DVD-Audio may have gotten a boost on the production end with the impending release of DVD-Audio Creator LE, an authoring system developed and marketed by Sonic Solutions. Available October 15, the authoring system will sell for $5999, a price that could enable many small recording studios and mastering houses to begin working with the format. "DVD-Audio Creator LE puts powerful tools in the hands of professional mastering studios at a very low cost," said Dietrick Hardwick, DVD-Audio product manager at Sonic Solutions. "This enables facilities to significantly expand their service offerings by providing their clients DVD-Audio title creation at an affordable price."
As the boundaries between audio, video, and information technologies continue to blur, so will the corporate boundaries between Sony Electronics' audio, video, and information-technology divisions. Last week, Sony announced the creation of a new organization that the company says integrates its A/V and IT companies into one overall "Consumer Electronics Group," or "CEG." Sony adds that the new structure combines the company's Consumer Products Marketing Group and its Personal Network Solutions Company into one organization. Fujio Nishida was named president of CEG; the new organization will become effective April 1.
On March 12, Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. announced that Sony Corporation has expanded its royalty-bearing license under ECD's proprietary phase-change rewritable optical-memory technology to include advanced technology for use in rewritable CD and DVD optical-memory products. Phase-change technology, invented by ECD, is used in PD and CD-RW rewritable optical-memory discs.
Reuters has reported that Sony Corporation is experiencing a 20% drop in profits this year, brought about by poor showings from audio and video product sales, slow markets, price wars, and a lack of hit records. The report also stated that the electronics sector, which normally generates the bulk of Sony sales, saw operating profits decline by more than half compared to the previous year.
Recently, Sound Advice, Inc., a specialty retailer of high-end consumer electronics, announced plans to open five to six stores in Florida over the next 18 months. The company expects that two to three of the stores will be in operation by the end of this calendar year, with the balance to be opened in 1999. Sound Advice is also exploring other ideas, such as smaller-format specialty stores in upscale malls and other high-end retail locations that feature high-quality brand names.
The 2nd Annual Southern California Hi-Fi Swap takes place on Sunday, February 22, 9am-1pm, at the Sequoia Athletic Club and Conference Center, 7530 Orangethorpe Avenue in Buena Park, one block north of Knotts Berry Farm and the 91 freeway on the corner of Beach and Orangethorpe.
Attention all you amateur speaker designers furiously creating the world's next revolutionary crossover or cabinet design in your garage: Meniscus Audio, a manufacturer of loudspeakers that sells directly to consumers through mail-order marketing programs, has announced a loudspeaker design contest that offers the winner the opportunity to have his or her design developed for distribution as a kit. First- and second-place prizes will also be awarded.
The Home Entertainment Show 2006, running June 1–4 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles, is only weeks away. Here is a sampling of some of the giveaways and special events that will take place at the Show. Several of these should be of particular interest to home-theater enthusiasts.
Is stadium rock passé? The Rolling Stones, the world's greatest practitioners of large-venue concerts, have announced a tour of smaller arenas beginning January 25. The "No Security" tour---in support of the recently released Virgin Records album of the same name---will take the band through 25 North American cities.