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July 29, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:53pm

AUDIO FORMAT IS AGREED FOR DIGITAL VIDEO DISKS

By CBR Staff Writer

Record companies and consumer electronic manufacturers took another step forward last week in agreeing the broad technical guidelines for the DVD Audio format. Details of the progress made are scarce, and the only comment from the Recording Industry Association of America, who participated in the discussions was that they were progressing nicely. No specific decisions have been approved yet, but the final decision is still on target for the year end, a spokesperson said. The final decision on the format will likely mean a shift away from two channel stereo to multi-channels audio using six speakers. The disks will be capable of storing seven times more digital data than current compact disks. The new disks and players are expected to be on the market in about two years priced about compact disks and CD players in the first instance. The group making the decision is made up of representatives from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the Recording Industry Association of America. The international steering committee which represents the voice of the worldwide recording industry on DVD matters, rejected an existing audio format for sound on DVD video discs claiming it had not been created with the distinctive needs of the music industry in mind. Record executives reckon consumers will only adopt DVD discs if they can be used to achieve multi- channel surround sound that is vastly superior to current CDs and if the extra DVD capacity is used to include additional features such as text, graphics, video and interactivity. Future DVD music discs might for example include footage of bands performing and song lyrics. The music industry also wants to ensure that the final version of DVD Audio will be compatible with existing compact disk technology, so that consumers can play DVD on their existing players.

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