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SACD, DVD-Audio...fat chance they survive.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Audiophiles alone won't be enough to keep these two competing Hi Definition audio formats from remaining a Niche product IMO. CD's are already grossly overpriced at $16.99 and I doubt our market will be receptive to SACD and DVD Audio discs at $20-24.

The consumer has spoken. Current playback technology is just fine for the Masses. What they look for now is Access. MP3's will not go away and now that people have experienced the next logical step of creating Playlists and easy portability...there is no going back. I look for more convergence products(hopefully using Firewire) and more Settop boxes that can Rip and Route Audio and other formats on a Network.

Sony and the DVD Consortium are too late..while they were fretting over Copy Protection and Watermarking they didn't realize that the wants and needs of the typical consumer took them on a divergent path along time ago. This genie is not getting back in the Bottle. Comments?
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post #2 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by hmurchison:
<strong>Audiophiles alone won't be enough to keep these two competing Hi Definition audio formats from remaining a Niche product IMO. CD's are already grossly overpriced at $16.99 and I doubt our market will be receptive to SACD and DVD Audio discs at $20-24.

The consumer has spoken. Current playback technology is just fine for the Masses. What they look for now is Access. MP3's will not go away and now that people have experienced the next logical step of creating Playlists and easy portability...there is no going back. I look for more convergence products(hopefully using Firewire) and more Settop boxes that can Rip and Route Audio and other formats on a Network.

Sony and the DVD Consortium are too late..while they were fretting over Copy Protection and Watermarking they didn't realize that the wants and needs of the typical consumer took them on a divergent path along time ago. This genie is not getting back in the Bottle. Comments?</strong><hr></blockquote>


DVD-audio will come for the simple reason that it sounds so damn good.

CD was in a similar spot 15 years ago now look at it.

DVD-Video was very expensive and "niche" when it debuted now look at it.

Players are just starting to get down to 249, 299 for consumer ones. problem is not many people see a need to upgrade their dvd players yet just to get dvd-audio support.


BTW, I got a DTS audio cd of Sheryl Crow's Globe Sessions. Very cool sounds great, especially in 5.1
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Cool I knew I could trust and Audio fan like Applenut to respond. You know I'll be the first one to admit that I have not heard 5.1 Music. I'm sure I will be blown away. I do fear thought that the masses of people will shy away from supporting DVD Audio and SACD. I mean the difference between queueing up CD's in a Megachanger and dragging and dropping MP3's into a playlist is tantamount to the feeling I got when CD's first came out and I was thrilled that I could go quickly to any track I wanted. SACD and DVD Audio will sell enough to warrant a Niche market and enough sales to keep the formats afloat but It will be along time before they can even hope to replace Red Bood CD's. The stickler will be when people realize that they do not have the same copy benefits from the more expensive discs. This is going to be a hard sell.
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post #4 of 15
now that I'm thinking about it may be a hard sell based on the simple fact that you need relatively "high-end" equipment to hear the difference.

especially if its just high resolution stereo. most home systems for the majority of people just aren't good enough.

dvd you could tell the difference right away because even if you had crappy tvs and speakers you still heard and saw a difference because VCRs were just crappier

eventually there will come a day when the equipment costs come down low enough for mass adoption. just might take awhile. but its beggining to happen this year. before this year most manufacturers were just looking at the high end market for sales not the mid range and "consumer".

another major challenge is content. too expensive and not enough. that's what is keeping me from buying a DVD-audio player right now. there is only so much out there in the format that I would buy, and I probably wouldn't buy those titles if they weren't the only choices
post #5 of 15
Considering CDs still have legs even though they are so antiquated, I think DVD-Audio will be popular in time. Consider CDs are already nearly $20, DVD-Audio discs aren't that much more expensive.

All that needs to be done is for the current crop of DVD players to be replaced...then DVD-Audio can move into home theaters...eventually, moving into smaller systems. CDs are great for 2-channel stereo, but so are mp3s.

hmurchinson has a point though. For pop music and other genres, you don't often need the additional audio channels...the main benefit of DVD-A.
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post #6 of 15
I think DVD Audio would really take off if they standardized on an 8cm format. Those disks are so small and cool and would hold twice the info of a CD. That way, portable devices could be made smaller. And I could fit a disk in my shirt pocket.
post #7 of 15
When will you people discover the superior quality of vinyl?
post #8 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by Fran441:
<strong>When will you people discover the superior quality of vinyl? </strong><hr></blockquote>

While vinyl is definately the superiour medium for Jazz and classic Rock, and cd is plenty for most other music, I can't wait for DVD-A to become affordable and wide-spread for "classical". Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovskiy in high-res sound? rool: Bach's Organ Works in 5.1? I'd have to place that in the "better than sex" category. <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
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post #9 of 15
[quote]Bach's Organ Works<hr></blockquote>

Am I the only one who heard Beavis & Butthead laugh ("Huh huh huh") in his head after reading that?
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post #10 of 15
This isn't like the shift from vinyl/cassette to CD. Even people with tin ears could hear the dramatic improvement of CD, and finally the medium for the delivery of music to the consumer could approach the quality of the music on the master tape.

Now, we're talking about releasing music on SACD or DVDA, formats which are both above & beyond the quality of most master tapes.

First of all, do we really need a 5.1 DARK SIDE OF THE MOON? Not that it couldn't be done in an interesting way, but when you have a stereo master that people love, and you release a version that adulterates it, you'll have the same outcry that you had when stereo CD releases were created from mono masters (Presley, early Beatles & Stones, etc.)

Then, if you consider that many of the masters done in the past 15 years or so are either 16 bit & 44.1khz, or have passed through an editing or mastering stage at that bitrate & resolution, then what will be gained by upsampling these to 24 bit & 96khz or whatever? The only way these higher bitrate & resolution discs will sound better is if the lower bitrate & resolution masters are re-processed and re-mastered.... not just upsampled, but sweetened & enhanced.

Not saying this isn't going to happen, but as somebody who records music and sells CDs to the public, I can only say that I've never received a single request to release high bitrate/resolution music. Lots of other requests -- "please make t-shirts" or "please make posters" or "your artist _____ really should tour in the NE" or "why don't you release music by _____" or even "Why not release some vinyl?" but not one request for DVDA or SACD. What this tells me is that the general public (the people who determine what formats will thrive and which ones will disappear) is looking for lots of things from their music, but higher bitrate & resolution, or 5.1 mixes, don't seem to be on the list.
post #11 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by Fran441:
<strong>When will you people discover the superior quality of vinyl? </strong><hr></blockquote>

vinyl is great and sounds great as long as you spend big bucks on a player. too much money to make it worth it. still buy albums on vinyl though.. mostly pearl jam.


Neil Young has embraced DVD audio and will be remastering all his albums to the format. he refuses to release some albums on CD because he doesn't feel they do them "justice" so this is the first time since vinyl that all of Neil's collection will be available.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sizzle you have so eloquently captured my main point. People aren't asking for Hi Def Audio Playback. Mind you when the CD came out many people didn't understand the benefits of increased resolution(over cassettes not Vinyl...don't wanna start any wars here lol) and Random Access. Todays consumer fully understands Random Access and demands it(hence the proliferation of MP3 playback devices) and Hi Def is something that many will scoff at as buying 2 speakers is spendy enough but now this industry wants you to purchase 6? Good luck
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post #13 of 15
[quote]Originally posted by hmurchison:
<strong>Sizzle you have so eloquently captured my main point. People aren't asking for Hi Def Audio Playback. Mind you when the CD came out many people didn't understand the benefits of increased resolution(over cassettes not Vinyl...don't wanna start any wars here lol) and Random Access. Todays consumer fully understands Random Access and demands it(hence the proliferation of MP3 playback devices) and Hi Def is something that many will scoff at as buying 2 speakers is spendy enough but now this industry wants you to purchase 6? Good luck</strong><hr></blockquote>


again, DVD-Audio isn't just 5.1. ... the most popular use will likely be extremely high quaity stereo. although 5.1 is definitely more of an attention grabber and more obvious difference
post #14 of 15
Neil Young's daughter is hot! Er, she was the last time I saw her...
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post #15 of 15
I should clarify that I don't think these formats will disappear or fail, just that they won't cause a sudden tidal-wave shift away from "regular" CDs, the way CDs caused a shift away from vinyl.

There's definitely room for an audiophile quality delivery medium. New recordings will be made that will exploit these formats, and some well-recorded recent classics may translate well to these formats. To me, they're similar to those Mobile Fidelity gold master CDs. They sound so similar that most people won' be able to hear the difference, or if they hear something different they won't be willing to pay the difference.

Try this experiment: go up to 5 average music listeners you know.... not audiophiles who spend ten grand on interconnect cables and twenty grand on speaker cable, just people who love music, who listen on a walkman sometimes, who listen to a boombox in their office, maybe listen to MP3s.

Ask them if they'd pay an extra $3 for a version of a CD that was higher-resolution, and they'll look back at you like you're crazy, or at least most of them will. "Higher resolution" is meaningless to most people. If you tell them "These sound better than CDs," they'll just say "I thought CDs sounded perfect. Isn't that what digital audio means?"

I think you reach a point with reproduction of audio and video where differences are almost indistinguishable from most people, and they aren't willing to pay the difference. We're not quite there with home video.... not until a 50" HDTV widescreen is 2" thick and hangs on your wall and costs $500. But CD audio did this for most people 15+ years ago -- made them think "good enough -- I'm going to re-buy my whole vinyl collection in this format because this is the way music is supposed to sound."
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