Is there a future for a high-rez music medium?

Clearly from last week's survey, most of you feel that SACD and DVD-Audio are on the skids. But is it terminal? Do you think that high-resolution audio has a future?

Is there a future for a high-rez music medium?
29% (60 votes)
Most likely
15% (31 votes)
26% (54 votes)
Not likely
26% (54 votes)
3% (7 votes)
Total votes: 206

CCH's picture

Take it away from the major labels and maybe high-rez has a chance.

audio-sleuth's picture

A better question is does music have a future? While we re-arange the deck chairs called DVD-A and SACD, classical and jazz are also on the skids. This is a bigger problem how we play them.

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.View, CA's picture

Even though I own two SACD players, I do not put much faith in the survival either high-rez formats. Major music labels are just not supporting them. I guess their money is going to lawyers to sue customers. Sony, in the case of SACD, seems to be giving only token support to SACD anymore. I have learned my lesson when it comes to non-mainstream formats. Hear that, Sony? So, when the two high-rez DVD formats are out, I'll wait and see which one, if any, is the winner before I buy.

Rico C's picture

With $59 players who cares?

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

It is cancerous. People are listening to high-rez that is neither high nor resolute. Having been in the music business for many years, I have have been afforded the opportunity to audition every format imaginable. SACD and DVD-A sound abhorrant. I believe that the question is whether the average audio consumer really know what they are listening for. I suspect that the answer is unfortunately negative. It is my wish that every "average" high-rez consumer could experience the utter bliss that a "lo-rez" (tubes and 'table) rig can bring to lovers of music. The high-rez craze puts me in mind of the early days of the cd: perfect sound forever. If all hi-rez producers are claiming the same catch phrase, many consumers are going to be quite unhappy in no time flat.

Woody Battle's picture

SACD will survive as an audiophile format but it will never be accepted by the general public.

Al Earz's picture

As long as there is new software and the manufacturers continue to build universal players, there will be a place for high-rez. The LP has survived many years after all the predictions that it would die with the advent of the CD. It has proven that there is enough of a "audiophile market" to support a high-quality format and the same market segment will support a true high-rez format.

Forrest Carter's picture

Are you kidding? The mass market will never pay more for higher performance. Audiophile formats will always be a niche market. But when expensive new hardware is required for playback, that's the end of the story for DVD-A and SACD.

Richie Duroseau's picture

There is a very bright future for live concert movies released both with high-defintion audio and high-resolution video. The future of audio is tied up with video. That will also pull and help high-resolution audio sans video.

Blue Mikey's picture

How about "I hope so"?

Rich-Chicago's picture

It's too bad, but new releases are trickling out and any interest is dying. When major retailers are stocking very few titles the end is inevitable.

WalkerTM's picture

If they make it affordable to the mass market.

Norm Strong's picture

If we eliminate from consideration all the people reading this, who is left that gives a damn? Nobody.

Russell's picture

The public loves CDs; they're not going to buy new hardware for a format they don't perceive as better than a CD.

Teresa's picture

Maybe, that is if DualDisc doesn't kill both DVD-Audio and SACD.

charles t.'s picture

Most people can't hear the difference and wouldn't care if they did. Without mass market acceptance these formats will die. It's economic Darwinism.

Tuna's picture

The vast majority of people like the little silver disc the way it is, and don't see the need to buy the same music all over again in a format with supposed high-rez quality. As for convenience and portability, the CD kicked the vinyl record off the cliff. Mikey and his loyal crowd scream that vinyl rules, but he's preaching to his choir. Most people don't agree or simply don't hear him or his ilk at all. It will take a major new format with similar improvements in some area important to the majority for a new format to take off. And, we audioflakes are too few in number to make a major impact on this. I have chosen to assemble equipment that makes that silver disc sound its best, and that works for me.

CB's picture

Any high-rez music medium (format) should be just that: a music medium. I object to having to turn the TV on to listen to my music. Actually, I can't as my hi-fi and TV are in different rooms—so I will never buy a DVD-A player. The content should be high-rez—in other words, remastered from the original recording and not just the CD master copied over to a differently labelled disc. I would like to see a consumer test the possibility of an action for fraud over this one. And finally, with two competing formats, what do the equipment manufacturers and music industry think the consumer will do? That's right, wait to see what happens. I bought four CDs last week and am currently auditioning some top-of-the-range CD players, which, with a modern properly mastered CD, I think sound as good as SACD and considerably better than DVD-A.

Daniel Emerson's picture

High-density storage has a future. If there is enough flexibility in the specification to allow for high-rez audio-only recording as well as movies, there's a chance.

Stephen Curling's picture

Technology moves forward and always will. Here and now may not be the place where high-rez audio sets its roots. The day IS coming...

Aris Petropoulos's picture

For a new format to be succesfull it has to take into account the contemporary way of life and needs of modern world. While CD at the time of it's introduction was revolutionary (ie durability, portability, space saving etc.) the SACD or DVD-A offer nothing new in this domain. Their sound may be excellent but the general public is not interested in this. On the other hand the mp3 offers something different than the CD and more and more people are showing interest in this. Its sound it is far less than perfect but modern people seem to prefer it, and that percentage is on the rising. The pity is for us audiophiles watching in the 1980s a superior format -LP- being replaced (?) by a lesser one -CD-, and now CD being replaced by mp3. Talking about history repeating.

Jim G.'s picture

I beieve that there will be a small sampling of people that will buy into the hi-rez idea. [read audiophiles]The general public, I doubt it! How many times do we purchase the same old tired music of the past, no matter how good it is or was?

Adrian Lebena's picture

High-resolution audio has a future if: 1) It is packaged with the new HD-DVD, 2) HD-DVD is marketed better than the high-resolution audio format was ever marketed, and 3) The new HD-DVD format is shielded from format wars.Now, as a stand-alone format high-resolution audio is dead. Strong Warning to the HD-DVD makers; Stay away from a confusing format war!

macksman's picture

High-rez is a joy. It mostly comes on large, usually black discs which rotate at 33 1/3 or 45 rpm and its future is very secure. SACD & DVD-A might not suck, but they're already toast.

KJ's picture

Absolutely, as a pure computer format that is. A mass market high-rez physical format (DVD-A or SACD) seems to be dead and buried, (ie, not commercialy viable).

Dennis's picture

Could we stop with these hi-rez vote topics and get back to normal? I am close to stop hitting this part of the website. Enough already.

Tilmann Mahkorn's picture

Not in the current formats. Maybe that blue laser technologies can persuade more public to leave CD and downloads behind.

Anonymous's picture

defaultValueA h?,?However, high-resolution audio could succeed in some future format. To have any hope of success, it will have to be easy to acquire and reproduce the music (a downloadable format may be part of the answer), it will need to be price competitive and the hardware required for outstanding sound reproduction will need to be available at prices that most audio lovers can afford. The industry has failed to focus on bringing the customer a desireable product at a reasonable price.

Multi Man's picture

These two formats never got off on the right foot and it's just a matter of time before a better platform comes along and replaces the current anomolies!

Gerald Clifton's picture

First, both high-rez foremats have to be dissociated from multichannel in their advertising: multichannel is home theater, and home theater is mid-fi. So how do you flog a medium that supposedly offers superior high-end sound to mid-fi users? Second, you need a genuine commitment to an eventually limitless catalog, such as that Red Book currently enjoys. Finally, prices have to come down. I have over 2000 Red Book CDs and about 80 SACDs, and I still buy about 8-10 discs a month: it is very difficult for me to justify an extra $5 to $10 per disc just to have SACD, when it's a coin-toss as to whether the SACD will be superior. High-rez folks have to either chop the price or find some other way to take the risk out of spending more money.