AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 78 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Audio formats stumble in quest to replace CDs


"The appeal to consumers was supposed to be better and more lifelike sound quality. The appeal to music companies was supposed to be a new digital format that consumers couldn't Napster-ize or cheaply copy so it could be sent across the Internet to all their friends.


But instead, two newish audio media formats, DVD-Audio and SACD (short for "super audio compact disc"), seem to be stuck at the starting gate"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4007866/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
673 Posts
Well with some of the most horsea$$ marketing ever....and no new releases.....no CD layer for DVD-A, what do they expect?


I am buying all kinds of music that normally I wouldn't have (except double buying of Sea Change and REMs greatest) because there isn't much out there in high rez.


Sony should just give up, help push a DVD-A standard with supplemental video material, and have a CD side....


(I have just as many SACDs, but DVD-As are easier to do, being PCM and all)


I always told myself, and those on the forum when I was shopping for a DVD player that I didn't care about SACD or DVD-A as part of my criteria, I thought they were totally worthless (a product of lack of marketing, no new artists, etc). One listen to one track on the Hotel California DVD-A on a friends nice system, and I put in an order for a Denon 2900 and have loved every minute of it.


No one has any idea what they are missing. Finally Sony has done something marketing SACD but many want video content and to be able to play it on their DVD player now (DD track)....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
483 Posts
I bought a Panny CP-72 (which has since died) because it had DVD-A which the cheaper model didn't. But in the year that I had it I only bought 2 DVD-As, one that I would have never otherwise bought (Fourplay) and one with music that I might listen to, but didn't really need (Beethoven's 7 & 8).


After those two, I just never bought anything else because I just couldn't find anything. I listen to classic rock, alternative rock, classical, classic jazz, not that smooth jazz stuff like Fourplay is, even electronica. I kept looking for some new things to appear and they didn't. I have access in NYC to a lot of record stores, so I didn't lack the opportunity to buy.


Now that the player has died, I haven't rushed out to replace it. I just use my older DVD player for movies and CD. I don't miss DVDA at all. If I didn't read about it here, I would have forgotten it existed.


Oh and one other thing, I thought it sounded great, but not better than LP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
I think a lot of people just haven't listened on a good system. Or a good player. Panasonic is not a player for listening to dvd-a , or sacd. Get a Denon 2200 or 2900 dvd player or even the Pioneer DV 563A and have your speakers setup good and throw in the Eagle's Hotel California, or DSOTM by Pink Floyd, or Fragile by YES, or Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John...............they are AWESOME! No other word for it. Anyone that says it's not awesome...........either their system is set up bad, or their player isn't good or they are just lying to be argumentative. I think it's impossilbe to hear good HiRes music and not love it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,792 Posts
I still have to discover SACD. Hopefully when my Sony DVP-CX777ES fnally arrives, I will have at least one SACD and will compare it to my "regular" CD's, DD CD's and DTS CD's.


Yes, we got spoiled by "regular" CD's and how easy it is those days to rip it, custom-make it, convert it to mp3 so it can travel with you.


But if you recall, it was close to impossible when first CD's were released.


So...give it a few years.


I bought Sony 99% for it's DVD capabilities. But since it has SACD, I willl buy at least one SACD. Talk about chicken and egg problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
889 Posts
These two formats hold absolutely no intrest for me what so ever. I got the first DVD player I saw 4 years ago capable of DVDA. The discs available then were scant. There still isn't anything available in the range of music I listen to. IMHO they will both become extinct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
I think they will be around from now on.........one may eventually win out over the other, but I don't think so. They're adding titles everyday, almost.

Here is a comprehensive list of dvd-a titles:

http://www.dvdangle.com/dvd_audio/titles.html


I've found some lists of sacd titles too, but forgot to bookmark them...........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,763 Posts
All they had to do was make DVD-A/SACD backward compatible with CD players and it would be a no brainer. But nooooooo, it takes them 3 years to figure this out. I don't like the DVD-A need for a monitor to simply play a disc either. Five cables?? That alone nearly killed the new formats.


The difference between CD and SACD/DVD-A isn't that apparent at first. If someone walked into a room and heard some music on a friends system, it would be difficult to identify if it was a CD or an SACD. It's only after listening for a while that you begin to notice that it sounds really good. At higher volumes with very good listening gear the differences are more apparent. Most consumers were not having any problems with the CD format, so a "slightly" better disc is not such a big deal.


Nevertheless, I'm glad they did it. My SACD's remind me of vinyl, I listen for longer time periods and enjoy it much more, but then I'm a professional musician and I have a good system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
I've wanted to get into these new High Res audio format. I have a handfull of DVD-Audio discs but I only listen to the dolby digital tracks.

The 5 analog audio output is what kills me. I use a Lexicon DC2 as my processor and unfortunately it does not accept 5 analog audio input. Why didn't they just come out with a way to use the regular SPDIF output.... ugh...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,792 Posts
alberich,


regular SPDIF cannot hold the bandwidth needed for DVD-A and SACD.


There are quite a few "hybrid" SACD's which can be played on regular CD players and computer CD/DVD drives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
The reason for having the tv on with dvd-a is for the pics or video that may be on the disc. Some also have the lyrics to the songs. The dvd-a discs are more than just music.

When I say how fabulous dvd-a and sacd are, I'm talking about the HiRes Multi Channel tracks. Not the stereo or DD/dts tracks. I won't even buy a stereo sacd disc. If it doesn't have the Multi Channel tracks, I don't want it...........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
986 Posts
I have to agree with EMoxley's earlier post. I had been using a Panny CP72 originally, and I was impressed with DVD-A. I then wanted to dabble in SACD, so I picked up the Pioneer 563. Again, I was impressed with DVD-A, and now SACD, but I didn't like the bass management in the 563.


So, finally, I decided to pick up the Denon 2200, and wow, I realized that there are real distinctions in audio quality between the basic players and the better players. The Denon sounds so good with SACD and DVD-A, and is really a step above the basic players.


Frankly, while I love Yes Fragile, DSOTM and many others, I am blown away by how good Dylan Blood on the Tracks SACD sounds. It sounded fine on the Pioneer, but on the Denon, let's just say Tangled Up In Blue in multichannel is really an amazing experience. I also picked up Grateful Dead Workingman's Dean in DVD-A, and hearing Uncle John's Band in surround is amazing as well.


Bottom line to me, the difference between good SACD and DVD-A, versus CD, can be dramatic. There are certainly exceptions, like the Stones Let it Bleed. To me, the SACD sounds minimally better than the CD. But, good hi-rez music, on a good player, with good speakers, is in another league compared to CD. It would be a shame if they die.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
I don't have an SACD player but my Panasonic RP82 plays back DVD-A and for the most part I'm very impressed with the difference in sound quality as compared to regular CDs. The difference between DVD-A and CD was immediately noticeable and I know I'm not using a top quality DVD-A player either.


However, I think things have to change for either SACD or DVD-A to become a major player. In 2003 LP sales exceeded SACD and DVD-A combined, this isn't a good sign. In my opinion the longer it takes for one of these two formats to disappear the less likely it is that these formats will truly take off in terms of sales.


While I personally prefer DVD-A, I think that SACD has a higher probability of becoming the standard of the future. My reasoning is that a CD track and SACD track can be put on the same disc. As such, if Sony was willing to take a temporary hit and flood the market with such discs that contain both a stereo CD track and SACD track (replacing regular red book CD releases) they effectively could put these discs into every CD buyer's library thus making it easier to sell individuals on SACD in the future.


The fact of the matter is that new formats such as these can't rely on early adopters to make them main stream. Many of you on these forums (myself included) will buy just about anything that offers increased quality whether it be in the audio or video spectrum.


DVD-A and SACD have a difficult road ahead of them in order to become main stream. Most people don't perceive there to be anything wrong with CDs. Compare this situation with DVD players, the advantages of DVD over VHS were clear even using the cheapest of the cheap DVD player with a crappy TV through a regular RCA video jack, that combined with multi channel digital sound made DVD a relatively easy sell. DVD-A and SACD need more equipment to be enjoyed (i.e. multi channel setups) and relatively expensive equipment (quality receiver and speakers) to truly realize their advantages over conventional CDs. These factors are big stumbling blocks that may never be overcome and thus DVD-A and SACD may remain products for a niche market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
For me, it's the software problem. I have a Denon 2200 and, for the last 2 months, have been seeking out a SACD disk to try. The selection, well, sux. I'm tired of browsing the SACD racks and finding the same selections, almost everywhere I go, with many titles that just don't interest me. Also, and this is personal, I haven't bought any of the SACD remasters of very old pieces in the thought that, since the original source is so old, exactly how far can they take the remastering process? Not to mention that I probably have the release on CD, anyway, so why buy again? (unless it is a tremendously important piece for which you desire that 'improvement')


I have been looking for a more recent recording, in any genre of the many music styles that I listen to, but of the material that hopefully will show this difference. Jazz, great known classical pieces, rock & roll, mabe some blues, etc, and one of the few pieces that I can actually find is the last Natalie Cole, which I already have. Maybe I'm being too picky, maybe too hopeful. But the SACD and DVD-A release choices pretty much stink. On the racks of the music stores which I frequent, over half the high-res album choices are completely forgettable...which is why nothing ever seems to move off of them.


If they want to sell a new format, requiring an investment of new equipment, then YOU HAD BETTER MAKE GOOD, DESIRABLE SOFTWARE AVAILABLE. These formats are a failure because there is no driving reason for a consumer to desire them in their home, except for either (a) the 'bleeding edge' shopper who wishes to stay on top and (b) the audiophile shopper hoping for a sound improvement. Everybody else weighs the balance - cost versus benefit versus software availability - and sorry, the high-res formats are currently on the losing side. I am quickly growing tired of looking for music I actually wish to own on SACD - I'm tired of failing. "Hairspray" is on high-res, but what about great jazz, rock & classical - hopefully new? Dribbles and drabs...


Ptaay and Zacster, and others like them, are right and I'm in full agreement. I'm DYING to try SACD high-res on my Stax system...and it looks like I'll be waiting even more months trying to find good music to test.


You want to sell more of this format? MAKE IT DESIRABLE TO OWN!! How to do that?? MAKE SOFTWARE THAT PEOPLE WANT TO GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO OWN - GREAT MUSIC, EXTRAS, UNIQUE RELEASES. That's how they sold DVD - who doesn't want to own movies, in their own home, for $15 a piece in great quality and bonuses to boot? SACD and DVD-A has none of this draw.


[/rant]


Sorry, but thanks.

Snake
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
755 Posts
I love the sound of hi-res audio so much I find myself listening to recordings that otherwise I would not bother to hear again. But like others speaking up, it is so frustrating that there is so little to hear.


I have been around long enough that I lived through the surround sound of the seventies. SQ matrix records that played on stereo equipment as well but did not sound as well. CD-4 records that required a (at the time) special stylus and demodulator. And discrete Quad tapes that were not backwards compatible. The releases at that time were current. And nevertheless, the format without much warning sank without a trace. No remaining "niche market", just gone!


I find it amusing but also frightening and disappointing that in popular as well as classical releases in the new formats, we are getting the same stuff all over again. E.g., in rock, Clapton 401, Pink Floyd DSOTM, Tubular Bells. And sometimes in the same old mixes! Ironically, some of the old interesting quad mixes, e.g., Dylan, have not been revived, as in the new Dylan SACD box.


People will go on about how the issues here in hi-res audio are different, and I acknowledge those, so you don't have to blast me, but the similarities are there, too. Anyone remember, did the beginning-of-the end begin with rumors like we are hearing now about labels losing interest in the new formats?


I wonder how the sales of new vinyl compares with the sales of SACD and DVD-A. Vinyl apparently can flourish as a niche market, manufactured by small companies--do the difficulties of manufacturing the new formats preclude a small market that will endure?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
After my 2nd DVD player died, I got an Panasonic RP 72 after reading the "Secrets" shootout. Great picture, multidisk capability and DVD-A thrown in. I needed HD component switching from my AV receiver so I upgraded my old NAD to an Onkyo SR-600 b-stock from onecall. It also happened to have the analog inputs for DVD-A. I hadn't bought a CD in over a year (even though I've got 2 big Sony jukeboxes). I've got about 100G of mP3's apes, ogg's, flacs and shn's. On a lark I got the Acoustc Blues from AIX to try out the DVD-A. Holy Handjobs, Batman! This was awesome sound. I've since acquired about 30 DVD-A's and I'm looking for a good multidisk universal player with firewire or some other digital interface to try out SACD's. I've since got a Bravo D1 for DVD's and use the Panny exclusively for music. Granted there isn't a "Library of Congress" of available titles, but I play Zepp's "How the west was won" for friends and they go nuts. Ray Brown, Bucky Pizzarelli, Queen, Diana Krall, Les Brown, Frank Sinatra, Deacon Jones, Humble Pie, Bach, Mahler, Art Pepper, The Phat Band, anything from Silverline or especially AIX, if none of this doesn't float your boat, I don't know what to tell you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,195 Posts
I've been jonesing for a viable surround music system since the days of Quad. Man, I had SQ, has QS, I had CD4, I had DynaQuad, I had discrete open reel. I was there, but the industry wasn't.


Being older and much more conservative, I waited until I could justify a new DVD player anyway before buying a Pioneer 563. I'd already been quite enjoying the DTS and DD 5.1 tracks on a few DVD-A discs.


But I remember being in exactly this place thirty years ago: looking at a thin little catalog of releases of back-catalog titles that I already owned, or hastily-produced "samplers" of wallpaper music, or semi-new releases by pop start that sort of maybe could tolerate listening to just to get the surround experience.


It failed then because it was just too hard. Hard to market, hard to buy, hard to set up, hard to keep working.


There's no really good analogy for the current attempt. Yes, there's a "format war," vaguely comparable to VHS vs Beta, but that's not keeping most people away.


What's keeping people from investing in hi-def music is simple. The public won't pay more for music. They won't even pay what's being charged now. They look at their disposable income, see that they can buy movies or concert DVDs for the price of a music CD, and they buy the DVD -- and, more than likely, steal the music. Because an MP3 file is all the fidelity they really care about anyway.


So there's no real analogy. CD vs LP was different; the benefits were clear, the industry was unified, and the industry still controlled music distribution.


I agree that the key to the whole thing is the CD-compatible layer. And the single hybrid release. And REDUCED PRICES. When the typical new music release is a hybrid SACD or DVD-A with a list price of $11.99 that will play in any CD player, we'll see sales of players skyrocket. Then people can rip their CD's and playthem in their cars and trade the MP3's while still feeling the desire to buy the original for the hi-def surround mix.


The analog here is the practice of some record companies of making lo-res downloads of their entire catalogs available online. They give them away, expecting that if you like the music you'll buy the full-res version. Seems to work.


Will anything like this ever really happen?


I can dream.


RichC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,993 Posts
SACD and DVD-A = Worst Product launch ever.


I remember the fussing and fighting over Copy-Protection and Watermarking. Both proponents thought the consumer would come running with dollars in their fist ready to buy hirez music.


Could their market research have been worse. People buy HTiB systems with 5 crappy speakers. SACD/DVDA will always be a niche product. Stereo is nice...just two speakers to worry about no bass management. With SACD/DVDA it's a freakin nightmare. They were basically asking consumers to


1. Pay no mind to the lack of selecttion

2. Pay no mind to the setup issues(6 speakers) to truly utilize the format

3. Pay no mind to using 5 analog cables for a "digital" product

4. pay no mind to the platform war for hirez music

5 Pay no mind to the more expensive discs when consumers wanted the opposite


The general consumer has looked at SACD and DVDA with a collective yawn. I saw this happen with the minidisc and it's going to take a lot of work to re-generate any buzz on the products.


I think you will see WMA and AACMultichanel digital files take ahold before these do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
Let's not forget: where's the portable DVD-A/SACD player? Nowadays people just rip their CDs into MP3/AAC players. Can't do that with the newer format.s What's that? DVD-A and SACD are "too good" for low end applications? You won't sell me a $100 DVD-audio/SACD boombox? We have to buy ANOTHER copy of your media on low-res CD? Maybe we'll just buy the low res CD and enjoy it in our car and portable boombox/belt-carried player along with our home stereo and you can take your high end audio and put it...


Have the powers that be figured this out yet now that CD layers are being included?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
And then let's add in the stupidity of the record label's CEOs and managers. Let's take, for instance, two albums currently available: Sting Sacred Love and Natalie Cole Just Ask a Woman Who Knows. Both are:


Available in CD format (only), retail in many stores, $16.99


Available in SACD, multi-layer, with built in CD player compatibility, retail in many stores, $16.99


OK, why? Why, you morons? Why are you manufacturing, marketing and distributing 2 versions of the same music, when you "claim" a desire to build interest and demand in the high-resolution formats? Why don't you have *1* version, SACD multi-layer, for as many new releases as possible? And then create bonus goods when played via SACD, like bonus tracks?


YOU IDIOTS!! You can't see the forest from the trees. By making all new releases SACD with bonus tracks bootlegging will be decreased because nobody can currently bootleg SACD, and fans will want the bonus material, only available on that format's layer. By making all new releases a high-resolution multi-layer disc, as people acquire a larger library of hi-res (as the purchase of the new releases will include the hi res software on the CD which they desired already) mentally they will acquire a desire for a hi-res player to gain both the improved sound and the bonus materials of software which they will have already. They will therefore discover the new medium and will just get more involved with it in the future. Therefore, this pattern will drive increased player and future library music hi-res sales by initially increasing the starting critical mass needed to push a new technology into the marketplace.


It is a total WIN-WIN situation in the long run for both record labels and equipment manufacturers (which, with people like Sony, are one and the same).


But, as typically short sighted you MORONS are (I was in music sales for years, first hand knowledge) you are only interested in manufacturing and marketing a current product which costs you approximately 80 cents with notes and packaging (which you wholesale for $12.49 for a $16.99 retail disk), versus the undoubtly more expensive multi-layer SACD release (probably $4.00 or so, until you increase production and recoup pressing plant equipment investment) but will give you HUGE benefits in the future. So you make 2 competing products and then complain "How come SACD and DVD-A doesn't take off???"


IDIOTS. You were in the 90's - the music market practically collapsed (and why I had to leave) - and you are still IDIOTS. The marketing campaign is right in front of your eyes, but you've failed to do the right thing - again.


Umm, sorry (again). Please don't let me stop the conversation. :)
 
1 - 20 of 78 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top