The Pioneer is now pioneering with Microsoft's Windows Media Audio 9 Pro format. Their new home theatre amplifier supports WMA streams for multichannel surround sound. WMA 9 Pro also includes a Digital Rights Management technology.
Pioneer is an important ally for Microsoft. The company has a high profile in the home theatre industry, and its support of WMA gives Microsoft's attempts more credibility. Even though Pioneer is a respectable company in its field, it is significantly smaller than Sony or Philips, being more 'manageable' partner for Microsoft.
Microsoft and Pioneer Announce First High-Performance AV Multichannel Amplifier Featuring Windows Media Audio 9 Professional
New AV Amplifier Uses S/PDIF to Bring High-Fidelity, Windows Media Audio 9 Professional Content From a Windows-Based PC to the Living Room
TOKYO -- Oct. 8, 2003 -- Today at the 2003 Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) show, Microsoft Corp. and Pioneer Corp. announced a new top-of-the-line AV amplifier model that supports Microsoft® Windows Media® Audio 9 Professional for the delivery of multichannel surround sound. The new amplifier model, VSA-AX10Ai-N, also uses Pioneer's Advanced Multichannel Acoustic Calibration system, which allows sound adjustments at the same professional level as the monitoring methods of recording studios. The unit is scheduled to be available in Japan in December 2003 and in North America as the receiver model VSX-59TXi in January 2004.
Pioneer's VSA-AX10Ai-N can play back music files encoded with Windows Media Audio 9 Professional from a Windows®-based PC using the Sony/Philips Digital Interface (S/PDIF). The S/PDIF is an audio transfer file format interface for audio bitstreams that enables the delivery of digital audio from one device to another without the need to convert to analog; it is transferred as a digital compressed format and is decoded by the AV amplifier, therefore maintaining maximum quality. Microsoft has proposed to IEC-TC100 that Windows Media Audio 9 Professional be considered as a format for inclusion in the IEC61937 (S/PDIF) Standard.
"Having the first AV amplifier to support the playback of multichannel, efficiently compressed audio is evidence that Pioneer remains a leader in providing cutting-edge technology to consumers," said Tsutomu Miyakawa, general manager of the AV Development Department Home Entertainment Company of Pioneer. "With its support for Windows Media Audio 9 Professional, the VSA-AX10Ai-N will allow Pioneer to deliver exciting new home-entertainment experiences to consumers."
"Pioneer's AV amplifier enables consumers to experience high-fidelity, multichannel audio from their Windows-based PC right in their home theater," said Amir Majidimehr, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Pioneer recognizes that advanced compression is only useful when you can maintain the highest-quality audio experience."