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How is dolby digital plus different from 5.1?

442 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  upNdown
Streaming from netflix, through a Sony bdp-s3100 into a denon avr-1513, some movies come through as dolby 5.1 and some come thought as DD+. What's the difference? The DD+ sounds like it's firing on all channels - is it better or worse or the same as 5.1?
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In a nutshell. DD (Dolby Digital [aka: AC-3]) is Dolby's original consumer digital system (they have several analog systems that predate) that can do 1 to 5.1 channels of lossy compression. DD+ (Dolby Digital Plus [aka: E-AC-3]) is a newer codec that is more efficient (can be smaller files) at encoding and can do 1 to 7.1 channels.

Also DD+ can be worse or better depending on data rate used and compared. At the same data rate with the same number of channels using the same master DD+ would be better. However you have no way of knowing this and many services (like VUDU) use DD+ to send at a lower data rate (saving bandwidth). In most cases it will be audibly and subjectively the same (especially since you can't DBT them).
Thank you. That's pretty much what I'd figured from reading around, but I hadn't seen the question answered directly.
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