What is the primary thing stalling SACD or DVD-Audio?

While some may disagree, it would seem that both competing high-rez audio formats, SACD and DVD-Audio, have stalled in the marketplace. Why do you think this is?

What is the primary thing stalling SACD or DVD-Audio?
Poor software selection
19% (49 votes)
High software prices
10% (25 votes)
Poor hardware selection
1% (2 votes)
High hardware prices
3% (8 votes)
Poor promotion
10% (25 votes)
Anti-piracy measures
3% (7 votes)
Lack of public interest in high-rez audio
31% (80 votes)
Lack of compatiblity with computers
2% (4 votes)
Result of format war
10% (27 votes)
10% (25 votes)
They're doing fine
2% (6 votes)
Total votes: 258

Travis Klersy's picture

The same companies that have been steadily lowering the standards for music playback, and that have convinced most people the most important part of a good audio system is a really big TV, are now trying to convince people to buy something better than what they have been told is "perfect" for over 20 years. The industry is also trying to replace the universal format with a variety of formats, with each one somehow superior to everything else out there. Why is there any confusion over the lack of success?

eD's picture

DVD-A is better? Ooohhh SACD is better! Wait, wait, DVD-A is better! Aaahhh, forget it. Just gimme the CD.

Norman L.  Bott's picture

Promotion that would convince consumers that the new format actually is better than CD, if they can make that argument. It is also possible that the average person is quite happy with Lo-Rez.

Dimitris Gogas's picture

Considering that everything listed against sacd and dvd-a is valid, they are doing just fine!

Adam's picture

While I think all of the choices are factors, the public just doesn't have an interest in hi-rez audio.

JHL's picture

If MP3 is great for 80% of the population, why would they pay MORE for hires audio. Obviously while interest in these formats is limited to audiophiles, they can justify charging a premium. However if record labels are really interesting in getting more people interested in SACD or DVD-Audio, they need to lower the prices.

F Cooper's picture

I think this stagnation is due to all the optional reasons stated (excluding of course "They're doing fine") to a greater or lesser degrees. This is further exacerbated by peoples' memories of the Betamax/VHS format war and the fact that it took so long for the CD to be optimised. The LP still has a firm following and if anything has seen some recent revival. We should also not lose sight of the fact that there is still a thriving second hand market for LPs and CDs.

nostradamus's picture

The reality is people just don't care about getting better sound. It's the same reason the audiophile industry caters to such a small percentage of the population. Hopefully, like XRCD, HDCD, and gold CDs, SACD will survive as a nitch product for the small percentage of people that want better sound.

Duane Bo's picture

The iPod and its clones will crush the entire market. Don't get me wrong, I still love the sound of vinyl on my Linn LP12. But the future is here. Apple rules!

Peter Randell's picture

There still doesn't appear to be a hardware solution that does CD, SACD, and DVD-A at audiophile quality. To get good CD and SACD I use a Sony player and supplement this with a Pioneer DVD-A/SACD player for DVD and DVD-A. This means I need an amp with two sets of multichannel inputs.

Lenny Zwik's picture

Deception by the recording industry. To wit: the latest Nora Jones fraud whereby the PCM recording, rather than the analog master was used for an SACD release.

Robert G.  Raynor, Jr.'s picture

While I have both SACD and DVD-A, there simple is not enough software (music) available. The selections are too limited.

Louis P.'s picture

It's the lack of players from true high end companies. CD's didn't get acceptance in the high end until the Meridian and tubed CAL players came along. Most audiophiles are not going to use a player by Sony or Phillips as a primary signal source. Also, the mainstream players simply do not meet high end standards for power supplies, parts quality, etc. We need SACD players that are competitive in performance and price with the Arcam, Naim, and Simaudio 16 bit players that Sereophile has reviewed in the last few issues.

L.  Brown's picture

If new releases were issued in the hi-rez formats, that would be a huge help. I would select a SACD version over a CD version anyday. And I am with the Stereophile editors, on not using the PCM mixdown for the SACD layer, I want to get more than a fancy way to make that blue light light up on my SACD player. Once again, selection, selection, selection, and not just more re-issues, needs to be more current support.

paul salongo's picture

The kids today are in MP3. More sound less space,even at reduced sonic qualities. Old timers like me don't wat to have start buying another format. I've already got a sizable vinyl and cd collection. Additionally, cd recordings are better.

Dale F's picture

If fast money could be made from a high-rez format, it would happen.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

If can get it on SACD, I buy it on SACD. I always shop there first and the quality is worth a small premium. But, so often I can't get what I want

audio-sleuth's picture

If I want better than CD, I play records. If I want beter than that, I go to a concert. It's just that simple. SACD and DVD-A are unnecessary.

Anonymous's picture

Best guess is it will finally take off when DVD Audio becomes standard fare on DVD movies and it can ride DVD sales momentum.

TimW's picture

The marketing of these formats has been terrible!!! If you read the industry mags like Pro-Sound News or Mix, to name just two, there are plenty of surround mixes being done. You would think these formats were thriving! There is definitely a roadblock somewhere between 5.1 mix completion and getting product on the store shelves!

Nick's picture

I've gone to stores, which carry SACDs, with money in hand on several occasions and come away with nothing but the money I entered the store with, due to the lack of offerings.

Donald N.'s picture

High prices + poor marketing + format war = lack of consumer interest

Fred Fue's picture

With the prices of plasma TVs falling daily, the public is not prepared to pay for the high price of SACD/DVD-A or other "designer" CDs.

Stefan K.'s picture

I fear that the general public is not really interested in hi rez audio. Most people want their music cheap 'n' dirty.

Richard Biggs's picture

Everything listed above Other is a significant drag on sales. With so many things working against success, is it any wonder that these new formats are DOA? Having two formats makes everything more expensive. To be successful a new format should be price competitive with the old format, be user friendly (=no copy controls) and be obviously better than the old format. Universal players have no hope of delivering an improvement at a reasonable cost, so they are not a solution to the dilemma of multiple format choices.

Glenn Bennett's picture

Have you seen what people are buying to listen to their "home theater" setups? A cheap DVD/amp and five super cheap speakers and a "subwoofer" the size of a loaf of bread! About $200 total. They are listening to music on iPods! People don't sit down and listen to music anymore. They watch movies with planes flying overhead and car crashes. This is what they want, something hooked up to a cheap, poor-quality TV set. There is no interest in listening to music beyond a cheap $200 so-called "stereo."

M.Barath's picture

Give new RELEASES!!!

Ren's picture

Most people don't have a clue when I talk about sacd even the clerc in the music store.Choices are limited and the quality often doesn't justified the premium price.

Tim Bishop's picture

Lets face it, kids today are not "in to audio" as older generations where in thier youth. The industry as a whole needs to be come more attractive to a younger generation.

Mark Gdovin's picture

I have to vote "other" because it is mostly "all of the above". Yet, mostly I think it is because the vast majority who comsume music "software" do not really care all that much about "audiophile" aspects as this tiny club ascribes to. It's all economics and marketing, no real mystery here.