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DualDisc and DVD-Plus in Meridian Players

Huntingdon, UK, December 2004 — Meridian has been fully aware of DualDisc since its inception, having carried out extensive tests on the new music carrier from the test-market stage onwards. Meridian endorses DualDisc, which offers wide compatibility across the vast majority of our players. This statement is being issued to give guidance to Meridian owners who wish to play the discs on their systems.

DualDisc is a two-sided music disc that aims to provide the maximum flexibility to those wishing to access or collect high-quality music on DVD. DualDisc has one or more DVD layers on one side, and a CD-compatible layer on the other.

On the DVD side, the majority of discs carry DVD-Audio content, which uses Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP) to provide state-of-the-art high-quality sound. The DVD side also carries a DVD-Video zone with the music in either stereo PCM and/or lossy-compressed stereo/surround formats. All DualDiscs must have, at minimum, a DVD-Video zone with high-quality music and some video content. Most titles include significant added-value material such as movie-clips, liner notes, interviews, concert footage, and other content. For more details, visit www.dualdisc.com.

The DVD side of a DualDisc is 100% consistent with the DVD specification and will play in all Meridian’s past and present DVD-Video and DVD-Audio players.

The other side of the DualDisc contains a layer that is intended to be compatible with the majority of CD players. This layer is not compliant with the Red Book CD specification because it is thinner than a normal CD (typically 0.9mm rather than 1.1mm). This is primarily to keep the overall disc thickness below 1.5mm so as to minimise potential issues with slot-loading and caddy-based multi-disc players. DualDisc market tests showed that a small percentage of CD players, and especially DVD players, were unable to play the CD-compatible side reliably.

Because the CD side is not compliant with Red Book physical parameters, Meridian does not guarantee that the CD-compatible side will play without audible errors in all players. However, attempting to do so will cause no harm or damage whatsoever to our players.

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Meridian has type-tested DualDisc and as a result we have the following recommendations:

Meridian DVD Players: All our DVD players (586, 596, 598, 800, G98, G91) play the DVD side perfectly. If you own a Meridian DVD player you should use this side of the disc. Our DVD players, in general, do not always play the CD-compatible side because the player optics are not designed for such thin CD layers. We do not propose to make any modifications to our DVD player designs because these components are highly optimised for playability of Red Book CD and DVD. Please play the DVD side and enjoy the highest sound quality offered by DualDisc.

Meridian CD-only players: In our tests, the CD-compatible side functioned perfectly in these Meridian CD-only players: MCD, Pro-MCD; all 200 Series players; all 600 Series players; 500, 506, 507, 508 and G07.

Meridian ROM-based CD players: Meridian 588 and G08 use a ROM drive whose optics are fully-optimal for Red Book CD but are not optimised for CD-compatible layers as thin as those used on DualDisc. If you wish to play DualDisc on these players, we offer an inexpensive modification that allows these players to play DualDisc perfectly with absolutely no change in the quality for regular CD. The player will have to be sent to an authorised service centre, so please do not undertake this option unless you plan to collect these discs. Please contact support@meridian.co.uk for details. Our modification program will start in early 2005.

DVD-Plus. Meridian is also aware of another 2-sided DVD-based disc format called DVD-Plus or OneDisc, which is thicker than DualDisc (typically 1.55mm). In the few cases we have tested, both CD-compatible and DVD-compatible layers appear to function in all our players, and no harm can come to our players by trying them.

Meridian does not make any claims as to the suitability of either type of disc for other manufacturer’s equipment, and Meridian does not warrant that our CD players are 100% compatible with DualDisc.

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Meridian Audio Limited is based in Huntingdon, near Cambridge, UK, and was founded in 1977 by Allen Boothroyd and Robert Stuart. With a 25-year history of innovation and development of the highest quality consumer audio systems, the award-winning company is widely recognized as a world leader in digital and analogue audio reproduction. Meridian developed the world’s first audiophile CD player, the world’s first consumer digital surround controller, developed the MLP lossless packing systems mandated for use in DVD-Audio, and is the only UK audio hardware manufacturer to be a member of the DVD Forum. The company’s optical disc players, DSP-based loudspeakers and Digital Theatre systems are unique in the industry, maintaining a super-quality digital audio signal throughout the path from the source to the amplifier, and using digital signal processing to generate advanced crossover characteristics that would be impossible with conventional passive analogue systems.

For more information on Meridian, please visit www.meridian-audio.com.

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