Will a format war between SACD and DVD-Audio be good or bad for audiophiles? Why or why not?

Will a format war between SACD and DVD-Audio be good or bad for audiophiles? Why or why not?
Good---let them fight it out!
23% (25 votes)
Bad---settle before going to market!
60% (66 votes)
It won't matter
9% (10 votes)
I don't care
8% (9 votes)
Total votes: 110

The benefits of more choice or an audiophile disaster? It seems that Sony/Philips' SACD and DVD-Audio are on a collision course in their race for the title of the next high-end audio format. If they decide to duke it out, we'll get to compare the two formats ourselves, but is this good or bad for the audiophile?

tony coughlin's picture

i demand the best and will settle for no less. i've heard from many sources hat sacd is the future...can't wait to hear tomorrow.

Woody Battle's picture

When no one can convince the average consumer that a replacement for CDs is needed at all, it is just plain silly that this format war is going on.

Eric W.  Sarjeant's picture

These technologies cater to a niche audiophile market and will likely remain out of the popular consumer marketplace for a while. I think a healthy format war will define the superior technology for audiophiles and consumers alike.

Bill Sikorski's picture

Good God, it took two years to get a DVD-Audio standard, and now SACD supporters try to dilute it? I say, consumers have had enough! If you want to kill digital audio, keep introducing new formats to confuse us!

Steve in E.L., Michigan's picture

Beta vs. VHS. Need I say more?

Clay S.'s picture

I hate the possibilities of buying the losing format or having to buy both.

David L.  Wyatt, Jr.'s picture

There is an old saying: "Kill the engineer and get on with the project." Sooner or later we need to get a product to market, even if some newer, more ideal technology is developed in the interim. Otherwise, the promise of truly great digital is nothing but vaporware. Fighting it out is the best way to ensure the failure of a new standard, so we end up with nothing.

J.  Heo's picture

Competition is a way to succeed.

Ted Betley's picture

I would hope that both formats ultimately flourish so that we can have high-resolution access to the classics (Classic Records) and the extensive archives of both Philips & Sony. (I would love to have yet another version of Bruckner's 9th by Bruno. It would would also be nice to have a universal disc player that can play SACD/24-96/24-192/16-44/whatever. Maybe that's too much to ask for, but I believe it is feasible based on my Panasonic A110 experience with CDs/DADs. I think this is a wonderfull time for music lovers. I am a little worried that we may gravitate to the least common denominator with respect to performance & cost. But let's hope not.

herve.deletraz@ville-ge.ch's picture

CD players are now exploiting CDs very much more than in the recent past. Until DVD or SACD will become the new standard, a lot of things will happen. When one standard will win over the other, i.e. when most of titles will be available in 24/96 format, I'll buy a player. 'till that time my CDs are okay. Finally, if I could choose, I would prefer the SACD, which allows backward compatibility.

Andrew Straszewski's picture

As a person far more interested in music than video/film, I would like to see the superior format win. The backward compatibility of SACD would seem a compelling argument, but I suspect gadget lovers will vote for the versatility of DVD.

Joe Hartmann's picture

The LP and CD war made engineers learn to record music, but few believe that CD's are the equal of the LP. To get that result caused the cost of analog to go through the roof esp the records( I now pay $25 -40 for a limited catalog) or accept CD sound for music I wish to hear but can only find in that format. When will the new format equal the old and how bad will those old CD's sound on my next player.

Blair Zasitko's picture

A considerable number of early adopters who buy into the losing format will get stung. It will also discourage many of the early adopters from buying into this new technology out of fear of the venomous bite of expensive new equipment that is soon obsolete.

Chris Rud's picture

I am soooo ready for a high-resolution/high-bit-rate format that it hurts. Either format will do nicely in comparison to the 16/44.1 standard. I would like to see it go the DVD way just to make things easier. In the meantime, I'm not buying ANY digital gear until something is settled. That sucks!

Jay Brandes's picture

People hate uncertainty! It is going to take a lot of marketing to convince people other than audiophiles that they need a new format. The confusion is going to kill acceptance of this new format. It is a shame, because the mere presence of DVD has already killed the LP market, and if DVD in whatever form doesn't make it in the mainstream, we'll be stuck with CD. This is going backwards!

Federico Cribiore's picture

It will be a nightmare if the formats are forced to duke it out in the public market. In that instance, the winner will not be chosen by artists, studios, consumers, and audiophiles because of its sonic superiority, but rather because of business or promotional considerations. That is definitely the worst-case scenario for music lovers.

Neil's picture

Let's get on with DVD-Audio. Astor's Place my overwhelming favorite (better late than never).

Dean Fisher's picture

I feel the consumer should not be a test bed for a format at our expense. Remember Beta vs. VHS. Good thing I waited . . . some did not. I believe it is determental to sales, causing consumers to be cautious to enter the market.

Jorick's picture

I believe in the free market. However, when it comes to formats of one sort or another, I feel it would profit all of us to have discerning people make the right choice so us ordinary folk won't have to guess which system we should put our bet on.

Steve Lane's picture

Those of us who would like to upgrade our systems before the second decade of the new millennium would like to not have to worry about our new purchases being obsolete before the purchase is made. Let's force them to put up or shut up ASAP.

Michael Ong's picture

Competition creates better products. SACD and DVD are no exceptions. Let us consumers enjoy the fruits of their success.

Greg Grimes's picture

Just as with VHS/Beta, the corporations pushing these new formats have to give their products enough mass-market appeal that they can make money. The mass market almost invariably chooses convenience and "gee-whiz" features over quality. All parties involved need to get together and develop a common standard.

John W.  Thiele's picture

Competition can be perceived as a good thing in order to get the best out of each format. I believe the market will be able to sustain both formats, as it does with Dolby Digital and DTS. Only time and the market will tell!

Steven Dohmeyer's picture

Bad. I like a lot of popular music that will be available only in a digital format, which definitely needs improvement. The war will delay the introduction of an improved digital format for the foreseeable future (disregading the limited selection of audiophile releases). I'll be getting deeper into analog.

Stephen Rinaldi's picture

I don't wish to watch these greedy folks battle this out. When will they ever put their greed aside and do something that benefits all? When also will they realize that, especially in the high-end community, we just get turned off by such stuff as this?

John's picture

As long as we get somthing better than CD.

Rafe's picture

Competing formats will cause consumer uncertainty and will result in deferred buying decisions. Slow sales will cause content manufacturers (music labels) to slow conversion of exisitng content to either format.

Dan Formento's picture

The key to the success of any format is the economic feasibility of the record industry to issue product in another format. If neither format proves a clear winner, the industy will likely choose neither, and they both loose