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Monday, March 24, 2003
Philips enables Fast-Track Super Audio CD application by Pro audio companies

At AES Amsterdam, Philips will showcase a range of Direct Stream Digital (DSD) interface modules, which provide professional audio equipment manufacturers with a ‘fast track’ DSD development route. Making this advanced modulating, encoding, authoring and verifying technology commercially available under license reinforces Philips’ strategy of developing cooperative partnerships with key pro audio equipment developers in order to broaden the integration of Super Audio CD production tools within the studio and facility markets.

“With Super Audio CD firmly established throughout Europe, many professional equipment manufacturers are being asked to provide DSD capabilities within their established products and systems,” commented Jos Bruins, Marketing Director DVD and Super Audio CD at Philips Intellectual Property & Standards. “Philips is sharing its specialist knowledge and resources with like-minded technology solution providers enabling them to quickly turn their equipment into state-of-the-art Super Audio CD production tools.”

On the Super Audio CD Information Stand (Number 3012), Philips will demonstrate a number of ‘ready for integration’ DSD modules working in various applications. Together, these provide professional audio manufacturers with a DSD Development Toolkit, equipping them with advanced enabling technology and a neat short cut to mainstream DSD capabilities with a fraction of the development time. The modules include a Sigma Delta Modulator, DST encoder, Super Audio CD Verifier and Disc Image Reader.

The stand will include a demonstration of Super Audio CD audio level monitoring using the Verifier PCI card; DST encoding and audio digital-to-digital format conversion from PCM to DSD and back using Philips’ sigma-delta modulator. Supported PCM sample rates include 44.1, 88.2, 176.4 and 352.8kHz plus 48, 96 and 192kHz.

Sigma Delta Modulator
This advanced software component is designed for easy integration within editing and mastering workstations. It enables simple upgrading of existing PCM-based operation to sophisticated DSD mixing, editing, mastering and pre-mastering within the digital domain. As well as being integrated within new workstations, the Sigma Delta Modulator module can be fabricated within an upgrade kit providing studios and mastering facilities with a simple migration path to DSD and Super Audio CD production using their existing workstations.

DST Encoding
One of the biggest advances in the evolution of Super Audio CD was Philips’ development of DST lossless data compression. This advanced storage technology creates major space savings on the disc whilst safeguarding the sonic purity of the recorded 1-bit audio signal. The availability of a DST encoding module will have a major positive impact on the market, since it provides equipment developers with the means to optimize disc storage within a DSD environment. This is key in the creation of multi-channel Super Audio CDs where large amounts of data need to be stored on the disc.

DSDIFF File exchange interface
DSD Interchange File Format (DSDIFF) has become the de-facto standard for file exchange of DSD encoded data between recorders, DSD workstations, DST encoders and SACD authoring systems. The provision of a DSDIFF exchange interface software module helps promote third party compatibility and interoperability across a wide range of applications and platforms. Exchanging data on hard disks removes the need for dubbing and saves significant amounts of time in the production process.

SuperAuthor represents a significant progression in Super Audio CD authoring technology, enabling fast and intuitive workflow processes.

Available as a fully featured software module or integration kit for third party products and workstations, it is a complete authoring solution supporting all aspects of the Super Audio standard. The interactive TOC editor allows a complete album to be defined and checked while a disc-building module with well-defined API enables straightforward integration within other third party systems. This software solution provides very fast disc building capabilities on a standard PC configuration. Super Audio CD Disc Image Verifier is fully integrated with the disc builder

Super Audio Verifier PCI Card
The Super Audio CD Verifier provides advanced Super Audio CD measurement and decoding functions on a standard PC plug-in card. Firstly, the verifier decodes DST data, enabling the PC to playback DST files. Secondly, it monitors the audio data, ensuring that it conforms to Super Audio CD specifications as outlined in the Scarlet Book format description. It can monitor and confirm all parameters – for example is the audio stream too loud.

This simple plug-in upgrade will save a significant amount of time in the Super Audio CD production process since it enables fast verifications of DSD audio masters at various stages in the production process – from editing to DST encoding and authoring.

Disc Image Reader
The final software module performs a critical quality assurance role in determining the quality of the disc image (cutting master) after Super Audio CD authoring has taken place. The module enables the workstation operator to read the disc image direct from the hard disc. It retrieves a Table of Contents from the disc, analyses the stereo and multi-channel data from the relevant areas of the disc and assesses the supplementary data from the respective areas of the disc.

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