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  1. #1
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    DualDisc: the end of SACD and DVD-A?

    Amazing how much of a marketing push that DualDisc is getting from the various parties. A CD with extra DVD content, and a consistent format that all of the record companies are using -- shouldn't this have been planned from the beginning? With SACD and DVD-A, we got probably the most botched product launch this side of quadrophonic. A format war from the outset, plus the forced use of six-channel analog ouputs, are just two of the flaws that hobbled those formats.

    SACD had an opportunity to take over the market because of its hybrid backwards compatibility with the CD format. Hybrid SACD/CD discs could have become the de facto standard in the market, but the widespread adoption of hybrid discs never took hold. IMO, Sony made a huge mistake by initially marketing it strictly as an audiophile format in order to push non-hybrid high res two-channel versions. They should have been pushing the multichannel capabilities hard from the very beginning.

    Likewise, DVD-A's inability to provide backwards compatibility with the CD was its achilles heel. Any format that requires dual inventories is going to find big time resistance at the retail end. DualDisc was supposed to address this weakness, but the way that the DualDisc releases have sifted out, unfortunately providing high resolution multichannel playback does not seem to be part of the picture.

    Thus far, the DualDiscs that I have seen generally offer an "enhanced stereo" mix (typically a 48/16 resolution track that's just raises the sampling rate), a multichannel mix in 5.1 Dolby Digital, and some video content.

    The "enhanced stereo" mix might provide an opportunity to remaster and improve upon an existing version, but going with video content on the DVD layer now means that there's no longer enough disc space for anything beyond Dolby Digital for the multichannel audio. And to me, that's the biggest step backwards that DualDisc represents.

    If DualDisc takes off, then it's great that so much more music be available in multichannel versions. But, the price is that we're stuck with the limitations of Dolby Digital.

    I get the impression that SACD and DVD-A will soldier on as limited niche formats, but it seems that DualDisc has wiped out whatever chances that those formats had at succeeding as a mass market format.

  2. #2
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    I'm pretty bummed about the whole DVD-A/SACD fiasco. I found a great universal in the Toshi 4960 and was all set to pursue hi-res audio on a budget, but the format wars, lack of sufficient titles and the expense of obtaining a new CD collection have quashed that for the moment.

    I'm not sure that mutli-channel will ever be embraced by the mainstream, either through analog or DD. DVD content on music CD's seems just plain wasteful. Both end up being more of a novelty than anything. And as for hi-res, I can't imagine manufacturers taking the effort to put 192/24 2 channel on one side and RB CD on the other side. That would be ideal for me and others who would appreciate the high resolution/bit rate at home but want the flexibility for the car or the boombox.

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Wooch, are you sure about Dual Disc? My Nine Inch Nails Dual Disc has both a hi-rez MLP multi-channel track as well as Dolby Digital, and a hi-rez 2-channel track on the DVD side...check out my review in Rave Recs...

    I think maybe the early DualDiscs will cheap out, but a lot of musicians are audiophiles too, I like the potential...
    And I'm still of the opinion that this so-called format war doesn't have to be a war at all. We're in a new age of compatibility with absolutely everything else electronic...I see no reason why DVD-A/SACD couldn't work simultaneously. One thing I've learned since getting my new players is that the so-called demise of these formats has been vastly overstated...if you look at some old releases on SACD and DVD-A, most predicted 5-6 years for early market penetration...Dual Disc makes it even easier for more artists to get into this hi-rez/multi-channel stuff. Sales are increasing and slowly but steadily more artists are trying it out.

    What I feel it will take is a solid recording by a creative artist with multi-channel music in mind from the start...not simply an "expansion" from stereo to 5.1, but an album designed from concept to be a 5.1 experience, one that just doesn't sound the same in stereo...then others will try it out too and the world will rejoice.

    I just wish the studios would force these discs on the market - now that both formats have backwards compatibility, why not release everything in hybrid format? Surely the economies of scale that would be recognized could lower costs, and the value-added would make up the difference. Some people aren't going to learn about these until they read the liner notes and say "hey, I've got a DVD player" or "what the hell is SACD?"

    Incidentally, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is also releasing the new NIN album in May, "With Teeth", (featuring Dave Grohl of all people on drums - that guys in 45 bands now) in may on Dual Disc with the hi-rez multi-channel and enhanced stereo tracks...sounds good to me...
    Last edited by kexodusc; 03-25-2005 at 04:37 AM.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Wooch, are you sure about Dual Disc? My Nine Inch Nails Dual Disc has both a hi-rez MLP multi-channel track as well as Dolby Digital, and a hi-rez 2-channel track on the DVD side...check out my review in Rave Recs...

    I think maybe the early DualDiscs will cheap out, but a lot of musicians are audiophiles too, I like the potential...
    And I'm still of the opinion that this so-called format war doesn't have to be a war at all. We're in a new age of compatibility with absolutely everything else electronic...I see no reason why DVD-A/SACD couldn't work simultaneously. One thing I've learned since getting my new players is that the so-called demise of these formats has been vastly overstated...if you look at some old releases on SACD and DVD-A, most predicted 5-6 years for early market penetration...Dual Disc makes it even easier for more artists to get into this hi-rez/multi-channel stuff. Sales are increasing and slowly but steadily more artists are trying it out.

    What I feel it will take is a solid recording by a creative artist with multi-channel music in mind from the start...not simply an "expansion" from stereo to 5.1, but an album designed from concept to be a 5.1 experience, one that just doesn't sound the same in stereo...then others will try it out too and the world will rejoice.

    I just wish the studios would force these discs on the market - now that both formats have backwards compatibility, why not release everything in hybrid format? Surely the economies of scale that would be recognized could lower costs, and the value-added would make up the difference. Some people aren't going to learn about these until they read the liner notes and say "hey, I've got a DVD player" or "what the hell is SACD?"

    Incidentally, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is also releasing the new NIN album in May, "With Teeth", (featuring Dave Grohl of all people on drums - that guys in 45 bands now) in may on Dual Disc with the hi-rez multi-channel and enhanced stereo tracks...sounds good to me...
    I did not look at the NIN DualDisc, so that would be a good thing if it offers a MLP 5.1 version. Unfortunately, the way that I see the momentum shifting is towards squeezing as much video content and multimedia extras onto that DVD layer as possible. That does not leave enough bits to accommodate much in the way of high resolution digital audio, which is why the "enhanced stereo" tracks typically bump up the resolution, but nowhere near 96/24 or 192/24. I would even be fine with using one of the DTS variants (1.5 Kb DTS or DTS 96/24) to accommodate the multichannel audio, but unfortunately I see everything defaulting back to Dolby Digital for the multichannel audio.

    DualDisc addresses the need for a hybrid CD/DVD, but just because a dual format disc is now available does not mean that the DVD layer will go to high resolution multichannel audio. I agree that this bodes well for more rapid adoption of 5.1 music mixes becoming available. However, the market reality is that most 5.1 systems out there are not ready for DVD-A or SACD, but all of them can handle Dolby Digital.

    I think BMG Sony's embrace of DualDisc is the nail in the coffin for SACD ever becoming a mainstream format. This is a clear indication that any momentum to standardize new releases around hybrid CD/SACDs is now dead. Universal Music, BMG, and Sony were all rumored to have been ramping up to release all of their new albums in the hybrid SACD disc format, the only thing they were supposedly waiting for was for manufacturing capacity to open up (at that time, the worldwide hybrid manufacturing capacity was consumed by the Pink Floyd and Rolling Stones hybrid releases). And IMO, that was the best opportunity to establish SACD as a viable mass market format. SACD's shortcoming was the lack of video content and multimedia capabilities. Supposedly, SACD II would remedy that, but I have only read the proposed specs and not seen any product identfied as SACD II.

    The NY Times wrote an article about DualDisc earlier this week, and it said that the recording companies are enthusiastic about its prospects specifically because it primarily uses widely adopted formats. DVD-A and SACD are not widely adopted. The achilles heel of both DVD-A and SACD are that they require a separate six-channel analog connection. If they could work off of the same digital connection that DD and DTS use, while retaining the copy protection, then that lessens the market resistance because all that has to occur at that point is to add the DVD-A and SACD capability to next generation processor chips in much the same way that DTS got added to all new home theater processors. At this point, it may not be enough since I believe that DualDisc will take off, and it won't take high res 5.1 with it.

  5. #5
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    Well if they want Dual Discs to become more popular, they better fix the problem of them not playing in all players.

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    The problem of them not playing on all players is no greater than the problem with enhanced and HDCD's...that small minority is just going to be out of luck, the problem isn't widespread enough to have much influence, other than possibly scaring a few people...
    Geez, I've got RBCD's that fight with some players.

    Wooch: After doing quite a bit of searches for reviews on titles, etc, it seems that Sony labels are the biggest "wasters" of this format, using the standard resolution of 48kHz (and I believe 24 bit) for the DVD stereo side (with some exceptions)...the Warner labels and others have basically done a true DVD-A job on their discs with higher rez capability...but often at the expense of videos, etc...sometimes you get one or the other...I think it's doubtful we'll see many 192kHz/24bit stereo tracks on DualDiscs anytime soon.

    For what it's worth, my brief experiences with 24/48 have been excellent, and if we could just pull that out of this mess as a new standard, I'd be a happy camper, and the world would be better off...It doesn't look like there'll be an end to the release of "audiophile" targeted, higher rez discs anytime soon anyway, so I'll still have the option of paying more for albums that probably truly benefit.

    Not be a conspiracy theorist, but could Sony be trying to deliberately poison this format with half-assed Dual-Disc releases? After all, I'm sure they don't want the DualDiscs to sound better than SACDs...

    On a side note: I had an opportunity to spend 2 hours with AC/DC's "Back In Black" DualDisc remaster...a good example of the benefits of 24/48 over RBCD...sure it's not 24/192 but at least it's a modest start.

    Either way, we've only hit the 6 month mark or so...way too early to tell where this will end up...but I've got to believe that before I die we will have a new, better sounding format that replaces CD and Vinyl.

    I gotta funny feeling when Blu-Ray and HD-DVD hit the market, we'll be seeing more Dual-Disc ideas for music too, taking advantage of the increased storage capacities...maybe uncompressed multi-channel music isn't that far off?

  7. #7
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    As much as I support either SACD over DVD-A over long in the tooth RBCD, the truth is that SACD is doomed in the long run because the demographic that's buying music is increasingly wanting it on a universal format they can exchange, copy, etc.

    Thanks to Sony's prohibitions on SACD DAC distributions, it will go the way of HDCD. The general buying public is just not going to keep buying expensive SACD's and DVD-As unless the high price also includes other mixed content.

    Higher density, non proprietary recording formats will win in the long run simply by attrition {sigh}

  8. #8
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    abstracta: I think you're right...proprietary copy-protection cables that are brand unique or very expensive aren't helping either.
    In the end, I've decided I don't care.
    Many of my favorite artists have and continue to use SACD/DVD-A with high-rez mixing...I've already got the universal player...if I get only a few years of pleasure out of this until a future format emerges, or the world forever decides RBCD is the final format, I'll still be quite happy...considering the number of hours I've already spent with it, I'd say it was a great investment.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Amazing how much of a marketing push that DualDisc is getting from the various parties. A CD with extra DVD content, and a consistent format that all of the record companies are using -- shouldn't this have been planned from the beginning? With SACD and DVD-A, we got probably the most botched product launch this side of quadrophonic. A format war from the outset, plus the forced use of six-channel analog ouputs, are just two of the flaws that hobbled those formats.

    SACD had an opportunity to take over the market because of its hybrid backwards compatibility with the CD format. Hybrid SACD/CD discs could have become the de facto standard in the market, but the widespread adoption of hybrid discs never took hold. IMO, Sony made a huge mistake by initially marketing it strictly as an audiophile format in order to push non-hybrid high res two-channel versions. They should have been pushing the multichannel capabilities hard from the very beginning.

    Likewise, DVD-A's inability to provide backwards compatibility with the CD was its achilles heel. Any format that requires dual inventories is going to find big time resistance at the retail end. DualDisc was supposed to address this weakness, but the way that the DualDisc releases have sifted out, unfortunately providing high resolution multichannel playback does not seem to be part of the picture.

    Thus far, the DualDiscs that I have seen generally offer an "enhanced stereo" mix (typically a 48/16 resolution track that's just raises the sampling rate), a multichannel mix in 5.1 Dolby Digital, and some video content.

    The "enhanced stereo" mix might provide an opportunity to remaster and improve upon an existing version, but going with video content on the DVD layer now means that there's no longer enough disc space for anything beyond Dolby Digital for the multichannel audio. And to me, that's the biggest step backwards that DualDisc represents.

    If DualDisc takes off, then it's great that so much more music be available in multichannel versions. But, the price is that we're stuck with the limitations of Dolby Digital.

    I get the impression that SACD and DVD-A will soldier on as limited niche formats, but it seems that DualDisc has wiped out whatever chances that those formats had at succeeding as a mass market format.
    Good post, Woochifer. I guess my bottom line on this thing is that it pisses me off! I've said from the beginning that I DIDN'T think both formats could coexist, and that the format war was hurting the chances of either being a success. I've also said, that if SACD had been introduced as Hybrid and with more emphasis on mulitchannel, this WAR would be over by now. I think both formats offer true sonic benefits over Redbook CD, but the thing I have never liked about DVD-Audio is that it needs a video component to be usable. I MUCH prefer the audio only functionality of SACD over DVD-A; and if they had taken the time to consider the listening habits of those "audiophile" music enthusiasts who would genuinely be interested in a Hi Rez music format, I think they would have discovered that tying this type of listening to a Home Theater environment and the need for a video display was a mistake. People were enjoying music via reel to reel and vinyl long before the Mtv generation came along and made it necessary to have some video component to thier music system. The magic of truly well defined music reproduction is that the music "takes you there" and there is no need for visual stimulation aside from the images conjured up in the mind. It's like... as a Home Theater enthusiast I obviously enjoy movies. But even this is no substitute for the experience of sitting down with a good book. It's ironic but somehow the more overwhelming they try to make these entertainment experiences, the less engaging they really are. There is very little effort required of the movie viewer as compared to the that of the reader. I think the same comparison can be drawn between those who are willing to actually sit and listen to music (now there is a novel idea) becoming a participant in the musical experience and those who want the whole thing spoon fed to them on a video display. I say... let them have their "DualDisc" and their "MP3's" and the like. I'm heading back to Vinyl.

    That's definitely my rant for the day.

    Q

  10. #10
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    DD isnt getting any more of a push then multi-channel did before it came out,you all have just forgotten. They talked about it for quite awhile and everone was so hyped up about it till it finally got here. I dont hear the much for DD,not like that. Also look how long its taken disc's to come out in DVD-A and SACD,still slim pick'ens out there so how many DD will we have to pick from in 5 years? I'm not sure any of these are going to go over big because of the new gen doesnt care about quality,they care about quanity. My kids{18 and 20 and a boyfriend at 24} could care less about DVD-A,SACD and DD. I-pod and mp3's,now your talking there talk.
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  11. #11
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    I think the trend toward bottom feeding is here to stay. As it was stated in a previous thread, no one sit's down to listen to music anymore. No one really cares about the quality, they just want the music to be easy to rip, file share, and portable

    For me, I hope SACD, DVD-A, Bluray, nor HD DVD ever become mainstream. I do not want these formats quality pushed downward by joe blow wanting his screen filled with pan and scan, or the audio pushed downward to standard rez just so they can listen to songs with standard DVD players.

    I have to agree with Wooch. Sony could have ended this format war before it even got started. To release a format to the public without providing the proper alignment tools, or the pipeline(digital output) so that existing tools could be used, and for the sole purpose of keeping the public from copying(SACD more than DVD-A) is stupid, shortsighted, and a waste of money.

    I do not know about anyone else here, but I am sick and tired of the record companies forcing copy protection on us, and in the process of doing that, causing every new format(especially the high rez ones) to become still born before they could even be released to the public. This kind of sabotage only creates strong resentment between the public and the companies themselves. If they turned out a decent product for a decent price, file sharing would be limited to out of print songs and albums, and hard to get stuff. But while the cost of producing a disc has gone down, prices have gone up, and this is what is creating the current situation.

    I personally am not going to support a format with its main multichannel mix being a Dolby Digital. There is a reason producers have not selected DD as a format for multichannel delivery. It is not even close to transparent, and alot of artifacts are hidden by the fact that film soundtracks do not really challenge this format, music does. A STEREO high rez mix doesn't cut it at all. 16/48khz is not high rez.

    For these very reason above, dual disc will probably do well. It is a mainstream format for the masses. I do not mind if SACD and DVD-A remain niche formats. Laserdisc did for years, and it got all of the extra, the quality, and almost every movie was released on it. If the masses want the low quality stuff, great! But for those of us who have invested heavily to get the most out of the high rez formats, give us SACD and DVD-A.
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  12. #12
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    I personally am not going to support a format with its main multichannel mix being a Dolby Digital. There is a reason producers have not selected DD as a format for multichannel delivery. It is not even close to transparent, and alot of artifacts are hidden by the fact that film soundtracks do not really challenge this format, music does. A STEREO high rez mix doesn't cut it at all. 16/48khz is not high rez.

    For these very reason above, dual disc will probably do well. It is a mainstream format for the masses. I do not mind if SACD and DVD-A remain niche formats. Laserdisc did for years, and it got all of the extra, the quality, and almost every movie was released on it. If the masses want the low quality stuff, great! But for those of us who have invested heavily to get the most out of the high rez formats, give us SACD and DVD-A.
    Are there not "standards" for DualDIsc? Seems to me that some of the offering, like DVD-A range from full MLP hi-rez, to crappy DD (though some DVD-A's don't do any better than 16-bit/48kHz to be fair)...
    Also, how many DVD-A's were "dual layered", with 9.6 GB or whatever space it is? It woudl seem to me that this would be the largest drawback to DualDisc...

  13. #13
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Are there not "standards" for DualDIsc? Seems to me that some of the offering, like DVD-A range from full MLP hi-rez, to crappy DD (though some DVD-A's don't do any better than 16-bit/48kHz to be fair)...
    Also, how many DVD-A's were "dual layered", with 9.6 GB or whatever space it is? It woudl seem to me that this would be the largest drawback to DualDisc...
    The DVD standard states(and I believe that goes for DVD-A also) is that a DD soundtrack must be included on every DVD. That can be anything from 5.1 to 2.0. I also believe that by default the CD layer will have to be 16/44.1khz, and the DVD side limitation would probably be 5.1 24/96khz that is MLP packed. Though I cannot see how they are going to provide video along with MLP 5.1 24/96khz. Seems to me they would quickly run out of space. I may be wrong though(that has been known to happen!)

    Dual Disc is strictly a mainstream format. No trying to be arrogant, but why in the hell would I put so much money into my system, upgrading speakers, amps and the like, just to get what we can already get now. As long as SACD continues to offer jazz and classical music, that is where I am spending my money. DD for music? yeck!
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    "As long as SACD continues to offer jazz and classical music, that is where I am spending my money. DD for music? yeck!"

    I am willing to hold out hope that SACD will stay around as a niche format for those of us who do want something better than Dolby Digital music and RBCD. But I'm afraid that they will simply abandon it altogether. If they're not going to make content available to us while they're introducing the technology, what can we expect when they are no longer trying to establish it as a mainstream format? Perhaps if DualDisc comes along and displaces DVD-A completely it will clear the way for SACD to finally be accepted as the standard Hi Rez musical format and that will be enough for studios to get behind it. One good thing DualDisc might accompish, should this happen, would be to firmly establish multichannel mixes as a defacto standard for music. Maybe the same mixes can be used for both DualDisc and SACD, just at different resolutions. Can you speak to the possibility of this scenario, Sir TT?

    Q

  15. #15
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    DD isnt getting any more of a push then multi-channel did before it came out,you all have just forgotten. They talked about it for quite awhile and everone was so hyped up about it till it finally got here. I dont hear the much for DD,not like that. Also look how long its taken disc's to come out in DVD-A and SACD,still slim pick'ens out there so how many DD will we have to pick from in 5 years? I'm not sure any of these are going to go over big because of the new gen doesnt care about quality,they care about quanity. My kids{18 and 20 and a boyfriend at 24} could care less about DVD-A,SACD and DD. I-pod and mp3's,now your talking there talk.
    In case you're unaware of this, DualDisc has only hit the market the past couple of months. That's hardly enough time to judge its potential in the marketplace, and the big rollout hasn't even begun yet. If anything, the launch of SACD and DVD-A was botched big time because no one bothered to explain the benefits of those formats. All you have to do is point to SACD's initial launch as a two-channel high res format (all of the early disc players and disc releases were two-channel).

    The key to DualDisc's success in the market is that it very well could become the de facto standard for nearly all new releases in the next few years. The DualDisc has been positioned as a replacement for the CD, so it doesn't matter if you or your kids don't have DualDisc on your respective radars. If DualDisc succeeds, you'll see those at your local stores instead of a regular CD version.

    DualDisc is the only format that's been endorsed by every major record label, and there are new releases due to come out over the next few months exclusively in DualDisc. DVD-A and SACD have persistently had divisions between the record companies because of who owns the patents for those respective formats. There's no format war with DualDisc, and the only thing holding DualDisc back is the incompatibility issues with certain CD players.

    The whole point of DualDisc is to entice people to buy music again instead of just downloading it. The success of DVD came about because it offered value and a lot of extra features for not much more than the price of a CD. With DualDisc, the record companies can offer the same kind of extra value for consumers that the DVD has been able to offer. For only about a buck more than audio-only CDs, DualDiscs can support a wide range of extras on the DVD side -- whether that be high res audio, multichannel tracks, video content, or other multimedia extras.

    All you have to do is look at the huge sales growth of DVD music videos to see the appeal of combining video content with an album release. And the growth of multichannel music is unevitable as more people invest in home theater systems, 5.1 audio systems get installed in cars, and more computers come standard with 5.1 audio. And decoding schemes like Dolby Headphone and SRS are only beginning scratch the surface of creating surround effects on two-channel and portable devices with multichannel soundtracks.

    Your comments about quantity versus quality, all I can say is what else is new? The consumers listening to music through their iPods and portable devices are the same types of consumers who toted around those portable record changers with the integrated speakers in the 60s, portable 8-track and cassette boomboxes in the 70s, cassette Walkmans in the 80s, and portable CD players in the 90s. Long before the CD became the format of choice, prerecorded cassette sales passed LP sales. The cassette was a far inferior format to the LP, but it became the volume leader for the exact same reasons why MP3 players are now popular. And personally, I'd take the sound quality of a MP3 over a prerecorded cassette any day.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quagmire
    "As long as SACD continues to offer jazz and classical music, that is where I am spending my money. DD for music? yeck!"

    I am willing to hold out hope that SACD will stay around as a niche format for those of us who do want something better than Dolby Digital music and RBCD. But I'm afraid that they will simply abandon it altogether. If they're not going to make content available to us while they're introducing the technology, what can we expect when they are no longer trying to establish it as a mainstream format? Perhaps if DualDisc comes along and displaces DVD-A completely it will clear the way for SACD to finally be accepted as the standard Hi Rez musical format and that will be enough for studios to get behind it. One good thing DualDisc might accompish, should this happen, would be to firmly establish multichannel mixes as a defacto standard for music. Maybe the same mixes can be used for both DualDisc and SACD, just at different resolutions. Can you speak to the possibility of this scenario, Sir TT?

    Q
    I'm with you on this. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that widespead adoption of DualDisc does not spell the end for high res multichannel.

    The problem with SACD is that 1) it requires a new player and six-channel analog inputs, and 2) Warner and Toshiba will never go along with it because they developed the DVD and DVD-A formats and supporting SACD means shelling out royalties to Sony and Philips, and rewarding them for sustaining a format war that to a large degree impeded the growth of DVD-A.

    I think that with DualDisc, multichannel music will finally get a chance. Terrence has indicated in the past that 5.1 mixing is now common practice, and the CD mixes are downmixed from those multichannel sources. This means that there's a lot of material out there just waiting for release.

    The problem that I see with DualDisc is that there's currently no rhyme or reason to what goes on that DVD side. Not all DualDiscs include video content, not all of them include a multichannel mix, not all of them include a high res soundtrack, and not all of them include other supplemental materials. As things shake out, I have a feeling that DualDiscs, especially with new releases, will include a 5.1 soundtrack in DD, some kind of documentary/interview, music videos and concert footage, and probably some online links. I think the "enhanced stereo" tracks will only come with older albums that don't have multichannel mixes available, and increasingly the DVD-A tracks will be limited to only a few select artists who demand it or whose recording quality clearly justifies it.

    All in all, a mixed picture. I like the expansion of multichannel, but it takes a step backwards to Dolby Digital in order to make it happen.

  17. #17
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    In case you're unaware of this, DualDisc has only hit the market the past couple of months. That's hardly enough time to judge its potential in the marketplace, and the big rollout hasn't even begun yet. If anything, the launch of SACD and DVD-A was botched big time because no one bothered to explain the benefits of those formats. All you have to do is point to SACD's initial launch as a two-channel high res format (all of the early disc players and disc releases were two-channel).

    The key to DualDisc's success in the market is that it very well could become the de facto standard for nearly all new releases in the next few years. The DualDisc has been positioned as a replacement for the CD, so it doesn't matter if you or your kids don't have DualDisc on your respective radars. If DualDisc succeeds, you'll see those at your local stores instead of a regular CD version.

    DualDisc is the only format that's been endorsed by every major record label, and there are new releases due to come out over the next few months exclusively in DualDisc. DVD-A and SACD have persistently had divisions between the record companies because of who owns the patents for those respective formats. There's no format war with DualDisc, and the only thing holding DualDisc back is the incompatibility issues with certain CD players.

    The whole point of DualDisc is to entice people to buy music again instead of just downloading it. The success of DVD came about because it offered value and a lot of extra features for not much more than the price of a CD. With DualDisc, the record companies can offer the same kind of extra value for consumers that the DVD has been able to offer. For only about a buck more than audio-only CDs, DualDiscs can support a wide range of extras on the DVD side -- whether that be high res audio, multichannel tracks, video content, or other multimedia extras.

    All you have to do is look at the huge sales growth of DVD music videos to see the appeal of combining video content with an album release. And the growth of multichannel music is unevitable as more people invest in home theater systems, 5.1 audio systems get installed in cars, and more computers come standard with 5.1 audio. And decoding schemes like Dolby Headphone and SRS are only beginning scratch the surface of creating surround effects on two-channel and portable devices with multichannel soundtracks.

    Your comments about quantity versus quality, all I can say is what else is new? The consumers listening to music through their iPods and portable devices are the same types of consumers who toted around those portable record changers with the integrated speakers in the 60s, portable 8-track and cassette boomboxes in the 70s, cassette Walkmans in the 80s, and portable CD players in the 90s. Long before the CD became the format of choice, prerecorded cassette sales passed LP sales. The cassette was a far inferior format to the LP, but it became the volume leader for the exact same reasons why MP3 players are now popular. And personally, I'd take the sound quality of a MP3 over a prerecorded cassette any day.
    As i remember,they talked quite awhile about multi-channel audio before it came out,quite awhile. Potential in the market place,they still talk about that with SACD and DVD-A. 4-tracks,8-tracks,cassette,cd. Cassette had a lot more advanages going for it then the LP had. LP's passed away so quickly{i think 8-tracks was the start} because it was good for one place and handle them with care. Back to DD, jury is still out with SACD and DVD-A and how long have they been out? It might be that long plus for another format to take hold. I'm not interested right now. I pretty sure most under 30 could care less about all the above multi-channel formats. We'll see.
    Look & Listen

  18. #18
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quagmire
    "As long as SACD continues to offer jazz and classical music, that is where I am spending my money. DD for music? yeck!"

    I am willing to hold out hope that SACD will stay around as a niche format for those of us who do want something better than Dolby Digital music and RBCD. But I'm afraid that they will simply abandon it altogether.

    I do not think they will abandon it totally. They(Sony) are still releasing DVD players with SACD decoding as we speak, and that confirms to me that they still hold out possibilities for this format. Please quote me on this, I will never buy a format the relies solely on DD for multichannel sound. Dts, perhaps. I have plenty of music Dts music that has excellent sound quality, especially the few 24/96khz mixes I have. But my experience with DD handle music even on soundtracks leave alot to be desired when you compare it to the printmaster.

    If they're not going to make content available to us while they're introducing the technology, what can we expect when they are no longer trying to establish it as a mainstream format?
    My guess is they will treat it like they treat DVD-V now. Pan and scan, half bitrate Dts, low resolution DD. They will make it as mainstream as they possibly can. No thanks!

    Perhaps if DualDisc comes along and displaces DVD-A completely it will clear the way for SACD to finally be accepted as the standard Hi Rez musical format and that will be enough for studios to get behind it.
    That is a scenario that I haven't even thought of. If anything dual disc will at least reduce the prominence of DVD-A, because remember you still cannot play a MLP 5.1 soundtrack with a non DVD-A player. So the main selling point is the CD layer, and the low resolution DD 5.1 soundtrack. When you consider the prestigious recording labels that have thrown their support behind SACD, you'll completely understand why it is important for Sony to continue to support the SACD format. If they abandon it after someone has paid $100G's for a sonic solution DSD upgrade for mastering, you won't ever make that kind of investment for a Sony introduced format again.

    One good thing DualDisc might accompish, should this happen, would be to firmly establish multichannel mixes as a defacto standard for music. Maybe the same mixes can be used for both DualDisc and SACD, just at different resolutions. Can you speak to the possibility of this scenario, Sir TT?
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  19. #19
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I think Wooch said it best...there appears to be a fair amount of discretion as to what exactly gets put on the DVD layer...I only own 2 DualDiscs so far...both have little in the way of video content (11 minutes or less), one has a hi-rez MLP track, the other a bastardized 24 bit/48Hz "hi-rez" 2-channel track (only because of the early digital recording format the album was recorded in in 1993, thanks Pro-Tools, otherwise it would have been 24/96.). The both have your standard hi-rez 5.1 multi channel track in addition to the Dolby Digital track...
    This is enough for me..
    Hell, even if we could convince everyone to start adding 5.1 DTS tracks to DualDisc it would be a big step forward if it finally became the standard...

    Baby steps, guys, baby steps...

    One obstacle DualDisc may have to overcome is the fact that they CANNOT call the CD layer, a "CD layer"...Phillips won't license it to them, apparently, as the thickness of the disc does not meet standard...so many DualDiscs refer to it as the "audio layer" or "non-DVD layer"...more confusion for ya.

  20. #20
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    I do not think they will abandon it totally. They(Sony) are still releasing DVD players with SACD decoding as we speak, and that confirms to me that they still hold out possibilities for this format. Please quote me on this, I will never buy a format the relies solely on DD for multichannel sound. Dts, perhaps. I have plenty of music Dts music that has excellent sound quality, especially the few 24/96khz mixes I have. But my experience with DD handle music even on soundtracks leave alot to be desired when you compare it to the printmaster.



    My guess is they will treat it like they treat DVD-V now. Pan and scan, half bitrate Dts, low resolution DD. They will make it as mainstream as they possibly can. No thanks!



    That is a scenario that I haven't even thought of. If anything dual disc will at least reduce the prominence of DVD-A, because remember you still cannot play a MLP 5.1 soundtrack with a non DVD-A player. So the main selling point is the CD layer, and the low resolution DD 5.1 soundtrack. When you consider the prestigious recording labels that have thrown their support behind SACD, you'll completely understand why it is important for Sony to continue to support the SACD format. If they abandon it after someone has paid $100G's for a sonic solution DSD upgrade for mastering, you won't ever make that kind of investment for a Sony introduced format again.
    I have afew DTS music disc's and like them alot. Unless i've missed them,DVD-A doesnt have much in the way of video on them.
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  21. #21
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    I think Wooch said it best...there appears to be a fair amount of discretion as to what exactly gets put on the DVD layer...I only own 2 DualDiscs so far...both have little in the way of video content (11 minutes or less), one has a hi-rez MLP track, the other a bastardized 24 bit/48Hz "hi-rez" 2-channel track (only because of the early digital recording format the album was recorded in in 1993, thanks Pro-Tools, otherwise it would have been 24/96.). The both have your standard hi-rez 5.1 multi channel track in addition to the Dolby Digital track...
    This is enough for me..
    Hell, even if we could convince everyone to start adding 5.1 DTS tracks to DualDisc it would be a big step forward if it finally became the standard...

    Baby steps, guys, baby steps...

    One obstacle DualDisc may have to overcome is the fact that they CANNOT call the CD layer, a "CD layer"...Phillips won't license it to them, apparently, as the thickness of the disc does not meet standard...so many DualDiscs refer to it as the "audio layer" or "non-DVD layer"...more confusion for ya.
    Baby steps?????? Redbook CD is a mature format. DVD-A has been out for a few years. They should be familar enough with both formats that they could turn out a quality product with better sound formats and more video content. These are not new formats to anyone.
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  22. #22
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Sir T, DVD-A and DualDisc are brand new to 99% of the population, regardless of how many years the underlying technologies have existed...Bose has made millions of this concept...
    While they can be better than they are, if all I have to choose from is RBCD or DualDisc with incremental improvements, I'll take DualDisc every single time, whether I like the fact it could be better or not..At least I'm doing my bit to tell the labels I want something better than RBCD and vinyl.

    I guess my optimistic personality recognizes some improvement is better than no improvement at all.

    Now if SACD perseveres through all of this and starts getting more releases, even better...and that WOULD be the ultimate irony.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    I think the trend toward bottom feeding is here to stay. As it was stated in a previous thread, no one sit's down to listen to music anymore. No one really cares about the quality, they just want the music to be easy to rip, file share, and portable
    You're right in that the trend to portability and ripping files is the new wrinkle. But, I also think that the bottomfeeding trend is nothing new. Even back in the LP heyday, the majority of people I knew did not play their records on hi-fi systems and turntables. Rather, they stacked them onto a record changer spindle (remember the ones where you could stack six LPs at a time?) and listened to them through crappy BSR record players (the ones that got dropped into the top of those all-in-one systems) or those suitcase sized portable record changers with the integrated speakers and flipdown record player. If the world was about quality 20 years ago, prerecorded cassette sales would have never surpassed LPs. In that regard, I'll listen to a 96k MP3 over a prerecorded cassette anyday.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    I do not know about anyone else here, but I am sick and tired of the record companies forcing copy protection on us, and in the process of doing that, causing every new format(especially the high rez ones) to become still born before they could even be released to the public. This kind of sabotage only creates strong resentment between the public and the companies themselves. If they turned out a decent product for a decent price, file sharing would be limited to out of print songs and albums, and hard to get stuff. But while the cost of producing a disc has gone down, prices have gone up, and this is what is creating the current situation.
    I think you nailed it with that last statement. I remember when the CD got introduced with that $5-$7 price premium over LPs and cassettes. The record companies said that the prices were due to higher production costs. Well, production costs declined to the point that cassette duplicating was costlier than pressing CDs, yet that price differential remained in place.

    This is why I don't have any sympathy for the record companies when they decry piracy. Their actions frequently work against the consumer. They'd already sung the piracy song the last time the industry went into a decline, and tried to get congress to levy royalty payments on blank audio tapes. They said that cassette taping was the reason the music industry went into the tank in the early-80s. To the contrary, it was tired uninspired music dominating the charts, competition from the then-new practice of video rentals, and competition from video games. Very much the same set of circumstances that the music industry faces right now. Instead of VHS, the Atari 2600 and Pac-Man, the competition is now DVD, Playstation 2/Xbox, and Grand Theft Auto.

    If the music industry wants to retain market share, they need to provide added value. What they currently provide is a 23-year old audio-only format, escalating prices, derivative music, and declining value relative to the other entertainment options out there. I work with consumer expenditure data, and the simple fact is that people spend about the same percentage of their income on entertainment. The difference over the last few years has been where they apply that spending. Spending on music has gone down, but spending on videos and video games has increased by a nearly equal amount.

    DualDisc is a step in the right direction because it brings the content value of a music purchase in line with what a DVD offers. If the music industry wants to continue to charge the prices that they do, they need to provide something extra to consumers. Their only other alternative is to lower prices to spur demand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    For these very reason above, dual disc will probably do well. It is a mainstream format for the masses. I do not mind if SACD and DVD-A remain niche formats. Laserdisc did for years, and it got all of the extra, the quality, and almost every movie was released on it. If the masses want the low quality stuff, great! But for those of us who have invested heavily to get the most out of the high rez formats, give us SACD and DVD-A.
    Unfortunately, I'm not sure if this is a Laserdisc situation. Laserdisc won out over CED fairly early, and had the higher end video market to itself. Right now, you got the record companies divided into two camps with vested interests in separate high res formats. Even with universal players, SACD and DVD-A have different bass management, and SACD cannot vary the delay timing.

    With these high res formats relegated to niche status, I don't see a big run on 5.1 remixing of older albums. From what I understand, the production cost involved in 5.1 remixing is high, and definitely more involved than remastering a two-channel version. If either DVD-A or SACD got standardized and promoted as the format of the future, then you might see a more justifiable investment in remixing older albums. With DualDisc, I can easily see the video content dominating the space on the DVD side, and with the cost involved, you might not see too many multichannel mixes accompanying older albums.

    What I'm afraid of is not another Laserdisc situation, but another quadraphonic debacle. In that case, consumer resistance and dueling formats effectively killed the market, and poisoned the waters for multichannel for years to come.

  24. #24
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    As i remember,they talked quite awhile about multi-channel audio before it came out,quite awhile. Potential in the market place,they still talk about that with SACD and DVD-A. 4-tracks,8-tracks,cassette,cd. Cassette had a lot more advanages going for it then the LP had. LP's passed away so quickly{i think 8-tracks was the start} because it was good for one place and handle them with care. Back to DD, jury is still out with SACD and DVD-A and how long have they been out? It might be that long plus for another format to take hold. I'm not interested right now. I pretty sure most under 30 could care less about all the above multi-channel formats. We'll see.
    Sure, there was plenty of talk about multichannel music -- that's been ongoing since the demise of quad in the mid-70s. Where it all fell apart was issuing high res multichannel music in dueling formats that both require six-channel analog in/outputs. SACD further shot itself in the foot by first promoting the format as a high res two-channel format. The first SACD players cost over $1,000 and could not play multichannel. SACDs for about the first year of release were all two-channel.

    SACD had a hybrid CD/SACD disc format from the beginning. But, Sony could not make up its mind if it wanted to promote SACD as an audiophile niche format (like in the beginning when everything was two-channel), or as a mass market successor to the CD that would use the multichannel capabilities as the enticement for consumers (when they made a high quality $200 SACD changer, lowered prices, and put out word that new releases would soon all come out in the CD/SACD hybrid format). Ultimately, they tried it both ways and it just created confusion. And when consumers are confused, they keep their cash in their wallets.

    For consumers under 30, don't count out the importance of multichannel just yet. They are just as enamored as anyone over what 5.1 audio adds to movie viewing. Multichannel audio systems have only become the standard over the past four years or so. The transition from two-channel to 5.1 started in earnest with the introduction of the DVD. As 5.1 went down the chain, you saw it become the standard in a variety of systems. Now, 5.1 has reached the mini-system, car audio, and computer level. With continued growth in multichannel hardware, I would guess that some demand for multichannel sources would grow along with it. DVD-A and SACD are still too new for final verdicts to come in just yet, and considering how badly the marketing of those formats has been handled, it's amazing that they've fared as well as they have in various markets. The CD format was over 10 years old by the time it finally passed cassettes in unit sales.

    And as far as the LP goes, it was the prevailing format for over 30 years and even now has not gone away. The 8-track was a non-starter and went away by the late-70s. The cassette did not come to dominate sales until a few years after Sony introduced the Walkman in 1979.

  25. #25
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Sure, there was plenty of talk about multichannel music -- that's been ongoing since the demise of quad in the mid-70s. Where it all fell apart was issuing high res multichannel music in dueling formats that both require six-channel analog in/outputs. SACD further shot itself in the foot by first promoting the format as a high res two-channel format. The first SACD players cost over $1,000 and could not play multichannel. SACDs for about the first year of release were all two-channel.

    SACD had a hybrid CD/SACD disc format from the beginning. But, Sony could not make up its mind if it wanted to promote SACD as an audiophile niche format (like in the beginning when everything was two-channel), or as a mass market successor to the CD that would use the multichannel capabilities as the enticement for consumers (when they made a high quality $200 SACD changer, lowered prices, and put out word that new releases would soon all come out in the CD/SACD hybrid format). Ultimately, they tried it both ways and it just created confusion. And when consumers are confused, they keep their cash in their wallets.

    For consumers under 30, don't count out the importance of multichannel just yet. They are just as enamored as anyone over what 5.1 audio adds to movie viewing. Multichannel audio systems have only become the standard over the past four years or so. The transition from two-channel to 5.1 started in earnest with the introduction of the DVD. As 5.1 went down the chain, you saw it become the standard in a variety of systems. Now, 5.1 has reached the mini-system, car audio, and computer level. With continued growth in multichannel hardware, I would guess that some demand for multichannel sources would grow along with it. DVD-A and SACD are still too new for final verdicts to come in just yet, and considering how badly the marketing of those formats has been handled, it's amazing that they've fared as well as they have in various markets. The CD format was over 10 years old by the time it finally passed cassettes in unit sales.

    And as far as the LP goes, it was the prevailing format for over 30 years and even now has not gone away. The 8-track was a non-starter and went away by the late-70s. The cassette did not come to dominate sales until a few years after Sony introduced the Walkman in 1979.

    Come on,when i say multi-channel audio,DVD-A and SACD,you know that. We all know the Sony story and the general consumer could care less about what we are talking about on here. So when the consumers like us have more then one format and might me confused,we get both. The electronic companys know that and milk this stuff and us along to get every dollar they can. I totally disagree about the under 30 being enamored as anyone about 5.1. I would bet most dont know what that means. Maybe they know it means better sound but to explain the 5 and the .1,not likly. LP had to be the format for 30 years. It was radio,reel to reel and LP's. Not much else to use. It had to win. Under 30 are far more into car audio,mp3 and ipod. I could take 100 under 30's,put on a VHS movie and maybe 5 would as about why no DVD,imo of course. I work around mostly under 30's,around 80 staff and i can talk about this stuff with 3 or 4 and thats it and they get bored real quick. Also when i go into the BB here,most are under 30 and almost never in the DVD-A/SACD section,never. Qusetion,take 1000 under 30's off the street and i'm betting,oh 20% might know about multi-channel audio and less,a lot less about Dual Disc. They just have a different look on this stuff, its not important.
    Look & Listen

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