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Thread: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

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    Board Operator JonUrban's Avatar
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    Default DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Alright, we have to admit that the format was confusing and was difficult for stores to sell because no one knew what they were, and people wanted MP3 in their iPods instead of HiRez in their houses. That being said....

    What happened to the DVD-A Forum, or whomever those folks were. They seemed to cave into the whole DualDisc thing, but half-assed. They never came through with over 100 announced (in various bits and pieces) titles projected to come out. They wasted some effort on the even more insane MVI discs (remember those?).

    The whole thing just sort of went away. No formal announcement, no "let's go down without a fight". It was just, OK - no more stream of releases. If you look at the QQ DVD-A release list, you can almost see where it all goes down. By early 2006, the only stuff that came out was stuff in the can, although there were a few surprises left (Love, Perception). And then there's the case of the Bjork box that was set for DVD-A, then went DVD-V.

    It's almost like the hose was pulled off the faucet, some stuff drained out of the hose, and that was it.....and almost no one noticed!

    At least the end of HD-DVD got a press release!
    :-jon

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    It's almost like the hose was pulled off the faucet, some stuff drained out of the hose, and that was it.....and almost no one noticed!
    Well, that says it all.
    Kal Rubinson
    "Music in the Round"
    Contributing Editor, Stereophile
    http://forum.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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    1K Club - QQ Shooting Star Chris Gerhard's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    At least the end of HD-DVD got a press release!
    Yes, the lone manufacturer of standalone HD DVD players quit making players and all companies releasing software quit releasing software. The couple of Blu-ray/HD DVD player manufacturers stopped that foolish practice immediately. Almost all companies involved with HD DVD immediately pledged support to Blu-ray. Apparently some HD DVD releases were manufactured in quantities of several hundred thousand and the average title sold a few thousand before the plug was pulled, that was one funny failed format. Now software often sells for less than $3.

    DVD-A players continue to be manufactured, although I believe only by a fraction of the number of companies that once made players. DVD-A software releases continue at a trickle so there is no announcement to make. The victor in this format war left the battlefield with most troops mortally wounded and there was nobody standing for the DVD-A troops to switch sides to. Consumers that support this format know that for the most part, demand was miniscule and quantity manufactured even less. It is another funny failed format.

    I assume like HD DVD, DVD-A promotions were handled by a subcommitee of the DVD Forum. The individual(s) responsible for organizing meetings and printing promotional materials resigned and requests for volunteers were made in an empty room so there was nobody to raise their hands. Any motions to disband the subcommitte went unheard as nobody attended the meetings any longer and no majority vote could be counted.

    Technically I believe in reality DVD-A and HD DVD are in the same status, there has been no official cessation of either format. There is a an upcoming HD DVD release, "Deadlands 2: The Rising", which is set to hit store shelves this month. Only kidding about there being any stores that will carry the release. I believe there was even an 8-Track release this year so old formats never officially die, only grow smaller with old age. If you recall the science fiction classic, "The Incredible Shrinking Man" as the guy steps out of the house at the end subatomic size, that is basically what happens.

    Chris

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    Friendly Moderator bmoura's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    They wasted some effort on the even more insane MVI discs (remember those?).
    You mean the "DVD Album" format? Did they ever issue any titles on DVD Album?

    I lost track of that one. (Maybe because they started calling them MVI discs!)

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    1K Club - QQ Shooting Star Chris Gerhard's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoura View Post
    You mean the "DVD Album" format? Did they ever issue any titles on DVD Album?

    I lost track of that one. (Maybe because they started calling them MVI discs!)
    I believe there was one DVD Album, with a sticker on the album indicating it is the first DVD Album. I have it, it is by The Sun and the title is "Blame it on the Youth". It was a Dolby Digital surround DVD-V with an MP3 digital copy in stereo included, I guess for portable players but I don't really understand the digital copies included concept.

    Chris

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    Board Operator JonUrban's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    I was actually thinking of the DVD Forum (http://www.dvdforum.org). There is not even a mention of the format at their website these days.

    Check out this article written by QQ Member Stuart Robinson (whatever happened to him? Hasn't posted in over 5 years!!) over at High Fidelity Review:

    http://www.highfidelityreview.com/ne...umber=12004614

    This, to me, heralded the doom of DVD-A...........the stupid DualDisc. "some major label insiders have told High Fidelity Review that their release schedules have been on-hold pending a decision on DualDisc" Very bad move.

    Oh well, if only..................................
    :-jon

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    Musician / Writer Old Quad Guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    At the DVD Forum under "What's New" there was a recent meeting: "The 46th DVD Forum Steering Committee Meeting was held in Universal City, U.S.A., on September 10, 2009. To see the resolutions, click here." http://www.dvdforum.org/46scmtg-resolution.htm

    Wish we had known about it, we could have met them in person and mentioned: "How about more DVD-Audio releases!" We could have clued them in. Seriously though, what do they do at those meetings these days?

    Found some old info in PDF form: Advice for Mastering and Authoring DVD-Audio content
    http://www.dvdforum.org/adviceformastering.pdf
    Quadraphonic.info - Free Manuals, Articles and more.

    Carnival of Stars - World Dance & Art Convention. August 1 & 2, 2015. Richmond, California

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonUrban View Post
    I was actually thinking of the DVD Forum (http://www.dvdforum.org). There is not even a mention of the format at their website these days.
    Here's the DVD-Audio bit:
    http://www.dvdforum.org/gen-dvdaudio.htm
    and it is still in the list of workgroup activities
    http://www.dvdforum.org/about-wgactivities.htm

    It is also mentioned in their DVD primer
    http://www.dvdforum.org/tech-dvdprimer.htm#10
    "The music industry wants a higher quality format than CD, as well as increased playing time. DVD-Audio meets this need"


    But it doesn't make the record companies to produce them...
    Only a couple of artists that insist on lossless surround remain.

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    Member Spencer1812's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    The new King Crimson DVD-A's are awesome.

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Few days ago we recived a Denon sample blu ray with some norwegian classical music from this site http://www.2l.musiconline.no/shop/default.asp.. You can chose between 3 different sound formats. As I recall, number one DTS HD Master 24/192 in 5.1 and number 2 is pcm 24/96 5.1, sorry can't remember the last one..

    What I am trying to say is.. Ok DVD Audio (the format I really care about) and sacd did not went well.. Now there is a solution with blu ray which shouldn't make people confused! There is one format in blu ray and LOT'S of space.. Please release some music! And yes the disc sounds awsome!
    Jesper

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Try to get a copy of Jeff Beck - at Ronnie Scott's. nice.

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper View Post
    Few days ago we recived a Denon sample blu ray with some norwegian classical music from this site http://www.2l.musiconline.no/shop/default.asp.. You can chose between 3 different sound formats. As I recall, number one DTS HD Master 24/192 in 5.1 and number 2 is pcm 24/96 5.1, sorry can't remember the last one..

    What I am trying to say is.. Ok DVD Audio (the format I really care about) and sacd did not went well.. Now there is a solution with blu ray which shouldn't make people confused! There is one format in blu ray and LOT'S of space.. Please release some music! And yes the disc sounds awsome!
    Jesper, BluRay is a serious problem - not a solution.
    It's an expensive nightmare to author, with terribly expensive & mandatory per title licensing fees plus huge "content verification fees" every time a BDMV folder is submitted for replication - one error and the whole caboodle is thrown back & the fee is repaid the next time.
    Everyone I know who geared up to author BD discs tells me this, they also tell me there is almost no demand for the authoring as all studios do this in house.
    Quality wise, the audio is no better than it is on DVDA, and at least on DVD you have over 500 million installed players against under 5 million BD players, not including the PS3 of course as most PS3 devices are being used as consoles, not BD players.
    Oh well, whatever - nevermind.

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    1K Club - QQ Shooting Star neil wilkes's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ge Someone View Post
    Here's the DVD-Audio bit:
    http://www.dvdforum.org/gen-dvdaudio.htm
    and it is still in the list of workgroup activities
    http://www.dvdforum.org/about-wgactivities.htm

    It is also mentioned in their DVD primer
    http://www.dvdforum.org/tech-dvdprimer.htm#10
    "The music industry wants a higher quality format than CD, as well as increased playing time. DVD-Audio meets this need"


    But it doesn't make the record companies to produce them...
    Only a couple of artists that insist on lossless surround remain.
    One of the things that got almost completely ignored about DVDA is that you don't have to put in surround mixes. It's not mandatory.
    It is almost as if the record industry just is not interested in physical media - all they want to do is dumb it all down with shitty MP3 sales (free money, really).
    It's heartbreaking.
    Oh well, whatever - nevermind.

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by neil wilkes View Post
    Jesper, BluRay is a serious problem - not a solution.
    It's an expensive nightmare to author, with terribly expensive & mandatory per title licensing fees plus huge "content verification fees" every time a BDMV folder is submitted for replication - one error and the whole caboodle is thrown back & the fee is repaid the next time.
    Everyone I know who geared up to author BD discs tells me this, they also tell me there is almost no demand for the authoring as all studios do this in house.
    Quality wise, the audio is no better than it is on DVDA, and at least on DVD you have over 500 million installed players against under 5 million BD players, not including the PS3 of course as most PS3 devices are being used as consoles, not BD players.
    Neil, I am not blu ray cheerleader!

    However I do onot see any other possibilities right now! I have many DVD Audio and sacd records and I love it.. But I miss something new! It's a big shame dual disc didn't make it either! The idea was perfect. High resolution 2.0 and 5.1 and the cd and aac (or mp3) on the same disc.. Everybody is happy.. I do know there were some problems about to call it compact disc.

    I don't have any problems with aac (i don't want mp3), aac sounds better than mp3 - for my ipod! But I want to have a choice and I think Blu Ray is the way. But again, if it's too expensive we might not see any music (except concerts videos).. But why not make it, when everybody is talking about great picture quality on Blu Ray and ofcourse better sound - the music industry NEED to act NOW!
    Jesper

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    Board Operator JonUrban's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Sony could always lower the BD fees and give sweetheart deals to labels to get stuff out (like they did with SACD), but they have no reason to at this point. There is no competition, and in some respects, they think there is no market.
    :-jon

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by neil wilkes View Post
    One of the things that got almost completely ignored about DVDA is that you don't have to put in surround mixes. It's not mandatory.
    Personally I ignore that too, it is just as pointless as the stereo SACD's. There has been a lossless format for stereo 20 years before DVD-Audio. (of course current technology can add a couple of bits and samplerate, for the mass market that makes hardly any difference). The lossless surround is what makes the difference.

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    As an early DVD-A adopter, there were 9 titles on sale at Tower Records when I bought them, I have always felt it didn't get sufficient good press, and a good airing out. SACD was pushed to the limit and IMO simply overwhelmed the press and the internet.

    I own lots of both; and when I go back to my early DVD-A's I find it to have a richness when SACD lacks. The stuff put out by the Surrounded by group, Piano, Willie Nelson; the Tacet releases are incomparable. But at least SACD still puts out lots of new releases, albeit not many of the popular music discs such as the Diana Krall et al releases which in DVD-A are wonderful. I could go on.

    Re Blu Ray I have purchases many of the Ballet Blu Ray video releases from the Marinsky and London Ballet groups, and find them very good.

    But IMO the failure of DVD-A cost us the best of the hi rez multichannel formats. A real pity.

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    the loss of the dvd-a format truly is sad my hope is that one day the artists and the record companies will see that there is a market and start releasing again. I know that the whole thing went down in flames over royalties. the artists decided that dvd-a was a totally new deal and wanted more money.and the record companies felt that it was the same music just a new mix so the existing royalties were enough. very sad for us indeed as we are ultimately the losers. My feeling is that the artists already make a heap of money on every disc sold they were just being greedy babies, whereas the record companies are the ones forking out the dough to remix for dvd-a and sacd. but I guess it's all in how you look at it just like everything else.
    Then along comes the I-pod which swept through us like a hurricane, obviously does'nt come close but makes music more accesible to the masses at a fraction of the cost. so we get left behind. It's all about money. For that reason alone I hate mp3, but don't get me wrong I love my I-pod when I'm waiting for a plane at the airport or at work. However for real musical enjoyment it just does'nt do it. But alas we are starting to see some good releases in dvd-a , my hope is that they keep coming, so for now let us all pray...

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    800 Club - QQ All Star ClarkNovak's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Neil hit it on the head. The labels don't care about physical media - digital distribution gives them HUGE profits with no manufacturing.

    I used to think that no one would ever want strictly digital music downloads - that people liked holding something solid in their hands, opening the booklet, perusing the lyrics and art. Now I realize that no one under 30 cares.
    "Him? He's a little light in Ohm's Law."

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkNovak View Post
    I used to think that no one would ever want strictly digital music downloads - that people liked holding something solid in their hands, opening the booklet, perusing the lyrics and art. Now I realize that no one under 30 cares.
    Like many (most?) of us here, I still don't really want strictly downloads. But ever since I ripped all my CDs to Apple Lossless for use in iTunes, I must admit that I'm less concerned over it now. Heck, if given no other choice, I wouldn't be too upset if, say, Rhino were to theoretically have made their CTA quad release as a downloadable DTS-CD WAV files for use in iTunes. Granted, I still want the physical media, the artwork, and the liner notes whenever possible. And maybe I'd still complain a little bit if there wasn't a physical version to buy. But slowly I'm letting go of that.
    5.1 Surround Music: "Makes me ."

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Neil said:

    >One of the things that got almost completely ignored about DVDA is that you don't have to put in surround mixes. It's not mandatory. It is almost as if the record industry just is not interested in physical media - all they want to do is dumb it all down with shitty MP3 sales (free money, really).<

    As someone who produced many DVD-A titles for one of the majors I can tell you exactly why there are no more DVD-A titles being produced.

    Nobody bought them.

    You see, every title that a record company produces has a P&L statement. This details all the expenses that are involved in producing a title (production, mixing, artist royalties, publishing royalties, marketing, replication, archiving, artwork, overhead, etc.) and then computes how many actual units need to be sold to break even.

    For most DVD-A titles, the news was grim. This is why the record companies flirted with formats like DualDisc and MVI... they were trying to fix a non-profitable situation.

    Not enough people bought DVD-A to make the format profitable. Almost every title lost money.

    And this serves to highlight one of the essential truths in the record biz, which may be unpleasant to hear, but I am gonna say it anyway:

    There are probably only 10,000 to 20,000 people in the US who care about high-res audio and/or surround sound music. This may be enough of a market for niche labels to survive for awhile, but it's not enough of a market for the majors to devote limited resources to addressing.

    If you are a label and you have limited staff, and limited budget, are you going to have your staff work on titles that don't make any money? Or are you going to shift them to something that has a better return on investment?

    And while it's true that DVD-A's can be stereo-only, our own market research showed over and over that consumers just didn't care in any significant numbers. Not enough to move the needle.

    I'd also like to counter Neil's statement that selling MP3s is like "free money." It isn't. My company spends a significant amount of money on building and maintaining a digital asset catalog of all of our active albums. Money that in the past would have been spent on disc replication now goes to infrastructure costs of building and maintaining the audio asset and metadata library, and delivering files to partners. Plus we still have to make CDs.

    The biggest problem that the record companies have encountered is this: the dis-aggregation of the album. Where before the business model was built on the selling of the album unit for $12 or whatever, now the model is based on consumers buying single songs as MP3s. This represented a tremendous drop in revenue ("free money" indeed!). So now the labels are making only a fraction of the revenue from a release because many people buy only one song. The business has become even more hit-driven as the album model slowly fades away.


    ClarkNovak said:
    >Neil hit it on the head. The labels don't care about physical media - digital distribution gives them HUGE profits with no manufacturing.<

    You have no idea what you are talking about. See above.
    Last edited by jimby; 04-25-2010 at 11:45 PM.

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    800 Club - QQ All Star ClarkNovak's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Jimby, thank you for your contribution and explanation. The last paragraph was particularly enlightening and explains the dramatic reversals of record company fortunes over the past decade.

    I still believe, however, that there is a big incentive for the labels to cease manufacturing physical product.
    "Him? He's a little light in Ohm's Law."

    -Frank Foti-

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Thanks for the response, Jimby. You obviously speak with authority.

    One of the things I've always thought was that the format (and SACD as well) was not promoted enough to get the average Joe to notice. How do you feel about that? Did the DVD Forum guys drop the ball? Why wasn't DVD-A capability added to all DVD players? Why weren't the auto manufacturers used as a potential direct-marketing resource.

    It seems that the DVD-A folks got so preoccupied with the fact that their discs did not play on CD players that they lost focus that the product was a DVD format, and use that to their advantage.

    When Blu-Ray and HD-DVD hit the market, there were TV ads for them, and even though there was confusion, at least the general public new there were new formats out there. The old guys who grew up buying LPs and Tapes probably had no idea that there was a new format that they could put into their DVD players to hear their old favorites in a new way.

    A lot can be said after the fact, but it's just a shame that the whole HiRez audio from the major players failed. We did our part, but I can't help feeling that there needed to be more awareness in the marketplace. I remember meeting Acura owners, directing them to Best Buy to get discs for their cars, and having them find hardly anything they wanted to buy at that point.

    There were racks of (horrible) Silverline discs, and hardly any WB/Rhino/UMG/Capitol discs, because once they sold, they were rarely restocked. People could not buy something that was not on the shelves.

    Anyway, Now, a question for you.............What about those (Second batch) Eltons?
    :-jon

  24. #24
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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkNovak View Post
    Jimby, thank you for your contribution and explanation. The last paragraph was particularly enlightening and explains the dramatic reversals of record company fortunes over the past decade.

    I still believe, however, that there is a big incentive for the labels to cease manufacturing physical product.

    I didn't mean to be harsh with my reply, but there are so many people who don't understand how the business works, yet feel the need to make comments or pronouncements anyway.

    For example most people who aren't involved in the aviation industry wouldn't dream of telling Boeing how to run their business, or speculate on the "huge profits" of one of their projects without doing some significant research.

    Yet people happily comment on the music industry, usually with the most uninformed opinions, all without doing even the slightest bit of background homework.

    And while the music industry does give the illusion of accessibility because- well, lots of people buy music, so they think they have some special insight into the way the business operates. The truth is that the average music buyer has about as much insight into the music industry as the average air traveler has into the aviation industry.

    The point is that the music industry is in the bottom of a trough right now, straddling both digital distribution and physical distribution. The trend is that that physical media will eventually become only a small percentage of revenue for the labels, but that is still several years away. Right now physical media is still important, but because of the digital dis-aggregation of the album it's unclear if the industry will ever rebound back to where it was 10 years ago.

    Meanwhile people at the labels continue to lose their jobs as revenue drops (digital hasn't made up the shortfall yet), and the whole business tries to contort itself to fit the new business models.
    Last edited by jimby; 04-26-2010 at 01:44 AM.

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    Default Re: DVD-Audio backers - What Happened?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimby View Post
    I'd also like to counter Neil's statement that selling MP3s is like "free money." It isn't. My company spends a significant amount of money on building and maintaining a digital asset catalog of all of our active albums. Money that in the past would have been spent on disc replication now goes to infrastructure costs of building and maintaining the audio asset and metadata library, and delivering files to partners. Plus we still have to make CDs.
    Offcourse infrastructure is required to rip & sell thousands of titles. But one title still needs to be ripped only once, that takes 40-60 mins?
    Last edited by mch007; 04-26-2010 at 12:36 AM. Reason: spelling correction

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