GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: Fëanor on June 11, 2010, 11:15:55 AM

Title: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Fëanor on June 11, 2010, 11:15:55 AM
I still do most of my "serious" music listening on my stereo system, (see HERE (http://www.ody.ca/~wbailey/StereoDiagram8b.jpg)), but I do believe that multi-channel virtues that stereo just can't deliver, e.g. a real sense of concert hall ablience and presence.  In my opinion, the principal advantage to the post-CD media, (SACD, DVD-A, and Blu-ray), is multi-channel, not higher resolution so much.
 
I used to occasionally listened to examples from my small, (<30 recordings), SACD collection in M/C on my old home theatre system, however I have sadly lost that capability with my new HT system, (see HERE (http://www.ody.ca/~wbailey/Feanor_HTSystem.jpg)).  As you might image, my main objective for the new system was to let the family can enjoy high rez movies on HDTV.  With my small SACD collection, SACD M/C playback didn't seem a high priority but I think I'm going to miss it.
 
What to do?  Well, there are very nice universal players that will handle SACD as well as Blu-ray  but most of these run more than twice the price of the Panasonic BRP I bought.  My small SACD collection doesn't seem to justify the difference.  Further, SACD is now dead except for classical music.  Overall Blu-ray has a much brigther future do the popular appeal of that medium for film and music video distribution.  But presently there are thousands of classical SACDs available verus mere dozens of classical Blu-ray discs.
 
On the other hand, opera selection already looks good on Blu-ray, and could drive quite a few classical lovers to the Blu-ray alternative.  Is it reasonable to hope that many more Blu-ray classical music releases will be forthcoming?  Will Blu-ray replace SACD for classical releases?  Your thoughts?
 
Of course I'd really appreciate your recommendation for good music and opera on Blu-ray.
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Scarpia on June 11, 2010, 12:57:27 PM
I still do most of my "serious" music listening on my stereo system, (see HERE (http://www.ody.ca/~wbailey/StereoDiagram8b.jpg)), but I do believe that multi-channel virtues that stereo just can't deliver, e.g. a real sense of concert hall ablience and presence.  In my opinion, the principal advantage to the post-CD media, (SACD, DVD-A, and Blu-ray), is multi-channel, not higher resolution so much.
 
I used to occasionally listened to examples from my small, (<30 recordings), SACD collection in M/C on my old home theatre system, however I have sadly lost that capability with my new HT system, (see HERE (http://www.ody.ca/~wbailey/Feanor_HTSystem.jpg)).  As you might image, my main objective for the new system was to let the family can enjoy high rez movies on HDTV.  With my small SACD collection, SACD M/C playback didn't seem a high priority but I think I'm going to miss it.
 
What to do?  Well, there are very nice universal players that will handle SACD as well as Blu-ray  but most of these run more than twice the price of the Panasonic BRP I bought.  My small SACD collection doesn't seem to justify the difference.  Further, SACD is now dead except for classical music.  Overall Blu-ray has a much brigther future do the popular appeal of that medium for film and music video distribution.  But presently there are thousands of classical SACDs available verus mere dozens of classical Blu-ray discs.
 
On the other hand, opera selection already looks good on Blu-ray, and could drive quite a few classical lovers to the Blu-ray alternative.  Is it reasonable to hope that many more Blu-ray classical music releases will be forthcoming?  Will Blu-ray replace SACD for classical releases?  Your thoughts?
 
Of course I'd really appreciate your recommendation for good music and opera on Blu-ray.

My first BD player was a bare bones model that I got for only $100 or so.  But I think my second one should be this, which can do SACD and DVD-A as well as  blue Ray, for around $290

http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-80/

oppo also makes a bdp-83 with more high end video processing.

Regarding content, blu ray comes up fairly frequently on the Opera on DVD thread over in the Opera section.  I have these Blu Rays which I enjoyed a lot:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-muewODPL._SS400_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AQC9CFF7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5100XEIu4bL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: DavidW on June 11, 2010, 01:32:01 PM
If you want SACD playback Feonor without paying too much, the Sony players still support sacd (standalone, not the ps3 anymore) still support SACD.

But to answer your question, yes I think that the future of high quality audio is in blu-ray. :)
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: MDL on June 11, 2010, 01:45:16 PM
In the UK, we have to put up with PAL-encoded media for our TV broadcasts and Region 2 DVDs. A film which lasts 100 minutes at the cinema, on American NTSC broadcast or Blu-ray, will last only 96 minutes on PAL (DVD or UK broadcast). In my job, I often have to jump between PAL and NTSC/Blu-ray versions of the same media, and the difference in pitch is extraordinary.

Luckily, I'm pitch ignorant and tone deaf, so I can watch my PAL music DVDs without being bothered by the fact that the music is faster and higher than intended, but I dread to think how GMGers with more cultivated senses than mine cope.
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: knight66 on June 11, 2010, 09:15:38 PM
There is so much you don't get James, but as for your opinion being humble....new one on me.

Mike
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Teresa on June 11, 2010, 09:32:37 PM
...SACD is now dead except for classical music...
Hi Feanor,

I am sorry I don't have any Blu-Ray recommendations but I will be watching this thread closely as I am interested in Blu-Ray myself as the new Blu-Ray 3.0 spec is supposed to offer DSD as an option.  I believe this is the real reason that Telarc/Concord Music Group quit releasing SACDs but continues to record in DSD multichannel.  I think they know something about the new Blu-Ray audio spec we don't know. 

I think SACD is nearly dead for Classical music as well since the departure of Telarc and Hyperion over a year ago.  The only companies that still are dedicated to Classical SACD are PentaTone, Channel Classics, BIS, Exton and a couple of really small labels. 

MFSL and Analogue Productions are still releasing some Rock and Jazz SACDs but nothing compared to their LP releases.  Plus there some super expensive Rock SHM-SACDs coming from Japan.  Ultimate SHM-SACD Announced (http://sacdlives.blogspot.com/2010/04/ultimate-super-audio-cd-shm-sacd-comes.html)

I think Opera and Ballet are perfect for Blu-Ray, high resolution video plus high resolution audio and in the case of opera the English translation on the screen.  I also enjoy the purely instrumental orchestral programs I watch on NPR, those should be killer on Blu-Ray.  Hope you find a lot of great music.
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Fëanor on June 12, 2010, 02:27:06 AM
ugh, watching opera & ballet .. why do people need to watch folks in utterly ridiculous stupid looking costumes posture and prance around on stage like complete ass monkeys in order to digest things - it detracts from the music, creates horrid (& unnecessary) associations with that music, and seems pretty dated & lame as entertainment does it not? It looks like shit imho.
James, though I think we agree on a few subjects, but on opera we disagree.
 
To me opera is a multi-media thing: with out sight as well as sound I find it unengaging.  I also appreciate subtitles to know what's going on, (unless I'm extremely familiar with the plot which for most operas I'm not).
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Fëanor on June 12, 2010, 02:33:30 AM
If you want SACD playback Feonor without paying too much, the Sony players still support sacd (standalone, not the ps3 anymore) still support SACD.

But to answer your question, yes I think that the future of high quality audio is in blu-ray. :)
Just for clarification: most current low and mid-price receivers are omitting 5.1 analogy inputs as well as DSD decoding, so unless your player provides DSD to PCM transcode delivered via HDMI, your SOL for SACD playback.  This is my situation.
 
I have a multi-channel SACD player that I've had for a while, but it is useless with the Onkyo 508 which fits the norm described above.
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Fëanor on June 12, 2010, 02:39:10 AM
My first BD player was a bare bones model that I got for only $100 or so.  But I think my second one should be this, which can do SACD and DVD-A as well as  blue Ray, for around $290

http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-80/ (http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-80/)

oppo also makes a bdp-83 with more high end video processing.

...
Thank you for OPPO recommendation which is an excellent one.  I was aware of the BDP-80 and had noted the M/C DSD to PCM capability which is what I would need with the Onkyo 508.  Thanks for your opera recommendations too.
 
I'm envious of your 250 SACD collection (vs. about 30 for me), and if I had so many, the Oppo would be a no-brainer.
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Fëanor on June 12, 2010, 02:49:38 AM
Hi Feanor,

I am sorry I don't have any Blu-Ray recommendations but I will be watching this thread closely as I am interested in Blu-Ray myself as the new Blu-Ray 3.0 spec is supposed to offer DSD as an option.  I believe this is the real reason that Telarc/Concord Music Group quit releasing SACDs but continues to record in DSD multichannel.  I think they know something about the new Blu-Ray audio spec we don't know. 

I think SACD is nearly dead for Classical music as well since the departure of Telarc and Hyperion over a year ago.  The only companies that still are dedicated to Classical SACD are PentaTone, Channel Classics, BIS, Exton and a couple of really small labels. 

...
Teresa, on your second point, yes, I suspect the decline of SACD will accelerate even for classical music.  Blu-ray is the obvious replacement and I hope it will rapidly take up the slack.
 
I was aware that the Blu-ray spec can provides for DSD, but for me that's not the essence of the problem; my Onkyo won't decode DSD in any case.  Unlike yourself, I don't distain PCM, at least not at 24/88.2 or higher.
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: knight66 on June 12, 2010, 09:12:45 AM
Better hope Herman does not read you.  :o

Mike
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: knight66 on June 12, 2010, 09:16:48 AM
Our longstanding Chopin and ballet expert. Look him up.

Mike
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: knight66 on June 12, 2010, 09:22:54 AM
Not to worry. I will not disrupt the real thread topic further.

Mike
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Drasko on June 12, 2010, 09:30:20 AM
ugh, watching opera & ballet .. why do people need to watch folks in utterly ridiculous stupid looking costumes posture and prance around on stage like complete ass monkeys in order to digest things - it detracts from the music, creates horrid (& unnecessary) associations with that music, and seems pretty dated & lame as entertainment does it not? It looks like shit imho.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v637/unrealslighter/giveadamn.gif)
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: DarkAngel on June 12, 2010, 09:49:10 AM
Thank you for OPPO recommendation which is an excellent one.  I was aware of the BDP-80 and had noted the M/C DSD to PCM capability which is what I would need with the Onkyo 508.  Thanks for your opera recommendations too.
 
I'm envious of your 250 SACD collection (vs. about 30 for me), and if I had so many, the Oppo would be a no-brainer.

If you have large DVD collection spend the extra money for the upgrade Oppo BDP 83, it has the Anchor Bay VRS upscaling technology.........you would have to spend a small fortune to equal this performance in another player
 
Opera and ballet in Blu Ray is fabulous if you have the system to deliver the goods  :)
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: DavidW on June 12, 2010, 09:57:48 AM
You know if he upgrades his receiver to a Denon then he would have full hdmi with hd audio decoding AND the Anchor Bay upscaling!! :)
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: DarkAngel on June 12, 2010, 09:59:07 AM
James, though I think we agree on a few subjects, but on opera we disagree.
 
To me opera is a multi-media thing: with out sight as well as sound I find it unengaging.  I also appreciate subtitles to know what's going on, (unless I'm extremely familiar with the plot which for most operas I'm not).

I am one of the very few here that will advocate the best way to experience opera is through Blu Ray and high end AV system.......the advantages are numerous and important for full appreciation of a performance
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: DarkAngel on June 12, 2010, 10:13:04 AM
You know if he upgrades his receiver to a Denon then he would have full hdmi with hd audio decoding AND the Anchor Bay upscaling!! :) 

Dave
That is great news for Denon........but only models over $800 will feature Anchor Bay image processing
 
It remains to be seen if they are as successful as Oppo in actually implementing the technology in a finished product, Oppo has run the gauntlet of professional reviewers and is a proven performer
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: DarkAngel on June 12, 2010, 10:49:03 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RLWHAk-uL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://images.blu-ray.com/movies/covers/1936_front.jpg)
 
 
Here is my recommendations for two Blu Ray operas sure to please......
 
Don't forget these can be rented at Netflix before you decide on a purchase
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Scarpia on June 12, 2010, 10:56:34 AM
I was aware that the Blu-ray spec can provides for DSD, but for me that's not the essence of the problem; my Onkyo won't decode DSD in any case.  Unlike yourself, I don't distain PCM, at least not at 24/88.2 or higher.

As far as I can see, DSD is just marketing hype.   Every sigma-delta analog-to-digital converter uses an internal "DSD" format which is converted to PCM to be stored.  Sony claimed it was better to store the DSD itself rather than the PCM version.  It seems pointless, because as far as I can tell, most high-grade SACD players have digital-to-analog converters that internally convert the DSD signal to some version of multi-bit PCM before conversion anyway.  I think it is silly that most music is distributed as 44.1kHz 16-bit, but high resolution PCM is just as good as DSD, as far as I can tell.
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Fëanor on June 12, 2010, 11:05:14 AM

If you have large DVD collection spend the extra money for the upgrade Oppo BDP 83, it has the Anchor Bay VRS upscaling technology.........you would have to spend a small fortune to equal this performance in another player
 
Opera and ballet in Blu Ray is fabulous if you have the system to deliver the goods  :)
Well, our collection is largish (but not huge).  But I'm retired so "spending the extra money" is often a non-starter.
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: DavidW on June 12, 2010, 01:15:25 PM
Well, our collection is largish (but not huge).  But I'm retired so "spending the extra money" is often a non-starter.

Well your panasonic has excellent upconversion anyway.  I have a bd65 (broken now) and it's dvd upconversion was AWESOME.  Not equal to blu-ray obviously, but very, very good.
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Fëanor on June 13, 2010, 01:53:55 AM
Well your panasonic has excellent upconversion anyway.  I have a bd65 (broken now) and it's dvd upconversion was AWESOME.  Not equal to blu-ray obviously, but very, very good.
Yes, I've found the upconversion to be very good with the Panny.  It's generally better than I even expected, but it seems to vary pretty widely from DVD to DVD: I wonder if anyone can explain that?
 
For some relatively extreme examples I've seen so far, this verion of Der Rosenkavalier has rather poor video quality while this version of the movie, The Fifth Element, is quite close to Blu-ray -- I'm not sure what "Superbit" is all about.
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51qg8g90LZL._SS400_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511TQTK3YQL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: DavidW on June 13, 2010, 05:23:48 PM
Yes, I've found the upconversion to be very good with the Panny.  It's generally better than I even expected, but it seems to vary pretty widely from DVD to DVD: I wonder if anyone can explain that?
 
For some relatively extreme examples I've seen so far, this verion of Der Rosenkavalier has rather poor video quality while this version of the movie, The Fifth Element, is quite close to Blu-ray -- I'm not sure what "Superbit" is all about.

Superbit= more bit rate = less compressed = better pq.  And in fact that answers your question, some dvds are highly compressed and don't look that good, some are not.  Also old dvds weren't mastered well and look too soft.  I like to look at a website called dvdmg to get the low down on individual dvds, but I find that older and also lesser known ones will not receive as good of a treatment as a major release. :-\
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: DavidW on June 13, 2010, 05:42:24 PM
Anyway the thing is that the dvds themselves vary alot in quality, it's not obvious in small crts because they are very forgiving, on the other hand large plasmas and lcds are unforgiving.  But you can always make that dvd look better-- put on a vhs or some sd cable than the dvd will look pristine in comparison! :D
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Fëanor on June 14, 2010, 02:57:14 AM
Anyway the thing is that the dvds themselves vary alot in quality, it's not obvious in small crts because they are very forgiving, on the other hand large plasmas and lcds are unforgiving.  But you can always make that dvd look better-- put on a vhs or some sd cable than the dvd will look pristine in comparison! :D
Thanks for the "tip"!  :D   So true.  ::)
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Brian on February 20, 2021, 07:01:54 PM
Bump: anybody have any particular favorite Blu-ray concerts to watch that are *not* opera/ballet? I got a set of Dausgaard collecting some late romantic symphonies (Nielsen 3, Dvorak 9, etc) and since we can't attend concerts in person right now, I like the idea of seeing some more on TV.

Of course I could invest in a streaming app like the Berlin Philharmonic's also. But that's a question for another thread  :)
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: DavidW on February 21, 2021, 09:08:25 AM
Doesn't answer your question at all, but Oslo Philharmonic have been posting entire performances on YT.  It is a treat imo. 

https://www.youtube.com/user/oslophil (https://www.youtube.com/user/oslophil)
Title: Re: Blu-ray thoughts & recommendations
Post by: Roasted Swan on February 21, 2021, 10:53:29 AM
Bump: anybody have any particular favorite Blu-ray concerts to watch that are *not* opera/ballet? I got a set of Dausgaard collecting some late romantic symphonies (Nielsen 3, Dvorak 9, etc) and since we can't attend concerts in person right now, I like the idea of seeing some more on TV.

Of course I could invest in a streaming app like the Berlin Philharmonic's also. But that's a question for another thread  :)

Have you tried the Stockholm Philharmonic's FREE streaming service - very good orchestra and from what I've seen/heard the technical aspect of these streams is very good too......

https://www.konserthuset.se/en/play/