Is hybrid DVD-A on the way?

Discussion in 'Music' started by John Kotches, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    According to this story on Audio Revolution it will be -- in two test markets anyway.

    I can't say for certain on this, but the article does correlate with what I've heard from my sources... But I was asked to keep it quiet. Since AR is publishing the story, I guess it's OK to comment that I've heard the same thing.

    The bad part, is that the article's wording makes it seem as though the flip disc will be available just about everywhere. There is only a brief mention that the test markets (Seattle,Boston) are launching in 1Q2004. I somehow doubt that a nationwide launch will happen in 1Q2004, but that's a personal opinion only.

    Still, if true, it could explain why WB has been very slow on releases of late.

    Best Regards,
     
  2. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    I just sold my DVD-A player, but if the story is true I might consider purchasing a unit capable of playing the revised format...(but we would also need lots more software !!).
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Sweet!

    I really hope they solved that problem with the disc being too wide for cars- could give a whole new meaning to software "crashing." Hah.

    If this works, I wonder if they'll re-release older titles as flippers.
     
  4. Michael St. Clair

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    This is excellent news. This may greatly increase the number of releases from WEA labels. Fingers crossed...
     
  5. Mark All

    Mark All Second Unit

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    Why bother going hybrid? I like the idea of including both a CD and a DVD in the same standard CD case like The Flaming Lips did recently with "Yoshimi". The manufacturers don't have to go to the time and expense of setting up hybrid DVD-A production lines if they just use what is already available.
     
  6. ElevSkyMovie

    ElevSkyMovie Supporting Actor

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    I agree Mark. Just give me a cd.
     
  7. robertLP

    robertLP Stunt Coordinator

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    I wonder which size jewel cases they'll use? I'd guess the CD-sized cases, so they could put them in with all the other regular CD's. Maybe this will mean a slow death for the super-sized cases...


    Rob
     
  8. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    I personally could care less if hybrids (either DVD-A or SACD) are available. I don't drag my hi-rez stuff out and leave it in a vehicle and each system in my home can play hi-rez formats. If I want something for the car, my Pioneer Elite CD recorder is in the tape loop of my main system. I'd be a bit hesitant to buy something that is not thoroughly tested so I think it is good they are doing test markets. If the discs cause problems by getting stuck in hardware (either in the car or home) in any more than an isolated case or two, it is something that is not going to generate positive publicity.

    I agree with Mark 100%. They have DVD and CD production lines that are proven to work. Holding up titles released in a format lagging behind its main competitor by just under a 3 to 1 margin, and lagging behind further every day, is not helping to generate interest vs. having more available titles.

    I buy hi-rez in whatever format it is released as I can't control what the studios do. I buy music for enjoyment and won't consider buying flippers that have the potential to cause hardware problems that would interupt the enjoyment from my hardware. There's plenty of other software available out there and I'll be sitting on the sideslines on DVD-A flipper purchases until I'm satisfied (someone else can be the guinea pig) they won't cause issues. If people stick the DVD-A side in a CD player and don't thoroughly understand (and neither format has done anything wonderful in the form of eduction to the public or even Best Buy and Circuit City employees), it also may generate some disdain for the format with the general public.

    I see flippers as a lose-lose situation for the format. Audiophiles buy hi-rez for the hi-rez, the average member of the public is playing CDs at home in a DVD player already so all this apparently will do is make it playable in car CD players in more situations. With DVD-V players (and a few DVD-A ones too) becoming more commonplace in mini-vans, sport-utes and other family vehicles, the car compatible issue is something that is shrinking. Why invest resources in a shrinking utility that could cause problems or misconceptions vs. investing in resources to get quality software out the door that the public will buy?

    DVD-A has even more potential than SACD since it can be done on the PC and make a wonderful tool for musicians trying to market themselves via audios and videos as well as the fact the majority of equipment sitting in studios is already PCM based. I know the music industry is hurting but DVD-A has to be among the worst marketed formats in history. They have had several relaunches and it is evident they are lost. With some of the same virtues as DVD-V, the most successful consumer format in history, PCM studio equipment, no special new production lines like is needed for SACDs, PC tools, authoring available to make it easy to use in any player, the success of home theater with DVD players becoming the hardware of choice to play CDs at home and the format at this point in on virtual life support is totally amazing.
     
  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    This is good news John. Hopefully Warner Music Group will finally release my Van Morrison.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I suspect that making one hybrid disc is cheaper than two discs on different lines.

    I hope they keep the cost to the consumer down as well. I don't think there is appetite for anything above $18 a disc, even with the extra functionality.
     
  11. Sean Cauley

    Sean Cauley Stunt Coordinator

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    I think a big obstacle to these hybrid discs is the general aversion to "flippers" people have already shown in the DVD-video market. There are constant complaints about the too-small label print around the inner hole (and the lack of artwork on one side), and people are notorious for not handling discs with two playing surfaces with the care they should (which is why it seems every time I rent a two-sided disc, the less-often-watched widescreen side I want to use is too screwed up to play).

    And while I don't advocate switching discs in and out of your car's CD player while you're in traffic, people do it all the time, and if it takes a lot more than a simple glance to figure out if you're loading the disc properly, you're going to have problems; either people will put them in upside down and claim they don't work, or they'll be scouring the inner rim of the disc looking for the side designation and lose valuable road concentration.

    I, too, am all for the "two discs in one package" approach (the recent Barenaked Ladies release, Everything to Everyone, is another example). They're already loading a lot of CD packages with a novelty "making-of" DVD with a couple of music videos and interviews on it; just step up and take the extra disc to the next level.
     
  12. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Phil, most people don't have multiple high-res systems and cd recorders looped into their system. For some of us, bakcwards compatibility is a big issue. And most cars still only play CDs, not DVDs. That's why it's called backwards compatibility.

    A hybrid DVD-A would save me the $$ of being a CD copy and the hassle of dreaming up some convoluted way to burn it on a CD-R. If it works and the price is the same, than no harm is done to the few who don't care about hybrids and the rest of us can benefit.

    I agree that I would get the same benefits from two-discs being sold together, but that would almost definitely raise the cost and it's just nicer not to have more stuff to do the same thing.
     
  13. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    Mike as I noted, the car cd compatibility will be increased with flippers but it is a shrinking market. It is not my opinion, but has been covered in numerous articles such as:

    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/scite...ech010105.html

    So, if effect vs. investing getting more titles out the door that the public will buy, they are putting efforts into a shrining market that may cause problems.

    And while I might not be the most technically gifted person in the world, I am part of the Baby Boomer generation. In comparison to me, most of my friends know little about this stuff. I actually know of a couple of people a few years older who won't buy stuff online. Want to know why? They tried ordering stuff and when asked for their credit card, they stuck it in the 3.5 inch floppy. Yes, I know this is the extreme end, but people who buy a good deal of the software are techncially challenged by it. That is a fact.

    MP3 players are also becoming more popular, especially among people in your age group in the car. There are even products like these: http://www.gracenote.com/partners/pa...omp=perception

    that are reaching the affordable point to make MP3s for the car. So the bottom line when it comes to car audio in facts, DVD is growing and MP3 is growing. Cassettes have slowed to a crawl in cars and stand alone CD players are the current piece of hardware to be losing ground. It is the same in PCs. 2 yrs. ago it was a big deal to have a DVD drive in the PC. The costs have come down. My only point is that it is a shrinking format, not a useless one. DVD-A seems to want to portray flippers as something that is going to propel it to a mainstream format in the near term. It is just my opinion (everyone has one) that it will in fact do more of the opposite of what they are trying to accomplish.
     
  14. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    I would also expect the the 2 hi-rez formats will continue as niche markets and prompting more low cost unviersal players for the home and car. Would not all all be surprised in 3 yrs. to see a universal player option in the likes of cars like the Honda Accord, Fort Taurus or Toyota Camry. Internet radio may even eventually make its way into autos to try to challenge the current providers like XM and perhaps we will even see recording devices with stuff like XM in a similar manner as we have Dish Network PVRs today.

    All I was trying to convey is I that they seem to be delaying titles, for what would seem to be the end goal of having a CD layer to play in a car and portraying that as something that is going to transform DVD-A from the small niche market it has. It won't do that. Neither will back catalog issues on SACD. If they do that (flipper thing) in conjuntion with current releases then that is a different story but neither format seems to be stepping up to the plate in that regard.
     
  15. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Hong Kong Warner Music did that with all their single-layer SACD releases. I have to admit to looking forward to this development, however.
     
  16. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    If this means more titles for fans of Hi-res music I am all for it. For this to be a success, Warner will have to actively promote these new flipper discs. It always comes down to consumer awareness. The stealth marketing employed by Sony for SACD has obviously been a failure in growing the format's awareness. I hope Warner does not make the same mistake.

    J
     
  17. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    With all due respect to the Hong Kong music scene, what is done there has no bearing on releases in the states or has any significance on the future of either Hi-res format.
     
  18. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Justine,

    I merely mentioned the HK Warner SACDs because it has been done before.
     
  19. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I see. I could have sworn this was the first time you mention Warner HK SACD [​IMG]

    J
     
  20. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Phil,

    You can buy Pioneer (new decks at CES this year), Panasonic and Alpine DVD-Audio systems for cars right now... not in 3 years.

    SA-CD is still waiting for their first car deck, two years after the first car deck for DVD-Audio introduced by Panasonic. I guess those Sony executives that are driving around with SA-CD prototype players (according to Lee) found a few bugs with the car units.

    While the noise level is high, surround in a vehicle has one big advantage. The seating positions are well known [​IMG]

    Cheers,
     

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