The latest breakthrough in sound technology

In the early 1980s, Philips and Sony introduced the compact disc, which was a resounding success. CD technology, which initiated the transition from analogue to digital recording, was based on the PCM recording format (PCM pulse modulation) with a 16-bit 44.1kHz encoding. Thanks to its excellent performance and unprecedented user-friendliness, the CD became the world's most popular audio format. Yet there were enthusiasts who demanded even more, a sound so pure and true to nature that even the smallest nuances of a live performance could be captured.

The evolution of the CD audio format was inevitable. And now, barely 20 years later, Philips and Sony present the Super Audio CD (SACD). SACD is an audio breakthrough that enables superior, true-to-life sound quality.

DSD recording technology - Music brought to life.

The SACD uses the DSD format (DSD: Direct Stream Digital), a signal processing technique with a sampling frequency of 2,884 MHz, which is as much as 64 times higher than that of conventional CDs. The PDN recording format allows 1-bit data to be recorded onto the disc without loss of quality, preserving the phase integrity of the signal. This means that DSD remains exceptionally faithful to the original recording.

Hybrid discs

Hybrid discs are produced using double-layer technology. The SACD layer can hold 4.7 Gb of data and is cleverly integrated into the conventional CD. This makes it possible to play a single disc on both CD and SACD players.

The SACD layer is levitated by a special red laser aimed at the DSD-encoded area. This is the first layer on which both DSD multichannel stereo and DSD multichannel tracks can be stored.

The world's first six-channel sound

The Philips SACD1000 expands the soundscape thanks to high-resolution six-channel digital playback. The SACD layer has a high density and includes a six-channel DSD recording of the same piece of music. Each channel can be recorded separately with a full frequency range of 100 kHz and with a dynamics of 120 dB - so it is possible to record every frequency that human hearing can perceive on SACD. The result is a sound reproduction with unparalleled clarity and purity.

Press introduction 20 July 2000:

Philips will unlock the full potential of SACD
Multichannel SACD combined with DVD Video to bring the best in audio and video

Following Marantz' introduction of its first Super Audio CD (SACD) player, Philips announces that it will introduce a multichannel SACD player that includes DVD Video functionality. Philips will target this product at a broader audience, and will introduce it at the end of this year. The target introduction price will be around $ 1,999.

Frank Pauli of Philips Disc Systems comments: "We are very excited by the sound quality offered by SACD. Everybody who hears the pure and realistic sound quality that SACD delivers, is captivated," he adds. "Our SACD player will have six channel output, and will include DVD Video, which we believe will be a very attractive combination for everybody who likes to enjoy the best in sound and video."

The product, named SACD1000, will come in a stylish design. It can play back DVD-Video, VCD and CDDA, and is compatible with audio and video related formats, including DSD, PCM, MPEG2, AC3, DTS and supports CD-R and CD-RW playback as well.

Super Audio CD, developed by Philips and Sony, is the evolution of the CD format. It uses the latest DSD (Direct Stream Digital) technology to deliver superior sound reproduction quality, with the ability to render all the nuances of a live performance. This technology closely reproduces original analog waveforms, producing a clearer, more natural sound that captures the musical atmosphere of the source material with outstanding realism. Using a sampling frequency 64 times higher than that of CD, Super Audio CD offers an extremely pure and natural sound.

Compatibility with existing CDs and CD players
Philips regards compatibility as a key factor for the success of Super Audio CD, ensuring that users can play all their existing CDs on their new Super Audio CD players. Additionally, the SACD hybrid disc (two-layer disc) enables the consumer to play the discs on any existing CD player.

Hybrid disc production line installed
Following the successful introduction of SACD, Philips and Sonopress recently announced the development of a SACD hybrid disc production line in the Sonopress factory in Gütersloh. This is the first step in the agreement to jointly develop Super Audio CD hybrid disc production facilities. The hybrid production line has now been installed and they are starting up production. The hybrid disc production line has been developed by Sonopress with the support from Toolex International NV and Philips Electronics.

Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of EUR 31.5 billion in 1999. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, color picture tubes for televisions and monitors, and one-chip TV products. Its 226,900 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors, medical systems, and IT services (Origin). Philips is quoted on the NYSE (symbol: PHG), London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges.