Sony MD Interview in ``What HiFi?''
Contributed by Tristan Hau ([email protected])
Sony = Sony Corp.
WHF? = What HI-FI ?
Many thanks to ``What Hi-FI?''
- In Japan, MD is currently the biggest-selling hi-fi format.
Why hasn't it had that kind of impact in the UK
- If you look back at any new format - VHS, for example - it
always takes a few years to evolve into the market. Also,
people compared MD to CD at the start, and that's not the job
it's there to do. People need to understand it's a portable
recording format to replace analogue cassette tape - you can make
recordings at home, take them out in the car, on your Walkman
and so on. In that context it's a vast improvement, but CD is
a better pre-recorded format.
- Sony believes 1997 is the year of MD in the UK. Why now?
- People are used to disc-based products, not just with
audio CD but
also games consoles, CD-ROM and so on. They want to a mass-
market digital recording format to match. We think the products
are the right and the market's ready.
- How have you improved MD hardware since it was launched?
- It's mainly due to improvements made to the ATRAC chip, which
reduces the amount of data you need to record. Version 3.5 was
a big breakthrough, essentially increasing resolution potential
from 16-bit to 20-bit.
- Will future technology like DVD and Sony's own proposals for Direct
Stream Digital ``super CD'' format mean MD is only a short-term
- People say technology's moving too fast, that there are too many formats
out there so punters are going to be confused. We don't
belive that. For Sony, there are just 2 hi-fi formats - CD &
performing different jobs. As for DVD, it will initially be a
playback only movie format.