This CES saw the official introduction of what used to be called the IBOC (in-Band, on-channel) terrestrial digital radio system, freshly renamed HD Radio (for high-definition) by its promotor, iBiquity.
Apparently, Dolby isn't satisfied with getting its 7.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus and 8-channel lossless TrueHD technologies into the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc systems (as requirements in the former, as options in the latter). At the Consumer Electronics Show, Dolby's Audistry subsidiary was demonstrating some new technology intended for the other end of the sound-reproduction scale.
While I was working on this review, my friend Rob - a filmmaker who has a day job as a video editor at MTV - asked if I could recommend a DVD recorder to help him get rid of his bulky collection of VHS tapes. In true New York style, I started my reply with, "Have I got a deal for you . . .
The steady progression of compressed digital audio into all sorts of places (do you really need to listen to Mozart on a PDA?) is raising all sorts of issues. But none is more important to readers of Sound & Vision than the ability of the codecs - the encode/decode software - to faithfully reproduce music after compressing CD tracks to file sizes that can be easily downloaded or stored.
Most of the DVD recorders we test nowadays are pretty routine devices. They're great for displacing your aging VCR for time-shifting TV programs or making archival DVDs of precious and fragile camcorder footage.
Okay, I know I shouldn't gloat. But I told you so. In a keynote speech at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) annual convention a year ago, I warned that if the broadcast and cable industries didn't get their act together when it came to putting high-definition signals out there in a big way, high-def programming would be provided by other means.