Decided to look into my Batman Begins SD-DVD box, as I had thought it was in the many piles of discs that I don't put away
, and was surprised that it was back in its case.
So i popped in the SD-DVD into the XBOX-360, and set it at a normal level for DVD on my receiver.
Here is what I can tell just from playing one after the other.
1. SD-DVD Bass does seem a little stronger than the Dolby Digital + sound tracks on these current batches of HD-DVD's, at least compared in the case of Batman Begins.
2. However, the Dolby Digital + sound field is superior to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack on the SD-DVD, overall there is a clarity of sound that just is not present on the SD-DVD, and the sound mix is much more lively in the surrounds and certain sounds simply have more strength to them. I attribute this to the additional bandwidth that has been given to the soundtrack as I'm pretty sure they did not remix it for this release.
3. Volume level and Bass are definitely lower on the Dolby Digital + soundtrack in Batman Begins, and I'm sure this may be something that is true for all Dolby Digital + soundtracks. One thing I remember reading is that HD-DVD with regards to audio depends more heavily on your receiver. I believe Dolby Digital + tries to recreate the original soundfield exactly as in the theater, and that your equipment will have a much greater impact on the quality of audio you get out of it. This is not to say that the Dolby Digital + track sounded bad, as it did not and as I stated it is in fact clearer and a little punchier on overall audio, just not heavy on Bass.
4. Dolby True HD, sounds absolutely amazing compared to Dolby Digital 5.1, this is much closer to some of the high end DTS audio tracks, (and I have been known to purchase second copies of movies to get a good DTS track) On any movie you have TrueHD this will likely be what you will be listening to in the future.
I don't have King Kong to compare so I can't give apples to apples comparison there, but I can tell you that if you adjust your base accordingly I think you'll be surprised how good the Dolby Digital + track might be. Remember these are new audio formats, and I'm sure that as time goes one, Microsoft as well as others will help make these tracks sound their best.
I for one am very happy with the add-on's performance so far. The difference between SD-DVD and DVD is quite astounding, and I don't have 1080p, but I'm hearing more and more, how that is not quite as big a deal as some are making it out to be. Most people who have 1080p have paid a premium for it, and therefore are simply getting a better TV in general (most times dramatically better than their previous TV's) and that is most likely why they feel so strongly about 1080p.
I have yet to spend any real time with one of those sets, but I'm more than happy with 1080i for the moment.
Hope this info helps you and good luck with other HD-DVD's I would be interested in hearing what you thought of other soundtracks, especially any that have the new DTS HD formats.