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Dolby Pro Logic vs DD/DTS vs PCM/TrueHD/DTS-HD MA

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
When I got my first DD processor about 8 years ago I noticed 2 things when comparing DD 5.1 to Dolby Pro-Logic:

1) The two surround speakers had different sounds coming from them which made for more of a 3-dimensional sound. Bullets and planes could now travel diagonally across the room instead of just front to back (or back to front).

2) The sound coming from the front 3 speakers was now much "wider" than it was before with DPL (Dolby Pro-Logic). I really noticed this with any music played in a movie. The whole front stage seemed to come alive with different instruments. DPL was flat and lifeless in comparison.

DPL of course uses only 2 discrete stereo channels and manufactures the center channel and 2 mono rear channels from those 2, whereas DD 5.1 uses 5 discrete digital channels. To me it made a BIG difference especially with newer action movies and music.

My question is, Are the new lossless formats that much better than the lossy ones? Is the jump in sound quality from DD5.1 to PCM/TrueHD/DTS-HD MA, as great as the jump from DPL to DD5.1 was back 8 years ago?

On a side note, where have all these new lossless formats come from? The end credits on any newer movie all say either Dolby Digital, DTS or SDDS. Are there some movie theaters that are using these lossless formats right now? Or are we just special?
post #2 of 8
Much depends on the quality of your speakers, amps, surround decoders, etc. If, say, you have a pretty cheap system then you may not hear much of a difference between standard lossy and lossless or uncompressed PCM soundtracks. It's much the same way between standard CD audio and DVD-Audio with 24 bit lossless sound or SA-CD's... if you have a good to great system the difference is easier to spot.

The new lossless formats and multi-channel PCM have been added because the new high definition disc formats have the storage and bandwidth capabilities (with Blu-ray even more so) unlike DVD's, not because movie theaters have changed over.

The only lossless or PCM audio capable commercial theaters are fancier IMAX or digital cinema theaters. However, due to lesser PA speakers and amps on some of these systems you might not hear that much of an improvement.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I currently have a Rotel RSX-965 receiver with PSB front speakers (model PSB50MKII's), Yamaha NS-AC80 center speaker, Mirage PS-12-90 subwoofer, and Accusound AS-36AA full-range surround speakers. I know the PSB's are good speakers, as is the Yamaha, but I'm not too sure about the Accousound surrounds.
post #4 of 8
You have what I had for many years... a hodge podge of speakers with nothing being sonically seamless or timbrally matched. I'm slowly adding Paradigm Studio speakers all around (started with the Studio 100's) and hopefully can get a full 7.1 set before they move on to V.5 or something and I get the shaft again.

You will definitely need a new receiver or pre-amp/amp combo that can do the latest audio formats and a Blu-ray player that bitstreams advanced audio.
post #5 of 8
It is better....to roughly quantify it, I'd say a 20% improvement over DD/DTS... But as Dan pointed out, better equipment will reap more audible gains.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

You have what I had for many years... a hodge podge of speakers with nothing being sonically seamless or timbrally matched. I'm slowly adding Paradigm Studio speakers all around (started with the Studio 100's) and hopefully can get a full 7.1 set before they move on to V.5 or something and I get the shaft again.

You will definitely need a new receiver or pre-amp/amp combo that can do the latest audio formats and a Blu-ray player that bitstreams advanced audio.

What is V.5?
post #7 of 8
I have a toshiba hd-a30 playing through a samsung as720 and i can't for the life of me tell the difference between dd+ and truehd. However if I was to compare regular dd and dts vs dd+ and truehd there may be a difference. As it is since they don't put both formats on the same disc i haven't done a direct comparison. The visual aspect is much more important to me than audio, others are different.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by blazed54 View Post

I have a toshiba hd-a30 playing through a samsung as720 and i can't for the life of me tell the difference between dd+ and truehd. However if I was to compare regular dd and dts vs dd+ and truehd there may be a difference. As it is since they don't put both formats on the same disc i haven't done a direct comparison...

But they do put both regular DD and the new higher resolution audio formats DD+/TrueHD on the same disc. you must be forgetting about all of the combo releases.

Happy New Year!
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