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A.I. DVD-Audio


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Does anybody own DVD-Audio version of A.I. soundtrack?

Please could you tell me something about the sound quality? Is it really Dolby Surround 5.1?

I have naturally already got CD version of it but I'm very disappointed by the hollow and flat sound which is IMHO destroying wonderful Williams' music :(

Does DVD-Audio really sound much better than CD?

And what about SACD version of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial?

Thanks a lot for any piece of information.

E-Wan - who loves rich and deep sound and hates flat and hollow sound

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Some can. Those with a video track. Like Marco Polo's recent Robin Hood, it has excellent DD5.1 and DTS tracks for people without DVD-A capabilities (like me).

And btw, there's no such thing as Dolby Surround 5.1. Dolby Surround encodes a low-quality mono rear channel stream into the standard stereo stream and plays the "mono" bits over a center speaker. 5.1 is true digital surround with 5 separate "full" channels and a LFE (for the subwoofer).

Marian - :mrgreen:

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I've got the DVD-A of A.I. too. It certainly sounds fuller (being surround sound). I prefer it to the CD for that fullness of sound.

You may want to ask Neil about it?I think I recall he actually doesn't care for it, and being a true audiophile, he could probably give you detailed reasons why he doesn't (beyond my layman's appreciate for it).

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You may want to ask Neil about it?I think I recall he actually doesn't care for it, and being a true audiophile, he could probably give you detailed reasons why he doesn't (beyond my layman's appreciate for it).

I heard this the a few weeks ago in DVD-A at a high end sotre, and was not impressed at all with it, and turned it off after only a few minutes. As I was unfamiliar with the speakers and the room and other equipment, instead of judging the actual fidelity, I only noticed how awful the mix was. The piano sounded like it was as big as the recording studio. Certainly not very accurate.

Neil

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I don't have a DVD-A player but a SACD player and last week I bought the SACD version of Tubular Bells (1973) which I already have on LP since I was a young teenager. I don't have a surround setup so I can't speak for that, but the stereo signal simply floored me like I haven't been floored in a long time. As I said, somewhere else, it was like hearing music for the first time in my life. When the recording permits it, a totally new dimension is added. Compared to CD, the music brought forward by SACD sounds "organic", which is probably due to the more natural and accurate tempos you're perceiving, resulting in a better continuous flow of the music with a better stage (or room) depth. This extra dimension enables you to make that all-important "click", or connection. I should point out that this is not always so apparent and that it didn't happen with my SACD of Yo-Yo Ma plays the music of John Williams.

The recording of A.I. is severely flawed. It's not a good recording. IMO, a superior format will not help make it sound much better and perhaps even make it sound worse, by revealing its shortcomings. It's difficult to understand why a Williams score for a Spielberg movie doesn't sound like a hi-tech miracle. I just listened to Snow falling on Cedars by James Newton Howard. This is much smaller scale movie than AI but the quality of the sound recording would tell you the opposite is true. In fact, and this is funny, the same recording engineer was at work here for both recordings. Our beloved Shawn Murphy. What's with this guy?

Anyway, I sincerely hope that, one day, supreme Star Wars versions will make it to SACD before it gets extinct, defeated by DVD-A, a slightly less inferior format. Sadly, it's not always the best that prevails, not commercially anyway.

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Alex Cremers

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I also think the sound on the regular c.d. is a bit flat in places.And Abandonned in the Woods is too bassy.

It's Shawn Murphy at his worst, and that says something, since his best has been rather bad for years now.

Marian - who might like the score more if the CD was listenable.

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The recording of A.I. is severely flawed. It's not a good recording. IMO, a superior format will not help make it sound much better and perhaps even make it sound worse

I have the DVD-A, I can only play the dobly tracks, but it sounds much more warm and less dry. Which leads me to believe that something got messed up in the mix down and down sampling to CD quality.

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About the SACD version of E.T. I have this CD and I can honestly say it sounds better. And I'm talking about the CD audio stream of it since I do not have a SACD player, it's a hybrid CD. I know it could be a psychological thing, perhaps I just enjoy it having this in my collection, but I still think, and dare I say know, it's better.

I also do know SACD is superior to DVD-A. Of course it all depends on how these formats are being handled, what source they use, how old the recording is, the use of equipment, et cetera et cetera. SACD however has been specificially designed for the highest of musical pleasure and quality whereas DVD-A is not. DVD-A to me is a much more commercial product.

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I have a DVD-A player, and the DVD-A "AI". I have to say that I prefer this version to the cd. As Morn, and a few others have said, it is a lot "warmer" and it does give off a fuller sound. I have to say that it does sound very good, and this was on a mid-level reciever.... nothing fancy.

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I also do know SACD is superior to DVD-A. Of course it all depends on how these formats are being handled, what source they use, how old the recording is, the use of equipment, et cetera et cetera. SACD however has been specificially designed for the highest of musical pleasure and quality whereas DVD-A is not. DVD-A to me is a much more commercial product.

Really? How so, why is this? As far as I know SACD merely has compatablity with CD players.

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Really? How so, why is this? As far as I know SACD merely has compatablity with CD players.

I didn't completely understand what you were trying to say, but...

I don't know the details anymore, since it has been a while I read stuff about this...I can only remember some tidbits and the obvious conclusion, and the basic impressions it left on me. All kind of vague I guess. That's all I can recall. So, if someone knows anything more, or has better insights, please speak up, it's interesting stuff.

Anyway, what exactly do you mean with 'merely'? As far as I know, SACD is basically a new format, denser, but such players are still compatible with CD's. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought those Hybrid CD's for instance was covered with the older audio CD format layer on top of the newer, more dense layer of the SACD format. So such a CD offers two formats....right?

But if you have the DVD-A format than that doesn't automatically mean all of your DVD's (like movies) will work on it, only if it supports DVD-video as well.

And can anyone tell me, how important it is to have a more expensive SACD-component in your system, or does this no longer matter as much? Thanks.

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DVD-As are playable with a normal DVD-Player, aren´t they?

In that case it depends on if you have a fine home theatre or just a normal home television set. If you´ve got all the boxes that are being required for a true 5.1 sound i´d always prefer the DVD-A. However, if you only have a Stereo sound tv i wouldn´t recommend buying it, because it sounds worse than the cd version most of the time.

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DVD-As are playable with a normal DVD-Player, aren´t they?

In that case it depends on if you have a fine home theatre or just a normal home television set. If you´ve got all the boxes that are being required for a true 5.1 sound i´d always prefer the DVD-A. However, if you only have a Stereo sound tv i wouldn´t recommend buying it, because it sounds worse than the cd version most of the time.

No, I believe they are not. Regular DVD-players can't play DVD-A, only if it actually mention its support. This was one of the reasons why I said DVD-A was a more commercial product...the name let's you believe it's fully compatible with what you have but as far as I know, that's not always the case. In my opinion, this is one of the ways they try to lure people into buying DVD-A (above SACD), but that's perhaps an 'unfounded' opinion.

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DVD-As are playable with a normal DVD-Player, aren´t they?

In that case it depends on if you have a fine home theatre or just a normal home television set. If you´ve got all the boxes that are being required for a true 5.1 sound i´d always prefer the DVD-A. However, if you only have a Stereo sound tv i wouldn´t recommend buying it, because it sounds worse than the cd version most of the time.

They are playable if the discs have the 5.1 dolby digital sign. You will get the music in full 5.1 sound, but not the DVD-A sound. You need a DVD player that is capable of playing DVD-A discs.

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Okay, i´ve found something on the official Dolby websity (or Dobly, if you want :D )

You usually can play DVD-A on a normal dvd player, because most of the DVD-As have some additional tracks in the dvd video zone that are

a. in Dolby Digital 5.1.

b. PCM Sound in Stereo, which, according to Dolby, sounds "at least as good" as CDA Sound.

http://www.dolby.com/international/deutsch..._Guide.ger.html

That´s the german version of the information page, don´t have a link for the english version yet

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It's very simple....

If you have a DVD-Audio player, you'll hear the high resolution DVD-Audio track.

If you only have a DVD player that doesn't have DVD-Audio capablility, you'll hear a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Remember, Dolby Digital uses data compression, so this is not the same as hearing the DVD-Audio track. It might be the same mix, but it is not the same quality. It is like listening to an mp3 made from a CD.

SA-CD can only playback on an SA-CD player, unless the disc is a hybrid disc. The CD layer on an SA-CD (if there is one) is equivalent to a standard CD.

Neil

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If you have a DVD-Audio player, you'll hear the high resolution DVD-Audio track.

If you only have a DVD player that doesn't have DVD-Audio capablility, you'll hear a Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

SA-CD can only playback on an SA-CD player, unless the disc is a hybrid disc.  The CD layer on an SA-CD (if there is one) is equivalent to a standard CD.

Neil

Ah yes as I suspected, thank you for the insights.

I guess it depends on how you define DVD-A. If you talk about the DVD-A disc itself, then yes, it's playable in any DVD player, but it doesn't let you hear the DVD-A portion of the disc only the 'lesser' Dolby Digital layer.

If you talk about the DVD-A format, then it's only playable in a DVD-A capable player.

It can be confusing for most people.

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I'm sure that, when you've counterfeited the Sony articles, you changed the SACD into your own mental SA-AD fabrications.

Either this or Sony has gone...Lucas.

Gone Lu·cas: 1. To alter history on a historic level whenever he or she sees fit and thereby cause damage.

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Alex Cremers

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Alex, do you still call Dolby Digital "AC-3"? That's what the technology was called initially.

As for SA-CD, you can see that Sony calls it that in the press release found here.

Neil - who really can't equate a technology name change with that of a movie

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I guess it depends on how you define DVD-A. If you talk about the DVD-A disc itself, then yes, it's playable in any DVD player, but it doesn't let you hear the DVD-A portion of the disc only the 'lesser' Dolby Digital layer.

Better than SACD, at least you get the music in 5.1 and not mere CD stereo. The neat thing about DVD-A is that it's more compatable with existing standards. For example, to play DVD-A at full quality on a computer I'd just need to download a program that can play it and have a soundcard that supports it. For SACD I'd probably need to buy a SACD compatable DVD-Rom and I'm not sure they even exist yet. :D

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Better than SACD, at least you get the music in 5.1 and not mere CD stereo.

I'm not convinced yet that 5.1 for orchestral music is a good thing. Stereo just sounds right to me. Every surround demo of music I've heard has fallen short of being convincing, while 2 channel stereo has many times sounded more like live music to me.

More is not better.

Neil

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But the SACD format is new and superior. DVD-A is the same old technology as CD but slightly improved.

It's people like Morn who massively vote for DVD-A and make it a winner. But they will never invest a dime in the technology nor in its products. It's a twisted world. Boo! Boo!

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Alex Cremers

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DVD-A is not the same technology as CD, it's a modified DVD technology, anyone who thinks DVD is the same technology as CD is an utter moron, infact SACD is technology that is closer to a CD, a hybrid. And I did buy the AI DVD-A.

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Here's my take on the whole format deal:

Stereo sound can be as enjoyable as surround - if done properly. Two small bookshelf speakers will not do justice. Big floor speakers (usually rather expensive) are the proper way to enjoy stereo. For most people this is not feasible. In this age of Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks on our DVD-Videos, surround set-ups (consisting of relatively small, cheaper speakers) just make more sense. Some DVD-A and SA-CD discs have stereo mixes in addition to the surround ones - so every one's happy. I only use stereo with a good pair of headphones. CD stereo for me gets processed through my reciever into Pro Logic. In general, prefer the sound of Dolby Digital or DTS over CD and ATRAC over mp3. Go MiniDisc! Smart compression rules.

I own the inexpensive Pioneer DV-563A universal disc player, and don't really care about the format war. Using their best playback modes, respectively, DVD-A and SA-CD both sound vastly superior to CD. Between them, I don't have a preference and cannot tell the difference in sound quality, which really depends on a lot of other factors - most have to do with how individual titles are produced. A.I. is not a good title to show off DVD-A. The disc by no means sounds bad, but could have been better. I'm sure the E.T. SA-CD is a fantastic title in terms of sound quality because the score was recorded well. I haven't heard it, though. (I wish a hybrid SA-CD was included in the E.T. DVD box set instead of the CD.)

I have about a dozen and a half DVD-As / SA-CDs. Nitpicking aside, I enjoy listening to all of my DVD-As / SA-CDs from time to time. Believe me, these formats blow away CD's sound, but you'll have to have some reasonably good equipment to take advantage. (I recommend Yamaha reciever $300-400, Pioneer disc player $150, JBL speakers $500, Monster speaker / RCA cables $100-200 - depending on the length and grade.)

I certainly look forward to any JW re-released (or re-recorded) scores on either format ...

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DVD-A is not the same technology as CD, it's a modified DVD technology, anyone who thinks DVD is the same technology as CD is an utter moron, infact SACD is technology that is closer to a CD, a hybrid. And I did buy the AI DVD-A.

Then I must be an utter moron, Morn. CD is based on PCM technology. DVD-A is just a step up the "PCM" ladder. SACD has moved away from using PCM and utilizes Direct Stream Digital (DSD) Encoding for reproducing music.

"The main problem with standard PCM technology is that it requires both steep (brick wall) filters to block frequencies above 20kHz (specifically at 22.05kHz) which is difficult to build. It also requires the addition of re-quantization noise for its decimation (down-sampling) digital filters and interpolation (up-sampling) digital filters. These problems limit the actual fidelity of the reproduced audio.

DSD simply removes all the filters and records the audio directly in its 1-bit, 64x over-sampled delta sigma modulated form."

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DVD-Audio is a new high quality audio format. It has 5.1 sound, 24bit 96khz audio.

DVD-A Multi-channel = 24-bit / 96 kHz

DVD-A Stereo channel = 24-bit / 192 kHz

CD = 16-bit / 44.100 kHz

SACD = 1-bit / 2.8442Mhz DSD

Hang this on your bedroom wall.

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Alex Cremers

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Because it is the upper limit of human hearing.

Yeah, but I mean they should cut it off at around 24khz. 20khz is too low for hi-fi audio. Cut it off at 20khz? Maybe if I want to make a mp3 or ac3....

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Frequencies above 20 kHz may not be hearable but they say that somehow we are still able to perceive them. We feel them. It penetrates us and binds the music together. Don't give up at the 20 kHz ceiling, that's the easy way. Your father once chose that path. Don't make the same mistakes he did. Join us. Together with SACD we can rule...blahblah

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Alex Cremers

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Better than SACD, at least you get the music in 5.1 and not mere CD stereo.

I'm not convinced yet that 5.1 for orchestral music is a good thing. Stereo just sounds right to me. Every surround demo of music I've heard has fallen short of being convincing, while 2 channel stereo has many times sounded more like live music to me.

More is not better.

Neil

That's what I always say as well. If you have let's say 10000 euro/dollars to spend on a system. In all of the cases a 2 box setup will be prefereed above 5 boxes. Better to have a very expensive but quality 2 speakers setup (cause than you no longer care about surround after hearing that), than to have 5 lesser speakers for the same quality....you always lose. If it would have been possible I would even go for a mono speaker, but than the quality obviously can't compete anymore since we do have two ears.

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Feel the sound? How can you FEEL sound?  

Feeling involves touching, not listening.  8O

-"MP3 Troopers on the far left, Sir. Looks like Rogue is leading them."

-"What? Blast them!"

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Alex Cremers

Yup I am definately always willing to fight on the side of the MP3.

So much great music I've gotten because of it.

However, I do my fighting from the air Alex! You should know that! :P:mrgreen:

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