Let's Talk Digital

Music as represented in 1's and 0's. Discuss anything pertaining to D hardware - CD, DVD, SACD, DAC, etc.

Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Sun May 30, 2004 10:45 am

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Are you ready for DVD-AUDIO?
Here's a quick overview of what DVD-AUDIO high resolution DIGITAL sound is all about:

So, you're ready for DVD-A, huh?
By Tony Martin

Introduction

By now you've likely heard or read a little something about DVD-Audio (DVD-A), the "other" DVD format out there that is confusing everybody. I mean, all DVDs produce audio to go along with the video, right? So any DVD player can be used for DVD-Audio, right? Well, the answer is both yes and no, depending on the situation. In this article, I'm going to address the details of setting up your home theater system for DVD-Audio. I'm going to assume that if you're reading this, you have (or intend to acquire) at least a basic home theater system consisting a Dolby Digital/DTS receiver, a DVD player, a TV, and 6-speakers (including subwoofer), with everything connected up and working.

Before diving head first into DVD-Audio, it is important to understand what it is. First, you should understand that a DVD-Audio title, like DVD-Video title, is simply an application of DVD-ROM. Both of them come on DVDs, with the primary difference being that one is for film while the other is for music. DVD-Audio is intended by its originators to be the next step in high-quality, high-performance audio. Its cousin, DVD-Video (DVD-V), is a goodly step beyond its predecessors (VHS and Laser Disc) in the sense that it offers high-quality video, multi-channel "CD-quality" soundtracks, and supplemental features on a platter the size of a CD. DVD-Video is intended to raise the bar on video-based entertainment, and offers multi-channel sound as well to enhance film realism. DVD-Audio, also offered up on a platter the same size as a CD, provides enhancements mainly in the area of audio, and includes features such as greater bit depth (24-bits instead of the 16-bits on CD), greater frequency extension (48 or 96 kHz as opposed to 22 kHz of CD), and greater dynamic range (144 dB instead of the 92 dB offered by CD). The high-resolution multi-channel and stereo tracks found on a DVD-Audio title are sonically superior to those found on a DVD-Video title, as well. DVD-Audio can also include video-based supplements that give information about the songs and artists performing on the disc. Both DVD-Video and DVD-Audio benefit greatly from the extra storage space afforded by DVD over CD (up to 18 GB as opposed to the paltry 680 MB or so offered by CD).

After absorbing that bit of info, it is only natural wonder what is the real difference between DVD-Video and DVD-Audio. One simplistic way of thinking about the differences is as follows. Most of the space on a DVD-video disc is devoted to storing compressed digitized video, due partly to the fact that video requires lots of space, but also because video quality is the primary concern. In comparison, the space devoted to compressed audio in support of the provided soundtracks is small compared to the space devoted to video on a DVD-Video disc, partly because the audio content on these discs doesn't take nearly as much space as video, and also because audio isn't the primary concern (but is still of considerable importance). Furthermore, on a DVD-Video disc, lossy compression techniques are usually applied to both video and audio, which means, in effect, that information has been thrown away in the compression phase of the encoding, which can never be regained upon decoding. In contrast, on a DVD-Audio disc, since the main purpose is to present high-quality and high-resolution audio, the storage space on the disc is used first and foremost for audio information. The compression technique used for the DVD-Audio tracks is lossless, meaning that the original encoded audio information can be recovered completely during the decoding phase. Titles that include a high-resolution 6-channel track along with a high-resolution stereo track can consume quite a bit of disc space depending on the length of the program material. While a DVD-Audio title can contain supplemental video and audio material, the quality of this material is a secondary consideration behind the high-resolution audio presentation.

The question of whether your DVD player can be used to play a DVD-Audio title depends on whether the producers of the disc have included compatible audio tracks. To date, the largest majority of the DVD-Audio titles available can be played in any DVD player. The producers of such titles have seen fit to provide audio tracks that can be enjoyed by the entire, quickly growing, DVD-player owning pubic, and they have wisely chosen to build in an upgrade path. More likely than not, if you get a DVD-Audio disc, it will contain, in addition to a high-performance multi-channel DVD-Audio track, one or more of the following: an enhanced 2-channel PCM track (stereo), a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and/or a DTS 5.1 multi-channel track. The wise thinking of the title producers allows nearly any DVD-based system to play back the music encoded onto the platter, even though these titles cannot be played in a standard CD player. However, to get the best audio performance possible from a DVD-Audio title, you will need a DVD-Audio player as part of your home entertainment center.

Stepping up to DVD-A

It is probably no surprise that all DVD players were not created equal. The early model players had high-performing S-video outputs and digital bitstream audio output via coaxial connections. When the digital bitstreams were feed into a Dolby Digital capable receiver, a high-quality multi-channel soundtrack could be enjoyed along with the movie. Some players even included Dolby Digital decoders so that those who bought early model receivers without built in decoding capability could still enjoy multi-channel soundtracks. Later model players added bitstream support for DTS, too, and by this time the market had changed so radically that many early adopters had to upgrade to newer players and receivers to be able to get all of the latest features. Variations on the theme brought about multi-disc DVD players, and eventually the so-called "NUON-enhanced" players, and also players that had component video (and later progressive scan) outputs for the highest quality image on a monitor. Obviously, the DVD player market has been evolving at a very rapid pace.

One of the more recent enhancements to be added to late-model DVD players is the ability to playback DVD-Audio. Players that have this ability will display the DVD-Audio logo, which looks like:

Analog Outputs

Back in the early days of DVD, many receivers didn't contain on-board Dolby Digital decoders, but some were Dolby Digital ready, in that they contained analog inputs that could be feed by external decoders. Nowadays, because of this, a good number of DVD players contain on-board Dolby Digital decoders, that can feed 6-channels of analog output to Dolby Digital-ready receivers, and those that don't output the digital bitstream for use by receivers that feature the decoders. DVD-Audio players also have a set of analog outputs on their rear panel that are used for a similar purpose. As shown in Figure 1, these outputs will usually be labeled something like "External Out," "6-channel analog out," "Analog Out," or similar. There will be six connections for RCA-type plugs for each channel of a 6-channel system: front left/right, rear left/right, center, and subwoofer. These connections can also be used to output decoded signals to Dolby Digital ready receivers, but more important is the fact that these connections must be used to fully enjoy DVD-Audio. Since DVD-Audio uses MLP (Meridian Lossless Packaging) compression, and since the DVD-Audio signal is not output as a digital bitstream to a receiver or amp (as no receiver or processor has an on-board MLP decoder), the only current option for DVD-Audio playback is via these 6 analog outputs. Fortunately, DVD-Audio players contain high-quality digital-to-analog (D/A) converters and a MLP decoder to ensure superior sound quality.

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A Basic DVD-A Setup

To have a basic setup for enjoying DVD-Audio, in addition to a DVD-Audio player, you also need an audio/video receiver that provides inputs for 6 channels of external audio. Fortunately, most Dolby Digital/DTS receivers sold today have these inputs, and can be referred to as DVD-Audio ready. The reason those inputs were included is so that once newer technology appears, your current Dolby Digital/DTS receiver would still be useful by allowing you to use an external decoder housed in another unit. Well, simply put, that newer technology is here in the form of DVD-Audio. With a DVD player capable of MLP decoding (a DVD-Audio player), you can listen to DVD-Audio titles by connecting the 6 analog outputs of your DVD player to the 6 external straight-thru inputs of your receiver. The connections, as shown in Figure 2, are fairly obvious. You connect the front-right-channel output (FR RIGHT) from your DVD player to the front-right-channel input of your receiver, following similarly for the five remaining channels, as shown. You should realize that most receivers don't perform any kind of processing on signals coming in over the external analog inputs. They simply pass the signals through the amplifier section and on to the speakers.

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Cables

The cables that you need to make the connections seen in Figure 2 will terminate with RCA plugs. To have the best possible sound fidelity in your setup, you need to use high quality interconnect cables. I recommend using the 75-Ohm coaxial cables with gold-plated RCA connectors on either end that are typically used for video applications, as opposed to those low-quality, el cheapo cables that most manufacturers include inside the box. These can be found at your local electronics store (Best Buy, Circuit city, Radio Stack, etc.) or at www.bettercables.com. One advantage of getting your cables at Bettercables.com is that you can get special cable lengths that minimize the amount of cabling behind your home-theater system. This can be important in keeping the "spouse approval factor" high.

Fire It Up

To listen to a DVD-Audio disc using the above basic setup, you simply need to insert a DVD-Audio disc, select the appropriate DVD-Audio track (as opposed to the linear PCM, Dolby Digital, or DTS track), and then hit your play button. Also, you must set your receiver to play the signal coming in over its external inputs. Keep in mind that it is possible for a DVD-Audio player to output a 6-channel Dolby Digital or DTS signal over its analog outputs, since most of these units have built-in Dolby Digital/DTS decoders. On double-sided DVD-Audio discs, the DVD-Audio tracks will be on one side, while the Dolby Digital/DTS track will be on the other. To be absolutely sure you are playing the correct side, look for the LED or indicator on the front panel of your DVD-Audio player that indicates that the player is indeed decoding in MLP mode. On my JVC XV-D723GD player, the letters MLP light up and DVD-Audio LED shines in blue. On single sided DVD-Audio disc, the player should default to outputting the DVD-Audio track on the external outputs, even if Dolby Digital or DTS tracks are available.

Flies in the Ointment

Unfortunately, the above basic setup is not always a perfect implementation in practice. It will work, of course, and you can definitely listen to DVD-Audio titles. However, depending on the source material that you have and your particular setup, you may find that listening to either the Dolby Digital or DTS tracks that may be included to be a more enjoyable experience. The reason for this is twofold. First, most home theater systems don't include 5 good quality, full-range speakers, but instead depend on smallish main and surround speakers, along with a subwoofer. Second, most receivers available today simply pass the signals coming in over the external inputs straight through to the amplifier. In a system that has 5 good-quality, truly full-range speakers - meaning that they accurately produce sound frequencies over the entire audio spectrum from above 20 kHz to at, or below, 20 Hz - the above setup would work very well. However, the 5 speakers needed would likely be very large, for to produce 20 Hz accurately, and without noticeable distortion, would require fairly large drivers, adequate speaker housing, and good amplification in all speakers. Thus, while this is certainly not out of the realm of possibility, it is beyond what most people are willing to pay for, and it is also something that most people would be unwilling to allow in a home environment, where comfort and esthetics are typically very important.

Bass management

Long story short, the powers that be in the home theater world decided to address this issue head-on. Wisely, they anticipated that few would be willing to pay for and allow 5 really large speakers in a home. It is much easier to sell the idea of two smallish floor-standing speakers in front (which are typically allowed in most homes due to the 2-channel era), a fairly small center speaker, and two bookshelf-sized rears. In fact, in many cases, all speakers in a home theater will be small bookshelf-sized units. In these situations, it makes sense to use a subwoofer, and to route all of the really low-frequency signal energy that would typically go to the other speakers, along with the limited frequency-content LFE channel (the .1 in 5.1), to the sub. Thus, the concept of bass management was born.

Bass management proved to be a winning idea for the blossoming home theater market and has been incorporated into every A/V receiver with Dolby Digital capability. Thus, depending on your speakers, you can tell your receiver to route the low-frequency energy to a speaker that can faithfully reproduce it. This means that your smaller speakers won't be overwhelmed with signal energy they can't faithfully convert to pleasing sound, while, thanks to the subwoofer, all frequencies in the material you are listening to will be faithfully reproduced.

The first part of the "fly" in all of this is that the creators of DVD-Audio made no previsions for bass management. Hence, they assumed that the playback system for DVD-Audio would include 5 tonally matched, full-range speakers. The second part of the "fly" is that most vendors to date have produced A/V receivers that only provide bass management for Dolby Digital/DTS signals coming in over the digital inputs. Since the home theater market has evolved along the direction of systems that employ less than full-range speakers, the incorporation of DVD-Audio into most typical home theater systems is a bit more complicated than it might have been. This is why, in the setup of Figure 2, the DD/DTS tracks on a DVD-Audio disc might sound better than the corresponding DVD-Audio track - the bass energy in the DD/DTS track is being properly routed to the subwoofer (depending on the other speakers in your setup) while that in the DVD-A track is being sent to speakers that can't adequately reproduce those frequencies - resulting in either audible distortion, the absence of certain sound content, or possibly damage to the speakers. A growing trend in the industry is the inclusion of bass management on the 6-channel external analog input, but this is only showing up on high-end and add-on equipment, and has yet to be available in the mainstream to a significant degree.

Bass Management Controllers

Fortunately, a few visionary companies have foreseen the problems that the advent of DVD-Audio has presented, and have stepped up to the plate to address them. One such company is Outlaw Audio (www.outlawaudio.com), the makers of the well-received ICBM, which stands for integrated controlled bass manager. I'm going to discuss bass management via the ICBM simply because I own one, but my comments should mostly apply to similar units from other companies.

The ICBM and its ilk are single function devices that sit between your DVD-Audio player and your receiver, and provide the bass management function that your receiver and DVD-Audio player do not. In the case of the ICBM, at least, its bass management is far superior to that of most A/V receivers on the market today. Basically, as shown in Figure 3, the 6 analog channels that carry the DVD-Audio signal come out of the back of your DVD player and connect to the corresponding channel inputs on the ICBM. You must connect another set of 6 cables from the outputs of the ICBM to the corresponding external inputs on your processor or receiver. So while this setup requires an additional set of 6 cables, it also provides you with the all-important bass management function, which is now handled by the ICBM (or whatever bass management controller you may have). One of the really nice features about getting your bass management handled by ICBM is that you now can fine-tune the bass redirection to the specific needs of your system. Most processors and receivers have just a few fixed crossover points that are applied to any speaker depending on whether it is designated as large, medium, or small. Usually, the speakers set to large get all of the deep bass in a channel, whereas the speakers designated as small don't get any bass below 80 Hz. These fixed crossover points (the points at which signals are divided for bass redirection) may not be optimal for the speakers in your system. Your front speakers may do a great job with bass content at or above 40 Hz, but may not be suitable at 20 Hz. Your small rear surround speakers may actually not be able to do justice to bass content at 80 Hz, so you may need to set the crossover for them higher. Also, it is likely that your center channel will have yet different low-frequency limitations than both your fronts and rears, meaning that it may need its own crossover point. Fortunately, the ICBM provides you with the capability to independently set the crossover points for the fronts, center, and rears, which is a big plus, and represents an even better solution than what is typically provided for bass management in Dolby Digital and DTS systems.

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As you can see, these new bass management controllers have provided a trump card for DVD-Audio, for now it is possible to have superior bass management in your DVD-Audio setup, whereas before, there was none, unless you own certain high-end components.

Summary

Keep in mind that its is entirely possible to enjoy a DVD-Audio title on a system that has a typical DVD-Video player and a Dolby Digital/DTS receiver. As stated earlier, most titles provide, as supplemental material, multi-channel sound tracks in either Dolby Digital or DTS form. This makes is possible to own your favorite music in a rich multi-channel format and then later upgrade your system, while having your music collection take advantage of that upgrade. As I see things, you have two options to enjoy DVD-Audio beyond what you get with the typical DVD-Video system.

If your system includes 5 good quality, full-range speakers, in addition to a subwoofer, then you simply need the following items:

A DVD-Audio capable player,
A DVD-Audio ready receiver or processor (with 6 external analog inputs),
6 high-quality interconnect cables,
DVD-Audio titles.
If your system includes smallish main speakers and/or bookshelf sized speakers that can't accurately reproduce signals down to 20 Hz, then to fully take advantage of the high-resolution sound that DVD-Audio has to offer, the additional items you need, beyond the list above, are:

A bass management controller, such as the Outlaw Audio ICBM,
6 additional high quality interconnect cables (making 12 in total).
If you own a basic DVD-Video system with a Dolby Digital/DTS receiver that has the necessary inputs, you can make the jump to DVD-Audio in steps. If you don't want to purchase a DVD-Audio capable player right off, you can still buy some titles because most of them include a Dolby Digital or a DTS track (read the packaging carefully to be sure) that you can enjoy on your current equipment. However, if you've got some money to spend, then your first step would be to acquire a DVD-Audio player and 6 interconnect cables. If you have 5 good full-range speakers and a subwoofer, you're done, and you can start fully enjoying DVD-Audio titles. Later, assuming you are unwilling to upgrade your speakers (which would be unnecessary anyway), you can acquire a bass management controller, like the ICBM, along with another 6 interconnect cables. At this point your system would be fully capable of DVD-Audio playback without fear of damaging small speakers, listening to distorted sound, or missing the full acoustic content in your material.

DVD-Audio is ushering in a new era in high-quality, high-resolution audio entertainment. Not since the introduction of CD many years ago have we, the consumer, been able to reap the benefits of a truly superior sound format. And to think, we can all look at the amazing thing known as DVD as the primary reason for this progress.

http://www.dvdangle.com/dvd_audio/upgra ... _dvda.html

Now your guns are locked and loaded and ready to go..start blazing the trail!! :)
SoFtCliPpEr
 

Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:35 pm

Hello Digital Lovers,

The latest DVD-Audio Transport from MERIDIAN promises to deliver the next to the real thing in listening experience. Read all about it:

Meridian Audio Unveil G98 DVD-Audio Transport
Meridian have unveiled details about their G98 DVD-Audio Transport, the latest addition to the company’s G Series range of components. The following is information supplied by Meridian:

Virtually every piece of audio equipment has its own, characteristic sound. But at Meridian, our intention is to represent the original acoustic or studio event as accurately as possible. The characteristic sound of Meridian, therefore, is clear: it’s the real thing. We achieve this sound in many ways, including careful choice of the right components, the right signal processing, multi-layer PC boards, the shortest possible analogue chain, precision digital design and the lowest jitter. Then there are the little things, like using gold-plated connectors throughout.

The G98 DVD-Audio transport plays audio CDs, MP3 CDs, Video CDs, DVD-Video, and DVD-Audio discs. It can decode Dolby Digital, DTS, MPEG, MP3, and MLP data streams to PCM for stereo playback. And it can output Dolby Digital, DTS, and MPEG bitstreams for connection to a surround controller such as the G68, for which the G98 is an ideal companion.

Two versions of the G98 are available, the G98AH with analogue outputs, and the G98DH with digital interfacing, though both have basic digital outputs in addition. The G98AH and G98DH provide fixed-level multi-channel or two-channel audio outputs. They are designed for use with a surround controller with multi-channel analogue (G98AH) or digital (G98DH) inputs. Alternatively, either model can be connected to a pair of DSP loudspeakers to create a complete high-quality two-channel DVD system.

The G98AH and G98DH include a powerful video processor and scaler incorporating both Meridian and Faroudja DCDi® technology, which can simultaneously provide composite and S-video outputs, plus progressive component video and up to 1080i on an HDMI audio/video interface. They provide two composite video, one component video and three S-video inputs, all of which can be routed to any of the video outputs with appropriate scaling. At the heart of the G98 is a high-speed computer-style DVD-ROM drive – the best type of drive to use to ensure accurate data recovery from all types of disc, while providing a stable platform that can be updated in the future, if necessary, to keep pace with new requirements.

In addition to regular CDs (including MP3 CD-ROMS) and DVDs, the player can also play most hybrid varieties. The G98 can handle both DVD-Video and DVD-Audio discs, decoding Dolby Digital, DTS or MLP data streams and extracting or downmixing them to stereo if required.

The drive normally operates at standard speed; however it is capable of recovering data a great deal faster when required, enabling it to make successive attempts to recover accurate data from a problem disc. Because of this, the drive can perfectly recover the data from nearly all discs.

Unlike other players that use a mechanical approach to try to lower jitter by minimising drive vibration, the G98 employs a triple buffering system to minimise jitter, maximizing HF transparency and sound stage imaging precision and stability. The result of this sophisticated effort is that the players deliver ultra-low jitter, with sound and picture quality second only to Meridian’s 800 Reference DVD/CD Player.

The digital electronics as a whole are driven by a new design of high-stability clocking system which further reduces jitter and ensures that the highest level of detail is recovered from a disc. All digital data is accurately re-clocked. Multiple power supplies ensure that digital and analogue circuitry are kept separate.

The G98 DVD player includes a comprehensive front-panel user interface which allows access to all the features of the unit, including configuration. The player can be reset to a standard Type which configures all the required settings as appropriate for a particular application.

In addition, an on-screen display (OSD) allows you to configure specific settings individually.

The player employs Flash ROM memory for the operating system, so software updates can be downloaded from the Internet and installed via a PC connected to the serial port on the back panel. The serial port also allows full remote control and configuration of the unit.

The G98DH provides three principal S/PDIF coax outputs designated L/R, L/R Surround, and C/LFE. These typically connect to Meridian processors, or feed a stereo signal to a pair of DSP loudspeakers. If configured for MHR SmartLink they, or the adjacent combined 15-way D-type connector, carry high-sample rate encrypted data from DVD discs for the highest fidelity of decoding and reproduction. The SmartLink also informs a downstream Meridian processor of the signal source, so that it can switch processing modes automatically.

The G98AH provides six channels of analogue output. These feature true 24-bit DACs that operate at sample rates up to 192kHz for the maximum possible audio quality.

All models provide an additional S/PDIF digital output which delivers a stereo downmix or bitstream signal.

On the video side, advanced video circuit designs, matched phase video filters, and a broadcast-quality video encoder are employed to deliver low-noise images of outstanding colour depth and resolution. Separate ultra-low jitter master video and audio oscillators allow picture and sound to be independently optimized, ensuring that the G98 delivers breathtakingly clear pictures.

The G98’s unique high-resolution video processor/scaler can receive composite, S-video, and interlaced component, and convert between the formats, or to the high-density multimedia interface (HDMI) standard, to provide a single video output for all the video sources in the system. A bypass function allows progressive or high definition component video to be routed directly to the component output only.

The HDMI port supports a wide range of high quality digital video options including 480p, 576p, 720p, and 1080i. A unique feature of HDMI is that it is able to ‘handshake’ between the source and the display to find the highest quality format. Analogue component out is available at 480p and 576p.

The HDMI interface also carries high-resolution digital audio, either two channels of PCM at up to 96kHz or a 5.1 encoded bitstream.

Built-in broadcast-quality circuits deliver the most advanced, high-quality video available today.

The video processor includes picture controls, available via the MSR+ and front-panel display. For the internal DVD and external video inputs you can adjust the horizontal and vertical picture position. In addition, for the video inputs you can adjust the brightness, contrast, colour, and hue (NTSC inputs only).

The HDMI output can be connected to a DVI input if the device supports HDCP copy protection, using a suitable adaptor cable.

The G98DH DVD-Audio Transport will be priced at £3,350, while the G98AH DVD-Audio Player will retail for £3,625.

Here's how it looks: :)

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http://www.movement-audio.co.uk/website ... an-g98.htm

Gee Whizz with DIGITAL products like these who needs analog? Hehe keep the faith folks!
SoFtCliPpEr
 

Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Wed Jun 23, 2004 1:29 pm

DUAL DISC anyone?

DVD has come up with an answer to the SACD advantage!

DualDisc Hybrids Officially Approved by the DVD Forum
Exclusive: the DVD Forum has officially approved DualDisc, the dual-sided DVD/Compact Disc hybrid disc tested recently in Boston and Seattle. In a statement issued to High Fidelity Review, Bike H. Suzuki of JVC and Chairman of WG-4 said: “DualDisc is officially approved by [the] DVD Forum.”

DualDisc is the DVD Forum’s answer to SACD, a disc that offers both high-resolution DVD-Audio and DVD-Video compatible content on one side and Compact Disc compatible content on the other. BMG, EMI, Warner Music Group, Sony Music and Universal all tested titles within the first batch of thirteen – although Sony’s discs did not include high-resolution content – thereby indicating that the format will have widespread support amongst the major record labels.

The impact of DualDisc could well be far reaching, not just for the high-resolution listener. While DVD-Audio/CD hybrids will address many of the negative issues raised about the format (specifically the inability to play a DVD-Audio disc in a standard car or portable system), the market is also likely to embrace DVD-Video/CD hybrids, with movie or concert titles offering up a CD version on one side of the disc.

Warner Music Group representatives described DualDisc as: “…a feature rich and flexible music product with highest quality fidelity available. Identical in size and looks to a Compact Disc or DVD disc, the DualDisc offers consumers the option of playing the disc in either a CD player and or DVD player.”

Once the Boston and Seattle tests were underway, approving DualDisc was a two-step process. First, the DVD Forum’s Working Group (WG-4) evaluated the technology, their primary concern being the physical compatibility of the discs themselves. Some industry commentators have gone on record with erroneous claims about DualDisc being impossible due to disc thickness, however this was overcome some time ago. Cinram, who produced the test discs told High Fidelity Review that “DualDisc has the standard DVD layer thickness on one side and a slightly thinner than normal CD on the other. The DVD capacity is equivalent to a standard single layer DVD at 4.7GB, and the CD layer can hold approximately the same amount of data as a regular CD.” DVD Plus, manufacturers of a rival technology have also reduced disc thickness to 1.48mm (the DVD specification calls for discs no thicker than 1.5mm).

The TCG (who coordinate the activities of the Working Groups) then submitted the technical proposals to the Forum’s Steering Committee, whose responsibility it is to address financial issues such as technology and logo licensing.

“The Dual Disc was approved at the last TCG meeting. The approval at TCG was reported to the Steering Committee held last week in Seattle and ratified,” Bike H. Suzuki confirmed. For more information on the DVD Forum, visit: http://www.dvdforum.org/

DualDisc has the potential to kick-start both the DVD-Audio market (some major label insiders have told High Fidelity Review that their release schedules have been on-hold pending a decision on DualDisc) and the music market in general, with single-inventory discs that offer video, supplementary materials, Compact Disc, high-resolution and even AAC content all in one package. It will also be interesting to see how SACD supporters Sony and Philips attempt to redress the balance… watch this space…

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Watch Out!!!!
SoFtCliPpEr
 

Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Sun Jul 11, 2004 3:15 am

Here's a follow up on Phillips latest standalone DSD Studio Playback Product:


Philips Ships Standalone DSD Studio Playback Product


The Philips ProTech group has announced the availability of a new Standalone DSD Playback product for use by recording professionals. The new product is a follow-up to the group's recent introduction of a ProTools DSD Plug-In, the SA-CD Creator product and related Super Audio CD creation tools for the recording industry (see linked story below).

The new product is for recording professionals who need a standalone PC product for work with DSD, DST or SA-CD files but do not need to buy the entire Philips ProTech SA-CD Creator product. (The SA-CD Creator product includes DSD playback in its standard configuration). According to the staff at Philips ProTech, the standalone product includes a PCI Card to be installed in a PC and a Windows based program named the SACD Playback Monitor that controls the playback provided by the card.

More Details on the Standalone DSD Studio Playback Product for the PC
ProTech officials describe the new product as being "a stand-alone solution for playback and listening to your DSD files, DST files or SA-CD Disc image file. The PCI card provides real-time decoding of the SA-CD disc image or DST data into DSD data. The 6-channel DSD data is available via 6 small SMB connectors (SDIF3 format), and can be connected to your own preferred external D/A converter set. The card also contains a clock input and clock output to synchronize the DSD data with your studio clock. Cables and connectors to connect the card to your D/A converter set are included."

They note that "The playback application software depicts a kind of SA-CD player on your screen. Simply select the DSD file, DST file or SA-CD disc image, and listen to your audio content. The application supports track selection, search forward/backwards, SA-CD text display, etc. The software supports Windows 2000 and Windows XP."

Availability
The new Standalone DSD Studio Playback Product is available from directly Philips ProTech in the Netherlands for a price of 3500 Euro (excluding VAT). It is also available through a series of professional recording product resellers in Europe as well as Promedia in Canada and Joe Bean at Philips ProTech's U.S. office in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Know MORE about ProTech:






Introducing ProTECH, a Philips project group dedicated to marketing and supporting technology and applications for Super Audio CD production tools

ProTECH serves the global music recording industry by providing Super Audio CD (SA-CD) technology, solutions and know-how to the professional audio companies who supply Super Audio CD production tools to studios, recording labels and replication industry. Based in Eindhoven (The Netherlands), ProTECH handles the worldwide distribution and sales of software modules, software applications and hardware to system integrators, workstation manufacturers and equipment manufacturers.

Super Audio CD know-how and experience


As a partner in the development of SA-CD technology and a company with one of the most respected research and development laboratories in the electronics industry, Philips can draw on significant resources. The people behind ProTECH come from Philips Intellectual Property & Standards (IP&S), the unit charged with steering development and licensing of Super Audio CD, and from Philips Digital System Laboratories (PDSL), a source of expertise that not only carries out development for Philips Consumer Electronics and Philips Semiconductors but also for professional third-party organizations. This background guarantees expert support.

The main priority is providing start-up support to manufacturers who want to integrate SA-CD technology into their own professional equipment, although ProTECH can supply additional solutions that are ready for use by studios or music labels. The full range of SA-CD applications have been beta tested in the field, and thanks to the success of these pilot projects, ProTECH can now serve the market on a commercial basis. At the launch of ProTECH at the AES Exhibition in New York in October 2003, the product range on display included a family of DSD (Direct Stream Digital) software modules, a hardware module for real-time DST decoding and metering (Verifier PCI Card), and software applications for sample rate conversion from PCM to DSD and vice versa (Audio Format Converter), DST encoding, SA-CD authoring (SuperAuthor) and verification.

Serving a growing market


The overall market situation for SA-CD is strong, with the number of installed Super Audio players passing the four million mark during 2003, and over 10 million of SA-CD disc from all music genres already in the market. Super Audio CD has also made the transition from high-end audiophile to mainstream home entertainment and even into the automotive domain. With the infrastructure and market in place, the requirement for mastering, recording and reproducing facilities will only increase. With their products, ProTECH is responding to this professional market requirement.



For more information, please contact:
Henk Veldhuis
Product Marketing Manager
Tel: +31 40 2735433
Fax: +31 40 2732641
E-mail: henk.veldhuis_2@philips.com

http://www.superaudiocd.philips.com/Inf ... N3433A3694
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Postby noctilux » Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:58 pm

iceman90a wrote:i might have missed it - but should all speakers be at the same height? and is that tweeter at ear level?

ty


Most of the time, yes. However there are still a lot of speaker designers who use odd order filters in their crossover networks for two driver designs wherein you get a minus 12 degree tilt on the horizontal (or was that 6 degrees?). This should raise the speaker level above ear. Other designers tilt the baffle back to align the drivers, thus off-setting the tilt, thus the term, time aligned. The great D'appolito however found out that doing an M-T-M arrangement, cancelling the 12 degree tilt. This is as far as I can remember but I know it's something like that.

rgds
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Postby hein » Sun Jul 18, 2004 3:45 pm

I should have paid more attention during my geometry class. My teacher said I would need it one day, but I didnt believe her.
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Postby hein » Sun Jul 18, 2004 6:34 pm

We tested the top of the line SONY ES SACD player against the CLEARAUDIO top of the line turntable using the best stuff at Greg Atienza's house. I can say that the SACD is a formidable challenge to analog. The SACD's performance was probably 85%-90% that of phono. Close enough to say that the Japanese have done their research very well. With an avalanche of new software releases, this format is something to watch out for.
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Postby bayonic » Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:39 pm

for the digital dudes:

i'm using one firewire/iLink cable between my Uni Player and my AV Receiver . . .

is this the best option for DVD/CD/SACD/DVD-A playback ... or do I need to use analog/coaxial/digital fiber optic interconnects for different source media types ?

thanks,
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Postby Andaleon » Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:11 am

Bayonic,

The firewire is all you need. It has more than ample bandwidth to handle all the signal types you mentioned.

If you are using the player for video , you would need a video connection from your player to your display. HDMI would be best, next is DVI, RGB, Component, S-Video, Composite-down the line.

Firewire would handle full Hi Def Video also but not too many display has firewire hook-ups yet. Some displays that do have firewire are the likes of Mitsubishi Diamond and Sony LCD Wega sets.

The Holy Grail of all these connections would be ONE interconnect hooking up all your devices. That's the direction Firewire and HDMI are taking us.
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Postby SoFtCliPpEr » Mon Jan 10, 2005 4:33 pm

hein wrote:We tested the top of the line SONY ES SACD player against the CLEARAUDIO top of the line turntable using the best stuff at Greg Atienza's house. I can say that the SACD is a formidable challenge to analog. The SACD's performance was probably 85%-90% that of phono. Close enough to say that the Japanese have done their research very well. With an avalanche of new software releases, this format is something to watch out for.


I was recently at Montage getting my share of DIGITAL software when I chanced upon an american father with his 8 year old son. They were both grabbing their sacd's dvd dts cd's like mad when I overheard the kid ask his dad a question.

Say Dad, what are these?? (pointing at the array of Living Stereo vinyls at the corner. They won't fit my cd's right? The father obviously embarrased by the question answered for everybody to hear..That my son is the sound of the PAST!!!!!

In this day and age of Digital Mr.Hein's observation is like fresh water in the desert. Indeed digital has taken it's place in the music scene. Although the vinyl continues to exist it is simply to benefit the poor ardent and loyal followers of the jurassic analogue community. But I'm sure they will all sit down in their listening chairs and silently admit to themselves indeed the turntable has already been left out in the rapture! Hehe so for your courage to come forward and say these things I tip my hat to you Mr.Hein more power! :D :D :D

BTW next time use a Trivista you can borrow mine to do the tests.
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Postby cesarasar » Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:57 pm

SoFtCliPpEr wrote:BTW next time use a Trivista you can borrow mine to do the tests.


there are 2 units of the MUSICAL FIDELITY TRIVISTA SACD player that were purchased not too long ago that broke down after six months of use. Heard that it was shipped back to the UK and MF cannot even find replacment parts for them to this date.

Pity the poor owners. After paying a whopping P280,000 only to find out there are no available parts which is like throwing away good hard earned money. I would rather to use a medium that inspite of its obsolecense can play software that are 50 years old.

No offence meant but we make our choices whether digital or analog.
May Peace be with you! Happy New Year and Happy Two Kings
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Postby sinar » Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:54 pm

if analog is jurassic, why then there's so many reissue of classic vinyls and musical fidelity, for the first time is venturing into the analog hardware?!
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Postby jonas » Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:57 am

SoFtCliPpEr wrote:
Say Dad, what are these?? (pointing at the array of Living Stereo vinyls at the corner. They won't fit my cd's right? The father obviously embarrased by the question answered for everybody to hear..That my son is the sound of the PAST!!!!!.


yes it is the sound of the past if you're using a worn out cartridge/stylus and you're playing badly scratched or dirty records and if your motor is noisy.

SoFtCliPpEr wrote:
But I'm sure they will all sit down in their listening chairs and silently admit to themselves indeed the turntable has already been left out in the rapture! Hehe so for your courage to come forward and say these things I tip my hat to you Mr.Hein more power! :D :D :D

BTW next time use a Trivista you can borrow mine to do the tests.


wala pa ring kupas si softclipper! may asim pa rin!

if i have to get a trivista to get good sound then i think i should settle for my 15K turntable with an 8K cart because i dont think i can afford a trivista. im playing CDs via my samsung DVD player, maganda naman tumunog eh. ive read in posts in some audiophile websites that universal DVD/CD players sound almost as good as audiophile CD only players. they never compared it with TTs though.
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Postby Donlovejoy » Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:16 am

softclipper wrote:
Say Dad, what are these?? (pointing at the array of Living Stereo vinyls at the corner. They won't fit my cd's right? The father obviously embarrased by the question answered for everybody to hear..That my son is the sound of the PAST!!!!!

I just bought a Living Stereo SACD featuring Stokowsky conducting Rhapsodies by liszt, wagner,etc., played it thrugh my Sony SACD Player (QS Series lang), Grabe ang ganda.

Also ok rin yong Jacinta (Jhonny Mercer) SACD - her rendition of Moon River was excellent
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Postby Donlovejoy » Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:43 am

Pioneer Universal player nowadays have become more sophisticated but luckily enough for us the price has gone down. I just bought a Pioneer universal player model 667, I plan to buy the 655, but the latest at that time was the 667, which was cheaper than the 655, so ayun nabili ko 667, i only use the digital output (toslink) of the 667 thru a Monster Optical Reference cable and hooked it to a Monarchy Audio DIP-Super Drive after it was reclocked and the jitter removed the output from the DIP was through its BNC digital coax output, a YAMAMURA Millenium series BNC-COAXIAL digital cable was used to connect it to the PROCEED DAP Digital to Analog Converter which is connected to my Audio Research tube preamp via XLR/Balanced mode Madrigal HPC xlr/balance cable was used also the same cable use to connect the ARC tube preamp to my KRELL FPB series power amp. The sound was fantastic, although the source was only an entry level pioneer Universal player, but after going though this process the final sound was high end.
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Postby zetroce » Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:41 am

jonas wrote:
yes it is the sound of the past if you're using a worn out cartridge/stylus and you're playing badly scratched or dirty records and if your motor is noisy.

SoFtCliPpEr wrote:
But I'm sure they will all sit down in their listening chairs and silently admit to themselves indeed the turntable has already been left out in the rapture! Hehe so for your courage to come forward and say these things I tip my hat to you Mr.Hein more power! :D :D :D

BTW next time use a Trivista you can borrow mine to do the tests.


wala pa ring kupas si softclipper! may asim pa rin!



:D
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Postby ichabod » Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:24 am

Nice way for a Dad to make audio intellectually understandable. A short direct answer made things easy for him busy sorting out CDs. But does it help explain why. Why many still prefer vinyl? Am afraid not. Not defending anything here. I'm not into vinyl to defend a bias even but I like what I hear! It's like saying digital cameras are in and film cameras are out. But many still love to shoot film, specially black and white, and the ritual of developing and printing. Bottom line: analog is still a source of enjoyment so why fight it?
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Postby dogears » Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:56 am

I like that - WHY FIGHT IT? Agree with Ichabod. At the same time you can get the best from both worlds :D

eep! then I noticed the subject of this thread :D
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Postby m_shoe_maker » Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:56 pm

cesarasar wrote:.....a whopping P280,000........


P280,000 for a Trivista :?:

Wow :!: ngayon ko lang nalaman na ganyang kamahal pala yung mga yun :!: :o :o :o

Bilib rin naman ako sa mga bumibili ng mga ganyan. :o :o :o

:lol:
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Postby m_shoe_maker » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:00 pm

dogears wrote:I like that - WHY FIGHT IT? Agree with Ichabod. At the same time you can get the best from both worlds :D


Nga naman best of both worlds i.e. Turntable and Tape Deck. :wink:

:lol:
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