What do you think has happened to SACD and DVD-Audio?

Stereophile's picture
High-resolution audio has gone quiet in recent months. Or has it? What do you think has happened to SACD and DVD-Audio?
What do you think has happened to SACD and DVD-Audio?
Dead
48% (112 votes)
Mortally wounded
20% (46 votes)
Gone underground
22% (50 votes)
Doing okay
7% (16 votes)
Alive and kicking
3% (7 votes)
Total votes: 231
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Comments
J.A.Boonstra@orange.nl's picture

I mainly listen to acoustic and (European) classical music. SACD is, in my opinion, better than Red Book CD. "Perfect sound forever"? SACD comes closer than Red Book CD. My audio setup is stereo, so no fiddling around with menus, setup, and all that computerized stuff. That's why DVD-Audio is not my cup of tea. I just want to play music. Vinyl, CD, and SACD (two-channel) are more convenient than DVD-Audio. Just enjoy the music. There are a lot of labels that still release SACD's, so it is far from dead. Just like vinyl: everybody was writing that vinyl was dead, but it is still here, stronger and better than ever! SACD will survive in a similar way. The big labels only care about the money, but the smaller labels, that care about music and sound quality, will keep releasing SACDs. Channel Classics, Pentatone, BIS, and a lot of other labels are the choice of music lovers.

Sam Tellig's picture

Dead and good riddance. Surround sound is evil.

JCS's picture

SACD is doing quite well in my home. I have over 400 discs and there are more available than I can afford to buy.

Nodaker's picture

I picked mortally wounded, but dead may be more correct. At least, unless you listen to classical and/or jazz, the number of titles coming out lately is like none. What's the point in having a machine if the music is not there? Sony birthed it and killed it...call it infanticide, since that's what happened.

EG's picture

The audiophile labels that I support all carry SACD products. To my ears, I prefer it to the vast majority of Red Book CDs. I will continue to look for SACD releases firs,t then CDs by the labels who value good sonics. Unfortunately, I am part of a very small market niche that values the quality of reproduced sound. SACD will remain a successful niche product.

alessandro mol luce's picture

I love SACD much more than CD.

Lawrie Allen's picture

CD and vinyl are good enough when done right, plus Joe public is still unaware of SACD or DVD-A and now will remain so.

Paul Luscusk's picture

In a world where the mass market thinks MP3 is good, high-rez was only a niche market at best. Sony going to one-day production and ABKCO pulling the Stones was really was the kiss of death for SACD. Anyone remember DBX LPs? My high-resolution format Is still LP.

CharlyD's picture

The market has voted in favor of convenience over quality. Consumers are unwilling to purchase new hardware and make complex new connections for the sake of quality. DVD-A and SACD will have a short-lived market selling to us few seeking that last bit of fidelity. But, as high speed broadband connectivity becomes more commonplace, all digital content will be distributed over the web. All physical media, including HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, will become obsolete.

Frank W.'s picture

Dead and gone and ain't coming back.

DCC's picture

Very glad not having invested any money in it.

gardo's picture

In a mid future will be two choices: Download with different options (low-fi and hi-fi) and, for romantics, vinyl.

tom collins's picture

Different formats make it hard to pick. My dealer won't even carry anything in that format until the issue is resolved.

craig's picture

A single format, like when CD first came out, is needed to make sense to entice large number of buyers to move up from the pretty good value of the plain old Red Book CD. And players better be able to play the old CDs as well.

J.  Sam's picture

Looking at the utter hype and publicity both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray have recently received shows that the failure of both DVD-A and SACD was a high profile example of the failure of marketing by both the manufacturers and record labels for high resolution audio. Most people want (or want to act like they want) the highest quality everything. Why they choose MP3 and You-Know-Who-Company is because of convenience and ignorance. Someone needs to reach out to the mass market and show/play for them the impact good sound has. Stereophile have you, ever thought of hosting a seminar for the journalists at Wired, Forbes, and Rolling Stone?

Tim R.'s picture

It's time to give these formats a proper burial.

Kingsley Flint's picture

Even though I can buy some SACDs here in Colombo, Sri Lanka, I'm not about to. The only reason i would buy any of these formats is if the recording i want is only or more easily available like that. These "improvements" were never really necessary in my opinion, as my two rigs play CD's wonderfully, and I also have a very good turntable and lots of old vinyl. Music takes me to a wonderful place, actually no matter on what it is played. Good fidelity to an original live recording, in my judgement, is a big bonus and greatly enhances that enjoyment, but to spend very large sums of money on hifi is simply not realistic.I do have a pair of Cremonas on my modest Naim system. More than that I cannot desire. So "new" formats are for me a waste of time.

Bubba in SF's picture

Who cares? The whole format war thing is dumb. Now they are doing it with HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. When has the consumer ever come out ahead in this situation? Pick a decade and these companies that fight over formats do the same thing over and over again but, with different technology. While they screw around with formats AAC and the Internet have already shown the future. Harddrive based content downloaded on broadband internet. Is it better? No. It's easier and more portable. Sales of laptop computers are increasing. Everyone has their libraries on iPods or larger hardware. The masses are revolting. (They certainly are.)

A Crespo Tavares's picture

Apparently DVD-Audio is dead. SACD is not doing bad in certain brands like Telarc, since they price them very close to the same record in CD, both quite expensive. Not as good as vinyl with a $500 MC cartridge, anyway.

Geordy's picture

SACD should continue to live on in the classical world but utlimately it's the constant double-dipping by the record companies that killed these formats. The moment SACD and DVD-A were deemed "future" formats, they should have pulled all Red Book CDs off the shelves and replaced them all with SACDs and DVD-As at the same prices. Then the double dipping really wouldn't have been an issue. If it is priced fairly, the masses will gladly own Dark Side of The Moon in multiple formats 10 times over. The price gouging by the labels is what killed these formats and with the current state of the music industry...they are getting exactly what they deserve.

dan meade's picture

i love DVD-Audio, i wish there were more discs available.

Jens's picture

For pop/rock, not a chance. May have a chance with classical music, perhaps jazz. I suspect a number of releases per year, compared to total number of classical recordings would not do that bad.

jett driver's picture

I see new releases for SACD every week at acousticsounds.com.

Elias Tsokanis's picture

Propably "Dead", unless DSD/SACD is supported from Blu-Ray Discs (like PS3—I think a smart move from Sony) as 24/192 PCM is supported from HD-DVD. But without support from the record industry no high-rez audio format will be the standard, or propably it will be only an alternative medium for the very few. But this is not the "real world" or is it? Otherwise the high-end front-end will be the CD for another 25 years—and this is really bad news. Even though I am the lucky owner of a $7500 CD-only player, I am expecting to see a 50 GB Blu-Ray disc supporting ultra-high-rez audio, much better than the known 24/192 PCM or today's DSD. If you get some good news from Sony or Universal let us know. Thanks.

Paul Matwiy's picture

May get resurrected via Dolby True HD if Blu-Ray and HD-DVD don't kill each other first.

David Jamison's picture

A good thought, but two-channel stereo works fine everywhere (portables, cars, computers, etc). Multichannel/high-rez audio requires a rather large dedicated system that you must sit down and listen to. How many of us today do that often? Not many, including myself.

Don Vieweg's picture

DVD-A and SACD can have cheaper players than CD because you get better resolution without upsampling, interpolation, or oversampling. The available ones are good. DVD-A menu problems seem to be disappearing.

Hugo Gaggioni's picture

I own about 900 SACDs. In Japan everything high-qiality in Jazz, and/or classic music is issued in DSD/SACD/CD. There are stores exclusively dedicated to the format. DVD-A—pretty much dead

Daniel P.'s picture

I love SACD. I am constantly impressed with the outstanding improvement over standard CD (24 bit). Sadly, the public has no interest in it. We audiophiles are too small of a group to be caterd to.

obieseven's picture

Becoming a classical format?

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