Universal Music Group To Support DVD-Audio With 20 Titles This Fall 
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Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Friday, 28 March 2003

Universal Music Group always stated, despite their early support for Sony’s SACD format, that they would never rule out releasing their artist’s music on the competing DVD-Audio format. Today UMG announced that they were going to release 20 titles on DVD-Audio to go along with the titles they have on SACD.

The exact titles were not announced which brings up interesting questions. How will UMG decide which records will be on DVD-Audio versus SACD? So far the titles for SACD have had widespread appeal ranging from much of the Peter Gabriel catalog to Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto’s classic Brazilian Jazz standard. Will the UMG DVD-Audio discs be targeted to certain genres and or audiences is yet to be determined. Contacts inside UMG did not return calls at time of publishing this story.

Another interesting question is whether UMG will release any of the same titles in the DVD-Audio format that they have already released on SACD. Up until now, it has been very hard to compare the two high resolution formats with the same musical material. Telarc and Chesky Records have some titles released on both but they are a little harder to find for mainstream consumers than UMG or WEA discs.

Universal’s website noted that they were planning to load their DVD-Audio discs will many extras and added values that can’t always be included on an SACD such as photos, video interviews and more. UMG’s site states they plan to master their DVD-Audio discs with Dolby Digital as a default surround format. Rumors had UMG looking at not putting a default surround mix on the disc at all but those seem to be untrue. Use of DTS surround as an atlernate default surround format or a high resolution stereo track such as DTS 24-96 were not mentioned on their site although UMG and DTS worked together on a number of early 5.1 mixes in the late 1990’s.

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