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Home > Hardware Reviews > Consumer Electronics

Thursday, March 31, 2005
Sony SCD-XA9000ES

2. The Super Audio CD Format

Sony SCD-XA9000ES SACD Player - Page 2

The Super Audio CD Format

Super Audio CD is the most fundamental improvement in digital music reproduction since the CD itself. No surprise. It comes from the people who invented the CD: Sony and Philips.

- Hybrid Disc

Furthermore, there is an option to add a separate CD layer to the DVD disc: the so called ‘Hybrid Super Audio CD. Hybrid SA-CD’s can be played back on virtually all CD drives and players as well as all standard DVD-Video systems. This makes Super Audio CD’s compatible with all 11 billion CD and DVD players used around the world.


Every multi-channel Super Audio CD includes a separate 2-channel
stereo mix, done by the hand of the producer—not by a computer.

4 types of Discs

There are four different SA-CD configurations commercially available to record companies:

  • Hybrid Discs

The vast majority of SA-CD’s introduced to the market today are of the hybrid type, containing the CD layer. This disc plays on a CD and DVD player, at CD quality.

 

  • Single Layer Discs

There are also SA-CDs without the CD layer, the so-called single layer discs. These cannot be played on a standard CD player. The advantage is that this is an entirely secure digital carrier.

 

Both the hybrid and single layer SA-CD can be released as a stereo-only album, or as a stereo plus surround album.


Content Protection

Super Audio CD offers the world’s most secure digital carrier, utilizing a combination of physical and electronic protection barriers. These are layered around the audio content in five independent layers, including a combination of mechanical and encryption-based protection systems that cannot be broken using any current hacking technique.

The end result is that when you buy a Super Audio CD in a music store, you can be confident that it’s the genuine article and not an illegal, inferior quality copy.

The CD layer on the hybrid disc is similar to a conventional CD in that it’s open to copying onto other carriers for home use.




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