Sony Computer Entertainment Cautions PlayStation 2 Owners About Dual Disc

November 9, in DVD-Audio News

PlayStation 2, PlayStation and PS One owners were greeted earlier today with a warning about the new Dual Disc format and potential compatibility problems it may create with that product from Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), the makers of these products. High Fidelity Review readers will recall that DualDisc is a new format invented by Warner Music that features DVD Video and/or DVD Audio content on one side and CD Audio content on the other side. Due to the DualDisc’s design, it has been refused permission by Philips to use the Compact Disc logo.

The newest alert from SCEA follows similar dealer and consumer advisories issued in recent days by Sony Electronics and Pioneer Electronics about potential incompatibilities between the new Dual Disc format and their optical disc players. It remains to be seen whether additional “alerts” will be forthcoming from other consumer electronics players.

The PlayStation 2 Dual Disc Advisory
Today’s news from Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) consisted of a “consumer alert” issued by the company. The alert has now been posted on the SECA web site along with a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the issue. The alert reads as follows:

“DualDisc is a new two-sided disc product introduced by some segments of the music industry, which mates DVD recorded material on one side with digital audio material on the other side. DualDisc is similar in size to a DVD and CD.

The DVD side of the DualDisc offers DVD video and DVD audio content that may include many of the features currently found in DVD discs including:

  • Enhanced audio
  • 5.1 surround sound
  • Music videos
  • Artists’ interviews and behind-the-scene footage
  • Documentary films and photo galleries
  • Lyrics and other material produced by the recording artist or label.

    The audio side of the DualDisc does not meet the technical specifications to be called an Audio Compact Disc, set forth in the Redbook Audio Compact Disc specifications.

    Because the DualDisc does not adhere to the industry Redbook specifications, the audio side of a DualDisc may not play correctly in PlayStation, PS one or PlayStation 2 consoles (including the redesigned SCPH-70000 series consoles). In addition, playing a DualDisc in an SCPH-30000 series, SCPH-35000 series, SCPH-39000 series, or SCPH-50000 series PlayStation 2 console while in the vertical position may possibly damage the disc, the console, or both.”

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    Turning to the FAQs posted on the Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) web site, the company makes the following statements about Dual Disc and their products:

  • The DVD side of a DualDisc should play on the PlayStation 2 product. However, the PlayStation 2 console does not support DVD Audio format, and contents found on the DVD side of a DualDisc confirming to the DVD Audio format will not play on a PlayStation 2 console.

  • The audio side of a DualDisc may not play on PlayStation 2, PlayStation, or PS one console products because these discs do not conform to the specifications required for an Audio Compact Disc.
  • Sony Computer Entertainment America does not have plans to manufacture specific DualDisc hardware products at this time. PlayStation, PS one and PlayStation 2 consoles were designed to meet the Audio Compact Disc and DVD Forum specifications. Since the audio side of the DualDisc does not meet the Audio Compact Disc specifications, SCEA is not in a position to modify its consoles to allow them to play back this new disc.
  • When playing DualDisc formatted discs on PlayStation 2 systems with an automatic disc tray (SCPH-30000 through SCPH-50000 series), the console should be placed in the horizontal position. When the console is placed vertically, there is a greater likelihood that the DualDisc will come into contact with the mechanical parts of the console, causing a light scratch on the disc. Avoid using the console in the vertical position.
  • Place the PlayStation 2 system in the horizontal position before using a DualDisc. This will help avoid scratching the disc.
  • Sony Computer Entertainment America does not have plans to manufacture specific DualDisc hardware products at this time. For information on products manufactured by Sony Electronics, please contact them directly at 1-800-222-7669.
  • For more information about DualDisc, please contact the individual publishers identified on the DualDisc. For more information on PlayStation products please contact our Consumer Service Department or call 1-800-345-7669 and one of our representatives will be happy to assist you.

    What’s Next?
    We’ll continue to keep an eye on the emerging DualDisc format. As far as we know, the advisories issued to date has not had an impact on the plans of Warner Music, Silverline and Universal Music to release DualDisc product this month.

    There is no word yet from some of the other companies whose products have experienced problems with Dual Disc playback according to consumers. It will be interesting in the days ahead to see if such statements from these firms are forthcoming.


    The PlayStation 2 Game Console - One of Three Product Lines from Sony Computer Entertainment America Covered by Today's Consumer Alert Regarding the Dual Disc The PlayStation 2 Game Console – One of Three Product Lines from Sony Computer Entertainment America Covered by Today’s Consumer Alert Regarding the Dual Disc

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