Pioneer Slams DualDisc-Says Not Compatible!

Discussion in 'Music' started by Lee Scoggins, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Pioneer has issued a "customer advisory" that DualDiscs may not be compatible in any CD or DVD players from Pioneer and can not be recommended at this time until they have a chance to fully test the discs. They also mention that the non-DVD side cannot be called a CD or labeled as such.

    http://www.highfidelityreview.com/ne...umber=10201663



    DualDisc should have got Pioneer's sign-off before the launch. This is embarassing.
     
  2. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Strange that arguably the single most important company in the optial disc marketplace for the last 25 years had not been given the opportunity even to examine the product before its commercial release. I really don't think I would want to put out an optical disc product without Pioneer's active cooperation, much less keeping them informed about it, which the document suggests they were not. On the other hand, even if the company was entirely out of the loop, I'm surprised none of their people would have gone out during the test-market period and bought a few for reference.
    I wonder what's really going on?
     
  3. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    One step closer to 2-disc DualDisc releases. [​IMG]
     
  4. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Lee that (Pioneer's indication that they intend to test more) was already posted here: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=215783

    Christopher, it is very easy to see what's going on. Pioneer had lots of firmware issues on DVD-A with their $150 universal player. I've said it before that I expect in upcoming product manuals that cos. will specify what discs play and what may not play and put some disclaimer in. Do the basic math on what a $150 costs at wholesale (e.g. around $90). So they're not making a ton of money per unit based on manuf. cost. It is an easy out to blame DualDisc for any problem vs. incurring lots of costs for lots of units sold.

    DualDisc is basically an attempt to move the DVD-A format into more mainstream acceptance. The problem is it can't hold as much DVD-A content as a stand alone DVD-A and from what I've seen it appears they've mostly abandoned the real hi-rez stuff and are banking on the general public and not catering to audiophiles. There have been some problems reported, particularly in car players such as http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=215783 and discs not playing in a few home players.

    None of the music software manuf. do extensive testing in any machines. Some of the early Sony stuff had problems reading hybrids and in general the more formats a machine plays, the bigger the possibility of some problems. DVD-A discs can be authored differently and the software manuf. should pay more attention to what the hardware options are. Problem is that the music co. cares about its bottom line and wants to sell discs. Sony Music and Sony Electronics are essentially 2 different businesses as well.

    I wish DualDisc all the success in the world but don't intend to experiment with the well-being of my hardware. My local audio shop usually has (2 or 3) seminars in Jan. and Feb. (last yr. was Linn and Rotel) and I'm hoping that they have cos. that make CD and DVD players this yr. so I can talk to the representatives and get the real story (vs. just what corporate lawyers may influence to limit expenses). At the end of the day, I'm very disappointed in the (hi-rez) path DVD-A has taken with this. The format has such great promise and Warner a wealth of available music. I have 3 systems, one with a universal player (bedroom) and 2 with separate DVD-A and SACD players (basement and reference systems). In a way it makes it easier as I don't really have to think about upgrades for any time soon on the DVD-A hardware front for what will be released from mainstream commerical cos. like Warner. The quality of CD playback I have would probably beat virtually all of the DVD-A machines avaialable playing back the so-called hi-rez on these discs and the few that it might not be would be silly expensive and at best marginally better. A sad day for hi-rez.
     
  5. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    I can't believe that a dual disc could actually break hardware. [​IMG] How poor would the hardware have to be for that to be possible?!?

    Martin.
     
  6. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Martin, hardware is made to get to the market at a price point. It reminds me of a line from the movie "Armageddon" where one the crew is about to blast off says something he does not feel so great about the fact that the thing was put together by governement bids going to the lowest bidder. Hardware has been gotten to the market at that price point and to handle specs of available discs out there. That includes parts on a CD changer or transport where the engineers have designed it for what is out there now, not what may be a bit different, but close. Just like I don't think that Lee's statement is not entirely fair that it is poor effort on the part of DualDisc not to coordinate with manuf. I don't expect DualDisc or Warner to basically tell you that their discs are more than likely over time bound to wear out your basic CD changer more than a regular CD would due to thickness and weight specs and their impact on the transport mechanism. If you see the posts (on the few threads about the subject) I've linked from Audio Asylum, most have shown the stuff plays with current harware, a few things are not reading discs and on rare occasion getting stuck. Well if the thing is not as compatible as a regular CD it's a good chance it does not cause exactly the same wear on hardware on some stuff as a regular CD. For the handful of discs (including rehashes of DVD-As, some of which I already own), and with a huge backlog of other stuff I want to buy, I don't care to be a guinea pig with my hardware. The only thing even announced so far that I might consider would be "Sailing to Philadelphia" which is also coming to SACD in Europe and since I already sprung $30 on an import of Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms" XRCD2 (not available here), it is not a big deal for $30 on one disc to me vs. risking the health of my hardware.
     
  7. Ian_H

    Ian_H Supporting Actor

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    Is DualDisc the same as what was used on Blair Witch 2?

    --Ian
     
  8. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Good question, that's what I'm wondering myself. Having seen that awful movie in the theater I worked at the time, I wasn't anxious to buy it, but I did buy a techno DVD set by Nick Warren that had one dual-layer DVD, then a second disc with a single-layer DVD on one side and audio CD on the other. I've also got a film called "One Big Trip" that's marketed as a compilation album in most stores; it appears to have dual-layer DVD on one side and audio CD on the other. Finally, I've got a single by The Calling that has single-layer DVD on one side and audio CD on the other (accompanied by the official Compact Disc logo on the disc.) My equipment has handled all of these fine, so I'm not sure what additional problems there would be with the ones offically labeled as DualDiscs; I haven't picked any of them up yet.
    Interestingly, some older single-layer DVDs had an audio CD of train sound effects on the label side! I can't tell the name of the manufacturer of these discs, but the numbers stamped on the label side match up. I was able to get one to play on my Playstation 2 but most of my other machines won't read it.
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    After reading all this negative stuff the past couple weeks it was a big relief to read that HFR article where it said that Warner is giving their artists the option of releasing their album on DualDisc or a CD+dvd package.

    I sure hope the other labels do the same.
     
  10. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Not sure who this is embarassing for as the mainstream buying public doesn't really care what pioneer has to say, almost nobody reads Pioneer's tech support website, Pioneer only has a player or two on the market readily available and is not realy a major player, and Dual Disc meets the specs of two existing formats (DVD and CD) so there technically shouldn't be any reason to run the product by Pioneer.

    If anything, I would say this looks like Pioneer has sour grapes of some kind for either a.) having to pay a royalty fee to place Dual Disc logos on their players or b.) not getting a cut of potential profits. Just my speculation of course.

    J
     
  11. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    That's a good one. Let me just ask the question then: when any one of you out there hear the phrase "universal player," what manufacturers come to mind? Pioneer, Denon, and a few others. Pioneer *is* a major player. In fact, they have been the first company to consistently introduce products at reduced price points. The 47A (and Ai), then the 45a, then the 563. And the 59AVi is a very well regarded performer for its price point. Remember, most DD's also/will carry a DVD-A layer. You need a player that is compatible with that format to be able to play it.

    Now, with that being said, I suspect Pioneer is making the statement for legal reasons. Playing a DualDisc once or twice is not the issue. It's many discs over a long time. Those drives are designed with a certain thickness and weight disc in mind. DD's are thicker and heavier. If all of the sudden DD takes over the market tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, Pioneer player drives start to fail, then they can say, "I told you so. Now you have to pay for any warranty work to fix your player."

    If you go through this thread and some others, DualDiscs do *not* meet the specifications for CDs, and in fact cannot legally carry the Compact Disc moniker.
     
  12. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    That's just crazy...how much different is dualdisc from the the ol' flipper DVD's we use to purchase when DVD players first came out ?...They were just two DVD-5 discs stuck together.
     
  13. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Kevin, that's exactly right. With all the resources they invest to get a player to market for a model yr., anything that is an out to avoid costs that hurt the bottom line is something for them to look at. When DVD players 1st came out, drives and the knowledge of what things would do to them over time were not as well known as they are now. Same thing was true of the 1st CD players. Manuf. are designing their DVD players with what is one of the market now and what will suffice to play those discs and still have an acceptable level of quality control and not break within the warranty period and cause them more expenses. This is an unknown medium for them. All Pioneer has said is that they need to look at it further. What they end up putting in product manuals down the road should be interesting.

    It won't shock me if any manuf. blames DualDisc for stuff that isn't fair. Manuf. may decide to simply cut down the warranty period from 2 yrs. to one yr. or whatever vs. piss off the people making the siftware, who knows. I have a Pioneer Elite CD recorder (that is a few yrs. old that I bought factory refurbished at a good deal, $1,200 orig. list for $350). This is what it says in the manual (the dots indicate some things I just skipped.

    "Discs to avoid
    CDs spin at high speeds inside the player during playback and recording. If you can see that a disc is cracked, chipped warped, or otherwise damaged, don't risk using it in your CD recorder or player - you could end up damaging the unit.

    The PDR-19RW is designed for use with conventional fully circular CDs only. ....... Pioneer disclaims all liability arising in connection ..........."

    My Pioneer Elite DV-47A (in the bedroom system) manual lists the discs it is compatible with and the logos associated with those discs. For so-called flippers (double sided discs) it pretty much tells you they need to have the DVD-V logo. For DVD-A it tells you "single sided discs." Dual sided discs are not noted as compatible having DVD-A content. In the back part of the manual it has the same notation on discs to avoid as my Pioneer Elite CD recorder, word for word. The very front of the manual (for both DV-47A and DV-S733A - overseas model) says operating instructions and has the specific logos on the right hand side of what it plays. So they do make a point of it.

    So Kevin's point is right on with what has been done in the past and it should be interesting to see what they modify, if anything, going forward. Now we all know that the 563 had lots of firmware issues. If Pioneer (or some other manuf.) chooses to blame DualDisc, right or wrong, it's going to lead to unhappy customers, some with the hardware manuf. only, some with the software manuf. only and some with both. So hopefully Marc's wish will come true and we can avoid a fiasco that won't do anything positive for HT, audio, hi-rez, music, etc. The music industry is hurting enough on its own and does not need more troubles.
     
  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I'm assuming they don't mean the scattering of dvd-audios that are dual sided dvds--for example the Pet Sounds disc, the Doobie Brothers' The Captain And Me, and I think all of AIX Records' dvd-audios are dual-sided dvds.
     
  15. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Why does the thread title indicate that Pioneer says the DualDiscs are not compatible when the text shows that is not what Pioneer actually said?
     
  16. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Wayne, I think the answer is obvious. Pioneer just said they are going to do more testing. As Kevin and I pointed out, it is just a matter of them coming to what is acceptable limitation for their liability according to what their corporate legal folks say. I can't blame them (or control what they say) as they have a different agenda and a set of profit goals that may not be compatible with any potential DualDisc related issues.

    Lance, I have no idea exactly what they mean. The manual (on page 8) goes format by format to tell you what they regard as compatible. For that area it is labeled "DVD Audio compatibiliy:" then has bullet points that show:

    1 - DVD-A Logos
    2 - "Single sided discs"
    3 - "Single layer or dual layer discs"
    4 - "Linear or packed PCM digital audio"

    etc.

    Under "DVD Video compatibility:" it shows

    1 - DVD-V Logos
    2 - "Single-sided or doubled-sided discs"
    3 - "Single layer or dual layer discs"

    etc.

    So they have made a distinction.
     
  17. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    As near as I can tell, I'm the primary target market for these discs. I was an early adopter for DVD, DVD-A and SACD, and I'm always looking to improve audio quality (and lately video, as well). Or do they think the MP3 downloading, iPod listening public (like my wife and daughter) has been waiting for dual-disc? Had they asked, I'd have told them most assuredly not. If my wife and daughter are any indication -- or, for that matter, if the great trends in music distribution and listening devices for the past decade are any indication - then the mainstream public could not possibly care less.

    But I care about this stuff, and I'm not buying this shit. There's not a single release - or even a whole catalog of releases - that would make me risk ruining some fairly expensive electronics (or, at least, expensive for me). And while I was and remain a hearty advocate for hybrid CD/SACDs and two-disc DVD-A/CD releases, the lack of either was never a deal-breaker for me. I gladly accepted the much improved sound quality and potential for multichannel remixes, even without the redbook capability.

    So, I'll stick with media that's been created to spec and conforms to book standards. As far as I'm concerned, dual disc is dead in the water. Barring further developments clearly establishing that the media is compatible with my hardware, it will forever remain a total non-starter.
     
  18. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Rich, I agree 100% (with eveything you've said and very well said too) and that's what I've said all along. I have nothing against the format. As I noted, I might break down and buy the imported "Sailing to Philadelphia" SACD vs. buying the announced DualDisc. If down the road there are dozens of titles on it that I'd want (assuming the format is even around), I do have an excellent outboard DAC (which I've moved to the basement system and use my Modwright XA-777ES in my main references system) and I might consider using them with some of my older transports (or something very reasonable that is good) due for replacement in the near term. For a handful of titles it is silly to play Russian Roulette with good equipment. I can't imagine long-term use of DualDisc vs. a regular CD or DVD-A having a more positive impact on your equipment (or the software as the DVD side could scratch more easily in slot loaded players and become worthless). It is about a hurting music industry where this is an attempt to help prop up sales and not something that has gone thru the equivalent of FDA-like testing on everyting out there and for long periods as some would have use believe.
     
  19. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Good point Rich. They need to eliminate any doubt of things breaking before anyone will but into a new format. Maybe Marc is right...this may only hasten roll-out of a DVD + CD 2 disc package.
     
  20. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Maybe I am missing the point of Wayne's question, but it would appear to me that the title of the thread hugely overstates Pioneer's statement.

    Pioneer raises questions about the media, and state that it not be used until they finish their tests. Nothing strident or improper about that, but one would have preferred that they launched the inquiry when DD was test marketed (or sooner), rather than now.

    I find it very hard to get "Pioneer Slams Dual Disc - Says Not Compatible" from the text of their announcement.

    I would say Sony's warning discussed in the main DD discussion thread would better fit that sort of thread title, but of course, we know that Sony is not exactly unbiased in their views on DD.

    Now if Pioneer issued a statement saying "Pioneer Slams SACD Hybrids - Says Discs Crack and May Explode in Players" I would be OK with that[​IMG]

    BGL
     

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