DVD-Audio Titles and DualDisc Releases
Guide to DVD-Audio Disc (3)
This series of article on DVD-Audio discs would not be complete without mentioning something on the availability of DVD-A music content.
But not only; directly related with DVD-A releases is the availability of CD/DVD packages and DualDisc titles.
The first DVD-A music discs appeared in around 2000. The first label to release DVD-A titles was 'Silverline 5.1 Entertainment', soon followed by other major music labels like Warner Bros. Records, Universal Music and EMI. Initially, take-up was slow.
Today, the availability of affordable universal DVD players and DVD-A discs priced at CD level, is helping this high resolution audio format to catch up with more music lovers. But selection is still very much limited.
At present, the DVD-A catalog includes several thousand titles (including DualDisc releases) ranging from Bach to Beethoven, Eric Clapton to Seal, Beatles to Queen... covering all sort of music genres, from classical concerts to rock, pop, jazz, etc.
CD/DVD Packages and DualDiscs
An interesting development in the area of DVD-A discs is the move towards the release of CD/DVD packages and DualDisc rather than standalone DVD-Audio releases. In fact, a number of titles originally released as DVD-Audio discs, are being re-packaged accordingly.
CD/DVD-A packages include two separate discs, a CD and a DVD, with the same music content being available on both - thus enabling those with no access to a compatible DVD player, to use the CD for music listening.
Furthermore, the DVD would normally include some bonus material as well as the 5.1 surround sound and stereo content presented in both DVD-A MLP, DTS, and Dolby. This also means that the DVD can be played using a conventional DVD-Video player to enjoy standard DVD-Video quality 5.1 surround.
The DualDisc Solution
The DualDisc is an interesting development over the separate CD/DVD pack in that the two are now literally fused to form a single disc - in other words, no more two discs, but one disc that has it all!
This two-sided disc is made up of a CD on one side and a DVD with DVD-A content on the other. In reality, the DVD side may contain all sorts of other bonus material found on DVD, not just the DVD-A content. In other words, it may also include video footages, lyrics, as well Dolby Digital and DTS sound tracks for compatibility reasons.
It is a medium that has something for everyone - a CD side that is playable in any CD player, and a DVD side that may deliver enhanced sound for audiophiles and other bonus material for music lovers like music videos, artists' interviews, photo galleries, song lyrics, etc.
DVD-Audio... Still unsure if it is the way to go?
If you have gone through the articles presented under this section on our site, you are surely aware that DVD-Audio is capable of delivering significant benefits over standard CD Digital Audio, not just in sound quality, but also in the delivery of additional bonus material and video clips.
If you are unsure but interested, our advice is to go to your local home theater retail store and arrange for a demo. Possibly, get hold of a CD/DVD pack having the same pieces of music and listen to a couple of tracks on both the CD and the DVD-A; switch back and forth between the two to better appreciate the difference.
The probability is that if your present disc player do not support DVD-A, you would not leave the store without a brand new universal disc player with DVD Audio support!