SACD,DVD-A DEAD due to analogue outs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Randy G, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    My humble opinion is yes. At best, these formats will be a very small niche product unless these goofs provide a straight digital path.
    Even then, I'll note that I just attended a local audio society meeting where a *VERY* prominent, trusted and highly respected audio writer was not surprised at all to hear another member's testimony that when that member calibrated for equal volume between a regular CD and a SACD, the bass was LOUDER on the SACD.....That ain't supposed to happen! Do you think the SACD was mixed that way to give the impression of higher quality?????? :^)
    Donning flame-retardant suit.
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  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    What's so magical about a digital cable? The bandwidth is such that an entirely new digital connection would have to be developed for this. Everyone would have to buy new receivers and decoders to accomodate the new digital formats.
    I keep reading that people think that DVD-A and SACD should have a digital connection... I can't figure out what the fuck for??? [​IMG]
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  3. Steve T

    Steve T Stunt Coordinator

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    More important than digital vs. analog output, or even formats for that matter, is the quality of recording/mastering. One of the best recordings I have ever heard is Keith Jarrett's "Live at Open Theater East". This is a concert DVD that contains a PCM and Dolby Digital audio track, and the PCM track sounds better than any SACD or DVD-A disc I have ever heard. Whether you play it back via the analog or digital outputs of the DVD player, it sounds phenomenal.
     
  4. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    you know that alot of people that jumped into DVD early on had external decoders to process the DD signal. receivers now are 5.1 SACD-ready or DVD-A ready...it's no different from older DD-ready receivers.
    your claim is like saying that CD players with internal DACs are pointless. it doesnt matter which component does the decoding, so long as it does a good job.
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  5. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    I think Steve has hit it on the head when you talk about the relative qualities of SACD vs. DVD-A. You have to look at what the original source was recorded with. If it was recorded with 24/96 PCM then how could it possibly sound better in SACD's DSD form than a DVD-A with 24/96LPCM?
    And vice versa with recordings recorded with DSD.
    And, getting back to the original post, I'm not one who is clammering for a digital out at this point as long as I have a good analogue pass through on my receiver/pre/pro.
    Patrick
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  6. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I agree with Philip. Connecting SACD or DVD-A via analog cables is no big deal. In fact, that's how it was for CD, lp, tuners, etc, for years!
    As far as the bass between CD and DVD-A, I don't suppose that it could be verified that it was the same identical *master* of the recording? I thought not. [​IMG]
    Now, me, myself, and I, actually agree with you Randy on 1 thing: DVD-A and SACD will *always* remain niche products.
    Will I ever go to KMart and only have the choise of the latest Britney Spears recording on DVD-A or SACD, but not CD? I don't think so.
    Do you you that Led Zeppelin will remaster their entire catalog *again* for DVD-A or SACD? Now that might happen, but me, myself, and I, refuse to buy yet another remaster when I'm happy with what I have.
    (Maybe a 5th version of The Who Live at Leeds?? Sure, as long as there's money to be made by Jon Astley and Pete Townshend.)
    And if a lot of people are happy with the worse sound quality of MP3 because of the convenience, do you think they will go the other way to DVD-A or SACD? Naagh.
    And multi-channel for music? Maybe, but I don't think the world will go that way. Stereo has been around for 50 years or so, and I don't think "stereo" will be usurped that easily.
    Anyway, none of this is going to happen until you can buy a $100 - $200 DVD-A or SACD player anyway. That's when CD players really took off. Got to have universal players anyway, or both may die. (Split resources.)
    So, niche market is my only conclusion.
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  8. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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  9. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    Brian and Kevin,
    You've BOTH hit the nail on the head, and believe it or not, Joe and Jane Average consider those extra cables a wee pain in the arse.
    Now add to this the format war between the two "high resolution" camps, and the money that is draining from both camps coffers trying to support it, and you'll quickly come to the realization that even IF one of the two formats wins, it'll still be a longshot at best as to their ultimate survivability.
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  10. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  11. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    >>Joe and Jane Average don't even know what SACD and DVD-A are
     
  12. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to agree those that believe SACD and DVD-Audio will be relegated to "niche" status.
    DVD survived because it's compact and doesn't require you rewind and it can hold an entire 4-hour movie on ONE SIDE of a disc. That, and it took advantage of all these rear projection TVs in people's homes and those looking for a home. As for sound, most people have no idea how to tell the difference between any of the digital formats the way they can spot superior visual resolution.
    If we took a poll, we would find out that people are likely to own a high quality television than a high quality sound system. Let's not forget that Bose is the best-selling brand of speakers. And if you're listening to your music and movies on Bose speakers or the like, anything beyond CD-quality is overkill.
    In addition, the fact that discs hold only 74 minutes of audio will NOT help the format. CDs are expensive enough as it is. That's why Napster was the bomb while it worked. Who's gonna spend more on discs that are incompatible with their current players, present no audible advantage unless you have at least a mid-fi system, and hold the same anemic 74-80 minutes of audio that you connect via SIX WIRES--with no current bass management and guarantee of 5.1 sound--to your receiver?
    DTS CDs were supposed to be the shiet, but we all know how hard it is to get your hands on a DTS disc without going online to buy one. Unless the manufacturers devote their resources to making universal players with bass management built-in, DVD-A and SACD will never gain acceptance.
    Peace, and happy listening.
     
  13. Phuong

    Phuong Stunt Coordinator

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    DVDs also survived because they had a HUGE installed base in personal computers. DVD-ROMs have not taken-off, but many people have used their computers to watch DVDs.
    Though I have no statistics to back this claim up, I'm pretty sure the porn industry has had a significant, but underacknowledged (for obvious reasons) impact on the sustenance of DVDs in the early years and even now.
    CDs have a huge installed base that includes not only home players, but computers, car stereos, cheap-ass radios, and portable players. CDs can also be copied, edited, mixed, and downconverted to other formats. The portable player market has headed towards miniaturization (in the hardware, software, and data size), a move wholly incompatible with the project of DVD-A and SACD.
    These two new formats are insignificant to the musical enjoyment of those who use car stereos, computers, cheap-ass radios, and portable players with headphones to listen to music. Plus there's no exploitable market for audio-only porn. :^ ) There are instead connoisseurs who might want to buy Miles Davis' KIND OF BLUE on SACD and hear every pop and hiss in its purest manifestation. Not to disparage the two formats. If I had a 10k sound system, I wouldn't mind doing an ABC comparison between CDs and the other 2. But other than demos, I don't think spending 50% more on discs whose contents I probably already own on CD will help me enjoy the music that much better.
    Just my two cents.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Using the analog outputs for multi-channel audio may not be convenient, but the sound is well worth it. I have a DVD-Audio player (Technics DVD-A10) and a multi-channel SACD player (Sony SCD-C555ES), and both formats are excellent. In my opinion, both are worth the minor inconvenience of having to run six analog cables. To me, it is a minor inconvenience. Now that I have experienced multi-channel DVD-Audio and SACD, I would rather put up with six cables than not have the formats in my home. The music is the point, and I will not deprive myself of great-sounding music waiting to run fewer cables.
    If you get a DVD-Audio or SACD player with digital output of high-resolution audio, what are you going to connect it to?
    Two more points. Even if you are not happy with using the 5.1-channel outputs on a multi-channel SACD player, get one of Sony's players (e.g., the SCD-C222ES or the aforementioned 'C555ES). Sony's ES SACD players double as great CD players for the price. Also, with regards to using the analog outputs for SACD, Sony is using state-of-the-art DAC technology and quality analog outputs stages, so you are getting a great player with any model you choose. Don't worry about it, and enjoy the (high-quality) music with SACD. [​IMG]
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  15. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    I'm glad that you're happy with these new formats KeithH, but after listening to them a few times at my dealer/friend's salon, I didn't think they sounded any better than regular CDs. And the albeit scant anecdotal evidence from the local Audio Society members suggests that the industry MAY be mixing these "high-resolution" formats differently from CDs so that consumers "can tell" there's a difference. Not good.....
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  16. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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  17. Greg Cellini

    Greg Cellini Agent

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    Phil wrote:
    "What's so magical about a digital cable? The bandwidth is such that an entirely new digital connection would have to be developed for this. Everyone would have to buy new receivers and decoders to accomodate the new digital formats.
    I keep reading that people think that DVD-A and SACD should have a digital connection... I can't figure out what the fuck for???"
    Hi Phil,
    A SACD/DVD-A digital out would allow us to reap the same benefits that we currently enjoy with DVD-video via the SPDIF; principally, active bass management and time correction. These two features are essential to accurately reproduce the intended presentation of a surround soundtrack. The advantages of bass management are obvious, however, very few of us have our systems arranged in such a way that the listener is exactly equidistant from all 5 (or 7) speakers. A two foot discrepency between the front and rear speakers would be sufficient to audibly skew the imaging. For this reason, time correction is essential. Additionally, running six analog cables to a receiver or prepro, instead of one digital cable is inefficient, more costly and just plain ridiculous.
    Digital outputs standards are here and available. The industry needs only to choose one and implement it; assuming they can take a wide view of the situation and drop the paranoia.
    Respectfully submitted,
    Greg
     
  18. Greg Cellini

    Greg Cellini Agent

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    Randy wrote:
    "And the albeit scant anecdotal evidence from the local Audio Society members suggests that the industry MAY be mixing these "high-resolution" formats differently from CDs so that consumers "can tell" there's a difference. Not good....."
    Hi Randy,
    I assure you that there exists no malevolent intent to surreptitiously alter a mix to fool or mislead the listener in any way. It is true that the original production MIX masters are sometimes used as a source for 2-channel SACD production, however, it is often preferable, and, in the case of a 5.1 release, absolutely necessary, to acquire the multitrack masters, digitally restore them, and completely remix the project. When a project is completely remixed, it is virtually impossible to reproduce the exact results that were previously achieved. Different mixing consoles and effects processors, different EQ settings and presets, are used during the remix. Often, as with Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours", the original engineers are enlisted to remix the project. In this particular case, the engineer, Ken Callait (spelling???), was able to reproduce, in reference to the original, an audibly superior yet artistically consistent version of that recording. So, when a SACD or DVD-Audio disc sounds different than the original CD or album, that result was achieved in the pursuit of making a great recording even better.
    Best wishes,
    Greg
     
  19. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Randy, I will echo Steven's question and will go a step further. Having the proper equipment is key. Lower-end equipment may not have the transparency needed to hear the improvement of SACD or may make the improvement appear subtle. My other point is that not all software shows off the best of what SACD has to offer. However, I find that most SACDs sound significantly better than the corresponding CDs. In some cases, poor masters give SACD little to work with, and SACD cannot work miracles with them. On the other hand, high-quality masters make for great-sounding CDs, so the improvements afforded by SACDs in such cases may appear subtle. Nevertheless, I find most SACDs to beat CDs without having to strain to hear the differences.
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  20. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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