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January 26, 2009
Blu-ray Audio: The New Hi-Df Audio Format?
The talk about new formats and players is clearly being taken over by the release of higher nd Blu-ray players which will be able to give an excellent audio as well as video experience. Currently for those interested primarily in audio quality the lack of available software is going to hamper take up of the format in audio installations. The Trondheim soloists Divertimenti is the first blu-ray audio disc to be released. It won a Gramophone Choice in Nov 2008 and was well received by the BBC Music reviewer of the Denon 3800BD Feb 2009. The disc is actually a package of two one being SACD and the other Blu-ray as the formats are (of course) incompatible.
There are now a number of high-nd Blu-ray players bginning to enter the market place however they will be of little us to the audiophile until companies commit to recording in this format. Presumably there will be a load of "remastered" ons coming available although it is questionable how good these are likley to be.Sony could well do this as it own music catalogues spreading across a wide range of genres
The Denon Bluray player 3800BD for a cool £1700. Players like this will soon be replacing high-end DVD playrs in expensive AV installations
We can expct a plethora of Blu-ray players that will play CDs as well coming to the market from the likes of Pioeer, Marantz & Yamaha. These will probably people who are mainly focused upon the film reproduction aspects very happy however if this isn't a main priority I would hold fire on any purchase of on of these until there is some audio material to play. Th problem is that companies like BIS and Harmonia Mundi who have made a big investment in SACD may well be reluctant to invest in the facilities required for recording blu-ray audio.Hi-fi comapnies such as Linn are prioritising the high quality download market.
Marantz Blu-ray BD7003 at the mor affordable end of the market
Perhaps the market will be pushed from the popular end? Oasis in 10 channels anybody?