The Future - DVD Audio ?

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DVD Audio

Keeping abreast of sound technology

DVD Audio (or DVD-A) is a new music format that offers very high quality audio, longer playing times and the possibility of additional features not available on normal CDs.

DVD Audio uses a new form of lossless audio compression known as Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP). This means that none of the audio information is discarded and allows for more data to be fitted onto the DVD-A disc without loss of quality. DVD Audio discs can therefore provide Advanced Resolution Surround (multi-channel surround sound up to 6 channels) and Advanced Resolution Stereo (2 channels) as well as the same track in Dolby 5.1. Some discs may include DTS 5.1 and LPCM Stereo sound.

DVD-A discs can also carry video and limited interactivity; this may include things like song lyrics, video clips, artist commentaries and photo galleries.

What do I need?

A DVD PLAYER – DVD-Audio discs will offer you outstanding Dolby Digital multi-channel surround sound on any DVD-Video player connected to a multi-channel surround sound playback system. However, in order to enjoy the full Advanced Resolution audio quality offered by DVD-Audio, a DVD-Audio player is required. In order to view the disc menu options and interactive features offered on the DVD-Audio disc, you will need to use your TV. You can enjoy recorded music without the use of your TV, as the disc is designed to play just like a CD.

What different types of DVD Audio disc are available?

There are four different kinds of DVD-A discs.


DVD-5 (4.7) 1 1

DVD-9 (8.54) 2 1

DVD-10 (9.4) 1 2

DVD-18 (17.08) 2 2

What is the difference between DVD Audio and CD?

DVD-A discs can hold up to seven times the data capacity of CDs. This extra space is used to fit higher quality audio. The sampling rate of a DVD-A can be up to 192kHz, compared to 44.1kHz for CD, and the digital sound can contain up to 24 bits of data (16 bits on CD). DVD Audio discs can also offer multi-channel surround sound, which CDs cannot.

What is the difference between DVD Audio and DVD Video?

DVD Video is primarily a visual medium. The available space on the discs is reserved mostly for video data, leaving less room for sound. Because of this, DVD Video offers compressed stereo and multi-channel surround sound.

DVD Audio is primarily an audio medium, where the majority of the disc space is used to fit far superior sound. Therefore DVD-A discs can offer Advanced Resolution Stereo and Multi-channel Surround, without requiring the compression methods used on DVD Video to save space.

Can I play DVD Audio discs on a DVD Video player?

The vast majority of modern DVD Video players are Universal players, which means that they support the DVD Audio format. Also, most DVD-A discs contain a Dolby 5.1 surround sound track, allowing them to be played on an ordinary DVD Video player.

Can I play CDs on a DVD Audio player?

Yes, CDs will play on a DVD Audio player as they do on most DVD Video players.

What special features are available on DVD Audio?

DVD Audio discs can contain a lot more than just the audio track. They may include video clip, photos, text (such as song lyrics or artists bibliographies), DVD-Rom data and interactive menus.

Created: 12th January 2007
Modified: 22nd March 2007

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