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Old 5th January 2002, 06:03 AM   #11
hifiZen is offline hifiZen  Canada
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DVD-audio (24/96 and 24/192) are only now just starting to hit the market. My company's latest DVD system-on-chip, the ZiVA-5, is our first DVD-A capable product, and it has only recently starting going into mass production with our customers. So, it will take some time for the new (but long-promised) standard to work it's way into the marketplace.

If i were you, I'd be looking to do a 24/192 DAC instead of just a 24/96, since it appears now that a good deal of DVD-A content will be released in that format.

As far as the other audio standards go, MPEG-2 audio is pretty much the standard audio format for DVD movies in Europe, while in North America, AC-3 encoding is generally used.
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Old 7th January 2002, 08:42 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info about 24/192. I'll keep that in mind.

But I don't agree that MPEG-2 should be very common in Europe. Every DVD but one that stands on my shelf at home has Dolby Digital (AC-3) audio. I've got only one with MPEG audio. The problem is that in Europe all digital receivers (amplifiers/decoders) that are sold has support for only DD (AC-3) and DTS. When playing MPEG audio the DVD-player has to have an internal decoder with analog output (but I have never seen any DVD so far with MPEG-2 5.1 audio, only stereo).

I had the misapprehension(?) that DTS was common in north America. Only a few DVDs here in northern Europe has DTS.
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Old 7th January 2002, 03:39 PM   #13
tiroth is offline tiroth  United States
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hifiZen:

I was not aware that the S/PDIF spec was updated to include sample rates up to 192kHz. Are there any existing or pending recievers for such high rates?
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Old 9th January 2002, 01:27 AM   #14
hifiZen is offline hifiZen  Canada
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oops - i made a boo-boo. I had a second look at the ZiVA specs today and noticed that at present we are only officially supporting 96kHz output for SPDIF. There is a chance that we will be supporting 192kHz in the future. Sorry to jump the gun on that one fellas...

In any case, 192 is definitely a part of the DVD-A standard, though 96kHz and 88.2kHz were only recently adopted as part of the IEC-958 specification (and have content limitations imposed by DVD-Audio and DVD-Video standards). It remains to be seen if 192 will be fully embraced as part of the IEC-958 interface standard as well... There aren't any 192 receiver chips available yet (at least none that I'm aware of), but the DACs and digital filters are certainly there. As a simple contingency, I don't think it would be a big deal to use 192-capable parts or 96 parts which have traditionally been made pin-compatible with their earlier counterparts.

One trend I am noticing is a shift towards more generalized digital interfaces between consumer electronics. Most prominently of course is IEEE-1394 firewire, and i think we'll see more of this in the future. From the content providers' standpoint, it is a more beneficial interface, since it allows more flexibility with regard to copy protection and encryption. At this point, i don't think firewire has gained enough of a foothold in the market to displace SPDIF for digital audio.

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Old 9th January 2002, 05:33 AM   #15
Dave is offline Dave  New Zealand
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Default IEEE1394

Based on the this - http://www.dvdforum.com/tech-guideline.htm

I'd say it looks like IEEE1394 is whats going to be the interface of the future for digital audio. Its already in use for SACD and DSD and I'm sure all the surround formats will follow.

So how do us DIY guys use it?
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Old 9th January 2002, 10:20 PM   #16
hifiZen is offline hifiZen  Canada
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Default IEEE 1394

...with great difficulty, i'm afraid. The Firewire interface includes a good deal of encryption and copy protection measures. In addition to that, it's a rather complex interface. Firewire is, in fact, a network interface - there are packets with addresses and priorities, and different possible logical interfaces which can be created between devices connected to the 1394 network: isochronous / asynchronous.

To use firewire, you'll need a PHY layer device such as the TI TSB41LV03, and an LLC (link layer controller). The LLC will interface with your microprocessor, probably using a DMA style interface. Then, you'll need to write some application code to handle the interface. The list of things to deal with just goes on...

So, all in all, I'd say that firewire is a little bit complicated for DIYers at this point. Hopefully at some point a company will release a simple to use firewire system-on-chip like the FT8U245 series USB chips (perhaps there already is one?).
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