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Old 5th September 2001, 11:08 PM   #1
hifiZen is offline hifiZen  Canada
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Location: Mountain View, CA
Well, it seems I overlooked this little spot when I joined...

My name is Chad, and I am and Electroholic.

I got my start in electronics back in junior high / high school, and was amongst the early internet users who discovered the usenet. Through the newsgroups I was able to learn a tremendous amount, and it was an incredible resource for me. I'm sure that without it, I wouldn't be where I am today. I am therefore very happy to see excellent forums like this one cropping up, and I definitely agree with Vince that this one really feels like home... a big thanks to Jason!

It was during those early years in high school that I embarked on my first audio project: a class-D amplifier circuit published in Popular Electronis. It sounded terrible, and fried an old pair of speakers with it's high powered (unfiltered!) ultrasonic output. In the process of learning what had gone wrong, I began the slow but inevitable slide down the slippery slope of DIY audio...

At university, I studied Electrical Engineering (gee, what a surprise...) and successfully built my first good sounding stereo gear: a vacuum tube amplifier based on the Mullard EL34 topology, a preamp made from Corey Greenberg's Stereophile articles, and a transistor poweramp made from Neil McGann's superb GM75 plans.

I recently graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and have moved to San Jose California to persue my career in the great Silicon Valley. Currently, I work for C-Cube Microsystems (now the Broadband Home Media Products division of LSI Logic) as a hardware applications engineer (basically, I work on DVD players all day).

My most recent projects have been mainly digital audio projects, but I have continued to evolve my ideas on transistor circuits, and have come up with some really nice preamp designs. At some point, I plan to try my hand at building a pair of the Lynn Olson Ariel loudspeakers... but we'll see if I can create the space for such an undertaking. I also have a website (I call it KA Audio), though it is currently frozen on the free webserver I was using, and so is getting rather out of date, with a few errors I'm unable to fix. I'll post an update if I ever get it relocated and patched up.

My best regards, and happy DIYing to all of you!
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Old 6th September 2001, 12:37 AM   #2
Helix is offline Helix  United Kingdom
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Wow, is it possible to see this (outdated) website. I am always looking for digital preamp designs, and very intreseted. Some people seem to make some very good digital interfaces and then have feeble analog circuitry or vice versa.

Do you know much about the DVD Audio format, i am trying to find some info. on it and why hasn't it launched in to the market well (if at all)?
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Old 10th September 2001, 02:53 AM   #3
fcel is offline fcel  United States
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I remember many years ago I was following the IPO of C-Cube. That was exciting times where C-Cube were developing those "brain chips" for the DVD players.
Many years has passed and I understand that C-Cube was bought up by LSI Logic. What is C-Cube (or LSI) developing nowadays that is exciting or even more exciting than those early days and how soon can those man's toy be available to the public?
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Old 10th September 2001, 10:38 PM   #4
hifiZen is offline hifiZen  Canada
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DVD audio has been tied up for the past few years in industry standards negotiations centered around copy protection. In my view, these copy protection measures are futile, as some resourceful individuals are going to crack the encryption or circumvent it anyway. I feel the bigger problem that RIAA and cohorts should be focusing on is the mass piracy taking place on a commercial level. Anyway, DVD audio is finally starting to trickle into the market, but in the face of a digital audio standard (CD) that consumers generally consider to be good enough already, and the widespread availability of mp3 compressed music for free, I think DVD-A will have a very difficult time becoming established in the marketplace. While the big companies tout DVD-A's extra features like video content and computer multimedia enhancement, I think that consumers will still view this as nothing more than "frills". So, we'll have to see how DVD-A does in the next few years...

There is a good book available if you'd like to learn more about the DVD standard. It's called DVD Demystified, by Jim Taylor.

(obviously, my views and other messages on this forum do not represent the opinion of my employer)

As for C-Cube/LSI Logic, well, the company is still producing DVD chips, and the ZiVA-5 A/V processor (one of the most advanced on the market) is just starting to come into mass production now. Although C-Cube's primary market has historically been asia, I expect to see a lot more sales into North America and Europe in the coming years, further increasing C-Cube's market dominance. One of the interesting things about C-Cube is that although the company focuses on low-cost system-on-chip technology, their products have been amongst the most advanced available. In the pipeline for future release is DoMiNo, which is a very powerful video processor to handle multiple simultaneous video streams in encoding/decoding/transcoding applications like time-shifting settop boxes (similar to Tivo), DVD recorders and so on... I can't really talk about the products being developed, or when they might hit the market, but keep your eyes peeled, 'cuz there are some exiting toys on their way!
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