Is Blu-Ray the saviour of high-quality stereo?

It’s been known for a while that Neil Young’s long-awaited Archives is going to be released on Blu-ray. But now that Amazon in the US is taking pre-release orders it got us thinking about Blu-ray as an audio format.

There’s very little music currently available on the new format, and much of that is surround sound mixes of Jazz and live events. But Neil is apparently in it for the sound quality, as he told reporters at the launch earlier this year. “I thought DVD would be good enough, but you couldn’t navigate around materials whilst listening to the music, and I thought that that’s what my fans would want to do. Also we were defeated by technology with the sound. Now with Java you can listen in the best possible quality that we have today.

Hi Fi Writer has an interesting take on the Blu-ray question, asking when all those lovely high-resolution DVD-Audio and SACD discs will come out on Blu-ray, where developments such as Dolby True HD are working wonders for surround sound. We want the same for stereo, don’t you?


  • Kwaze says:

    Hopefully Blu Ray is the final format…… if!
    It would certainly cut down on the “Box Count” if everything was made in the Blu Ray format, as the industry seems to carefully plan each new development such that older technology becomes redundant.
    My point is that no DVD Recorder exists that will play SACD, DVD Audio or Blu Ray and no Blu Ray will play SACD or DVD Audio and so it goes on….
    The invention of the HDMI Lead is another good one!
    Of course once everyone has purchased a Blu Ray player the industry will release Blu Ray recorders, which have been available in Japan for some time.

  • Tito says:

    I Stay with DVD-Audio and SACD.
    The BlueRay sound is much electronic.

  • Jason says:

    I don’t see how Blu-ray can sound any better than lossless downloads. I think we are heading towards a future without physical formats. Audio and video will be nothing more than data and storage devices. DVDs are storage devices, but they are clumsy and prone to wear and tear. I prefer to carry my MP3 player around versus a pile of CDs. As for the final format, that’s easy: vinyl. Digital audio and video data need nothing more than a memory stick or an MP3 player to be successful, but true analog sound needs to come from vinyl. Nothing sounds quite like 200 gram vinyl played on a great system. Now we just need to get bands all in the same room when making a recording versus recording parts of the band individually and layering them together in the final mix. I want my sound stage back!

  • Dewald Visser says:

    Jason, I like your way of thinking.

    Vinyl is a precious format and stood the test of time! Electronic storage is the way of the future but for something special vinyl is the answer and true music lovers would appreciate that.

  • Patrik says:

    As long as the format is lossless and easily storable (as most but DSD) I don’t really care what the format is called. Since most, if not all, will be playing the music through some sort of media center (as in computer, mediabox, spotify, etc.) it will be easy to add new decoders.

    What _is_ great about new formats like BR is that the real quality destroyer, “loud” mastering, may be handled more delicate since it is not perceived as the most common media.

  • Eric Oxenberg says:

    Actually, there are a number of BR players that also do SACD, DVD-A and other formats, Oppo in particular. So for under $500 you can get one of the best video players on the market as well as an audio Swiss army knife. Not that the premise, that Blu-Ray will be the final answer, is actually true; that would be silly. But it’s the best available right now, so I have no problem buying music in the format.

  • Jim says:

    Like Hybrid-SACD, if BluRay could have a Red Book CD layer, so that it was compatible with (for example in-car stereo) CD players and with BluRay players, and ALL music came out in this format, the industry could take a giant step forward. No?

  • Jos says:

    For home use I’m totaly happy with music-DVD’s and Spotify premium (high quality streaming). With blind testing I (and others) can’t hear wether I play high quality from my NAS or Spotify (playing on a very nice audio-set).
    My frustration is with my Apple Iphone in combination with my T7 and P7. Iphone is not supporting Aptx. The difference between bluetooth AAC and Aptx is huge and clearly audible for everybody.
    So let’s start with solving clearly audible issues and then go for minimal optimalisations like blue-ray!

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