dvd-audio player?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jason-K, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. Jason-K

    Jason-K Auditioning

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    I have an Onkyo-SP301, which in the manual states that it CAN'T play any dvd-audio disc, but I can play the flaming lips - yoshimi battles dvd-audio 5.1 disc on it. Does this mean I can play any dvd-a disc? How is this possible?
    Jay
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Most all DVD-A discs also have a Dolby Digital layer. Some also have a DTS layer (Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys has 5 layers. 3 DVD-A's-mono-stereo-5.1 and DD and DTS.) Since you must have used an optical or coaxal hook-up cable, you are hearing the DD 5.1 surround layer. If you look at the DVD-A packaging, it will say "this disc plays on all dvd players". This is not hi resolution DVD-A quality but compressed DD. BTW, Flaming Lips is next on my "buy" list.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Just so there is no confusion, a disc can only have 2 layers per side max. Various content may be stored anywhere on the disc. When your player is not DVD-A capable, it will see the DVD-V portion of the disc and play that instead, which is what you are hearing and/or seeing.
     
  4. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Personally, I have NEVER seen a dvd-audio without Dolby Digital and/or DTS tracks on it. IIRC I think it's actually a mandatory feature of that format.

    Just a point of information:

    The Dvd-Audio Council recently approved the optional use of the AAC (compressed) audio format for the dvd-rom portion (also an optional feature) of a dvd-audio disc. Read more about this here.

    In another story on that site it says a Danish group just released a dvd-audio that even comes with MP3 tracks.

    LJ
     
  5. Jason-K

    Jason-K Auditioning

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    Thanks for the info, and if Im understanding this correctly, although I can hear the DD 5.1 sound (by the disc playing it through the dvd-video layer), if I play the same disc on a "true" dvd-audio player (and the disc is read from the dvd-audio layer), the sound would be better?

    if this is true, WOW! I thought the sounds sounded great already.

    Gene- the lips in 5.1 is hypnotic! Great stuff.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Jason-K: the next paragraph will probably reveal myself to be more of an audio hobbyist than a true audiophile. [​IMG]

    To me the dvd-audio tracks--compared to the DD and DTS tracks--usually have slightly smoother high frequencies and fuller/richer midrange frequencies. Bass effects sound pretty much the same to me. One interesting advantage of the high resolution tracks: reverb effects (or reverb "tails" as some professionals call them) usually last a little longer, because hi-res is better at capturing very delicate sonic details such as these.

    BUT all the above depends heavily on the quality of your playback system. Personally speaking I have heard all these improvements on my Technics/Pioneer player/Boston Acoustics system (total cost of these: $975 for the stereo-listening portion) but none of them jumped out at me or forced me to change my boxers afterwards. [​IMG] They were subtle & I was consciously listening for them. And as I have mentioned here before, on my system the DTS tracks sounded nearly indentical to the dvd-audio tracks. IMO, the Dolby Digital tracks usually have a slightly softer and slightly less "focused" sound than the hi-res tracks but still sound good.

    Also, playing a dvd-audio on a dvd-audio player sometimes lets you access certain features not available on the dvd-video layer, like synchronized lyric pages or the ability to switch to a track menu or a photo gallery while the music continues to play. And on all of the dvd-video players I have used when playing a dvd-audio, the track scan function won't work; i.e. you can only jump to a whole other track which is kind of irritating (if you own any Yes albums you will know what I'm talking about!).

    LJ
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I haven't either, but wasn't sure. I usually prefer DTS over DD if I notice any difference at all. The actual DTS discs (non DVD-A) are even better than the DTS/DD parts of DVD-A to me. Did that make sense? [​IMG]
     
  8. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Although it is the prevailing practice, according to my quite reliable sources the inclusion of DD/DTS is not mandatory. It is highly recommended.

    It's also common sense to include them [​IMG]

    Cheers,
     

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