Several companies spanning the personal computer, communications, and consumer electronics industries announced March 4th the formation of a working group that will develop a specification for wireless communications in the home. This specification will allow PCs, peripherals, cordless telephones, and consumer electronic devices to communicate and interoperate with one another.
In cooperation with the International Intellectual Property Alliance, the Recording Industry Association of America filed a report in February with the United States Trade Representative outlining the problems that US record companies face conducting business in foreign marketplaces. The report highlights inadequacies in copyright protection with respect to standards and enforcement, and identifies major impediments to market access.
Members of San Francisco's legendary Grateful Dead have announced plans to reunite for a six-week, 25-city tour beginning in June. The group---whose core consists of original Dead members Phil Lesh (bass), Bob Weir (guitar), and Mickey Hart (drums)---will call itself The Other Ones, after an old Dead tune. The group will headline the third annual "Furthur" tour.
On February 23, Pacific Microsonics announced that Atlantic Records' forthcoming golden-anniversary release will feature classic popular recordings remastered using Pacific's high-resolution HDCD technology. The patented High Definition Compatible Disc process enhances the detail, richness, and dynamics of compact disc performance.
The Crystal Semiconductor Products Division of Cirrus Logic Inc. announced last week the availability of the industry's first digital audio transmitters and receivers designed to support the emerging 96kHz digital audio sampling rate. The new mixed-signal receivers and transmitters are targeted at both the professional audio and consumer DVD audio markets.
While the DVD Consortium's Working Group 4 (WG-4) is still working on the 0.9 specification for DVD-Audio, Sony and Philips have been silently carrying on work on their Super Audio CD, the consumer implementation of Sony's DSD. The Sony/Philips disc will have two layers, one carrying normal 44.1kHz, 16-bit CD information (and thus guaranteeing backwards compatibility with existing CD players), the other carrying eight channels in DSD format (two for high-quality stereo, six for surround), plus text and/or graphics.
Last week, Intel Corporation announced its membership in the DVD WG-4 Audio Working Group, and its support for the proposed DVD audio specification, as the next steps in bringing next-generation consumer-quality audio to the PC platform.
The market for recorded music, measured by what manufacturers ship to retail and non-retail channels, experienced a decline in unit shipments and dollar value according to a Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) report released February 19. Concurrently, accounts from US record retailers and mass merchandisers indicated a banner 1997.
February 20---Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Brazil's president, has signed into law two bills intended to rein in that nation's widespread abuse of intellectual properties and bring Brazil into compliance with worldwide copyright law. One covers software piracy; the other, authorship rights.
For the second consecutive year, a film using the Nagra Digital Recorder (Nagra-D) as the location sound device has been nominated for an Oscar Award for Best Sound. The film this year is L.A. Confidential, which has received a total of 9 Oscar nominations. The winners will be named at the 70th Annual Academy Awards on March 23, 1998. Last year, The English Patient, which also used the Nagra-D, won the award for Best Sound
San Francisco---Vacuum Tube Valley's tube and antique audio show here last week drew dozens of exhibitors and hundreds of attendees to the Airport Clarion Hotel over the Feb. 6-7 weekend. The heavy rains that caused mudslides in some Northern California communities, combined with high tides that flooded some freeways, kept attendance down. The show's turnout was "about half of what we expected," said VTV publisher/editor Charlie Kittleson.