Where to find high-res CDs? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-16-2007, 09:08 PM
I have a DVD player (Toshiba) that is capable of 192khz/24 bit playback so I don't know if that means it can play or DVD-As or not. Were there ever regular red-book CDs with that high of a resolution? This DVD player was bought at a yard sale, so it didn't come with any paper work, but I'll google it later.

12-17-2007, 04:01 PM
Redbook is redbook -- its resolution is locked in at 44.1/16.

Two-channel 96/24 PCM audio is built into the DVD standard. Any DVD player can play back at all PCM resolutions up to 96/24, though due to disc space limitations most DVDs use compressed audio formats such as DD or DTS.

Some 96/24 audio discs from companies like Classic Records and Chesky Records did come out. These were simply regular DVD-V discs that allocated nearly all of the disc data to the audio. Aside from the audio quality, the great thing about these releases was that they could be played on any DVD player, and the player could also digitally output the PCM bitstream directly to the processor/receiver.

Unfortunately, because of piracy paranoia, very few of these open 96/24 discs ever came out. DVD-A allows for resolution up to five-channel 96/24 or two-channel 192/24. The drawback to DVD-A is that its copy protected signal can only be played through analog outputs.

All DVD-A releases contain both a DVD-A layer and a video-compatible layer. The video compatible layer can be read by all DVD players, while only a DVD-A or universal player can read the DVD-A layer. Most of the video-compatible layers on these DVD-A releases only contain Dolby Digital and/or DTS tracks, but many of them (particularly the DVD-As released by DTS Entertainment) contain high-res two-channel PCM tracks, usually at 48/24 resolution.

All of Classic Records' high res audio discs contain a 96/24 PCM track, and they are very well done. Also, Neil Young put out a CD/DVD combo pack of his Greatest Hits album a couple of years ago, and it offers up superlative sound quality (and a great opportunity to do a fair comparison between CD resolution and 96/24 PCM resolution, since both discs were transferred around the same time using the same master source). Here's an old thread on that release.


Usually though, the best way to hear high res PCM audio is with a concert/music DVD. The standard audio resolution for the two-channel PCM tracks on concert DVDs (and on most DualDiscs) is 48/16, with some audio tracks at 48/20 and 48/24 resolution. Even if it also includes video data, the audio track is already at a higher resolution than CD audio.