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DVD-A = ? SACD = ? - Page 2

post #16 of 29

But Jon...

...don't you think that might just be an equipment thing, as in the SACD players currently happen to use better hardware or the encoding process has better converters, etc.? Couldn't this just be a present-time anomaly?

In any event, in which ways that you heard, Jon, did the SACD trump the DVD-A?

Best,
Matt
post #17 of 29
Regardless the "better" technology rarly wins-out. See Betamax, Motoral 68k, Amiga (and Mac to a limited degree), etc.

I think the only thing the consumer *might* care about is surround sound. In this case DVD-A is gonna trump SACD. I own one DVD-A title and it also contains a Dolby Digital encoded portion that plays on my standard DVD player.
post #18 of 29

Oh my...

...forgot to post this, something I remembered remembering some time ago:

DVD-A is going to win. Let me tell you why:

The music industry, consumers, professional recordists, live concert recordists etc. all like technological advancement. One must take a *holistic* look at recording and playback in general. Screw this, let me get to the point: DVD-A is beefed-up PCM. SACD is an entirely new, entirely incompatible encoding method. DVD-A is an easy standard for current PCM equipment manufacturers to live up to, they simply to increase the data rate. SACD requires revisions of not just a small technical detail of the encoding process, but rather requires an entire re-write. This also holds true for D/A converter manufacturers or any such component manufacturer that makes digitally-capable equipment. It's a huge re-working that I am positive has already, willy nilly, given DVD-A a huge advantage.

As the pro-SACD techies say, SACD is a better encoding step for the basic sound wave, after which it can be "decimated" into high-data rate PCM. I think this is the best arrangement. I do believe that SACD is destined to be the archivists encoding method of choice and DVD-A will be for the consumer, including the high-end consumer, non-professional recordists, etc.

Plus, I think the "CD" part of the SACD moniker makes it sound old-fashioned (seriously).

I dunno...there are, IMHO, just too many hurdles for SACD to overcome in the minds of consumers, equiptment manufacturers, etc. To me, this is all a big Bush vs. Gore, "no one's really certain" situation, but some rule, law or factor somewhere will come into play and decide this debate once and for all. And my chips are on DVD-A.

- Matt
post #19 of 29
Well, as I've said before, I really don't see why it has to be a format war this time. This is the first case where it was physically possible to do both in the same machine, as proven by Apex and Pioneer (I suspect Sony will break at some point). And since most titles are only available on one or the other, once you have a truly universal machine, it can stay that way.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by gaineso
Who carries those Apex AD 7701's? I could get interested. Otherwise , I too will wait.

"As for which is the best sounding or will win in the marketplace, I vote for vinyl. "

Me too.
Even though I don't trust most of their reviews, check out audioreview.com and look up the 7701. It's not pretty.
post #21 of 29
I disagree, respectfully so. SACD will die. If the consumer choice is PCM then archiving in DSD would make no sense. It's much easier to go from PCM to PCM than between two inheriently different digital formats!

Most pro digital gear is already doing high-bitrate PCM and it's just fine for archival (24 bit 192 KHz).

It makes absolutly no sense to me to convert from PCM to DSD and then back to PCM again.

Anyway, I think consumers are perfectly happy with CDs. The people that aren't are audiophiles and the RIAA who wants watermarking and copy protection. I think both formats will never really "take" with consumers.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Nezer
It's much easier to go from PCM to PCM than between two inheriently different digital formats!
In your head. It's actually pretty easy to go to/from DSD/PCM. You're right, in that if the consumer gets to decide, he will probably show a similar level of misunderstanding, but it is not necessarily the case.
post #23 of 29

Nezer...

...I agree. I think that the biggest hurdle is going to be the consumer. In the case of VHS vs. DVD video, the consumer's choice is, quite literally, clear and on his current equipment. With DVD-A/SACD gear, the consumer's current equipment is almost certainly not of sufficient quality (nor would his ears be, for that matter) to discern any sort of substantial, cost-justifiable difference. Included in the problems for both formats is the price point differences of CD vs. DVD-A/SACD titles right now. It's going to be crucial that these come down.

The Pioneer dual-format (or tri-format, including CD) machine: what is it's model number and price point?

As far as the Apex box, the story is that the unit was released to only one website (linked to on the Apexdigital.com site) so that the hardcore, early-adopters could get their hands on one and basically do the bug testing for the company (with neither the site or the company expressly indicating that). That is why it's so "buggy." However, from what I understand, this has happened before with other models and the fix was a simple firmware upgrade, so I'm not particularly worried about the performance of this machine except for it's aural performance (which I am extremely interested in...if 'tis favorable enough, I shall pick one up).


- Matt
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Nezer
It's much easier to go from PCM to PCM than between two inheriently different digital formats!

Most pro digital gear is already doing high-bitrate PCM and it's just fine for archival (24 bit 192 KHz).

It makes absolutly no sense to me to convert from PCM to DSD and then back to PCM again.
Nezer, again, I agree. This will mean that semi-pro and amateur "home studio" recordists (who record their band or local bands or whatever it is they do) will have to globally change things or purchase entirely new computer programs (or at least radically altered ones...under the hood). Yet another factor to consider.

- Matt
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by DustyChalk
In your head. It's actually pretty easy to go to/from DSD/PCM. You're right, in that if the consumer gets to decide, he will probably show a similar level of misunderstanding, but it is not necessarily the case.
In my head???!!!

The fact is that conversion will require an extra step where quality is potentially lost. Add to that that most digital pro gear already does high-res PCM, what's the point in converting (and potentially losing quality in the process) just to archive? Why not just archive in the original source, which, by and large, will be PCM?

Believe me, I don't "misunderstand" this fact.

Would it make a whole lot of sense to take a 16/44 audio file and convert it to DSD for the improvment? Of course not, so why would you convert PCM to DSD when you aren't going to *add* anything in the process. And for archival pruposes you certainly don't want to add anything!

The fact is that consumers don't care. If they did then quadrophonic recordings would have been hot **** in the 70s and CDs would already be 4+ channel discrete encoded! Multi channel audio is merely a novelty with the consumer and outside of that, no one will know or care about the differences between CDs and the newer formats let alone the differences between SACD and DVD-A.

I think DVD-A will "win" the "format war" but it will not win against the CD. I think DVD-A will stick around and become the next laserdisc where there is just enough support to keep the format alive but not enough to launch it into mainstream. If the multi-format players become available and licensing for both formats are reasonable, there could be room for both formats but I doubt that will ever come to fruition. Who knows?

Some form of DSD will probably rule in about 25 years when consumer audio grows past 2 speaker low resolution capability. Multi channel audio will not take off until FM radio starts broadcasting in surround sound! And really, this is the only thing that Joe and Jane Consumer will really care about.

DSD will *NOT* be the archive method of choice until most all of the digital pro gear supports it and I'm not holding my breath seeing how PCM has the foothold in that market.

So it boils down to the only people that care about DSD are audiophiles and, while we spend a *LOT* of money on our addiction, we don't spend nearly enough to dictate consumer standards.
post #26 of 29

Re: But Jon...

Quote:
Originally posted by Matt
...don't you think that might just be an equipment thing, as in the SACD players currently happen to use better hardware or the encoding process has better converters, etc.? Couldn't this just be a present-time anomaly?

In any event, in which ways that you heard, Jon, did the SACD trump the DVD-A?

Best,
Matt
I already admitted that the test was not scientifically sound because the equipment and obviously the media was not identical in the previous post.

My point is that a 333ES playing an SACD can beat all the DVD-A players out there. Maybe DVD-A is a good format with poor players.

DVD-A does have a larger frequency response (that'll make your dogs happy) and a larger dynamic range. SACDs are sampled many, many times per second and sound more realistic that way. It's sort of like the vinyl vs. CD issue. Both have a 20hz-20khz frequency response, and both have a pretty large dynamic range, but the vinyl is analog and just sounds better. SACDs come pretty close to vinyl (minus inner groove distortion and wear and tear). DVD-As just sound like a spiffed up CD.
post #27 of 29
There's an interview with Robert Stuart of Meridian in the Dec/Jan issue of TAS. He's of course a strong supporter of DVD-A and a co-developer of MLP(Meridian Lossless Packaging) used in DVD-A.
post #28 of 29
>DVD-A does have a larger frequency response (that'll make your dogs happy) and a larger dynamic range.<

This is not my understanding. I thought SACD has a frequency range of 100khz, and DVD-A has a frequency range of 96khz

>SACDs are sampled many, many times per second and sound more realistic that way. It's sort of like the vinyl vs. CD issue. Both have a 20hz-20khz frequency response, and both have a pretty large dynamic range, but the vinyl is analog and just sounds better. SACDs come pretty close to vinyl (minus inner groove distortion and wear and tear).<

SACD or DVD-A are both far better than even the best analog recorders available today. I don't believe there are any analog recorders that have a frequency domaine of more than 50khz, which is only half of what SACD can do.

From what I understand SACD is the equivalent of a 200khz sampling rate, or 8khz more than DVD-A's 192khz in PCM.

SACD is a little better than DVD-A, I think, and the higher sampling rate also means SACD would probably need a much less agressive filter than DVD-A. Another advantage.
post #29 of 29
I've been away for a while so if this has already been said, sorry.
SACD does have copy protection, but due to the way it's encoded, the copy protection info does not have to be a part of the audio signal, so it's inaudible. Sony are very coy about this but Tom Meitner said so in an interview in Positive Feedback. Can't say the same about DVDA's copy protection inaudibility. Oh, and hackers cracked DVDa in very short order. Hehehe.

The benefit of the large frequency response is that you are able to have alaising filters that are much gentler in slope, and so cause less audible phase anomalies in the passband. It also means you can actually record all the higher harmonics which are present in lots of musical instruments. My experience tells me that an earlier, gentler roll off is always better than a higher, sharper one.

DSD should sound better than PCM because it works in a way that is more similar to our ear/brain. As sounds get louder, our ears distort more. When volumes are low, they distort less. I have a URL confirm this, but the host is down for maintenance for 3 days. Intuitively, this makes sense though. We evolved needing sensitive hearing at low levels to not become food. The lower level information is what's required to fool the brain into beleiving it is real, or at least allowing you to relax enough so that you forget all about the hardware side of things. This, as well as the really crappy HF performance, is why CD sounds so bad.

PCM gives minimum distortion at full scale, and progessively worsening performance as the level is decreased. Few 24 bit A/Ds and D/As approach 24 bit, especially in consumer gear, most of which is lucky to make 20/21 bits. PCM 'noise' is also dissonant with what we know as natural.

DSD gives it's best performance at lower levels, and progresively gets worse as the level rises, ie, similar to the way we hear. The noise must also be shaped and moved up above the spectrum, so it is far less audible. It also has a larger low order harmonic structure, so it is more pleasing to the ears.

However, all of that is irrelevant to most consumers. WE here at this and other audio forums are the rarified end of the spectrum. Most people I know like listening to my system and are often impressed, or better still, moved to tears or wanting to dance, things that don't happen on their inexpensive gear. But they are usually very happy with what they have and seldom want to even upgrade to cheap 'component' system.
So, where do they get the benefits of DVDA or SACD? Nowhere, except maybe surround, which IMO is a bit of a gimmick. NO ordinary consumer I know is remotely interested in DVDA/SACD at all, especially if it can't play DVDs and doesn't have a digital output so they can make digital copies. The new formats and machines have no features or benefits that people want or need. I defy you , let alone Joe Sixpack, to tell the difference between a DVDA/SACD and a CDP on the average, non-audiophile system out there.

I feel the manufacturers are looking for a way to
-sell us a new product, as CDP market penetration is almost complete
-redefine the cost of music as they did in the LP to CD changeover
-install digital copy protection so you can't make digital copies. Remember CD burners and Napster/MP3 success caught the record companies hopping. Look at their profit levels. People want cheaper, not more expensive music.

They ae trying to sell this new format to the audiophiles first, 'cos that's the only way to try to get any market penetration, and 'buzz' happenning.
I am pretty sure they will both fail. Did I hear someone say DCC or DAT?

Lastly, the dynamic range argument is a moot point, I good ribbon or condenser mic, in a good studio has a dynamic range of about 80dB, and a good 1/2 or 1" master machine is approaching, and in some cases exceeding that figure now. My new machine will when it's done. And the anaolg noise is a much more pleasant spectrum to listen to, being like white noise, which is used in many applications to mask other sounds. Oh, and Tascam are starting production again for some analog tape machines due to demand in the industry.

Analog rules mon.
Brett
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