Next Generation of Spectacular
Sound for the Home to Arrive in October
SECAUCUS, N.J., July 27 /PRNewswire/
-- Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC), the first
company to show DVD-Audio players in the United States earlier
this year, affirms its commitment to this new and exciting audio
medium by being the first to announce delivery timing and
suggested pricing for two models, the Panasonic-brand DVD-A7 and
the Technics DVD-A10.
Beginning this October, both
models will be shipped to dealers nationwide. The Panasonic DVD-A7
has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $999.95. The
Technics DVD-A10 carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price
These next generation audio
players can be easily incorporated into your home entertainment
system. But while the players will accept and play conventional
CDs, future DVD-Audio discs will be reproduced with far greater
fidelity then presently available. And DVD-Audio is capable of
much more. Attached to a home entertainment's television or
projection TV, a DVD-Audio player can also reproduce video:
graphics, text, music videos, and more can be shown. Additionally,
since the player is compatible with DVD Video discs, your favorite
DVD movies can be played as well -- along with up to 5.1 channels
of Dolby Digital® and dts(TM) multi-channel sound.
Want more? Future DVD-Audio discs
could even contain URL addresses for instant access to relevant
Web sites as you listen -- or watch -- a DVD-Audio disc.
"DVD-Audio not only far
exceeds the audio quality of conventional CD reproduction, but
provides new enhancements that can combine listening with a truly
interactive experience," says Gene Kelsey, vice president and
general manager of Panasonic's Audio Group. "A
DVD-Audio/Video player will be the cornerstone component of all
home entertainment systems of the near future."
The true acceptance of a new audio
format means equal enthusiasm from the software industry as well.
And that is already happening. "Universal Music Group is
looking forward to supporting the first new audiophile standard
since the introduction of CDs almost twenty years ago," says Lisa
Farris, vice president of marketing for Universal Music Group -
eCAT. "By providing recording artists with an expanded aural
palette, DVD-Audio's better than CD quality stereo and
multi-channel surround sound showcases a whole new listening
experience for the consumer. Universal Music Group is preparing
releases from a wide range of artists covering every genre in
conjunction with launch of the DVD-Audio player."
Conforming to the newly
established DVD-Audio standard, and containing an encryption
system to prevent unauthorized disc duplication, DVD-Audio takes
advantage of the digital technology originally developed for
DVD-Video. It uses the advanced format's vast data storage
potential to deliver astounding sound enriched with the nuance,
warmth and subtle overtones of a live musical performance.
To accomplish this, 2-channel
DVD-Audio uses a sampling frequency of 192kHz -- more than four
times that of CD -- to extend the playback high-frequency response
to an incredible 96kHz. The higher frequency reproduction gives
live instruments their timbre or resonance, which is often lost on
a compact disc. The crash of cymbals, for instance, produces
frequencies well above 20kHz -- inaudible to the ear but important
to retaining the instrument's distinct expression and the
integrity of the music.
In addition, a new
Digital-To-Analog Converter (DAC), based on MASH* technology and
refined by Matsushita for 192kHz/24-bit DVD-Audio use, gives these
players the ability to distinguish levels of sound using 24-bit
quantization (vs. 16-bit maximum for CD). This reduces background
noise to imperceptible levels. The new DAC is also combined with a
DIGITAL RE-MASTER PROCESSING circuit, which uses audio dithering
techniques to increase the frequency response and dynamic range of
conventional CDs as well.
DVD-Audio is fully multi-channel
sound compatible and uses PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) for all
channels, presenting a new level of multi-channel sound quality,
unprecedented realism in ambience reproduction, and the potential
to create radically different sound spaces. Incorporating both
Dolby Digital and dts decoders, the players can decode music and
soundtracks recorded in up to 5.1 channels (including a subwoofer)
to give listeners the ambience and enveloping effect of a live
Also like its video cousin,
DVD-Audio is capable of single- or dual-layer capacity on one or
both disc sides. At its highest rate (192kHz/24-bit 2-channel PCM),
the format can store 74 minutes of music on a single-side of a
single-layer disc. At lower recorded rates, that figure can
balloon to 400 minutes -- or more than 6-1/2 hours of music at CD
equivalent quality. Additionally, the format uses a technique
called Lossless Coding, which is a compression system that removes
redundancies in the audio signal to enhance recording capacity and
enable virtually perfect reconstruction of the original signal.
Using Lossless Coding, up to 74 minutes of 96kHz/24-bit/6 channel
recordings can be squeezed onto one side of the DVD-Audio disc. An
8 cm disc is also an option for music singles or other short
The extensive storage space not
only permits extended-range audio, but full MPEG-2 video, still
images, and text as well to fuse pictures and sounds into a new
world of entertainment interactivity. When connected to a
television or computer monitor for example, and depending on disc
content, DVD-Audio players allow "listeners" to watch music
videos with unparalleled audio and DVD-quality video, view "photo
albums" of band members, or read track titles, song lyrics and
liner notes on the screen. Internet URL addresses embedded in the
disc can also link listeners directly to relevant Web sites when
the player is connected to a PC. And, visual menus can help users
easily navigate all the offerings on a disc.
While the Panasonic DVD-A7
provides extraordinary audio and video quality, the Technics
DVD-A10 is a step above and designed to address the needs of
discriminating audiophiles. For example, to complete an
uncompromising design, the audio power supply in the DVD-A10
incorporates a system called Advanced Virtual Battery Operation.
Using a capacitor to supply its charged power to the audio
reproduction circuitry, the technique simulates a battery (pure
source of DC current) to virtually eliminate power supply
"noise" for faithful reproduction of even the smallest signal
information. Additionally, an R-Core transformer, which has a
rounded shape to help minimize leakage flux and noise, replaces
the conventional transformers with their squared-off corners and
uneven flux patterns. And TA-KE II electrolytic capacitors are
used throughout for better mid-high frequency response with lower
distortion. Even the cabinetry is impressive: a sleek champagne
gold component with a special vibration damping base.
"DVD-Audio is about to
unleash an entirely new revolution in what we now simply call home
audio," says Kelsey. "It will be an attack on both our aural and
visual senses, taking the performer yet another giant step closer
into our living rooms."
Panasonic and Technics consumer
electronics products are marketed in the United States by
Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC), a division of
Matsushita Electric Corporation of America (MECA). MECA is the
principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric
Industrial Co., Ltd., of Japan, one of the world's largest
producers of electronic and electric products and a key developer
of technology for DVD, mobile DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM and DVD Audio.
Prices are in U.S. currency. (Consumers seeking more information
on the company's products can call Panasonic's Customer Call
Center at 800-211-PANA or access Panasonic's home page at http://www.panasonic.com
Media interested in Panasonic or Technics press releases can gain
information via the Panasonic Web site or through New Directions
Public Relations' toll-free fax-back system at 888-734-7490.)
Specifications and design subject to change without notice.
* Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., incorporates MASH
(multi-stage noise shaping technology) in its products under technical
license from NTT.
Dolby Digital is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation.
dts is a trademark of Digital theater Systems, Inc.
SOURCE: Panasonic Consumer