What's the point in having a special player for DVD Audio and SACD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by jeff lam, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    I don't get it. Why do we need to buy special DVD-A and SACD players? It's just multi-channel music and this can be done/played on regular DVD players just like a regular movie soundtrack except its music. All it is is digital info outputted in 5.1 right? Any DVD player can output 5.1 via digital output. What's the deal? Just curious.
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Neither DVD-A or SACD have a digital output at the moment. There is a proprosal for DVD-A that can be found at: http://www.highfidelityreview.com/ne...number=402660. These are not DD or DTS 5.1 where these formats are designed for movie sound. DVD-A or SACD have 2-channel and multi-channel available depending on the title. With 2-channel, they are advertised to have better sound than CDs and not as compressed as 5.1. With multi-channel, the channels are filled according to whose involved in the recording process.
     
  3. StaceyS

    StaceyS Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    SACD and DVD-Audio are both designed to increase the spatial resolution of the music. That increases the dynamic range, so, in short, you hear more and more clearly. If the only place you have heard demo's of SACD or DVD-A is Best Buy or the like, then you likely haven't heard SACD or DVD-A at all. Go to a dedicated audio store and have a listen. The differences are astounding.

    Bruce
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jeff, DVD-Audio and SACD are not the same thing as CD, Dolby Digital, or DTS, which are the audio formats that standard DVD-Video players can handle. You must have "special" players to play these formats. As has been said here, you cannot play these formats via the digital outputs. Actually, you can play DVD-Audio discs through the digital outputs on DVD-Audio players, but not at full resolution. SACD cannot be played through the digital outputs at all. In any event, if you want to play DVD-Audio or SACD, you must have the "special" players that contain the necessary decoders.
     
  6. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    I still don't get it... does it sound better than regular multi channel audio found on some DVD's. I guess that's my real question since many DVD's have multi-ch audio tracks. Isn't DVD-A the same thing in sound, not format? Who needs a new format if the same sound can be achieved through the old format?
     
  7. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    The 5.1 channel surround sound tracks on DVD-Video typically use lossy compression on material that starts off at CD or DAT sampling rates and word sizes (a wild guess). In other words, we're talking about something akin to MP3 or MiniDisc ATRAC encoding. (DVD-Video can also carry lossless, uncompressed PCM stereo at 48 and 96 KHz sampling rates.)

    For DVD-Audio, the compression is NON-lossy -- you'll get back the original digital sound. The sampling rates may be much higher (96 KHz or 192 KHz; both of these have prompted observations that a lot of the new sound that DVD-A can record is in upper frequencies that only dogs, cats, bats, etc. can hear). The sample word size may be larger. The advantage of higher sampling rates is supposed to be extended frequency response -- and less need for perfect "brick wall" filters at frequencies that are close to those humans can hear. The larger word size allows for more dynamic range (although it should be noted that even full utilization of CD dynamic range can be hazardous to hearing).

    Of course, then the DVD-Audio people had to go muck with this by introducing watermarks in the actual audio data.
     

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