By now everyone is familiar with DVD video, DVD audio however, is a format that is not yet mainstream and most people still haven’t heard of it.
What is DVD audio?
Well DVD audio is the next generation of recorded music that uses the high data capacity of a DVD to bring out the most in music and believe me you’ll notice a difference right away. Being a hard-core audiophile I have the latest in home theatre slash stereo slash surround sound, so naturally when I heard of the availability of the new format I rushed out to buy one.
The first purchase I made was Linkin Park's Reanimation. In case you have no idea who that is, MTV.com describes them as a combination of “Old-school hip-hop, traditional classic rock, and spooling electronic vibes” so you can see why they might be a great band for surround music. The first time I played this disc I was flat out floored by the clarity and by the separation of sound. I was hearing unique sounds all around me. The bass, guitar, vocals, turntable were all isolated to a speaker and coming at me from all directions. It was unbelievable, it was like I was listening to music for the very first time. Now that I have an understanding of what recorded music should sound like I’m eager to show this off any chance I get. Whenever I have guests over I show them what this new format sounds like and I just wait for the expression on their faces. The expressions are always much like the expression I had when I first popped in my first DVD Audio….mouths open.
Now that I am convinced that this IS the wave of the future I still don’t understand why it has been so slow to the marketplace. There are currently only a couple hundred titles available and if you go to the local electronics superstore you will only find a very small section dedicated to the new formats. One reason might be that not everyone has a 5.1 surround system in their home. Ok so home theatre isn’t in everyone’s price range but they are getting much cheaper. You can find a high watt system for under $300, which I might add is about the same price as higher end Ipods.
So when will this thing take off?
Well I see DVD Audio taking off as soon as DVD players and surround sound become more popular in car stereo systems. I believe Acura offers a surround sound DVD system in some
of their new models already. Another aspect of DVD Audio is that it is relatively safe from ripping or duplicating the music. This is a godsend for the music industry that has been beaten down by the trend of downloadable music. One thing to point out is the quality of DVD Audio is far superior to the quality you can get from downloading music off the Internet people just need to hear for themselves.
All things considered I believe DVD Audio has strong potential to become a very popular format and may wind up influencing music all together. If you haven’t heard the difference and you love music I strongly recommend that you go to your local electronics superstore and ask the sales rep if you can sample a DVD Audio with a surround system. I guarantee at the very least you’ll be impressed.