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What happened to HDCD?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by shaneT, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. shaneT

    shaneT Member

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    Hello,

    I just purchased a new DVD player (denon dvd-1200) and am anxious to try out some DVD-A disks.
    I also have a Denon 5disk changer that plays HDCD's. Unfortunately I cant really find much information at all on HDCD's, and In only instance has my "HDCD" light on the player lit up; with a burned copy of Dave Brubeck.
    Did this format not catch on? Is noone currently pushing this format? I noticed that HDCD isn't even listed in the beginners/FAQ section.
    Is the normal (non SACD ) track on any of the sacd's HDCD? (assuming a 2 layer disk).

    If this topic has already been discussed, i'm more than willing to read up, but I didn't find much with a search.

    thank you,
    Shane
     
  2. JamesHl

    JamesHl Well-Known Member

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    Some things still come out on it, I think. Sadly, since my stereo that I currently have is the best one I have available, I have no good way of comparing hdcd with non-hdcd to tell the difference. It's really sort of antiquated with the advent of SACD and DVD-A.
     
  3. HienD

    HienD Well-Known Member

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    HDCD is mostly used in asia. 99% of new hong kong cds are HDCD encoded. Although I have 40+ HDCDs, I don't have a HDCD compatiable cd player to compare them. I think HDCD is more important in the encoding and mastering process, then the actual decoding of the HDCD information upon playback. You can read more about it here: HDCD
     
  4. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Well-Known Member

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    A surprising number of CD's have been released in HDCD - very quietly.

    One important thing to note: For a DVD player that has HDCD decoding you have to listen via the analog outputs. A digital connection does not pass a decoded signal to your receiver.
     
  5. shaneT

    shaneT Member

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    Rick,

    Is that true for all HDCD players or only DVD players w/ HDCD features.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

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    Rick, to clarify, you dont NEED to listen via analog. It depends where the HDCD dacs are. Some recievers have HDCD decoding, so you'd need to pass the digital signal to let the reciever do the decoding to get HDCD playback.

    In this case you are right though, if the PLAYER has the HDCD decoding, you need to use the analog connections to take advantage of that (like SACD/DVDA).

    If both the player and reciever have HDCD capable dacs, then either way works, and you can see which dacs you like better.
     
  7. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Well-Known Member

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    Shane, Chris answered your question most eloquently.
     
  8. Sathyan

    Sathyan Well-Known Member

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    does anyone know of an inexpensive (under $300) HDCD-capable external DAC?
     
  9. shaneT

    shaneT Member

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    guys,
    Thank you for your responses.
    I'm have another quick question about the format.
    since the Disk is encoded in 20 bit, it stands to reason that a HDCD player is required to take full advantage of the system.
    What suprised me was the fact that a duplicate CD made on a standard cd burner with a standard CD-R was able to capture the HDCD image.
    this confuses me how that can be. Can the same amount of music fit in HD on a cd as normal resolution?
     
  10. shaneT

    shaneT Member

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    Chris, thank you.
    I wasn't aware of that.

    so, to set up my Cd player:
    is it suggested that I run a digital connection from the cd player into the "CD" input on my reciever, and then also run a set of interconnects from the cd player into the "aux1" input.
    that way i can quickly switch between analog and digital and still take advantage of the digital connections for normal CD's.

    The same is true for DVD-a into my reciever also?
    if so that doesn't make sense, because dvd-a is 5.1 channels
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

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    Shane, i know HDCD is a little confusing, but it actually uses the same 16-bit red-book compliant system as any cd. It is technically still a CD, whereas something like a DTS disc is NOT a cd.

    Here's a link that explains more in depth, but there are not 20bits on the disc, just the regular 16, but there is some advanced processing and encoding that allows an HDCD decoder to reconstruct the original 20 bits before it was put onto a standard cd. That's sort of the gist of it.

    http://www.hdcd.com/partners/proaudio/hdcdmix.html

    As for DVD-A and SACD, there are no (yet) outboard decoders in recievers or anything, because of copyright scares. All the dacs are inside the player, so in order to get the high-definition audio that is the whole point of SACD and DVD-A, you MUST use the dacs in the player, or you are essentially just getting a VERY lossy dolby digital surround if you use a digital connection to the reciever. So, you MUST have your DVD-A or SACD player connected with 6 analog connectors to your reciever. Most people ALSO have it connected with a digital conenction so that the reciever can handle all the Dolby Digital, and DTS decoding for regular DVD movies. It is not, however interchangeable, because DVD-A and SACD decoders are NOT available in a reciever, wheras HDCD decodes ARE.

    So, if you have a CD player with HDCD decoding, and a reciever WITHOUT it, you NEED to use the analog connectors to get HDCD output. If your player sucks and your reciever is very good, you may get better results by not using the HDCD feature, but this usually is not the case. Hope that helps clear things up.
     

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