HE 2002: NAD DVD-Audio and SACD Plans

HE 2002: NAD have made last minute changes to their T562 transport. At CES in January, we saw a prototype version of the player with DVD-Audio support, but at the eleventh hour before release, DVD-Audio capabilities have been omitted. The reason, according to NAD, is that they wanted a comprehensive bass-management system, something not available at the time of release.

National Sales Manager of NAD, Stephen DeFuria, also told High Fidelity Review that neither did they want to include the copyrighting algorithms that are in most DVD-Audio players since they are “…not the WG4 standard”. Concerns that in the future their end users would suffer as a result, largely because they would have spent money on hardware that may not be forward compatible was also cited as a reason for the omission.

As a result, NAD will be releasing the T862 in the fall of 2002; it will be an improved or, should we say original T852 before the removal of the DVD-Audio component. Then depending on the availability of “…proper quality chip sets” they will introduce a universal player at the beginning of next year.

On a personal note, DeFuria mentioned that he liked the bass management maturity of SACD (ironic as most Super Audio CD players perform bass management in the PCM domain), however, he felt that the DVD-Audio format had more merit for most consumers because it would add to the already prevalent DVD experience.