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DVD-Audio is not intended to be a video delivery format and is not the same as video DVDs containing concert films or music videos. Since its inception DVD-A has been in a format war with Super Audio CD (SACD), another format for delivering high-fidelity audio content. Here at Hi-Res Edition, we embraced this format, although these were never widely accepted by consumers. As it turns out, over time Blu-ray discs have superseded both DVD-A and SACD formats, with no new DVD-A disc authored and a few boutique labels still releasing SACDs.

Offering many possible configurations of audio channels, ranging from single-channel (mono) to 5.1-channel (surround sound), at various sampling frequencies and sample rates, compared to the Compact Disc. The much higher capacity DVD format enables the inclusion of either; considerably more music (with respect to total running time and quantity of songs) or, far higher audio quality, reflected by higher linear sampling rates and higher bit-per-sample resolution, and/or additional channels for surround sound.

However, due to limitations in the capacity and functional design of DVDs, multi-channel releases are only available at a 24-bit depth maximum and up to a 96 kHz sampling frequency. Additionally, these programs are not truly lossless, although carry a much superior sound quality to the compact disc. Yet, lossless material is still available on DVD-A's when offered as a stereo LPCM program with a 24-bit depth and up to 192 kHz sampling frequency.

One advantage that DVD-As maintain over SACDs is the ability to include video content and a menu system to include extras and alternate mixes. Still, the Blu-ray Disc supersedes both these formats by providing lossless audio and high-definition video on the same disc and as noted already has become the preferred physical format, especially with the introduction of Dolby Atmos and DTS-X.

As a side note, DVDs have also been widely used for featuring surround sound and high-resolution audio programs. Commonly known as DVD-Video (DVD-V), these discs offer greater compatibility to users with players that do not support DVD-A discs. However, these discs only support lossy audio codecs, which in turn have made either the DVD-A or SACD a preferred format prior to the introduction of Blu-ray discs.

For more information on DVD-Audio, please see the DVD-Audio Disc Article on Wikipedia

 

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