Definition

DVD-Audio (DVD-A)

DVD-Audio (DVD-A) is a Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) format, developed by Panasonic, that is specifically designed to hold audio data, and particularly, high-quality music. The DVD Forum, consisting of 230 leading companies worldwide, released the final DVD-A specification in March of 1999. The new DVD format is said to provide at least twice the sound quality of audio CD on disks that can contain up to seven times as much information. Various types of DVD-A-compatible DVD players are being manufactured, in addition to the DVD-A players specifically developed for the format.

Almost all of the space on a DVD video disc is devoted to containing video data. As a consequence, the space allotted to audio data, such as a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, is severely limited. A lossy compression technique - so-called because some of the data is lost - is used to enable audio information to be stored in the available space, both on standard CDs and DVD-Video disks. In addition to using lossless compression methods, DVD-A also provides more complexity of sound by increasing the sampling rateand the frequency range beyond what is possible for the space limitations of CDs and DVD-Video. DVD-Audio is 24-bit, with a sampling rate of 96 kHz; in comparison, DVD-Video soundtrack is 16-bit, with a sampling rate of 48 kHz, and standard audio CD is 16-bit, with a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz.

Although DVD-A is designed for music, it can also contain other data, so that - similarly to Enhanced CD - it can provide the listener with extra information, such as liner notes and images. A variation on the format, DVD-AudioV, is designed to hold a limited amount of conventional DVD video data in addition to DVD-Audio. DVD-A is backed by most of the industry as the technology that will replace the standard audio CD. The major exceptions are Philips and Sony, whose Super Audio CD (SACD) provides similar audio quality. Like DVD-A, SACD offers 5.1 channel surround sound in addition to 2-channel stereo. Both formats improve the complexity of sound by increasing bit rates and sampling frequencies, and can be played on existing CD players, although only at quality levels similar to those of traditional CDs.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Email Alerts

Register now to receive SearchStorage.com-related news, tips and more, delivered to your inbox.
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

More News and Tutorials

  • Coming in the August 2011 issue of Storage magazine

    A sneak peek at Storage magazine's August 2011 issue. Learn more about the state of backup deduplication, storage virtualization and new trends in data storage.

  • Coming in the July 2011 issue of Storage magazine

    A sneak peek at Storage magazine's July 2011 issue. Learn more about backing up virtual servers, performance tips and how to turn your data center storage into a storage cloud.

  • Storage magazine May 2011 PDF

    Download Storage magazine's all-digital issue at no cost. This month: The benefits, functions, future outlook and buying considerations for automated tiered storage technologies.

Do you have something to add to this definition? Let us know.

Send your comments to techterms@whatis.com

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: