DVD-Audio Rises Again?

DVD-Audio has kept a low profile since its misfired "launch" late last year (see previous story), but has popped up again at this week's Audio Engineering Society Convention (AES) in Paris. Pioneer is demonstrating its latest generation of universal DVD players, recently released in Japan, using a new DVD-Audio disc, some of the contents of which were encoded using Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) technology to enable high-resolution surround sound.

Joining Pioneer at the convention is mastering software company Sonic Solutions, which is showing the results of its collaboration with Pioneer to create Sonic's first DVD-Audio discs using its products. (Earlier, Syrinx announced the world's first DVD-Audio disc, developed in conjunction with Panasonic.)

Sonic Solutions says that the Pioneer DVD-Audio disc demonstrates the advanced features of the new format—high-resolution sound, graphics, and interactivity—and was created with SonicStudio HD (SS's professional audio workstation) and DVD Creator AV (the DVD-A version of SS's DVD-Video production system). Sonic Solutions explains that SonicStudio HD supports editing and mixing of multichannel audio at sample rates from 44.1kHz to 192kHz, while DVD Creator allows authoring of DVD-Audio titles with real-time preview of all elements: multichannel high-resolution audio, menus, slide shows, and video.

Pioneer's Shunichi Ichikawa says that "in designing the disc that would be bundled with our players, we placed the greatest emphasis on audio quality to ensure that our customers would enjoy a listening experience that could not be matched by traditional audio compact disc or even DVD-Video. Sonic has played a key role in allowing us to successfully introduce the first DVD-Audio title, and we are enthusiastic about our collaboration."