QXpander Arrives in Japan via AIWA

Calgary, Canada. QSound Labs has announced the entry of its QXpander™ surround sound technology into the Japanese consumer electronics market. AIWA Co. Ltd. has recently introduced a QXpander-enhanced multimedia speaker in Japan.

According to the company, this is the first of several projected products using QSound’s patented surround sound technology that AIWA will introduce in Japan. The products are targeted at both the computer peripheral and consumer electronics markets. All will include QSound’s QXpander analog chip, which is manufactured, under license, by Mitsumi Electric Co. of Japan.

AIWA has a history of industry innovation. It produced Japan’s first cassette tape recorder, first stereo cassette deck and it was the first company to manufacture DAT hardware. Representatives of QSound Labs say they are “very pleased that AIWA now has another first, with its introduction of QSound-enhanced products.”

Spatializer Revenues Up, Net Loss Also Increases

Woodland Hills, CA. Spatializer Audio Laboratories today announced financial results for its third quarter of fiscal 1996, ended September 30, 1996. Revenues were $472,200 (U.S.), an increase of 76 percent over the third quarter of fiscal 1995. The company reported a net loss of $1,101,700 for the quarter, compared to a net loss of $849,822 a year earlier.

Spatializer reported that nine new OEM licensees were added during the quarter, bringing the total to 44 chip licensees. Also, nine new game developers signed up for the company’s Spatializer 3-D MAP™ positional audio enhancement software for Windows® ’95. The increase in licensing reflects both a new “bundled” licensing arrangement with Matsushita Electric Co., and a favorable ruling by the courts in a long-standing patent litigation with QSound Labs, Inc.

“The uncertainty and costs associated with twenty-two months of patent litigation are at long last behind us,” said Steven D. Gershick, President and CEO of Spatializer. “We have already begun to see very positive and immediate effects of this resolution in both substantial licensee growth and increased Spatializer chip sales. [also] we have seen our R&D investment begin to bear fruit during the quarter with the introduction of our N22™ Digital Virtual Surround™ technology for multi-channel discrete digital audio systems for DVD/DVD-ROM and home theater markets.”

Grammy’s Move to Madison Square Garden: DeGeneres to Host

New York, NY. In a press conference Monday, Michael Greene, President of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) announced that the music and audio industry’s premiere annual awards ceremony has outgrown its traditional venues.

The 1997 Grammy’s will be presented at New York’s 12,000-capacity Madison Square Garden. For the last twenty years, the show alternated between the 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan and the 6,300-seat Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

In addition to doubling attendance, the larger venue will also mean more music and less “mindless jibber-jabber” from musicians, Greene said. “Madison Square Garden is the perfect venue for us to try out this new concept.” In spite of the increased capacity, Greene said he would still expect to see mostly music business insiders to be in the audience, though some tickets will be available to the public.

The last time the Grammy’s were in New York was 1994. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani attended the conference, and Greene presented a special custom Gibson Yankee pinstriped guitar to him as a thank you for welcoming the show back to New York City.

The 1997 show takes place on February 26. It will be hosted for the second straight year by comedian Ellen DeGeneres, star of the ABC sitcom “Ellen.” The press conference gave her yet another opportunity to quip about her show’s cliffhanger question, whether her character will reveal her lesbian self. “I will be coming out. . . to New York to host the Grammys,” she said in a pre-taped message.

NARAS also announced the renewal of its contract with CBS as exclusive broadcast outlet for the Grammy’s. CBS has been carrying the awards live annually since 1973. The new five-year contract is a feather in the cap for CBS, which has been taking a beating in audience ratings until recently. Greene said that if CBS hadn’t turned things around, the Grammy’s would have moved to another network.

CBS President Leslie Moonves, the engineer of the network’s rejuvenation, was on hand for the announcement. He would not disclose terms of the deal, but he commented that “it’s going to be the best concert of the season.” The telecast is watched by 1.5 billion viewers worldwide.