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Why SACD is not bigger than it is...


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#1 of 159 OFFLINE   Ken Stuart

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Posted July 27 2003 - 07:44 AM

Hello,

While surfing, I came across a great thread which should give SACD (and DVD-A) fans an idea of why these formats are not very successful.

The people in the thread are amongst those who (outside of dedicated audiophiles) should have the most motivation to be interested in SACD. So their honest and frank comments are illuminating:

http://www.pinkfloydfan.net/t2859.html

#2 of 159 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted July 27 2003 - 07:49 AM

Favorite quote so far:
Quote:
i must be one of those! because mine sounds different and all around better using only my new Bose 5.1 system. each instrument has its own speaker
So which speaker you think is the one for drums? Posted Image

#3 of 159 OFFLINE   Peter Kline

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Posted July 27 2003 - 08:38 AM

Quote:
So which speaker you think is the one for drums?


The one in my next door neighbors apartment that blasts into my bedroom! Posted Image

#4 of 159 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted July 27 2003 - 09:32 AM

Which goes to show that most people (and by a large margin) purchased that disc for the CD layer.

Eventually Sony will learn that most people don't care.

#5 of 159 OFFLINE   Lewis Besze

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Posted July 27 2003 - 09:40 AM

Posted Image Oh boy, the "Best Buy" generation strikes again.
Hey but they have cool MP3 players and spend more time downloading music,then "chasing tails".

#6 of 159 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted July 27 2003 - 09:48 AM

Sounds like they maybe should have introduced SACD as a stealth format, placed in every CD player for a few years before they announced it existed. That would have helped it get accepted.
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#7 of 159 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted July 27 2003 - 03:10 PM

Good grief, someone thought that the reason the DSotM SACD wouldn't play 5.1 was because it was encoded in DTS (a format created by the MPA?!?!) and the receiver was an older one that only supported DD.

Hmmmmmm, so even the great DSotM isn't enough of a "killer app" that convinces die-hard Floyd fans to get on board with SACD (as previously noted on this forum, for me this was the release that "forced" me to get a universal player). Many don't even seem to know what it is at all. Does this really makes us HTFers a bunch of elitists that happily lap up the newest formats?

#8 of 159 OFFLINE   MichaelTa

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Posted July 27 2003 - 04:19 PM

DSOTM is the reason I bought my SCD-CE775. FWIW I bought my DVD-A player because of the releases of American Beauty and Workingmans Dead. I never see any adds for either format nor is there any kind of push done by retailers.
Such a long long time to be gone, such a short time to be there.

#9 of 159 OFFLINE   RaulR

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Posted July 27 2003 - 04:43 PM

Quote:
Does this really makes us HTFers a bunch of elitists that happily lap up the newest formats?


Not so much elitist as more inclined to check out new AV technology than your average consumer. Whether that's a good thing or not depends on your attitudes and the state of your wallet. Posted Image

The Pink Floyd newsgroup has been getting a lot of this kind of confused posts since the SACD was released. Some of the regular posters there try to be understanding and helpful, but it can get frustrating, especially when you consider that someone with enough Net savvy to get onto Usenet should also be able to find a reliable Web site or discussion forum if they wanted info. For some reason, a great many people have gotten it into their heads that the stereo SACD layer is a remix and are busy passing on this misinformation. Then there are the ones who listened to the disc on a system that was incorrectly set up, heard some anomalies and, instead of checking their settings, immediately go on a public forum with messages like "The saxophone sounds muted like it's coming from miles away, and some instruments are completely missing -- how could such a major reissue have come out like this with no one noticing?"

Ultimately, it's up to the recording industry and equipment manufacturers to make it easier for the average consumer to figure out these newfangled technologies if they want them to sell. But it seems they're too busy worrying about proprietary formats and copy protection to notice.

#10 of 159 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted July 27 2003 - 10:30 PM

Raul said:

Quote:
The Pink Floyd newsgroup


'Newsgroup'. Nuff said. Posted Image
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#11 of 159 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted July 27 2003 - 10:31 PM

Will said:

Quote:
Sounds like they maybe should have introduced SACD as a stealth format, placed in every CD player for a few years before they announced it existed. That would have helped it get accepted.


That would have been an excellent idea! Sony certainly should have included SACD in DVD players a few years back.
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#12 of 159 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted July 27 2003 - 10:40 PM

The record labels are in a Catch 22, and here's why.

1) Release hybrid discs. This seems like a great idea since the discs are backwards-compatible with the ubiquitous CD and DVD players. However, since CD and DVD players are ubiquitous, and the hybrids will play on them (most of the time), then why buy an SACD player?

2) Release single-layer discs. Most people don't have SACD players, so they can't play these discs.

The record labels should continue to release big titles on single-inventory hybrid discs, but Sony and Philips need to promote the SACD format for real. Otherwise, the best they can hope for is just a small percentage of hybrid disc buyers delving into SACD. Maybe they are happy with that as long as the discs sell.
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#13 of 159 OFFLINE   RaulR

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Posted July 28 2003 - 02:28 AM

'Newsgroup'. Nuff said.


Best place to find out what "real people" outside of our HTF cocoon think.

#14 of 159 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted July 28 2003 - 03:39 AM

Quote:
Which goes to show that most people (and by a large margin) purchased that disc for the CD layer.


Posted Image Yeah Marc, that's good insight...based on some dopey kids on a Pink Floyd forum, we have irrefutable proof that no audiophiles purchased the disc.

Governor Gray Davis called. He's looking for a new recall campaign manager...

If you read the posts carefully it appears many have bought this disc for the Super Audio layer. It's also interesting to not how many strong recommendations for buying the disc are at the start of the thread. If anything, it's evidence that people in the know like the new album a lot.
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#15 of 159 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted July 28 2003 - 03:52 AM

Quote:
Ultimately, it's up to the recording industry and equipment manufacturers to make it easier for the average consumer to figure out these newfangled technologies if they want them to sell. But it seems they're too busy worrying about proprietary formats and copy protection to notice.


That's a fair observation. I think what SACD II may really be is a few extra features but with a big marketing push. They need to get more people on board.

As I have said before, it really does not matter whether 20% of the 2 million DSOTM SACDs sold (and counting) were audiophile "purposed" or redbook. The bigger impact is that marketing story Sony can tell to others.

Apparently, Elton John, Sting, and Rush heard the pitch and agreed. So at the end of the day, the consumer wins! Posted Image I personally don't care how many audiophiles bought the hirez layer, just that enough artists sign on that I can enjoy the classic albums in DSD. If Joe Sixpack hears raves from his early adopter friends frequently enough, he will eventually sign up...or the retailers may get on board and we will see future DVD players with universal capability as a standard. Think about it...it certainly allows Best Buy to sell more players and more easily...and get adopters to buy the new player so they can enjoy hirez...

You have to give Sony credit though for the following. They had limited dollars to spend on marketing giving cost cutting internally and a dismal economy, yet they were able to start the whole thing off with a well-orchestrated "whisper campaign" that began with audiophiles and now has spread to general music fans who enjoy classic albums in high resolution.

As for backward compatibility, Sony was wise to do this given the tremendous population of redbook hardware out there. My issue is that they should have done more hybrid discs before this year. Based on my conversations with people in the business, however, Sony felt that the big early titles like the Stones series should have priority over their own hybrid slate, so they went that route. I find it hard to fault them on that logic.

Super Audio has great sonics which is why so many recording engineers like me are on board. We hear live mic feeds and DSD sounds awefully close to the real thing. Plus, as an engineer we know painfully the shortcomings of redbook PCM (and 24/96 too) on note transients, cymbal reproduction, soundstage, midrange tonality, etc.

The problem with implementation has been that DSD requires new pressing lines which are very expensive and took a few years to start producing. Since Sony's Terre Haute facility opened there is quite a bit of production.

All indications are that Super Audio is continuing to build momentum in spite of some very confused souls on Pink Floyd.net.
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#16 of 159 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted July 28 2003 - 03:58 AM

Quote:
However, since CD and DVD players are ubiquitous, and the hybrids will play on them (most of the time), then why buy an SACD player?


This only happens if the music fan is not aware of hirez benefits. The extra marketing push may change that over time...
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#17 of 159 OFFLINE   Frank_S

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Posted July 28 2003 - 05:28 AM

You think people are confused now, wait till SACD II comes out, new copy protection scheme and all. Posted Image
Sony does'nt know when to stop and if SACD fails to catch on, it will be no-ones fault but their own.

#18 of 159 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted July 28 2003 - 05:43 AM

'Real' people don't know what SACD is. That doesn't mean that audiophiles don't buy discs like DSotM for SACD layer, it just means that 'real' people aren't audiophile.

I know a dozen people who know there is a new DSotM disc (and some of them bought it), and not one of them knew what SACD was or that the disc had an SACD layer until I explained it. None of them were interested, but one asked me if I could get him a DTS cd (he actually knew what that was) of the new mix. Posted Image

I'm sure that Sony/Philips have done marketing research and have a fair idea as to how many single-inventory hybrids are sold for the SACD layer, and the fact that they haven't told us is likely very telling.

ps DVD-A is in the same boat. People don't know what it is. Many people just think every concert or music video DVD is a 'DVD Audio'...if they've heard the term at all. Most of those who actually buy them just listen to the DD or DTS tracks and think they are listening to high-res...and are happy as can be.

pps I've spent plenty of money on DVD-A and SACD, so don't give me any bullcrap about me being biased. 95% of my friends and coworkers are non-audiophile and I am in touch with the common listener.

#19 of 159 OFFLINE   Felix Martinez

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Posted July 28 2003 - 07:02 AM

Quote:
I know a dozen people who know there is a new DSotM disc (and some of them bought it), and not one of them knew what SACD was or that the disc had an SACD layer until I explained it.


Unfortunately, I can relate to this...(sigh)...

Ok, now for a little ramble (excuse me)...

While some folks still don't know that a DVD-Audio player is needed to access the hi-rez audio on DVD-A titles, all DVD hardware owners can play these discs and still enjoy the 5.1 sound mixes in Dolby Digital/DTS.

Or seen another way: while only 1.4 million people are currently set-up with DVD-Audio players, over 75 million people have the potential of (or are currently) enjoying music in 5.1 surround and are also able to play back 96/24 stereo material. Panasonic has stated that almost 80% of their new DVD-Video players have DVD-A capability.

IMHO the effort and $ being spent on SACDII should instead go to ensuring *all* DVD hardware going forward has SACD capability built in. A lot of ground has already been lost. Folks buying an SACD title for the CD layer are *not* buying into SACD. The 5.1 music experience is what will open the door to the hi-rez formats for the layperson. It's the "buy-in" factor. If they can't experience 5.1 music with the hardware they got, you think they're gonna buy new hardware in this economy? And once income becomes disposable again, you've got HD-DVD around the corner...now, what player are YOU gonna buy...? Why on Earth every Sony DVD player (even the most budget models) isn't also a universal/SACD player is beyond me...

Finally, look at the strides DTS has made - that format was in a *handful* of hardware components just a few years ago. What DVD player/receiver doesn't have DTS capability nowadays?

And on the DVD-Audio front - if record labels want CD compatibility along with DVD-A, then bundle a friggin' CD disc in the SuperJewel Box! What does it cost? Pennies? How many 2-disc (or more) special editions are there on DVD-V around the $20 mark? All this money and time spent on a DVD-A/CD hybrid is also just a waste IMHO.

My $.02,

#20 of 159 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted July 28 2003 - 07:28 AM

Quote:
then bundle a friggin' CD disc in the SuperJewel Box!


I suspect the concern is that many people will give away the CD version and keep the DVD-A version, and that this could cut into CD sales.

Just a guess, though.


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