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SACD (Super Audio Compact Disc)

SACD is one of several emerging new standards for high-resolution audio on compact discs. It was developed by Sony and is based on a licensed technology called Direct Stream Digital, which was developed by Sony and Phillips and is theoretically capable of sample rates up to 2.8 MHz. The SACD format allows for playback of multi-channel audio and a bandwidth of 100 kHz at over 120 dB dynamic range while retaining compatibility with existing compact disc technology. There are several subformats in the works (single layer, dual layer, etc.) that are optimized for different tasks, but Sony claims that all SACD discs have fully uncompromised audio quality. That is, no data compression, and no computer generated surround mixes from stereo data or vice versa. The potential success of this format in the mainstream is currently under scrutiny amidst other developments such as DVD Audio, but there are a significant number of titles available on the Sony label with promised support from other record labels.

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