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

D.  R.  Najuch's picture

Don't Care,because I do not intend to purchase till 2001, maybe!?

Anonymous's picture

It's time for the software to catch-up to the hardware.

Mike Andrews's picture

Actually I would like to see a 7.1 setup similar to Yamaha's system only discrete obviously.

Bevin Reith's picture

Ambisonic please!

Ian Baker's picture

With 5.1 systems now starting to be commonplace, it would make sense for the new format to be a 5.1 format. AC3 does not have the bandwidth, however 24/96 will provide the high end quality beingdought.

Lou Balch's picture

Would like format that provides the best possible audio and video reproduction. I know companies save bucks by putting everything but the kitchen sink on a single DVD, but with production/media costs as low as they are, is this really necessary? If history has taught us anything, it's that convenience will probably win out over quality (remember VHS vs. BETA).

Chia Ti Yan's picture

Multiple channels will not help if sound quality is compromised.

Leslie B.  Williams's picture

Only fix handling of legacy software (redbook). You should have included 20b/88.2khz for 2channel.

Mr.  Kelly Taylor's picture

5.1 DTS 24 bit/96khz 7.1 DTS 24 bit/96khz

Nels Johnson's picture

We cant posibly hope to make an Audio DVD work ,unless it's downward compatible. I want to be able to chose what kind of data stream it will play. The pcm based Surround has been around for years ,and there is no ,or little audio content.We should use this as an indicator for our direction to develope in. Nels Johnson

Rocky L.  Rinker (Rockrink@AOL)'s picture

I don't look to be "on stage" while listening to music, with the percusionist behind me and the lead guitar in front of me. More channels is not better. Let's just make it sound better with the two channels we already have.

George Prentice's picture

I suppose I really should vote for 24bit 88kHz. But was not an option. I think it will take 10 or more years for the industry to figure out how to do 5.1. It will probably take the time for todays college kids to get jobs and get affluent to take 5.1 to the real high-end for music. So between learning and the driving force it is a long way off. In the ] mean time we need a higher resolution standard.

BILL VOSS's picture


Jason Crickmer's picture

I think there should be a mix of formats - allowing the artist/producer to decided what they want. Every one of the above formats should be available.

Woody Battle's picture

It is very difficult to get a channel sysytem set-up correctly. While a five channel sysytem may theoretically provide better sound, the average person will never own a house big enough to set up such a system correctly. I want the best possible two channel system.

Alvester Garnett's picture

I believe that 24/96 is the best choice but would like the option of 5.1 or 2 channels. Based on my budget, I'd rather have 2 great loudspeakers than 5.1 mediocre ones. Hopefully also the 2 channel option will mean less need for processor power which equals less cost for newbies to DVD. I believe it makes more sense to aim for the highest standards in this nascent technology so we won't be moaning about the sound the way we do about CD's. In that regard 5.1 with 24/96 is the ideal and extracting 2 channels from that shouldn't be a problem (undoubtedly record companies won't release seperate 2 and 4 channel versions). I just hope that those stuck with 2 channels won't lose out too much in the playback chain translation.

Anonymous's picture

why such a question in the Stereophile web site ?

Anonymous's picture


C, lee's picture

They should leave it where it is right now. It sounds great.

jeff d hardy's picture

depending on content of disc, a mix of formats would be prefered. example: 2 channel 96khz, 5.1 96khz.

Mark Passarelli's picture

NO dts. These people that have had nothing to do with "home" audio/video are trying to confuse the average consumer by trying to push dts and divx. Face it "other" firms.. it's AC-3 and DVD.. get used to it.'s picture

I believe that we should have the max number of channels that will fit losslessly at at least 96/24. If that is 2 channels for now, that's ok. Remember HD-DVD is just a few years down the road. Also, we need to look seriously at the systems which will provide the best (most correct) imaging in multi-channel systems. I favor an open approach to the system, with a header specifying the channel layout. I imagine, though, that a lot of people will have only one multi-channel listening room at home. That will probably be in the typical "home theatre" configuration. An article on microphone technique and playback configurations for multi- channel systems is certainly in order for some future issue(s) of the magazine. Paul Missman

David Gulliver's picture

I am unsure about what I want as I am not educated in this field. I think that having 2 standards, one for audio only and another for video, both playable on one machine, makes the most sense. Let the video standard be whatever they use in THX movie theaters, with the audio standard being whatever sounds best and still allows one hour or more of music per disc.

david jimenez's picture

ac3 for vidio&dts for music

Frank X.Taylor's picture

I like a mix of AC-3 and DTS. I think it is a waste not to have SOME compression technology.

Luke Redmond's picture

flexibility and choice should be the important issue. Many consumers don't care about the difference between 44 and 96. Some consumers will never leave stereo, while others will never look back - players will have to be flexible. I cant wait to hear what happens with 96 kHz multichannel.

Paul La Noue's picture

I want the best sounding front end possible. Two channels for music. The 5.1 format for movies. I think it is best to use a different system for each.