How do you feel about DVD-Audio's surround capabilities?

Stereophile's picture
Almost two years ago we asked for your opinions about DVD-Audio's surround possiblities (see previous vote results). Have your opinions changed? What are your current thoughts about multichannel sound?
How do you feel about DVD-Audio's surround capabilities?
I want it now!
20% (41 votes)
Sounds like a good idea.
11% (22 votes)
I'll wait and see.
24% (50 votes)
Not so interested.
29% (60 votes)
Never!
16% (32 votes)
Total votes: 205
Share | |
Comments
Tom Bail's picture

It is just a tool for the equipment manufacturers to get the customer to spend more money on their gear. You don't need 5.1 channels to get 3D imaging. All you need is to take the time to properly set up your "stereo."

Craig Copeland's picture

Most audiophiles are trying to get the best sound they can with a limited budget. When you start to dilute that effort by spending the the same amount of money on more than two channels, it is hard to make up for what you lose in sound quality from the initial two channels by getting extra "dimension" in the additional channels. Multichannel (more than two) sound also makes the whole recording and mastering process more critical to get good results. I checked "Not so interested" because I am keeping an open mind, but so far a good, moderately priced two-channel system provides a lot more musical satisfaction than the same money spent on a surround-sound system.

W.  Purdy's picture

I can see three channels for video. For music, I'd be ecstatic about two grain-free channels!

Ralph A.  Perrini's picture

So far, every single example of multichannel music I have heard sounds far inferior to what any good two-channel system can do. They have sounded gimmicky and phony, just like the four-channel systems I heard back in the '70s. However, I suppose as they start making discrete multichannel discs and learn how to make them sound natural and realistic, I could become interested. For now, I'll just sit back and wait and see.

larry's picture

not to shure rite now alot depends on the artist if they are willing to go with it or agenst it

David L.  Wyatt, Jr.'s picture

I'll be interested when Ed McMahon really delivers.

Dan Landen's picture

It may take a while to refine the recording techniques, as it has taken years to get the excellent sound in today's stereo recordings. I'll just wait and see what the reviews say when they start to come out.

yurko's picture

For me surround sound is merely a home cinema application. Listening to gun shots, car crushings and helicopter flying is however a different thing that listening to music. When it comes to serious hi-fi, the very idea of this is the reproduction of music in possibly most natural way that is in trying to simulate the acoustic environment in which it was recorded. The majority of serious audiophiles listen to classical and jazz music (the music existing outside the realms of cables and electronics, having it's independent from electronic circuitry existance). I believe the best way of reproducing such music is a classic stereo not multi-channel system. Having a pair of ears, not five or six ones means that for hearing a convincing 'natural' acoustic image you do not need 5-6 speakers and the same amount of monoblocks. Maybe for those people who like different kind of music, especially "electronic" one, this is a big challenge - having more chanels would enable to experience exciting surround effects. But is having experiencing unnatural sound effects the essense of hi-fidelity sound reproduction? On the other hand, please count how much you are going to pay say for 5 speakers and amplifiers. Wouldn't you expect the same or better sound after spending the same amount of money on a decent stereo system? It is only in popular opinion that more chanels, watts, bottoms, kilograms etc. means better sound. Donot forget that more chanels means more active electronic circuitry, adding more distortion. If DVD-audio will be multi-chanel, i won't give up the CD format, or maybe even consider to converting to vinyloholics... One thing more: all the companies will try hard to convince that the only thing you need is multichanel system. For them it is a chance to sell/license something new... and to make you buy their goods in larger amounts (not just a pair of speakers and amplifiers).

Robert's picture

Until someone comes up with a sound (no pun intended :-) theoretical basis for more than two-channel audio, my interest in surround sound will remain negligible. It seems to me that adding orders of magnitude of complexity to the already complex paradigm of two-channel audio is sheer lunacy!

Tom Mitchell's picture

I'd rather put my investment into two good channels.

DJW's picture

Many stereo recordings are poorly done. Perhaps one of three or even four sound good. The multichannel I've heard to date often sounds contrived and gimmicky. I'll wait for the software to catch up.

Woody Battle's picture

I cannot afford the quality I want in a stereo system. Why would I ever consider a multichannel system?

Michael Bales's picture

This seems to be another new technology that is destined to be a flop, if only because of its lateness to the market. I'm also curious how much they intend to charge for these discs, and how the industry will use their newfound bit landscape!

MDorsam's picture

Multichannel, beyond stereo, will inevitably occur: it is closer to real life for the audiophile, and more "cool" for the teens (at some affordable price point). Similar to all techno-issues, there are competing standards (DTS, SDDS, and others, I assume: 5.1 vs. 6.1). The key is to settle on a standard and run with it. Regarding price, CDs remain overpriced even in the progressively competitive market. I have to believe that there are sufficient economies of scale to allow for an extra-stereo product at current inflated prices.

norman morales's picture

i "am very satisfied with the dolby digital and dts capabilities of my dvd, and i want to see more amazing features in the future i hope. hope

martin's picture

I don't think multichannel can, at least in the high-end sector, provide such a homogenity like stereo. Also not very stimulating, to buy 5 or even 7 poweramps and some huge runs of cables.

dbruce57@hotmail.ca's picture

as long as the surround sound is from the room and not added artifacts

Boudoir's picture

I like SACD two channels possibilities better than DVD-Audio surround possibilities. You can't get decent two channels audio from a five channels DVD mix. There is a real possibility for failure for DVD-Audio and in this case SACD will be the winner. A good audio surround intallation is problematic. Mastering good DVDs will be even more of a challenge. There is a difference between watching movies and listening to music. Although I find listening casually to music in surround sound less fatiguing generally (because of the center channel), it does not work well all the time with all kind of music and at very lound level. For serious listening and with very high performance speakers like the Genesis or the fabulous Nautilus I rather listen to two channels audio as a matter of fact.

Keith Misegades's picture

I once listened to Meridian's Trifield and it sounded OK. I don't think that the mass market people can do this thing justice.

Name withheld (in the business's picture

I have heard 7 channel SACD and have seen the light. They had better not blow it. Get it right mid-fi quality will trash this even worse than it does stereo but done right (ie. Theil & Levinson is what I heard) it is spectacular.

Kurt Christie's picture

So many "stereo" recordings are not true stereo. If the engineers can't get relatively simple two channel right, what hope is there for quality and realism in six or more channels.

Mark Warwick's picture

SACD...PERIOD!

John Meyer's picture

Emotional involvement doesn't require any more than 2 good channels and I am afraid the extra channels will be used more for hopped up effects than realistic playback.

Site Map / Direct Links