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Sony Expands SACD SW, HW Lineups

6/03/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

The selection of Super Audio CD titles has grown to 650 worldwide, with 450 available in the United States, and the selection will grow further this year when Universal ships its first 13 SACD titles in August, Sony announced during the Home Entertainment 2002 show.

A total of 155 of the U.S. titles are multichannel, and 121 of those multichannel discs are dual-layer hybrid discs with a backward-compatible CD layer, Sony executives said.

The SACD co-inventor also said that:

  • One million SACD players have been sold to consumers worldwide since the format's launch three years ago.

  • Disc replicator Sonopress will turn on its second hybrid SACD/CD disc assembly line in September to increase the availability of hybrid discs. A second disc replicator, U.S.-based Crest National, will begin hybrid-disc replication in the fall.

Three more independent music companies will offer SACD: One is Welk Music, whose Sugar Hill and Vanguard labels are known for country and bluegrass. A second is Abkco Music and Records, which plans to reissue 22 early Rolling Stones albums on two-channel hybrid discs in late summer.

These labels will join more than two dozen other independent music companies that Sony Music said earlier this year are offering SACD worldwide. Major labels already offering SACD are Sony Music, Virgin, and EMI Records Group (outside the United States).

Also this year, Sony plans at least 14 more SACD titles, joining 165 current Sony titles.

During the event, Sony also unveiled the first two DVD/SACD-receivers that it is offering as standalone components rather than as part of DVD/SACD-equipped home-theater-in-a-box Dream System. The duo, due in September, comprises a single-disc model at a $799 everyday retail price and a five-disc carousel at $999. The players incorporate Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, Dolby Pro Logic II, progressive output, and 1-bit digital amplifiers that will amplify an SACD disc's 1-bit signal in the digital domain.

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