Dolby TrueHD vs Dolby Digital Plus vs DTS-HD MA.....which wins? - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Which lossless bluray audio is the best?
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post #1 of 28 Old 10-07-2013, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Out of all the surround sound formats...i think DTS MA wins...much louder, less clipping, plus the DTS Core for older AV Recievers preserves the classic 5.1 DTS 1.5 mbps theatrical audio codec for toslink recievers. Dolby True HD is ok but less louder and a bit more compressed, i never heard Dolby Digital Plus but most vizio tvs can stream netflix and vudu using that codec (same for ps3). PCM lossless audio is the real winner...very few blurays have that track...and some HD video files use 5.1 aac.
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post #2 of 28 Old 10-07-2013, 03:58 PM
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If you take the same mix in dts-ma, True HD and PCM they will sound identical once volume matched. There is no best from a sonic perspective.

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post #3 of 28 Old 10-07-2013, 04:33 PM
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When people debate the relative sonic quality of lossless formats... we all lose.
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post #4 of 28 Old 10-07-2013, 06:30 PM
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Assuming the mix has not be altered DTHD, DTSMA, and PCM will sound exactly the same.

Louder does not necessarily equate to better sound quality, in fact it can be an indicator of inferior quality.

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post #5 of 28 Old 10-08-2013, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by 42041 View Post

When people debate the relative sonic quality of lossless formats... we all lose.
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post #6 of 28 Old 10-08-2013, 03:40 AM
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Hmm.. SInce DTS MA makes up about 90% of new releases, that's where my money is.

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post #7 of 28 Old 10-08-2013, 06:44 AM
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The lossy DTS core of DTS-HD MA does not have to be 1.5Mbps: it sometimes is only half that.

Lossless codecs always win, but you can never get better quality out than quality in: ultimately it always depends on the quality of the source (garbage in, garbage out).
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post #8 of 28 Old 10-08-2013, 03:19 PM
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I think there's an issue that's tangental to this. I'm starting to see some movies that are not including the lossless theatrical mix but instead only including it in a lossy format while only letting you have a remixed version in the lossless one. I can understand why one might want an older movie created before the current lossless formats to be upconverted but I'm troubled when you have a brand new movie and you want the lossless theatrical mix and just can't have it...
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post #9 of 28 Old 10-09-2013, 12:16 AM
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I also notice that DTS-HD MA is louder for some reason then Dolby TrueHD but they are the same quality audio wise...one is not better then the other...maybe it's the way the audio is mixed which effects the clarity
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post #10 of 28 Old 10-09-2013, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post

I also notice that DTS-HD MA is louder for some reason then Dolby TrueHD but they are the same quality audio wise...one is not better then the other...maybe it's the way the audio is mixed which effects the clarity

The volume difference is due to dial norm.
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post #11 of 28 Old 10-09-2013, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Kascnef82 View Post

Out of all the surround sound formats...
You probably don't realize that the 3 codecs you listed in your poll all output bit-for-bit identical results. One is not somehow 'more identical' to the original than the others. Like asking whether WinZip or RAR is better (closer to the original).

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post #12 of 28 Old 10-09-2013, 10:08 AM
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Out of all the surround sound formats...i think ....

The sound mix wins.

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post #13 of 28 Old 10-09-2013, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post

I also notice that DTS-HD MA is louder for some reason then Dolby TrueHD

Dolby formats use Dialogue Normalization, which sets the default volume for all movie soundtracks at a common mid point using dialogue as a baseline. The only thing DialNorm affects is the overall volume of the soundtrack, much like turning the master volume up or down on your receiver. It does not alter the quality of the track in any way.

DTS formats do not use DialNorm, and are typically set 4 dB louder than Dolby. Once you volume-match, the two formats provide identical results.
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post #14 of 28 Old 10-09-2013, 10:13 AM
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volume is only one aspect for comparison. Also assessing how well the formats downmix would also be an aspect of which one is best, no? in other words, one format could be more versatile than the other. Or are all of them the same in that regard as well and when downmixed provide "bit for bit" parity?
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post #15 of 28 Old 10-09-2013, 10:22 AM
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One of the ultra-rare occasions that DTS-HD MA used DialNorm was on the 'Transformer 2' Blu-rays. The "big screen" edition (which changes aspect ratio for the IMAX scenes) employs DialNorm while the regular (fixed aspect ratio) version does not, making it 4dB louder. Same soundtrack otherwise.

DTS included the DialNorm feature as an option when they introduced their HD audio codecs (the initial user manual for their encoder literally copied the text of the DialNorm page of the Dolby encoder manual).

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post #16 of 28 Old 10-09-2013, 11:44 AM
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In terms of which is better sounding, I feel it is not dependent on the codec is used but the mix of the soundtrack itself. However the Total Recall audio debacle has me leaning towards DTS-MA. In regards to dialnorm, my THX receiver automatically levels between the two codecs. I just set the volume to the point were I can hear the dialog properly.
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post #17 of 28 Old 10-09-2013, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by nismo604 View Post

In terms of which is better sounding, I feel it is not dependent on the codec is used but the mix of the soundtrack itself. However the Total Recall audio debacle has me leaning towards DTS-MA. In regards to dialnorm, my THX receiver automatically levels between the two codecs. I just set the volume to the point were I can hear the dialog properly.
Total Recall was certainly an excellent track. In fact, a good number of Dolby Tru HD tracks are very very nice. It would almost make one wonder if sound designers might opt for a certain codec once they have produced the track, though I have heard great results in DTS MA form as well. All my blu purchases are almost totally based on sound quality, and since Dolby is increasingly rare, maybe that is why it seems to register as featuring a greater percentage that are killer.

Too bad about that mass marketing of the botched TR discs -- won't help Dolby at all, and fairly ruins the movie experience. I still opt to watch that one Dolby though -- for whatever it's worth, the lossless decoding that eliminates the glitches does not at all measure up to the Dolby track, at least not on my system, so it is not an option. Not sure why that should be the case from what people report, but the actual audio experience is what guides me....
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post #18 of 28 Old 10-16-2013, 06:42 AM
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Hmm.. SInce DTS MA makes up about 90% of new releases, that's where my money is.

I had read an article about this, and basically they stated that it was cheaper for studios to put a DTS MA mix on a disc VS a Dolby True HD due to the sound mixing and production of said blu-rays. Naturally I can't find the article now, but I remember reading it and some of the comments mentioned that Dolby is more of a premium brand, as that is what you hear at a theatre now days - you would be hard pressed to find a theatre showing off in a trailer or plaque on a wall saying that it is using DTS (Now Datasat Digital Sound) - It's all about Dolby, and theatres are racing to install Dolby 7.1 and Dolby Atmos sound systems along with Dolby Digital Cinema.

I feel Dolby True-HD is more of a "Pro" or "Premium" whereas DTS-MA is just run of the mill, nothing special anymore.

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post #19 of 28 Old 10-16-2013, 11:14 AM
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I had read an article about this, and basically they stated that it was cheaper for studios to put a DTS MA mix on a disc VS a Dolby True HD due to the sound mixing and production of said blu-rays. Naturally I can't find the article now, but I remember reading it and some of the comments mentioned that Dolby is more of a premium brand, as that is what you hear at a theatre now days - you would be hard pressed to find a theatre showing off in a trailer or plaque on a wall saying that it is using DTS (Now Datasat Digital Sound) - It's all about Dolby, and theatres are racing to install Dolby 7.1 and Dolby Atmos sound systems along with Dolby Digital Cinema.

I feel Dolby True-HD is more of a "Pro" or "Premium" whereas DTS-MA is just run of the mill, nothing special anymore.

Neither Dolby nor DTS charges any licensing fees to use their codecs. While the studio must pay for the encoding software to author the discs with, this is a very small one-time expense that likely anyone on this forum could easily afford if we wanted.

I've spoken to both Dolby and DTS about this, and both companies have given me consistent answers. The reason home video studios choose one audio format over another has nothing to do with price, quality (both are lossless) or backwards compatibility (both formats are backwards compatible in their own ways). The choice comes down to which software is easier to use and performs the encoding faster.

Until the past couple of years, DTS software was more user-friendly for the studios and encoded a lot faster. (Even Dolby has admitted this.) As a result, most of the major studios switched to DTS-HD Master Audio as their audio codec of choice. Dolby eventually improved their software to be at least comparable to DTS, but by that point the studios had grown comfortable with DTS and saw little reason to switch back.

Recently, Dolby has added new features to its software that DTS doesn't have, such as 96k upsampling, in an attempt to regain ground on Blu-ray. Thus far, that hasn't proved as compelling a sales point as they'd hoped.
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post #20 of 28 Old 10-16-2013, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Neither Dolby nor DTS charges any licensing fees to use their codecs. While the studio must pay for the encoding software to author the discs with, this is a very small one-time expense that likely anyone on this forum could easily afford if we wanted.

I've spoken to both Dolby and DTS about this, and both companies have given me consistent answers. The reason home video studios choose one audio format over another has nothing to do with price, quality (both are lossless) or backwards compatibility (both formats are backwards compatible in their own ways). The choice comes down to which software is easier to use and performs the encoding faster.

Until the past couple of years, DTS software was more user-friendly for the studios and encoded a lot faster. (Even Dolby has admitted this.) As a result, most of the major studios switched to DTS-HD Master Audio as their audio codec of choice. Dolby eventually improved their software to be at least comparable to DTS, but by that point the studios had grown comfortable with DTS and saw little reason to switch back.

Recently, Dolby has added new features to its software that DTS doesn't have, such as 96k upsampling, in an attempt to regain ground on Blu-ray. Thus far, that hasn't proved as compelling a sales point as they'd hoped.

Your answer is much more in-depth then mine, although after reading your reply that IS what was in the article and the message I was *trying* to convey, so thank you for helping me out in my time of forgetfullness tongue.gif

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post #21 of 28 Old 10-16-2013, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Neither Dolby nor DTS charges any licensing fees to use their codecs. While the studio must pay for the encoding software to author the discs with, this is a very small one-time expense that likely anyone on this forum could easily afford if we wanted.

I've spoken to both Dolby and DTS about this, and both companies have given me consistent answers. The reason home video studios choose one audio format over another has nothing to do with price, quality (both are lossless) or backwards compatibility (both formats are backwards compatible in their own ways). The choice comes down to which software is easier to use and performs the encoding faster.

Until the past couple of years, DTS software was more user-friendly for the studios and encoded a lot faster. (Even Dolby has admitted this.) As a result, most of the major studios switched to DTS-HD Master Audio as their audio codec of choice. Dolby eventually improved their software to be at least comparable to DTS, but by that point the studios had grown comfortable with DTS and saw little reason to switch back.

Recently, Dolby has added new features to its software that DTS doesn't have, such as 96k upsampling, in an attempt to regain ground on Blu-ray. Thus far, that hasn't proved as compelling a sales point as they'd hoped.
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post #22 of 28 Old 10-19-2013, 01:54 PM
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DTS HD MA is better because they use unicorns and rainbows in their software when mixing the tracks.....

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post #23 of 28 Old 10-20-2013, 07:35 PM
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DTS HD MA is better because they use unicorns and rainbows in their software when mixing the tracks.....


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post #24 of 28 Old 10-20-2013, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Neither Dolby nor DTS charges any licensing fees to use their codecs. While the studio must pay for the encoding software to author the discs with, this is a very small one-time expense that likely anyone on this forum could easily afford if we wanted.

I've spoken to both Dolby and DTS about this, and both companies have given me consistent answers. The reason home video studios choose one audio format over another has nothing to do with price, quality (both are lossless) or backwards compatibility (both formats are backwards compatible in their own ways). The choice comes down to which software is easier to use and performs the encoding faster.

Until the past couple of years, DTS software was more user-friendly for the studios and encoded a lot faster. (Even Dolby has admitted this.) As a result, most of the major studios switched to DTS-HD Master Audio as their audio codec of choice. Dolby eventually improved their software to be at least comparable to DTS, but by that point the studios had grown comfortable with DTS and saw little reason to switch back.

Recently, Dolby has added new features to its software that DTS doesn't have, such as 96k upsampling, in an attempt to regain ground on Blu-ray. Thus far, that hasn't proved as compelling a sales point as they'd hoped.

I always thought Dolby's resulted in a slightly smaller file. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I'd think the studio would appreciate the extra bits to throw at the picture.
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post #25 of 28 Old 10-20-2013, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codee View Post

I had read an article about this, and basically they stated that it was cheaper for studios to put a DTS MA mix on a disc VS a Dolby True HD due to the sound mixing and production of said blu-rays. Naturally I can't find the article now, but I remember reading it and some of the comments mentioned that Dolby is more of a premium brand, as that is what you hear at a theatre now days - you would be hard pressed to find a theatre showing off in a trailer or plaque on a wall saying that it is using DTS (Now Datasat Digital Sound) - It's all about Dolby, and theatres are racing to install Dolby 7.1 and Dolby Atmos sound systems along with Dolby Digital Cinema.

I feel Dolby True-HD is more of a "Pro" or "Premium" whereas DTS-MA is just run of the mill, nothing special anymore.

Datasat Digital Sound is what DTS Cinema turned into after DTS divested Cinema and it was subsequently purchased. DTS proper has no presence in the cinema realm anymore as far as I can tell. In the home realm DTS is very much a competitor to Dolby (as evidenced by the state of the market at the moment) and I personally don't see one as premium compared to the other. I do like what Dolby is doing with their Atmos platform and I'm curious how they'll integrate it into the home. Although not the same thing I'm assuming since DTS-HD has no channel limit we can see them scale MA up to as many channels at 96k and above as the Bluray format progresses (or another takes it's place)? Maybe not, I'm not really well versed in the technical aspects of DTS-HD aside from a somewhat cursory view. I'm sure there are things Atmos is doing that standard DTS-HD can't replicate, at least in it's current form.
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post #26 of 28 Old 10-21-2013, 12:11 AM
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I'm sure there are things Atmos is doing that standard DTS-HD can't replicate, at least in it's current form.
They're two different types of technology. Atmos is object-based mixing and rendering while DTS-HD is data compression/packing. An object-based Atmos mix can be stored and transmitted using one of the DTS-HD codecs. DTS is working on their own object-based technology, referred to as MDA (multi-dimensional audio).

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post #27 of 28 Old 10-21-2013, 07:06 AM
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Well there ya go, I figured I was wrong lol.
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post #28 of 28 Old 10-21-2013, 11:00 AM
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I always thought Dolby's resulted in a slightly smaller file. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I'd think the studio would appreciate the extra bits to throw at the picture.

A disc with Dolby TrueHD requires the presence of a standard Dolby Digital track to go with it for backwards compatibility purposes. All told, any difference in disc space storage is pretty minimal, and I doubt any studio has used that as the sole basis for choosing one format over the other.

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