President's Message
October 2002

1.  The eminent loudspeaker designer Siegfried Linkwitz has come out with a new system, Orion, which he believes is competitive with any speaker, regardless of cost. It is available as a semi-kit.

2.  Under the heading "Jaggy Jar Jar", Brian Dipert records his impressions of digital cinema while viewing Star Wars: Episode II. It was entirely digitally created. Unfortunately it exhibited distracting "stairstepping" artifacts, most noticeable along diagonal lines, as well as "dot crawl" and rainbow patterns. He felt it was a big step backward for the consumer. An analogy would be still cameras. You would need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to get a ditial camera that'll make an 11X14 print as good as that of a $20 point-and-shoot film camera. The only benefits were for the studios--low cost distribution with copy protection. The theaters would be face with expensive retrofits. EDN 19SE02.

3.  On Se 12, "Apollo 13" blasted onto the huge IMAX screen in Los Angeles. Up until now IMAX officials have been reluctant to have 35mm features shown in their theaters because their quality is inferior to IMAX features. Now with a digital re-mastering process called IMAX DMR, each frame is scanned as a digital bit stream and digital technology is used to remove grain, correct color, enhance steadiness and sharpen before recording onto 15/70 film stock. [The part about steadiness enchancement is especially interesting. Presumably they are matching each frame with the previous one. With all films, particularly ones with worn sprocket holes, there is constant jitter. I was watching a recent film, Ken Burn's Statue of Liberty, and with the many still photos you could easily see the picture shaking. The high native resolution of 35mm is considerably degraded by this. If the technology comes down in price, it will improve all films. DBH] TV Tech 18Se02.

4.  It is becoming common practice for recording engineers to give a CDR of a concert to the music director after the concert. They are using a CD recorder and pushing a button to add tracks before each piece and movement. Then when the disc is done it is "finalized", adding a table of contents to make it compatible with standard CD players. Unfortunaely there seems to be a problem with reading the tracks on some CD players. I encountered it when I received a disk of a concert recorded by WGBH. Before each movement there was a blip. At the time I attributed it to a bad editing program, and editted it out. Now it seems that it is a mastering problem. If the disc is copied the blips presumably will be embedded with the music.

David Hadaway

President, Boston Audio Society


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updated 11/11/04