DVD-A is the latest way to hear multichannel,
audiophile-quality albums in your home, using your DVD or DVD-Audio player. A
DVD-A can hold up to seven times the data of a normal CD, which results in added
features and better sound. Also, with its sampling rate higher than that of average CDs (up
to 192 kHz, whereas most CDs get 44.1 kHz), you may hear a lot more details.
Nearly all DVD-As are engineered for multichannel/surround-sound listening
(using five or six speakers). With the right equipment, you'll be able to hear
your favorite music in breathtaking surround sound.
First off, DVD-Audios will not play on normal CD players. You'll need a DVD-Audio
player in order to fully capture the capabilities of these discs. A receiver with 5.1 analog
inputs and five speakers (left, center, right, left surround, right surround, and a subwoofer)
should also be used to capture the surround-sound capabilities of DVD-As. While pure
DVD-As will not play on standard DVD players, most releases (including all the titles
produced by Warner, Atlantic, and Elektra) contain a Dolby Digital surround-sound mix,
making them playable on any DVD player. Though these discs are primarily audio-only,
you'll be best off using them in conjunction with your TV, so you can watch the additional
onscreen features (see below) and navigate the menus with ease. It's all a little
complicated, but music-loving home theater enthusiasts won't be disappointed!
Thanks to a higher sampling rate than that of both standard DVDs and CDs, DVD-As
have an incredibly detailed sound. And, when played through a proper home-theater setup
with five or six channels (speakers), you'll get to hear your favorite music in a whole new
light--in surround sound. Depending on the remastering, the effect of surround sound on
your favorite album can be subtle or dramatic, but generally speaking, every DVD-Audio
sounds better than its standard CD counterpart.
Additional Onscreen Features
The added onscreen features available on DVD-Audios vary from title to title. DVD-As
often have extra unreleased tracks, photo slide shows of the artist performing, song lyrics,
music videos, and interviews. But don't expect to get footage of a full concert or videos for
every track; DVD-As devote the bulk of their space to high-quality audio-only music.