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Why I believe SACD will succeed and DVD-A will not

Discussion in 'Music & Music Streaming Services' started by paiger, May 28, 2002.

  1. paiger

    paiger
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    I will make it clear at the beginnining that I have just bought a SACD/DVD player. I put a lot of thought into which way to go and in the end it had to be SACD. I have no opinion as to the relative performance as I have not heard DVD-A but am happy that there is not a lot in it.

    I think we have to look at the buying public to see how this will go. Somebody mentioned Betmax/VHS but I don't think this is the same. Firstly, what do we need to play a DVD-A? A DVD player, connected to a multi channel reciever. 'Got that' you say but how many DVD players in the UK are hooked up to amps? 10%? So, all those that aren't, a basic Aiwa CD midi-stack will sound better for music than the TV right? Basically, we are talking about a very small audience who are going to buy these disks and be able to use them. I don't see that audience growing hugely either.

    Now, SACD. You could point to the above and say it's just the same and granted, right now it may be. But what happens when the record labels start pressing all new CD's as CD/SACD hybrids? The guy with his Aiwa can still play, he may even think it's better. All those with multi-channel amps can play it. It won't be long before Aiwa, Alba, Bush etc. start building SACD into their standard Comet style systems. People will buy it because they will be told it is better (which of course it is) than CD.

    In my opinion, Sony will push SACD as largely a high res, 2 channel format, similar to CD but much better. The disks will be backward compatible and those who have a SACD player will benefit. The take up may be slow but if all disks are pressed as hybrids, what do they have to lose? They will recoup their investment eventually. As for the multi channel side of it, I'm not sure that will do any better than DVD-A although both deserve to do well.

    I just think that very soon, it will be a lot easier for Joe public to get hold of SACD's and a player than DVD-A. We also have to remember public perception. SACD is like CD's only super. DVD-A is like video, but with no pictures? Why would they buy that?

    Of course, I could be wrong and when Aiwa bring out a midi system with a DVD-A player built in, I'll eat my hat with pleasure.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not having a go at DVD-A, just a bit of future gazing. I do think I would think twice before committing a lot of money to either format. If SACD falls on it's arriss then I'll have a nice DVD player for the bedroom that only cost £200.

    S
     
  2. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Paiger you have a lot of good points about the take-up of the SACD technology and the benefit that CD-SACD dual layer discs bring ie the use to non-SACD owners ie its backward usability, but it will simply take the DVD-A industry to start supplying 2 channel 24/96 mixes on their DVD-A discs that CAN be accessed by every DVD-V owners with 24/96 onboard DAC’s then the whole ballgame will change IMHO. Are they (DVD-A's promoters) listening to people like me who would buy these 2CH discs NO. So at present SACD will be THE choice of audiophile – I use the term audiophile as those more likely to have a 2 channel stereo set up than an AV 5.1 rig (no offence meant to any other readers).

    I actually bought a DVD-V player with a view to it acting as a transport for a DAC that could lock onto 24/96 pcm tracks from DAD (look what happened there !!). As has been stated here on this forum and in numerous other places, people interested in stereo hifi don’t buy AV amps, but they buy DVD-V machines for the visual side of things, and AFAICT they are a lot of people like me who run a DVD-V into a stereo amp for music duties (either DAC’d or on its own) this is a HUGE slice of the market that DVD-A is currently missing out on – pure and simply it is bad decision making IMHO. FWIW I believe that redbook CD is very acceptable in its current form so I’m quite happy without believing the hype that BOTH formats spew out.

    One point about cost of these dual CD/SACD discs, people without SACD players will only buy a dual layer CD/SACD from the likes of Sony at current CD prices I believe ie £11-15 in the shops, will they sell them at this price which makes you wonder why they don’t sell them now at standard CD rate ?. A good point to remember when dual layer CD-SACD’s are being touted for use in CD only players !! IMHO.
     
  3. paiger

    paiger
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    On the point of 2ch DVD-A disks that can be played on DVD-V players, I agree. That may have persuaded me to keep my DVD-D. I used to use my DVD player as a CD player as well (still do I guess). However, this only hits the people who use a DVD player as a CD player. I'm sure this is a reasonable market but can you then take that DVD-A disk and play it in your car or lend it to your mates? Unless DVD is adopted as an audio format, I can't see it hitting mass markets.

    As for hybrid disks, the rumours are that some companies are already planning to bin CD's and just do hybrids. Not sure what effect this will have on price. At the mo, SACD's at £20 are a bit steep for my liking. I may pay £15 now with a view to them coming down but as it is, I'm looking for second hand stuff.

    S
     
  4. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    BTW Paiger – your choice of SACD-DVDV player is exactly the way I would go at present, When my current DVD-V transport dies – I will feed my offboard DAC with a player such as the Sony NSV-900 SACD-DVD-V player, giving me a toe-in to the SACD performance and keeping my DVD-V duties onboard, then CD playback from the digital output (24-96 capable) to my DAC. DVD-A in all of it’s multichannel guises is no use to me as a 2CH stereo user the lack of foresight in simple 2CH terms will be it’s deathknell.

    Before I get flamed by ardent DVD-A users, I don’t doubt you dudes hear wondeful surround sound effect but the majority of people listening to hifi are only interested in 2CH due to the cost/quality/space issues of MC 5.1 set-ups when playing CD back. Hi-res is not tempting enough to put the boot into your 2CH set-up at present. (or will it ever be IMHO) but that’s a point I level exactly at MC SACD playback as well. Most people don’t want it is hifi circles due to the negative natutre of AV 5.1 amps.

    All IMHO.
     
  5. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    I think were on the same ballpark here Paiger – but the fact is how many folk out in the sticks with a DVD-V player at present knowing that they can run a hi-res 24/96 DVD-A stereo track through their machines would go out and buy these dics – I would in a second, the fact is that they have never been available - the only tracks available to DVD-V owners on DVD-A discs are 5.1 48khz DVD-V sourround tracks – horesplops to the audiophile using a DVD-V player for CD use like me (or you) that could all change.
     
  6. paiger

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    Yeah, I just got a Sony DVPNS 700V for a bit of SACD experience. I'm not spending much more than £200 when there's a format war going on. The way I see it is, if SACD loses I still have a pretty good DVD player and in the meantime I can play SACD disks which even on a £200 player sound better than CD's through most £500 machines.

    S
     
  7. uncle eric

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    One other thing in DVD-A's favour.
    Last September, the DVD Forum published a paper entitled "Guidline of transmission and control for DVD-Audio / Video through IEEE 1394 Bus" This is also known as Firewire or iLink. This high resolution digital link will allow the delivery of high quality audio and video in a single connector. Of special note, it will also allow bass management in the digital domain.

    The unveiling of this protocol will make possible a new generation of high resolution digital converters and other signal processors. This in my opinion will give DVD-A an audiophile following at the very least.
    Its well known that Sony will never allow the SACD format to have a high bit rate (DSD) output and may well suffer for this reason in the long term.

    Eric
     
  8. paiger

    paiger
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    Trouble is Eric, it's the non-audiophiles who will decide which wins for good or bad. As I said, I'm not making any comparisons of the formats. There are many people behind DVD-A and if it does become the format for the audiophile then I hope it survives and flourishes. I just can't see it becoming mainstream. It's very difficult to call these things though.
     
  9. neilneil

    neilneil
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    I would expect the ability to play DVD-A to filter down to all DVD players in time and so become the most available decoder regardless of whether that £90 dansai can do the format justice or not.
    In this way won't DVD-A become the dominant format since there will be loads more capable players around and recording producers will be encouraged to ship music on a much more secure medium...
    Unless of course there's a big royalty to pay for a DVD-A license, that would then stop the cheaper players from shouting 'me too!'

    -Neil
     
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    Can someone tell me the make/model of a budget player that can play both of these sounds.

    Cheers
    Turkish
     
  11. uncle eric

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    Neil,
    Thats a very good point and importantly it applies now. My veiw is that there are more DVD-A capable players (DVD-A and Video) out there than SACD/DVD-Video players.
    Unfortunately, the software cosh is firmly in the hands of Sony who are owners of Epic records (amongs other industry giants) and the souls of numerous recording artists.

    Prepare for an interesting battle.

    Eric
     
  12. paiger

    paiger
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    The point I was making (in my view crucial) is that not many people see DVD as an audio format. not many DVD players are hooked up to recievers, just to the TV. I reckon many people have a DVD player and also a misc. midi system with spare phono ins. All they would need is a phono cable but will they do it? Nope. They will look to that Aiwa box to play music and that Samsung box under the telly to play video. The fact that the Samsung may also play HD stereo is lost on them.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I sometimes think we give Joe Public way too much credit. What are the best selling cars in Britain? The ones that come last in all ownership surveys. QED.
     
  13. dave48

    dave48
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    I fear you are right.

    Probably the only way for SACD or DVD-A to really succeed is for it to become "the" sexy must-have technology (e.g. like MP3 which has arguably crappy quality but everyone seems to need to have this).

    When people down the pub say - my god, are you some kind of retro-dinosaur, still playing CDs, ha, ha etc.

    I think it is more likely to succeed along this route rather than the technical route - I doubt many people have the kit or the ears to really notice the difference. And why would they pay twice as much for a disk which to all intents and purposes sounds the same?

    Certainly if DVD-A is always going to require you to turn the tele on to use it properly, then it has no chance as a true hi-fi medium.

    Dave48
     
  14. edd

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    personally ive gone with sacd, simply because i prefer the DSD method of encoding to the linear pcm system, which in my opinion is where all the problems with cd lie, just increasing sample rate doesnt fix eveything.

    and anyway, vinyl is still superior to cd, and probably sacd. but i must say tubeular bells 4 channel sold me, what an album.

    edd
     
  15. somebugger

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    For the non techie (i.e. me !) who just wants good quality sound a lot will come down to the cost of the media. I don't know about DVD-A but I believe SACD's are currently around the £25 mark, I know both will come down with volume but it depends on who makes the move first.
     
  16. Rachael Bitchlist

    Rachael Bitchlist
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    Universal is going to release their Rolling Stones titles as SACD hybrids late this summer. It looks like Sony might switch most of their production to hybrid discs too? It's getting encouraging!
     
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