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

Matthew Miller's picture

I am unsure of the sonic difference between 5.1ch @ 24/96 and 5.1ch DTS. But it seems that multi channel can help create the feeling of space and ambiance on musical recordings IF done with very high sound quality.

Robert Williams's picture

Two channels are sufficient. We all need to feel as though we can literally touch the instruments and performers in front of us. Will this ever be possible?

Randolph Carter's picture

Sheesh, can't we come up with more choices? I'd really like AC-3 now, and a field upgrade to DTS, or some other multichannel mechanism later as we smarten up about the codecs. Oh yeah, and throw in the multilayer-backwards-compatible CD/DVD treatment while you're at it. Wait, I can only pick one?! Urg.

Jay's picture


Nurray Yugin's picture

I want the same but better I don't want to be foced to clutter my home with more boxes

Yongfei Lin's picture

The information should not be compressed.

Gerren Hopkin's picture

I wish two channel 24 bit and 5.1 dts were available on one disc.

Steve Goff's picture

I find Bob Stuart's position, set forth in his recent AES preprint, to represent the most thoughtful approach to high-quality, multi-channel audio.

David Berkman's picture

Give me a triode amp, a passive pre-amp, and a turntable/arm/cartridge with an separate power supply, connect them w/ Audiotruth Dragon interconnects, and I will be in audio heaven. For me, it's just about the music!

Carl Flinkstrom, DVM's picture

Why not 2 or 5.1 channels: 20bit/96kHz? I already have a 20bit/96kHz DAC in my Pioneer Elite DVL-90. Sure, 24bit is 4 more than 20, but is it better? How many 24bit/96kHZ DAC's are out there built into DVD players that we early adopters bought? Carl Flinkstrom, DVM Lunenburg, MA

Jim Dunlap's picture

Anything that Microsoft did not dictate.

Anonymous's picture

Go for longer play)5=or 5.1 channels DSD

Greg Kveton's picture

Would also like to see DVD disks encoded with standard CD data. One disk could then be played on all players (ie. in the car).

R.S.Foulds's picture

I just hope that the Main Movers in this Quest come up with the best quality that is possible to be able to move the enjoyment of Music forward for some time until we get the "Rom Pack" sound that will some day be available without a spinning disk.

Rob Gold's picture

Leave multi-channel sound to the home theater - computer people... Give US the best possible two-channel sound in a format that will hold 80% of the main symphonic repertoire on a single "start & play all the way through" medium (70-80 minutes seems about right).

Sergey's picture

The best,please

Don Parkhurst's picture

The higher the sound quality the better.

Jeremy Close's picture

24 bit/192KHz

Frank Doggrell's picture

Digital recordings of each performing musician in a band or orchestra should be individually reproduced with a speaker system specifically designed for its respective instrument and positioned in the listener's room or auditorium in an array corresponding to the original staging.

Paul Bui's picture

Quality should be the first priority.

Kelly Blackmon's picture

The system should include digital surround both DTS and AC3 and Dolby Pro logig so that diskd do not have to be released in multiple versions

Rahul Kale's picture

On a fixed outlay basis, its better to get 2 great channel and the equipment to feed them into rather than 5 great channels with pooer euipment which will not be able to get the better sound. Unless, of course, I double my disposable income !

Joshua Lerner's picture

or 5.1 channels DSD

Thomas Carlsson's picture

- By the gods! OPEN STANDARDS! Don't make a mistake fencing this in. Let the standard be "open" in that regard that it will be up to the artist/producer/manufacturer/whatever to decide #channels/bits/sample rate on the disc they want to release. Make an intelligent open standard - the hardware/systems will follow!

Carl Dais's picture

Which of these formats will provide backward compatibilty to existing CD's and allow enhanced future performance. DTS might just be the cats meow....but to how many Tom Cats? A small niche market helps nobody. And lets not forget what drives this market...John and Jane Q Citizen who do not now or ever intend to own a "High-end" system. CD's succedded because the Average Joe saw it's duarblity, lack of surface noise, instant accessiblity, portablity and greater amount of material thasn the LP or most Cassettes. And it really did not matter what Mr. Harry Pearson or Mr. J Gordon Holt thought. Did it?

Jeffrey Teuber's picture

Sound quality is first priority, with high quality surround sound FOR MUSIC, as described by J Gordon Holt. I don't care about the quality of video sound. I want a new, better format for music reproduction.

Mark D.  Sloss's picture

As appealing as six-channel formats are for fleshing out the ambient sound of a recording, or introducing new compositional techniques, there are too many negative artifacts that may come out of it for audiophiles. The most obvious is that there is no orthodoxy about surround mic techniques for natural acoustic recording. Imagine the potential drek that may issue forth from your speakers. The second is, for those of us who choose to invest in superior two-track systems instead of diluting our dollars with five full-range channels of mediocre equipment, what sonic/music information won't we get by giving up the ambient channels in a 24/96 5.1 format? Summing five (or six) channels to two on the fly won't necessarily work. That kind of mixing needs to be done in the studio unless the mix parameters are actually encoded in the bitstream. How about a hybrid of the proposed Sony and Panasonic standards, with a multiple layer disk with 5.1 and 2-channel mixes at 24/96. Sure, throw in a 16/44.1 too. I'm sure there are plenty of us out there who would trade playing duration (74 minutes has been just fine thank you) for the highest fidelity. We do love our LPs, and how much playing time to we get per side?

Ray Milks's picture

I would love 5.1 channel 24 bit/96khz DVD Audio, with one qualification. I would like it only if the recording companies would get it RIGHT! Otherwise I would like 2 channel 24bit /96khz.

Giorgio ARDUINO's picture

Is the only way to trepass the CD limits! Thanks god vinil is living!

Mike Castagno's picture

The phonograph is what relegated us to two channels in the first place. Let's start this new format in the right direction and give it multi-channel capability.