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DVD-Audio Gains, Group Says

LAS VEGAS -A total of 165 DVD-Audio titles is expected to be available in the first half to accompany more than 30 DVD-A/V models expected to be available during that time, the DVD Entertainment Group said during CES.

The DVD-Audio authoring process has improved significantly, the group added. Six months ago, it took a month or more to author a disc, but today, it takes only a “fraction” of that time.

In the United States, Warner Music and independent labels 5.1 Entertainment and Surrounded By Entertainment offer DVD-Audio titles, and BMG said it will release its first titles this year.

During a Panasonic press conference, Warner Music senior VP Jordan Rost said the company offered about 15 titles as of early January, with new ones coming monthly. The 5.1 Entertainment company said it offered 36 titles and was producing about five a month. And Surrounded by Entertainment said it would have three in January.

A Universal executive spotted at a separate event declined to say when the studio would deliver titles.

Warner’s Rost later told TWICE that in the first half, his company would begin releasing major-artist DVD-Audio titles day-and-date with the CD version. Beginning in March, Warner will also begin packaging DVD-Audio titles in Super Jewel Boxes that are an inch taller than standard jewel boxes to make them easier to spot in a store’s CD racks.