Is DVD-A still-born?

Do Audiogon members think DVD-A has been too slow getting off the ground?,a respected journalist in the UK thinks it already dead.
SACD has the lead although many of us are holding off the new formats at the moment.
My fear is that the confusion surrounding the new formats in general may limit their success and our ability to buy the new generation of digital recordings.
It takes time for new formats to be introduced but in the meantime my CD collection grows and grows........

The problem with both SACD (Strictly Antique CD's) and DVD audio is there aren't many releases of new material.

I don't know about anyone else, but when I walk into Tower Records and browse through 1000's of CD's I rarely buy more than couple. Trying to find something to buy among the couple of hundred SACD's and DVD A's available is an excercise in frustration. (How much Miles Davis can one listen to)? Although I love the idea of 24/96 or 24/192 sound, I won't be buying a player until the selection of software increases. At this point I'd rather not know what I'm missing.

The questions about the viability of DVD-A and SACD recording are, I suspect, not yet resolved. I just posted a link to an article (see above) from TAS about digital recording technologies, and the author seems to think that DVD-A has a real edge over SACD because most of the major recording labels are "on board" with DVD-A. So far, Sony (which owns SACD) has only its own labels as a source of releases. So, when thinking about the question that "Justice" poses, you might find the TAS article of interest.
The key to either SACD or DVD-A succeeding is good multi-channel recordings....and lots of them. When I first heard SACD in a two-channel setup, I was underwhelmed - and I'm an audiophile who truly wanted to be blown away! I felt like the associated electronics weren't fully up the par with the rest of the system, but even so, I was left with the impression that Joe Six Pack isn't going to leap to buy SACD. I suspect two-channel DVD-A would be the same (although I realize DVD-A has been multi-channel from the get-go). But well made multichannel recordings could appeal not just to audiophiles, but to the millions of HT owners who have already poneyed up the cash for a multi-channel amp or receiver and five speakers.
DVD-A will survie and prosper.It will be added and standard fair on all DVD machines within a year if not sonner.SACD does not have this luxury.It maybe faster out of the gate but its in the hands of the guys who gave us Beta,Mini Disc.need I say more.
I'll propose an alternate perspective; that is, neither SACD nor DVD-A will be a major success: not in the same sense as CDs. This comment runs counter to virtually every article that I've read, and most posts.

My concern is that both multi-channel SACD and DVD-A require 5 full-range speakers to deliver their dramatic improvement over redbook CDs. This is an expensive proposition for both non-audiophiles and audiophiles. With CDs, the average person already had two speakers, from Stereo FM and LPs, so the upgrade was mostly a player.

Secondly, there are the format wars, both current and to be waged (24/192; Hi-Def DVDs, outputting 960P); and although we all love to bask in the glow of high-higher-highest-to-date specs for our front-end equipment, how many of us can afford the arms race? Certainly, not the average family trying to keep up with things.

For the new formats, I see a combination of 'understanding-burnout' due to tech-speak overload, perhaps a shortage of consumer financial resources and hearing ability, to achieve critical mass.

Certainly, I would appreciate your thoughts.
I love your comments.Who can afford the arms race.Its not the average guy.
We need 299.00 multiformat machines.Play everything.CD CDR DVD A DVD V SACD.This will get the machines out to the average person.Software will follow.
Most people dont want to go through the BETA thing again.
It is amazing that every comment made is right on the money this time! I sell DVD-A at my showroom at work. You have to fire up the projector to see the menu's, then scroll through several choices on the player then more menu's on the Receiver! When you have done all that You find that the final result is not what was promised in terms of quality and fidelity. I have yet to hear a DVD-A that a good CD couldnt match. At least with SACD you just put it in and hit play! I find it insulting to us all that every time a new format is offered Sony wants to sell us the same old crap that you wouldnt buy in the bargain Bin!!! They did it before with CD now they are doing it with SACD!!!
As is your's Ken.
Ken who is telling people this sounds great.
Here is a quote from Listner magazine.I have to copy it word for word.Writting is not my strenght. Sean can write.This is acomment made bt Art Dudley editor Listner magazine.Comment's made about the Le Festival(Montreal Show)Son Image."What a pleasure to attend a show where the big buzz wasn't about how great it was to stand in line to hear some piece-of-shit $500k system":Instead,most people were talking about the Blue Circle/Harbeth room at the Delta,the former being the canadain maker of hand-wired tube electronics,the latter being one of two surviving speaker line's that can lay claim to that good ol'BBC DNA.
You can substitute the Country the palce for anywhere in the world.Listen to gear made locally where ever you are.You will be glad you took the time to do this.
You dont have to own a Sony to be cool.
No name Audio is fine for me.I listen with my ear's not my eyes.
DVD-A will be here eventually because it is just the natural progression of redbook CDs from 16 bit, to 18, then 20, now 24/96. This is why as is said above that a lot of record labels are already on board. It will be standard fair in DVD players soon, as Leafs comments above.
Sugarbie (and yes this thread is running into the other one)
I agree,however the DVD-A discs will need to be dual format won't this put an added expense onto record companies?
If they are not dual format (CD& DVD-A)then they'll only be playable on the new machines.
"Standard fare soon" may already be too late considering how many homes already have DVD players.


The problem is we always want better better better then what we already have. Tweak this up-grade that. I was happy when discs were digitally re-mastered. I could here a difference. HDCD not impressed even though I have it. 24/96 yea I have that to. Don't think I will collect any of it. OK maybe a little. Heck for the money I've got in the system what do I have to lose. And now this new stuff. Anyone try the DTS 5.1 cd's? That looks pretty cool. Think I'll give it a couple more years before I jump in any deeper.
I don't know nor do I care (at the moment). I have SACD player which for my ears produce immense improvements over Red Book CD. There are about 350 titles available from about 20-30 recording labels on on internet (for about an year I forgot local Towers etc), for examle "www.amusicdirect"). I have 70-80 recordings, plan another 12-15 (they cost money) for near future. I hope in 2-3 years to have a few hundred SACD's and then if DVD-A (which in my yes in not 24/192 2-channel audio only and judgment for which is remain to be seen) win AND SACD will die I will see what is the situation at that time and make my decision. Meanwhile, I enjoy great performances and great sonics for $17.99 per (single layer) SACD (even double layer SACD cost less then gold/XRCD CD's) now and for number of years (if I will live that long). Today Sony multichannel 775 cost $329, in a month or two DVD/multichannel SACD Sony machines will be available for $300 or so, therefore both hardware and software is affordable. Last point regarding 5 speakers. It woulds be expensive to audiophile on budget but for people who budget their audio for $500 cost will be THE SAME. It is because, mass market companies will take their $hit and make them 2.5 times cheaper but instead of two pieces of $hit will be five or ten if needed. Happy listening to eveyone
DVD-A will survive. Like DTS, DVD-A will eventually be offered on most DVD players.

CD is threatened--on the lowend by MP3 and Windows Media, from midland by DVD-V, and by vinyl, DVD-A and SACD from the highend. I can't imagine continuing to expand my CD or record collection at this time.

DVD-A has several shortcomings--but in my opinion, it's main strength is it's main weakness. It is offered only on DVD players. This has the advantage of volume, but the disadvantage of mid-fi performance and restrictions. DVD-A discs can't be played in cars, CD-based systems, etc.

IMHO, I'm unaware of any sub-$1,000 CD/DVD-V/DVD-A player that offers high fidelity performance. Some say there's none under $2,000. What do you expect from a $500 CD/DVD-V/DVD-A player?

SACD will also survive. It is CD's replacement. Hybrid discs can be played in CD players, it offers stereo and multichannel options, and sounds better than CD.

Like DVD-A, SACD will also become a feature on DVD players, but unlike DVD-A, will also be sold as standalone CD/SACD players.
If Sony would put DVD-A Audio in this machine.They would dominate the market.This would be good for average joe software would be available.You can still play you CD's and everything else.
Hey if you have 25K invested in Music,you dont want to have to replace it,would be nice to take full advantage.
The High-End guys could then give Phile's 2/5/10 K multi format machine.
I spent 1k on a Viynl rig.It saved me a pile of money.It would have cost me 6/8K to replace the music I had in Viynl only.
I have to much invested in CD to have to replace.A machine that could do all would benifit everyone who does not have unlimited funds to replace software.
I agree with most of what's been said,sensible comments one and all.
I do feel however my main point is being missed in that already a lot of homes have bought DVD players-why are people going to replace these machines?
The average Joe doesn't want to change machines usually any less than about every 5 years and he ain't going to be too bothered about improved audio-he'll be quite happy with what he's got.
If they don't then the software is mainly redundant,if the record companies don't get the sales of a new format then they ain't going to push it.
It's a Catch-22 situation.
It's early days but it all looks too fragmented for even the genuine enthuasists like ourselves and far too confusing for Joe Public.

The bottom line.... Neither format will survive, no matter how good they sound, if they don't cost the same as a regular CD in the stupid mall! Most people don't care. It's that simple.
Sony doesn't have DVD-A because they don't want to pay royalties. They want other people to pay them royalties for SACD. The DVD-A supporters want to see SACD go away so they get more money. It's simple as that. They don't care what format sounds better as long as their registers are ringing.

Most people do not even know about DVD-A or SACD nor do they care. A lot of the people that have heard about DVD-A do not know that their regular DVD players will not play DVD-A. What will probably happen is DVD-A & SACD will go the way of the HDCD, it'll be packed on to the entry level DVD players without the mass population ever noticing. I'm willing to bet that conservatively estimating that over 60% of VCR owners do not know how to record in EP let alone that EP recording exists, that is how knowledgable the consumer public is. What we have here ladies and gentlemen is a format war again, a corporate battle similar to Coke and Pepsi. I'm curious to know where Djroberts live to actually find DVD-A or SACD in the mall. Enough ranting.

Personally I prefer the SACD. Most of the Sony releases on SACD are remastered from original analog masters but if you ever had a chance to hear a recording done on a SACD master on a higher end system, it is a truly hair raising expirence. There are a few copies of them floating around. To me, DVD-A just sounds flat to me, like it was a whole bunch of unnatural, compressed signals, hey wait, that's just what DVD-A is.
I agree that SACD and DVD-A need software.

But I remember when CD came out. Most CDs cost about $17-$20 at a time that records cost about half that price. CD's cost at least $30-$40 in today's dollars.

Using the logic that consumers only buy software that costs the same oa the old technology leads to the conclusion that CD should have failed.

High Definiton sound will grow in popularity. I can't see a third format overtaking SACD or DVD-A. Like DD and DTS, I see both DVD-A and SACD surviving.
All these postings about SCAD vs DVD-A are all missing the bigger changes coming. Buried in little news reports is the rumbling of bigger changes afoot, all these high performance digital chips are cheap. Look at the Tripath digital amp that is in the eVo amps, and imagine what happens when there are affordable powered speakers with those little amp boards inside. Over the next 3 years I bet we are going to see a huge wave of all digital systems with great sound (notice the new Krell system?). We'll be seeing digital all the way to the speaker, so no need for expensive tone control cables, maybe no player either. Multichannel systems are coming, not just because of the new formats but because the big players know they can sell us entirely new sound systems that will out do most of what's out there today. Will there still be a high-end, I hope so, but just as in the past, today's high-end will become tomorrow's mid-fi. I love my tube pre-amp, but I'm also keeping my eyes opened. Buckle up for a wild ride.
Yes, "all digital" systems are on the way. And I agree have the potential to significantly lower costs and improve sound.

About 20 audio manufacturers (mainly from Japan) have developed a consortium to research DSD/SACD all digital systems. If it's going to be all digital, might as well use the best currently available (DSD/SACD).

But there will always be a highend, as long as someone is willing to pay the price.

BTW times have really changed. In the 1960's, highend was a Marantz receiver or power amp feeding into $300 AR-3a speakers with a $100 AR turntable.

Now, even a $3,000 receiver with $2,000 speakers and a $1,000 CD player is not considered highend by some.
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Ideally I would like to be in your position and have a player for all the formats.
Maybe if I win the lottery or stop buying so many CD's.
I don't know if you read the posting from Resolution Audio but they seem pretty confused about the digital future.
You could well be right in your analysis but will the people who buy the new players really be interested in superior audio?
I think the software is moving too slowly,I really do and when CD was introduced it was the sole digital format which needed a dedicated player-now it's potentially a format war,this is a big difference,also there are very few new records being released on the formats,this is crucial.
I know it's early days for both new formats but I think it's a really different situation from when CD was introduced and I fear as well that the actual DVD-A players are not being introduced at the rate to compete with normal DVD players ,remember DVD (movies) is the fastest selling new format ever...time's running out.....

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Elizabeth I am envious of your selection of formats,seems you've done it at a price that you will not lose out on.
Here in the UK prices on hi-fi gear is just that bit more expensive although I may well follow your lead and go for a Sony SACD or equivalent on my next upgrade.

I agree that a digital format (e.g. MP3, Windows Media, or new/improved updates of these) will grow in popularity, but I don't see it as a threat to the highend. It's a threat to CD and probably will not ever sound as good as CD.

I believe that it's time to have a format better than CD and more user friendly than vinyl.

I also don't see the industry coming up with another "high resolution" format, so for this decade and beyond, the high resolution opinions will mainly be SACD and DVD-A.

Both will survive, but audiophiles will continue to support SACD because it sounds better.