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Panasonic, Warners, DTS and Record Producers Push for DVD-Audio In Cars Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 March 2002
At the recently concluded SAE-CEA Digital Car Conference in Detroit, representatives of the recording industry joined Panasonic in hailing DVD-Audio as the in-car music delivery system of the future. Panasonic Automotive Electronics Company (PAEC) used the conference and exhibition to introduce and demonstrate its first mobile DVD-Audio systems for OEM distribution. The company hosted seminars exploring how DVD-Audio will specifically apply to and benefit the automobile industry.

"Vehicle manufacturers have powerful influence on consumer acceptance of new trends for in-vehicle entertainment," said Doug Pergament, Executive Director, PAEC. "Detroit is a strategic market for key Panasonic products, technologies and brand messages. OEMs are looking for suppliers with consumer electronics and market expertise to enhance a vehicle's brand image. This was a natural alignment for Panasonic Automotive Electronics to introduce DVD-Audio at the SAE Digital Car Conference."
Panasonic won praise from automakers for both its after-market and factory-installed DVD-Audio systems. The enthusiastic reception of DVD-Audio by the automotive industry echoes that of consumer electronics manufacturers, music recording companies, recording artists and retailers, whose growing support of the exciting new digital audio format is transforming the way consumers listen to music.

"I recently had the opportunity to experience DVD-Audio for the first time and I can tell you I was truly impressed," said Mike Weidman, Assistant Brand Manager, General Motors. "Never before had I experienced such clarity and the ability to actually hear the subtle nuances in the background of a song. To be able to audibly depict the numerous guitar parts going on during 'Hotel California' is a treat to any music lover. The only depressing aspect of my experience is knowing that my audio equipment is already outdated."

Elliot Scheiner, Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer for the Eagles, Queen, Steely Dan, REM and Van Morrison, was on hand to demonstrate the power of DVD-Audio in cars and listening rooms in Panasonic's booth.

"The car is an important factor in the future of DVD-Audio," said Scheiner. "That's where many people will most likely hear DVD-Audio for the first time. More people listen to music in their cars than at home. And most recording formats gained momentum because of the car, for example, 8-track, cassettes and CDs.

"I've been making music for over 30 years, and this is the first format that replicates the sound we get in the studio. Every artist I've worked with agrees that this is the way music is meant to be heard. A properly designed DVD-Audio system for the car will introduce people to a listening experience they've never had before. It's like going from black-and-white television to color."

Robin Hurley, V.P., A & R and DVD-Audio Development, Warner/Rhino Records, said, "The entire Warner Music family of labels, which includes Rhino, is totally committed to the DVD-Audio format. We agree that it's a perfect format for the automobile. DVD-Audio is the way people will listen to music in the near future. Warner Music Group has released over 50 DVD-Audio titles so far, and plans to more than double that over the next 12 months. We certainly look forward to working with Panasonic and other manufacturers to promote this exciting new format."

"I've been in the business for over 30 years and I've never heard anything like DVD-Audio," said Ted Cohen, V.P., New Media, the EMI Group. "Every artist on the EMI label who's been exposed to DVD-Audio agrees that they are finally hearing music as it was intended to be heard. It makes perfect sense to bring this listening experience from the home to the intimate environment of the car."

Ed Outwater, V.P., Music Operations, DTS Entertainment; also applauded the expansion of DVD-Audio to car audio systems, saying, "DTS Entertainment has felt from the beginning that getting DVD-Audio into the car would be immensely important in successfully selling the format to the consumer. It was really exciting to see how much the key people from the automotive industry who attended our demonstrations at the SAE Conference agreed with this concept."

DVD-Audio is an advanced digital recording format featuring high-resolution, multi-channel sound. It offers a listening experience beyond anything that has been available before. DVD-Audio tracks can have as many as six channels, for rich, enveloping surround sound. In the same way that the digital technology of DVD video produces improved picture quality compared to other video playback formats, DVD-Audio offers vastly improved sound quality compared to what is possible with either DVD video discs or CDs. Hailed as the closest thing to experiencing a live performance, DVD-Audio has changed the way artists arrange and record their music.

DVD-Audio players can also accept DVD video discs and CDs. When specifically designed for automotive use, these systems bring a new level of digital entertainment to the road.

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