HD-Audio Heats Up

What initially took form in college dorm rooms and computer geeks' homes only a few short years back looks ready to break into the mainstream audio market this year. Hard-disk–based audio systems are becoming more common as both consumer electronics and computer manufacturers rush to bring products to market.

The latest manufacturer to join the growing HD-audio ranks is Marantz, which, last week, announced its intention to expand into the audio server market with an agreement to produce a hard-disk–based music server in partnership with Imerge. Imerge has been marketing its own HD-audio system, based on its XiVA software system, for the last year.

Marantz reports that Imerge's XiVA technology will be an integral part of the company's new DH9300 music server. Marantz says its new HD-audio system, which will be showcased at CES 2002 in Las Vegas, sports up to four "high-quality" audio outputs, a TV interface, and the ability to store over 1300 hours of music (with compression).

According to Marantz' Takao Nakayama, "Marantz has recognized that there is a rapidly expanding market for hard-disk–based home-entertainment systems. Marantz' audio expertise, combined with Imerge's XiVA technology, will allow us to quickly bring a product to market and establish Marantz as a leading name in this field."