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

Jim Causey's picture

I'm very interested in the possibilities of multichannel music, but I fear for my recent investment in a high-quality two-channel system. Very few artists provide a compelling reason to go multichannel..

Olivier Terrasson's picture

I dont care about video

Alex Huffman's picture

It's not very practical to assume that the already broad base of stereo owners are going to buy three or four extra speakers to accomodate a new audio format.

Bob Bledsoe's picture

Let recording companies use a mix of formats, if possible, to provide the most effective recording for the consumer.

Anastassios Roumboutsos's picture

forget long play. Which artist uses the entire 78 minutes or so of the current CD anyways?

Brooks Longley's picture

You have reported that 24bit/96kHz is a waste of bandwidth. I would like to see a choice of 20 bit/56kHz or whatever the right numbers are. Then I would like to know how many channel/minutes would fit on a DVD disk in this format. If possible, I'm interested in the best of all worlds - great quality, multichannel, and long playing time. It seems that we will have to buy a new player if any format other than the current CD audio standard is selected, so we might as well use available technology to maximize quality while minimizing space useage. Thanks for asking.

Roger Lonsberry's picture

Go for the sound!!

Jeff Autor's picture

Keep the outer layer CD-compatible, and use any decent lossless compression scheme to allow long play times on the inner, hi-def layer... Above all, require text info embedded in the data for each track (title, etc.) for display/cataloging purposes... Gee, maybe even cover art (gasp!), lyrics, and liner notes? Certainly worth <1MB on a ~5GB disc...

Eric W.  Sarjeant's picture

Since AC3 is already part and parcel of the DVD spec, I would say audiophiles would be best served with a bigger word size (24 bits) and a faster sample rate (96 KHz).

Andy Huizinga's picture

In requesting 5.1 24/96 I would expect the format to still allow full use of 2 channel if required.

Gary Ang's picture

the 5.1 channels allows for user playback on 2-channel for backward compatibility

Mark Teo's picture

Buying a 2ch top notch amp and a pair of good speakers cost me tons of money already. If 5.1 comes around, I'll have to multiply the price by 2.5!! Ouch!!(Oh, and a Sub that'll match them(which in itself is close to impossible) Imagine 5 Grand Slamm, 5 Levinson 33 mono, a more expensive preamp(5 should and will cost more than 2 ch preamp), another 1 1/2 pair of expensive cable. Extra interconnects to hook them all up, D/A that output 5.1 ch etc etc. Gee, I don't even want to think. Last but not least, many people out there will not have the room for proper placement of rear speakers. We already have problem setting up 2 ch, think what 5 will bring us. Home theater wise, we can compromise here and there for rear speaker placement, but audiophile system setup can take no compromise.

JS's picture

Since music labels probably won't record more than 60 or 70 minutes per disk anyways (more like 35-40 minutes for most pop albums) we should make the most of the remaining space. Besides, the limiting factor to current high end audio is the CD itself. A 24bit/96kHz on a entry level system should easily outperform todays best 16 bit systems. We also should not look at the Video standard for audio. People generally do not realize loss of details in Video sound because of the video distraction itself. To use video sound decoding standard would be inadaquate for audio only standard.

Jon Fife's picture

It seems that AC-3 is becoming a standard in high-end home theater receivers, so one can only hope that the home theater components it supports will use comparable technology

Neal Solomon's picture

Quality over quantity. (keep it simple)

Michael Spencer's picture

I would rather that more time/$ was spent on creating quality recornings. I don't plan to upgrade to any of these until significant software exists.

Jay B.  Haider's picture

It's important that we allow the medium room to grow as technology improves. Therefore, DVD audio coupled with multiformat processors seems the way to go.

Tom Mitchell's picture

If the new standard is not backward-compatible to present CD players, a lot of people are going to lose a lot of money.

Norman A.  Fiege's picture

I would simply like a format that sounds as good as or better than vinyl.

mgmorris's picture

Two channel higher resolution interests me more than a multi-channel, multi-speaker sytem... this is because I was enlightened to the potential one day at a recording studio. There is nothing in this world except live music that surpasses freshly laid soundtracks.

Chip Greene's picture

leave the 5.1 channels for home theater. lets go for the best quality to finally get digital audio as musical as the best analog sound.

Jeff Santilli's picture

Anything is better than the current CD standard. Why push the learning curve when most people understand stereo (why confuse the unwashed masses with multi-channel when they are mostly concerned with receivers and multi-disc changers. Stick with the best in stereo.

Zhonghe WANG's picture

24/96 is better and 2 channels will cover the largest range of users. If 5.1 channels with 24/96 is chosen, so much the better. But it must be compatible with 2-channel equipment.

C.W.Messenger's picture

please bring back THE MUSIC.

John Napier's picture

I'm not clear why I had to choose between 24 bit/96kHz or AC-3 or DTS. Can't we have one of the latter two with 24-bit/96kHz coding? More education is required!

Lee Lieberman's picture

I have~3000 CDs & no multichannel/theatrer. I realize home theatre is driving mkt. place!?! Best sound is key, not effects.

Werner Ogiers-Audio Vision (B)'s picture

This survey lacks the most important DVD-A proposal for high-quality sound so far, the one done by the Acoustic Renaissance for Audio: -hi-rate, hi-res -hierarchical multichannel, from mono to periphony, based e.g. on Ambisonics. This is so far the only system that guarantees very high quality as well as a true paradigm shift in music recording and playback. Investigate I vote strongly against: -pan-pot based multichannel like AC-3 and DTS -data-reduced systems A mix of formats, which can be played back by all standard machines, offers versatility during the recording process, so that the recording engineering can decides what format suits the artistic contents of the recording the best. Any mix of formats should be sufficiently open to allow for future developments.

Julian Hayes's picture

PCM Format

Bj's picture

I think it

Kent Owings's picture

I like the home theather type set-up for music so it feels like the music "surrounds" you.