Archives for 2003

More Than 200 Million Consumer Electronics Products Sold Worldwide Feature DTS Surround Sound Technology

DTS (Digital Theater Systems, Inc.) has reached a rather impressive milestone. More than 200 million consumer electronics products have been shipped worldwide containing DTS-licensed technology or intellectual property.

The count of DTS-licensed products includes DVD players, receivers, amplifiers, pre-amps, video game consoles, car audio processors and head units, PC-based software decoders and 5.1-channel speaker systems for the PC.

Unit sales of consumer electronics products with DTS technology reached just 3,000 units in 1994, its first year of availability. The number soared to 100 million units annually, as of August 2002. More than 200 consumer electronics manufacturers worldwide license DTS technology today.

“The number of DTS-licensed products now exceeds 200 million, which attests to the appeal of DTS technology and brand amongst consumers and consumer electronics manufacturers alike,” comments Jon Kirchner, president and CEO of DTS.

“The fact that we have reached this milestone at the same time we’re celebrating DTS’ ten-year anniversary also underscores our increasing establishment in the industry.”

In addition to consumer electronics products, DTS licenses its technology to the pro audio industry, and distributes its own encoder/decoder units via a global dealer network. DTS-encoded audio is available on thousands of DVD-Video and DVD-Audio titles, on the company’s own DTS Entertainment-branded 5.1 Music and DVD-Audio discs, as well as on video games for Sony’s PlayStation(R)2 gaming console.

DTS is an innovator in the development of multi-channel digital sound technology for the consumer electronics and professional audio markets, including home A/V, video games and consoles, broadcast, personal computers and mobile and portable audio systems. Today, every major consumer electronics manufacturer supports DTS technology. DTS also offers hardware and software encoders to the professional audio communities, allowing them to produce DTS audio content directly.

DTS decoders are in virtually every major brand of 5.1-channel surround processors, and DTS sound is featured on more than 20,000 motion picture screens worldwide.

DTS Web Site

Barix Exstreamer Home Network Audio Interfaces Go High-End With Digital I/O and Infrared at CEDIA

Swiss maker Barix is adding “pro” quality interfaces to its line of home audio networking devices that use Ethernet to move streaming audio (MP3, Internet radio, and now uncompressed, full-resolution audio as well) between home audio systems and computers or Internet connections.

At CEDIA 2003 in Indianapolis (Sept. 3-7, 2003), Barix and North American distributor Grid Connect will be announcing and demonstrating the new Exstreamer Digital Professional ($425 US) and Instreamer Digital Input Professional ($425 US) interfaces.

The new models add high-quality audio capabilities to the compelling features already provided by the basic Exstreamer ($179 US) and Exstreamer Wireless ($299 US) network players.

The general idea with all of the Barix players is that they use standard computer networking technology – Ethernet at 10/100 Mbps for wired devices, and 802.11b protocol for wireless – to distribute audio from computer file and Internet streaming sources, via standard stereo audio connections to consumer electronics equipment.

You connect the Exstreamer to an Ethernet network, access it via a Web browser anywhere on the network (or even a remote location on the Internet), then control digital audio files or Internet audio streams from anywhere on the connected network.

You can use multiple Exstreamer devices to inject audio into home entertainment systems throughout your home or office location, in any room with a network connection.

While the original Exstreamer model provides RCA jack and headphone outputs, the new Exstreamer Digital Professional MP3 and Streaming Music player adds stereo digital S/PDIF outs via both TOSlink optical connector and RCA jack.

The new model also provides IR remote control features, even functioning as a bidirectional transparent infrared gateway with an optional stick-on transmitter.

The advanced, high-end features make the Exstreamer Digital ideal for use by professional home installers, who can now handle just about any customer requirement when setting up a distributed audio system. It can be controlled by Web-connected pads and PDAs, in addition to computers, or simply by an IR remote control. With serial and Ethernet control API’s, the device can be managed from typical home automation systems. Software developers can even develop custom audio applications using one of the well-documented Ethernet, serial or Web-based interfaces.

A typical application will be in multi-room distributed audio systems. Thanks to its audio synchronisation capability, digital audio distribution to large halls or rooms with interconnecting, open doors or gates is now possible and easy to implement.

Average home users will also find Exstreamer devices are easy to install, thanks to their unique SonicIP and IPzator features: after power-up, the device will speak it’s own IP address to the audio port!

The new Instreamer Digital Input Professional shares similar technology and control features, but moves audio in the opposite direction – from the home audio system, into the computer streaming out to the Internet. Audio from stereo systems, tape players, tuners, microphones, or other sources can stream audio onto the network.

The Instreamer’s audio connections include Line In (RCA, 2Vpp max level) and S/PDIF In (TOSlink optical and RCA), instead of outputs. It converts analog and digital audio into MP3 streams, and serves it to the connected network just like an ordinary Internet radio station.

Barix Web Site

Exstreamer Web Site

Denon’s New DVD-5900 DVD-Audio + SACD Multichannel Universal Player Dream Machine Due In Stores Soon

Denon USA will follow up the success of its popular DVD-2900 universal/combo DVD-Audio + SACD multichannel player, introduced earlier this year, with the launch later this month (September 2003) of an up-scale model, the DVD-5900 ($2,000 US).

Think of a desirable audio feature, and Denon's new high-end DVD-5900 ($2,000 US) universal multichannel player almost certainly has it covered

Like Denon’s top-of-the-line DVD-9000 player, which handles DVD-Audio but not SACD discs, the new DVD-5900 features a proprietary Denon Link output. Denon Link provides direct digital transfer of multichannel DVD-Audio signals to the similarly-equipped Denon AVR-5803 audio/video controller/receiver.

The DVD-5900 will also sport a proprietary (and defeatable) PCM- and DSD-compatible IEEE-1394 (Firewire) I/O port, featuring Denon’s exclusive new Clock Synchronized System. This port will apparently work with upcoming Denon IEEE-1394-equipped products, to support direct digital transfer of multichannel audio from both DVD-Audio and SACD sources. When switched ‘off’ the ports are ‘Universal Standard,’ according to Denon’s preliminary information.

Audiophile buyers who have been disappointed by the compomised quality of the SACD format’s DSD output (Sony’s proprietary Direct Stream Digital method) from earlier universal multichannel players will be pleased that Denon is using a Sony second-generation CXD-2753 DSD decoder board in the DVD-5900. This means full-resolution SACD output, with no conversion of the DSD bitstream to PCM format.

Pure SACD/DSD output is also supported by 24-bit, 192-kHz PCM/DSD 1790 audio digital-to-analog output convertors (DACs), custom built to Denon specifications by Burr-Brown, that decode both PCM and DSD signals discretely with no down-conversion of DSD.

On the other hand, Denon also allows you to choose to convert the DSD output from SACD discs to DVD-Audio’s PCM bitstream format, in order to take advantage of options that are not supported by DSD: variable bass management crossover points (40/60/80/100/120Hz rather than fixed 100Hz), and adjustable delay time and channel levels.

On the PCM/DVD-Audio side, Denon indicates that DVD-5900 uses the new ESS Vibrato “Chroma Bug Free” DVD-Audio/MPEG decoder.

Like the DVD-2900 before it, the DVD-5900 also offers full digital bass management for both DVD-Audio and SACD output, using dual Analog Devices Melody 100 ‘HammerHead’ processors. This important feature means easy integration (and proper full-range playback) with the vast majority of multichannel audio receivers and controllers that do not apply their own bass management features to multichannel inputs.

The new player also comes loaded with support and decoders for an impressive array of audio formats and standards, including Dolby Digital, DTS Surround, HDCD, MP3, Windows Media Audio (WMA), SRS TruSurround, and something new labeled “AL24 Processing Plus” for all 6 channels.

For the ultimate in audio performance, Denon’s Pure Direct Mode allows you to turn off un-needed portions of the player’s video and audio processing path. Purity is further enhanced by the unit’s 3-box, 5-block internal layout, which isolates analog, digital and video circuits.

Other Features and Specifications

  • Plays Audio/Video CDs; DVD-Audio/Video; Super Audio CD; D+/-R/RW (conditional); Audio CD-R; Audio CD-RW; MP3/WMA CD-R/RW
  • Powered by the latest “DCDi by Faroudja” FLI-2310 Decoding Engine – finest available processing for film, video, graphics or mixed-mode content
  • Adjustable Chroma Delay and Level, White/Black Levels, CCS On/Off controls
  • Dual, discrete, Analog Devices ADV-7310 – 216 MHz, 4:4:4, 12 bit Video D/A Conversion system featuring Noise Shaped Video processing (1 chip each Progressive and Interlace)
  • 8x Oversampling Progressive and 16x Interlace output
  • Wideband relay switched component video outputs
  • Variable Black Level (Setup): 0 and 7.5 IRE
  • Passes below-black (PLUGE) on progressive and interlace outputs
  • (1) DVI-D (HDCP) Output with selectable 480p/720p/1080i output (DVD-Forum has not approved DVI output at this time, so this output will not be functional. Once Forum approved, an upgrade will be made available)
  • (2)Component Video outputs, 1 with Gold BNC connections
  • (2)Composite and (2)”S” Video outputs
  • 2X DVD read speed; 4X CD/CD-R/CD-RW read speed; with 8MB drive buffer memory
  • JPEG photo file viewer, Kodak Picture and Fujicolor CD compatible
  • Anamorphic Scaling for 4:3/16:9 Sets
  • 4:3 Squeeze and Zoom Controls
  • RS-232C and Remote in/out ports
  • Glo-Key remote control
  • Dimensions: 17.1″w x 5.5″h x 17.1″d
  • Weight 27.7 lbs.

Denon USA Home Audio Web Site

Yamaha RX-V440 Wins Home Theater Receiver Category at EISA European Home Theater Awards 2003-2004

Yamaha‘s Yamaha’s RX-V440 A/V receiver has won the Home Theatre Receiver category of the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA)’s European Home Theatre Awards 2003-2004.

The European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA)’s membership of 50 leading magazines specialize in audio-visual and related products and are based in 20 European countries. Each June, EISA panels examine all audio-visual-related products introduced during the preceding twelve months and choose the best equipment in each category. The EISA Awards are considered to be among the most prestigious consumer electronics accolades, not only in Europe but the whole world.

The RX-V440 AV receiver is a high-performance, high-sound-quality receiver that is completely compatible with the latest 6.1 channel surround features. The EISA European Home Theatre 2003-2004 award was given based on a comprehensive evaluation of the RX-V440’s all-around functionality, easy set-up process, high-quality sound, and high ratio of performance to cost.

Yamaha also took the award in the High-end AV Product category, for its DPX-1000 projector. The DPX-1000 employs the most up-to-date generation of full-digital DLP projector technology, featuring a newly-developed, high-performance optics engine. The EISA award was in recognition of the DPX-1000’s high-precision color fidelity as well as its incorporation of advanced technology that enables an “amazingly” high contrast ratio and film-like picture quality.

The RX-V440 ($299 US) is designed to provide excellent performance and an easy operation design at an affordable price. It features Yamaha’s Digital ToP-ART design concept, high current amplification, a 32-bit Cinema DSP LSI, full surround format compatibility, 24 surround programs with Yamaha’s exclusive Quad-field Cinema DSP, Silent Cinema, On Screen display, and 96kHz/24-bit DACs for all channels.

Key Features of the RX-V440

  • High power 6-channel discrete amplifier configuration (75W x 6) [20-20,000 Hz, FTC]
  • Digital ToP-ART (Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology)
  • High Current Amplification for high sound quality
  • Compatibility with the latest movie sound formats including Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 and DTS Neo:6
  • Powerful 32-Bit Yamaha LSI (YSS-938) for Cinema DSP processing
  • 24 surround programs (44 variations) with Silent Cinema and Night Listening modes
  • Front panel Video Aux input terminals
  • Speaker A, B, or A+B selection
  • 2 component video input terminals

Yamaha USA Web Site

New Ultrasone Beatmaster Headphones Safely Deliver High Output Level and Focused Lows for Studio Drummers and Bass Players

German headphone maker Ultrasone is offering a new model for professional musicians and recording engineers. The Ultrasone HFI-550 Beatmaster (price TBA) is now available in the North American market (United States, Canada, and Mexico) through EARS Audio Distribution.

The Beatmaster is designed to satisfy the needs of studio engineers and musicians alike through its focused low frequency response, precise and detailed instrument placement, and impressive power handling.

EARS Audio proprietor Linda Albright notes that the Ultrasone HFI-550 will be particularly suitable useful for bass players and drummers laying down tracks in the studio. It specs out with frequency response of 15Hz – 22kHz, impedance of 32 ohms, and it can deliver sound pressure levels up to 100dB.

The HFI-550 Beatmaster is a foldable, closed-back, circum-aural studio headphone featuring Ultrasone’s patented S-Logic(tm) Natural Surround Sound technology. It is available in reduced magnetic field emissions versions, incorporating ULE(tm) Ultra Low Emissions technology.

Ultrasone’s unique S-Logic technology uses decentralized transducer positioning to create a natural three-dimensional sensation, without the use of processing. These headphones produce a broad, stereophonic surround soundfield that is located in front of the listener.

An added benefit of the S-Logic system is that listeners perceive the same volume with sound pressure levels at the eardrum reduced by up to 40 percent. This reduces the risk of hearing damage, while also ensuring hours of fatigue-free listening.

Ultrasone also employs patented ULE™ (Ultra Low Emission) technology to protect users from low frequency EMF emissions. All Ultrasone headphones are available in versions that offer two levels of shielding against EMF radiation, in accordance with international and German standards. Ultrasone LE Low Emissions versions offer a reduction of up to 60 percent while ULE Ultra Low Emissions models reduce EMF radiation by as much as 98 percent.

Based near Munich, Germany, Ultrasone AG has been manufacturing headphones for the professional audio market for over 12 years, during which time the company has developed and applied for more than 60 patents for its innovative technology. The company’s unique, patented S-Logic™ technology creates natural surround sound without the use of additional electronic devices. Ultrasone headphones additionally represent a safer listening experience, not only by generating a 40 percent lower SPL for the same perceived loudness but also by offering reduced EMF radiation through the use of patented ULE(tm) (Ultra Low Emissions) technology.

EARS Audio Distribution Web Site