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CEA throws its weight behind "high resolution" audio.
Willakan
post Sep 4 2013, 14:17
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The CEA has announced on their website that they intend to begin supporting and promoting high-resolution audio.

The press release draws attention to the pre-existing levels of support for hi-res audio from both labels and manufacturers, and talks of the benefits of the shift in terms of better sound for consumers and aiming to capitalise on the increased interest of consumers in higher-quality sound.

The CEA intends to promote hi-res audio and associated products at the 2014 CES. Manufacturers whose involvement with the CEA is confirmed include Sony, AudioQuest and iRiver, the former of which announced on Wednesday a range of hi-res capable products.

QUOTE
Today, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® joins consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers, retailers,
music labels and artists in offering expanded support for and promotion of high-resolution audio (HRA). CEA is exploring
initiatives to corral support among consumers and retailers, and plans to leverage opportunities to promote HRA at the
2014 International CES®.

Adoption of HRA offers benefits for consumers as well as new market opportunities for the CE and music industries.
HRA offers the highest digital sound quality while retaining the benefits of digital audio, such as portability and
personalization. HRA music files provide greater clarity and detail than MP3s and other compressed digital audio
formats, resulting in a listening experience that more closely represents the original recording.

Source: http://www.ce.org/News/News-Releases/Press...Resolution.aspx

It is made clear in the entire article that this does indeed refer to "better-than-CD" audio reproduction, rather than simply making losslessly-encoded audio more widely available.

This post has been edited by greynol: Sep 6 2013, 18:18
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testyou
post Sep 4 2013, 18:24
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QUOTE
Adoption of HRA offers benefits for consumers as well as new market opportunities for the CE and music industries.
HRA offers the highest digital sound quality while retaining the benefits of digital audio, such as portability and
personalization. HRA music files provide greater clarity and detail than MP3s and other compressed digital audio
formats, resulting in a listening experience that more closely represents the original recording

Ew, but this is not surprising from a trade association.
QUOTE
Recent market trends and research indicates that consumers are poised to embrace high-resolution audio, creating tremendous new market opportunities,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro.


This post has been edited by testyou: Sep 4 2013, 18:29
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Canar
post Sep 4 2013, 19:06
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QUOTE (CEA)
emot-pseudo.gif

emot-smithicide.gif

This post has been edited by Canar: Sep 4 2013, 21:29


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Willakan
post Sep 4 2013, 19:37
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These were rather my sentiments (although obviously not ones that could be included in the news post itself). The great hi-fi renaissance that would seem to have been heralded by the explosion in the popularity of headphones seems doomed to descend into another game of "Spot the Emperor's New Clothes".

Or to put it another way, the pied pipers of the high end are going to lead all the consumers that are susceptible enough over a cliff, whilst the rest will stand back and look confused (c.f: the "Great Credibility Exodus" of the 70s), and thus hi-fi will fall into obscurity again.


Eh...

This post has been edited by Willakan: Sep 4 2013, 19:37
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db1989
post Sep 5 2013, 00:56
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QUOTE (Willakan @ Sep 4 2013, 14:17) *
CODE
HRA offers the highest digital sound quality
Neil Young, is that you?
QUOTE (kraut @ Apr 4 2012, 04:52) *
QUOTE
"Young is also personally spearheading the development of Pono, a revolutionary new audio music system presenting the highest digital resolution possible
QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Apr 4 2012, 12:25) *
QUOTE
presenting the highest digital resolution possible
That's a nice moving target to aim for!
Someone should tell these people ‘highest quality’ is a completely meaningless term beyond a certain point. Someone should then tell them that we passed that very point in the 1980s. Someone should also tell them that the number of bits, or digital technology in general, is not ever going to reach a practical ceiling in terms of what is “possible”. Someone should then tell them that, despite that, digital is not an inherently Bad Thing® that can only ever be rendered slightly less Bad® by throwing yet more of other people’s money er I mean bits at it. But then the truth wouldn’t help people like Neil Young market ’phoolery and make money from those who buy (in more ways than one) it, of course, and it wouldn’t help people like CEA to profit from association with said ’phoolery.

TL;DR: what Canar said.

This post has been edited by db1989: Sep 5 2013, 01:06
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Kohlrabi
post Sep 5 2013, 07:29
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If they spent their money on teaching producers and mastering engineers basic signal/information theory and the basics of digital audio all of this wouldn't be necessary. Garbage in - garbage out.

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Sep 5 2013, 07:32


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probedb
post Sep 5 2013, 10:50
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Let's face it, it's nothing to do with consumers, it's all about letting manufacturers sell new products.
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ChronoSphere
post Sep 5 2013, 11:51
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I don't think it's a matter of teaching the master engineers or producers, it's a matter of educating the majority of the (ignorant) consumers.
People making money will go to any extents allowing them to maximize profit. If it's done by exploiting the ignorant masses, it will be done. Nothing surprising about that.

Another possibility is that they might want to shift away from the loudness mastering and are using the excuse of HRA to mask it.
Of course it doesn't change the fact that what they are saying is wrong, but people are willing to believe in what they want to believe.
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Willakan
post Sep 5 2013, 17:21
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The new equipment being announced to capitalise on this is even more depressing. Sony have announced an array of products which will turn everything played through them into DSD, which apparently makes everything sound as good as SACD (sigh). The way their range fits together encourages you to spend $900 on their magic DAC, then pair it with the matching $350 speakers...

Oh, and their latest Walkman also plays DSD. Coverage from non-audiophile news sources has largely expressed excitement, one site comparing the difference between a well-encoded lossy audio file (320kbps Ogg Vorbis) and a 'hi-res' one to the difference between DVD and Blu-Ray image quality. Ehhh...

This post has been edited by Willakan: Sep 5 2013, 17:24
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binaryhermit
post Sep 6 2013, 01:24
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But is that difference all that big for properly upconverted DVD?
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probedb
post Sep 6 2013, 08:18
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QUOTE (binaryhermit @ Sep 6 2013, 01:24) *
But is that difference all that big for properly upconverted DVD?


Well you can't just magic up detail that isn't there. Upconverting can't put in detail that was lost when it was encoded to DVD (720x576 for PAL I believe). You really need to watch a good Blu-Ray if you think there's not much difference.
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2Bdecided
post Sep 6 2013, 09:51
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QUOTE (binaryhermit @ Sep 6 2013, 01:24) *
But is that difference all that big for properly upconverted DVD?
It's exactly five times the number of pixels ("PAL" countries). Assuming the source material exploits the best that DVD can offer and the best that BluRay can offer, and assuming your TV displays all the pixels natively, and you sit close enough to see them, the extra detail is easily visible.

(That statement include lots of assumptions that are routinely broken, which reduces the difference you will see, but not usually to zero!)

I don't know any audio equivalent of "sitting close enough to a large enough TV" which makes audio signals above 20kHz audible. Turning the volume up can make signals quieter than 96dB below digital full scale audible, but the full scale signals will then blow your ears and/or speakers. Hence the CD-SACD SDTV-HDTV comparison is flawed IMO. But lots of people believe it. I don't know how, because if we restrict all formats to 2-channel stereo sound, a rational person could only believe CD-SACD = SD-HD if they were presented with the most rigged demo in history.

Obviously stereo-vs-surround is a huge difference. In that context, I think the comparison is fair enough.

Cheers,
David.
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Willakan
post Sep 11 2013, 22:14
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Sony's Hi-Res Audio Landing Page

When one finds selling "hi-res" audio difficult, the solution is simple - incredibly misleading (if not factually wrong) publicity material. Look how rough and square-shaped CD audio is! Look how smooth and wonderful "hi-res" audio is!

If only it was as good as that wonderful "analog" waveform...

I'll admit a degree of disappointment that Sony go for the oldest trick in the book when trying to persuade consumers that hi-res audio is better.
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Mach-X
post Sep 11 2013, 22:31
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I have a question for those who know more than I do, as it's something I've wondered about. Assuming a master session was digitized straight to a 44.1 kHz sampling rate, we all agree that covers all possible audible sound and there can be no improvement by going higher.

What I always wondered is if there is any possible audio degradation when downsampling from whatever high resolution rate is used in the studio for mixing and editing to the 44.1 kHz used in audio cd.

Is there any possibility of added noise that theoretically would be removed if we had a "straight through" high resolution file?
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probedb
post Sep 12 2013, 08:08
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Sep 11 2013, 22:31) *
Is there any possibility of added noise that theoretically would be removed if we had a "straight through" high resolution file?


What added noise? There's plenty of discussion on here about downsampling etc. I'd suggest a search.
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bandpass
post Sep 12 2013, 09:07
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Start here: http://src.infinitewave.ca

Noise from high-quality resamplers is very, very small: below 24-bits or more — probably less than for most other production processing steps.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Sep 12 2013, 09:58
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Sep 11 2013, 17:31) *
I have a question for those who know more than I do, as it's something I've wondered about. Assuming a master session was digitized straight to a 44.1 kHz sampling rate, we all agree that covers all possible audible sound and there can be no improvement by going higher.

What I always wondered is if there is any possible audio degradation when downsampling from whatever high resolution rate is used in the studio for mixing and editing to the 44.1 kHz used in audio cd.

Is there any possibility of added noise that theoretically would be removed if we had a "straight through" high resolution file?


There is a possibility that any audio processing is flawed, that is done with more errors than are reasonably possible.

There is also a possibility that audio processing is as free of flaws as is possible at the current state of the art.

Or, anywhere in between.

There is always some irreducible degradation because we are in the real world and downsampling is complex enough that it has some perhaps tiny but moot flaws.

So, in light of that, what are you asking?
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greynol
post Sep 12 2013, 14:13
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QUOTE (probedb @ Sep 12 2013, 00:08) *
QUOTE (Mach-X @ Sep 11 2013, 22:31) *
Is there any possibility of added noise that theoretically would be removed if we had a "straight through" high resolution file?

What added noise? There's plenty of discussion on here about downsampling etc. I'd suggest a search.

I'm sure he simply meant unwanted sounds. You know, the kind that could be caused by imaging/aliasing. The definition of the word noise need not be so narrow when dealing with a layman. This isn't to say being more specific is a bad thing or that we shouldn't encourage more precise language. I just don't see the point in starting out that way.

This post has been edited by greynol: Sep 12 2013, 20:23


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drewfx
post Sep 12 2013, 17:02
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Sep 11 2013, 17:31) *
I have a question for those who know more than I do, as it's something I've wondered about. Assuming a master session was digitized straight to a 44.1 kHz sampling rate, we all agree that covers all possible audible sound and there can be no improvement by going higher.

What I always wondered is if there is any possible audio degradation when downsampling from whatever high resolution rate is used in the studio for mixing and editing to the 44.1 kHz used in audio cd.

Is there any possibility of added noise that theoretically would be removed if we had a "straight through" high resolution file?


The first question is by "added noise" (taking noise in the broad sense here) do we mean something actually audible? I think you can do a few sample rate conversions (SRC) on some audio and do the ABX tests for yourself.

The other part is you have to keep in mind that certain types of processing that might be done can produce less artifacts (audible or not) at a higher sample rate than the downsampling would.
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