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New Software Company Dedicated to 5.1 DVD-V Music Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 April 2000
SilverLine Records, part of 5.1 Entertainment Group, a new player in the 5.1 software business, is releasing 17 classical and jazz titles recorded in DTS and AC3, stored on DVD-V discs. Some of the more notable titles include Handel’s ‘Messiah’ (London Symphony), Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ (London Symphony) and a number of compilation records.

5.1 Entertainment is taking action in a market where most industry players have been in a holding pattern, waiting for approval of the DVD-Audio standard by Working Group 4, which is debating the CSS codes for copyright protection. With the exception of DTS, which has forged ahead with major artists and titles on 5.1 CDs and DVDs, only a few irrelevant audiophile labels have taken the leap into multi-channel music. For the 12 million AV enthusiasts who have invested in 5.1 systems, the launch of 5.1 Entertainment is very good news. The fact that the company held its press conference at the Virgin Megastore in West Hollywood also is a good sign that their product has real-world accessibility.

5.1 Entertainment will release an undisclosed amount of pop titles in June under the emerging label. It is unlikely that these titles will include DVD-Audio technology if the releases are on schedule, but it is safe to assume that subsequent titles will.

The real question about 5.1 Entertainment is this: In an environment that has seen specialty, high-performance record companies like JVC Music and Mobile Fidelity circle the drain, will this new entity have enough money to license titles that the general public cares about and will buy? A license on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumors’ was reportedly starting at $250,000. Players like DTS with financing from Steven Spielberg, Matsushta and Universal can afford big titles like this. Will smaller players be able to compete, and/or will they find less mainstream material with a lower price tag to turn into profitable 5.1 product?

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