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SACD probable winner. Average consumer listeners will be slow to migrate from CD's (especially with upsampling) because they enjoy the sound and convenience the way the format currently exists. Hi-end audiophiles will not tolerate watermarking, whether they hear it or not. Moreover, DVD-A is more associated with DVD-V, which is not a primary thrust for most audiophiles.
Ditto above. Audiophiles are a strange breed, and we object on philosophical and audible grounds to watermarking. (The greed of studios never ceases to amaze.) BTW, SACD can be stunning when done properly. When the library of true software grows big enough, it will be enough reason for me to abandon vinyl. Yes, I know that's heresy here.
Ya never know with these things.Trying to predict formats is like economics.But I can't think of a company to better shepherd the format than Sony.Look what they did to save MD.But that doesen't mean that in 5 years it won't stay a nitch product for freaks like us while the shelves are full of DVD-A.But also Pioneer has a combination player but it's big $$$ while SACD will be out in summer from Sony for $400.
The Absolute Sound has an editorial piece in their current issue stating we consumers now have a golden chance to influence which format is adopted by supporting the SACD format. In the opinion of TAS and other audio mags, SACD is clearly the better format -- but DVD-A could be the eventual winner if manufacturers alone make the decision(rather like the Beta vs. VHS format war). There is no question that SACD is technicall the better format, but that is not the sole determinant of which format prevails in the market place. So, fellow audiophiles, it's time to make our money and votes be heard. Go SACD, beat DVD-A!!! (sorry, but I've been without a college football fix since the last Rose Bowl).
SACD may live, but I don't think it will replace consumer CDs for the same reasons mentioned above. At best, I think they'll be able to win over the audiophile market. They may win a larger market, but I don't see that happening for years...maybe decades.
Sony owns many major record labels...their own, Columbia, CBS, Capitol(?), etc. They certainly have a huge back catalog available to them, and I'm sure they can have some influence over certain artists recording on their digital technology. Unfortunately, I don't think that many artists will want to record digitally for awhile. Digital recording is still "taboo" to many musicians and engineers.
The deciding factor, in my humble opinion, is whether who can flood the market with high quality MULTI-CHANNEL software. I've tried both Marantz SA-1 (2-channel) vs a relatively "inexpensive" Toshiba 9200 DVD-A using a multi-channel DVD-A and the multi-channel is clearly the winner.
I haven't seen any multi-channel SACD software despite that Philips has a multi-channel player. Maybe this is a major strategic screwup by the SONY/Philips camp; i.e., they fail the take advantage of the time they stole from the DVD-A delay.
Who can tell, but DVD-A could still win out in the end. There millions of DVD players being sold and millions more will be sold in the next year or two. Most of these are 24bit/96mhz. As with all things electronic, DVD-A technology will be standard someday soon, replacing 24/96. These future players will most likely sell for the same $200 to $300. Joe Consumer who only wants to watch movies and listen to music on your typical mass market system will be (and currently is) very happy with his DVD machine that also plays CDs. This natural progression in the DVD player gives DVD-A hundreds of millions of potential customers assuming the typical mass market DVD player will have this technology someday soon.
Rdr4b, there are multichannel SACDs out there now, as I think Sony saw the light and realized that might be the way to get consumers to go for a format other than CD. The dmp and recent Delos releases are 6-channel discs, for example. In answer to the original question, having both an SACD player and a 24/96 transport/DAC combo (no DVD-A player), the winner in my view is the audiophile if either of these formats catches on, as both are significant improvements over standard CDs. My preference is SACD principally because I don't like the fact that due to the software manufacturers I can't use my outboard DAC for DVD-A, so I'd be stuck with a mid-fi machine's internal DAC, and because I'm opposed to the copycode/watermarking practices.
Thanks, Reprince, for enlighten me about the availabiltity of multi-channel SACD. It is a shame that I only own a 2 channel Marantz SA1. Comparing SA1 and Toshiba 9200 side by side playing SACD and DVD-A, I must admit that they both sound equally spectacular versus CDs although SACD does have more "air". However, I would be hard pressed to believe any average consumer can appreciate the difference. In the end, whoever floods the market with reasonably priced software wins.