High Density Compatible Digital (HDCD) is a recording process which enhances the quality of audio from compact discs giving an end result which is more acceptable to audiophiles than standard CD. It was developed by Pacific Microsonics.
An encode/decode process attempting to improve upon the sound quality provided by the original compact disc standard. CD's recorded in HDCD can be played back in a conventional CD player and likewise, a CD player incorporating an HDCD decoder can play back non-HDCD encoded disks.
High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD) is a patented encode/decode process for delivering the full richness and detail of the original microphone feed on Compact Discs and DVD-Audio HDCD-encoded CDs sound better because they are encoded with 20 bits of real musical information, as compared with 16 bits for all other CDs. HDCD overcomes the limitation of the 16-bit CD format by using a sophisticated system to encode the additional 4 bits onto the CD while remaining completely compatible with the existing CD format. HDCD provides more dynamic range, a more focused 3-D soundstage, and extremely natural vocal and musical timbre.
A format of CD encoded with 20 bits of information instead of 16. An HDCD player or an HDCD receiver is required, but not both, to achieve the full potential of the HDCD encoding. A normal CD player will play the CD but will not enhance the sound. HDCD sound has more body and more dynamic range than a normal CD.
high definition compatible digital. Pacific Microsonics' (now owned by Microsoft) trademark for their encode/decode scheme that allows up to 24 bit, 176.4 kHz digital audio mastering process, yet is compatible with normal 16 bit, 44.1 kHz CD and DAT formats. Sounds best on an HDCD compatible player, but will still sound better than a CD on a standard CD player without HDCD compatibility.
High-Definition Compact Disc. A proprietary system by Pacific Microsonics that requires special encoding during the recording process. Some observers report HDCD discs as having better sound. To gain the benefits requires having special HDCD in your CD player.
Stands for High-Density Compatible Digital. Is a relatively new concept as around only 4000 commercial HCDC titles are in circulation. The technology is set to be surpassed by new 'super-fi' standards like SACD and DVD-Audio.