difference between players: dvd audio, and dvd

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Whitney B., Nov 7, 2002.

  1. Whitney B.

    Whitney B. Auditioning

    Sep 15, 2002
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    I recently went in to VideoOnly and was looking at their dvd players. Some are labeled for dvd audio. I was told by an employee that only some dvd players with play dvd audio in true 5.1
    I was told that they have separate outs for each channel and a optical or coax can't carry the true discreet signal.
    This doesn't sound right to me. The price is considerably more for these players and I know that my $160 refurbished 3 year old pioneer off of ebay plays dvd audio no problem. And each channel is discreet through either a coax or optical connection.
    can someone please clarify, or just tell me that the employee didn't know what they were talking about?
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Mar 28, 2000
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    Whitney, what you read about DVD-Audio is correct. DVD-Audio is a high-resolution audio format (better than CD) that offers 5.1 surround sound in addition to stereo tracks. You have to have a DVD-Audio player to take advantage of this higher-resolution capability (DVD-Audio players also play CDs and DVD-Video discs). Note, however, that the vast majority of DVD-Audio discs contain either a Dolby Digital or DTS track for playback on a DVD-Video player. These DVD-Video-compatible tracks do not match the resolution of DVD-Audio. You can play a 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS track off a DVD-Audio disc on your DVD-Video player, but you are not observing the high resolution of DVD-Audio. Your DVD-Video player does not have the decoder needed to play DVD-Audio discs.

    DVD-Audio tracks can be played through a DVD-Audio player's digital outputs, but the information is downsampled to either 16/48 or 24/48 (I don't recall which). This means that you are degrading the signal when using a digital output. There are two key reasons for this. The main one is that downsampling represents a form of copy protection by making the full-resolution digital signal unavailable. To further prevent copying of the digital signal, many DVD-Audio discs are "watermarked", meaning that a code is embedded in the digital signal that copying devices cannot decode. Watermarking is optional in the DVD-Audio format, but most, if not all, Warner discs are watermarked. The second reason for downsampling is that pre/pros and receivers lack the decoders necessary for DVD-Audio, though this is another consequence of the copy-protection issue.

    Finally, DVD-Audio players are now available for around $200. Take a look at the Pioneer DV-656A, Toshiba SD-4800, and Panasonic DVD-RP82 and 'CP72.

    I hope this information helps.

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