SACD & DVD Audio a wonderful experience... does it have staying power?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy Kramer, Mar 9, 2003.

  1. Andy Kramer

    Andy Kramer Agent

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    Hey!
    I am in the market for a SACD, DVD Audio player. I have listened to both formats and have fallen in love with it. Unfortunatly I am presented with that fact that this format may never actually survive in the market. (Probably due to the fact that you need to sink a couple grand into a whole system just to enjoy it). But who wouldnt? It is so much better to listen to you favorite artist in 5 discrete channels! (Enough rambling). My question being, is it going to die out? Look at Mini- Discs, a new format that never caught on, developed by who you ask??? Sony. I would love to hear what others may think on this issue. SACD and DVD Audio are an incredible format producing a wonderful experience and unfortunatly it is virtually un-known.

    Thanks
    Andy
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Andy, I understand your concerns and have the same questions. As someone who bought into both formats early on, has invested a lot of money into the formats, and who enjoys them immensely, I certainly hope they both make it. Time will tell. All we can do is enjoy it now and hope for the best.

    In my opinion, things are looking up for SACD. We have had a steady stream of quality titles from a number of labels in recent months. Universal has especially done yeoman work. Plus, we should see Dark Side of the Moon on SACD either March 25th or April 1st (word is that the release has been delayed to April 1st; no foolin'). Unfortunately, I feel that Sony, a co-inventor of the SACD format with Philips, has not adequately supported SACD in recent months, both in terms of hardware and software. Sony continues to release titles at a snail's pace and does so in the form of single-layer releases (i.e., without a CD layer). That said, Sony has announced that it will be releasing 15 Bob Dylan titles on hybrid SACDs this fall, albeit without mono tracks.

    Unfortunately, I feel DVD-Audio has been sputtering for months. Warner, the major label behind the format, has been in financial trouble and has not been supporting the format suitably. The only label that has been avidly supporting DVD-Audio is Silverline, but the common opinion, at least from what I have read, is that they have done a disservice to the format, as their titles miss the bar in terms of sonic resolution. Plus, all Silverline releases offer high-resolution surround sound only -- no high-resolution stereo. That's a definite detractor for those of us who are dyed-in-the-wool stereo listeners, which is where I am aligned. On the bright side, The Beach Boys Pet Sounds is supposed to be coming to DVD-Audio on Audio on April 22nd, complete with high-resolution surround sound, stereo, and mono tracks.

    In the end, we will have to go through a wait-and-see game with SACD and DVD-Audio, as with any new format. There are a number of quality software titles and components available for both high-resolution formats, with prices of both coming down, to make the formats palatable to many consumers. Furthermore, we are seeing more and more "universal players" (i.e., players that can play both SACDs and DVD-Audio discs) coming to market. Thus, folks do not have to buy two components to get both formats. They can currently buy one component to handle both for as little as $500 (Pioneer Elite DV-45A). By year's end, we will have two sub-$300 universal players (Zenith DV-318 and Pioneer DV-563A), which will hopefully get universal players into the mass retailers, such as Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears, etc.

    Will SACD and/or DVD-Audio survive? Who knows? My crystal ball is in the shop for repairs, so I will have to wing it here. In my opinion, both formats will survive as niche formats. Neither is going to replace the CD in my opinion. SACD has made small steps in that direction. The obvious example is last year's release of 22 Rolling Stones hybrid SACDs by ABKCO that replaced the old CD catalog. Also, Universal just last week released The Police Every Breath You Take: The Classics as a hybrid SACD to replace the old CD. On the flipside, Universal released all other Police titles in the US as single-layer SACDs and as separate remastered CDs. So, we get some encouraging releases, and then some not so encouraging ones in terms of the marketing of SACD to the masses.

    For now, don't concern yourself too much with the future of these two formats. I know that may sound like I am telling to play ignorant on this one, but the future of most things is uncertain, so try not to worry about it. Again, there are plenty of quality titles to choose from on both formats, and the prices of players are coming down. Furthermore, many of the current SACD and DVD-Audio players are excellent CD and/or DVD-Video players, so they should serve you well in one capacity or another for years to come. Given that you are impressed with high-resolution surround sound, I say jump in and enjoy the ride!
     
  3. Matt Birchall

    Matt Birchall Supporting Actor

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  4. Andy Kramer

    Andy Kramer Agent

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    Unfortunatly i cant find any pictures or specs, but from what i understand it should be out hopefully by the end of the year.(thanks Keith) Right now Pioneer offers a SACD, DVD-Audio, DVD player all together for approx 500$( Elite DV-45A) . Which isnt too bad price wise. I have listened to it and i was amazed. Other players that support both formats where considerably more expensive (over 1000$) so 500 isnt to bad of an asking price considering ur getting a box full of goodies! Keep your eyes peeled though.
    Andy
     

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