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CD/DVD-Audio Disc In Works

Warner Music said it supports the DVD Forum’s plans to study the creation of a dual-layer CD/DVD-audio disc that, like hybrid CD/SACD discs, would be playable in today’s CD players.

The company, however, has no target date for launching the discs, nor has it determined whether the DVD-Audio layer of those discs would continue to have multichannel Dolby Digital tracks for compatibility with with DVD-Video players, a spokeswoman said. Warner called the hybrid discs “very important to the new format.”

A change in the DVD-Audio spec is needed, Warner said, to enable DVD-Audio players to differentiate between the CD and DVD-Audio layers and to default to the DVD-Audio layer. Currently some DVD-Audio players search initially for, and play, an inserted CD before looking for a DVD disc, and these players would lock onto a hybrid discs’ CD layer.

In previous years, Warner had said that the DVD-A spec was “silent” on this issue of hybrid discs but that nothing precluded software companies from developing them on their own.