major software companies (such as Warner) and major hardware companies (such as Matsushita/Panasonic/JVC). They have lined up a united effort among hardware manufacturers to launch the new DVD-A DVD players about the end of 1999, and a similar united effort among software manufacturers to have program material ready in various formats. Marketing clout does count for something (the last time Sony tried to duke it out with Matsushita, it was Betamax vs. VHS, and it is Sony who now is manufacturing VHS tape and VHS machines). And that may determine who in the end wins the digital system wars.
But for us as audio evaluators, we care only which digital system sounds better. That's the system that should win the race, regardless of marketing clout. And that system is DVD-A. As we said earlier, DVD-A is simply the best sounding system we've yet heard for bringing music into your home.
As to the Sony-Philips DSD-SACD, it's not in second place, nor even in third place. It can't even be compared to a full digital system like DVD-A, because it's only half a digital system, capable of bringing you only half the music (the half below 8000 Hz) without getting into serious trouble. A system that can bring you only half the music is not a music system at all.
forward to part 2 update
back to table of contents