Satellite Goes Surround Page 4

Back to the Future

HD Surround is a tremendously interesting development, providing good spatial reproduction that conveys an entertaining sense of the original 5.1-channel mix. That it's delivered over a two-channel pipeline is remarkable. After you buy a compatible receiver (and keep your XM subscription up to date), there's no additional cost. Enjoy.

You'll be seeing more and more compatible receivers, including some for the car. And XM plans to add more surround mixes to its library, which will appear, little by little, on all its music channels. In the same way that you might hear a mono or stereo mix, you might now hear a surround mix.

It's too bad that XM is confined to the relatively small universe of surround recordings. It would be tremendous if the record labels provided XM with more multichannel mixes than are already in the DVD-Audio and SACD catalogs. Meanwhile, XM will also broadcast 5.1-channel shows and live music performances originating in its studios.

XM's bold leap will expose a wider audience to surround sound, and it might help jump-start more prolific releases of multichannel mixes - a truly exciting dividend. Meanwhile, with XM's introduction of HD Surround, an impressive technology just got better.

Interview with Alan Parsons about his live 5.1 broadcast Satellite Radio's Big Year

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