Your dvd-audio & sacd players are now (unofficially) "quaint"

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by LanceJ, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Check out this email from a rep for Bjork's label, concerning the lack of hi-res tracks on her new DualDisc boxset:

    Post #13

    That totally sucks, but was not unexpected.

    The lack of proper bass management - or any bass management at all - during the first @5 years of existance for both formats & near-total lack of distance compensation systems definitely didn't help.*

    And while dvd-audio discs have either Dolby Digital and/or DTS or stereo PCM which meant they can be played on regular dvd players, this important feature was hardly ever emphasized so I'm sure most people looked at these discs & then quickly put them back down, thinking they needed new gear to play them.

    As far as the six analog cable issue (for copy protection [​IMG]) it didn't bother me because my 3 pairs of interconnects cost me all of $45. I.e. I'm an audio knuckledragger [​IMG] and am not into the cables-make-a-difference school of thought. But I know some people are & this presented a stumbling block to format adoption.

    Oh well - as long as they release surround in some kind of format, preferably DTS, I'll be happy.....though I definitely would be happiER with a lossless format.

    But now I own a $330 dvd-audio player (Pioneer DV-656A) that has little chance of being fed new hi-res surround discs. [​IMG] And the music labels can forget about me buying into a Blu-Ray/HD-DVD music format, not after this dvd-a/sacd fiasco. [​IMG]

    * for audio dinosaurs like myself who don't mind using "large" speakers (i.e. ones with 6.5" or larger woofers) this wasn't a problem. But the distance compensation issue affects everyone. IMO you don't absolutely HAVE to have it, but when you do imaging - instrument & vocal placement - definitely improves.
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I just bought an H/K DVD-47 just for the BM and it makes all the difference in the world. I will never understand why it wasn't included from the get-go. I prefer 60 as a x-over point for music and I finally got it! My six analog cables by Monster also cost me $45 (on sale @ CC) and it wasn't a big deal to me either. It's a bit of a hassle when switching players around though. I also hope music continues to be released in some kind of surround format but I don't think there has been any DTS discs released for some time. Could be wrong about that though. Concert dvds and Dual-Disc are our best shot at future surround music. My biggest hope is that the aftermarket car audio scene will re-kindle interest in hi-res and surround. It's becoming a big selling point for new cars as well, started by the Acura TL. But I've been wrong about virtually everything connected with hi-res and surround so far so I'm not holding my breath.
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    That's because you're using common sense to come up with your theories....whereas most of the music companies and hardware manufacturers seem to be just throwing stuff at the (consumer) wall & seeing if it sticks seemingly with no rhyme or reason involved.

    I agree with you about the automotive market being an area where surround music could still be mildly successful.

    Though I still think if sales of home component audio gear didn't slide downwards so far the past five years (probably because of MP3s, the iPod & its competitors), surround music would have sold decently well. Some proof of this: last week I was at my local Best Buy and the HT manager said it was likely their speaker theater would be converted to a storage area. [​IMG] I don't blame them - 99% of the time I'm the only one in there looking at the gear, same with the audio electronics section. I think it would help to sell HT systems if they would stop using demo systems that cost $3,500+ (the projector/dual subwoofer one in the speaker theater, totally hidden around the corner [​IMG], cost @$10,000) and instead set up one using a basic $200 receiver and some small JBLs or Athenas; or, one of the better HTiBs like from Yamaha. IMO pushing systems like that, in that type of store, when the economy is sinking & when white earbuds are thought to provide the ultimate in sound isn't a good idea.
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Lp is considered "quaint" too. I don't care. Good audio quality is good audio quality. [​IMG]
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    But with vinyl at least they are still releasing new titles on a regular basis (and not just classical & jazz). And those titles can be played on hardware that can be up to nearly 50 years old.

    And I realize my dvd-audio discs will last for decades & produce high quality sound, but I don't want to listen to those same discs for decades. [​IMG]

    Sacd & dvd-audio are two fully functioning formats that are being abandoned for no good reason. But for some reason some music labels think everyone & their brother is going to run out and buy a hi-res video player - do they really think this is suddenly going to get thousands of people interested in 5.1 music? Sure some may buy the *player*, but what about the audio gear it needs for proper 5.1 playback?
     
  6. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    You dont want to listen to those discs for decades? 30 years isnt that long.
     
  7. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    Being abandoned for the simple reason that no profits and minuscule sales were all both have amounted to. How could there be a better reason? The record companies would have loved to make a fortune with the formats, but it didn't happen. I think we were lucky that SACD lasted as long as it did and we have the quantity of titles we have. There are still going to be some releases, although I don't hold out much hope there will be anything I will want.

    Chris
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I'm wrote that because I'm mad that the companies that sold them did practically nothing to promote them. And the Big Four labels' financial greediness also factors in there too: for all we know sacd/dvd-audio did make a profit, but it wasn't the millions (hopefully during the first month [​IMG] ) that those companies always seem to want from every endeavor they involve themselves in.

    My favorite example of non-promotion is still Warner Bros & that REM Best Of dvd-audio. At the same it was released, the CD version was also released which had its own full-length commercial. And during that commercial, how many times did they mention the dvd-audio version? Not once that I saw!! Not even a single line in small print at the bottom of the screen. Amazing.
     
  9. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    Everything I have read makes me feel certain that Sony lost many tens of millions on SACD. 5.1 Entertainment Group lost many millions on DVD-A. AIX may very well show a profit on its small high quality DVD-A business, I don't know, but it is insignificant to the overall losses for the format which must be staggering, DVD-A was a bomb of the first magnitude. I love the Concord Jazz SACD catalog and continue to search for Concord titles and I don't know if they were able to show a profit or not, but I suspect the profits associated with the CD releases were better in any event. The Concord discs aren't big sellers so the key would have been manufacturing the right quantity.

    Sony's investment in development and marketing SACD has surely been written off by now and over $100,000,000 loss was the estimate I have seen. Despite what many here say, I don't think spending more on marketing SACD and DVD-A could have made any difference at all.

    Chris
     
  10. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I don't agree. I saw plenty of promotion in the HT mags, at some of the retailers I shop, etc.

    You should be blaming the consumer, who just doesn't care.

    Come on Lance, you already know the answer: The vast majority of the iPod generation just doesn't care about good multichannel sound quality. [​IMG]

    Blame the companies all you want, but they are in business to make money. They wouldn't have gotten into DVD-A and SACD in the first place if they didn't think there was money to be made there. But gee, look what happened. They guessed wrong. It *does* happen: DCC, the Elcasset, MD, D-VHS, Beta, etc.
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    What about NON-audio oriented magazines/places? I realize *we* knew aobut these formats but with the exception of the Sony/Rolling Stone promotion (with a disc chock full of "old" music [​IMG]) I honestly don't remember seeing it anywhere else: its the Regular Joes that can help keep smaller formats alive. And those sacd and dvd-audio kiosks at Circuit City and a few Wherehouse Music stores? The ones I saw either didn't work (fried speakers, their receivers were messed with, etc) or the employees were playing movies, CDs or MP3s [​IMG] on them. It's like Panasonic and Sony just dumped them there and never checked back on them.

    And I still think the severe lack of NEW music titles also was a factor in their demise.

    But I agree with you & do know in the end it was the iPod thing that was the biggest factor but still, whenver I show people surround music even on my mutt of a system about 40% really like it. And SOMEONE is buying all those 5.1 HTiBs, some of which sound pretty decent.

    I'm hoping since the big labels didn't see any money in it, they will allow small labels like DTS to sell their music in surround form (and don't forget all that music in quad form just waiting for a simple i.e. relatively inexpensive transfer to one of the surround formats).
     
  12. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    You answered the question. What would you say is the % of people that walk into CC or BB that read a HT mag? Maybe 5%? They needed to promote outside of that and didnt.
     
  13. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    You are of course assuming that there is a need for something better than CD for the masses. I think formats like this do better as niche markets advertised in upscale audio publications and sold at a premium with limited quantities. Upscale niche market audio has been successful for decades with no attempt to reach the masses, and I think these two formats should have fallen into that group.

    Chris
     
  14. ArtC

    ArtC Extra

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    I think the difference here is that the upscale audio products in question required content to be mastered in their respective formats. You're quite right that there will always be a small market willing to pay a premium for all kinds of high-end audio equipment, but succeeding with a whole new disc format must require a much larger market share than, say, a high-end turntable or amplifier.
     
  15. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    In another thread I stated something along the same lines. If they had marketed SACD and DVD-A more or less *only* to typical Stereophile/Absolute Sound/etc readers, and charged $30 a disc, they might have had something there. The volume was never going to be there anyway. But for those of us interested in these formats, a few dollars more per disc is no big deal, and could have made the difference to the record companies interested in making money off them.

    I.e., Chesky and Telarc and companies like those are *still* making SACDs. At low volume and at a higher price.

    I think the record companies wanted something to replace rather than augment CD, and that just wasn't going to happen. CD *is* good enough for most people. Heck, low bit rate MP3's are good enough for most people.
     
  16. Jeff_A

    Jeff_A Screenwriter

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    True . . . damn unfortunate, but true. [​IMG]
     
  17. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    And i'm not sure in the long run HD,BlueRay wont be in the same boat as SACD and DVD-A.
     
  18. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    For me anyway, when talking about Average Joes & dvd-audio/sacd, there is a big difference between hi-res stereo and hi-res surround.

    I agree hi-res stereo should have been marketed differently i.e. to the audiophiles, who would better appreciate the (IMO) subtle improvements it offers over CD.

    Hi-res surround on the other hand is a different matter. I truly don't know how many people would like 5.1 music but it definitely can offer a much different listening experience & one that anyone can hear with any level of equipment. And because of the physics involved, besides the surround aspect itself, the use of multiple channels can also offer improved sonic clarity that IMO is much more apparent than with hi-res stereo. I've heard this on my own system many times, despite using three different brands of speakers (though they share a similar overall sound).

    So to me, surround is what should have been pushed in the advertising to non-audiophiles, not hi-res' extra resolution. Because as mentioned above, when so many people think a 120kbps MP3 sounds good, improved resolution obviously is no value to those people (though I think part of that type of thinking is due to the rather deceptive marketing by certain industries that makes it seem like any MP3 is "CD quality" [​IMG] ).
     
  19. ArtC

    ArtC Extra

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    People didn't buy quadrophonic in the 70s; why would they buy surround today? What percentage of potential CD buyers even have the hardware necessary to listen to surround sound?
     
  20. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Because your already setup for it with HT.
     

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