I think the new formats could survive as niche markets and do better than DVD-A/SACD, but I don't know whether that will happen or not. I would expect high prices and low quantity, and it could be possible for those involved to make money which isn't possible now with DVD-A/SACD. I don't think the formats can do well as mainstream formats, just as DVD-A/SACD couldn't do well. I understand we can buy the software and hardware at great prices now, when we can find it, but that doesn't mean any company is making any money with it and wants to continue releasing titles. I think prices have to be high, marketing costs kept to a minimum and profits are possible. Selling at a loss is great for the consumer but it means the likelihood of further products being released is nil. The only successful companies with these current high resolution formats are likely AIX, Telarc, Chessky and a few other high cost labels. The quantity sold can't interest the big companies but can result in a profit for smaller companies. If Blu-ray and HD DVD can't sell at high prices, the audio releases will probably be few and far between. DVD-A/SACD started out priced high, sat on shelves and didn't sell and ultimately were discounted to sell.
Well, they most certainly have failed in terms of what the manufacturers wanted: a replacement for CD. They also have failed in terms of any appreciable mass market penetration.
Maybe a year ago, Denon did state that they were going to incoporate SACD and DVD-A into fewer players because their market analysis said that those features weren't driving any significant increase in sales at the low end of the scale. Luckily though, there are still quite a few players that still do have both.
What I think will be interesting is if I get my wish. I want a and not b or c for a next gen universal player:
a) DVD-V, DVD-A, CD, SACD, HD DVD, Blu-ray b) DVD-V, CD, HD DVD, Blu-ray c) DVD-V, DVD-A, CD, HD DVD, Blu-ray
I think there is a *sizeable* chance that we might not get DSD and SACD in a lot of next gen universal players.
I don't mind paying up to $20 for a hi-res surround disc ($25 would be the absolute max but it would have to be excellent music with great mix & recording quality) - in emails I've told DTS Entertainment & Universal just that. I can never find an email address for Warners.
I don't know if you've noticed but unless you're into classical & jazz, most audiophile labels have little to offer music-wise. And if they do offer non-jazz/classical, it's almost always some obscure or watered down pop/rock stuff, 65 year old crooners, or "hi-brow" rock where some guy shows off his college music course skills via slick - but soulless - guitar noodling. I could care less how good a disc's mix is or what high quality gear was used to record it - if the music sucks I won't buy it.
I still have hope for dvd-audio and dvd-video surround titles from independent rock music labels since these can be put together on a small budget (both formats' authoring software is commerically available at low prices). I have seen nothing comparable for sacd; and anyway, you have to have an sacd player to play them - dvd-audio/video can play on all those millions of players already out there.
I suppose that Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones did dabble in the blues, and jazz was arguably a descendent of that genre, so technically your statement could be construed as almost nearly perfectly correct. And lumping dts in with dvd-audio might serve to neutralize the cries of "what about pink floyd"?
I think many people DO want surround in music, but they already have it. They put in a CD and push the "surround" button (or whatever it's called on their HTiB) and the music magically comes from all around them. Why would they spend more money on a disc that may or may not work in their car or bedroom system to get something they feel they already have? Not to mention that the whole thing is rather confusing for most people - two different formats, extra cables, limited selection of music (not even available in many stores), different discs, some discs work in other CD players and some don't.
Both formats were doomed to failure from the outset by poor product "packaging" - products need to have a real benefit, be easy to wrap your head around, and be accessible (both in cost and availability) to be successful. SACD and DVD-A were none of these for most consumers.
No, I don't think so. The average consumer is at the very least aware of HDTV. Of course, there is still a format war and we'll have to wait and see about accessibility of players and media (your average consumer isn't going to buy now with $500+ players and only a handful of movies).
If the format war can be quickly resolved and the companies can play up the association between the new format and HDTV (HD-DVD has a branding advantage here), then they have a good chance for success.
Of course, the adoption will be nothing like the massive adoption of DVDs. DVDs offered a long list of advantages over VHS, so it was an easy sell to consumers once the players were reasonably priced.
Assuming it's a hybrid disc. While most are hybrids now, there were plenty of pure SACDs on the market which only added to the confusion.
The big issue is that as far as the average consumer is concerned, SACDs don't gain them anything. They can already do multichannel off of CDs if they care about that and the quality difference is a non-issue for anyone except audiophiles. The discs cost more, the selection of hardware is somewhat limited, and you gain nothing in return. Where is the value proposition for the average consumer?
There aren't any, but most of the multichannel mixes I've heard aren't this good. Just as there were people who bought Laserdisc players just to have the best copy of Star Wars, there might be people buying universal players to have the coolest version of DSoM or other albums. But, as with the Laserdisc player, this isn't a viable market for an entire format (let alone two formats).
I think most multichannel mixes are better than what you can get with DPL IIx, Logic 7, DTS Neo 6, etc. A multichannel mix is mixed with a human being at the helm, rather than just a bunch of software algorhythms deciding where the sounds should go.
I just had a thought: what if SACD and DVD-A failed because most people's experience with 5.1/7.1 mixes were with CDs run through DPL IIx, etc? And they didn't think the effect was that great?
It's funny, because just last year I actually though about getting an LD player just so I could have the original versions of the Star Wars movies. Luckily, they are coming this fall.