DVD-A vs SACD?
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andrzejpw

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So, who's winning here? From my viewpoint, its clearly SACD. It really seems like they are getting their name out more, and it finally seems like sony has made a concentrated effort to begin to push it. Well, maybe that wording is a bit strong: Sony seems to be pushing SACD more strongly that before.

Is Sony going to start mass producing Hybrid SACDs, or are the Rolling Stones more of a one time thing? Obviously, the best way for the format to thrive is through hybrid cds. Right now, few will buy a dedicated SACD player. The ideal is for the customer to realize 4 years down the road his new dvd player plays sacds, and he already has quite a few, right?

But will the customer notice? Let's be honest: more people aren't really willing to spend thousands, or even hundreds, on speakers. Most people I know use a minisystem of sorts to play music in their kitchen. Even with SACDs, will they care? Will they notice the better quality? Even if they do, will it be a big deal to them?

Now, about DVD-A: has anyone noticed that the DVD-A people almost don't seem to care about their format? I rarely see ads, and the news I do read is sparse. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
 
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I'm all for SACD, primarily because of the hybrid feature and the fact that the DVD-A had watermarking (though I thought I heard they were addressing this now). Unfortunately, Creative's Audigy 2 soundcard is supporting playback of DVD-A and seeing as how more mainstream consumers will be introduced to the higher resolution formats from this card, I'm rather blue about it not being SACD.

I have to agree in that I haven't heard much from DVD-A in the press or from it's proponents lately, though I find head-fi to be decidedly pro-SACD. I keep hearing about more labels signing up with SACD. Don't know if it's been discussed on the forum yet (apologies if I'm turning this into something similar to the constant postings of that tube mobo), but I just saw a news item about Universal Music Group releasing it's first SACD's on Tuesday. Universal is the world's largest music company so I guess that says something
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Though they hardly deserve an award for the performance, I think its fairly clear that the SACD forces are winning. The recent release of the brilliant and hybrid, Stones cd's was a stroke of genius and word is that some huge releases of mega selling artists catalogs (Springsteen?) will follow.
I too hope that SACD wins this thing outright.
 
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I have yet to listen and compare the new formats to each other, but it seems to me that SACD is winning, judging from the forums I frequent. I witness much more discussion of SACD than I do DVD-A, and more people reccomending SACD sources rather than DVD-A. I think sony's doing a good job putting out inexpensive, great-sounding sources that make their format accessible to people who aren't willing to shell out a lot of money for something of this sort. I haven't really kept track of what's going on in DVD-A.
 
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I would love for Columbia to release Springsteen on SACD. I can't figure out why they haven't put out some of their best artists on SACD yet.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Born2bwire
I would love for Columbia to release Springsteen on SACD. I can't figure out why they haven't put out some of their best artists on SACD yet.


Part of the reason is probably production capacity. I've read that the available capacity is still quite limited, although they are gearing up for more, and was stretched to produce all the Stones discs.

Reading the accounts of the SACD and DVD-A press events in last months Stereophile, it seems pretty clear that they believe SACD is in the lead.
 
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IMO, there is no "format war". The universal players are already out and multiplying in number. They'll all be universal in no time flat, the market will demand it. You will not be forced to choose between the formats.

SACD gets more attention around here so it may seem like it's "winning". In reality DVD-A has more modern and rock titles than SACD and given the demographics here, you'd think there'd be more DVD-A users.

SACD also targeted the top-end of the market so it got more interest from the audiophile press. Only now are they releasing "audiophile-grade" DVD-A players. Denon has a $3K player and Ayre just came out with a $5-$6K player that's supposed to be something else. I expect the audio rags will start to pay more attention to DVD-A now that there are players "worthy" of their time.

Mark
 
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andrzejpw

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Hmm, do you really think the two formats can survive, side by side? I mean, what incentive is there to support 2 formats, which pretty much have the same goal?
 
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HDCD and regular Redbook CD live side-by side, along with JVC's XRCD, and in olden time Mobile Fidelity's Gold CDs. There's plenty of room for any format that will play on a universal machine.

Mark
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Born2bwire
I would love for Columbia to release Springsteen on SACD. I can't figure out why they haven't put out some of their best artists on SACD yet.


The rumor (I think I read it here) is that they are holding back many of their best discs to gain strategic advantage over DVD-A. Essentially releasing a large number of artists like Springsteen on SACD could either bring the format back from the brink of oblivion or provide a critical punch to invalidate DVD-A in the eyes of consumers. (i.e. they will strike when DVD-A is weak enough to be wiped out)
 
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You guys are missing the third possibility. It's entirely possible that neither of these formats will take off and CDs will remain the mainstay of the consumer market.

There is a good chance of that happening because:

a) The average Joe will not be able to hear the difference between a CD and a high resolution format given the electronics that will be used to play it.

b) People are happy with the quality of MP3's. They're more than happy with CDs, they see no value in upgrading their entire CD catalog.

c) Most people don't want to spend the money or make room for a multi-channel setup (I excluse stereo when I say "multi-channel").

d) People want to hear their CD's in the car

e) people want to burn their music on CDs

f) Between the DVD-A and SACD, the consumers are so confused that it provides them with an even greater incentive to stick with the CD format.

So, it's entirely possible that the whole thing will fizzle.
 
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It's definitely possible. I think that even in the dooms-day scenario you describe, two things will save one of the formats or both.

A) Audiophiles while not a huge group are a decently large market segment. Especially as larger production facitilities for both players and discs drive down manufacturing costs, audiophiles who do care about the extra quality will provide enough incentive for companies to cater to them. This will mean cheaper players and a much wider catalog.

B) Stupid competive middle-class gen Xers. (Not that I have anything against them, I hope to be one in a few years!) What I remember from when CD players hit suburbia was that they were a major status symbol. Eventually SACD (I would guess) will be marketed to this demographic. Everyone will want one, even if they won't appreciate it in the slightest. It's Thorstein Veblin all over again.
 
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Blip,

The problem as I see it is not so much with the players but with software. Whereas the audiophile market maybe sufficient enough to drive the sale of players (although I seriously doubt it. Stereophile circulation is around 80,000), it's not enough for the record companies to produce 2 additional formats simply to satisfy a nisch market. Suburbunites and yuppies may spring for the players, but they may not spring for the music. At least I don't see them paying to replace their current CD catalog.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by markl
IMO, there is no "format war". The universal players are already out and multiplying in number. They'll all be universal in no time flat, the market will demand it


Oh really?

You cannot find a single DVD-A player with a geiger counter in my city. You can find the odd SACD player. There are hundreds of DVD players for sale that play everything but DVD-A and SACD.

Track records of "universal" players show they do a half-assed job with some of the formats they are designed to play. Who needs that?
 
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