SaCD and DVD-Audio Universal Player

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ken Custodio, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. Ken Custodio

    Ken Custodio Second Unit

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    I have been looking to buy a DVD-Audio and SaCD Combo player for awhile now, but I have come to the conclusion....why do I want this type of player? I have been looking at the available selection libraries of SaCD and DVD-Audio and there is very little I would buy in either format. It also doesn't seem like the two formats are gaining public interest, I know in the HT/Hifi commmunity it is very popular because of the formats superiority, but if you ask someone on the street I doubt many would know that these formats existed, and they have been out for a relativly long period of time now.

    I am just concerned that these formats might become like the Mini-Disc systems.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Ken, I'm trying to find a question in your post, but I'm not sure there is one. If there is no music in either high-resolution format that interests you or not enough for you to justify the purchase of a new player, then I think you have answered any questions you might have had about your need for either or both formats.
     
  3. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Ken,

    Not to worry. Hirez dual/multi-channel music will FOR SURE kill off CDs in the long run. The major problem at present (and the reason for lack of content) centers on the digital interface to the processor (receiver or pre/pro). This situation is due to copy protection concerns - the artists and RIAA don't want another Napster with hirez audio. Once they and the manufacturers agree on a secure digital interface, we'll be off to the races. My best estimate is summer/fall 2003. Sit tight until then. Good luck.

    Austin
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Austin said:

     
  5. Ken Custodio

    Ken Custodio Second Unit

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    I didn't particularly have a question, just wanted to start a discussion on if you thought SaCD and DVD-audio would ever catch on. Plus I figured out what good is buying a $1000+ dvd-a and sacd player if there is very little I would listen to in that format.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Ken said:

     
  7. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Keith,

    It's not what the "music buyer" wants, it's what the music PRODUCER wants. He wants you to rebuy the same content over and over and over again. 45s, LPs, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs, DVD-Audio, SACD. That's where I get my confidence. When there's money to be made, we (the consumer) will get the technology for free as long as we stand in line for yet another repurchase of our content collections. Do a little math exercise - compare the cost of your "main" player to the cost of the content you own that it can play (probably CDs at this point). Once you get these numbers in hand, you can figure out where we're going. I'll give you a hand with the math - $300 player - $3000 content. Same deal with hirez - get your next 3 grand ready, Keith.

    Austin

     
  8. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Austin- If that was true all the time, then we'd all have Elcassets, MDs, DCC, DAT, you get my drift. [​IMG]
    For Joe Schmoe who's just as happy listening to a crappy MP3 as a CD, DVD-A and SACD will never ever be more than niche products for those very small percentage of us that really do appreciate good sound quality.
    There just isn't enough of a difference to the average person (unlike the extreme convenience CD had over the lp) for either SACD or DVD-A to displace the venerable CD.
    And let me leave you with this video related thought: when is everyone going to go out and buy D-Theater? An admittedly higher resolution video format than DVD, giving the movie studios another chance to sell us yet another movie format after VHS and DVD. Ain't going to happen my friend! Tape is a step backwards no matter what the execs want to sell us... [​IMG]
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Austin, a lot of formats have been thrown at consumers that have failed or have not made a major impact. These include DAT, DCC, and minidisc. Just because a format is offered and the backers want us to buy it, we should not assume that it will become the next standard format. The CD is ubiquitous. Everyone has CD players at home, in their cars, and installed in their computers. Many people have portable CD players. Replacing the CD is not a trivial undertaking.

    When the CD came around in 1982, many people desired something more convenient and robust than the LP and cassette. Note that I am saying nothing about relative sound quality. LPs obviously are not portable, plus they get scratched from routine use. Many people also do not like the pops and clicks associated with LPs or the constant cleaning of LPs that is required. Turntables require a fair amount of maintenance that the average listener doesn't want to deal with. Cassettes wear out, and finding a particular song in the middle of a cassette is difficult. So, the CD offered definite advantages over the LP and cassette. SACD and DVD-Audio clearly do not offer advantages over CD in terms of convenience.

    It is easy to say that the record labels could put an end to piracy and will the new formats on us by ceasing the production of CDs. However, there are still a mindboggling number of CDs "in circulation", so piracy might never stop. (Of course, people could find a way around copy protection on SACDs and DVD-Audio discs if they really wanted to anyway. I don't want to delve deep into that subject.) Furthermore, since everyone has CD players and CDs (and MP3s), you can't expect that everyone will drop everything and immediately buy an SACD or DVD-Audio player if the production of CDs were to stop. It's just not that simple. People play CDs and want CDs. The record labels know this and will continue to produce CDs.
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Kevin, in our lists of formats that never made the impact desired by the execs., we forgot the all-time biggest disaster -- DIVX. Granted DIVX was not an audio format, but what a mess. In Field of Dreams, the line went, "If you build it, he will come." In terms of formats, the phrase that applies is, "If you offer it, they might revolt." [​IMG]
     
  11. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin,

    The video thought is HD-DVD. It'll be the 800-lb gorilla of video. I'm guessing 2004. D-Theater is a stop-gap to sucker the gotta-haves - I agree it'll never go mainstream.

    Austin

     
  12. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Great post, Keith.

    I would point out that the formats that have previously attempted to dethrone CD were deficient in either or both consumer and producer requirements. Without getting into a long drawn-out discussion of historic why's and wherefore's, the formats you and Kevin mentioned were doomed from the get-go due to technical and marketing issues.

    The fact remains that content producers have a compelling incentive to have us rebuy their content in a different format. The hirez DVD/SACD discs seem to fit the bill nicely. Multi-channel music dovetailing with the rise of HT, 2-ch hirez for the purists (Check out Audio Asylum for conversion stats) and copy protection to boot. It's a winner all around.

    The ONLY thing keeping this rocket on the ground is the RIAA/CEIA logjam on digital interconnection from player to processor. Think for a minute. A hirez player with no audio circuits but just a fiber or coax to your receiver/pre-pro. You get full bass management and the player's a hundred bucks. Oh, by the way, it does CDs, MP3, etc, etc. You can listen in glorious stereo or full 5.1 - your choice. They'll get the digital figured out forthwith, belive me. Then, they'll sell millions of players and you and I will be in a long line to rebuy our collections. Keep your eyes open in 2003.

    Austin

     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Austin said:

     
  14. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Real Name:
    Lee
     
  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Sorry, Lee. I had to do it. [​IMG]
     
  16. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Long live DIVX! [​IMG]
    (Couldn't resist.)
    Hey, for people who actually bought these, can they play them now?
    And how about BetaMax? A better quality format than VHS, but Sony tried to keep it all to themselves. Hmmm... Sound familiar?
    Austin- But what about what the consumer wants, and is willing to pay for? Is Joe/Mary Schmoe happy enough with his CDs and remastered CD collection that for him/her, there's just not enough of a benefit to upgrade to SACD/DVD-A?
    Even a person such as moi, who has a many hundred CD collection, and who thinks he appreciates good quality sound reproduction (analog rules...), I will only go out and buy DVD-A/SACD's for, 1) my favorite bands, and/if, 2) there's a somewhat of a proven benefit over the CD. I already did this once with lps to CDs, and even today, some of my vinyl simply was never released on CD....
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Kevin, I wonder how much DIVX discs go for on eBay now. I'm sure they are huge sellers. [​IMG]
    Betamax is a good example. Obviously poor marketing has a lot to do with the success or failure of a format. Technical merit means nothing if the word doesn't get around.
     
  18. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    It is not a fact that Betamax was better than VHS. Many would disagree with that. But that's a whole other issue...

    Ken, as others have said, if you're not going to buy the discs, then don't buy the player. It's a matter of simple common sense.

    Why are the high-rez formats worth it? Hearing Mahler's pomp and bombast surround me in a wash of brilliant and confusing sound; about 10 Miles Davis albums, some famous (Kind of Blue, Sketches of Spain) and some obscure (Black Beauty, Quiet Nights), presented in a clarity hitherto unheard; Beethoven's 6th mixed in three very different ways, all beautiful; Geoff Tate's voice sounding like he's right there in my living room; etc and so forth.

    I never regret a penny I spent. Well, except when the bill comes.
     
  19. AustinKW

    AustinKW Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Kevin,

    The Schmoes will do just what they did the last time around. Adopt the new format(s) by osmosis over a long period of time.

    I see SACD as augmenting (and only VERY slowly replacing) the standard CD in the marketplace. As hybrid SACDs become more widely available, those with SACD playback equipment will have a choice to make. Buy the newest
     
  20. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Austin- OK, I see your jist.

    I guess I *would* lump DVD-A in with SACD though, simply because if the osmosis does occur, most newly released players in a few years will all be universal players. The capability will be there whether people want to take advantage of it or not.
     

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