CEA Fuels High-Performance Audio Effort with CES Demos
In line with its newly announced campaign and Web site (www.greataudio.com) that promotes the high-end audio experience to the uninitiated, and to train a spotlight on the relocation of its some-200 high-end audio exhibitors from the far-flung Alexis Park Hotel to the middle-of-the-strip Venetian Hotel, CES sponsor CEA yesterday hosted an A-B demo session pitting “HD Audio” 88.2kHz, 24-bit recordings against their 128kBit iTunes counterparts, piping both through top-drawer audio gear and speakers.
Ex-record producer Elliot Mazer, who is working with the digital music service MusicGiants to promote its downloadable HD audio content, ran the demos. He told press in attendance that although lackluster promotion of SACD and DVD-Audio formats had amounted to a missed opportunity, “our job now is to create the fuel” to reinvigorate interest in audio content quality.
In answer to a question about what defines “HD Audio,” Kimber Cable executive Ray Kimble said that the term encompasses “audio resolutions higher than Red Book” specifications. He also pointed out that 700 SACD titles were introduced in 2006, and “every PS3 will play SACDs.” Supporting his remark was CEA research revealing that the high-quality audio delivery possible through the new high-definition video formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD, also presents an opportunity to showcase high-fidelity sound. The study, conducted about a year ago, said CEA spokesperson Jen Boone, said that audio quality is a “central concern” for consumers. “It’s a number one concern,” she stated, “but they just don’t know what quality audio is.”