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Why DVD-A and SA-CD cannot succeed.

Discussion in 'Music' started by Rachael B, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. Rachael B

    Rachael B Well-Known Member

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    The forum can argue itself till it's blue in the proverbial face about what's up, down, wrong, missing, winning, losing, better, worse, daft, silly, hissy, missy, or flawed about the two hi-rez formats, as it usually does...[​IMG] [​IMG]

    ....However, until these formats get easy to hook-up, totally idiotproof, single-cable digital audio connections, they just aren't ready for prime time. Wishing, whinning, or even praying can't change that. Hey you, yeah you reading this, accept this premise as fact. Ordinary folks cannot and will never accept audio equipment with such connections in this day and age.

    In fact, it would never occur to normal people,[​IMG] like my sister and her hubbie, that you'd even need a wad of analog cables to enjoy M/C SACD and DVD-A. My sis' and hubbie had an Elite 530 TV, Elite reciever, and a DV45 for over three months without realizing they were listening to the CD layer of the several SACD's they had. This I found out when visiting Christmas eve because my brother-in-law asked me what might be wrong with the Beck SEA CHANGE, single-layer Disc I gave him for his October birthday. He sez, it doesn't play. I walk over and peer into the back of their equipment rack and it's obvious why, no analog connections! The 45 has only an optical cable going to the reciever.

    People like us who inhabit forums often take our knowledge of all things A/V too much for granted. Face it, if you're reading this, you're proably a dawg-gone, genuine audio-vidiot or wanna-be or soon-to-be![​IMG] You can't deny it can you?[​IMG] Hooking up audio or video equipment is proably second nature to you. That's why it's so very telling about my sis' and hubbie! It would never occur to ordinary citizens that one would have to hook-up 6 bleeding analog cables with expensive, modern auh go-go A/V equipment to get audio! Oh henry isn't that ironic? [​IMG]

    ...I didn't tell them about the bass management issues and set-up. Why? I didn't want to scare them.[​IMG] I'll let them hook up the 6 analog cables I told them about and next time I visit I'll casually ask them to play something M/C and see what happens. I'll keep sly about this.

    Easy, digital connections are the only thing that CAN get hi-rez music over the top if it's possible at all...? The "tourists" of the audio world can cope with no more. They have enough aggrivation in their lives as it is and their audio-video equipment cannot, and will not be allowed to cause them aggrivation. Hideous, expensive cabling and hard to understand player menus are one of life's aggrivations that is easily avoided, and likely will be. Now think like a tourist, use astral projection if need be [​IMG], and you'll see I'm right.

    What few equipment combinations that include digital connections for hi-rez uni players are presently too expensive and for all practical purposes irrelevant, except to a few audio-vidiots[​IMG] ! Face the facts friends, Romans, and fellow forum members, SA-CD and DVD-A are locked on a nowhere road until the music companies quit sabotauging their potential with their insistence of analog connections.

    If either of the formats can fester along till the Muse-zak Companies[​IMG] relent, well, then these two fledgling formats have a chance to become mainstream. Ease of use dwarfs sound quality as a selling point to average consumers. Accept that fact and you'll sleep better at night or whenever...!?![​IMG] That goes double for you Lee S.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Al B. C

    Al B. C Well-Known Member

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    Gawd! She talks purdy.[​IMG]

    Right on Rach. That could be the crux of the biscuit,
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Well-Known Member

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    Merci beaucoup mon ami, Al![​IMG]
     
  4. Will_B

    Will_B Well-Known Member

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    I sort of agree, but with a twist:

    People will accept confusing connections, they do for computers.

    But they won't accept illogical connections. When the companies decided that to curb piracy they would neuter the ability of the digital connection to carry the multichannel music, they entered the realm of la-la land.

    People don't want to enter the company's paranoid fantasies, they just want to plug in a freaking wire and be done with it.

    Side note: The SACD player I bought did come with cables -- two channel stereo cables!
     
  5. Rachael B

    Rachael B Well-Known Member

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    Holla mi compadre Will! We're in complete aggreement. Even "tourists" realize that 6 analog connections are OBSOLETE as week old Pepsi![​IMG] [​IMG] That's why it wouldn't occur to them unless they read the far horizons of their manuals, or somebody like me told them, or (!) they hung around a joint like this 'fer awhilst! [​IMG] Recuerdos mi amigo![​IMG]
     
  6. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Well-Known Member

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    Hey I resemble that remark.

    A couple of years ago I purchased 3 pairs of short (18") coax cables in anticipation of getting a Sack-Dee player, so when I finally took the plunge last summer I was ready. But do you know how rare short coax cables are? I had to surf the web and buy them online. Most people get stuck buying the 3' cables at Fry's and end up living with a rats nest behind the rack.

    My Philips 963 is idiot proof in that even redbook audio won't go through the digital interconnect. That's right - with just a digital interconnect present, playing a redbook CD gives you nada.
     
  7. Brian+H

    Brian+H Well-Known Member

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    You're absolutely right Rachael.

    It's all too damn confusing right now.

    That's one reason why I'm not too worried about things not being hot right now.

    When one format CLEARLY wins out among us freaks, and the machines get easier to use, then I expect things to improve a lot.

    Too much confusion right now.

    Right on the money.
     
  8. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I don't think that SACD and DVD-A will EVER be more than a niche market. As has been mentioned many times in discussions concerning this issue, most consumers don't give a rat's a** about the increased quality of the recording. They're perfectly happy with Redbook CD and in the rapidly exploding MP3 format. With most consumers it's not about better sounding music, it's about convenience and coolness. Compressed, portable, digital formats such as MP3 offer those features and sound quality that's good enough for most people. The multichannel capability of high-res formats is an attraction to be sure, but I think most people looking for 5.1 music are going to buy DVDs with 5.1 DD or DTS, not DVD-A/SACD.

    So, while I agree with Rachel's comments to a certain extent I think that in the long run it's really a moot point.
     
  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Well-Known Member

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    You are absolutely wrong Rachael. You are saying that hirez formats cannot succeed because dealing with the cables is not straightforward? Are you kidding me?

    That has not stopped the current huge "home theater boom" that is driving most of the growth in consumer electronics.

    That has not stopped two channel audiophile types from embracing Super Audio and to some extent DVD Audio.

    The problem is that you are defining success as only mass acceptance. Success to me is better defined as generating enough profits and consumer titles to remain around for a long time. I see Super Audio positioning itself to be around for a while.

    For those of us that enjoy extra musical content, that's a wonderful thing.

    As long as we keep getting some of the best rock, jazz and classical titles, who cares if Joe Sixpack even shows up? Let Joe eat the dirt that is AAC and MP3, there is always a market for premium content in the United States, Europe and Asia.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Bobby T

    Bobby T Well-Known Member

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    I think you are making Rachael's point for her.

     
  11. John Watson

    John Watson Well-Known Member

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    Rachael's colorful post says what I often try to express - usually in blue language -I can't cope with the wire jungle, the abyss of acronyms, the lousy manuals, the remotes with pin-head buttons and grey glyphs on black backgrounds.

    The wiring octupus at the back of my simple? computer always
    turns me ballistic when something needs to be done
    [​IMG] (I have even looked for Monitors with a built-in speaker - why anyone wants 3 sets of wires for speakers for sound from their computer (if it humms like mine) boggles my mind.)

    Format wars (and format warriors?) are scary.

    I am faced (actually quite keen) on buying a new receiver and cd player soon and as I have very good ears, am looking forward to testing the waters, but you know, I may stick with 2 channel setups, if I can still get them.

    As I understand it alot of the J6Packs with "home theater" probably don't even have them focussed correctly, so their prevalence doesn't seem to me to be a guarantee that these systems are a sign of a large public concerned for quality. Bigger ain't necessariy better.

    Fundamentally, I belive quality systems could be made much simpler, but no leading organizations see the potential of a market of Zen-like quality consumers.

    As a culture we're addicted to "Newer is better", "Change is good", constant upgrading is "progress" mind-sets. The children of Bill Gates are in patches. The fact that links in the chains of desire are always failing, that incompatibilities multiply like roaches, that the micro-markets don't support a large product issue (ie., very few titles getting released in these competing niche formats) is one of the costs of this business model.

    Personally, if they would build the old style appearing "audio systems" again (think 1950's hifi furniture [​IMG]), but with good components inside, with the mod-cons of remote control, I'd be lookin' at that real hard. [​IMG]

    Edit : Geez, almost forget my main point - I have great ears, and love to hear fine sounding music beautifully arranged, I just can't temperamentally handle the complxity of the setups, and the dead-ends of micro-niche formats...
     
  12. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Well-Known Member

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    Don't take this the wrong way, but some of you folks even enjoy music anymore? I mean, I can't count how many threads are about the "business" and what happens if such and such, and all this concern about what others will like and whatnot. Who gives a rat's ass? Do you enjoy the music/format? If so, why should anything else matter.

    It's a shame I can't buy any new SACDs to review or discuss. That would be much more fun.
     
  13. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Well-Known Member

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    John,

    I think what you are addressing is the issue of design and its importance.

    The question is "can we design a better interface for multichannel". Of course we can and we should and that I agree with Rachael on. But this issue is not enough to stop people from adopting the new technology. Look at the MP3 market. The first time I did a download was not straightforward either, but plenty of people have embraced that.

    I think if we can create a standard home theater interface, we will be better off. Unfortunately there is no clear standard as well here: do you go with SCART cables? DVI? RCA jacks? what about HDMI?

    The problem with Joe Sixpack is that he does not really exist. If you read "Trading Up" by Fiske and Silverstein, you will see that current American shopping involves two extremes of the value spectrum: discount shopping and paying a premium (often in several niches where an individual places value like audio is for many of us). The strategy of leaning toward a program that satisfies Joe Sixpack may be a loser in the long run. This book strongly suggests that you need to focus on the people who spend money for premium content (and the latest thinking on that is boomers and certain audiophiles) and then develop a "ladder of benefits" to bring more people (the MP3 folks) into this world by showing how much better things can be.

    Fiske and Silverstein are saying that Joe Sixpack is really Joe Chardonnay who is willing to spend big dollars on certain items and spend the rest of his hard earned money at Target. [​IMG]
     
  14. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Well-Known Member

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    Well I agree Mike. Our posts must have crossed earlier.

    I like Super Audio and DVDA because I can listen for hours without getting listeners fatigue, something that does happen when I play only redbook. These new formats have allowed me to explore and enjoy new jazz and classical and revisit old favorites like Dark Side of The Moon.

    The issue of mass acceptance is really a minor point. As long as we have good titles (approaching 1,800 in SACD, 656 in DVDA), then we should be happy that we can hear all the extra detail and be that much closer to the master tape. [​IMG]
     
  15. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, our posts did cross.

    That book you're describing is indicative of the current thought on consumerism amongst advertisers and observers of popular culture, and I do agree with it.

    There is a massive culture around discount, bulk shopping, the mentality that empowers Walmart, Costco, et al. People in all walks of life have become savvy at prioritizing their spending. They focus on the one or two things that they really like. A vacation, perhaps, or a nice car. Then they buy their groceries in bulk or eat out rarely.

    It's the same with music. If someone prioritizes music, they will spend money on CDs (and not download), become interested in sound quality, and learn about its usage, the various formats, etc. It doesn't matter how many freakin' cables are involved.

    If I can figure out how to hook up two players with 6 analog outs into a receiver that only has one such set of inputs, than anyone can hook up an SACD player. I'm not smarter than anyone else.
     
  16. Phil A

    Phil A Premium
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    Most people I run into already buy home theater equipment they have no idea how to use (set-up menus, level controls, aspect ratio menus of DVD players, crossover points, speaker configuration, etc.). I've done several hundred installs with a friend who worked at a high end shop and even more sophisticated users with good equipment have gotten set-up wrong. So I don't think that hooking up 3 pairs of RCA cables from an output to 3 pairs of RCA cables to an input is the worst of it and certainly not as much a problem since it is at least visible without the need to go into multiple set-up menus or a long manual.

    I think the people who write the manuals need some education as well as the people who work for places like Best Buy and Circuit City who have contact with the public. Some of the more expensive receivers already have test tones and automatic calibration and perhaps as costs come down more units will have them. Rotel already has a DVD-A/Receiver which is pretty good and has no cables need to play DVD-A (I think there are other brands as well). I would still bet that a decent number of people buying such units and not getting help would still screw it up.

    I did (state and local) taxes for a living for 25+ yrs. before retiring (you can send me your sympathy cards and a six pack of my favorite beer, Geritol Light) and I honestly think to a degree the tax professional encourage and support laws that will confuse people to be needed (who the hell wants a tax guy). I think that some of these things are put in audio equipment for similar reasons. A manuf. wants to keep a distribution network with dealer support. Manuf. will pay for training of sales people working at local stores in many cases, especially the more high end ones.
     
  17. FeisalK

    FeisalK Well-Known Member

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    Mike:
    obvious point and so easily forgotten... CD's would not have replaced LPs as the format of choice otherwise.
     
  18. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Well-Known Member

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    Heaven forbid the non-geeky of the human race bother to waste the hour reading the damned instruction book. I had this problem with a table-top radio I sold once.

    Customer (On the phone): I can't get the wires hooked-up.

    Me: Ok, what did the manual say?

    Customer: I didn't read the manual.

    Me: Ma'am, The instruction manual covers the wire hook-up in the first few pages.

    Customer: I don't like manuals

    Me: Oooooookaaaaaaaaaay. I don't paying taxes. Go read the manual.

    Then she got mad and hung-up on me.
     
  19. DaveDickey

    DaveDickey Well-Known Member

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    Phil, You made a good point in your last post, and I agree with you when you state that the cable hookups are one of the least complicated aspects of multi-channel audio and home theater. Deciphering the Heirogliphs in owner's manuals is a much greater challenge, IMO. For most consumers, I think buying a sound meter and learning to understand adjustments, speaker/sub placement, etc. is much more frustrating than connecting cables to clearly marked inputs.
    Dave
     
  20. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Well-Known Member

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    Ah, the masses. The polls may say people just adore this format, but to whom are they actually asking? Are these the same people that have that little Nielson box hooked into their TV's and decide what new TV shows are going to be canned?

    Least we forget how easily polls can be manipulated. Asking someone if they would change over to a superior audio format is going to get you a lot of 'yes' answers. Even rebutting that with, what do you mean by better, by saying clearer with better sound almost sounds like either a Bose commercial or a Best Buy/Blockbuster clerk convincing me that fullframe is better because it fills up my screen?

    Do I dare tell them that I have a widescreen TV?

    If you want to convert me to a new and better format - then get something out with ZERO compression on it. That would be superior to records, and people would pay to change over to it.

    If they are just going for a niche market then fine. LD's went that way, and DTS is sort of that way, but how long is any company going to continue to make DVDA's (etc) before they realize that hitting the masses (which is the only way to sell a new item) will never happen?

    Oh, and I ain't going to listen to a phrase like 'our company is just trying to produce a better item, profits be damned!

    Glenn
     

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