What happened to Blu-ray Audio?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by floyd, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN

    What frustrates me most about Blu-ray audio is the lack of imagination. Like, just the album, sometimes not even in 5.1, with no extras, no interactive features, nothing. You take an album like What's Going On, which a) has a Quad mix that could've been included and b) has tons of extra material released on previous reissues that could've been added as a bonus. Like, why not include the Detroit Mix, and allow users to switch between them to compare, or that early '72 live set included in one of the reissues. (The Steven Wilson reissues are the exception to this rule, I'm mostly talking about the major label "Pure Audio" releases). These things seem like they were put out intended to fail.
     
  2. Thank goodness Blu-ray audio is dead, I never liked it. Compared to my DVD audio discs, Blu-ray just didn't measure up. SACD is acceptable and I will buy them if they are multi-channel. A couple of Moody Blues SACD's supposedly mixed for 5.1, from 2006, are actually 4.0 but surprisingly don't measure up to my R2R quadraphonic tapes.
     
  3. marcb

    marcb Forum Resident

    Location:
    DC area
    You're glad a newly dead format (which "didn't measure up" :confused:) is dead because you prefer a long dead format? Do think the so-called demise of BD-Audio is going to somehow lead to a resurrection of DVD-Audio?
     
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  4. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Yes, I think you are right.
    But, when that surround thing entered the market, there was an impression that it was somewhat difficult to set up the required speakers. And also, there was the impression that DVD-Audio could not be played back on standard DVD players.
    (In fact, on standard DVD players, you cannot play the DVD-A content, but every DVD-Audio I know also has the 5.1 program within the DVD-video portion of the disc.)
    So, you would need to buy new expensive players (both SACD and DVD-audio, to get access to all available surround titles), expensive surround sound systems, and so on... And on the other hand, there was a limited choice of surround titles available. New titles almost never appeared as surround mixes.
    So, unless you are interessted in upgrading your existing stereo collection to 5.1 remixes, there was little point in buying the 5.1 equipment.
    Plus, there was that stupid "format war" SACD vs. DVD-Audio.

    Only a few years after that surround thing started, it was already almost dead. Titles available as 5.1 remixes went out of print, just when customers began taking an interesst in surround music. We talk about major titles here, not just some obscure jazz stuff.

    Remember, stereo took about 10 years to penetrate the market. Up until 1968, Beatles albums were still mixed in mono, too. Singles were mono even farther.

    Now, today, surround mixes are available on video DVDs. Not really a bad development.

    Best regards
     
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  5. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Location:
    rhode island
    Something that is very harmful to the Orinoco Flow of the music.
     
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  6. I'm not sure what the digital market is going to do, but I'm very happy if Blu-ray audio is dead. As I think I said, it never seemed as good as DVD audio. I know that when the DVD-A's came out, I don't think most people knew about them. I discovered them by accident while perusing the DVD section at a Tower Records store. I bought "Machine Head" by Deep Purple and "Every Breath You Take" by The Police. I was blown away! I'd never heard surround music like this. The Deep Purple album blew the quadraphonic album away!
    A few years later, DTS started putting out multi-channel DVD re-issues. I bought 2 Moody Blues albums "DOFP" and "Seventh Sojourn". They were astounding! I have the quadraphonic R2R and SACD versions also. They don't sound as good as the DVD-A's.
    Of recent times, some may not consider them DVD or Blu-ray audio because they may also include video, the DVD stills sounds better to me. Take the recent 50th Anniversary of "Sgt. Peppers....", the deluxe version came with both Blu-ray and DVD versions of the album. My DVD sounds better than the Blu-ray. Same with "Pet Sounds" by The Beach Boys. The worst yet was the Blu-ray version of "Fragile" by Yes. My Blu-ray player has a hard time playing it and this is the first time that's ever happenned. There was another one which acted the same way, but I can't recall which one right now. Both were put out by Rhino and I have 2 copies of the Yes album.
    To me, because these discs play the albums just like if they were CD's, I consider them DVD audios and Blu-ray audios.
     
  7. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    By your post it seems you're a fan of multichannel music. Then to be glad Blu-ray Audio is dead makes absolutely no sense at all. I really don't care which format is used if it's an excellent multichannel mix from an artist I'm interested in.
     
  8. Yes, I've always been intrigued by true multi-channel music. And, like you, I'm only interested in a multi-channel recording from an artist I like. I prefer DVD or SACD.
     
  9. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    hello,

    I don't care so much for formats.
    However, I dislike the many different incompatibe disc formats. That's why I stick with the DVD media, or DTS CDs. I can play them without the need to buy a different player (like a SACD or Blu ray).
    I feel that the mix and the recording is much more important than the actual disc format it is presented on.

    Regards
     
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  10. Claude Benshaul

    Claude Benshaul Well-Known Member

    If a BD disk included extra such as lyrics, artwork, still photos of the artists taken during productions, short interviews and perhaps even some soundbites of tracks or alternative performances that were deleted during production, or even a 5.1 additional version of the mix, then yes - BD would have caught my interest. But as Tim and others have stated previously, paying extra for the same old 2CH stuff with just a better sampling rate? No way!
     
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  11. marcb

    marcb Forum Resident

    Location:
    DC area
    There is no logic to your internal argument of differentiating formats by what they can deliver in terms of sound and multichannel capability. Each has it's pros and cons as a format in terms of compatibility, etc, but in terms of audio they're all capable of delivering high resolution stereo & surround. DVD-A's capabilities are no better than Blu-ray Audio in terms of delivering high resolution stereo and multi-channel sound (in fact it's slightly worse - being capable of only delivering 24/96 5.1 vs 24/192 5.1 for BD-A plus DVD-A isn't capable of 7.1)

    If DVD-Audio sounds better to you than Blu-ray Audio, it's because either you have your system set-up incorrectly or your system handles some algorithms better than others. DVD-A's use LPCM for 2.0 & 5.1 while Blu-ray can use LPCM, DTS-MA HD and less frequently Dolby True HD (DTS-MA HD has become the most common - particularly for 5.1). But in terms of the bits being delivered, a 24/96 5.1 mix will be exactly the same regardless of the type of disc or algorithim used. You're blaming the format when in fact the issue is either you or your eqpt.
     
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  12. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    Very well said! I couldn't agree more.
     
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  13. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    Location:
    NY
    It is also possible that the connection to the receiver is to blame. HDMI or analog cables?
     
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  14. marcb

    marcb Forum Resident

    Location:
    DC area
    Assuming a system is hooked up the same with DVD-A & Blu-ray (and it's the same player for both), it shouldn't make a difference. You're just shifting where the decoding is done (analog - player; HDMI - receiver). The issue would still essentially be the same - either something isn't set-up properly or the system handles different algorithms differently.
     
  15. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Or,
    it could be the room correction of the AC receiver. Normaly, the AV receiver considers the distance of the speakers, and corrects for level and time delay of the speakers.
    However, this correction is only done when the signals are fed through the internal processor of the AV receiver.
    Some receivers don't do the correction for signals that are connected to the analog multichannel inputs.
    In this case, the room correction should be done in the player.
    If it's not applied at all, the sound will be somewhat different than the sound with proper room correction applied.
    This could be a reason for a perceived sound difference between formats. If for the one format, the AV receiver is able to apply the correction, and for other formats, not.
    And. of course, it could also be just the mastering or re-mixing of the recording, for the different formats.

    Best regards
     
  16. stereoptic

    stereoptic Anaglyphic GORT Staff

    Location:
    NY
    Yes, I probably didn't make myself clear. I wanted to make sure that both the DVD-As and BluRays were using the same connections for doing the comparison.
     
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  17. marcb

    marcb Forum Resident

    Location:
    DC area
    There are a million nuanced possibilities, but AGAIN it boils down to either user error or the system handling different formats differently. Everything else is a just a variation on those or irrelevant (mastering differences are independent of format).

    If you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras...
     
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  18. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Forum Resident

    Location:
    S FL
    It's not dead, simple as that.
     
  19. Postercowboy

    Postercowboy Member

    Location:
    Nowhereland
    Gosh, this makes me feel glad I still have this somewhat old-fashioned, two-channel, analog stereo amp. No worries about room correction here. And my current favorite BR-A is in glorious MONO.
     
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  20. Postercowboy

    Postercowboy Member

    Location:
    Nowhereland
    Maybe it's only sleeping? ;-)
     
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  21. Does anyone know the DR on that Nirvana disc? Is that one worth picking up?
     
  22. Tim Müller

    Tim Müller Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Ah,

    I can feel the irony in your post, but you told a truth here.
    All these difficulties - real or just imaginated - prevented Joe Normal from going into these new formats.
    No-one likes being plagued by copy- or playback protection and encryption, and HDMI, or whatever other abrevations and versions one has to learn... ; no-one likes to take a seminar or lessons before he can play their new SACDs or DVD-As in surround sound just in the same quality as their old DVD movies...

    No-one likes being plagued with technological problems in their leisure time when they just want to play some favourite music and relax.

    That's what I dislike with all the new formats: DVD, SACD, or Blu ray: they are not user-friendly.
    First, in many cases, you need the tv set just as a display to navigate through the DVD and menus; when you just want to play the surround mix. Annoying.

    Second. You just don't want to care about which version of HDMI is your AV receiver or your player or your tv, or what encryption type or whatever; when you just want to give your new disc a quick spin for the surround mix. If you need to consult the manual, only to find out that your AV receiver's HDMI is not compatible with your player's HDMI, or something like that, it's just only annoying and stealing time.

    When CD entered the market in 1983, it was pretty much the same as a conventional record player, only with better sound. But it had the well-known RCA plugs that plug into every amp's AUX inputs, and that's all that's needed to play your new CDs, then.
    And that's the way it should be, for every new format: Be user-friendly.

    Best regards
     
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  23. I have 2 different players both hooked to the same system. One player will play most formats, except Blu-ray. The other plays Blu-ray and most other formats. The Blu-ray player is connected online and has the latest updates installed.
    My 7.1 AV receiver has HDMI, optical, coax and AV cable connections, plus is THX certified. The Blu-ray player has all those same connections. The DVD player does not have HDMI.
    No matter the connection to the receiver, both players will send brilliant video and great sound to the receiver playing multi-channel movie discs, CD's, SACD's and DVD audio discs. In the Blu-ray player, Blu-ray movie discs are all that they should be.
    Here's what happens, as an example, I have both the "Fragile" album by Yes, in both DVD-A and 2 Blu-ray audio copies. In both players, the multi-channel DVD-A plays great. Both Blu-ray discs don't sound as good and have lower volume, so I have to turn the master volume control up to compensate. Doing an A/B comparison, the Blu-ray in the Blu-ray player and the DVD-A in the DVD player, equalizing output line levels so the increased master volume control stays the same, the DVD-A still beats out the Blu-ray. I had the same results with the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" discs.
    Wondering if it might be my equipment, I took my discs over to a friend's house. He has one of those multi-thousand dollar systems which makes mine look like a Crosley. He had been extolling the virtues of Blu-ray, that is until we compared my discs. I had him play the Blu-rays first and he was expressing how great they sounded. Then, I had him play the DVD-A in the same player without changing adjustments, initially. After the intro to "Roundabout" and the first loud passage hit, besides almost blowing up his speakers, he made a mad dive for the volume control and turned it down. After adjusting the volume level to a more listenable level, he agreed that the DVD-A was better.
    So, instead of just saying it was me and/or my equipment, I actually did a comparison plus I used a second set of ears.
     
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  24. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Album details - Dynamic Range Database
    Horrible, no!
    This chap is from the future and knows best.....
    [​IMG]

    edit: I write that whilst listening to The Extraordinary Nat King Cole blu ray audio and thinking how lovely it sounds ;-)
     
  25. Postercowboy

    Postercowboy Member

    Location:
    Nowhereland
    My point exactly. I simply want to hear music, and in the best possible quality. The simple THOUGHT of different HDMI inputs/outputs, whatever, is a nightmare for me.

    My perfect combination at this point is a digital multiplayer and an integrated amp. Plug and play, and rather discreetly stored away.

    When I was looking for a new amp some time ago, my local dealer had an Ayon tube amp he wanted to get rid of. Well played in, half price, would've been a nice match to my speakers. On the other hand: The darn thing weighs 29 kilos (63 lbs). At a constant energy consumption of 350 W it probably sends off enough heat to replace a small radiator. It needs a technician to measure the tubes in or whatever before you can even get the darn thing started, and it glows in the dark. It may deliver great sound, but it's clearly not my cup of tea.

    As to BR-A: On my Cambridge CXU it is possible to navigate through the different sound channels without an external display. The active channel is shown on the CXU display. Once I found out how it works, it's so easy that even I can do it. If that was not possible, I very much doubt that I would bother with BR-A at all.
     
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