by WL Low
Willy Low talks to Dick Tan about the KLIAV show, while wondering where John Cheong is(Willy, Dick & John? plus Cheong somemore) you get the picture!
WL: How do you feel about the KLIAV show coming of age, 21 this year at that?
DT: I started the first show in 1994, and over the years the show has evolved to it’s current form. Along the way I seen format changes, especially rapid in the AV industry. When I first started in the industry back in the 60’s hifi(and radio of course) was the only form of high end entertainment. Then came the TV, and from then on the AV world has been intewined ever since. Now days, it’s the big screen(visual aspect) that drives the audio business. Once a person have a big screen, very naturally, the demand for better sound will come, especially with today’s slim panel designs, which leaves no room for good speakers.
WL: Do you see the KLIAV show been one of the better AV shows in the ASEAN region?
DT: Certainly, in terms of variety of exhibitors and the amount of enthusiam shown. I don’t think I am being too proud to say that KLIAV show is THE best in ASEAN.
WL: Will we see the KLIAV show be as big as the Hong Kong or Guangzhou AV show?
DT: They are two kinds of shows we’re talking here. Shows like those in Hong Kong or Guangzhou are very simillar to CES, they are trade shows for order taking, it’s because most mass consumer electronics are manufactured in China. Those shows are held in Convention Centers, with semi open partition displays, not in hotel rooms where quality sound demo is still possible. KLIAV show is a consumer show, where quality demos are actually conducted by manufacturer’s representives, such as Pioneer, Sony, Panasonic and Samsung, and others by the local distributors of high end audio brands. Hence it is unlikely KLIAV will have the same regional pressence, unless we have a change in goverment policies that make it favorable for the AV industry to conduct it’s activities in Malaysia.
WL: Any thoughts about how to celebrate the coming Silver Anniversary of the KLIAV show in a few years time?
DT: Oh yeah!!!!(with a devilish look!) it will certainly be one big party with a free flow of happy juice!!!(here comes that evil laugh!)
WL: Talking about visual leding the audio business, let’s talk displays. The curve screen seems to be the current rage, will it be the dominant TV in the future?
DT: The curve screen is not new. It’s the early predecessor to Cinemascope, called Cinerama where he first introduction of widescreen format in cinemas took place. Due to the size of the projection screen, the projectors of those days could not throw equal light to the sides of the screen due to the slightly increased distance compared to centre of screen. So a technical solution was to implement the curved screen, so that the light intensity would be the same, because the distance from the sides and the centre of the screen to projector distance would be equal by then. Now in a TV, when the light source is not shot from the back of the viewer, but rather beam out from the screen in front, there’s really no technical advantage at all for a curved screen TV. I have to say though, the picture quality from those new curved screens are pretty nice actually.
WL: Your opinion on the spiralling prices of HiFi?
DT: Actually, hifi is more affordable today then ever before. It’s just that there are also more rich people today then before, so manufacturers are more than happy to cater to them, with ever higher end products, and the reflecting price spirall. On the end of the spectrum, hifi is more affordable today than ever! Have you in anytime seen more turntable and CD players at affordable prices today? Back in the 70’s – 80’s the so called hey days of hifi, there were only a few turntables to choose from in the budget sector, and even if you wanted to buy a higher end product, it’ll be extremely difficult to find. A trully high end system back in the 80’s would probably cost about RM$60-80k(we are talking to drawer stuff from Audio Research, Mark Levinson, and Wilson) but today people can spend a couple of millions(in Malaysian currency) on a hifi system and don’t even bat and eye lid! So the price spectrum has widened in range for equipment, while hifi is more affordable than ever.
WL: What’s on this year’s Comamorative CD?
DT: As ussual, we get the masters in highest possible resolution files, then have them down sampled and remastered for audiophile grade sound quality. As for the tracks available, come and buy the KLIAV show ticket and find out for your self with the free CD. I am sure they are as good as Jo Ki(the CD producer) can get them.
WL: Thanks for the time, Dick.
DT: My pleasure.
Do come visit KLIAV 2014 for AV, HiFi, Music, Movies, freebies, bargains, lucky draws and the Golden Ear Challenge, organised by AV2Day.com.
by WL Low