SACD and DVD-A: Apples and Oranges?

It seems to me that SACD and DVD-A are going for different markets. Comparing them, especially the question on "Which will survive?" seems fruitless. Both could survive, or neither.

SACD is aimed at correcting the problems we've had all along with CD sound. SACD provides a quality 2-channel digital source at a reasonable price. I wager that the typical $250 SACD player playing SACD's sounds as good or better than a typical $1000 CD player playing CD's. Hybrid disks provide backward compatibility. Multi-channel capability is there if desired. By reducing the entry price of a decent sounding player, SACD can bring hi-fi to the masses.

DVD-A is aimed at the thousands (or millions) of average Joe's who already have a 5.1 DVD setup. These guys are wondering why movies come in Surround Sound but music CD's are still 2-channel. The DVD music section in th local music store is growing every day. DVD-A provides a way to hear Metallica or whatever in 5.1 sound. DVD-A is off to a slow start for several reasons. The biggest problem, in my mind, is that the single-wire digital interface doesn't exist. It still takes 6 I.C.'s to hook up DVD-A to a receiver.

Seen this way, both SACD and DVD-A are good things but SACD is aimed more at the 2 channel audiophile market.

I completely see it your way, but I extend the process a couple steps further. Ideally, I would be able to expand my 2-channel SACD system (please click on my system link if curiosity gets the best of you) into a 5-channel SACD setup. When I do so, I would consider a universal player so I could listen to DVD-A, since I'd already have 5 speakers anyhow.

There are problems, though. Right now, even high-end universal players are reported to have serious shortcomings. Some of them struggle badly with bass management. For others, time alignment is the issue, and the system will only sound right if the rear speakers are *precisely* as far from the listening position as the front speakers. (This can be a real rarity, unless your room size is truly generous. Living in a city where space is pricey, I will probably never have a really large listening room.) Besides, I'd have to put a bulky center channel on top of my TV, which only has about a 3-inch shelf before it drops off on top, making a center almost impossible to balance.

Bottom line? Basically, it's a hell of a good thing that I like the material that's available on SACD a lot more than the DVD-A's that have hit the marketplace, because my 2-channel, trouble-free setup basically coerces me into having SACD anyway.
I quickly determined that you need both SACD and DVD-A to get access to a reasonable catalog of discs, and at least one relatively inexpensive universal player is available (Pioneer DV45A). Both formats can yield excellent results.

I expect that DVD will get a big boost from auto sound systems, where speakers in the rear have long been standard, and the acoustic environment is very well controlled.

As to speaker spacing, I don't think there is a problem. Even inexpensive players make provision to introduce different amounts of time delay in the different channels so as to compensate for non-equal speaker distances. It's part of the setup procedure, along with volume matching.
I've got both, and my biggest hassle so far is having to reconnect sources to the SINGLE 5.1 input on my preamp/ processor. I saw an outboard switching device online recently, but for the life of me can't find it again. Any advice?

Both formats have their strong and weak points. Pink Floyd's (multichannel) Dark Side of the Moon release convinced me to purchase a SACD player. Although I've found more music to my liking on DVD-A. I've only purchased 3 SACD's vs. about 20 DVD-A titles.

Happy trails.
I agree they are trying to attract different segments of the market, but the DVD-A segment (HT and casual music listening) is huge compared to the SACD segment. I think that gives DVD-A the long term advantage. Sony/Phillips are going to have to carve a niche for SACD that I'm not sure can be sustained. I can't imagine Sony settling for the audiophile market and leaving the rest to their competition. If they decide to support both formats going forward, then we all win. That will depend on the sales numbers, pure and simple. SACD could survive the fate of Betamax if enough people continue to but them as DVD-A matures.

Of course it would be better still if the industry would just settle on a single format and make all of our lives simpler, but that's another story.
After two multi players (Denon 2900 and Marantz 8400) and about 100 sacd and dvda titles, DVD has no chance in my view. The fact that you MUST have a screen on to operate 90% of the disks to get the right "audio menu" playing is nuts! There is just no excuse for that.
At the same time, I can't even compare the experience.
SACD is like an LP except a LOT better.
DVDA is like a better CD.
There are some fundimental flaws in PCM that are now all too obvious.

Izsakmixer care to tell us what SACD's you consider a LOT better than LP's?
Now if they would just include sacd formats on a dvd as well as dvd-a and dts (the dvd is capable of storing the data, much more so than cd) we would all win!
The potential market for SACD is huge. In Sony's vision, every CD would also have a SACD layer. The manufacturing cost can't really be much higher. It's a matter of setting up all of the mastering facilities with SACD mastering gear (from Sony, of course). I hope this vision comes true. As an audiophile, it would be great to see every CD also have SACD on it. Then I can play it on my car CD or my home SACD system.

Of course you need a screen for DVD-A. It's intended for the guy who already has a DVD system.
Pmi_guy, I agree with you so long as Sony's vision comes true. Unfortunately, their competitors have a different vision.
It seem interesting to me that I've seen no hybrid SACDs from Sony yet. My understanding is they are just starting to convert their plans from SACD only to hybrid. I'm wondering if they will reissue the SACD only music as hybrids. I think lables like Telarc were smart in doing hybrids from the start.
Hifiho, perhaps you are referring to the Sony TA-P9000ES - which is a preamp/processor with two sets of 5.1 inputs.
Hifiho, here is a 6 channel switch box for you with remote, ( ) The guy's name is Shawn Fogg.
No I can't.
I no longer listen to LPs.
It was more of a "what the technology supposed to bring us".
DSD supposed to be very analog like. While PCM is well it's just PCM.
But I do know what instruments should and good acustical space sounds like. (Visit lots of studios on my day job).
And SACD is a lot closer then DVDA, in my openien.
Funny how Peter Easty (Head of SONY OXFORD the birht palce of DSD/SACD) said it 5 years ago...PCM is dead DSD is the new LP.