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Recent Audio Technology Articles

Audio Lip Sync - The Next Big Feature?

Audio Lip Sync - The Next Big Feature?

In the "good ole days" of pre-HD CRT displays, audio and video processing took about the same amount of time resulting in almost no significant delay problems. Back then, no one had to worry about video taking longer to process than the audio that was being heard. Fast forward to HDTV and the era of video scalers, deinterlacing, and 2:3 pull-down and you are entering a time when video frequently takes longer than the previously 'acceptable' < 16.6 milliseconds (1/2 video frame, or one field in interlaced systems).

In the "good ole days" of pre-HD CRT displays, audio and video processing took about the same amount of time resulting in almost no significant delay problems. Back then, no one had to worry about

— August 30, 2004 20:00 in Audio Technologies

2003 Preamp-Processor and Receiver Wish List

2003 Preamp-Processor and Receiver Wish List

In light of our most recent findings with many of today's receivers and preamp/processors, we have prepared a "wish list" to assist manufacturers in developing their next generation of products with critical features we and our readers deem as being essential. This suggestive wish list, if granted, would, in our opinion, produce the highest performance and most flexible home theater products for the most demanding home theater consumers and installations.

In light of our most recent findings with many of today's receivers and preamp/processors, we have prepared a "wish list" to assist manufacturers in developing their next generation of products with

— August 30, 2004 20:00 in Audio Technologies

Current Trends in the Recording Format Arena P1

Current Trends in the Recording Format Arena P1

As many of us have noticed over the past ten years or so, CD recording quality appears to be going on a downhill trend. Remarks are commonly made by consumers and professionals that many earlier recordings on CD sound better than much of the newer material. Are these the limitations of the present format? Of course there are exceptions to the above and some of the newer recordings are stunningly good, but one might guess that if the recording technology is supposedly getting better, why aren't the bulk of newer recordings getting better?

As many of us have noticed over the past ten years or so, CD recording quality appears to be going on a downhill trend. Remarks are commonly made by consumers and professionals that many earlier

Dan Banquer — August 30, 2004 20:00 in Audio Technologies

Current Trends in the Recording Format Arena P2

Current Trends in the Recording Format Arena P2

SACD has no digital filter and relies totally on the analog low pass filter at the output of the DAC. This gives SACD a very distinct improvement in transient response vs. the standard CD. SACD also uses noise shaping and has a pretty high output of ultrasonic noise at approximately 100 kHz. Is this good for your tweeters? Sony says it's low enough to not do any damage.

SACD has no digital filter and relies totally on the analog low pass filter at the output of the DAC. This gives SACD a very distinct improvement in transient response vs. the standard CD. SACD also

Dan Banquer — August 30, 2004 20:00 in Audio Technologies

Brick Wall Digital Filters and Phase Deviations

Brick Wall Digital Filters and Phase Deviations

Over the years controversy has raged back and forth on whether brick wall filters used in digital audio (namely for CD playback systems) exhibit phase shifts in the audio band (20Hz to 20kHz). Audio critics, pundits and assorted experts have gone back and forth on this issue with out much resolution as I can gather. Some companies have put out their so-called solutions to this problem. It is my desire that this article will put this issue to rest once and for all.

Over the years controversy has raged back and forth on whether brick wall filters used in digital audio (namely for CD playback systems) exhibit phase shifts in the audio band (20Hz to 20kHz). Audio

Dan Banquer — August 30, 2004 20:00 in Audio Technologies

Dynamic Comparison of CD, DVD-A, SACD - Part 1

Dynamic Comparison of CD, DVD-A, SACD - Part 1

Reprinted with the Permission of Christine Tham. Visit her very informative website at: http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/ Diana Krall's The Look…

Reprinted with the Permission of Christine Tham. Visit her very informative website at: http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/ Diana Krall's The Look…

— August 30, 2004 20:00 in Audio Technologies

Dynamic Comparison of CD, DVD-A, SACD - Part 2

Dynamic Comparison of CD, DVD-A, SACD - Part 2

My previous comparison of 2-channel recordings of the title track of Diana Krall 's The Look Of Love on CD, DVD-A (Group 2 - MLP 2.0 96/24) and SACD (2-channel) versions yielded a surprise in terms of the relative dynamics: the CD version was noticeably more "compressed" in dynamics than the DVD-A version, which in turn was also compressed relative to SACD.

My previous comparison of 2-channel recordings of the title track of Diana Krall 's The Look Of Love on CD, DVD-A (Group 2 - MLP 2.0 96/24) and SACD (2-channel) versions yielded a surprise in

— August 30, 2004 20:00 in Audio Technologies

Dynamic Comparison of CD, DVD-A, SACD - Part 3

Dynamic Comparison of CD, DVD-A, SACD - Part 3

Sometime ago you will recall I did two articles comparing stereo versions of Diana Krall's Look of Love on DVD-A (96/24), SACD (DSD) and CD (44.1/16). In Part 1 , I discovered that my recording of the SACD Stereo version of the track had slightly higher relative dynamics compared to the DVD-A MLP 2.0 version, which in turn had higher relative dynamics compared to the CD version.

Sometime ago you will recall I did two articles comparing stereo versions of Diana Krall's Look of Love on DVD-A (96/24), SACD (DSD) and CD (44.1/16). In Part 1 , I discovered that my recording of

— August 30, 2004 20:00 in Audio Technologies

DVD Audio & SACD - The Royal Scam Part I

DVD Audio & SACD  - The Royal Scam Part I

DVD-A &SACD - The Royal Scam Part I was originally published back in 12/23/01. Much of the content in this article has been addressed via hardware, but at the time these new formats were being introduced they were very confusing to the consumers and difficult to utilize on most playback systems. This article addresses the hardware challenges of the time.

DVD-A and SACD high resolution audio formats had some serious hardware limitations when they were first introduced. This is part of the reason why these formats failed to adopt mass appeal.

— August 30, 2004 19:00 in Audio Technologies

DVD Audio & SACD - The Royal Scam Part II

DVD Audio & SACD - The Royal Scam Part II

DVD Audio and SACD - the Royal Scam Part II. I did not write this article to bash new technologies, nor to be a non-supporter of technological progress. I wrote this article to educate the public about the shortcomings of these new technologies, which are mostly implementation related due to the greedy Record Industry and bureaucratic Standards Bodies.

DVD-A and SACD hardware implementation issues still remain 1 year after we wrote about this problem. It's no wonder these high resolution audio formats are doomed to failure.

— August 30, 2004 19:00 in Audio Technologies

DVD-Audio vs. SACD vs. CD

DVD-Audio vs. SACD vs. CD

As the format war continues between DVD-A, SACD and CD, we need to take a close look at not only the pros and cons but what this new marketing push is really all about. Do these higher resolution formats really offer an edge over CD? will they have the staying power to prove it? Only time will tell and consumers will dictate whether or not high resolution audio beyond CD is something they want to embrace.

As the audio format war continues between DVD-A, SACD and CD, we need to take a close look at not only the pros and cons but what this new marketing push is really all about.

Dan Banquer — August 30, 2004 19:00 in Audio Technologies

Upsampling vs. Oversampling for Digital Audio

Upsampling vs. Oversampling for Digital Audio

Vast amounts of marketing efforts are placed on touting the latest and greatest technological advancements in the realm of home audio. We are all aware of the over-inflated, and often baseless claims that companies tend to make when advertising their new products. The latest A/V receiver and A/V Processor offerings are currently marketing super high sampling rates and wide bit words for processing digital audio signals.

CD Player Redbook: Upsampling vs Oversampling Digital Audio theory and sound quality explored.

Nauman Uppal — August 30, 2004 19:00 in Audio Technologies

THX Select and THX Ultra2 Certification General Questions

THX Select and THX Ultra2 Certification General Questions

This interview with the folks from THX discusses what is behind THX Select and Ultra2 Certifications. We discuss testing and certification parameters, and the expected performance differences a consumer can expect from products that meet these two certification criteria.

This interview with the folks from THX discusses what is behind THX Select and Ultra2 Certifications. We discuss product performance differences based on these certifications.

— August 30, 2004 19:00 in Audio Technologies

CD and DVD Longevity: How Long Will They Last?

CD and DVD Longevity: How Long Will They Last?

In the early '90s when the first CD-R disc was introduced manufacturers said the media had a data life in excess of 40 years. In the late 90s when the first DVDR discs appeared on the scene producers proclaimed a data life of at least 100 years. Throughout that time and even today the press will "discover" that the media is susceptible to CD or DVD rot that will eat your information - audio, video or data - in as little as two years after it is written.

In the early '90s when the first CD-R disc was introduced manufacturers said the media had a data life in excess of 40 years. In the late 90s when the first DVDR discs appeared on the scene producers

Andy Marken — August 25, 2004 20:00 in Audio Technologies