Are there any PC applications that will play DVD-Audio or SACD discs as an alternative to buying a dedicated player? I was then intending to use digital output to an AV Amp. Or am I being vaive?
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There are PC apps that do DVD-Audio: WinDVD (which is where the encryption got cracked) and CreativeLabs (comes with their Audigy2 cards).
There is NO PC app for SACD playback, and probably never will be. AND there are NO PC drives that support SACD reading. AND there is no consumer/prosumer/industrial version of SACD authoring. AND there is no such thing as a burned SACD. Which is the biggest reason why it will NEVER take off, whereas DVD-Audio might ( is? ). When even small-med size businesses can't get into the game, there's no competition (=lower prices) and no diversity of demand.
>>>>edit: noted more thoroughly your 2nd part. DVD-Audio probably won't allow multichannel or high sample rate (96+kHz) audio to be output digitally via computer. Although, YMMV.
If your using the DTS or Dolby Digital audio you can output through the digital output. If your using the true DVD audio tracks, you will have to use the 6 analog outputs.