DETROIT -- A DVD audio system that delivers better sound reproduction than compact discs will be available on a 2004 model luxury vehicle, officials from Panasonic Automotive Electronics Co. said last week at the SAE World Congress.
It will be the the first automotive use of the technology, the officials said.
The officials would not release the name of the automaker. The company is working on contracts with other automakers, too, said Thomas Dunn, director of product strategy and marketing for the automotive sales group.
DVD audio discs hold more data for longer playing time and better sound quality.
DVD audio, similar to home theater systems, separates the sound into six independent channels: center channel, front left, front right, rear right rear left and subwoofer. Current stereo systems, using CDs or cassette tapes, have only two channels.
Panasonic of Southfield, Mich., is working with Grammy award-winning recording engineer and producer Elliot Scheiner to create a listening environment for vehicles that is similar to that of music studios.
The DVD audio players will be available in single disc in-dash units or six disc in-dash changers.
Panasonic says prices for the DVD audio discs have dropped to the equivalent of the price of CDs as the availability of the new format grows.