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What is HDCD?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have bee reading and I noticed some people mentioning HDCD. What exactly is that and how does it compare with say SACD or DVD-Audio? Thanks.
post #2 of 19
HDCD stands for High Definition Compatible Digital. You can get information and a selection of HDCD disks here.

I have never heard SACD or DVD-Audio so I cannot comment or compare.
post #3 of 19
HDCD sounds better than CDs but not as good as DVDA or SACD.

Here's the ranking of digital formats:
SACD
DVDA
HDCD
CD

CD, HDCD, and DVDA are all nice formats, but SACD is really the standout winner to me.
post #4 of 19

with tongue wedged firmly in cheek

Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Beilin
Here's the ranking of digital formats:
SACD
DVDA
HDCD
CD
Well, I don't know about SACD/DSD, I know it's up there with high-rate PCM such as DVD-A and DAD, so with that qualification:

SACD/DSD DVD-A/DAD vinyl (just as a reference point)
















decoded HDCD
CD undecoded HDCD



watermarked DVD-A
post #5 of 19
SACD is really the only format to get all excited about. HDCDs are an improvement, but not huge. DVDAs are getting closer to analog, but not quite. SACD is freaking amazing!

A better ranking would be
1) SACD
4)DVDA
6)HDCD
7)CD

Sorry for all the hype, but I honestly feel it should win in the format wars.
post #6 of 19
I always thought that DVDA is better then SACD, coz it's....well........DVD
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Beilin
Sorry for all the hype, but I honestly feel it should win in the format wars.
I don't know if this is a taboo subject or not, so I apologize in advance, but...

It's not really a format war! I really don't understand why it's perceived that way. It's not like VHS vs. Beta, wherein you couldn't put a Beta tape in a VHS VCR and vice versa. The only thing preventing you from putting an SACD in a DVD-A player (and vice versa) is...the corporations! They can make a device that reads both, they choose not to. There is no physical reason why you can't have both in the same machine. And the thing about software is all about licenses. Which can obviously be overcome, since there is at least one recording that is both. Sorry, Jon, not picking on you, this is more of a personal rant against the publications that prepetuate this falsehood.
post #8 of 19
Yeah, but due to technology licensing, there will not likely be a player that can read all three for a while. I call it a format war simply because I feel that DVDAs are inferior and I would rather have SACDs be adopted as a standard for the future.

Odin- SACDs are high density disks just like DVDs... I don't understand your argument
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Beilin
...there will not likely be a player that can read all three for a while.
Actually, they already exist, although they are not perfect. Pioneer has one, but it's already outdated, as it does not have SACD surround. And I just read in one of the British magazines that one of their entry-level companies made one that reads all three. Didn't recognize the name of the company (EDIT: looked it up), Zenix? It was in the "new and noteworthy" type sections in the front of the magazine (Hi Fi Choice). So, yeah, it should be par for the course in a couple of years...assuming either one of them win...at the current rate of software, the public is going to stop caring quickly...they need to get together and just let everyone do everything, so that the public feels comfortable buying a player and knowing that it's going to be able to play everything. I know that's what I'm holding out for.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
The only thing preventing you from putting an SACD in a DVD-A player (and vice versa) is...the corporations! They can make a device that reads both, they choose not to.
Given the current de-regulatory climate and the tendency to let a few corporations handle all the business in the U.S., I don't ever see any company allowing their proprietary technology to be licensed out for a cross-format machine. It's all about market share: most companies would rather take the chance of losing out in the format war to gain complete control of the entire market if they win.

Shades of Microsoft? You better believe it.

cajunchrist
post #11 of 19
While I won't make any positive guesses on sound quality, here is a player for under $300 that plays DVD-A and SACDs.

http://www.apexdigitalinc.com/html/AD-7701.html

Apex is famous for making players that play everything. They aren't famous for making players that play anything well. What do you expect from a device with Karaoke support?

I would like to have an unbiased audiophile review of how this player sounds, but I'd be suprised if she/he had anything good to say.
post #12 of 19
And of course, everyone is already familiar with the $6000 MSRP Pioneer player that plays both.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/Pi...2,2092,00.html

While I love my Pioneer DVD player, I think I'll wait awhile before I buy a Pioneer SACD player. Say, until the price is 1/10th of the current price.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by JK1dotNET
And of course, everyone is already familiar with the $6000 MSRP Pioneer player that plays both.
Yeah, except that in only plays SACD in stereo, so they're not bothering to market this too hard. They've already got a model coming out that will do SACD in surround as well, and is cheaper (though still in the thousands, therefore still outside my league).

Eventually.

I'm thinking two machines -- the Toshiba top-end model to do DVD-V, DVD-A and HDCD (SD900E) and one of the Sony's to do SACD...we'll see...
post #14 of 19
I have a CD that seems to pop in and out of HDCD mode on a per-track basis. And in fact, one of the tracks, on the last 10 seconds (fade-out) the HDCD light on the CDP turns off. Weird, eh? My quetsion is how much better is the sampling rate on HDCD? I wonder because I duped Tool : Lateralus as a backup copy and the backup is also HDCD -- so I'm guestimating that it takes up about the same amount of data/space on the disc as a normal audio CD? Bah -- pardon my grammar, I'm coding right now.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by neil
I have a CD that seems to pop in and out of HDCD mode...
Hmmm...that's odd. I wonder if it is supposed to be HDCD, and is just dirty, or a normal CD, and it's accidentally triggering the HDCD decoding detection. How does it sound when it does this?
Quote:
My quetsion is how much better is the sampling rate on HDCD?
Exactly the same as regular red-book CD. It's a compatible compression format. Very much like dolby, if you're familiar with that. So, technically, it's 16 bits/44.1kHz, but the filter (read: expansion algorithm) that they put it through takes it effectively (read: virtually) to 20-22 bits (does nothing with the sampling rate). But, also "technically", the filter is not introducing any new information.

There's a white-paper that explains it on hdcd.com.
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