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DVD-Audio Primer

 
Old 11-19-2003, 01:18 PM
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jondeutsch:

Thanks for the explanation on DVD-A and DTS. Can the human ear detect the difference if it's recorded/mixed well? Which do you prefer? I don't understand the difference between uncompressed and compressed.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-19-2003, 01:27 PM
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I posted this on the "Acura Stereo Info" thread:

We have a discussion going on in the "What do these radio buttons do "thread":

Page 131, paragraph 2 of the manual says:

"To select a different disc when all six positions are loaded, use preset 5 (DISC -) or preset 6 (DISC +) button. Otherwise, press the cooresponding number on the preset buttons or icons." Presumably one should be able to move from disc to disc either going down (DISC -) or up (DISC +).

It doesn't work. The only thing buttons 5 and 6 do is what buttons 1-4 does for discs- go to the disc that cooresponds to the number.

Please advise if this functions for anyone the way it's supposed to. It appears that Acura made a mistake. No big deal really, but worth a chuckle or two.
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Old 11-19-2003, 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by gregory28
jondeutsch:

Thanks for the explanation on DVD-A and DTS. Can the human ear detect the difference if it's recorded/mixed well? Which do you prefer? I don't understand the difference between uncompressed and compressed.

Thanks again!
It would take a pretty good ear to hear a huge difference, but it really depends on the quality of the recording and the material. They both sound great... DVD-A can just sound so much better if done carefully.

It's still early in the game for surround sound engineering. They're learning all the time how to improve the results.

Jon
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Old 11-19-2003, 06:48 PM
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Jondeutsch:

As usual, you're a wealth of information regarding anything audio!

Thanks again.

Greg
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
Like surround sound in the theater is a gimmick?
At least with sound effects, you can do things like have the sound follow the helicopter as it crosses from left front to right rear in an intuitive and natural way. As has already been noted, when one is attending a concert, the only sound that comes from behind you are echoes from off the back wall and maybe some audience noise once in a while; you don't hear John from the front left, Paul from the front right, Ringo from the left rear, and George from the right rear.
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Old 11-19-2003, 10:29 PM
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With surround audio, the innovation is in the hands of the mixing engineer. No doubt, we're at the beginning of that learning curve.

To that end, the success of a surround mix is in the hands of that very surround engineer. Does the engineer put Paul on the left, and Rigno on the left rear? He may, but he won't for long.

Appropriately, the Beatles are a great example to use. If you look at some of the earlier Beatles albums (hey, even many of the later ones), the "stereo engineers" didn't really give us a "stereo image" at all! In fact, Paul was in the left, John in the right speaker, Ringo to the left.

Nowadays, you get a real stereo image in most recordings, and you'll rarely hear a single soley on the left channel.

So, let's come back to today: surround sound engineers are on the same learning curve as "stereo" engineers were back in the 60s. They will continue to get more sophisticated with their utilization of the 5.1 channels they have to work with.

Already, tremenous advances have been made. Essentially, a live recorded concert (usually classical at this point), the surround speakers are used, appropriately, as reflective sources (ie., the microphones were placed in the rear-left and rear-right of the hall, and recorded as the the rear-left and rear-right speakers). This provides the listener a phenomenal recorded experience -- gobs better than the fake "dolby pro logic or pro logic II" surround systems that many receivers have. DVD-Audio is not synthetic -- it's really recorded in surround, and played back in that exact same surround.

For studio albums, where there is no real reflective surface to emulate, the engineer can go hog-wild like they did on Queen's Night at the Opera DVD-A (Beatles-esque with much overdone surround sound), or they can go more subtle and mature like on REM's Automatic for the People. On REM's disc, surround channels are used to "free up sonic space" for instruments in the front two channels. This gives each instrument more definition and prominence. Ultimately, the listening experience is significantly improved from what now sounds like a "flat" CD.

So, is surround sound a gimmick? Well, if you think stereo is the holy grail of audio reproduction, you might very well say it's a gimmick. Just remember: audiophiles all agreed that stereo was a gimmick, too, back in the 50s and 60s.

Jon
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Old 11-20-2003, 08:32 AM
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This discusison makes me wonder if we'll ever see a new format that requires four speakers in the front, supplemented by two rears, the center, and the sub. That would let you better separate/isolate the sources without sticking any original material behind you that shouldn't be there. Then the rears could just be used for reflection, audience noise, etc. Four good speakers in the front would cover most source material (except orchestras) without having to overuse that center channel speaker, which is usually not of sufficient quality or specification to match up with the fronts.
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Old 11-20-2003, 08:34 AM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
Appropriately, the Beatles are a great example to use. If you look at some of the earlier Beatles albums (hey, even many of the later ones), the "stereo engineers" didn't really give us a "stereo image" at all! In fact, Paul was in the left, John in the right speaker, Ringo to the left.
Jon
The early Beatles are a great example to use in demonstrating recording evolution: the first few albums were mono mixes. Capitol started putting pressure on the band to release stereo mixes (you could buy the first few US releases in mono or stereo). George Martin had never planned for a stereo release, so all he could do is dole out the four studio master tracks into L / C / R (mostly L and R). By the time they got recordings like 'Revolver', (1966) George Martin was more comfortable in a stereo control room and became more aware of the two channel sound stage.
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Old 11-20-2003, 01:01 PM
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Ever so slowly, center channels are catching up to the quality of the left and right channels. Ideally, they are identical to the left and right speakers.

Jon

Originally posted by Fencesitter
This discusison makes me wonder if we'll ever see a new format that requires four speakers in the front, supplemented by two rears, the center, and the sub. That would let you better separate/isolate the sources without sticking any original material behind you that shouldn't be there. Then the rears could just be used for reflection, audience noise, etc. Four good speakers in the front would cover most source material (except orchestras) without having to overuse that center channel speaker, which is usually not of sufficient quality or specification to match up with the fronts.
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Old 11-23-2003, 06:14 AM
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DVD DTS tracks are 48KHz (DVD, not DVD-A)
CD DTS tracks are 44KHz

You need a different (or deluxe) version of SurCode to create the 48KHz DTS tracks.

I don't think you can just burn a bunch of DTS encoded wav files to a DVD-R and have it play back in the TL (or any DVD player). If so, you could take a DVD-V of any movie you have, put it in the TL, and see if you can hear the soundtrack. Has anyone tried this?
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Old 11-23-2003, 09:47 AM
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oblio98,

I'm not positive that that's true... though it may be.

After a little research, I learned that there is a "DTS Music Disc" format that burns on a DVD. It seems that this is a seperate format from DVD-V and DVD-A. Ie., there seem to currently be 3 distinct ways in which to format a DVD.

Thoughts on this?

Jon
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Old 11-23-2003, 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by oblio98
If so, you could take a DVD-V of any movie you have, put it in the TL, and see if you can hear the soundtrack. Has anyone tried this?
I took The Blues Brothers movie DVD and loaded it into the player. The upper display flashed the word "FORMAT" and then ejected the disc.
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Old 11-23-2003, 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
After a little research, I learned that there is a "DTS Music Disc" format that burns on a DVD.
Those are CDs.

Mike
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Old 11-23-2003, 12:03 PM
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No, I don't think so. When I looked at the DTS site, it was clearly DVD-based.

I'm aware that there are DTS CDs as well. But that's something different. Frankly, it's very confusing and not very well documented on-line for consumers.

Here's a very high-level marketing pitch saying how DTS Music Discs are, indeed, based on DVD medium:

"What are DTS Entertainment 5.1 MUSIC DISCS?

This is an exclusive collection of DTS-encoded discs that offer some of the finest 5.1 re-mixes ever created. These discs can be experienced on any DVD player connected to a DTS-capable 5.1 playback system... in your home, car and PC workstation."

http://www.dtsentertainment.com/music-featured.php


Originally posted by svtmike
Those are CDs.

Mike
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Old 11-23-2003, 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
"What are DTS Entertainment 5.1 MUSIC DISCS?

This is an exclusive collection of DTS-encoded discs that offer some of the finest 5.1 re-mixes ever created. These discs can be experienced on any DVD player connected to a DTS-capable 5.1 playback system... in your home, car and PC workstation."
They need a DVD player to play back, that is generally true, simply because you won't find a DTS decoder in any stand-alone CD player. The medium, however, is a CD.

Drop one into your computer. The disc is identified as an Audio CD, and you can make a copy (onto CD-R) to play in the car so that you don't need to carry the expensive original in there.

Mike
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Old 11-23-2003, 12:22 PM
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Hey Mike,

Gonna have to disagree with you here...

Check out a DTS Music Disc that I actually own: Night in Paris

"The DVD format allows this disc to be enjoyed as an audio experience alone, or in conjunction with the provided visual selections. The disc plays in all DVD players and DVD ROM drives. The audio is designed to support six-channel and stereo speaker setups."

http://www.silverlinerecords.com/paris_main.asp

I admit, it's all very confusing. But clearly DTS has music discs on CD and DVD formats. No wonder the stinkin format is struggling.

Jon

Originally posted by svtmike
They need a DVD player to play back, that is generally true, simply because you won't find a DTS decoder in any stand-alone CD player. The medium, however, is a CD.

Drop one into your computer. The disc is identified as an Audio CD, and you can make a copy (onto CD-R) to play in the car so that you don't need to carry the expensive original in there.

Mike
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Old 11-23-2003, 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
Hey Mike,

Gonna have to disagree with you here...

Check out a DTS Music Disc that I actually own: Night in Paris
Is that Night In Paris by the London Philharmonic? If it is, that's a DVD-Audio published by Silverline, not a DTS Entertainment 5.1 Music Disc published by DTS Entertainment.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...543520-9146335

I have two DTS 5.1 Music Discs - Don Henley's End of the Innocence, and Lyle Lovett's Joshua Judges Ruth. Both are CDs but require a DTS-capable DVD player for playback.

Mike
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Old 11-23-2003, 12:56 PM
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Still going to have to disagree with you...

Yes, it's Night in Paris by London Phiharmonic.

Click here:
http://www.silverlinerecords.com/paris_main.asp

It's DVD-MUSIC, not DVD-Audio. It's not a real DVD-A disc.

Jon

Originally posted by svtmike
Is that Night In Paris by the London Philharmonic? If it is, that's a DVD-Audio published by Silverline, not a DTS Entertainment 5.1 Music Disc published by DTS Entertainment.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...543520-9146335

I have two DTS 5.1 Music Discs - Don Henley's End of the Innocence, and Lyle Lovett's Joshua Judges Ruth. Both are CDs but require a DTS-capable DVD player for playback.

Mike
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Old 11-23-2003, 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
Still going to have to disagree with you...

Yes, it's Night in Paris by London Phiharmonic.

Click here:
http://www.silverlinerecords.com/paris_main.asp

It's DVD-MUSIC, not DVD-Audio. It's not a real DVD-A disc.

Jon
It's probably DVD-A with DTS-encoded audio; when you get your TL pop it in and see if it plays.

I think we're running into confusing trademarks and logos here. "5.1 Music Disc" is a specific trademark of DTS Entertainment, and only they publish them. Those are CDs. Their complete catalog can be found here:

http://www.dtsentertainment.com/music-featured.php

This "DVD-MUSIC" disc is a different animal from the "DTS 5.1 Music Disc"(tm), I agree. It's a DVD-Audio but without any MLP-encoded Advanced Resolution audio streams; it appears to have only DTS 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio streams. "DVD-MUSIC" appears to be a trademark of Silverline Records.

I also have to agree it's all more confusing than it needs to be.

Mike
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Old 11-23-2003, 02:01 PM
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All I'm really trying to figure out is if we could burn our own DVD discs full of 2-channel music in the DTS format.

I am curious about this specific configuration because in theory, it would not involve a DVD-A mastering process, and it would provide hours of 2-channel music on a single DVD.

I know it's a long-shot, but since Acura decided not to make an MP3 add-on for the TL, I'm looking for alternatives.

Jon
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Old 11-23-2003, 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
All I'm really trying to figure out is if we could burn our own DVD discs full of 2-channel music in the DTS format.
I'm pretty certain that "DTS" is without exception a 5.1 encoding scheme; there is no 2-channel variant.

The same company (Minnetonka) that sells DiscWelder Steel for DVD-Audio authoring (which will allow you to make DVD-Audio discs with 44.1/16bit PCM stereo streams) for $500 sells the SurCode DVD-DTS encoder, for $2,500, and that just does DTS audio streams for DVD-Video, not DVD-Audio.

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Old 11-23-2003, 04:46 PM
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Mike,

So the question remains: is there a format that we can use to squeeze on more than an hour of audio onto a DVD disc that the TL will read?

Jon
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Old 11-23-2003, 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
So the question remains: is there a format that we can use to squeeze on more than an hour of audio onto a DVD disc that the TL will read?
That is the question. You can burn stereo .WAV files onto a DVD-R in DVD-Audio format using DiscWelder Steel. Will the TL read it? I don't know, and I for one am not about to pony up $500 to buy DiscWelder Steel to find out.

Mike
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Old 11-24-2003, 06:11 AM
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Alright guys, here is the deal.

There is the DTS CD. These are discs like "Band on the Run", "Sting - Ten Summoner Tales", etc.

The whole list is here:
http://www.dtsentertainment.com/music-featured.php

DTS Entertainment now calls them 5.1 music discs but they are indeed CDs. They will play in your DVD players because all CDs play in DVD players!. Of course, they will play in any CD player (but you must have a DTS decoder to hear them!)

There is another format that you may have not heard about called a DAD!! This is a DVD that is recorded and manufactured at a higher bit rate than a CD can support, 96kHz/24bit audio . To achieve this higher bit rate, the manufacturer had to put the info on a DVD, as that disc has the capacity to hold that much more information. The listener HAD to play this disc on a DVD player, and in order to hear the higher resolution, needed a reciever that could play the hi-rez tracks to hear the extra bits. Early receivers did not always support 96kHz/24bit audio. (Note: A DAD is NOT a DVD-A!!)

Here is a quick blurb on DAD:
http://www.chesky.com/articles/body_...le=dvdreviews1

DVD-A has replaced the DAD as the music format for the DVD disc.
All DVD standard audio tracks, both the video and audio discs, are recorded at 48kHz. The MLP (DVD-A Hi Rez Tracks) are a different story, but we are just talking wav files here.

Because of this difference in frequency, you cannot record standard CD wav files to a DVD. You must convert them to 48kHz.

The DTS encoder program that many of us use, SurCode, comes in two versions because of this; DVD-DTS and CD-DTS. The main difference is that the CD version creates a 44kHz DTS encoded wav file, like those on the commercially available "5.1 Music Discs", and the DVD Version creates the 48kHz DTS encoded wav file for DVD.

There is also a big difference in the price. The CD version is $500, the DVD version is $2000!!!!

You can read all about this here:
http://www.surcode.com/low/low_index.html

For you new TL owners with questions or comments on DVD-A, DTS CDs, or surround sound in general, check out
www.quadraphonicquad.com/forums
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Old 11-24-2003, 07:10 AM
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Originally posted by oblio98

All DVD standard audio tracks, both the video and audio discs, are recorded at 48kHz. The MLP (DVD-A Hi Rez Tracks) are a different story, but we are just talking wav files here.
Discwelder Steel supports authoring 44.1kHz/16-bit stereo files to DVD-A. Check the users manual:

http://www.discwelder.com/pdfs/300steelbook.pdf

Page 35.

Mike
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Old 11-24-2003, 08:16 AM
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So, what I'm hearing indirectly is...

There's really no way to squeeze hours of CD-quality audio onto a DVD disc to mitigate the lack of MP3 support.



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Old 11-24-2003, 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
So, let's come back to today: surround sound engineers are on the same learning curve as "stereo" engineers were back in the 60s.
If that's true, then they are awfully slow learners! 4-channel surround sound (both discrete and matrix) has been around since at least the 70s. I used to have vinyl LPs that were quadraphonic. :p

Also, isn't the music for movie soundtracks mixed for surround? There must be a few movie sound engineers who can help the others over the hump...
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Old 11-24-2003, 09:44 AM
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Jon,

Thanks for that informative post. I try to keep up with new tech stuff as best as I can, but just don't have the time in many cases.
You explained it well, with enough info to make everyone understand, without going way over the top.

I just got my TL and enjoyed the demo disc, but was wondering where to buy a few DVD-A's on the web. I see your links, and will now be buying a few for the holidays.

Thanks again
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Old 11-24-2003, 10:15 AM
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Good point, but surround sound for movies is different than surround sound for audio. Different applications. Additionally, it may be the case that movie sound engineers simply are not interested in mixing surround sound music. It's an entirely different market -- and different pay scale.

Jon


Originally posted by fuque
If that's true, then they are awfully slow learners! 4-channel surround sound (both discrete and matrix) has been around since at least the 70s. I used to have vinyl LPs that were quadraphonic. :p

Also, isn't the music for movie soundtracks mixed for surround? There must be a few movie sound engineers who can help the others over the hump...
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Old 12-04-2003, 11:36 AM
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There is another reason why most audiophiles tend to favor SACD and most non-audiophiles favor DVD-A. For one, multi-channel SACD format is specified as full range for all 5-direct channels plus a non-directional sub channel vs. DVD-A's full range for the front 3 channels only and the rear surround channels are not full range. As mentioned before, the DVD-A format adheres more to the non-audiophile group where most people who have HT setups only have full range speakers primarily for the front channels two and not the center or rears. Most audiophiles who favor SACD have full range speakers all around and not just rear effects speakers that will mostly play only 100Hz or higher. Thus in true audiophile form, SACD requires higher end gear, especially in the speaker section than DVD-A.

Just my $0.02


Originally posted by JonDeutsch
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 12-04-2003, 12:45 PM
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I'm not sure this is correct. I am aware that the level of samplitude varies from front to rear (ie., the rears can do 44k/16bit while the fronts do 96k/24bit), but they are all full-range signals in DVD-Audio.

This is why my DVD-A player has a "bass management" built in -- to avoid blowing out my non-full-range rear speakers.

Jon

Originally posted by Hangman
There is another reason why most audiophiles tend to favor SACD and most non-audiophiles favor DVD-A. For one, multi-channel SACD format is specified as full range for all 5-direct channels plus a non-directional sub channel vs. DVD-A's full range for the front 3 channels only and the rear surround channels are not full range. As mentioned before, the DVD-A format adheres more to the non-audiophile group where most people who have HT setups only have full range speakers primarily for the front channels two and not the center or rears. Most audiophiles who favor SACD have full range speakers all around and not just rear effects speakers that will mostly play only 100Hz or higher. Thus in true audiophile form, SACD requires higher end gear, especially in the speaker section than DVD-A.

Just my $0.02
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Old 12-04-2003, 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by JonDeutsch
I'm not sure this is correct. I am aware that the level of samplitude varies from front to rear (ie., the rears can do 44k/16bit while the fronts do 96k/24bit), but they are all full-range signals in DVD-Audio.
The above is not a limitation either. DVD-A allows for the following bit depth/sample rates, with times shown using non-lossy MLP:

Mono (1 full bandwidth track):
16/44.1kHz - up to 1500 minutes of audio

Stereo (2 full bandwidth tracks):
16/44.1kHz - up to 720 minutes of audio
24/96kHz - up to 240 minutes of audio
24/192kHz - up to 120 minutes of audio

Surround (5 full bandwidth tracks + 1 sub track):
24/96kHz - up to 100 minutes of audio

Surround (6 full bandwidth tracks):
24/96kHz - up to 86 minutes of audio

Even DVD-V does not limit frequency response in any speaker except the subwoofer, so perhaps the original poster was thinking of older analog matrixing surround encode/decode methods such as Dolby Pro Logic???

-djsteve
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Old 12-04-2003, 07:10 PM
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DJSteve,

I think Hangman just got some bad information about DVD-A. I would not be surprised if an SACD zealot or two were speading incorrect info.

As it stands, DVD-A is not in great shape right now. Releases are limited, and SACD is cranking out more and more.

I think Acura, of all companies, needs to get involved and kick some butt.

Jon
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Old 12-05-2003, 12:20 PM
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First off, let me apologize for the incorrect information I posted. I, Like JonDeutsch said, was a victim of bad-information on the web. That should teach me to believe everything I read online .. Thanks guys for being nice and not chew me off for the wrong info posted...

Sincerly,

Hangman


Originally posted by JonDeutsch
DJSteve,

I think Hangman just got some bad information about DVD-A. I would not be surprised if an SACD zealot or two were speading incorrect info.

As it stands, DVD-A is not in great shape right now. Releases are limited, and SACD is cranking out more and more.

I think Acura, of all companies, needs to get involved and kick some butt.

Jon
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Old 12-10-2003, 07:48 PM
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Originally posted by djsteve
The above is not a limitation either. DVD-A allows for the following bit depth/sample rates, with times shown using non-lossy MLP:

Mono (1 full bandwidth track):
16/44.1kHz - up to 1500 minutes of audio

Stereo (2 full bandwidth tracks):
16/44.1kHz - up to 720 minutes of audio
24/96kHz - up to 240 minutes of audio
24/192kHz - up to 120 minutes of audio

Surround (5 full bandwidth tracks + 1 sub track):
24/96kHz - up to 100 minutes of audio

Surround (6 full bandwidth tracks):
24/96kHz - up to 86 minutes of audio

Even DVD-V does not limit frequency response in any speaker except the subwoofer, so perhaps the original poster was thinking of older analog matrixing surround encode/decode methods such as Dolby Pro Logic???

-djsteve
So I guess from the information above it is possible to burn 720 minutes of music onto a DVD-R disc. And from searching around the net there is only one type of software package that can do it.. and it costs $500.

Hmm..

If only that software was $50 bucks.
Maybe we could all go in on a discount "Package" deal. :P

or.. umm... find someone that might have a "key" for it and "borrow" the software from someone. But I don't want to suggest anything here as everyone on this message forum seems to flame you with messages if you post something that goes against their personal beliefs.
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Old 12-11-2003, 11:07 AM
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For those of you just getting into DVD-A or SACD, I'd recommend getting the Denon 2200 universal player. I've had mine for about 6 months and it's abosultely top notch. Plays DVD video with outstanding picture (uses Silicon Image circitry for progressive scanning), plays DVD-A, SACD, standard cds, mp3s, wavs, and also has a jpg image viewing built in.

Keep in mind if you want to run SACD/DVD-A you'll need a receiver or pre-processor with multi channel inputs because they cannot be decoded using digital (optical or coax) outputs.

Initially I was buying more SACDs than DVD-As but now that I have my TL I'll probably look for more DVD-As.

As far as sound quality goes, there is an endless debate as to the merits of both formats. I will tell you that not all SACD or DVD-A discs are created equal. The studio engineering and mixing methods have a huge impact on the quality of the sound and can result in discs that sound better than anything you've ever heard or no better than your average CD.

Here are some "can't miss" picks for discs that showcase the format:

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon - SACD
Crowded House - DVD-A
Keb Mo - SACD
Mark Levinson Live Recordings at Red Rose Music, Volume 1 - SACD
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Old 12-11-2003, 12:42 PM
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I purchased a less expensive player that plays both SACD and DVD-A formats - I think it's Pioneer DVD-563-A. I'm not saying it's up-to-par with Dennon, but it seems fine and only costs $180 at Circuit City or Best Buy. It is confusing in that the unit has digital outputs (both coax and fiber, I think) but to get the six-channel surround output you have to use the six analog out jacks. So, your receiver has to have six-channel input, AND I think you have to be prepared to spend $$ on high-quality cables. (I think I spent $120 just on cables - they're just entry-level Monster M-series, but the total runs up fast when you're buying 3 pairs!). The only thing I don't like about the Pioeneer is that is is very slow to load and start playing a disc.

For great sound, I would nominate two DVD-A's: Grateful Dead's American Beauty and REM Out of Time 1988-2003. More are on my Christmas list!
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Old 12-12-2003, 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by Motavar
So I guess from the information above it is possible to burn 720 minutes of music onto a DVD-R disc. And from searching around the net there is only one type of software package that can do it.. and it costs $500.
Well, I've got good news and bad news for you.

Good: DiscWelder Steel is available online for around $380 this month, a special December sale reduction from the MSRP of $500.

Bad: DiscWelder Steel does not support MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), a non-lossy compression method that allows more music to be stored on a DVD-A. My quote of 720 minutes of stereo 44.1kHz/16bit audio was with MLP enabled. Without it's use you can only get about 420 minutes, although that is still a respectible 6 hours of CD-quality music on one disc. The "Pro" version of the software called DiscWelder Chrome does support MLP, but it is a bit more pricey at $2500!

-djsteve
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Old 12-17-2003, 01:10 AM
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Question Quick question!

Originally posted by JonDeutsch

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.............

...................
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)..............
First off, Jon, let me thank you for the very detailed explanation!

I have a few "off topic" questions that do not directly concern the TL. I own an MDX with the "Rear Entertainment System" and so have a DVD player in the dash which can also be used as an additional CD player.

In your explanation you said that every single DVD-A can be played on a regular DVD player. Now, if I pop a DVD-A in my MDX's "Rear-Entertainment-System" DVD player, I understand that I will get the "compressed" version of the soundtrack, which you say is recorded in "dolby-digital" or "DTS". So, is this going to sound better than a regular CD?? ........I guess what I'm trying to say is, are these "dolby digital" / "DTS" superior formats to that of the recording on a normal CD??.....and if they are, will my MDX's Bose sound system allow me to experience the surround sound, or is some special circuitry needed??......and will I get the benefits of the higher resolution and 24 bit capture as well?? .......Additionally, what difference, if any, will this make between a stereo DVD-A and a surround DVD-A when played on my MDX's DVD player??

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
I just bought a couple DVD-A's from the link you provided (digitaleyes) .....Andrea Bocelli and Eagles-Hotel California......Hopefully I can enjoy the superior sound on my '03 MDX's Bose system (which, BTW, is not anything to write home about ). FYI, when I played a music video DVD in the MDX's DVD player, the soundtrack seemed superior to a normal CD, but then again it could be just my imagination! ...... the new '04 TL is such a work of art, technologically speaking, that I just might have to buy it as a second vehicle!! :wow: ........then I could realize the FULL benefit of the DVD-As I just bought

Thanks in advance for your response!
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Old 12-17-2003, 09:29 AM
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Re: Quick question!

Hi vicpai,

First, yes, you should be able to play the DVD-V tracks of your DVD-A on your MDX DVD system. You will get a menu just like you get on a normal DVD-V and be able to select the music tracks you want to listen to. Yes, they will be compressed, either DD or DTS.

As far as quality vs. CD....better is a difficult way to describe the difference. Here's why:

It may sound better because it's in surround sound vs. stereo (CD). It may sound better because it's encoded at 96khz/24bit (vs. 44khz/16bit for CDs).

But, it may sound worse because it's compressed whereas CD is not. It really depends on the content of the disc, and how well that content fairs the lossy compression of DD or DTS.

For instance, strings and other complex orchestral instruments typically do not fair the lossy compression process as well as, say, an electric guitar or drum sound.

The voice is also a complex instrument, and may also be compromised by compression. FYI - DTS is far better (less lossy) compression than DD (dolby digital). So, if you have the option, select DTS playback.

Re: stereo vs. surround DVD-A's in your DVD-V player. It is not relevant. The DVD-A features are not playing on your DVD-V player. Only the tracks recorded on the DVD-V track are relevant. Typically, a stereo DVD-A is released to take advantage of DVD-A's ultra-high quality of 2-channel playback (192khz/24bit).

Hope this helps.

Jon

Originally posted by vicpai
In your explanation you said that every single DVD-A can be played on a regular DVD player. Now, if I pop a DVD-A in my MDX's "Rear-Entertainment-System" DVD player, I understand that I will get the "compressed" version of the soundtrack, which you say is recorded in "dolby-digital" or "DTS". So, is this going to sound better than a regular CD?? ........I guess what I'm trying to say is, are these "dolby digital" / "DTS" superior formats to that of the recording on a normal CD??.....and if they are, will my MDX's Bose sound system allow me to experience the surround sound, or is some special circuitry needed??......and will I get the benefits of the higher resolution and 24 bit capture as well?? .......Additionally, what difference, if any, will this make between a stereo DVD-A and a surround DVD-A when played on my MDX's DVD player??
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