Impressions of the new BMG and UNIVERSAL DVD-A's?

Discussion in 'Music' started by David Coleman, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    I'm wondering what peoples impressions are of the discs?

    I only have the Marvin Gaye UNIVERSAL disc! I must say I was less than impressed with the navigation? You can't toggle between stereo and surround mixes. You have to go through the main menu? And what's up with no MLP? The surround mix was a 24 bit sample of a 20 bit mix at 44.1? Curious way to jump out that gate?

    I do wonder if there's any improvement of the subsequent UNI discs?

    As for the BMG I only have the 2 Santana discs and though I won't discuss the quality of the mixes I will say i'm impressed with the product! Two very packed discs with pictures, videos, lyrics, interviews, bonus tracks along with being encoded at 24/96! Way to go BMG!! Best of all you can toggle between stereo and surround with the audio button!

    Curious what the other BMG titles are like?

    Would love to hear your thoughts?

    David
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I have the Marvin Gaye disc and it is so-so. Universal is doing both formats and since SACD is an easy matter to toggle between stereo and multi-channel, I'll probably buy few and far between Universal discs until it is certain which way they are heading. With universal players the norm they should make the committment to go to one format or the other. On 'The Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' thread someone noted that DVD-A is their preference and they will wait fo that release. Fence sitting by Universal is just tying up resources that could put out more hi-res titles vs. duplications. With either people with separate players or universal players, they are not doing either format justice.

    I suspect they could have done a better job with the Marvin Gaye release if they were not committing the resources in the manner they are. Both hi-res formats are niche markets and what we need is more software by name artists at CD-like prices, not duplications.
     
  3. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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  4. Michael St. Clair

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  5. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    No, Michael, you seem to totally miss the point on virtually every post. Universal players on the norm. Right now Pioneer has one for $180 list price. I expect the prices to even drop further. So format is not a problem. Both formats could use more software out there for consumers to choose from, not the same software. I would not say I was disappointed by the Universal SACDs I have as badly as the Marvin Gaye DVD-A but I think they could have done better. I understand that Universal is testing the waters to see what might sell better but in doing so they are taking resources that could be used to get more software out there in a better quality manner and at lower costs by choosing one vs. the other. I have no problem with DVD-A being the choice but do it with quality (I'm sure DTS would be more than happy to issue DTS/DD discs if the cos. want it) and get more software out there. A hybrid can play in a DVD player too (except for certain exceptions where problems have been noted like older Toshibas) and modern receivers have lots of surround features built in so it is a silly argument that Universal is virtually putting guns to someone's head to buy an SACD player if they are a Beck fan with a DVD player. The post in case you missed the point is about hi-res quality, not about compressed DD and DTS mixes. The same would be true in reverse if they only issued a DVD-A. There is not a prohibitve cost out there get a DVD-V player just to hear DD or DTS. My point is I don't care which format they issue, I want it done with quality and the maximum quality as decent pricing. It is not a hi-res fan friendly approach to put out duplicated mid level quality material at best. There is lots of other software out there to buy including CDs, and all they are accomplishing is making people who have format preferences put off purchases waiting for it to be released on the other format (just look at the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road thread). How many DVD-A fans are still waiting for DSOTM (even thought it is EMI). If EMI said they would not issue it except on SACD, there would be more copies sold.
     
  6. Michael St. Clair

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  7. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Phil,

    Becoming acquainted with your key is a good thing as it will dramatically improve your posts readability [​IMG]

    So you've looked at one DVD-A disc from Universal, and it wasn't up to your satisfaction? I have heard (but haven't confirmed) that the Marvin Gaye title used the same digital masters the DTS disc used several years back. So did the Sting Brand New Day and Diana Krall Love Scenes discs.

    Pick up either of the two Diana Krall titles When I Look in Your Eyes or The Look of Love. Much, much better sound quality. So Universal is fully capable of delivering excellent sound quality on DVD-A releases.

    I have DSotM, and if/when it becomes available on DVD-A I will purchase it.

    Cheers,
     
  8. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Felix, a similar thing is true of the Pioneer Elite DV-47A (and stuff like the Marantz 8300 based on the Pioneer) I have in my bedroom system which makes one go into a menu for hybrid to choose between the layer. Most people, unlike me, would probably opt for the surround layer most of time so this is more of a problem with stereo fans. I don't hate surround, it is just not my preference on most things. If the unit was in my main system I would likely leave it set on reading the stereo SACD layer. Similarly a person with preferences for multi-channel would leave it on multi-channel. It someone was closer to 50-50 preference it would certainly be a pain.
     
  9. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    John, have you compared the Diana Krall releases to the SACDs? I like the SACD sound quality but feel they could have been better. I was just talking to my friend who works at the high end shop and we might try some of those comparisons on the Linn Unidisk that does a good job playing both formats. My point is that I have the Diana Krall discs on SACD and not a one disc judgement. I would have no problem if they would only be released on DVD-A.

    Unless I get to hear that one might be better than the other, I would likely just wait for the SACD and enjoy it on my modded XA-777ES. If Universal releases DVD-As, unless it is something I don't have and want that badly, I always have a backlog of software to listen to (got 2 DVD-As in the mail yesterday that are waiting with a few SACD and CDs to be listened to), I prefer to wait. Just do DVD-A and quality or SACD and quality and gives us more hi-res.
     
  10. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Phil,

    Of course I have them on SA-CD. I bought them shortly after they were released.

    Any comparisons on my system are somewhat compromised, as it is heavily skewed towards DVD-Audio.

    SA-CD sounds very good, DVD-Audio sounds better. Given the reported heritage (supposedly hit 24/96K before DSD). If true, that would certainly explain the results. If not, it could be my systems inherent bias towards DVD-Audio.



    Cheers,
     
  11. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  12. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Lee,

    Just go down to the US HQ and hear it for yourself. I seriously blew my budget when I got the 861, but it was so worth it [​IMG]
     
  13. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I certainly hope Uni isn't going to waste time releasing everything in SACD and DVD-A. I'm of your mind Phil.[​IMG]
     
  14. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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  15. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Larry,

    DTS uses DD 2.0 on their DVD-A releases, instead of stereo PCM [​IMG]

    edit
    Clarification, this is for the VIDEO_TS, which provides backwards compatibility for DVD-Video players...

    Cheers,
     
  16. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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    Wow, I'm surprised. I guess I never checked the DVD-V sides of my Queen & Crosby-Nash DVD-As. Now that I think about it, I guess it's because I have never seen DTS used for anything but 5.1, but I figured that their 2.0 tracks would be PCM as to not pay the competition (DD).
     
  17. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Larry my point was simply in response to Michael's notion that someone who has a DVD player and want less than hi-res surround are somehow shut-out with a hybrid SACD. My posts are not about DVD-A vs. SACD. If you want to read silly posts about one format sounding great and the other sounds like it was recorded on a hand held tape recorder in a dirty bathroom then you might want to try over at the Audio Asylum.

    I have things on CD as well that I don't feel the need to duplicate given the high quality CD playback in my system via Modwright's XA-777ES. I borrowed the Norah Jones SACD from someone and while it was an improvement on both the CD layer and SACD layer in my opinion, I did not feel the need to throw my CD in the trash and run out and buy the SACD. I just came back from Best Buy where I picked up Ryan Adams 'Love is Hell pt. 2' for $4.99. I saw 'Rock N Roll' sitting there and I don't feel the need to own it knowing it is coming to SACD per announcements. Knowing Universal's current policy, if 'Rock N Roll' was announced as a DVD-A, with my system and preferences I would likely just wait to see if it comes out on SACD. I'm sure there are people with preferences the other way, and, as I noted one did indicate that in the 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' thread.

    People have preferences and where someone is doing both
    formats will be inclined to wait for many things, with some of those things probably never being bought at all. And while I like the quality on the Diana Krall SACDs, besides not feeling the need to buy the same stuff on DVD-A, the quality of the Marvin Gaye DVD-A and some of the other Universal SACDs I've heard at least leaves me a bit wondering that they must be sacrificing some quality to get them out the door. Yes,I do realize that they generally won't have the same quality as an AIX or Chesky. I am not a huge fan of DTS CDs (I own a couple that I would gladly change for an SACD or DVD-A version) so the quality difference does not surpise me.

    If something like the Beatles back catalog was released, it might make more sense to do it on DVD-A vs. SACD to get stereo, mono and surround in the same manner as 'Pet Sounds.' Believe it or not I actually preferred the surround mix on 'Pet Sounds.' Too often these discussions get too silly with DVD-A vs. SACD. I've passed the phase of needing multiple in different formats. I even have Japanese pressings of DTS 'Die Hard' LDs among various other things. I would just as soon go out and get music and enjoy. I am past the age where my hearing has a chance of improving (and my hair color changing w/o help from Clairol) and my main system is good to the point that I can hardly go into most stores and hear anything in the same league as what I have at home.
     
  18. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    David and I are not the only 2 who have potential issues with the way Universal has put things out the door:

    http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/dv...ages/9234.html

    It concerns me that they may be doing hi-res (both DVD-A and SACD) some damage. Don't be a jack or all trades and a master of none. People already want MP3s and think CDs are over-priced. Don't give another reason to kill off a chance for hi-res by having less than good quality and more duplicates vs. more choice. If DVD-A is what they can do best given their recording equipment and personal then do it. Same goes for SACD.
     
  19. Michael St. Clair

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    (re: the Sheryl Crow DVD-A)

    Wow, Universal has a poorly authored DVD-A or two in their first batch. Must be because they also do SACD, not because they are new to DVD-A. And we all know that publishers that only support one format have never put out any bad discs.

    A shame you guys don't have a time machine so you can go back and set the movie studios straight. Supporting all those formats: VHS, Beta, CED, Laserdisc. They really spread themselves too thin and did a lot of damange to the home video business.
     
  20. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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