Choosing Between SACD & DVD-A: Is It Too Early?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck C, Aug 25, 2001.

  1. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    Now that SACD and DVD-A are more affordable, guys like me who have an AVR w/ a 5.1 input want to know which format will offer the best performance and variety at the bottom line. One thread I've read says that DVD-A is clearly the nicer sounding format and also, it offers more versatility. On the other hand, there are those who believe SACD is the victor due to its reputation as a Sony/Philips project plus SACD players are so much more expensive on the high-end end. Personally, I think it may be too early to tell! It's all about who has the titles. I guess the question is, which format will see the transformion of our current CDs??
    Any thoughts?
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  2. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    right now i think the format war is still in its infancy. there are two camps and they both say their format is superior.
    i think last months soundandvision mag had a pretty good article on this exact topic. i checked their website real quick, but couldn't find it there.
    unfortunately, i keep thinking vhs vs. beta.
    me, personally...i'm going to wait until they make up their minds or there's some sort of hybrid player which will play all high-resolution formats.
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The winner of this format war may not necessarily be the "better" technology. The winner will be whichever format is able to get the most titles to the market at the best price.
    Of course, it may turn out that neither format wins. The trend in music formats seems to be "music on the go" with formats such as MiniDisc and MP3. Neither of these formats is an improvement in sound quality over the Compact Disc (especially MP3). Will the general public care about increased dynamic range or 5 channel music?
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    [Edited last by Scott Merryfield on August 26, 2001 at 10:08 AM]
     
  4. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    Its definitely way too early to determine a winner. I presently have the RP-91 and I can say certain DVD-A discs do sound much better than regular CD's. I haven't heard any SACD yet but I hear its very nice.
    To show you how up in the air this question is I'll refer to the last two issues of the absolute sound where throughout the issue one person or the other says clearly DVD-A is the best and the other says clearly SACD is the best and most of these people are highly respected in the super hi-end hifi world and they can't even figure it out.
    Having said that, I am going to buy one of the new multi-channel, multi-disc SACD players soon to see for myself.
    Patrick
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  5. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I have both SACD (2 channel) from a SONY 9000ES and DVD-A from a Panasonic RP-91 in my system. I prefer the SACD sound, even though it's only two channel by a considerable amount. Of course, there is not yet much DVD-A software out there compared to SACD so maybe the "Wow" titles are still to arrive.
    Also, I'm not a big fan of surround sound for music in general, so this probably colors my opinion. On the other hand, I love surround sound for movies.
    The old dude abides.
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  6. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    One other thing about DVD-A for those two channel purists. There are not many (maybe one or two) DVD-A's available with full 24/192 two channel audio. Most are 24/96 surround or 24/96 stereo.
    I happen to have the Jonatha Brooke DVD-A and its 24/176.4 and I must say it does sound pretty good.
    Patrick
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  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I personally don't think of it as SACD "vs" DVD-A.
    Why? Because very soon, "universal players" will be out that play everything: CD/VCD/DVD-V/DVD-A/SACD/CD-R/CD-RW, etc, etc. You won't have to choose. I very much doubt you will ever see software competition, i.e., the same title out on both DVD-A *and* SACD.
    But I keep thinking about this. I find it very hard to believe that someday in the near or even distant future, that I'll only be able to buy the new Britney Spears or Green Day recordings (just examples!) at Kmart in either DVD-A or SACD but not a regular, normal compact disc.
    I think that if either format survives, it will only be as a niche, higher end product, that will never displace CDs themselves. Too many entrenched players for that. And to the average Joe Schmoe on the street, there isn't enough improvement in the sound (or convenience) to switch over (very different from lps to CDs).
    What y'all think?
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  8. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    SACD, even if it were to sound worse than CD or even DVD-A.
    Right now, I can copy CDs for seventeen cents each using a computer like the one all of us own and a $40 CDR writer. In countries with lax copyright enforcement comercial operations should be able to do it even more economically.
    DVDs are being pirated comercially, and the same technology will be applied to DVD-A.
    The same infrastructure for SACD piracy isn't there.
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    >>>>>
    The same infrastructure for SACD piracy isn't there.
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  11. MarkFrab

    MarkFrab Agent

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    I'm thinking that both will survive, but SACD will 'lose' the mass-market war end end up as a niche product.
    DVD-A will win the mass-market war, because it's *already* winning the mass-market war and SACD has been out longer.
    Here is the test: Go to a local home electronics store and count how many SACD players they have, and their costs. Then count DVD-A players. At my local Good Guys, there are 2 SACD players and 7 DVD-A players - and the SACD players are more expensive.
    Almost every new progressive-scan DVD-V player includes DVD-A, and more models are reaching the market every day at lower prices than SACD models. By this time next year, even non-progressive DVD-V players will have DVD-A included.
    People are buying DVD-A capable players without even realizing it. When the industry adds up the numbers and sees people are buying DVD-A players 10 times more often than SACD players... well that'll be the end of the "war".
    Just my opinion,
    Mark
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  12. Tim Campbell

    Tim Campbell Agent

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    What do you think the recordable market has to say in this?
    I trade leagal recorded shows from bands that allow recording. Now and average show takes three discs. WIth dvd recordable you can out two shows on one disc. They dont seem to make sacd recordable.
     
  13. Chris-C

    Chris-C Stunt Coordinator

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    Hopefully-We the consumers will win the War!
    My personal experience (owning both formats)-SACD is the superior format.
    SACD does not rely on PCM coding as does DVDA-therefore a cleaner less processed signal.
    Whether you can hear the difference in a multichannel SACD and DVDA is yet to be blind tested by the reviewers, and i'm sure they're working on it as we speak
    Now with Universal announcing support of SACD-hopefully we'll see more competition between both sides and many more popular titles comming to market.
    I love the sound of multichannel high resolution Remastered music,and I think many others will too once they hear it.
    We're moving forward in a positive direction with these formats, and I hope that both formats can make money,and not be pushed aside by the other.
    One last comment (yea) I read somwhere that these formats force you to actually sit down and experience the sound. Somthing I think many people have gotten away from with CDs.
    I now enjoy having to make the time to relax and shut out the world with these remastered beauties.
    It brings the fun back into audio.
    Gotta go listen to my just arrived (today) DVDA's
    My newest SACD's should also be here soon.
    Regards
    Chris
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  14. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    I've said this before and was flamed for saying so. However, I'll repeat again. [flamesuit=yes]
    I believe that SACD has already "lost" the war, unless they pull a rabbit out of a hat with their new multi-channel push. Despite what many of us may like, the market clearly wants multi-channel, and SACD has until recently refused to recognize this in any meaningful fashion. Hell, people are more than happy to buy DVD-V for music even with just Dolby Digital stereo or 5.1. It's not about technical superiority, but it's about catering to the masses and about money.
    And it's not like the superiority of CD over phono as the great equalizer, when CD was introduced. Both DVD-A and SACD are superior techologies, but its superiority over CD players purchased at Wal-Mart is not going to wow people over. On the other hand, when cheap CD players entered the market, they simply blew away ALL cheap record players. (I remember 15 years ago playing my PORTABLE CD player for my sister and her husband. It was simply the best sound they had ever heard out of their mid-end hifi system.) And similarly, it's not like DVD over VHS either. CD and DVD were almost revolutionary technologies. SACD and DVD-Audio are incremental technologies, with the latter catering more to the masses.
    That said, I don't think that DVD-A has "won" the war either. I believe that CD will remain the dominant technology for a long time, and DVD-A will become a niche product. At best for SACD, it will also become a niche product, but just at much lower penetration than DVD-A.
    P.S. What about licensing issues?
     
  15. Steve_D

    Steve_D Second Unit

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    I'm not going to flame you Eugene, but with the recent announcements by UMG and other large labels to support SACD, I pretty much give the edge to SACD in the format war, since those with the most software wins (ask Apple and Sony's Beta team, although both IBM and VHS played dirty pool, but who in big business doesn't?)
    IMHO, it's still way too early for either side to start planning on the victor's spoils.
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  16. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  17. Jun-Dai Bates

    Jun-Dai Bates Stunt Coordinator

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    In order for anyone to 'win the war', they will have to market DVD-A/SACD together, and aggressively enough to force the consumers into it. If every CD player that came out after 2005 could also play SACD and DVD-A, then there is a chance of becoming a mainstream format (if the media is available and affordable, and even then, they would have to have some popular exclusive releases). Otherwise DVD-A and SACD will only become the laserdiscs of the audio format. The reason that CD's replaced LP's is not just sound quality. The primary reason is convenience: small, track-accessible, 74 minutes of music with no flipping. SACD and DVD-A don't have that over CD. What's worse, most people only have a limited idea of what they are, and probably assume that they are for audiophiles, and they will only buy it if they feel they *have* to (i.e. it's being shoved down their throats). They definitely won't buy it if they think it's going to be replaced in 20 years. And very few people will replace their CD's with the new format.
    It is possible that DVD-A will be successfully shoved down the consumers throats and replace CD, but SACD will be lucky if they even last as a niche product. I'd be willing to bet $50 that within the next five years Sony will be making DVD-A players and discs.
     
  18. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    what does one of these cd'c cost anyway? About 25 bucks?
    i think, for the "general" consumer, cost will be a major factor. right now, with people already complaining about the high cost of cds, i don't see how either format will take off. prices are (in my opinion) definitely going to have to come down.
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  19. Jun-Dai Bates

    Jun-Dai Bates Stunt Coordinator

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    As for piracy on SACD, if there's a market for it, it will happen. If it is difficult, that just means it will take longer, and it can't be expensive (unless you mean it's expensive because they'll have to buy the players).
    The problem is that there probably won't ever be much of a market for it, nor for DVD-A. Most people don't mind the quality loss of CD to mp3, which means that most people probably don't need anything better. The compression that pirated DVD's have is so crappy that it's worse than VHS in most cases. The only reason that people pirate DVDs is the convenience--it's easier than VHS, because you just need a DVD drive, and you don't have to deal with a tape. Pirated DVD will become higher quality at some point maybe, but not until people have a much higher bandwidth and a better way to store 4.7 gigabytes of data for each film (That's about 20 films on a 100 GB hard drive. DVD-R's are still around $40 last I checked. Not really worth it) I really don't think piracy is a threat for DVD (except maybe for the new release rental market), DVD-A, or SACD in the foreseeable future.
     
  20. Chris-C

    Chris-C Stunt Coordinator

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    DVDA's-$14.99-$18.75 at DVD Planet.
    SACD's-$17.99-$29.99 at Elusive Disc.
    CC
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