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AVS › AVS Articles › 15 Demo Worthy Blu-ray Scenes to show off your Surround Sound System

15 Demo Worthy Blu-ray Scenes to show off your Surround Sound System

As home theater enthusiasts we love to show off our home entertainment systems. Let’s face it we have put lots of blood, sweat, tears and money into our labor of love so why shouldn’t we sit our friends, neighbors, relatives and anyone else that happens by down for a demonstration? Like many of you reading this I still get a kick out of watching people react to a great demo scene played back in my 7.2 channel theater. Of course this type of setup isn’t required to derive the awe factor as each room, system and enthusiast is different.

The advent of surround sound gave us a whole new way to thrill ourselves at home. DVD and its 5.1 digital sound and crisp video put smiles on more faces than I can count. The arrival of high definition Blu-ray and lossless audio took it to a new level entirely. I have a variety of Blu-ray Discs that I like to use for demonstration material. Some are for video quality, some are for audio quality and some qualify for both. This month I thought I would focus on audio quality and offer a few specific scenes from Blu-ray Discs that I use to demo my system. It should be noted that the order is random and this isn’t a comprehensive top fifteen list. I decided to focus on live action films and chose a few that some might not consider main stream but have something tangible to offer. I have included specific chapter and where applicable time stamp information along with the format used.

Fight Club

Chap 9. (opening): Short but incredibly dynamic and jarring - DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio

Mr. Brooks

Chap. 29 - 1:42:00 (Hallway shootout): Dynamically rich with a punchy low end – DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio



Chap. 15 (“depth charged”): Needs little introduction and is simply terrific – DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio


War of the worlds

Chap. 13 (The ferry crossing): Deceptively good with immersive sound and involving bass – DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio


Flight of the Phoenix

Chap. 5 (The sandstorm): An oldie but goodie that makes for a great system torture test – DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio


Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

Chap. 5 - 00:31:00 (Kremlin explosion): Another brief but wonderfully jarring/immersive experience - Dolby TrueHD 7.1


Super 8

Chap. 14 - 01:20:00 (Bus attack): This is an involving sequence featuring dynamically rich sound, off camera cues and hearty bass – Dolby TrueHD 7.1



Chap. 3 (Battling the Frost Giants): From start to finish this one has it all – DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio


Terminator Salvation

Chap. 9/10 (The surprise attack at the gas station followed by the chase): Lots of great directional correlation and room filling bass – DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio


The Hunger Games

Chap. 10 (At the edge): This is a great sequence that makes excellent use of the entire surround platform and features room traversing effects underscored by pulsating low frequency detail – DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio



Chap. 14 (The battle at the river): Lots of flying bullets, big guns and room filling explosions – DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio



Chap. 1 - 00:03:15 – 00:08:00 (The tsunami): I like this one for its involving use of surround, robust dynamics and enriching detail – DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio


Act of Valor

Chap. 9 thru 00:41:12 of chap. 10 (The rescue): Much like Hereafter I like this sequence for its visceral edge, involving quality and snappy dynamics – DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio


The Grey

Chap. 3 - 00:12:50 – 00:14:30 (The crash) – This is a short sequence but it’s memorable – DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio


Transformers Dark of the Moon

Chap. 15 - 01:38:40 – 01:39:36 (being greeted upon arrival in Chicago): This entire soundtrack would qualify as demo worthy. This is a brief sequence that I like to use because it’s well rounded, directly to the point and hits hard – Dolby TrueHD 7.1

I have reviewed nearly all of the Blu-ray listed above. They can be found in the AVS Forum Blu-ray Disc Review Database for those who want to check out the details.

There you have it – 15 demo worthy Blu-ray scenes that’ll sound great on your multi-channel home theater system. But this list is by no means supposed to be definitive. I'd love to hear which scenes you consider worthy of eliciting the awe factor when showing off your audio system. Please post some suggestions in the comments below, or feel free to create your own list on AVS!

Ralph Potts has been a member of AVS for ten years and has been reviewing audio/video hardware and digital home media for even longer. He has been AVS’ official Blu-ray reviewer for the last four years and has provided over nine hundred Blu-ray reviews for the AVS Community. You can follow Ralph along with AVS’ other official Blu-ray reviewer Lee Weber HERE

Comments (89)

First comment - what about saving private ryan
Super 8 takes the cake for me on this one. The train wreck is breathtaking in 7.1 Dolby TrueHD.
The train wreck scene in Super 8 is nothing short of spectacular! Sample this awesome scene in a HT with four subwoofers and the volume on the receiver at reference level.

The Super 8 train wreck is my go to also with 4 subs.

Yup, I love the train wreck as well. As I alluded to in the article I wanted to point out a few scenes that some might have missed.

jaymalya, SPR is on my list of course but as stated above I went for some that weren't as main stream.


Be advised. If you rent the blu-ray version of Hunger games from Netflix, you will get ONLY DVD sound. The studio or Netflix have decided to remove the High definition sound. What's next low-res blu-ray video and DVD sound ??
Netflix is starting to blow with their rentals. Think it was The Change Up, but they removed the unrated version. Studios are only damning their selves with these actions.

On topic, The Book of Eli (when he is trying to leave the town) has one helluva directional gun shot. Also Safe House as some spectacular gun fight scenes.
The studios want you to BUY there movies, not rent them.

Let's focus on the topic at hand.

Epyon415, that entire sequence in The Book of Eli is worthy of mention.

Great list! I would add the plane crash from Knowing.

mnc, yes! I love the use of directional panning in that sequence.

Greetings all,
I recommend Cloverfield, at about 35:00 to 36:30, the first time you get a good look at the creature. This scene has some great LFE moments, surrounding gunfire, and explosions.

You can't really go wrong with just about any scene in Dark of the Moon, the Highway chase being one of my favorites.
How about the claymore mine trap scene in Rambo (2008)?
I would use the "Small Tornado" scene from X-Men: First Class
Super 8 train scene is amazing. Can't wait to hear the first 10 minutes of expendables two at home
I'm no expert, but I think the opening of Star Trek is amazing. From the "Bad Robot" opening to the build up of the familiar Star Trek theme. I've used the LFE of the build up to show of subwoofer performance. Would like to know if others feel this is demo worthy material.
The trouble with Saving Private Ryan is that you put on the first ten minutes as a demo and the next thing you know it's 160 minutes later and you're still sitting there and everybody is crying like little girls.

Uh... Not that that has ever happened to me.
I like the opening sequence of How To Train Your Dragon.
The visuals and audio in the scene from Sunshine when Capa reignites the sun gives me goosebumps every time I watch it. The dynamic change from loud and overwhelming audio + the frenetic visuals to quiet with Capa posed in front of the wall of fire is just stunning. It really shows how the audio in a scene can have an emotional impact on the viewer.
There were a few on here that I had not thought of watching, but I will be watching now.
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