Do all DVD-A discs include a 2-channel track?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Rivera, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. Mike Rivera

    Mike Rivera Agent

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    I'm sorry if this is a very basic question but I just bought a Sony '555 SACD player/changer and I love it with both CDs and SACDs.

    I only use it in my 2-channel system as I don't like to have to go into my home theater to listen to music (only movies).

    I was wondering if all DVD-A discs hae 2-channel capability as I'm now thinking of also adding a player to my 2-channel system.

    Thanks in advance.

    - Mike
     
  2. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    The answer to your question is no. Most Warner releases have a stereo track (only a few do not, Natalie Mechant Tigerlily and ELP Brain Salad Surgery are all that come to the top of my head), and they have said there will be stereo releases on all future releases if I am not mistaken. DVD-A put out by DTS also contain stereo tracks from what I have seen.

    The opposite is true for Silverline, where the majority of their titles are 5.1 only due to their licensing agreement. Silverline discs are not the greatest quality so these disc probably should be avoided unless you are a die hard fan of a particular musician. I also have a disc put out by Denon ([/i]Basie Swings[/i]) which is multi-channel only as well, but Denon is not exactly a big player in DVD-A releases.

    To make a generalization, I would say the majority of DVD-A titles have stereo tracks, and if you stick with Warner releases you will always get a stereo track except in the two cases mentioned earlier in this post.

    J
     
  3. Mike Rivera

    Mike Rivera Agent

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    Thanks for the info Justin,

    If this is the case, are there DVD-A players that will convert the multi-channel signal to 2-channel?

    I know my standard DVD player will, but then I'm not getting the higher-res (DVD-A) sound, only the Dolby mix converted to stereo. I'd like the DVD-A mix converted to stereo.

    Am I making sense or am I completely confused?

    Thanks.

    - Mike
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Mike, from what I've seen, DVD-A discs without the two channel mix can be downconverted to 2-channel. From the way my Panasonic acts I suspect to be standard. On discs where both mixes are available, the LCD will display "No Downmix Availabe". When there isn't a stereo track, I can tell the dvd player to downmix.
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    The Barenaked Ladies "Maroon" disc is 5.1 channel only and does not allow for downmixing to stereo. Therefore it is possible that this configuration exists. I suspect that it is rare.
     
  6. Mike Rivera

    Mike Rivera Agent

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    So, in other words, if you don't have a multi-channel setup in your audio system, DVD-A is a useless format (if the individual disc is not mixed for stereo.) Basically, you'll get a lower-resolution "down-mixed" version of the music.

    I can't believe the DVD-A "powers-that-be" left out us 2-channel music lovers, possibly unable to use the hi-resolution mix in the DVD-A format. Not everybody wants to listen to music in multi-channel mode or from their home-theater setups.

    I would assume I'm not alone in that some of us still have high-quality "stereo" systems for music.

    - Mike
     
  7. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Mike, not being able to have the 2-channel mix is very, very rare, as has been mentioned. Only one disc has been mentioned in this thread that does not provide you with some sort of 2-channel mix. I doubt there will be many of those.
     
  8. Mike Rivera

    Mike Rivera Agent

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    Hi Keith:

    But aren't there quite few DVD-A's without a hi-resolution 2-channel mix.

    I understand that there may be only a few discs that "cannot" be down-converted or downmixed to 2-channel, but doesn't all downmixing provide a lower-resoluton mix?

    If there is no 2-channel mix on the disc, won't I be getting the same sound as playing the disc through a regular DVD player, basically getting no advantage of the DVD-A format?

    Again, I'm sorry if I sound ignorant, but I'm really trying to understand the format.

    - Mike
     
  9. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    It downmixes the hires multi-channel track to stereo. I don't know for certain if that means it loses anything in the process or not. But its still the hi-res source you are hearing. You'll lose the accuracy of what the sound engineer meant for you to hear because its going through an automated process to merge all five channels into two.

    Now when you put it in a regular DVD player you're not getting a downmix, you are getting the DD or DTS track, and with that there is a huge difference. DVD-A discs include a DVD-Video section that contains DD or DTS to remain compliant with non DVD-A players. This is not the same as the downmix performed by a DVD-A player to take a multi-channel disc to 2-channel.
     
  10. Mike Rivera

    Mike Rivera Agent

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    Great - now I understand.

    Thanks so much. Based on your info, I think I may still add a DVD-A player to my stereo. (I hope is sounds as good as SACD.)

    I thought the DVD-A 2-channel downmix was the same as the mix from playing it in a standard DVD player.

    Thanks for you patience with me.

    - Mike
     
  11. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Well this is another case where there are too many terms and too many variations to try and understand what anybody really means. The DVD-A and SACD people really need to get their acts together on this.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Mike, I have a DVD-Audio player that is split between surround-sound and stereo systems. I only play DVD-Audio discs with discrete stereo tracks in the stereo system because downmixing never sounds right to me.
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Mike,

    There are also a few 96/24 DAD discs that you should consider. These were released under the labels Chesky (sp?) and Classic Recordings. They conform to the DVD-Video spec, which includes the ability to support PCM at 96/24 in stereo. These sound amazing in any DVD-V player that has a half decent DAC. I have four of these discs and while they don't carry the "DVD-A" spec they are worth seeking out.
     

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