A General Introduction of DVD Audio

Abbreviated as DVD-A, DVD-Audio is a DVD format designed to hold audio data, usually high-quality music, similar in nature to how DVD-Video works. The DVD-A format can hold limited data such as notes and images in addition to the audio data. DVD-A offers 24-bit/192kHz (stereo) or 24-bit/96kHz (5.1) sound, compared to16-bit/44 kHz for Audio-CDs. Depending on the number of layers used, DVD-Audio discs can hold between 4 and 18GB of audio data. It is expected that DVD-Audio will eventually replace CD audio. Currently DVD-Audio discs are unusable in most regular DVD-Video players; the player must be a Universal DVD player or one that displays the DVD-Audio logo. DVD-Audio is not intended to be a video delivery format and is not the same as video DVDs containing concert films or music videos.

One of the advantages of DVD-Audio which has over its high-resolution competition, SACD, is DVD-Audio’s ability to include video content. Most of the record companies issuing DVD-Audio disks, among others, have added in music videos, interviews and cool video clips as an added value goodie for consumers who purchase their artist’s records on DVD-Audio. Other added value goodies on DVD-Audio include lyrics, photo galleries, Easter eggs, video games and more.

DVD Audio discs have a much higher capacity than CDs. This extra space can be used to provide audio at the highest possible quality or for longer recordings, or to provide additional material, such as information on the artist, photos and even video, all of which can be displayed on a television screen. Alternatively, DVD Audio discs currently on the market from the likes of the Warner group of labels have the audio content in both DVD Audio format and as Dolby Digital surround so that they can be played back on regular DVD players.

Please note: Audio DVD should not be confused with DVD-Audio, for which you need a special player and discs! The DVD-Audio format is a member of the DVD family. DVD-Audio is capable of providing this superior listening experience in both stereo and/or multi-channel audio without requiring the compression technology necessary for the audio that accompanies DVD-Video playback. But, Audio DVD Burner uses another member of the DVD family – DVD-Video. DVD-Video is primarily a visual medium that offers more than twice the picture quality of VHS. In addition, DVD-Video offers stereo and compressed multi-channel surround sound utilizing Dolby Digital or DTS encoding.

These dual format discs are a good way to kick-start the market while DVD Audio players are still relatively rare. The market will also be helped by combined DVD Video and Audio players.

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