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Confused? DVD-Audio, SACD, digital outs, preamps and more questions

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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Ashford Little

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Posted October 27 2001 - 03:13 AM

Like many of you I have upgraditis. My current system while functioning properly is in need of help, but I'm not sure if now is the proper time. I have a compilation of products that allows me to listen to music and watch DD/DTS DVD's.

Here's the rub though. There have been many discussions about digital outs on DVD Audio or SACD players. For the most part these discussions have been excellent and informative. I believe I understand the camp that believes that analog outs are better/superior to digital outs. BUT, I am worried that if I upgrade now I will be getting an interim product.

Discussions with industry and online as well seem to indicate that like it or not digital output is a matter of when not if. This means that while current generation players and preamps/receivers will continue to function properly, you may miss out on some functionality such as expanded bass management.

In a perfect world, I would be able to buy a DVD-Audio/SACD/DVD-V, CD player right now with digital outs. I would also have a preamp capable of accepting these inputs and more from Firewire/IEEE1394. Same goes for a HD capable TV.

The arguement against digital outs usually says that manufacturers are worried about the ability to make perfect digital copies of DVD-Audio/SACD. While true, I don't buy it. I don't see people selling bootleg DVD videos.

I believe this has more to do with royalties than anything else. So Sony vs. the world continue to battle it out in yet another format war. Let's face it, most people don't know about, never heard of, nor care about DVD-Audio/SACD. The market, while it might possibly grow in the future, is slim to say the least. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Then again I could be wrong.

So I'm hesistant to buy a new preamp, DVD player, or HDTV right now. The problem is I want these updated products. However, as someone who has had to implement auxiliary products to keep up with certain formats I would like to and might just have to wait it out a little longer for things to shake out.

My .02, please let me know what you have heard or what boat you are in as well.

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Norm Strong

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Posted October 27 2001 - 04:47 PM

"I don't see people selling bootleg DVD-Videos."

That's because you live in the wrong country.

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#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Jerome Grate

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Posted October 27 2001 - 05:49 PM

Maybe you are looking at it from the not so helpful angle. First, I've seen bootleg DVDs of course I won't say where but I've seen them. The only concern that perhaps should arouse from bootleg products hence the protective attitudes companies take is the price of the product. DVD-Audio, SACD and the lack of digital outputs is a stumbling block and I'm pretty sure we would all like to see those two formats utilize the digital domain but you have to understand there concern. Even if you take a multi channel track at it's highest grade and mass produce it illegally, you can get a pretty damn good two channel master to bootleg.
Like I said this shouldn't stop you from taking advantage of upgraditis. I would love to get into DVD-A and Multichannel SACD but the only thing that is stopping me is the fact that it's still early in the game. You shouldn't let the companies actions to protect themselves stop you. Go for it.


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#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Steven Simon

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Posted October 28 2001 - 12:35 AM

There is no better time to buy Home theater gear than now..... Progressive scan dvd players are outputting Film Like images, and Audio to die for.... Our hobby is like a big snowball.... The gear is constantly getting bigger and badder.... I say this is a good thing... Is it not our goal around here to achieve near perfection as far as the way our Audio and Video sound systems sound and look??
You can wait around for a while, but people that have been doing this for a while will tell you that there is always a new bigger, bolder piece of gear out there to buy.

As far as SACD and DVD Audio, yes it's a niche market right now.... But we should embrace the formats. If Companies like Sony and Phillips don't develop new formats like this, we're all dead in the water as far as technology advancement. Analog outputs or not, these new High resolution Audio formats are superior IMHO in sound quality to Redbook CD's... Marker Walker, where are you?? Posted Image

HDTV?? I have had my Mitsubishi Wide Screen RPTV for 1.5 years now, and held off on the HD Decoder. Around 6 weeks ago, I installed the High Def dish, and Sony Sat HD 100 Decoder.... I am so pissed at myself for waiting this long. I have 6 channels in High Def programming between the dish and my antenna, and there is more to come.....
Around 4 weeks ago at our National Meet, Joe Kane (Video Essentials) the leading Guru on HD gave us a 1.5 hour demonstration on high def and where it's going.... All I can tell you is, go for it.... Many of us came out of that Seminar completely enlightened about this technology. Many members and admins from our forum quickly installed HD setups as soon as they got home....

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#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Ashford Little

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Posted October 28 2001 - 04:00 PM

My point is that while bootleg videos and such exist, they will always exist. Hackers will find a way.

As far as whether to upgrade now and why wait? I understand the arguement and some liken it to pc's. However, it appears that digital outputs will happen fairly soon and since I anticipate spending a decent amount of money on both my preamp and DVD player, I would rather wait a little and suffer than buy now and have a somewhat interim product.

I did learn from another source that an issue with digital output of SACD/DVD-A is that current generations of chips aren't powerful enough to handle real time bass management. This will be resolved shortly.

Jerome, I agree with your point of available software or lack thereof. That is another point that is holding me back. Don't really feel like I am missing much yet.

I heard the hype of DTS when they first started releasing DTS CD's. Yes, they sounded good, and yes I own several, but the product pipeline just never got filled up sufficiently.

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted October 28 2001 - 04:12 PM

Actually, since posting this, you've learned that the issue with Bass Management is a lack of the requisite DSP horsepower. Lack of digital output is largely due to the RIAA and their international equivalents preventing digital output of the high-res bitstream until such time that it is copy protected.


John Kotches
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Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

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Opinions are my own, not representative of the publication I write for.