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

Alessandro_IT's picture

To find an universal player that sounds good with redbook cd's you ha ve to spend 3 times as much than a cd only player I'd say also poor sw selection

Vade Forrester's picture

Except in a few audio magazines, I've seen no ads at all for high-rez formats. Perhaps the manufacturers are using telepathic ads.

Rich Monk's picture

I thought SACD's were supposed to be hybrids with backwards compatibility with red book CDs, so all SACDs would also be CDs and there would be one inventory. What happened?

Jose Muniz's picture

The same mistake the industry made with CDs in the past, where high prices were the norm—software on both SACDs and DVD-Audio is overpriced now. Many DVDs and CDs are now being sold for less than $10 dollars. Why keep the high resolution formats overpriced when they are just emerging and have stiff competition in the form of MP3 downloads (legal and illegal), games and other gadgets? As digital technology evolves, it becomes better and cheaper most of the time.

Romin Patel's picture

i do not think people are being educated about these new formats and stores keep these formats all way in back corners.

Luis S.'s picture

In general music sales (audio only)are going down due to competing activities i.e. video games, computer etc. People are OK with mp3 and low res music which has lessen the music business as a whole, high res or HIFI is a niche market and you can't beat buying a complete disc for a couple of good songs vs download. It's a combination of factors that leads to the stagnant situation and I think consumers go more for music videos i.e. DVD and movies than for 2 channel or multichannel audio only options; might think that people are more "visual" now than previous generations, my 2cents

Gerald Clifton's picture

My experimentation phase with the new technology is over. Now, it has to produce. So far, the high-rez formats have not been worth the extra money and system fuss.

Brandon's picture

It's too confusing to the common person

Nanook of the North's picture

For me-lack of compatibility with my current CD-player... If my next player does both CD and DVD-audio/SACD i will start buying them. That is if they come at a reasonable price.

Mark D's picture


Bernard Van Hooidonk.'s picture

Didn't they learn from VHS vs BETA? Obviously the public has. Nobody wants to buy potentially obsolete technology.

Blue Mikey Fazzone's picture

Speaking just for myself, there aren't enough recordings. What there are isn't compelling (mainly stuff I already have on vinyl or CD or both, or that I was into many years ago), and the recordings (not the players) are too expensive. Furthermore, I think the marketing was done all wrong. I think SACD should have been a 7" disc with dedicated players, stayed two-channel only, and been given an actual name rather than a hard-to-remember acronym. As it is, it may offer the consumer higher performance, but there's no visual confirmation of that. And what use is a status symbol when nobody else can see that you own it? In fact, they could still relaunch SACD and make a success of it since the public really isn't aware of it yet, anyway. By the way, I really hate the term "software" incorrectly applied to recordings. We say "Use your words" to two-year-olds, and grownups ought to employ the nouns that actually apply.

A.  Toth's picture

Similar to LP: very few interested in higher than CD quality.

Andrew C's picture

Who needs another copy of Kind of Blue,Hotel California, or anything by Diana Krall?

Dave Thorne's picture

My iPod holds 500 hours of music via MP3. What's SACD and DVD-A?

Tilmann Mahkorn's picture

There's simply no need for it - let alone in the mass market! With internet downloads and the iPod glory, coming blue laser technology on the horizon and billions and billions of CDs out there, number increasing, who cares for high rez?

Mark G.'s picture

It seems audiophiles are the only people who are really aware of high-rez recordings. When I mentioned SACD to a fellow co-worker who is always listening to CD's he thought I was making it up, untill I showed him an advertisement in Stereophile.

Anonymous's picture

Lack of quality standards. I shy away from new recordings in general because most of the time I can't tell if I will get low-res digital until it is too late. Same problem with LPs.

John Mallon - Dublin, Ireland's picture

The reason SACD and DVD-Audio have stalled is because CD is such a fantastic sound carrier to start with. It can't be beaten for price, compatibility, or range of titles.

Craig Ewing's picture

Other, 45rpm vinyl LP's.

Ken Eberton's picture

Why is it that a typical SACD release costs twice the price of a DVD? Aren't movie budgets generally much higher than music budgets? This makes no sense. And where are the titles? I can only listen to Dark Side of the Moon so many times.

Brad - Atlanta's picture

They are not a big enough step forward. Also, since they look just like CDs, the general public doesn't trust that there is a difference in sound. More importantly, I'm not wearing pants.

Nameless's picture

Any of my friends who like music and have modest CD colections still don't know either format exists.

recordmanjohn's picture

It doesn't cost much to produce these things, why pay more?

Norm Strong's picture

The number of people that can tell the difference between a high-rez recording and a CD can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Jim Merrill's picture

John Q. Public can't hear the difference and doesn't care. He doesn't want to buy another player. Essentially all the software he wants to own is CD or hybrid and can be played on a CD player. He's spending on computers, plasma, and multichannel. Who has time for high-rez?

shasta's picture

The 2 formats require new hardware, period.

mfc's picture

Let's face it, most people don't care about hi-rez audio. It's reflected in the products purchased and the fact that many high end dealers are having problems staying in business. I'd like to think SACD has a chance of survival given that Sony is behind it and SACD players are becoming competive in price with red book players. Quite a few hybrid discs are becoming available for a price comparable to CD's as well and that may help the cause. I wouldn't bet the house on it though.

Kurt Christie - Guelph, ON's picture

Dave Nichol, president of the supermarket food chain Zehrs, said at a seminar I attended years ago, "Marketing is everything"

Bill Contreras's picture

Ultimately, a disinterested public is to be held responsible for the fact that SACD and DVD-A are stalled out. These high resolution formats do not offer a great deal to "hearers" of music. To such people, SACD and DVD-A bear no clear advantage over their Red Book CDs or MP3 files. I propose that the real goal is not to simply find a way to make high resolution audio formats succeed, but to, on a much grander scale, expose more music lovers to the benifits of a high end audio system, and thereby, dare I say, make audiophiles out of them.