Please note the web page is dated November 2003. The market has changed a lot since with most of the momentum going to SACD. Michael Bishop and Jared Sacks would also take issue with the technical claims about noise in the HF.
This would be good news either way. If Sony supports DVDA then universal players will take off more and expand the market. If Sony doesn't then they have probably decided to bet the farm on Super Audio.
It seems at this point it would be strategically smart to support both formats so everyone can play whatever discs they have. It seems clear that mainstream acceptance for either format is not likely (except for maybe a big hi-def video push which seems also not likely to happen at this point in time).
Maybe the combined market will be enough to entice Harry Fox to reach a settlement and get artists behind hirez.
The problem on the DVDA side may be Warner's new fiscally tight (rightfully so I imagine) ownership team who may examine closely the benefits versus costs of hirez.
I hope they get it worked out so I can get closer to my beloved Van Morrison catalog.
The last IFA MESSE in Germany (August 03) I talked to
and he said that Sony never said they wouldn't make any DVD Audio at all and he would bet witin 2 years from that time, we would see some titles. I must said I find that hard to belive - but again, it would be nice to see Sony at the DVD Audio scene...
While we know that Sony is not necessarily the greatest marketing co. in the world, it would make sense if they started making universal players before they release DVD-A software. They worked closely with Linn in developing the Unidisk which has Sony technology inside, I understand the British magazine "HiFi News" has done a review of the Unidisk and described some of what is in it which includes the transport mechanism sourced from Sony (with a Linn-designed metal loading tray). For the SACD signal path, the players uses a Sony DSD signal processor, and another Sony DSD decoder chip. I have not seen the review. Sony is just about to release a few CD/SACD only players (no DVD) in about a month or so. This is one of them - http://www.avland.co.uk/sony/scdxe597/scdxe597.htm
They also have a changer coming out for around $150 list and an ES changer for about $400 list. So I would expect assuming they are somewhat with it that any such announcement of producing DVD-As would either be slightly behind or ahead of the production of universal players. At this point I am doubtful they will do DVD-A but it is Sony and who knows.
Well first things first. I was talking about Sony Music as opposed to Sony Electronics.
It is conceivable for Sony to add DVD-Audio support though highly unlikely. They already have all the parts necessary in their DVD/SA-CD players. It's a matter of firmware and licensing.
On the Meridian side it's more complex, since they build their own solution from parts, starting with a DVD-ROM drive. There aren't many DVD-ROM drives that can read the TOC from an SA-CD player. They (rightfully) prefer the ROM drive for its performance characteristics.
Meridian does handle SA-CD in their G68 and 861v3 (or later) processors with a 6-channel analog input. This samples the audio signal at 24/96K and is highly transparent. I won't say it's perfectly transparent as I don't have the means to test that. I do know that what I gain vis a vis uniform bass management, time alignment and most especially room correction outweighs any slight degradation that might come from the "extra" A/D and D/A cycle.
If the proper format is provided from an SA-CD capable player then both the G68 and 861v3 (or later) will work with a digital feed from an SA-CD player. A company in Switzerland modifies some SA-CD players to provide a 24/88.2 or 24/176.4 PCM output directly from the SA-CD datastream. This is sent via 3x S/PDIFs and Meridian has confirmed that this will work with their processors. Both 861v3 (or later) and G68 can handle two multi-channel digital inputs.
With the right equipment, more than 1 multi-channel digital source could even be attached to a 568.2. It would require two VGA-> RGB breakout cables and a VGA switcher with a VGA-VGA cable completing the run to the 568.2.
I realize Sony music and electronics are separate and that I noted Sony is not noted for having the greatest marketing in the world. My point was that it would make sense for them to be closer to the same page. I would think that given the fact that it would not be difficult for them to produce universal players it would make sense (to me at least) that they would do this somewhere around the same time as making software. If not, they are worse at marketing than I thought. If one makes the software, why shoot yourself in the foot by making players that play only CDs or SACDs? Yes Sony has done dumb things before but this would be among the best if they did do that w/o talking to one another.
I agree John. It is OK to make a flagship player or two for audiophiles that won't sell like the more reasonable mass market stuff. I would think that most people would be interested in the stuff on both formats and the best way to enjoy the maximum amt. of software for most will be a universal player.
Kevin, more quality universal machines are one the way. Rotel has purchased a transport that can do SACD and I would expect over the next 3-5 mos. an announcemnt about a universal machine from them. Their DVD-A/DVD-V player was very well received and was rated by one magazine as being better than the $3k Arcam at $900. Their $700 CD player was the Absolute Sound's product of the year. I think mostly except for the very high end most people will want a universal player.
In my mind, Sony has been very foolish for not making uni players. I'm certain they've lost marketshare of the much coveted higher-ended, more profitable, player market. Over a certain price, most people expect DVD-A to be included. I know they've steadily lost marketshare of the total DVD player market in these last several years. They once had about 30 % a few years back.
I don't see why they should actually issue any DVD-A's, but players is another issue. All too often stupid is as Sony marketing does. I'd really like to know how many 999ES'es Sony has sold, compared to sales for the firms selling uni players.
I think I'm typical (relatively!
) of upper-ended customers. I haven't bought or even seriously considered them since the DVP-S9000ES way back when, which I did buy... late '99 or early '00. For the time being Sony is DVD Player-ada non grata to me.
I think they have some very stupid, stone-walled nerve not to put DVD-A on their products! They added everything else in the way of important to unimportant formats and subformats to their stuff.
You could even surmise that not offering DVD-A hurts their own SA-CD sales. The rift between them and Warner Brudders seems permanent at this point. Some people get a bad attitude towards Sony for being refusniks and actively and openly opposing Warner's software in practice. If Warner's made players, I bet they'd be doing the inverse??? Well, the point is that making any hi-rez less accessable hurts all hi-rez in the end, including their own, IMO.
IMO, Sony has ALOT to learn about running record labels and movie studios. If they'd stayed with their core business, electronics, and hadn't strayed into software, you know they'd be be offering uni'es!
I think the field may be titling toward Sony coming out with a universal player, but let me play the devil's advocate position for Sony.
They are probably seeing the current "floundering" of the DVDA format and may feel not releasing DVDA compatible DVD players may help. Sony still has a decent market share in DVD players and they have sunk a good bit of capital into the completing hirez format. They may also not believe, based on field research, that not having DVDA capability is hurting their sales...so they may think:
Why help your competitors?
On the other hand, reasons to offer DVDA may include:
1. Enlarge hirez market as a whole and get residual benefits through SACD sales.
2. Capture incremental market share of DVDA fans or those that want universal capability.
3. Create more incentive for hirez adoption by minimizing the format war.
It's to tell if Sony is making the right or wrong decision without maybe having the same field research and experience they have.
They are learning on the movie side. Spiderman 2 did $180 million in 6 days! That shattered the previous Matrix record holder. Sony also bet the farm on S2 so it looks like the film unit will do well this year. They seem to be well into a financial turnaround story.
Oh yeah, the movie was great too. Saw it last night with friends.