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Time for New HD Audio music format?


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30 replies to this topic

#1 of 31 OFFLINE   Gabriel.H

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Posted January 12 2008 - 12:42 PM

With HD movie discs getting a pretty strong base, what if music were to be released on Blu-ray disc with PCM lossless sound in 5.1 or even 7.1 surround as well as DolbyTrueHD or DTS HD Master audio tracks? DVD-Audio and SACD failed because of format wars but if they stick with one format and have lots of current artists instead of just classics and classical releases maybe they would have a good shot at a new generation of HD music.

Blu-ray could add so much more to the music listening experience than just a lossless surround version such as music videos in HD, interactive features, connect via the web and see an exclusive performance by the band.

A lot of us have the hardware so there would be no need to invest in a new piece of machinery like with DVD-Audio or SACD.

What do you guys think? Would a Blu-ray music disc make it in this world or are people too used to free downloads and itunes to bother with it?

How many of you, if all your favorite albums were available on Blu-ray, would buy them in that format?

#2 of 31 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted January 12 2008 - 01:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel.H
With HD movie discs getting a pretty strong base, what if music were to be released on Blu-ray disc with PCM lossless sound in 5.1 or even 7.1 surround as well as DolbyTrueHD or DTS HD Master audio tracks? DVD-Audio and SACD failed because of format wars but if they stick with one format and have lots of current artists instead of just classics and classical releases maybe they would have a good shot at a new generation of HD music.

Blu-ray could add so much more to the music listening experience than just a lossless surround version such as music videos in HD, interactive features, connect via the web and see an exclusive performance by the band.

A lot of us have the hardware so there would be no need to invest in a new piece of machinery like with DVD-Audio or SACD.

What do you guys think? Would a Blu-ray music disc make it in this world or are people too used to free downloads and itunes to bother with it?

How many of you, if all your favorite albums were available on Blu-ray, would buy them in that format?

First off... the format war between DVD-A and SACD had nothing to do with them both failing. They failed because most people found CD and MP3 to be perfectly fine, and the average consumer doesn't care about improved audio quality for music. I suspect the same thing will happen with BD/HDDVD, but we'll have to wait it out.

A Blu-Ray audio format will do worse than DVD-A and SACD. Blu-Ray is already a niche market (and will probably remain that way), so ee're talking about an extremely small subset (audiophiles) of a niche. That's pretty damn small.

The best that anyone could hope for with regards to Blu-Ray Audio is simply concerts in HD - and that won't sell that much either.

Personally, I have SACD and CD... I don't think Blu-Ray Audio will do anything more for me than I already have in those formats. I'd simply be happy with Blu-Ray concerts with HD video and PCM.

#3 of 31 OFFLINE   David_Rivshin

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Posted January 13 2008 - 09:43 AM

I've been hoping that BD (or HDDVD) would be used as a high-quality audio platform ever since I saw their audio specs. Even just going with PCM audio (which all players support), BD can go up to 8 channels at 96kHz/24bit, or 6 channels at 192kHz/24bit.

There's already been a few concerts release in BD with losses high-res audio, one of the more recent ones is Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City. There's a review of that title here: Blu-ray Review: Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City | High-Def Digest
I actually found it somewhat interesting while walking around CES last week that a number of exhibitors were showing off their audio equipment using that title. I specifically remember Pioneer having it playing in one or two places. It's a somewhat surreal experience to be walking around a loud and bustling place like CES, and unexpectedly hearing an acoustic guitar, strumming a tune you know well, from somewhere around a corner.

Even if it does just end up being a niche product, I'd still be very excited by high-res recordings from my favorite artists. Heck, if vinyl can make a come-back in this day and age, I see nothing to stop high-res audio on BD.

-- Dave

#4 of 31 OFFLINE   RonR

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Posted January 13 2008 - 09:37 PM

Anymore I demo my system using a few concert dvds, would love to have them on blu-ray!

#5 of 31 OFFLINE   ErichH

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Posted January 14 2008 - 09:40 AM

The few titles I own on DVDA (a few Steely Dans, Big Fat Bands, Beatles Love) are easily ready for BD.
If the format holds for long enough, why not.

There were many titles slated for 5.1 that just vanished at one point. Perhaps the few live BDs will help artist along with a decision to release on HDM.

I hope so

#6 of 31 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted January 15 2008 - 12:24 AM

Quote:
Blu-Ray is already a niche market (and will probably remain that way)
That is a mighty big claim! Care to back it up with some facts?

#7 of 31 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted January 15 2008 - 05:35 AM

I fail to see the point of a new HD audio format. DVD-A and SACD are all but dead, and the largest market for music (teenagers) doesn't give a crap about transparency to the source. There are a few audiophiles out there who would buy into a new audio format, but that small market isn't going to justify a new audio format, regardless of improvements. The majority of people would rather just download or stick with CDs.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#8 of 31 OFFLINE   brap

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Posted January 15 2008 - 07:49 AM

It's true. No regular consumer will purchase an audio only disc that they can only listen on their BD player, but great lossless surround audio can be expected on video and concert BD's though.
I it surprising that Sony and Toshiba doesn't have SACD and DVD-A, respectively, on their HD players. Dolby TrueHD is essentially DVD-As MLP and SACD is Sony's own format.

#9 of 31 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted January 15 2008 - 09:03 AM

While implementing DVD-A playback on an HD DVD player should be relatively simple, I wouldn't say the same for SACD playback on anything. This is because SACD uses Sony's proprietary DSD codec, which from all appearances doesn't appear to be supported by BD..
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#10 of 31 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted January 15 2008 - 09:25 AM

Quote:
This is because SACD uses Sony's proprietary DSD codec, which from all appearances doesn't appear to be supported by BD
Ironic, because it's basically Sony saying "nah, we want no connection between the audio format we were promoting previously and this new product of ours".

If, someday, lots and lots of BR players are in homes, and DVD-A and SACD have basically disappeared, there could be a niche for this sort of thing, but of course the mass market won't care.

#11 of 31 OFFLINE   WadeM

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Posted January 15 2008 - 11:05 AM

I would like to see some of the Quad mixes done in the 70s released in this format. To hear the original surround sound mix of certain albums from that period would be great.

#12 of 31 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted January 15 2008 - 11:10 AM

Actually, if the masters of these Quad mixes are unaltered (@ least in terms of the information contained in them), you should be able to decode them using Dolby Pro Logic. This is because SQ was the basis for Dolby Stereo and the other two channels were matrixed into the stereo mix.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#13 of 31 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted January 15 2008 - 11:42 AM

Quote:
DVD-Audio and SACD failed because of format wars but if they stick with one format and have lots of current artists instead of just classics and classical releases

Actually the only group that generally is concerned about high-quality audio formats is classical buffs like me. SACD won a TKO for the reason that Sony and Phillips "own" the classical music catalog, so that format war was over and decided many years ago.

And it still ticks me off that Sony of all people doesn't just include SACD playback capability in their Blu-Ray players. Posted Image
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#14 of 31 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted January 15 2008 - 03:08 PM

And unless DSD decoding can be added with a firmware upgrade, they never will.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#15 of 31 OFFLINE   brap

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Posted January 16 2008 - 02:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_J_H
And unless DSD decoding can be added with a firmware upgrade, they never will.

Which will not happen. Plus it would need scarlet book capability to read the sacd layer.
I'll my pioneer hooked up along with the HD-DVD and BD. It's not easy being purple and.... What would you nickname SACD and DVD-A? I choose Bub and Fido because their dead. Behind my receiver is a jungle of wires.

#16 of 31 OFFLINE   Jari K

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Posted January 16 2008 - 02:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Colella
First off... the format war between DVD-A and SACD had nothing to do with them both failing. They failed because most people found CD and MP3 to be perfectly fine, and the average consumer doesn't care about improved audio quality for music.

I have to agree. I mean I have hundreds of CDs (not that much Mp3s anymore) and I feel that good CD is "good enough". But, I fully understand that there are many people wanting for "perfect" music experience. And I also admit that 5.1 set-up is not "ideal" for stereo-music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Colella
I suspect the same thing will happen with BD/HDDVD, but we'll have to wait it out.

I don´t agree. Films have both Audio and Visual aspects + extras etc. And many people have now that HD TV-set at home - waiting. One HD-format will survive (and eventually replaces SD DVD - it just might take 10 years or something, hard to say..).

Was DVD-Audio and SACD even aimed for the "masses"?

#17 of 31 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted January 16 2008 - 09:46 AM

It certainly wasn't advertised that way. About the most I ever heard about SACD and DVD-A came from Sony Style magazines, audiophile magazines, and dedicated music sites like MusicTAP.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#18 of 31 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted January 16 2008 - 10:42 AM

Yeah, the 2 hirez audio formats failed for a multitude of reasons, but iTunes/MP3 would be the simplest way to put it. DVD-A didn't even survive as a tiny niche format as far as I can tell. SACD is sort of still around kinda like vinyl now, but serving largely different niche markets. I still occasionally buy an SACD -- and bought a Denon uni-player a year ago after my kid broke my previous Philips DVD/SACD player.

I think though SACD was reasonably popular in some East Asian markets. No idea if it still is.

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#19 of 31 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted January 16 2008 - 11:37 AM

SACD was aimed to replace CD... not necessarily aimed at the masses (if that makes any sense). The hybrid discs was supposed to be the strategy used to get SACD discs out there and therefore making it an easier transition from CD to SACD. I remember forum members at audioasylum were convinced that strategy would work wonders (I was very doubtful).

Sony tried to get SACD out into the masses with the Rolling Stone remasters catalog being hybrid (without any mention on the CD packaging). Sony used this release to get the word out about SACD on MSNBC, USA Today, CNN and other news media. Articles were written about the format. The Bob Dylan remasters were also hybrid releases and SACD got some press there as well, as did the Dark Side of the Moon release.

Eventually Sony gave up on trying to get the format out there and are essentially relying on the small boutique labels to keep the format afloat. Sony Music is barely releasing anything on the format despite their huge catalog of great Jazz, Classical and rock titles.

#20 of 31 OFFLINE   MielR

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Posted January 16 2008 - 05:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Nicholls
And it still ticks me off that Sony of all people doesn't just include SACD playback capability in their Blu-Ray players. Posted Image
Yeah, that would seem like a no-brainer to me as well...Posted Image
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