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DVD-Audio Discs in XLR

6615 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DFXLR
The kind folks at David Taylor Cadillac (Houston) let me try out a DVD-Audio disc in the first XLR to arrive at their dealership. Unfortunately I left my test DVD-Audio disc at home, so a Donovan DVD-Audio disc was pressed into service as a substitute.

The results were good. The DVD-Audio disc played (while in "Park" of course) and I think I was hearing a good representation of the 5.1 channel output. I believe the disc was actually playing the Dolby Digital DVD-Video track, but can't be sure until I use a test disc. Using the "DVD" edge key, the main menu could be selected to change the disc setup and select tracks.

At this time I see no reason that would prevent DVD-Audio discs from being used in the XLR (playing in DVD-Video mode). Attached is an image of the LCD touchscreen as it played the first track of the Donovan disc, "Colours".


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Your test it quite enlightening. Are we talking MP3s?

This is all the more reason to figure out how to enable the DVD out of park -- to listen to music.

On the Mercedes, it arrives in the country enabled by default and they disable it before delivery.

Someone has to know how to enable it!
One of the things that I have been using a lot of are books on cd. Does it appear that I will have any problem with this at all. Would be surprised if do.
Should be no problem since those conform to standard CD format. You have the choice of using the six disc CD changer or the DVD player for CDs. If you use the DVD player for CDs, you loose nav capability and voice activation (since those are on a Nav DVD).
Thanks Now if only can hear with top down :cool
Sorry - I should have put this in my original append...

DVD-Audio discs, along with SACDs, are positioned as the possible successor to CDs. While DVD-Video discs play both video and audio, a DVD-Audio disc is primarily for audio with video as a backdrop.

The DVD-Audio disc uses the same menu system as a DVD-Video disc. The big difference is that DVD-Audio discs can have up to 192kHz, 24-bit PCM sound. For 5.1-channel output, the maximum sampling rate is 96kHz, 24-bit sound and is encoded with MLP lossless compression. Standard CDs, on the other hand, use 44.1kHz, 16-bit two-channel sampling. So, the DVD-Audio disc sounds better than a CD and with more channels. I notice the lower-to-mid bass and the upper treble (such as cymbal ringing) as the areas with the most improvement.

Each DVD-Audio disc also contains a DVD-Video layer for compatibility with DVD-Video players. This layer always contains a 5.1-channel Dolby Digital track and sometimes also has a DTS 5.1-channel track. It is the Dolby Digital track that I believe the XLR's system is playing.

Hope that helps explain DVD-Audio. Glad no-one asked about how an SACD is formatted (I couldn't tie that to an XLR anyway except to say that the CD layer of an SACD will play in the XLR)!
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Did we ever establish that the DVD player will play audio MP3s?
No - unfortunately I have no way to test whether or not it can right now (without an XLR).

Basically MP3's are not in the DVD-Video standard (or CD/red book standard for that matter). Many manufacturers add the function to their DVD-Video players as an "extra". Whether or not the XLR's DVD-Video player has the capability can only be found out through testing.

Having said that, I would be surprised if it can since there is no documentation to suggest that the feature is included.

One thing I found out yesterday was that a DTS audio stream is muted in the XLRs DVD player. The only multichannel audio stream that is accepted and played-back is the Dolby Digital stream. Unfortunately I had a DTS test disc with me rather a Dolby Digital test disc, so I couldn't fully analyze what happens with a DVD's 5.1-channel output.

For those who may not know what DTS is, DTS stands for Digital Theater Surround. DTS is a proprietary audio stream that can handle up to 6.1 discrete channels of audio. Some CDs and DVDs are encoded in DTS, which takes up the same amout of data space for 5.1/6.1 channels as is found on a 2 channel CD. Lossy compression is used to compact the extra channel information. Many people believe that DTS sounds better than Dolby Digital.
I had a few minutes to do some 5.1-channel Dolby Digital tests today. I ran in both "Spacious" and "Driver's Seat" modes (see DSP menu on the touchscreen).

- Left channel comes from left front
- Center channel comes from front center of XLR
- Right channel comes from right front
- Left surround is a synthetic surround where the left front and left seat speakers create a "surround effect"
- Right surround is surround is same as left except using the right front and right surround speakers
- Could not tell much of the Low Frequency Effects (LFE) / Subwoofer channel with noise on dealer's showroom.

Don't know if anyone else was really curious, but those are the results.

Also ran some video tests with excellent results except for mild to moderate sun-glare washout on screen.
Now that I'm (finally) able to do some serious testing, I can report that the DVD audio tracks continue to play even when the vehicle is in motion. Only the video is blocked.

So, if you take a 5.1-channel DVD-Audio disc (available at Best Buy and other places) and play the DVD-Video layer's audio track in the XLR, you will be treated to the 5.1 channel audio as you drive down the highway.

For those who may be confused about the above: DVD- Audio is a standard for higher-than-CD quality audio discs. However, all DVD-Audio discs contain a DVD-Video layer so the disc will be compatible in a standard DVD player. The XLR can read the DVD-Video layer (but not the DVD-Audio layer), so the XLR can play 5.1-channel Dolby Digital even while driving.

If still confused, try a DVD-Audio disc...
Is there anyway to get the video picture of a dvd disk to display on screen while the XLR is in motion? It would be cool for the passenger to be able to enjoy watching a movie or concert in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound, especially on long trips. :cool
No. The audio is the only option.

Please note that is many states (including California and Texas) it is illegal for a driver to be looking at motion video while driving. From what I've read, the deciding factor is whether the driver could see the video not whether the driver was actually looking.

So, having the video shutoff may save you a few hundred dollars (or worse).

Thanks for your great input. I suppose the only suggestion you could have made to the individual who wanted to provide DVD entertainment to his passenger is to either buy a limo or make his XLR into a limo.

Again, thanks for your input,

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