Digital Audio Direct from Satellite is on the Horizon

Sony has recently revealed that they will be broadcasting digital audio via satellite as early as summer 1998. The planned service is the result of a deal made between Sony, Perfect TV, and Japan Sky Broadcasting Corporation (JSkyB) that is expected to close in April.

Broadcasts will cover Japan and are expected to be mostly music; they will feature performers from music labels and countries from around the world. Unique video programs are also planned for development.

According to a Sony statement: "The new company will utilize the know-how regarding the music and visual software business that the Sony Music Group has accumulated. It will operate a channel specializing in music."

Industry analysts see this as an important move in the converging of computers and audio, since this satellite service can be streamed to the PC desktop as well as to a regular audio system. Although specifications for the digital service have yet to be announced, Sony has stressed that quality is a key concern.