DVD-Audio!

vbimport

#1

Anyone have experience with this format? Are there any music available commercially in this format?

Does it require a special drive to play or record to DVD-Audio?

(I have a NEC 3520)


#2

I have a couple of DVD Audio discs. By this I mean discs that are DVD Audio spec, not DVD-Video discs that contain music videos or whatever.

This format may slowly increase in popularity because they are now releasing two sided “universal” discs that have Redbook CD Audio on one side and DVD Audio on the other side. Dont like flippers but shrug

Most / all DVD-ROMs should support DVD-A if you have a software player that supports it such as WinDVD 6 with the DVD-Audio pack or whatever they call it. There is no known crack for DVD-Audio encryption which makes it unrippable UNLESS the disc is not encrypted (I think.) You should have a card that’s capable of true 24/192 on all 6 or 8 channels, such as some of the M-Audio cards. The Audigy 2 is not capable of this, not sure about the A2 ZS the 24 bit Live! or the “Audigy 4”. Many DVD-As are only 24/96. It is suspected that WinDVD downsamples the audio which worsens the sound quality (at least theoretically.) Currently, DVD-Audio players sound better in almost all cases, compared to audio out from a sound card and dvd-rom.

Audio formats can be upto 192khz / 24 bit. Data can be either PCM either completely uncompressed or lossless compressed using a process called MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), DTS or AC3. Stereo or multichannel. The format has an optional flag that will force players to block even 2 channel PCM digital out, leaving only analog output. The “expected” output of a dvd audio player is 6 channel analog, but there is some movement towards digital DVD-A output. The “old” digital connections cannot support multi-channel DVD-A output because of the bandwidth requirements, but could support 2 channel output at maximum quality. Many standalone dvd players will not output digital audio at all sent to a receiver / multi-channel preamp or HT processor the way DVD-Video’s sound is.

In an ideal DVD-Audio setup, all 6 speakers are full range identical speakers. i.e. it is not necessary that the 6th channel be “LFE” / Subwoofer / Sub-bass only. This is actually used on some audiophile discs.
In reality, at least 5 channels should be identical speakers, and of good quality, not a $100-$300 “5.1” computer speaker set. As things stand now, this is for audiophiles with lots of money to spend on audio. It will work with a basic computer and 5.1 cheapo speakers, but may not sound any better than the average Dolby Digital 48khz/16 bit highly compressed audio track because the resolution is just not there in such a setup.

One of the drawbacks of this format is that you usually cant pass the data digitally to your receiver as you can with AC3 from DVD-Video. Some receivers now support lossless over firewire (usually called i.Link), such as Pioneer with their Elite line of receivers and players. Don’t know if this is a standard but more than one company is doing it. Denon went with some proprietary ethernet based standard for lossless digital to their receiver.

It is meant to be playable without a video screen (i.e. menus optional) just like a CD. Some older discs are less friendly in this regard.

Sound quality with GOOD speakers (> $1000/pair) and a good pre-amp and a good player (all costing a minimum of > $1000 each) is noticeably better than redbook in many cases, but sometimes not even then (depends on the player and source.)
There are some really good redbook players in the > $1000 range that can compete with 2 channel DVD Audio or SACD sound, such as the Meridian G06, but these are not aimed at the mass market, and this is while DVD Audio is still a new format. Eventually DVD Audio will clearly outstrip CD Audio in quality. Remember how crappy early CDs were from the early 80s? People didnt have the equipment, experience, or processing to produce quality CDs. Even current popular music CDs are not that well produced compared to audiophile labels such as Telarc, etc.

What’s strange is while one end of the market is focused on better than CD quality audio (SACD/DVD-A) the other end is all caught up in worse than CD Audio (MP3s/WMA/OGG) in the name of saved space. Once drives get small and cheap enough, people will be recollecting their mp3 collection in lossless or high-res audio, maybe.

Hope that helped.


#3

IIRC the empty AUDIO_TS folder was originally put there specifically for audio dvd’s,and the VIDEO_TS folder for video dvd’s. Hence the name of each folder.


#4

Another good brand to get is the Terratec Aureon Space 7.1 if you live in Europe. You can get it in the US too, but it’s hard to find.


#5

I was going to suggest the Terratac also. There are several DVD-AUDIO compatible players. just google for dvd audio player.
AS for not being able to rip DVD-AUDIO Disks,
@ Doctor_T did you try dvd shrink? It works just fine just as with dvd-movie disks.
Also Wave Lab 5 can create new dvd-audio projects and render them :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


#6

Good read, Doctor_T.
I heard Sony may drop SACD. Still havent found confirmation on that.
If people do not soon explore the formats (SACD - DVDA) I fear both will die out which will be a sad day.
I have seperate SACD and DVD-A Players connected to a Denon amp (6 composite cables each) and played through 5 full range B&W speakers + Sub. The high resolution analog sound is unbeatable to me.
At one of the latest CES these formats were hid way off in the back and all the rage is with these highly compressed formats for space and on the go as you mention. It’s a shame the hardware and software manufactures do not promote these formats more.
Very discouraging to see such fine formats dieing a slow death.
Enjoyed the read.
Jonn


#7

I still feel that Vinyl offers the best “analog sound”. Most of the recordings transferred to SACD and DVD-A were originally 2 Channel and don’t do well in the 5 Channel world. My VPI HW-19 Turntable, Benz Glider, Acurus Pre and Power Amps and Magnepan MGIII speakers provide a sound that can’t be matched by any 5 Channel rig.

My digital rights don’t need management. /.


#8

I agree pipemaid. It’s always nice to here from another vinyl fan. I just recently puchased a copy of “Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon” Thirtieth aniversary re-release by EMI, remastered by AcousTech Mastering. Although I enjoy listening with my analog system, what I have done is began recording the analog sound through my Terratec DMX6fire sound card using Wavelab 5
at 24/96. then I create dvd project and render as a DVD-AUDIO disk. It sounds great. With my older vinyl I do some restoration but keep it to a minimum. The sound quality is untouched by normal bit rate burned to a cd-r.
and have to say it rivals the sound from the vinyl.


#9

I purchased that version too, but my Harvest UK 1st pressing blows it away.

With more than 3500 LP’s I wouldn’t know where to start. I still prefer the warmth of Vinyl and the involvement of playing records. I use MP3’s as background music but prefer to sit down and pull out an album for true enjoyment.

“With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.” /.


#10

Guys, I was raised on vinyl and it will always have a place in my home.
Speaking of Dark Side Of The Moon…Being originaly recorded in four channel sound it was great to finally hear it in SACD. I was impressed with the sound from a 1972 recording. It really sounds much more impressive in 6 channel high- res. analog.

Since our ears do not hear in a 2-channel mode, rather they hear in a surround mode, to me the ambience of surround setups are a natural progression in the search for that ultimate sound.

Of course all depends on the man behind the board, (mixing engineer), equipment, room size and acoustics, etc…

pipemanid, You indeed have a nice setup but I still say the 5-channel setup can produce a sound that can make you doubt 2 channel. (especially with B&W quality producing the waves) :slight_smile:

Good thread everyone. I’ve enjoyed reading your comments.
Regards,
Jonn


#11

My 5 Channel set consists of the following:
Golden Theater GTX-1 Preamp/Processor
Aragon 2005 AMP
Magnepans all around
MG 1.6 - Mains
MMGC - Center
MMGW - Surrounds
Klipsch KSW-15 Sub
Toshiba SD5870 DVD Player
Mitsubishi WS-73411 RP display
It sounds good but my 2 Channel Rig, to me, sounds better and more natural.

I started with nothing and I still have most of it left /.