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Will you stick with hirez audio?


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#41 of 175 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted April 01 2004 - 01:00 AM

Quote:
and SACD becomes the MD of the hi rez audio era (I think only Sony makes MD hardware, yes?)


Not a good analogy since SACD has far more hardware support (some 63+ players available from dozens of companies) and audiophiles are a different type (more loyal) of customer than MD fans...For instance, many audiophiles will continue to support SACD due to its title selection on jazz and classical IMHO.

Quote:
Let's assume that if BluRay becomes the HD-DVD standard, those players will include SACD functionality because of BluRay's Sony and Phillips backing. Let's also assume that if AOD becomes the HD-DVD standard, those players will include DVD-A functionality because of AOD's Tosh et al./DVD Forum backing.


I am not so sure that you can assume the traditional SACD and DVDA divisions will remain in the BluRay/HD-DVD era. I could easily see either format having both audio formats when all is said and done. There is much economic incentive for one unifying format to be released.
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#42 of 175 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 01 2004 - 02:43 AM

Quote:
and SACD becomes the MD of the hi rez audio era


Nah, MD is, and was, far better promoted.

#43 of 175 OFFLINE   anthony_b

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Posted April 01 2004 - 02:49 AM

I'm about to give up on the format. I sold my DVD-A player in January and I haven't missed it at all. Soon you'll see a sale for me sony 222es in the hardware section Posted Image
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#44 of 175 OFFLINE   Paul.S

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Posted April 01 2004 - 02:57 AM

Lee et al.:

I said:
Quote:
. . . and SACD becomes the MD of the hi rez audio era (I think only Sony makes MD hardware, yes?) . . .
Lee replied:
Quote:
Not a good analogy since SACD has far more hardware support (some 63+ players available from dozens of companies) and audiophiles are a different type (more loyal) of customer than MD fans...For instance, many audiophiles will continue to support SACD due to its title selection on jazz and classical IMHO.
Well, in line with operating assumption/premise #1 in your original post ("Hirez remains a niche among serious music fans and audiophiles and home theater fans and early adopters, ie. it does not widen to a broad audience of citizens"), let's set aside whether we'd like to see SACD grow beyond the audiophile market (and perhaps experience similar 'dumbing down' as we've seen with DVD-V as it has gone full bore mainstream).

This is a good point, Lee, (and although I'm focusing on hardware my analogy is further problematized by the fact that there are of course many, many other labels releasing SACD software than just Sony, whereas pre-recorded MDs are largely if not exclusively a Columbia/Epic affair). But although the analogy may be flawed, I don't think the/my issue is and my issue remains with a) the paucity of universal players (as opposed to the number of manufacturers offering dedicated SACD players); and b) the price of these unis.

I know you read it already Lee, but for those who haven't seen my comments in Rachael's "Why DVD-A and SA-CD cannot succeed" thread, I said the following about the chart in the February/March 2004 Sound & Vision listing all of the universal players currently on the market: "Interesting, to me at least, to note that, of the 21 universal models featured, only 6 list at or below $1,000. Average list price is $3,307. And we're now several years deep into these formats."

Of course we all know you are going to stick with hi rez in general and SACD in particular, Lee. But your thread asks if others are going to, and this is an issue for me and I think SACD in general: as we have seen in the past, Sony continues to problematize the future of some of their wonderful inventions by treating them like proprietary, self-sustaining fiefdoms. Problem is, they don't have enough market share to behave like Microsoft. Posted Image

I'm sure at least part of your position, Lee, will be that many audiophiles will be willing to buy and keep a stand alone SACD player regardless of what happens with hi def DVD. Part of my point herein is that operating premise/assumption #4 in your thread-starting post ("Hardware players and servicing remains in place") is a complicated, significant one and it has direct bearing on my ability to manifest my interest in SACD in my rig despite possible practical issues WRT cost, availability, service and repair of hardware. Given Sony's current lackluster hardware and software support at the consumer level, I think Rachael appropriately turns the issue on its head in asking, 'will hi rez stick with me?' Its another problematic analogy, but Pio was a financial stakeholder in LD, and even they abandoned the format. This made it very difficult for LD afficionados (who, for instance, want to hang onto to LDs of movies with more supplements than their DVD counterparts often due to rights/licensing issues) to maintain/service their LD players and sent people who wanted to buy a player scurrying to ebay.

I said:
Quote:
Let's assume that if BluRay becomes the HD-DVD standard, those players will include SACD functionality because of BluRay's Sony and Phillips backing. Let's also assume that if AOD becomes the HD-DVD standard, those players will include DVD-A functionality because of AOD's Tosh et al./DVD Forum backing.
Lee replied:
Quote:
I am not so sure that you can assume the traditional SACD and DVDA divisions will remain in the BluRay/HD-DVD era. I could easily see either format having both audio formats when all is said and done. There is much economic incentive for one unifying format to be released.
But are these really "traditional SACD and DVDA divisions"? It seems to me the divisions are broader than that (not restricted to hi rez audio) and have to do with the politics of who is and is not a member of the DVD Forum. For instance, I seem to recall Sony's breaking away from the Forum's hi def DVD spec codification discussions to make a point about their BluRay support . . .

Also, I'm not sure I understand how a greater purported "economic incentive" for one unifying [hi def DVD] format to be released has anything to do with the inclusion of both hi rez audio formats thereon. It sounds like you're presuming hi def DVD does indeed become the carrier of choice for hi rez music, which is one of the two significant caveats I hypothetically posited in my post above was not going to happen for the sake of my hypothetical comments/conjecture.

But wait, "there's a sign post up ahead . . .": Monday Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment officially announced that they are supporting BluRay.

-p

#45 of 175 OFFLINE   Shawn C

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Posted April 01 2004 - 03:02 AM

I've got a bunch of DVD-A and SACD titles, so I'm not leaving. I use the Denon 2900 for movies and hi-rez audio. I've got too much invested in discs to just give up on it all.

As far as sound quality goes, the difference to my ears is VERY apparent. SACD and DVD-A sound "better" on almost everything, but the gains are greater on quality equipment, just my opinion.

A local home theater installer and equipment dealer here in Vegas says that he has A LOT of people asking about SACD when they come in. He sells some high end stuff like Anthem, Martin Logan and Velodyne.

#46 of 175 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted April 01 2004 - 04:28 AM

Paul,

Do you suppose the fact that Sony owns Columbia/Tristar is at all related to their announcement of support for BluRay? Posted Image On 2nd thought, no, that has absolutely nothing to do with it Posted Image

Seriously though, it looks like more of the same, with WB apparently backing HD-DVD. The more things change, the more they stay the same Posted Image

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#47 of 175 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 01 2004 - 04:31 AM

It looks like Disney, in addition to Warner, will back HD-DVD. I think if HD-DVD can get Fox, it is game over for Blu-Ray.

Will Sony get their checkbook out to buy support from Fox?

#48 of 175 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted April 01 2004 - 04:45 AM

Michael,

For the moment WB has very hot "franchises" in:

Lord of the Rings trilogy (New Line/WB)
Harry Potter (3rd in theaters this June)(WB)
The Matrix trilogy (WB)
Terminator trilogy (WB)

Does any other studio have something comparable?

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#49 of 175 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted April 01 2004 - 05:03 AM

Yep, Warner's got some major titles that'll push HD-DVD.

If what I've been hearing about hopping on the HD-DVD bandwagon is true, consider it game over for Blu-Ray.
Disney's got the Pixar flicks, those Oscar-bait Miramax films as well as their animation library.

That's alot of ammunition for HD-DVD.

#50 of 175 OFFLINE   Paul.S

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Posted April 01 2004 - 05:08 AM

John:

Quote:
Terminator trilogy (WB)

Does any other studio have something comparable?
T1 was Orion and now is MGM; T2 is Artisan (just bought by Lions Gate). Only that p.o.s. T3 is Warner.

Sony just announced the release date of Spidey 3 and that they want to make six Spider-Man flix (good luck getting Tobey for all of 'em, Columbia.)

Quote:
It looks like Disney, in addition to Warner, will back HD-DVD. I think if HD-DVD can get Fox, it is game over for Blu-Ray.
Michael, where'd you read/hear about which way the hi def DVD wind might be blowing at Di$ney?

Incidentally, here's an interesting quote from Col/Tri home entertainment president Benjamin Feingold (from today's Hollywood Reporter): "As was the case when we [excuse me, "we"? -p] first launched the DVD format, no studio would commit until it became clear that DVD was not only accepted by the public but was the wave of the future in home entertainment. ['Round these HTF parts, we all know this is bullshit: Dreamworks was on board from day one and Di$ney and Fox held out way longer than was obviously necessary. -p] The same will be true with the launch of Blu-ray. One by one, all of the studios will eventually embrace Blu-ray because it is simply a superior product. I have no doubts." [bold mine]

In the words of Vincent Vega, "That's a bold statement." Beta was a "superior product," too.

But pulling it more back to topic, what do you guys (esp. Michael and John) think about the hardware prospects of hi def DVD players being able to playback SACD and DVD-A?

-p

#51 of 175 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 01 2004 - 06:18 AM

Quote:
Michael, where'd you read/hear about which way the hi def DVD wind might be blowing at Di$ney?


Disney and Microsoft joined the DVD Forum together in February, and the same month they annouced that Disney will use Microsoft DRM technology. http://www.pcworld.c...d,114653,00.asp

Add two plus two and it is obvious that Disney is likely to support HD-DVD...at least more likely than Blu-Ray.

Quote:
But pulling it more back to topic, what do you guys (esp. Michael and John) think about the hardware prospects of hi def DVD players being able to playback SACD and DVD-A?

I think it would be great. But I don't see them making it part of the spec due to the added expense. So I don't see every player including the capability.

Because of the politics of Sony versus Warner and also Blu-Ray versus AoD/HD-DVD, I don't see universal players on the horizon for either format. Sony won't want to pay royalties to Warner, and Toshiba won't want to pay royalties to Sony.

#52 of 175 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 01 2004 - 06:24 AM

Disney and Microsoft's presence may improve support for Toshiba and NEC's HD DVD standard, said Takutoshi Fujiwara of Fujiwara-Rothchild, a storage-technology consultancy in Tokyo that advises both Sony and Toshiba.

"With Disney and Microsoft joining, maybe the balance of voting power will be improved," Fujiwara said, referring to Toshiba's HD DVD format. "Then it will become much easier for the HD DVD specification to be admitted by the forum." Home DVD and VHS movies produced sales and rental revenue of $ 22.2 billion in the United States last year, more than double the total of box office receipts, Sony has said. Next-generation DVDs, with better quality and more capacity, are expected to help increase sales as fewer VHS tapes are transferred to DVD after 2007.

...

A Toshiba spokesman, said that "from an engineer's point of view, the Blu-ray is a masterpiece, but movie studios want lower costs."


http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/9187

#53 of 175 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 01 2004 - 06:40 AM

Quote:
For the moment WB has very hot "franchises"


Warner/NL had five of the top ten last year in box office.

Sony's best showing was Bad Boys II in tenth place.

#54 of 175 OFFLINE   John Kotches

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Posted April 01 2004 - 08:09 AM

paul --

My bad on the assumption that all of T was in the WB stable.

But, the others I listed are all solid franchises in WBs control.

Quote:
But pulling it more back to topic, what do you guys (esp. Michael and John) think about the hardware prospects of hi def DVD players being able to playback SACD and DVD-A?

MLP is an approved codec for HD-DVD audio, so that one is covered already.

At this point, there is no provision for DSD on Blu-ray, but given it's under Sony's control it won't exactly be difficult to add it Posted Image

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#55 of 175 OFFLINE   ScottCHI

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Posted April 01 2004 - 09:27 AM

well, i just got my player a few weeks ago and started buying hirez. i had better be in it for the long haul, because i just got a $500 order of hirez music from cduniverse. Posted Image
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#56 of 175 OFFLINE   Ben LG

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Posted April 01 2004 - 10:05 AM

I gave up after 3 SACDs and 1 DVDA already. I spent some time setting up my system properly and a considerable amount of money yet there were no titles worth buying IMO. I also gave the two formats a waiting period for more releases that interest me to come out but it never happened. I figured the $500+ I spent on the hi-rez hardware would buy a considerable amount of CDs over a lengthy period for me and I would actually enjoy the music instead of nitpicking over the audio quality. There was a very noticeable improvement with SACDs though, enough to consider the higher price of the software to be reasonable IMO but it just didnt work out for me even though I gave it alot of patience.

#57 of 175 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted April 01 2004 - 10:40 AM

Quote:
Sony continues to problematize the future of some of their wonderful inventions by treating them like proprietary, self-sustaining fiefdoms. Problem is, they don't have enough market share to behave like Microsoft.


I don't think Sony supporting SACD is any different from Warner supporting DVDA (although it's often hard to tell by the lack of titles). They both feel they have invested a lot in each format (probably more so Sony in DSD) and want to get a royalty. This is typical for a large company to seek a return on investment.

The problem with both Sony and Warner is that they seem to miss a larger picture of consumer landscape, that is they can release one agree upon format and possibly/probably:

1. Effect one major hirez music standard that people buy into (hello, let's take hidef DVD as a window of opportunity and try again perhaps!?!)

2. Effect more reasons for mainstream customers to buy that first BluRay/HDDVD player.

3. Make even more money by splitting the profit pie but having a larger pie to split.

Posted Image That's the best way to look at it because it is driven by the consumer who is king.

Quote:
I'm sure at least part of your position, Lee, will be that many audiophiles will be willing to buy and keep a stand alone SACD player regardless of what happens with hi def DVD.


Yes, nearly 100% convinced of it. Posted Image

Quote:
It looks like Disney, in addition to Warner, will back HD-DVD. I think if HD-DVD can get Fox, it is game over for Blu-Ray.


I think its too narrow a view to speculate on BluRay success based on the studios (and has Disney really committed?) when computer PC data storage is a biggie and HP & Dell on BluRay's team. Posted Image

Quote:
If what I've been hearing about hopping on the HD-DVD bandwagon is true, consider it game over for Blu-Ray.

It's far too early to say "game over" when the announcer is still introducing the players on each team. Posted Image

Does Disney still control the Pixar rights to hidef DVD release?

Doesn't Fox have some great animation? Think about all those blockbusters like the Die Hard films, etc...
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#58 of 175 OFFLINE   Christopher_Ham

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Posted April 01 2004 - 10:48 AM

I think that the format is being marketed more to the manufacture's than to the consumer. Alot of new low end receivers now have hi rez capabilities and I think soon the consumer push may become stronger. Hi rez audio is the new thing, and I have not seen any new or up and coming surround sound formats. Hi rez and HDDVD is the push.

#59 of 175 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted April 01 2004 - 11:00 AM

Quote:
I think its too narrow a view to speculate on BluRay success based on the studios (and has Disney really committed?) when computer PC data storage is a biggie and HP & Dell on BluRay's team.


Most PC users find DVD-R/DVD+R to hold more than enough storage for their optical storage needs. CD-R's are still selling extremely well also. The extra space provided by Blu-Ray (or even HD-DVD) is really overkill for most consumers. Not much of a factor.

Quote:
Does Disney still control the Pixar rights to hidef DVD release?


Disney still owns the rights, and will continue to own the rights.

Quote:
Doesn't Fox have some great animation? Think about all those blockbusters like the Die Hard films, etc...


It's still not known where Fox will throw their support, but the Die Hard series (although it sold well) isn't a near as big as Matrix, Harry Potter and LOTR. Fox's strength though is the Star Wars titles - but you can guarrantee that Lucas won't release these on Hi-Def for at least a few years.

#60 of 175 OFFLINE   Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 01 2004 - 12:12 PM

Quote:
I think its too narrow a view to speculate on BluRay success based on the studios (and has Disney really committed?) when computer PC data storage is a biggie and HP & Dell on BluRay's team.


If you are predicting that PC adoptance will determine movie format success, I disagree strongly.

In fact, if PC goes Blu-Ray, the studios should flock to HD-DVD. Less piracy issues if PCs don't use the same format as home theater.

Of course, due to a lack of initial PC Mt. Ranier support, many people predicted DVD-R would be dying by now (in lieu of DVD+R). Crow, anyone? It has been well marinated.


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