DVD Audio and my DVD-ROM Drive

(Okay, here I am posting a technical question to a general question board… what a geek.)

With the DVD audio standard coming out and my relentless need not to buy another DVD player just so I can enjoy the amazing audio performances, I’m wondering if there’s another solution.

I do have a Hitachi DVD-ROM drive and a Hollywood RealMagic 98+ decoder card in one of my computers. Would it be (theoretically) possible to upgrade the firmware on one or both devices so that I would be able to play DVD Audio? (I am guessing that the same laser could be used to read both.)

Also, how about upgrading the firmware on my JVC settop DVD player itself? Theorietically, of course.

My WAG is that you’ll be able to play DVD audio off your computer through software. It should be interesting to see if a firmware upgrade for your RealMagic will do the trick, though I’m inclined to doubt it unless DVD audio (which I haven’t read much about) is a lot close to the MPEG 2 standard than I’m guessing it will be.

As far as your set top goes, as firmware upgrades for set top DVD players aren’t all that popular (the Apex 300A was the only one I’ve ever heard of supporting it), I wouldn’t bet on it. You’d probably be better off with a receiver that supports firmware upgrades that would therefore be able to, somewhere down the road, do what you want it to do. Of course these babies do cost a small fortune…