More Digital Audio Announcements From Comdex

Last week's Comdex convention in Las Vegas showcased more examples of convergence between the consumer electronics and computer industries, especially in the areas of portable devices, home theater, and digital audio. DVD-Audio also received notice at the show, as chip developer Zoran Corporation announced the Vaddis V, its latest DVD multimedia processor, slated for mass production in spring 2001.

According to Zoran, the Vaddis V will combine DVD-Video playback, DVD-Audio decoding, and web browsing. As Zoran's fifth-generation DVD system-on-a-chip, the Vaddis V, the company claims, has been optimized for Universal DVD Players with DVD-Audio and DVD-Video capability. Zoran adds that the Vaddis V supports Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP), Linear PCM (LPCM), and Watermarking for DVD-Audio players with up to 192kHz sampling and 24-bit resolution. The chip is also capable of playing DVD discs recorded in consumer formats including DVD-RW and DVD-RAM.

The company says that the Vaddis V combines DVD decoding with a "powerful" CPU, enhanced audio DSP, graphics accelerator, video processor, NTSC/PAL/480P video encoder, and deinterlacer for progressive scan output. Zoran states that the dedicated 135MHz 32-bit audio DSP allows for concurrent operation of multiple audio algorithms.

The Vaddis V supports quite a few AV disc formats, including DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, SVCD, CVD, VCD, CD-DA, and CD-ROM. Audio formats supported include DTS decoding; Dolby Digital, Dolby Headphone, Dolby ProLogic, MPEG Layers 1 and 2, MPEG-2 Multichannel, Karaoke, and 3D Audio. The company has also included support for emerging digital audio applications including AAC and MPEG Audio Layers 2 and 3 (MP3) compressed digital audio. Notably absent is any support for DSD/SACD. Finally, Zoran feels that the chip's combination of Web browsing capability and DVD playback will enable new Internet-connected DVD applications.

Zoran's Ram Ofir states that "these technologies enable enhanced Web browsing performance through DSP accelerated image and audio decoding. With the Vaddis V, we can offer our customers a host of new applications taking advantage of the convergence of digital audio and digital imaging within the DVD platform."