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January 22, 2015

IIJ, KORG, Saidera Paradiso, Sony to present the live streaming events featuring DSD™ 5.6MHz high-resolution audio

- Streaming concerts at the Spring Festival in Tokyo and the Berliner Philharmoniker
to serve as open technological experiment -

TOKYO -January 22, 2015- Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ), KORG Inc. (KORG), Saidera Paradiso Ltd. (Saidera Paradiso) and Sony Corporation (Sony) today announced that they will conduct open technological experiment of live-streaming using the high-resolution digital audio format "Direct Streaming Digital (DSD™) 5.6MHz". The four companies have partnered with the "Spring Festival in Tokyo" -one of Japan's premier music festivals- and the Berliner Philharmoniker -one of the most preeminent orchestras in the world- to live-stream two concerts, listed below, in April. Audiophiles around the world will be able to enjoy these demonstrations.

  1. "Tokyo-HARUSAI Marathon Concert vol. 5: Music from the Classical Period-Musicians in Vienna, a Music Capital," to be held from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm (JST) on April 5, 2015 at the IIJ-sponsored Spring Festival in Tokyo
  2. Concert by the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Philharmonie Berlin, with Sir Simon Rattle conducting, to commence at 7:00 pm (CET) on April 11, 2015

DSD 5.6MHz is a method for converting analog audio sources to digital audio. Recently, it has been gaining currency and popularity as a format for distributing high-resolution audio. DSD 5.6MHz allows the distribution of high-quality audio that faithfully reproduces the original analog sound. Recordings that use the format digitize audio waveforms at a sampling frequency1 that is 128 times that of an audio CD, thus capturing a vast amount of information. Due to the large volumes of data involved, the broadcast of live streaming events in DSD 5.6MHz format will be a potentially groundbreaking technical endeavor-something yet to be attempted anywhere in the world.

Within their own homes, interested members of the public will be able to enjoy immersive, high-quality audio that will sound as though they are right there inside the concert hall. They will need to do is to install dedicated software on their PCs and to ensure that they have a compatible DAC2.

During these experimental tests, KORG will encode the live audio at the source, KORG and Sony will perform DSD signal processing, and IIJ will provide the platform and network for streaming it. Seigen Ono -a leading light of the audio world and the audio recording and mastering engineer of Saidera Paradiso- will oversee the project as a whole.
The Spring Festival in Tokyo, which is one of the events participating in the upcoming tests, has already been distributing concerts over the Internet for several years so that the festival's music can be enjoyed by a wider audience. Similarly, through its Digital Concert Hall concert video streaming service, the Berliner Philharmoniker has always striven to use new technologies popularize high-quality music among listeners worldwide. The upcoming live tests of DSD 5.6MHz streaming audio distribution will allow people around the world to listen to the exquisite musical content produced at the Spring Festival in Tokyo and the Berliner Philharmoniker in high-quality tones that are virtually unchanged from the source. Through similar undertakings in the future, each company, IIJ, KORG, Saidera Paradiso and Sony will continue to build upon their experience with the latest technologies and to contribute to the development of techniques for digital distribution.

1 Sampling frequency: the number of times per second at which analog audio is sampled to digitize its waveform. Higher frequencies allow the recording of higher ranges of sound.
2 DAC: a digital-to-analog converter

*DSD is a trademark of Sony Corporation.

Overview of the Streaming Events

Spring Festival in Tokyo

- Content:
Live streaming of a Tokyo-HARUSAI Marathon Concert (held in the Recital Hall of the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan)
Program: Tokyo-HARUSAI Marathon Concert vol. 5: Music from the Classical Period-Musicians in Vienna, a Music Capital
Johann Peter Salomon (1745-1815)-A Musical Impresario-and the Composers Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven
(For the pieces performed and the musicians, see Spring Festival in Tokyo)
- Streaming date and time:
11:00 am on Sunday, April 5, 2015 (scheduled to finish at 8:00 pm)
*Tokyo-HARUSAI Marathon Concerts use "IIJ Contents Delivery Service" and are distributed using multistreaming methods so that they are viewable on a variety of devices. However, DSD 5.6MHz distribution will be audio only.

Concert by the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Simon Rattle

- Content:
Live streaming from the Philharmonie Berlin (located in Berlin, Germany)
Program: La damnation de Faust by Hector Berlioz
Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle
Soloists: Charles Castronovo (Faust), Joyce DiDonato (Marguerite),
Ludovic Tézier (Méphistophélés), Florian Boesch (Brander)
Chorus: Rundfunkchor Berlin (Chorus Master: Simon Halsey)
- Streaming date and time:
7:00 pm (CET) on Saturday, April 11, 2015 (scheduled to finish at 9:40 pm); 2:00 am (JST) on Sunday, April 12, 2015 (scheduled to finish at 4:40 am)
*The Berliner Philharmoniker will have a paid live stream of the performance in high-definition video via its Digital Concert Hall video streaming service. The DSD 5.6MHz stream will be provided at no charge for audio only. Following the live transmission, the performance of the DSD 5.6MHz stream will be distributed on-demand for a limited period

For more details, please see the DSD Live Streaming site that has been specially set up for this event.

Viewing environment

Viewing of the transmissions with DSD 5.6MHz format audio requires a PC, dedicated software for the demonstrations, and a compatible DAC.
- The software can be downloaded from the site that has been specially set up for the events.
- Please be sure to have a DSD 5.6MHz-compatible DAC (D/A converter).

Compatible DACs:
  • KORG DS-DAC-10
  • KORG DS-DAC-10-SV
  • KORG DS-DAC-100
  • KORG DS-DAC-100M
  • Sony USB DAC System for PC Audio UDA-1 (Windows only)
  • Sony Portable Hi-Res DAC/Headphone Amplifier PHA-2 (Windows only)
  • Sony Portable Hi-Res DAC/Headphone Amplifier PHA-3 (Windows only)

Graphical Overview of Streaming Distribution

Statement from the Spring Festival in Tokyo

Since 2010, this music festival has received technical assistance with distribution from our crucial sponsor IIJ. Together, each year, we have braved various challenges using the latest technologies. We first started with on-demand distribution of the music festival's proceedings, but, when the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake struck the following year, IIJ helped us collect donations from around the world via a paid live stream of our charity concert (Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta and held on April 12, 2011). Since 2012, we have live-streamed the Tokyo-HARUSAI Marathon Concert each year by using the latest distribution technologies to their fullest extent. This year, we are able to challenge ourselves in the pursuit of audio quality-one of the most important factors when it comes to the act of listening to music-for our live-stream. Those of us who are engaged in the art of music see this as the opening up of many new possibilities for the delivery of music and believe it to be a profoundly meaningful endeavor. We feel honored to undertake the challenge of DSD audio streaming, which will make it possible to transmit audio at a level of quality virtually indistinguishable from that of the raw sound at the performance hall.
Naoko Ashida,
Managing Director, Executive Committee Office, Spring Festival in Tokyo

Statement from the Berliner Philharmoniker

The Berliner Philharmoniker has been intensely interested in technological innovations in music media since the days of Herbert von Karajan, and so we aspire to present our performances to people using the most advanced technology. One result of this aspiration was the Digital Concert Hall which we launched in 2009, the first performance video streaming service with high-definition video and high-quality audio in the classical musical world. We are also actively pursuing high-resolution audio recording, and DSD live streaming is currently one of the areas which we are most keenly interested in. We have high hopes that this upcoming trial will bring a new vision to the world of audio distribution.
Olaf Maninger,
Principal Cellist and Media Chairman, Berliner Philharmoniker

Spring Festival in Tokyo

Celebrating the coming of spring to Tokyo with a festival and via the medium of music -The Spring Festival in Tokyo is a music festival that is held on the stage that is Ueno Park- a place that, starting in the Meiji Era, has developed into a mecca for culture and the arts in Japan-and that lasts for a month during the beautiful time of the cherry blossoms. The 11th annual music festival will happen this year, the event having first been held in 2005. During this year's festival, around 130 performances will occur, including the Tokyo-HARUSAI Wagner Series at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan; shows by first-class artists from Japan and overseas; Museum Concerts whose venues are institutions for the fine arts and the sciences; and small, free "Recitals in the City of Cherry Blossoms" concerts.
Event period: March 13, 2015 (Friday) to April 12 (Sunday)

Berliner Philharmoniker

The Berliner Philharmoniker is the world's premier orchestra, based in Berlin, Germany, and built its reputation under such legendary conductors as Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado. Sir Simon Rattle has served as the institution's chief conductor since 2002. The Berliner Philharmoniker has demonstrated a keen interest in recording media since the times of Karajan, and it was together with him that the orchestra ushered in the CD era. Since then, the Berliner Philharmoniker has continued to advance the frontiers of the classical music world with new technologies: In 2009, the orchestra launched the Digital Concert Hall, a video streaming service with high-definition video and high-quality audio.

About IIJ

Founded in 1992, Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ, NASDAQ: IIJI, Tokyo Stock Exchange TSE1: 3774) is one of Japan's leading Internet-access and comprehensive network solutions providers. IIJ and its group companies provide total network solutions that mainly cater to high-end corporate customers. IIJ's services include high-quality systems integration, cloud computing/data center services, security services, and Internet access. Moreover, IIJ has built one of the largest Internet backbone networks in Japan that is connected the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia. IIJ was listed on NASDAQ in 1999 and on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2006.

About KORG

KORG Inc. was founded in 1963 and is a major Japanese manufacturer and seller of electronic instruments, including synthesizers, pianos, and tuners. The company has brought forth numerous ingenious ideas and epoch-making products, gaining the support of top musicians in Japan and throughout the world.
KORG discovered the promise of the DSD format from a music-making perspective and, since 2006, has been actively developing both hardware and software products relating to DSD. In 2012, KORG released the DS-DAC-10, the DAC that first enabled the native playback of DSD. The company also makes recording devices, as well as playback and editing software, thus leading the DSD scene in its totality.

About Saidera Paradiso

Audio recording and mastering engineer Seigen Ono founded Saidera Paradiso in 1996 under the name Saidera Mastering. Starting with 1982's Ryuichi Sakamoto-composed soundtrack to the movie Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Ono has participated in numerous artists' projects as an audio engineer, including with John Zorn, Arto Lindsay, Manhattan Transfer, Oscar Peterson, and Miles Davis. Ono also develops applications for live performances, high-resolution audio, 1-bit DSD, 3D surround sound with a height dimension, acoustic spaces, and more. As a musician, he has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland (four times), among many other appearances. Ono has released numerous albums, including COMME des GARÇONS SEIGEN ONO, which was composed and produced based on a 1987 request from Rei Kawakubo for "music that sounds as beautiful as fine clothing looks."

About Sony

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world.
In partnership with Philips, Sony proposed the "Super Audio CD (SA-CD)" format as the world's first practical implementation of a DSD-method-based system for audio playback and editing (and for music production), based on proprietary signal-processing technology whose development Sony completed in 1995. Since the May 1999 release of SA-CD-compatible hardware and software, more than ten thousand titles have been released in the format to date, along with a variety of devices capable of playing the discs. Sony leads the way in high-resolution audio.
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