Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Really better? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-07-2008, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I plan on updating my 8 year old Yamaha 795a receiver this summer.http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...-receiver.html

I may very well get the new Pioneer VSX-1018TXH-K . http://ces.cnet.com/8301-13855_1-984....html?tag=head

But what I would really like to know is is Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio really a lot better then the old Dolby Digital or DTS? I mean is it like night and day?

Reason I ask is because right now I watch my Blu-Ray movies with the PS3 and the Yamaha 795a and to me the Dolby Digital or DTS sound great and has for the last 10 years.

Also I have a 5.1 speaker setup and more then likely will have to stay at 5.1 because of the setup in my living room

Would going to Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio be a waste if I do not upgrade to a 7.1 speaker setup?



Last year when I upgraded my old 35" CRT to the Pioneer 50" 5070 Plasma the picture was Night and Day for HD! Is it the same for Audio?

Blu-Ray picture blows me away will Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio also blow me?
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-07-2008, 01:04 PM
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Anytime anyone says some recent audio or video standard makes a night and day difference I get suspicious

I did see an ad hoc listening test where people claimed to be able to hear a difference. But I have yet to see a blind test of any kind

I suggest you rip a WAV file from a CD, and rip the same file as a 160kbs MP3. Now listen to both off your PC into the best headphones you own. The volumes would have to be closely matched. Can you hear a difference? That's the magnitude of difference I would suggest you may hear between DD and TrueHD (heck you could rip at 128 to accenuate the difference.)

p.s. Someone already started a thread on this topic recently

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-07-2008, 01:37 PM
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My experience only.

Dolby Digital sounds great. The transcoded DD 640kb/p version of TrueHD over optical sounds much better, IMO. TrueHD is another step up - having more clarity, even on moderately priced equipment.

I find the improvement from legacy DD to the 640kb/s transcode more significant than the final jump to TrueHD. While I will certainly upgrade to an HDMI receiver before too long, A/B comparisons showed me I don't need to rush right out and make the change.

As a point of reference, much of my music listening is DVD-Audio and SACD, which are similar lossless formats to TrueHD. I'm no audiophile. But, I do appreciate the impact that audio has on the movie experience.

Again, my experience only. Others certainly feel differently, and in both directions.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-07-2008, 02:29 PM
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Versus legacy DD:
My feeling is that DD+ is a sometimes noticeable, sometimes not improvement. Probably very close to DTS in quality.

To my ear TrueHD is a substantial improvement, as it should be. I was more excited about the audio improvement than I was the video when I first got an HD DVD player.

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post #5 of 10 Old 01-07-2008, 02:31 PM
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That's interesting. There should be no significant difference between DD and TrueHD coded to DD.

It should look like this ->

1) Master PCM soundtrack -> DD encoder -> DD (stored on disc) -> DD decoder -> Master PCM soundtrack with some degradation due to lossy encoding

(or)

2) Master PCM soundtrack -> TrueHD (stored on disc; exact bit copy of PCM soundtrack) -> TrueHD decoder -> exact PCM soundtrack -> DD encoder (same sort of degradation as should occur above)

There's no good reason for them to be different I can think of. I am assming, of course, that use the same master for both processes. Of course the signal chain is non trivial, there could certainly be something causing the difference

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post #6 of 10 Old 01-07-2008, 02:39 PM
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I think this is a very valid question and one I've debated. I think much depends on the original mastering that takes place. I can hear the difference from DD to DTS, but there are also DD soundtracks that sound better than DTS, not necessarily on the same movie, but with better dynamics. It also depends on the system, individual components, etc. Given the differences in DD to DTS, I'd have to believe the lossless or PCM formats would sound better across the board, with varying differences between movies and how the mixing is done in studio. I've listened to friend's systems and heard moderate differences, and I've just received a new Onkyo Pro unit to install. If it's not significant in my system, it'll be going back. The only reason for me to have a current generation processor is for the lossless audio formats, otherwise, I've been happy with my aging HTS 5.1.
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-07-2008, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

That's interesting. There should be no significant difference between DD and TrueHD coded to DD.

The bit rate is different. Legacy DD is usually encoded at 384 or 448, not the 640 kbps rate allowed by the standard. The high bit rate transcodes are done at 640.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-07-2008, 02:48 PM
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I setup a computer with the LG HD-DVD/Blu-Ray reader the other day. I use the analog outputs to send the audio in 5.1 to my receiver. There is a difference between LPCM/DD TrueHD and DD. It is real and instantly noticeable. That being said I ended up turning on the Dolby Digital Live option on my sound card and just outputting 640 Kbps to my receiver over optical. You are scratching your head now, and I will explain.

The Lossless formats just have too much dynamic range. The really quiet scenes are so quiet that you have to turn the volume way up to understand the people. The really loud scenes are just too loud for my tastes. This dynamic range really gives it the movie theatre feel but in a small room in a house it is almost unbearable. Basically, if your Tv is on then it is really loud.

My equipment is listed below. It is not of audiophile quality but it isn't from Best Buy either.

Era Design 4 and Design 3 speakers. Svs PB-10 sub.
Rotel RB 985 5 x 100 watt amp
Yamaha HTR-5790 receiver.
Intel HD onboard sound. SNR 111 DB.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-07-2008, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpgxsvcd View Post

I setup a computer with the LG HD-DVD/Blu-Ray reader the other day. I use the analog outputs to send the audio in 5.1 to my receiver. There is a difference between LPCM/DD TrueHD and DD. It is real and instantly noticeable. That being said I ended up turning on the Dolby Digital Live option on my sound card and just outputting 640 Kbps to my receiver over optical. You are scratching your head now, and I will explain.

The Lossless formats just have too much dynamic range. The really quiet scenes are so quiet that you have to turn the volume way up to understand the people. The really loud scenes are just too loud for my tastes. This dynamic range really gives it the movie theatre feel but in a small room in a house it is almost unbearable. Basically, if your Tv is on then it is really loud.

My equipment is listed below. It is not of audiophile quality but it isn't from Best Buy either.

Era Design 4 and Design 3 speakers. Svs PB-10 sub.
Rotel RB 985 5 x 100 watt amp
Yamaha HTR-5790 receiver.
Intel HD onboard sound. SNR 111 DB.

Something isn't right. With really quiet scenes it's easier to hear people talking. Perhaps you don't have your speakers balanced out right or there's a gap in your frequency crossovers.


To the original poster: 5.1 is just fine for lossless audio. Most lossless audio (that has been released so far) is 5.1 on the disk.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-07-2008, 03:02 PM
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Thanks BIslander. I wasn't thinking of the fact they probably code DD at lower rates to save on space. I could certainly believe it could sound better at higher rates.

It's impressive how good it sounds at the rates they use, of course I am sure I am less picky about movie soundtracks then if it were music.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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