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Thursday, November 28, 2002
Viva to start Super Audio CD production with technology support from Philips

Viva Magnetics will start production of Super Audio CD, the new higher-quality surround sound CD format, in its facilities in Hong Kong and Toronto, Canada. Using technology support from Philips Electronics, Viva will install new SACD production lines to meet increasing demand for this new audio format. The Hong Kong facility will be the first SACD production center in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan.

Scheduled to start production in January 2003, the new lines are expected to quickly reach a capacity of 10 million discs. Named Viva SACD Ltd., the new company will focus on production of so-called hybrid discs. This revolutionary new ‘sandwich’ technology combines a high-density SACD layer and a normal CD layer in one disc, making the new SACD discs compatible with the more than 1 billion CD players in the market.

“This announcement underlines the growing support and success that the SACD format is gaining around the world”, said Jos Bruins, Marketing Director for SACD at Philips. “The fact that a major company like Viva Magnetics, one of the world’s leading replicators and the market leader in the Asia-Pacific region, is investing in a large-scale production facility underlines that it sees SACD as an exciting commercial opportunity with an expected rapid increase in demand from record labels.”

“With this initiative, Viva SACD Ltd. will be at the leading edge of the fast-increasing demand for Super Audio CDs”, said the Managing Director of the Viva Group Antony K.Y. Choi. “Up to now the market in the Asia-Pacific region has been supplied with products from Europe, but now record labels will have access to highly qualified regional production with the ability to ramp-up capacity immediately.”

“We are convinced that our new Hong Kong facility will meet the growing demand of top Chinese artists and record labels which are gearing up to release their best-selling titles on SACD. We have followed the increasing SACD activity of major labels like Universal, Sony Music, Warner and BMG. We have high expectations for the success of the new SACD format, which is underlined by the investment which the Viva group is making in this new SACD replication activity.”

SACD: latest high-quality evolution of the CD

Super Audio CD is the latest evolution of the CD Audio family that uses the revolutionary DSD (Direct Stream Digital) technology to deliver the ultimate sound reproduction quality. It fully captures all the nuances of the original performance, offering consumers the unmatched capability to reproduce the original source material with state-of-the-art fidelity in both stereo and surround sound.

The hybrid Super Audio CD discs to be produced by Viva SACD Ltd. offer maximum compatibility because they can be played on both the new SACD players and standard CD players. As well as the new high-density DSD layer for playback on SACD players, these discs also include a conventional CD layer, which can be played back on any standard CD player.

The new company Viva SACD Ltd. is part of the Hong Kong-based Viva Group which since its formation in 1973 as an audiocassette manufacturer has grown into a world player and leader in the Asia-Pacific optical disc replication market. Today the Viva Group handles complete production of CD-ROM, Audio CD, Video CD and DVD discs, including all mastering and replication stages, as well as printing and a wide range of packaging choices. With an annual turnover of around USD 300 million and some 2000 employees, Viva Group exports its products to markets around the world. The two new hybrid SACD lines for the Viva SACD Ltd. production facility in Hong Kong will be supplied by the German company Singulus.

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