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DVD-Audio (DVD-A) is a digital audio format that is committed to DVD storage. It is similar to compact disc, but with much greater capacity for higher quality and additional space for storing digital media. The DVD Forum (a consortium of technology business leaders, including Hitachi, Thomson, Sony, Toshiba and Time Warner, among others) released the DVD-Audio specification in March of 1999.
CD audio is capable of a sampling rate of 44,100 samples per second, while DVD-Audio's sampling rate is more than twice that. Further, dual-layer DVD-Audio has twice the sampling rate of standard DVD-Audio.
DVD-Audio also has higher bit depth per sample, and is capable of 5.1 audio (which consists of six channels, compared with a CD's two). Needless to say, the potential for quality is much greater in DVD-Audio than CD audio, even though the latter format is arguably more popular and has sufficient quality.
Nevertheless, DVD-Audio has become virtually extinct as a format. In spite of its high quality, use of DVD-Audio has declined since it can only be played in DVD players (not regular CD players).