Panasonic komt als eerste met twee audio-DVD spelers. Ze hebben de DVD-A7 ($1000) en een DVD-A10 ($2000). Naast de nieuwe high-quality DVD-audio CD's kun je er ook standaard audio cd's op afspelen.
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 of $1,199.95.
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(R) 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.