What chance does DVD-A have without dedicated players?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rachael B, Oct 11, 2002.

  1. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    What successful format, of any type, never had dedicated players? Is there one? It seems to me that if DVD-A is to survive it needs dedicated audio players like you can get for SACD.

    I'm not trying to pic a fight about which hi-rez format sounds better. I like DVD-A enough to have bought atleast 15 discs. If you don't know, I really like SACD, now you know. I'd like to see DVD-A succeed too but how? It seems like it has to rise up above an add-on feature on video players...?
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, DVD-A is marketing itself as stick it in your DVD player and it will work. I helped my friend deliver 2 systems over the past week that both had DVD-A players in them (Rotel and Toshiba) for several months prior and one system w/o any video components was about $10k and the other was about $25k. One had a six channel input (Rotel) and the other did not (Linn) and when I asked both if they tried DVD-A and like it I got the same answer, why pay for a disc that has video menu stills vs. getting a concert on DVD Video. So I look at it as unfortunate that DVD-A is marketing itself as put in in a DVD player and it wall spray music around. These were both fairly serious music listeners. I did try to explain to them what DVD-A was about. It is a shame that they have no standards as far as a stereo track and also what labeling the resolution. Every DTS disc says that is has a multi-channel "and/or" stereo DVD-A track. Not a particularly helpful piece of info for someone wanting one or the other. I don't think they need dedicated players but they need to put out more software and have something consistent in the way the products are labeled otherwise they will get more people feeling DVD Video is better for music video stuff and seeing no apparent differece.
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I think, a different way to ask the question is,
    Can DVD-A and SACD survive without universal players?
    If you stick to dedicated players, then I believe that both formats will only be niche products.
    But with universal players, before you know it, everyone will have DVD-A and/or SACD capability.
    For example, I say "vinyl rules" for absolute sound quality. So I should be really high on DVD-A and SACD, right? Except that I refused to buy separate players just to buy *two* different players when I knew darn well you could put them into 1 box.
    If dedicated players were all we could buy, then we'd be stuck with:
    CD player
    DVD-V player
    DVD-A player
    SACD player
    And *maybe* you could say you could bundle DVD-V & A, and SACD with CD, but then I could say that there still must be compromises made.
    So good quality universal players are the only way to go to get to mass market penetration.
    And you might rightly so argue with whether we'd get good sound quality or not. [​IMG] But as history has shown us, good sound quality has nothing to do with whether a format survives or not. (DAT never replaced cassette, MP3, CD blew away the lp even though a well set up analog rig blows away the CD, etc.)
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Kevin,

    Excellent question. I think it's a question that we have to face. The CD and DVD-Video formats are entrenched as standards (along with MP3, possibly), and it is going to be an uphill battle for SACD and DVD-Audio to unseat these formats for music. The only hope, as I see it, is for the backers of SACD and DVD-Audio to cram these formats into every DVD-Video player put on the market, then advertise the benefits of the high-resolution audio formats heavily, and then hope that they can pique the consumer's curiosity enough to try the "new" format. Even though the average consumer may be perfectly happy with CD and DVD-Video for music, hopefully consumers will be curious to see what SACD and/or DVD-Audio are all about. Again, these formats need to be advertised far more effectively before this will happen. In addition, the software needs to be more readily available. It is going to be an uphill battle.


    Rachael,

    For DVD-Audio to make it, it must attract the attention of the masses. Do you really think the average consumer at Best Buy or Circuit City is going to be bothered that a DVD-Audio player also plays CDs, MP3-encoded CDs, DVD-Video discs, VCDs, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, etc.? Think about it. The vast majority of consumers want this compatibility. Look at all the video game systems that have come out over the years that can play games from the manufacturer's previous system (PS2 can play PS1 games, Super Nintendo can play Nintendo games). Backwards compatibilty and playback of standard formats is paramount for DVD-Audio (and SACD) in gaining the acceptance of the masses.

    Sorry, but I read your question and think immediately of the audiophile's vantage point. You know, video circuitry causes interference and compromises in component design, which compromises the audio quality. Of course, the masses generally are not aware of this and don't care about it.

    I can see how DVD-Audio could get lost in the shuffle in selling players with a bazillion features. However, there is no reason why the backers of DVD-Audio and component manufacturers could not include a bazillion features and still market DVD-Audio agressively.
     
  5. KevinJ

    KevinJ Supporting Actor

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    they need to make inexpensive portable dvd-a/sacd/cd players for these formats to really go mainstream imho
     
  6. Jagan Seshadri

    Jagan Seshadri Supporting Actor

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    Portable, like a Discman type of player with earphones?

    -JNS
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jagan, I discussed this in a thread here a few weeks back. I would love to see a portable SACD player. With quality headphones like the Sennheiser HD-600, I'm sure that would be quite an experience. In my opinion, the portable player would have to be a much better component than a lot of the portable CD players out there, however, to really bring out the advantages of SACD. I'd love to see Sony bring us a portable SACD player. Imagine sitting under a tree in a park on a beautiful summer's day listening to your favorite SACDs. [​IMG]
     
  8. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    For either format to grab hold I think what we need is affordable Car players. So far I have only seen DVD-A available for the car, and no SACD to date. With SACD always carrying a stereo track, it would be an ideal solution for integration into your current car stereo without having to add a feature such as a custom center channel or folding the discrete center info in the right and left channels.

    Once again Sony, is not even manufacturing a high-end car deck as an option, seemingly trying to kill SACD. I do alot of my music listening in my truck, and would welcome SACD and more DVD-A players as an option.

    J
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I bet car players will come. Took a while for the 1st MD units to be produced for cars too.
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    With the several folks wanting portability out of their audio discs on this thread, it makes me wonder why DVD-A didn't think of having a CD layer or data portion? Could it be added? DVD-A with a CD portion could intrest me as much as hybrid SACD does...? That would solve the portability slice.

    Keith, the pure circuitry thang certainly passes accross my mind buy say hey that's not Joe's take of course. If DVD-A is truly an audio format it should have stand alone players. Unless, we're near the end of seeing purely audio formats? Surely not yet? If DVD-A is going to be an audio format, it needs some dedicated or virtually dedicated players...maybe an optional video output.

    Have you seen the Parasound pre with the little monitor on the front panel? You could have that on players for menus? Talk about your purity of signal, eh! DVD-A needs to evolve somehow if you ask me. Hardly anybody is happy about the analog outputs, are they? It wouldn't hurt to release more discs too!

    I stille don't think a format can succeed without dedicated players home or portable. Riding DVD-V's coat-tails is not enough. History is on my side, is future history? I think DVD-A has to evolve to survive.
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Rachael, I am not exactly thrilled about the implementation of DVD-Audio, but I don't see it changing. It is not a user-friendly format when you are used to the simplicity of playing CDs and SACDs, but I don't see it changing. I still say that that the more features incorporated into players, the better for a new format.
     
  12. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    Isn't the list of pure SACD players dwindling as well? Seems most SACD players have been merged with DVD-V players. I think the main issue is that many DVD-A titles have some form of visual content on them so they will always be paired with a DVD-V option.

    I personally like both formats and don't really care if one wins over the other. History is on your side, but history also has shown that the general public likes flexibility and a single component that does everything. Only the audiophiles really care about separates and they are a small percentage of the market place.

    Lin
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    DVD-A unfortunately is *not* a pure audio format. You need to use a video display to succesfully navigate menus on a lot of discs. SACD, on the other hand, isn't really so restricted.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lin, you are absolutely correct with respect to SACD. There have been rumors for months that Sony would be discontinuing the SCD-C555ES SACD/CD changer, and while it still seems to be in production for now, the 'C222ES and 'CE775 have been phased out, and no replacements have been offered. Sony has the 'CE775 as a budget SACD/CD changer in all those kiosks in Best Buy and Circuit City, and now you can't buy one there, and you can't buy a replacement either. It's ridiculous. What's even worse is that Sony has introduced two integrated A/V receiver-DVD/SACD/CD players in its ES line (AVD-S50ES and 'C70ES). It's amazing to think that Sony has gone from releasing the wonderful, 55-lb. SCD-777ES single-disc SACD/CD player in early 2000 to those integrated ES components in the fall of 2002. Talk about dumbing down a format. Sony has gone all the way. I certainly did not expect Sony to make 55-lb. SACD players forever, but I also did not think Sony would dumb down the format in such an extreme fashion. At least the 'XA777ES is still in production.

    By the way, one component that does please me is the Marantz SA-8260. It is a single-disc SACD/CD player with no DVD playback, and it sells for around $1000. I wonder how good a player it is (CD and SACD).
     
  15. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Shawn, thanks for the comments. I have heard that the '580 and '600 are the same internally. Does that mean they sound the same? I ask because the '580 is much cheaper.

    By the way, I bought the '570 at Circuit City a couple of years ago and was not happy with them. This was before I had SACD and DVD-Audio players, so I just used them with CDs. I returned them after a few days. I wonder if the '580 is better than the '570.
     
  17. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Keith, my friend just ordered the 8260 and I hope he gets it in a few weeks. One caution, if you are going to use it for multi-channel, there are no level controls on the channels so you need to do this somewhere else (e.g Sony TA-P9000ES pre-amp) unless you have equally efficient speakers that you sit the same distance from. I just picked the the TA-P9000ES which I friend wants to look at so hopefully after he gets his Marantz I will lend it to him and have him bring it over to compare to the XA-777ES and the DV-47A.
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Phil, thanks for the information. I would be interested to hear how the '8260 fares against the 'XA777ES and '47A. I'm not expecting miracles, so I would expect the 'XA777ES to beat the '8260. A comparison that really intrigues me is the 'C555ES versus the '8260.

    I appreciate the heads-up on the '8260 in multi-channel SACD mode. However, I am more curious as to how it performs in stereo mode (CDs and SACDs). It's nice to see a single-disc Marantz component priced at $1000.
     

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