Flashback 2005: S&V Goes Blue

Twelve years ago this month, the founding members of Blue Man Group made an appearance on the April 2005 cover of Sound & Vision.

We were well aware of the group’s spectacular live performances but knew nothing about their passion for music, and multichannel music, in particular. Their first album, Audio was released on a two-sided DVD featuring a DVD-Audio surround-sound mix on one side.

In the cover story, the group talked about setting up a surround-sound listening station in the Las Vegas Virgin Megastore to showcase for their second album, Complex, and said they found 5.1-channel mixes of their percussion-driven music to be liberating. “When we heard Audio in surround, we said, ‘Wow, that’s the album fully realized.’”

In our lead feature “CES Showstoppers,” we presented highlights of CES 2005, which included the $1,000 Streamium wireless music system from Philips, Yamaha’s $1,500 YSP-1 Digital Sound Projector, Denon’s 92-pound AVR-5805 AV receiver ($6,000), featuring the ability to power two 5.1-channel systems at once, and LG’s 71-inch plasma TV—the largest of its kind in terms of screen size and price ($75,000!).

The story also reported on a new TV technology developed by Toshiba and Canon called SED. “High-def images looked amazingly crisp, bright, and solid on a 36-inch screen with CRT-like levels of shadow detail,” wrote Al Griffin. Toshiba announced its intention to deliver a 50-inch SED TV in late 2005/early 2006. The technology never got off the ground.

The other big story of CES 2005 was the looming battle between two “high-definition disc formats”—Blu-ray and HD-DVD—and talk of the first recorders in each format reaching store shelves by the end of the year. We all know the end to this story.

John_Werner's picture

The Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD thing was another format war to which the public became the battlefield, and ultimate loser. I think Blu-Ray would have penetrated the market much better if not for the confusing, and immature, battle. I though when Samsung introduced their first universal player that handled both formats I had side-stepped the war. Well, today I hardly ever touch that player...even for CDs. I guess that sums up how technologies march creates casualties in spite of progress. Today I use an excellent five year old Oppo disc player on the rare occasion I watch or listen to something on physical media. The Oppo is the one player I don't regret buying, in fact I bought two. The scars are still there though as I debate as to the need to upgrade to the new Oppo Ultra Blu-Ray model. I'm hedging for now.

Billy's picture

I lost in the Beta VHS war, got pretty bloody. All because the rich boys wanted to be richer. I learned to share in Kindergarten, didn't they? I waited on HD video discs, glad I did, but would have jumped in much sooner if there had been a clear direction in which to go. Remember DIVX vs DVD? That stunk too. DIVX thought we would be so stupid as to purchase discs then pay each time we re watched them as well. Steven Spielberg was part of that, guess he was hurting for money. And you wonder why people flock to pirate sites. When will Hollywood and equipment manufacturers ever get on board with the old Henry Ford model, give the people a solid well priced product and make tons of cash as you sell volumes and volumes?

sarahjames2005's picture

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