How many channels and what formats do you want to see on DVD Audio discs?

DVD audio standards are still up in the air, but promise (hopefully) to come down soon. For our inaugural question, we want to know what you prefer: fewer channels and longer playing times, or multichannel high-quality sound with shorter playing times.

How many channels and what formats do you want to see on DVD Audio discs?
2 channels: 16bit/44kHz
2% (8 votes)
2 channels: 24bit/96kHz
40% (204 votes)
5.1channels: 16bit/44kHz
1% (5 votes)
5.1 channels: 24bit/96kHz
26% (133 votes)
5.1 channels: Dolby Digital (AC-3)
7% (35 votes)
5.1 channels: DTS
6% (31 votes)
Mix of Formats
11% (58 votes)
Open Standards
6% (31 votes)
Don't Care
1% (6 votes)
Total votes: 511

John Atkinson's picture

Nice one JI!

John Atkinson's picture

Jon, I added one

Richard Lehnert's picture

This is RL's test.

Trevers Astheimer's picture

As long as it is possible to play it on a legacy 2 channel system without any loss of sound quality.'s picture

For pure audio purposes I would like to see the 24bit format adopted, however for Audio video(home theater), the Dolby Digital format is the way to go.

Anonymous's picture

Has the industry considered two channels thru four speakers? A fader control would adjust the front-to-back balance just like a car stereo. I'ver heard this format many years ago, and if my memory serves me correctly, this arrangement provides a very nice perception of depth and images. It's an old and simple idea that just about everyone is familiar with from their car stereos. Consequently, it would be easy for most mass-market consumers to adopt. Additionally, it would be completely compatible with the current mult-channel hardware and would allow audiophiles to upgrade thier two channel systems into a nice two-channel, four-speaker system.

Steven M.  Kastner's picture

lossless compression only

Cary Stegall's picture

Realistically, I believe 20bit resolution at 48kHz with 5 or more channels is do-able and adequate for the home. Studio engineers need a couple of bits reserved for the 22 to 24 bit recordings they are making now. DD at a high bitrate (640 or above) should also be included. The best solution is to allow the system to broadcast its parameters via software, and have the hardware play back at the highest quality, or at the listener's discretion.

Lyle Mack's picture

From what I understand of DVD, we don't need to compromise.... Why can't we have it all! High Quality Multi-Channel AND long playing times. Your question implies we must compromise (OK, there has to be shorted playing times for more channels, but shorter compared to what? If I can get 5 hours instead of 4... so what, but if it's 40 minutes instead of 2 hours, then it's a major compromise that we don't actually need.

Robert Lundemo Aas's picture

44kHz is not an option for DVD(48kHz is) and 24bit is 4 bits of hype, DD has too low quality and DTS is dead as a consumer format. Why not ad more options to the list? None of them covers my hopes for DVD-Audio.

Ed Pugacz's picture

How about 3 front channels with 20 bits/88 or 96khz, and 1 or 2 lower bit rate ambiance channels for the rear? I don't think we really need the 0.1 bass effects channel for music.

Ralph Pantuso's picture

Only if the ability for traditional 2 channel play back was still available.

Philip Hulme's picture

A mix of formats so that both audiophiles/home theatre buffs will be satisfied.

Chris Fortier's picture

2 channel 24/96 for Audio. 5.1 channel 24/96 for movies.

Jim Murphy's picture

I would love to have my room become the concert hall that the music was recorded in a 5.1/96kHz should do the trip IF the engineers mix the 5.1 correctly

Jeremy Karpenske's picture

A high-quality, long-playing, 2 channel format would be ideal; those of us who have a DVD player but can't afford the full 5.1 channel Dolby Digital setup would still be able to enjoy the new technology.

Al Suppa's picture

I would hate to see an AC-3 only or DTS only format. If the big companies are going to be 'the' driving force behind the standard, then I would opt for a mix of formats (AC-3, DTS and 24 bit, if possible) on a relatively short, high definition disc.

David Merrfield's picture

I can't afford three more channels of Krell amplification, and three more Duntech speakers :( Nor do I have the space to locate extra speakers of the same quality in my room!

Jeff Loney ('s picture

Philips's DCC and Sony's Minidisc are examples of just how "out of touch" the big companies are with the true desires of their customers. With DVD, they will get to learn more lessons without "satisfying the customer", again at the consumer's cost.

Wesley Chen's picture

I'd like to see a format that the decoding program written in Java is stored on the DVD, alone with the audio data. The player will be simply a simple device with a build-in Java Virtual Machine, which reads in the decoding program from the disk and execute it to decode the audio data on the same disk. With this, music companies can choose whatever encoding algorithm they like, as long as they provide decoder program on the same disk, and the consumers don't need to use different players for different format of disks all they need is a universal player with a built in Java Virtual Machine to execute the decoding program.

Stephen's picture

The choices above should be software or upgradeable firmware issues.

Brad Todd's picture

I'd like to see more than 2 channels and greater than 16 bit/44.1k sound. From what I have read DTS is supposedly very good (I have never heard it). I am a Dolby Digital person, but am always looking for an excuse to upgrade for sound quality.

Richard Schneider's picture

Down with DIVX.

dal's picture

If multiple channels are to be an integral part of DVD, then why the 5.1 channel alabatross that we all know to be inadequate? I can't see any good reason for fewer than 8, 9 with a seperate sub channel. Further, assuming that 16 bit is the hindering factor of current CD's and that 24 bit is the logical conclusion to ameliorate the problem, I would say the goal should be a minimum of 48 bit with a sampling freguency commensurately doubled. More concisely, I think all the choices given would be inappropriate.

Les Franevsky's picture

Highest fidelity always. I regard surround sound an industry conspiracy to sell more amps, speakers, wire, etc. I have never heard a multi-channel set up that didn't obscure detail, when comparison to two channel was possible. In a video context, surround sound is an interesting effect that, despite the additional cost and complexity, does NOT meaningfully enhance the video experience. In a sound only context, it just muddies things up. Home theater is fraud.

Craig G.  Zastera's picture

4 Channels would probably be adequate--do we really need center and/or bass effects for high end audio? Also, not clear that 96/24 is really necessary. Maybe something like 66.15/20 would be good enough? But what is clear is that 44.1/16 is inadequate for music.

Matt Kozink's picture

Sony DSD has forward compatibility, advances the sonic frontier and permits single retail inventories. Looks like a winner to this consumer.

Andrew B.  Weinberger's picture

Most present CDs are not filled, so time does not need to be the priority.

Richard Rzonca's picture

20-24 bits/96kHz plus 5.1 channels 24/96 or DTS Length must be at least the current CD capability. Also, disks should work with my old CD player on a different side or layer.

Tang Wong's picture

Open standards is the only sure approach to capture the market. Let consumers decide. The machines will be more expensive, but 1st gen DVD players are relatively cheap.