Pioneer’s TAD to introduce new Blu-ray audio format at CES
Technical Audio Devices (TAD), a subsidiary of Pioneer Electronics, will be demonstrating a new audio-only Blu-ray format at their booth at CES this year. This format, which will provide uncompressed 24bit 192kHz stereo audio, has not been named, though it sounds like this may be the first Blu-ray Profile 3.0 (Audio Only) demonstration.
While most Blu-ray users are familiar with Profiles 1.0, 1.1 (BonusView), and 2.0 (BD-Live), very few are aware that Blu-ray has yet another profile which allows for an audio only experience. Basically, the same audio codecs can be used (PCM, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio) to provide users with a lossless/uncompressed audio experience at the highest fidelity, but without any requirements for video interaction. Much like CDs or SACDs, the disc would only have to be inserted into the player before it would automatically begin playing. All current players would be capable of playing the disc, but the spec allows for other, audio only players to be released as well.
The new ultra high-end audio format, currently unnamed, will be presented by two world famous recording legends Bill Schnee and Doug Sax at the Technical Audio Devices booth during all three days of CES. Most importantly, however, the technology unquestionably claims to “rival 2-channel analog sound,” which for discerning audio enthusiasts will aim to restore the reminiscent sound quality of direct-to-disc recordings which can now be mastered in high resolution for digital replay on the Blu-ray Disc.
During CES, Pioneer’s Chief Speaker and Designer Andrew Jones will work closely with the recording legend duo and will play a series of hand-selected tracks through TAD Compact Reference monitor speakers and a 24-bit/192Hz audio DAC with crystal definition that surpasses what current audio equipment is capable of reproducing.
To define a central purpose for the new format, Bill Schnee states that “while the industry has made a steady shift toward compressed audio, [Pioneer] believes that home audiences deserve a richer listening experience and there is a tremendous opportunity with emerging high definition technology to develop a medium that can successfully maintain the integrity of an original recording.”
The full press release from Pioneer can be found here