SACD Vs. DVD Audio - lots of questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul D Young, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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    This is not meant to be one vs. the other in terms of sound quality which will boil down to too many opinions. What I am wondering about is the mechanics of the whole deal and what is available in either format. I'll tell you what I THINK I understand about the formats.

    I already figured out that Sony Music titles are available on SACD and Sony makes most(?)if not all of the SACD players. I think SACD titles are more geared towards the original CD configuration without bonus commentaries or video interviews and such. A more "pure" approach if you will. DVD Audio titles seem to brag about these bonus features on the back like DVD Videos do.

    I know that at my local Best Buy the DVD Audio titles are mixed in with the concert and performance DVD videos and the SACD titles are mixed in with the CDs. At my local Circuit City The SACD titles are in a special display in the Audio section right next to a Sony SACD player and the DVD Audio titles are... Well, I don't know where they are because when I went there the salesperson had never heard of DVD Audio and only could find the SACDs after much prodding!

    Right now I have a DVD Audio Player and only 8 DVD Audio titles. Most of these have both an Advanced Resolution Stereo and an Advanced Resolution 5.1 mix as well as a DVD video compatible Dolby Digital mix. I have never tried the DVD video compatible Dolby Digital mix. I have been listening almost exclusively to the surround mix (is this the norm?) and I have never done any comparisons of the Stereo DVD Audio vs. a stereo CD because I feel it would be pointless since I usually listen to the surround mix anyway.

    Does SACD have more than one way to listen as well?

    Do they have a Surround Sound mix or does this vary from disc to disc?

    I know that I couldn't figure out how to hook up my DVD Audio player until I plugged in all five cords to the 5.1 channel inputs. (I didn't get anything through my regular optical cable that I listen to DVD videos with).

    Did I hook it up right?

    Is this the only way to hook it up?

    Does SACD hook up the same way?

    If so, how do I hook up both at the same time? I don't have an SACD player yet but I would like to get one.

    Do I need a receiver that has two sets of 5.1 inputs? These seem to be very expensive and I just bought This player and I don't think I can afford an SACD player AND a new receiver yet. My current receiver is only a year old by the way!

    Also, Is this even posted in the right section?

    Boy, am I confused today! I think I had more qusestions but I'll wait to see if anyone cares enough to answer these first. Plus, I can't remember what the other questions were right now.
     
  2. Alan_Horner

    Alan_Horner Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul,
    As your message seems to indicate, you realize that SACD/DVD-A is definitely a "hot button" topic with passionate supporters on both sides. But since your questions steer more towards the technical/mechanical sides of the issue, here's what I've learned since jumping into the DVD-A arena just a couple of months ago:
    There are apparently a couple of options which would allow you to have two separate players and one receiver, but (to me, anyway) all the choices are rather expensive. I think most folks would suggest a single dual SACD/DVD-A player. Dual-format players that are modestly priced seem to be just reaching the market, though it may be a while longer before a wide choice is available.
    The biggest problem is that both of these formats are still in flux. No one even knows if both or either will even survive. Creating multi-channel versions of titles is expensive and time consuming, so it's no wonder that discs in both formats are being released in dribbles rather than downpours. And, of course, it's hard to attract a new audience when you only see a few titles released each month (if that).
    I love DVD-A, and I'm sure I would love SACD. I'm definitely thinking that a dual-format player is the way to go. Right now though, I'm just hoping that the music labels don't lose interest in what is still very much a niche market.
     
  3. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    Are there set limits on length for SACD or DVD-A ? 74 minutes is the "limit" for regular CD (not really), but I was wondering if there's a limit floating around for either of these newer formats.
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Paul said:
     
  5. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    Just wanted to say that I agree with everything Keith said 100%.
     
  6. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    Paul:

     
  7. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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  8. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Paul,
    I think it is too harsh to blame Sony for making a bad business decision with initial SACD release being two channel.
    If anything I am of the opinion that getting audiophile support early was excellent marketing. DVD Audio clearly fumbled this aspect. Surround is great if used judiciously but the first SACD players were at the birth of the format (SCD-1 and SCD-777) so it is no surprise that six channel was not yet out. Nevertheless, Sony has put out a superb multi-channel unit in the XA777. And they have released lower cost options.
    Alas, the key battles will be I believe:
    (1) professional acceptance - DSD is making real strides here; and (2) consumer acceptance - good going with low cost players Sony (more software please! - hey same deal with DVD audio, where are the Beatles EMI?)...
    KeithH,
    While I agree two channel can really show off both formats, I think your analysis of the DCC gold Hotel on the SCD777 is a completely flawed comparison. You need to wait for the SACD of Hotel California (hey I can dream...Sony you reading this? [​IMG]...)and then compare the DVD Audio.
    Also as an audiophile, what about an as yet unproduced XRCD2 of Hotel played back on the $60K Burmester?
    Or you can compare the Chesky releases on both formats and then choose the better sounding SACD release (oops! some bias injected here)...
    Just my two cents.
    Lee
     
  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Keith H,

    In rereading my post I think I may have misinterpreted your post. You were trying to compare DVD-audio to CD on purpose it seems. My apologies...sometimes my passion for Super Audio makes me paranoid.

    Lee:b
     
  10. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    Can someone tell me if I can play SACD on my DVD player with my 5.1 setup? I do play DVD-A and it sounds great but there are titles im intersted in on SACD.
     
  11. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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  12. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    Thanks John!

    My player is a Pioneer DV-626 but its not a DVD-A player. I still play DVD-A on it though.

    Thanks again.
     
  13. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  14. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    Thanks Ric! I know I need a real DVD-A player but cash flow is a issue.

    Matt
     
  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lee,

    No problem. If you have ever visited the Hi-Rez Highway board on Audio Asylum, you may have read the sentiment from DVD-Audio detractors that DVD-Audio tracks sound no better than CDs on quality CD or SACD players. Their contention is that watermarking and the low-quality, non-audiophile DVD-Audio players (as so deemed by them) render DVD-Audio no better than a CD on a "real" player. So, every once in awhile, I compare DVD-Audio discs on my Technics DVD-A10 to my best versions of the corresponding CDs on my best CD player, the Sony SCD-777ES. The DVD-Audio discs always win hands-down. Thus, I compared the DVD-Audio version of Eagles Hotel California to the DCC Gold CD on the '777ES, and the DVD-Audio discs won easily. I could listen to the CD happily, as the DCC version is very good, and the '777ES is a great CD player, but when I play the DVD-Audio disc, I am amazed by all that I am missing on the CD.

    Paul,

    The Radio Shack A/V switch boxes sell for $15 each. You need two of them to handle multi-channel DVD-Audio and SACD. The model number for the switch box is 15-1952. You can get them at Radio Shack stores and on their web site.

    Otherwise, definitely give stereo DVD-Audio a good listen. I think you will be impressed. Again, there is nothing wrong with the multi-channel tracks. I feel that many of them are gimmicky, but I enjoy them as a change of pace. Still, I feel stereo is where it's at.
     
  16. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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    OK, let me ask another silly question. Let's say that I am sold on the Stereo SACD/DVD Audio thing. Let's also say that I have my surround sound system set up in my living room and in my back room is where I use the computer and usually listen to my music. Let's also say that I only have a two channel amplifier back here. Is it at all feasible to hook up one of these to only the two channels of my receiver and would I be able to enjoy SACD or DVD Audio? How about the subwoofer? Since I don't have any subwoofer ins or outs on this receiver would that work at all?
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Paul, I am in a similar situation as you, except that my stereo and surround-sound systems are in one room. Most DVD-Audio players have stereo analog outputs along with the 5.1-channel outputs. The JVC XV-D723GD/XV-D721BK is the only model I have seen that does not. In any event, you can play stereo DVD-Audio tracks either through the stereo analog outputs or the front left and right jacks of the 5.1-channel outputs. I play stereo DVD-Audio tracks through my stereo system via the stereo analog outputs and surround-sound tracks through my surround-sound system via the 5.1-channel outputs. I do the same thing with my multi-channel SACD player (Sony SCD-C555ES), by the way. So, yes, you can easily hook up a DVD-Audio player in a stereo system. Note, however, that stereo tracks are 2.0. That is, they don't have a subwoofer channel, so you would only run two cables to your receiver (for the mains).

    If you cannot connect a subwoofer directly to your receiver, you could buy an external crossover box. I use one in my main stereo system since my stereo integrated amp has no subwoofer input. The crossover box allows me to dial in the crossover frequency. I run RCA cables from the pre-outs on the integrated amp to the inputs on the crossover box and another pair of cables from the outputs on the crossover box to the main ins on the integrated amp. The subwoofer is then connected from the subwoofer output on the crossover box to the input on the subwoofer. My crossover box is made by Energy, and I bought it in October for $230. Alternatively, the Outlaw ICBM may work for stereo playback. It is designed for multi-channel music, but might work for stereo.
     
  18. LarryH

    LarryH Supporting Actor

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    Did we spark a run on these switches at their web site?

     
  19. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Larry, gee whiz, I hope Radio Shack is merely out of stock and did not discontinue this A/V switch box. I bet it's the former. In any event, you should be able to find it at a local Radio Shack store.
     

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