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Does the fact a DVD is flagged for DD EX mean it's decoding, etc,

is more accurate than DTS ES Matrixed or other centre-rear decoding

method? I realize DTS ES Discrete should be the best, but I was

curious as to how the other two differed.
 

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Actually, I believe many more DTS-ES Matrix and Discrete tracks have flags than Surround EX at the moment. Note that not many more ES Matrix discs have flags than EX ones. Also note that I believe with the nature of ES Discrete that it is inclined to automatically play with ES Discrete decoders: all of the ES Discrete tracks on the list show as having a flag.


Check out this link to see what I mean:
http://www.docdvd.com/exdvds.shtml


Only Atlantis is listed as having a Surround EX flag and it works (although my Onkyo 797 has an audio dropout problem with this disc when playing the Dolby Digital 5.1 track).


Keep in mind that your receiver has to have: an option to AUTO detect the flags or allow you to manual turn on EX and ES processing. With the current crop of EX discs, you’ll be using the manual EX switch a lot.


Of all the DTS tracks with flags listed on the link above, I can say they have all worked as advertised for my receiver set to AUTO.


With Surround EX I keep my receiver set to AUTO (just in case I run across a flagged EX DVD one of these days) but I still have to manually select EX ON via the remote to start it - and of course know in advance that the disc actually is encoded with EX which is most of the time (for now) not credited on the packaging. Harry Potter was just released in Surround EX AND correctly labeled as such on the packaging. I hope this is the start of future trend with ALL studios.


I have to manual select DTS-ES also when they don't have flags of course.


With material actually *specially* encoded with EX and ES Matrix in mind, they both sound excellent to me. It really comes down to how the sound engineer(s) of the movie make use of the rear channel actually - some do a better job than others and some simply make choices I like and some I don't so personal preference is a factor too.


Both sound "gimmicky" when applied to true 5.1 ONLY material in my opinion and only rarely add to the experience in a positive way (Godzilla [US] is one such disc). Is one more accurate at matrix decoding? I have no clue. They both sound great to me.


True DTS-ES Discrete is technically a better format than the other two (discrete always wins over matrix for me – although I like Pro-Logic II A LOT) but it still comes down to how the rear surround channel is used by the movie makers. You know: how and when they use it, etc. With all three formats, great surround tracks can put you IN the movie and have sound coming from the left, center and right surrounds together AND independently at any given moment (Star Wars Episode I is a good EX example of surround coming from the left, center and right surrounds independently – especially laser blasts, etc.) Also, all three formats put more surround sound in the room for other viewers outside the “sweet spot†in my setup.
 
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