25 Theaters To Demo DVD-Audio Before Star Wars: Episode II 
Home Theater News Music - Technology News
Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Wednesday, 15 May 2002

Say good bye to the lame ass elevator music that serenades you at a select number of your local Cineplex for a screening of the latest blockbuster film. A group including Warner Music Group, 5.1 Entertainment, Century Theaters and Dolby are teaming up to bring a 5.1 channel DVD-Audio demonstration to waiting movie goers who have bought tickets for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. The music will include tunes from Eric Clapton, Buena Vista Social Club, Barenaked Ladies and Dishwalla. The first theater to start such demos will be in Corte Madera, California and the demos will start May 16, 2002.

When you think about it – where better than a movie theater to demonstrate 5.1 audio to the general public? The movie going public is the driving force behind the home theater boom but mostly understand very little about the audio that goes along with the movies. Worse yet is the confusion that comes for the non-AV enthusiast if they go to the local Circuit City to get a DVD-A or SACD demo from the pimple-face, 18 year old saleskid who couldn’t play back 5.1 surround if his life depended on it. At a movie theater you have a captive audience of people willing to spend $9 per ticket and waiting to escape reality. Movies certainly do that but music can as well and DVD-Audio in high resolution 5.1 surround is enough to show the movie buying public why they might want to return to the stereo store and the record shop for the latest in audio hardware and software.

Hopefully, this program will develop to the next level with more and more screens doing the demo nationwide and then specifically designed audio appetizers developed to be played before the movie. The home video industry has been wildly successful despite 9-11 with DVD-video content thanks in part to the added values on $19.95 DVD-Video disc. The movie and record industry may benefit in the same way.

Lastly, kudos to the group behind this idea for getting out of the box to find creative ways to promote new and very complicated technologies to the general public. While the RIAA is STILL complaining about Napster and crappy sounding downloadable MP3 files, Warner, Dolby and the rest are showing the masses that there is a music format worth spending $19 on.

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