DVD-A question


Active Member
Hello all,

I have a home cinema system that is compatible with SACD but was wondering if I were to buy a DVD audio disc would that play on the system also?

Also is DVD-A better than SACD?

I am a little confused as to the compatibility issue regarding DVD-A discs. Do I need a seperate DVD-A player to play them?


James :)


Active Member
To benefit from the higher resolution you do need a DVD-A compatible player but most (all?) DVD-A discs also have a 5.1 DD track as well - so you can play it on your exisiting player. It depends on your priority - do you want to experiment with multi-channel audio or is it the promise of high definition sound.

I have Metallica's black album and it's pretty good. All I need now is Floyd's Wish You Were Here in 5.1 and I'll be happy... Unfortunately, they (or their record company) seem to be favouring SACD at the moment :(


Active Member
Not all have the 5.1 dolby digital soundtrack - Porcupine Tree - In Absentia is DVD-Audio or DTS, no Dolby!

As for which is better, they are pretty even in my opinion. DD or DTS 5.1 is still a hell of a lot better than stereo, so even if you dont want to splash out on a DVD-Audio capable player, the sound quality is still excellent.


Standard Member
DVD-A v SACD is such a minefield, with a lot of politics (e.g. Sony's investment in the format means artists on their labels probably can't release DVD-A's), and Sony are unlikely to make universal players (they may have already proven me wrong). I have read various articles suggesting SACD is technically the better format, but many will differ.

Arcam's chairman's views on the formats are interesting, but I think it is short-sighted to opt for one format only (obviously there is a cost issue for licensing and components, but if you own both formats of disc, like I do, I would have to buy a different brand or two players).

see their news page:


Arcam may be right that the quality from a hybrid layer (ordinary CD quality) on one of their players will compare favourably with another manufacturer's universal player using the 2 channel SACD layer, but of course not all SACD's are hybrids, and the surround mix will be unavailable.

Personally I love both formats, and comparisons aren't really possible when there are not both versions for any given album.

Finally, regardless of format, the results stand or fall by the quality of the 5.1 mix, the original source, and the suitability of the music. Some albums are great (DSOTM - absolutely stunning! REM Automatic for the People), others leave me cold (Roger Waters' In the Flesh live).


Distinguished Member
Only one of them uses PCM as well. Can't remember which though.


Novice Member
DVD-A uses a form of PCM
SACD uses DSD (but if it's a hybrid & has a standard CD layer that is PCM)

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