Financial Times short article on SACD and DVD-A

Discussion in 'Music' started by Phil A, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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  2. Jesse Lawson

    Jesse Lawson Agent

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    I actually haven't invested in either of these technologies, but I don't really understand why SACD would win out, since as far as I know it doesn't have capabilities for video and so on, it's just straight audio. It has the advantage that you can put CD and SACD layers on one side of a disc, but that seems to be about it. Has SACD simply been better marketed (with the Dylan and Stones reissues, for example)? Does it have higher resolution than DVD-A? Any thoughts?
     
  3. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Jesse, I don't control what gets released on what format so I have both. I have a universal player in the bedroom and separate SACD and DVD-A players in the main system and at the moment have an extra DVD-A player I'm saving for the basement which hopefully will get done within several mos.

    I think the mastering process is more important than which format it comes out on. Theoretical arguments on this board get a little out-of-hand and silly. Universal players should become the norm and hopefully at cheaper prices and someone can just buy the software they like. Personally, I don't understand why someone thinks video is important on a DVD-A. I rarely watch many of the extras on either a DVD-V or DVD-A. I'd much rather have a Superbit DVD-V with optimized picture and sound quality than other stuff I could get from the web from sites like www.imdb.com or www.allmusic.com among many others. If I want a music video, I will buy a DVD-V and enjoy it in DD or DTS along with a video. It has got to take moer time to put the video stuff on a disc vs. audio and I'd rather have more high quality audio releases and if I decide to opt for a concert video, I can get one too. If I am buying something for music sound quality that is all I care about. In many cases navigation between the multi-channel and stereo hi-res layers is much easier on SACD due to a combination of hardware and software factors. I personally prefer probably 85% of the things out there in stereo vs. multi-channel.
     
  4. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    In a word, Yes! There have been more classic albums released including the high profile Stones and Dylan series. Perhaps even more important has been the strong focus on the audiophile market and early acceptance from more independent and audiophile labels.

    The SACD team could of course do more like movie theater demos but there is some momentum.

    Both formats done well sound very good. We just need Warner to get busy and open the vaults to more hirez releases...Van Morrison please. [​IMG]
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    The format with the most industry push will win. Though SACD is doing bubkus, that is still more than DVD-A's diddly-squat.

    And I totally agree with Phil A. Bonus, schmonus. Just give me my music/movie in the highest quality possible and with backwards compatibility where applicable.
     
  6. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Amen.
     
  7. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    While this looks like it may become the trend, especially with the proliferation of Universal chipsets, inexpensive Universal players are not exactly flaying to market. Outside of Pioneer, the only other affordable Universal was the Apex model which was essentially dead on arrival. 2004 should be an interesting year, especially from the hardware side.

    J
     
  8. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    But don't forget that the people who are most concerned with quality reproduction are most likely into classical music (or maybe jazz) and therefore unlikely to be all that concerned with pictures to go with the music. Opera of course is different but there's always DVD-V for that. People into pop/rock are happy for the most part with iPods et al. SACD has the headlock on the classical music library.
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Yes, where ARE all these cheap universal players I keep reading about? And I mean in the $125-200 range that Regular Joes wouldn't be scared away from.

    I wonder how the testing is going for the hybrid "DVDplus" (flipper) format? That's what I've been reading about, but jeez how long does it take to shove a disc into a slot and then push the eject button to make sure it comes out???

    Though it's "old", I still really want to hear The Cars self-titled & sonically-good debut album in surround form (I wonder what they will do for the song "Moving In Stereo"? [​IMG] ).

    LJ
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    DVD-A versus SA-CD ain't no tie, but maybe a stalemate? [​IMG]
     
  11. Jesse Lawson

    Jesse Lawson Agent

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    Thanks for your replies. There are probably a number of threads about it already, but up until now I'd only looked at the film review threads on this site.

    I wouldn't go so far as to call myself an audiophile, having little knowledge of the technical side of things, but I appreciate good sound at least to some extent (remasters versus older CDs, for example). I'm aware that there are universal players such as the Pioneer one, but I'm not entirely sure whether I would hear the difference between CDs and hi-res formats. Surround sound isn't that important at this stage simply because I don't have it (maybe someday...).

    But I'm curious about these formats because I wouldn't be surprised if, with downloading becoming more and more prevalent, standard CDs start falling by the wayside, such that those who want to buy albums as physical objects will want higher resolution (while analog purists and artwork lovers will want vinyl). I really value the album as a material item and wouldn't be surprised if this means I'll eventually have to acquire the hardware for (one or both of) these formats.

    As far as the video content goes, with pop it would seem to make sense to include contemporary promotional videos, interviews, concert footage and so on, but I suppose if the artists/labels wanted to put all these in one package, they could just do a separate DVD (or make it some kind of flipper), and then you'd still have the higher resolution.
     
  12. Brian+H

    Brian+H Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't see how dvd-a survives in the consumer marketplace if Warner drops support for it.

    I think sacd has taken Europe, and the suits are seeing that. Sales for dvd-a are non-existant to them.
    Sales of sacd's maybe show it has potential.

    I think you'd be crazy if you were part of a label struggling to stay above water to embrace a seemingly dead format like dvd-a. Sacd isn't doing much better, but it is doing a little better, plus musicians, and engineers for the most part tend to prefer sacd.
    Not that that matters to suits though lol.

    Sacd simply has more money-making potential at the moment.
    It IS selling better than dvd-a.
     
  13. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Brian, think like a suit. SA-CD has less digital copying potential at the moment.[​IMG]
     
  14. ElevSkyMovie

    ElevSkyMovie Supporting Actor

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    Rachel,

    dvd-video is easy to copy. Dvd-audio is impossible at the moment, and I suspect will be for quite a while longer. Since no dvd-rom drive will recogize an SACD, you are correct about the it being fairly safe from being copied. [​IMG]
     
  15. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Lance, besides the Pioneer 563 at $180 list, Toshiba with be coming out with a $180 list universal player in June.
     
  16. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    SACD has taken much of Asia as well.
     
  17. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Brian+H said:


    (my emphasis)

    Brian: you have written this before--where did you hear this? I don't claim to have read every pro audio forum or magazine available, but as far as pros preferring sacd, I almost NEVER see them discussing it and when they do, most are usually asking what sacd/DSD is all about, and what advantages it has over PCM. I have seen very, very few engineers state a preference though there may be a good reason for this: because they usually work for others, I don't think most would state a strong preference for PCM or DSD for fear of offending potential clients.

    Some people have made a few snide comments concerning the fact that dvd-audio will simply turn into a format for independent musicians or very small labels, since it is affordable to adopt and the majority of studio recording/processing equipment is PCM-based just like dvd-audio is. I don't know about others here, but if you haven't noticed, the major labels seem to have no clue what good music is anymore, so deriding independent musicians/labels efforts is rather ignorant IMO. Most of my music purchases the last two years have been from such labels, so this is not just a theory.

    And as far as other parts of the world choosing sacd over dvd-audio: from what I have personally seen Sony exerts a very powerful influence in Asia, so it is no surprise it is "popular" there. Philips is big in Europe.....so, the same story applies. So in other words, these format popularity observations based on geographic location mean little in the big picture.

    LJ
     
  18. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Also: if needed, a dvd-audio can be authored with no video or on-screen menus and be made to operate like a CD.

    I only mention this because sacd fans seem to bring up the dvd-audio user interface whenever they are comparing the two formats. Since the format is still so new--to consumers and the pros--I think the labels are still trying to figure out what features are liked by us consumers. Hopefully they are realizing that many people favor "simpler is better". [​IMG] But it's only through forums like these, email or letters that they will learn this--as far as I know, the authoring people don't have long distance telepathy abilities.

    LJ
     
  19. Brian+H

    Brian+H Stunt Coordinator

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    Lance, I've actually talked to a couple engineers/producers who are relatively non-biased and very experienced, and to them there's no question that dsd has got the industry talking. I've read a few interviews of engineers/producers who were part of past sacd re-issue projects, and one by one they are starting to believe in dsd.
    As far as musicians, go, IMO they are the most important, because they choose where to have their projects done.
    Somewhere I heard that Neil Young actually favored sacd, but because he's on Warner, you know the rest.
    And of course there's the Keith Richards, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, and many more.

    Most engineers indeed can't publicly state a preference for obvious reasons, but underneath that, people know.

    Well it really doesn't matter that major labels don't know what good music is anymore (I agree they don't)
    what matters is, if they're going to support either of them, which one has the potential to make more money.
    That's what they care about. Plus I think the hybrid dvd-a project probably isn't doing that well in testing phase right now.

    A company can spend all it wants to promote a new format.
    That really doesn't matter in the end, because people know what they like. A movie studio can promote a movie constantly, if people who see it say it's terrible, the promotions won't mean squat.
    People around the world actually like how sacd sounds more than dvd-a. That's just the way it goes overall.
    PLus add into that, the terrible useability of dvd-a.

    If the rumors are true that Warner is dropping dvd-a support, I think they will have finally realised all of that.
    People tend to like the overall sound of sacd, but are wanting newer titles badly.
    I hope labels hear that.
     
  20. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I bet Lance feels like a fortune teller right about now.

    J
     

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