High definition vinyl is to be a real thing, with the first pressings set for release as soon as next year.
The idea is the brainchild of Austrian start-up Rebeat Innovation which believes it has cracked the formula to create HD vinyl - all you need is some 3D mapping software and a hefty laser system.
The concept of HD vinyl began to surface back in 2016, when the start-up filed for a patent. Couple this with $4.8 million in investment and they really mean business.
According to Rebeat Innovation, the technology will offer better sound quality, higher frequency response, 30% more playing time and 30% more amplitude than current vinyl records. How much of this you will actually hear is really dependent on what system you have, however - if you've bought a player that also moonlights as a suitcase, it's likely you won't get the full effect.
Also, thanks to some nifty 3D mapping, there isn’t any stamper wear either, it is hoped, so it should mean a more efficient pressing process.
The biggest thing, however, is that HD vinyl promises to be 100% backwards compatible.
“HD vinyl matches the intended shape of the analog groove,” says the makers. “Whether it’s the first or last copy manufactures from the stamper set.”
If all goes well, we should see the first records at the Making Vinyl conference in Detroit this October. The start-up is also set to release its own turntable, presumably to capitalize on the trend that it has just created.
Physical sales of music are currently outpacing digital downloads and this is all because of the recent-ish resurgence in vinyl, while streaming is still the dominant way people consume music, the nostalgia factor, if done right, can be rather lucrative. We'll see in 2019 if this is the case for HD Vinyl.
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Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.