[linux-audio-dev] Re: Any interest in DVD-Audio?

Dave Chapman dave at dchapman.com
Tue Mar 8 13:51:04 UTC 2005

Jens M Andreasen wrote:
> On Tue, 2005-03-08 at 11:22 +0000, Dave Chapman wrote:
>>I'm not sure what you mean by userfriendly.  If you remove MLP and the
>>encryption, then I would consider DVD-Audio as havng the potential to be
>>very user-friendly.  There is no need to create a new format - just
>>"open" an existing one.
> The need for a new format is the obvious advantage of FLAC compression.
> On the other hand, iff the data fits on a single CD (oh wait, DVD) then
> there is no need.

The problem with DVD-Audio is not so much the total playing time (dual
layer disks may be able to help there) but it is the 9.6Mbit/s maximum
bandwidth.  6 channels of 24-bit/96KHz uncompressed PCM is 13.842Mbit/s
which is why MLP is compulsory in that case.

I don't think that FLAC-on-DVD-Audio is any more or less likely to be
supported by hardware manufacturers than a completely new format.

Existing DVD-Audio players already support "unofficial" formats such as
MP3/JPEG CDs, DivX etc.  So unless there is a contractual clause
specifically for "high resolution audio", the precedent has already been

> Excuse me my ignorance, but:
>  Is the spec open enough to create n-channel masters? 

If you mean do I understand the spec enough to author such disks, then
the answer is almost a yes.  The only DVD-Audio player I own at the
moment is stereo-only, so I haven't investigated 6-channel authoring
very much.  But I have looked at it briefly, and I don't think 6
channels will be any harder than 2 channels.

> Are there consumer
> players in existence with more than two channels out? (and here I do not
> mean the 5:1 audio from DVD movies.)

Yes, most DVD-Audio capable players have 6 analogue outputs.  It's only
the very low-end ones which only support stereo output.

Unsurprisingly, DVD-Audio players also have crippled digital outputs to
prevent copying (and to prevent the use of external DACs - unless your
DAC has the required encrypted digital connections).


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