Been meaning to post this link for some time now . . .
Fans of DVD-Audio, SACD, surround sound, and so forth are hereby encouraged to check out No Taste for High-Quality Audio, published recently in the British newspaper The Guardian. It's a pretty neat summation by Jack Schofield, who begins: "Today, we live in a world where poor-quality audio is becoming the norm." Required reading, and reflection.
Note that Schofield calls DVD-Audio "extinct."
That got me thinking: Is he right?
Well, in this country, when it comes to the major-label groups, the format has long been abandoned by
Universal, EMI, and (after the Sony merger) BMG. And of course, Sony
never supported DVD-A.
That leaves Warner, the format's original champion. But these days,
whenever it puts out new releases or (via Rhino) reissues, any bonus
DVD discs are DVD-Video, not DVD-Audio. Case in point: Björk, our
poster girl shown above. She herself may indeed have a genuine taste for
high-quality audio. But whereas the Doors boxed set Perception included
DVD-A, the Björk brick of DualDiscs called Surrounded was DVD-V (as was the first Genesis box). And now
Björk's current CD, Volta, has a Limited Edition — but it, too, is
DVD-V. (Stay tuned for Parke Puterbaugh's "Tracking Surround" review in
the November issue.) And all the Depeche Mode reissues (reviewed here and here) are DVD-V. So,
Warner and Rhino indeed seem to have given up on DVD-Audio.
Now, that's what I call, basically, extinct.
But maybe not entirely. After all, a band like Porcupine Tree is to be commended for insisting on audiophile sound — to the point where, on September 25, the band itself is reissuing its current album, Fear of a Blank Planet, on DVD-Audio.
So, faithful readers, as long as anyone releases surround mixes
on DVD-A or SACD, we'll be covering them in the pages and on the Web site of Sound & Vision.
Because we'll never lose our taste for high-quality audio. —Ken
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.