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DVD-Audio Primer

Old 11-08-2003, 12:05 PM
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DVD-Audio Primer

DVD-Audio has been a format that has been of interest to audiophiles and audio geeks for the past few years. The introduction of DVD-A to car buyers is an interesting tactic that just may help launch DVD-A into the mainstream. However, for those mainstreamers who aren't following cutting edge audio technology, DVD-A can be a confusing thing.

So, as a service to normal people who care more about cars than audio, who now have a new audio format in their car to deal with, here's a quick DVD-Audio primer for those who may not understand what this format is, and why it's so exciting:

Definitions

First, the Big Shock:

"DVD" stands for "Digital Versatile Disc" (not Digital Video Disc)!

It was labeled as such way back when because the inventors knew at some point in time the DVD would do more than just movies. It just so happens that movies were the killer app that kicked off the format's popularity.

So, DVDs that contain movies are actually DVD-Vs (DVD-Video discs)!! They're not just DVDs, like we're all so used to calling them. "DVD" has become shorthand for DVD-V because there's been no reason to distinguish DVD-Vs from any other type of DVD.... until now.

So, we have the DVD disc, which can be formatted to a DVD-Video (DVD-V) disc or a DVD-Audio (DVD-A) disc.

Differences between DVD-V and DVD-A

DVD-V discs are formatted to play primarily video material, with a compressed audio soundtrack (likely a 90/10 ratio of space allocated for video to audio). Those great soundtracks for the movies you watch? They're all in Dolby Digital or DTS (both heavily compressed 5.1 tracks). They still sound great, but they're not the best audio quality... nor do they have to be, since your brain is focusing on the explosions on the screen.... not the chalkiness of a viola's staccato in a fugue.

DVD-A discs are formatted to play primiarly audio material, with a bit of video to support the audio experience (likely a 90/10 ratio of space allocated for audio to video). Because of all this space dedicated to audio, the engineers can put a whole lot more of detail into the recording and playback of audio tracks.

Differences between DVD-Audio and CD

Let's quickly look at the DVD-A vs. CD and see why this is:

CD: 550MB (megabytes) of space.
DVD-A: 4.7GB (gigabytes) of space.

So, a DVD-A has 8.5 times as much space as a CD disc! With this, the inventors of DVD-A had two options:

1. Keep the quality of CD sound and put on 9+ hours of CD quality music
2. Keep the same ammount of music as on a CD, but increase the fidelity/quality by approx. 9 times the amount.

They chose #2.

CDs have two channels: Left and Right. Each channel contains samples from audio recordings, recorded 44,100 times each second. For each of those 44,100 samples per second, the CD can capture 16 "bits" of data at any given microsecond.

DVD-A can be stereo (like CDs) or in surround (Like DVD-V). However, unlike DVD-V, the surround audio is NOT compressed. In fact, not only is it not compressed, but it's recorded and played back at much higher resolutions than anything we've heard before in the digital world.

A stereo DVD-A contains, like CD, 2 channels: Left and Right. But, each channel contains samples from audio recordings 192,000 times each second (drastically higher than CD!). And, for each of those 192,000 samples per second, the DVD-A can capture 24 "bits" of data at any given microsecond.

A surround DVD-A contains 6 channels: Left, right, center, rear left, rear right, and subwoofer. Because there are so many channels, they needed to reduce the resolution a bit from the stereo DVD-A: Each channel can vary, but a typical recording contains samples from audio recordings 96,000 times each second (more than twice the resolution of CD!) and captures 24 "bits" of data at any given microsecond.

So, overall, even a surround sound DVD-A has tremendously more "detail" than a CD. What does "detail" give the casual listener? A LOT!

Why DVD-Audio Discs Sound So Great

Arguably, there were significant compromises when the CD format was invented in the early 80s due to the 550MB of info you could fit on a single disc. The result? that 44,000 samples/sec and 16bit resolution is not really enough to get the full playback of the audio that was origiinally recorded. Sure, CDs sounded GREAT compared to LPs because there were not scratches, popping, etc. Plus, they were so convenient and cool!

But, CDs really do "strip" a lot of the audio information from the listener, because our ears can hear things more than 44,100 times each second, and more than 16 bits of detail for each given microsecond. As a result, our CD experience is great, but it does sound "digital" vs. "real."

You might have noticed that most CDs sound like CDs... bright, powerful, and crisp. However, real world sounds rarely sound as bright and crisp. We have gotten accustomed to this sound, and we associate it with "CD quality" -- which it is! But, it's not really "realistic quality." Some people complain that CDs are unable to convey a "warm sound" -- for instance, the ambience of a jazz club, where there's a warmness being transmitted by the performance. In reproductions of this, the CD will convert the warmth to typical CD brightness and crispness. We're used to this, but now we know we can do better!

And that's where DVD-A (and the competing format, SACD) comes in. DVD-A plays back at such a high rate, that our ears really cannot discern the difference between the original sound and a sound played back at the resolution and detail of a DVD-A disc.

This means that songs sound more "real", "natural", and "moving" than the the same songs on CD. As a result, they sound BETTER. Add the fact that DVD-As are typically 5.1 surround, and then you get much better "real" sound coming from all around you -- like REAL SOUND works.

Due to reflections in walls, halls, clubs, etc., we never, ever hear sound just from in front of us in stereo. We ALWAYS here stuff in surround sound! DVD-A brings reality to music reproduction in terms of quality (of each channel) and quantity (# of channels).

So, DVD-A is a superior audio format than CD, and it's meant to replace CD eventually. DVD-A has nothing to do with movies, other than the fact that it's disc is the same capacity, and the same companies own the patent.

Compatibility

DVD-A discs are designed to play on every single DVD player sold, ever. This is an important point. How could this be?

Well, all DVD-A discs also have a DVD-V track on them as well! On this DVD-V track (the track that plays on all DVD players) contains the same musical performances as exist on the DVD-A track, but the DVD-V track is recorded in Dolby Digital or DTS -- the same exact formats that movie soundtracks are recorded in!

So, essentially, there are two different versions of the same music on a DVD-A disc: a high quality version that will play on DVD players that have DVD-Audio circuitry, and a lower quality version that will play on ALL DVD players!

So, all those DVD-A discs you buy can be played on your home DVD player as well... just not in the same high resolution as the playback in your car (ironically). Of course, you can buy a DVD player with DVD-A compatibility. If your home DVD player has DVD-A compability (there are many available, at all price points), and your receiver has DVD-A inputs, you can listen to the same great resolution at home as in your car.

Last, but not least, by 2004, the DVD Forum is trying to add to the DVD-A standard by including a CD-compatible track to all DVD-A discs... meaning that in the future, if you buy a DVD-Audio disc, it will not only play on ALL DVD players, but ALL CD players as well! Talk about compatability.

Conclusion

I hope this sheds some light for the newly initiated! What Acura has done is daring: introduce a new audio format in its car before it has gone mainstream. Acura has taken an interesting approach here, and I think it's a great approach! They are showing leadership in luxury -- proudly proclaiming that their customers are refined enough that they would appreciate real, high quality sound while they're driving in their real, high quality cars.

The DVD-A environment in the 04TL is remarkable. It sounds better than DVD-As on my home stereo! After demoing DVD-A in the TL, I now realize I need to upgrade my speakers at home.

So, GO OUT AND BUY DVD-AUDIOS and support this great format! They're available at Best Buy, Sam Goody, and other major retailers. They're also available widely on-line. There are hundreds to choose from, and more being developed every month. The more we buy, the more they'll make!

Take care and enjoy!
Jon

Resources

Here are some on-line resources that provide more info in easy-to-understand terms:

http://www.disctronics.co.uk/technol...daud_intro.htm
http://www.surroundedby.com/what-is-dvd-audio/
http://www.dvdinformation.com/audio/faq_audio.html
http://www.digitalaudioguide.com/faq.../faq_intro.htm
http://www.dolby.com/dvd/

DVD-A Reviews:
http://www.highfidelityreview.com/reviews/dvdaudio.asp
http://www.audiorevolution.com/music/dvda.shtml
http://www.currentfilm.com/dvdaudioreviews.html
http://classicalcdreview.com/dvdareviews.htm


Good prices:
http://www.digitaleyes.net/dvdaudio.cfm
http://www.buydvdnow.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...735756-2659848

My favorite DVD-As:
Big Phat Band: Swingin for the Fences
Blue Man Group: Audio
Inside the Music series
Dvorak's New World Symphony
REM Automatic for the People
REM Document
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Old 11-08-2003, 03:40 PM
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Jon,
Thanks a million for the primer. Like a lot of new TL owners I have been trying to understand this new concept and no one has explained it so clearly. Thanks for taking the time. I know everyone is going to appreciate it. Jim
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Old 11-08-2003, 04:40 PM
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Jim,

Thanks! I hope the moderator will consider making this a "sticky" topic so it doesn't get buried in the discussion list.

Jon
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Old 11-08-2003, 04:59 PM
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Wow, thanks for the great explanation, I think all the new TL owners will be interested in this.
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Old 11-08-2003, 05:15 PM
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made sticky....
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Old 11-08-2003, 10:35 PM
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JonDeutsch you are truly a DVD geek.
Thanks for the info.

Unfortunately stereo or surround DVD-A, doesn't appear to be common place, hopefully in the near future it will become the standard.

I will be buying Blue man group and perhaps Aaron Neville Devotion.
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Old 11-09-2003, 12:57 AM
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JonDeutsch:

Gee wiz, you know your stuff!

Your explanation is quite helpful. Thanks much.

I bought Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys and LA Woman by the Doors so far.

Borders Books has a good selection and have on-line access to all DVD-A titles. amazon.com has a good selection and links to other companies which have good selections. Borders prices were higher than Best Buy in my area.

'04 TL 5AT w/o nav. green/parchment
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Old 11-09-2003, 07:51 AM
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Nice primer! Maybe with better understanding this format will win the SACD vs. DVD wars? I know that there's more of a marketing push for SACD.
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Old 11-09-2003, 10:01 AM
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Well said jon; however , I wished Acura would have included sacd. I have so many sacd's(my dvd player support both.) Pink Floyd's sacd re mix of Dark Side of The moon is a must own sacd. It is truly a masterpiece as was written about In Sound And Vision Magazine about 6 months ago. I love the dvd-A, but what a pitiful selection of software.
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Old 11-09-2003, 11:25 AM
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Hey all -- thanks much for the feedback!

Some responses to questions and comments:

Yes, DVD-Audio is not a mainstream format yet. Due to this fact, we who enjoy DVD-A struggle to find content that is aligned with our tastes. This is something that those on the "bleeding edge" of technology always go through. It happened when the LP was released, the cassette tape, and, yes, even the CD.

My dad was one of the first American consumers of the CD player, and all we had to play was Michael Jackon's Thriller for about 6 months.

If you remember way back, the same thing happened with CD-ROMs. And DVD-Vs (though, to be fair, DVD-Vs took off much faster than any other format, ever).

So, the idea is that DVD-A can leverage the success of DVD-V by being able to be played back in the millions of DVD players already sold. That's the idea, at least.

SACD is a competiting hi-res audio format, backed exclusively by Sony. And there's the rub. DVD-A is backed by a "forum" -- a conglomerate of manufacturers...the same manufactures who backed DVD. And, Sony/Philips owns the patent/licensing on the lucrative CD format! So when DVD-A was batted around as the next big thing, Sony realized that the guys who owned the patent to DVD would be ripping away royalties from Sony's CD format. Sony needed to come up with a format that they thought would blow away DVD-A, and keep their dominance in the audio format ownership space.

So, Sony came up with something entirely new: SACD (Super Audio CD). Their strategy: keep their hold on the #1 music format by creating an "enhanced CD" vs a completely new music format based on DVD.

Sony went after an audience that they're familiar with: audiophiles. So, the original SACDs were all stereo (2 channel), and SACD players were $1500 and up. Audiophiles loved them! Sony felt success coming. SACDs, like DVD-As, have superior resolution as compared to CDs. Additionally, Sony took SACD a step further technologically: it's based on an entirely new way of recording music! In theory, this new recording method is superior to how music on CD, DVD, and DVD-A is recorded.

Just as Sony started hitting it's SACD stride, the DVD forum started marketing DVD-A discs... to a different audience: the home theater lover. They figured, hey, these guys already have surround sound in their homes... let's just give them surround music!

So, at a very very high level, DVD-A was focusing on making surround music for home theater buffs, and SACD was focusing on making traditional stereo music more enjoyable for audiophiles.

Turns out, DVD-A was on to something... people really dug the surround sound re-recordings of popular music from all different genres. So, Sony, up against a wall, started re-marketing SACD as a hi-res surround sound format. Their next generation of players handled surround sound, and many new titles came out in surround sound as well. Now, the two formats were virtually identical... with two exceptions:

1. Types of titles available
2. Percent of titles that are surround sound enabled

Because of the heritage of each respective format, you will still see today a difference in the style and # of channels between the formats: You will still see a higher percentage of stereo-only SACD releases, and you will also see a higher percentage of jazz and classical titles on SACD. Conversely, you will see 95% of the DVD-A releases as surround, and a higher percentage of DVD-As as mainstream releases (rock, new age, hip hop, etc.).

So, depending on your tastes, one format may be more suited to you than the other. The above are generalizations, however, and the other factor to consider is that Sony owns one of the largest music publishing businesses in the world. So, artists like Billy Joel and other Sony-based artists are released on SACD. Artists on Warner, Silverline, DTS, and other publishers release their signed artists on DVD-A. Some publishers release both formats, but that's limited.

So, SACD and DVD-A is about politics and money. Paint me surprised.

The one thing I only touched on was the difference in quality. I won't go into detail because, after all, this is an Acura forum, but here's a quick summary:

SACD followers believe SACD has potential for superior audio quality due to its novel and innovative recording scheme. They claim that DVD-A is flawed because it used outdated "PCM" recording technology.

DVD-A followers believe that DVD-A has potential to sound just as superior to SACD due to the high sample and bit rates it can achieve. They claim that SACD is flawed because its new "DSD" recording technology is too expensive to retrofit into every studio in the world (PCM has been the standard for decades), and, worse, DSD has residual "noise" that needs to be physically cut off from playback in order for the playback to be enjoyable.

As a future TL owner and DVD-A owner (so you know my bias ), here's the truth:

Both formats sound awesome. They get to the same ends from completely differerent means. No normal consumer cares about the means they use, so they should join forces and let us have ONE hi-res surround music format so there are no choices to be made.

I chose DVD-A because of the type of titles that were available 2 years ago. I was more drawn to REM and Blue Man Group than Billy Joel. Now? It's a bit tougher becasue each respective library has grown stronger and more broad.

The good news is that, for the home, there are an increasing number of "universal" players avaiable that play: CD, DVD-V, SACD, DVD-A, MP3, and WMV... almost every concievable format! These are probably the best units to look for for the home.

For me, I have a high-end DVD-A/DVD-V/CD/MP3 based mega-changer (403 discs), which makes it very convenient for me to listen to music. There are NO universal mega-changers to-date, so I'm pretty much stuck with DVD-A unless I want to buy a seperate SACD mega-changer (Sony makes it, of course ). Now that I'll soon have DVD-A in the car and the home, I think I'll stick with DVD-A, and hope for continued success for the format.

I still buy CDs, but I'd rather buy a DVD-A instead of CDs, because once you hear how great stuff sounds in hi-res and in surround, everything else sounds flat and boring.

Ahhh, the price of progress....

Jon
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Old 11-09-2003, 01:19 PM
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This DVD -A that is in the new 2004 tl will not play regualr C'D's ?


I am not into technical things' but I love my music .does this mean I can't play my regular C'D's ..and that I'll have to buy DVD-A music ,where there is not many choices of songs' because not much music is out yet for DVD-A .!
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Old 11-09-2003, 01:50 PM
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Jon, thanks for the write-up... as a fellow hi-res enthusiast, just wanted to give my opinion. I have a universal player (Denon 2900), so I can be format agnostic, but I've found that I truly prefer sacd titles over dvd-a titles. The primary reason for this is ease of use; I only buy sacd titles that are hybrids, so I'm able to play them in the car easily (i.e. without ripping the dvd-a to cd), and also because you put it in the player and it just plays (no menus to deal with).

Of course, Acura has solved both of these problems (although there doesn't appear to be any way to play the Stereo layer of the dvd-a, you're stuck with the surrond sound, which I don't care for; can anyone confirm this?), so if I do end up buying a TL then I'll probably start buying more dvd-a's. As it stands right now, I probably have a 4:1 ratio of SACDs to DVD-As, mainly because I've found that I rarely have time to just sit and listen to a DVD-A at home while I can take a hybrid sacd with me, but with the TL the DVD-A can come along as well... sweet!

That Girl: The TL can play regular CDs in addition to DVD-As, so no worries.

Jim

p.s. Slight correction to the original post, normal CD's hold 650MB, not the 550MB as stated...
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Old 11-09-2003, 02:13 PM
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just100,

Thanks for voicing your less biased opinion. And thanks for the clarification of CD capacity. NOTE: I may have made slight mistakes in details like this... my post is more of a primer on the concepts and less about the technical specifics. Any specifics I gave were from memory, and were stated only to paint a picture of the differences in the formats -- not intended to mislead or misrepresent the actual facts.

As I noted in my post, just100, by next year, you should be able to take a DVD-A into your non-TL car stereo with you as well... future DVD-As are spec'd out to be compatible with all DVD players and all CD players.

Jon
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Old 11-09-2003, 02:23 PM
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Hi Jon,

Yeah, I know that dvd-a hybrids are in the works, and it will definitely be nice and hopefully help the popularity of the format. It's not THAT big of an issue for me now, as I just rip the dvd-v layer and burn it to cd, but it'll be one less thing to worry about...

By the way, do you know for sure whether it's surround only in the TL, or is there some way to access the stereo layer?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 11-09-2003, 02:30 PM
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Jim,

Frankly, because I don't own an 04TL, I really don't know for sure. I would expect that if you put in a 2.0 DVD-A, it would play, but if there were 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, it would autoplay the 5.1 track and not give you the opportunity to switch to the 2.0 version.

That's just my guess! I think all DVD-Audio players need to be able to play all DVD-A versions.... it has the DVD-Audio logo, so it should comply with the basic requirements of the standard.

Jon
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Old 11-09-2003, 11:39 PM
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Jon:

Couple of questions:

When you say "95% of DVD-A are surround," what are the rest?

I assume just stereo-only (i.e., 2 channel)? And as you described in your original (and very informative) post, do these two channel track recordings actually sound better than regular CD's (due to the 4-5 X higher sampling rate and better bit rate), or do they just THEORETICALLY sound better? That is, can you tell the diff b/w a 2.0 DVD-A recording and a regular CD? (because you obviously can b/w SACD 2.0 and CD).

And as you said, in the TL, it would prob just play the 5.1 not the 2.0 - but what about on your home decks? Do you get to choose between the two at home?


Also, people have been taking about recording to DVD-A. Is that possible? Can I rip my CD's, and then burn them (in an uncompressed format, WAV I think?) on a recordable DVD, thus having the benefit of having 8-10 X the amount of music on one DVD disc (similar to burning MP3's to a CD, but without the lossy compression)?

And finally - has SONY made any statements about EVER re-releasing to DVD-A as well as SACD? Or will I NEVER hear Billy Joel in 6 glorious channels before I die.

Thanks again for all your teaching!
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Old 11-10-2003, 09:54 AM
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All good questions.... each answer is demarked by a "-":

- re: the % of surround DVD-A discs....The remainder are 2-channel stereo.

- Yes, these two channel stereo DVD-As (as well as 5.1 surround DVD-As) sound better than CDs. How much better? Well, that depends on two factors:

1. Your aural sensitivity (how good your ears are)
2. The quality of your system (amplifier, speakers, cables)

So, if you plopped a DVD-A into boom box (fyi - there are no DVD-A players built into boom boxes), you probably couldn't tell the difference between a CD and DVD-A. But, if you put it into your 04 Acura TL or a fairly nice home system, you certainly will be able to tell the difference. In fact, Acura ships a demo disc with the TL to dealers that give you a back-to-back comparison between CD quality and DVD-A quality. The difference is astounding to my ears.

- On home decks, you always can choose between the different tracks as long as they exist on the disc.

So, if a DVD-A had 2.0, 5.1 and DTS on it, you can choose which one you're listening to. However, this is usual a "system default" setting in the DVD player, not a by-disc setting.

- There has been a misunderstanding of terms when people say "burning to DVD-A." The average joe will never burn a DVD-A disc. It's a very complex process.

However, what people (including me) are entertaining is the possibility of burning CD-quality audio onto a "DTS disc" -- which is different than DVD-Audio (which the TL also supports). I believe (could be wrong here) that DTS discs are more like DVD-V discs than DVD-A discs. If this is the case, then it's more likely that burning software is available to burn DTS-encoded WAV files onto a DTS music disc. This, in theory, could give us 20+ CD's worth of music on a single DVD (tho, it would be slightly compressed, but much less so than a typical MP3 file).


- There have been rumors that Sony would consider bowing to pressure and releasing DVD-As. I don't believe it, though. I think Sony is going to stick to its guns until it's economically infeasible to do so. I really don't have a crystal ball to see where the future of hi-res surround music is going. It's anyone's guess.

Something as random as Acura putting DVD-A into the car could be the 'kick' that pushes DVD-A into the mainstream. Or not. Time will tell!

Jon

Originally posted by eyeguy
Jon:

Couple of questions:

When you say "95% of DVD-A are surround," what are the rest?

I assume just stereo-only (i.e., 2 channel)? And as you described in your original (and very informative) post, do these two channel track recordings actually sound better than regular CD's (due to the 4-5 X higher sampling rate and better bit rate), or do they just THEORETICALLY sound better? That is, can you tell the diff b/w a 2.0 DVD-A recording and a regular CD? (because you obviously can b/w SACD 2.0 and CD).

And as you said, in the TL, it would prob just play the 5.1 not the 2.0 - but what about on your home decks? Do you get to choose between the two at home?


Also, people have been taking about recording to DVD-A. Is that possible? Can I rip my CD's, and then burn them (in an uncompressed format, WAV I think?) on a recordable DVD, thus having the benefit of having 8-10 X the amount of music on one DVD disc (similar to burning MP3's to a CD, but without the lossy compression)?

And finally - has SONY made any statements about EVER re-releasing to DVD-A as well as SACD? Or will I NEVER hear Billy Joel in 6 glorious channels before I die.

Thanks again for all your teaching!
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Old 11-10-2003, 01:10 PM
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Ok.. I had to

if ya really want to get anal about CD capacity, it's standard at 650mb of Data, up to 700 or 750 in some cases. But a standard 650mb Data CD holds 780mb of Audio data. Audio doesn't have CRC and headers and overhead so it gets more. Hence 16bit x 44 x 2 (stereo) into 780mb was 74 minutes..

I know.. just being a geek. Good post guys.
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Old 11-10-2003, 01:47 PM
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Yeah, yeah, I know. I goofed. I'm debating whether to modify the post with the right info. If I do, then your posts correcting me won't make as much sense!

Jon
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Old 11-10-2003, 10:12 PM
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Jon:

Thanks for clearing up my questions.

One more: So how do you burn a DTS disc? Is it just a blank DVD, that you burn in WAV format (or some other uncompressed format) with a DVD burner, using "DTS software"?


Do you record your ripped CD tracks in 16 bit x 44K x 2 on the DTS DVD? How many tracks on average per disc?

I don't mean to be getting off the subject here, but I feel that having a CD quality-level burned disc with a lot of tracks to play in my future TL is important!!
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Old 11-12-2003, 03:55 PM
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Good posts, here's a summary of buying strategy, FWIW:

If you are going to add a new unit to your home theater/surround audio system, get something that supports DVD-A and SACD so you won't be sorry in two years and so you can buy whatever discs you want. I just got a low-end piece (Pioneer DV-563-A) that I think sounds fine and only costs $180 at BestBuy or Circuit City. Then any DVD-A discs will play at full capacity in this player AND work in your TL. Now if you see something in SACD that you really want, make sure it is "Hybrid" which means it has a CD-format track on it for use in any CD player, including your TL's. But your home player will access the super audio version and sound even better. But note, as JonDeutsch clarifies above, that many SACD's are just in stereo which may sound better than regular CD's but aren't surround sound. I bring this up so that people don't rush out to replace their CD's with SACD's thinking that they'll get their favorite music in surround. Only the "Multi-channel" SACD's are in surround. And also FWIW, live concert recordings are probably not the best source for a multi-channel disc. I bought the new Springsteen Live in NY concert on multi-channel SACD and it was not impressive - lots of noise from all directions.

And finally, JonDeutsch, if you like REM you should get the new one in DVD-A: In Time 1988-2003 (or something like that). Very nice recording, to the point where you can hear how flawed the back-up vocals are on Man on the Moon. I'd be interested to hear your view of Document since that is one CD I would replace if it were well done. Although I don't understand why it seems to be selling for something like $23 - I have already given REM much more of my dough than they deserve for imports, remixes, B-sides, etc. - inclulding that mediocre 4-pack of 4 CD's (instrumentals, covers, etc.) from a few years ago.
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Old 11-12-2003, 04:43 PM
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So the question is, will DVD-A survive the turf wars? Is it possible that the systems in the TL could be upgraded to support SACD? Would hate to have the "Beta" version in my car forever......:wow:

Thanks for the great info......

D
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Old 11-12-2003, 06:30 PM
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Originally posted by ccie2663
So the question is, will DVD-A survive the turf wars? Is it possible that the systems in the TL could be upgraded to support SACD? Would hate to have the "Beta" version in my car forever......:wow:
I think Sony (erhm..Super) Audio CD's compare better to Betamax than DVD-A. DVD-A is an open standard! According to Mobile Entertainment sony has no plans to make a mobile SACD deck, but a number of manufacturers (Pioneer, Kenwood, Eclipse, etc..) are coming out with mobile DVD-A decks (Eclipse already has one with a TFT included).

Furthermore, if you think about it, how many average music fans are going to sit at home in the 'sweet spot' to listen to their music? I bought a DVD-A and it sounds awesome..but if I'm doing something else (ie not sitting on my ass) it loses most of it's awesomeness. In a mobile environment, however, you're stationary with respect to the speakers. I think mobile is the key to the adoption of either of these techs...and DVD-A is out there RIGHT NOW.

Lastly, once average people decide they want a 'better' CD for their music, they can still play a DVD-Audio on their plain jane DVD-Video deck in 5.1 surround at higher quality than CD. Or they can buy a new SACD deck..hmm..

Obviously their is more to it than this, including the luck factor, but I think DVD-A is in a much better place to be accepted by the average consumer, and don't fool yourself..the average consumer is the key. Re: VHS
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Old 11-13-2003, 08:52 AM
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Good post, Jon. However, it should be pointed out that the data on a DVD-A is compressed. It is compressed with Meridian Lossless Packing, which means no information is lost in the decompression phase, unlike that of DD or DTS, both of which employ lossy compression.
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Old 11-13-2003, 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by That Girl
This DVD -A that is in the new 2004 tl will not play regualr C'D's ?


I am not into technical things' but I love my music .does this mean I can't play my regular C'D's ..and that I'll have to buy DVD-A music ,where there is not many choices of songs' because not much music is out yet for DVD-A .!
Yes it will, that is because the player on the TL is a multi reader that means it reads DVD's and CD's, just like the DVD rom on your PC. It will not play DVD movies, because there is no MPEG decoder and/or code to understand that the DVD is a DVD-V or has a video file.

Last, but not least, by 2004, the DVD Forum is trying to add to the DVD-A standard by including a CD-compatible track to all DVD-A discs... meaning that in the future, if you buy a DVD-Audio disc, it will not only play on ALL DVD players, but ALL CD players as well! Talk about compatability.
I really don't think this will ever happen. Even if you put a CD compatible track (meaning part of the DVD is not DVD but CD) They will either have to make the dvd players, dvd-a players compatible to read this hibrid CD. There would have to be 2 TOC's on the CD/DVD. I don't see how this would work. Remember the only reason DVD players could also read CD's is because there is a multi optical lense reader on those players, this allows to physically read the CD format.....a plain old CD player will never be able to read a DVD, no matter if it has video, audio or whatever, this is a big physical barrier.
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Old 11-13-2003, 12:01 PM
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The thing I don't understand is why you couldn't listen to a DVD video in the TL (forget about watching it on the Nav screen - I'm just talking about listening to the audio, which should be in 5.1 surround format). All DVD-a players, at least for the home market, will also play DVD-video - and certainly you don't have to have a video monitor turned on or even attached to listen to the audio. I'm sure a lot of people have concert DVD's that they would like to listen to in the TL. Anyone know what's preventing this?
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Old 11-13-2003, 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by Fencesitter
The thing I don't understand is why you couldn't listen to a DVD video in the TL (forget about watching it on the Nav screen - I'm just talking about listening to the audio, which should be in 5.1 surround format). All DVD-a players, at least for the home market, will also play DVD-video - and certainly you don't have to have a video monitor turned on or even attached to listen to the audio. I'm sure a lot of people have concert DVD's that they would like to listen to in the TL. Anyone know what's preventing this?
That is because they also have the hardware to play DVD movies(videos). The TL does not have the hardware to play DVD movies, either because acura didn't want to or they didn't think it was safe or needed.

On the other hand old DVD players will not play true DVD-A tracks, unless if that DVD also has a compressed DTS image(tracks)
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Old 11-13-2003, 07:45 PM
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Is there a company out there that can re program the DVD player to read all types of media????



--Chad
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Old 11-15-2003, 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by rhizopod
Good post, Jon. However, it should be pointed out that the data on a DVD-A is compressed. It is compressed with Meridian Lossless Packing, which means no information is lost in the decompression phase, unlike that of DD or DTS, both of which employ lossy compression.
Yes, the data is compressed...but not the output. Since this scheme of compression has absolutely no bearing on sound quality, it didn't seem appropriate to confuse matters further (like defining lossless vs. lossy compression). For all intents and purposes to the average car-buying consumer, DVD-A output is not compressed, while MP3, DTS, and DD are compressed.

Jon
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Old 11-15-2003, 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
DVD-A output is not compressed, while MP3, DTS, and DD are compressed.

Jon
They shouldn't call it compression, they should call it not all the data is there...
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Old 11-16-2003, 08:14 AM
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Originally posted by Bitium
They shouldn't call it compression, they should call it not all the data is there...
Technically, correct! But, as you know, in the public lexicon of digital audio, people attribute "compression" to MP3 technology, and to that end, compression directly affects sound quality.

I'm just playing into the public lexicon so as to help the average car-buyer who doesn't know DVD-A from DTS vs. taking the technical high road.

Jon
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Old 11-17-2003, 01:31 AM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
- There has been a misunderstanding of terms when people say "burning to DVD-A." The average joe will never burn a DVD-A disc. It's a very complex process.
Never say never...

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Old 11-17-2003, 03:49 AM
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At $500 + knowledge of hi-rez surround audio manipulation, I still suggest that the average joe will never see this app on their PC.

That said -- I don't think it's very easy (not never!) to make a copy of a DVD-A disc due to copy protection. Any insight into making this happen for personal copies (I own many that I'd want to copy -- not buy a 2nd copy of -- for the car).

Jon

Originally posted by djsteve
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:13 AM
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DTS vs. DVD-A

Can anybody explain the differences between these 2 formats? They are being sold in the same section of the music stores that I shop at. The jewel case is the same larger than CD size and it's difficult to distinguish between the two.
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Old 11-17-2003, 02:46 PM
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Question

I'm trying to figure out why I'd want surround, at least the way Elliot suggests he did it with the Track 22/23 demo. He suggested that from each speaker he recorded a different instrument. Then there was some reflection so that there was some bleed-over from one speaker to the next, which was quite normal.

This would seem to me that I would feel like I was sitting in the middle of the band, rather than in the audience. I'd hear three instruments in front of me, and two behind me. Some to the left and some to the right.

To actually feel like I was in a consert hall, I would need to have all of the instruments coming from the front (some left, some right), with the reflections of those instruments coming from the back, probably slighly delayed. But this is not what Elliot says he is doing.

I can't deny that the DVD-A's on the demo sound great, and that they can put in some interesting effects (check the Queen track and the one after, where sounds seem to go from speaker to speaker and/or around the car), but as for reality, I don't often sit in the middle of the band.
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Old 11-18-2003, 12:40 AM
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jgrahamiii:

The reason is fairly simple: it sounds better with 5.1 DVD-A. If the music "envelopes" the listener it sounds more life-like. In a concert hall all the different instruments are coming from their own source. If every instrument had it's own own speaker and one's dash could fit 50 speakers for the 50 instruments then it would sound great. The 5.1 set-up is a method to get the sound to sound better.
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Old 11-19-2003, 02:19 AM
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so no watching porn on the navi screen!!!!!
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Old 11-19-2003, 10:18 AM
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Remember the quadraphonic record fad from the early 70s? Why did people want surround sound then? And why did surround sound music offerings die out within a few years?

The surround sound is more gimmick than genuinely useful feature, just like the sport shift. Sure, it's kinda cool, but if it were an option instead of standard equipment few people would pay the extra $$$ to buy it.
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:26 PM
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The TL supports both.

DVD-A is essentially uncompressed output, and DTS is compressed output of audio.

DVD-A has the potential to sound superior to DTS, but both have potential to sound better than CD. And boths support surround sound.

Jon

Originally posted by gregory28
DTS vs. DVD-A

Can anybody explain the differences between these 2 formats? They are being sold in the same section of the music stores that I shop at. The jewel case is the same larger than CD size and it's difficult to distinguish between the two.
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:30 PM
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Like surround sound in the theater is a gimmick?

In the 50s, audiophiles said that stereo was a gimmick.

Be glad there are those of us who care about pushing the envelope. If there weren't people who were always on a quest to improve music reproduction, we'd all still be listening to 8 tracks.

Feel free to join us when you are ready. Until then, your TL will still happily play CDs and cassette tapes.

Jon

Originally posted by fuque
Remember the quadraphonic record fad from the early 70s? Why did people want surround sound then? And why did surround sound music offerings die out within a few years?

The surround sound is more gimmick than genuinely useful feature, just like the sport shift. Sure, it's kinda cool, but if it were an option instead of standard equipment few people would pay the extra $$$ to buy it.
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