Among the most exciting developments of the past 6 months, as far as I'm concerned, as been the mini-explosion of classical music on Blu-ray, mostly opera. The Royal Opera House bought the DVD label Opus Arte and has been steadily releasing performances filmed not just at Covent Garden, but also at Glyndebourne, Madrid, and elsewhere. Superb examples include a La bohÃ¨me, Il trovatore, The Magic Flute, and (my favorite to date) Die Fledermaus. The first Harmonia Mundi Blu-ray (Don Giovanni) just arrived, and Naxos will be getting into the act as well.
The big news, sonically, is that the surround program is presented at the same level of resolution as the stereo version, clearly a major improvement over the DTS or Dolby Digital alternatives on DVDs. Most are PCM (as opposed to DTS TruHD or Dolby TruHD) but the bit depth and sampling frequency isn't specified anywhere in the packaging (and you don't find out by clicking "Audio" on your remote.) Does anybody know the degree of resolution on these PCM surround tracks? I'd love to know if they are better-than-CD quality. To my ears, they sound as though they could be.