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I have a Sony STR-DE725 receiver that I have been using with my DVD player. It can ONLY output Dolby Digital 5.1, but frankly I am very happy with the sound quality.


I have not heard DTS, but many people claim that it is better than Dolby Digital. So my question to you guys is:


Is it worth it for me to spend a few hundred dollars to upgrade to one of the new Sony DTS capable receivers, such as the Sony STR-DE675?


Any of you that have an opinion on this please let me know.


Regards,


"tag" man
 

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"It can ONLY output Dolby Digital 5.1, but frankly I am very happy with the sound quality."


If your happy then I would keep what you have. Go buy some DVD's with the money you would have spent!!!
 

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People are constantly arguing over the relative merits of the two encoding methods. Most of the audible differences on DVDs seem to be due to the production of the audio tracks on the disc. On some DD is better, on others DTS.


Also, your DVD player has to include a DTS logo on the front for DTS audio tracks to be available. Either "dts digital out" or "dts digital surround". The latter means that the player includes a DTS decoder and provides multichannel analog output. In that case the receiver wouldn't need to have a DTS decoder, but would need to have 6 analog connections for 5.1 audio.


Don't forget that there are multichannel audio-only DTS "CDs" available, too, not just DVDs. They're recorded at 1.2 Mbits/second, which is almost 3 times the bitrate of DVD dts audio tracks. Although the variety of titles is limited, they can be quite enjoyable, almost comparable to multichannel SACD and DVD-A.
 

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tag - I recently upgraded receivers and my old one couldn't decode DTS. I didn't upgrade BECAUSE I didn't have DTS, although probably like you, I felt I was missing out on something. But when my old receiver broke, I used the excuse to get a new receiver even though I got the old Sony fixed under warranty! :D The old one is now doing a fine job in my basement audio setup. Anyway... once I got the new receiver I was definitely curious about DD vs DTS and my conclusions are that on some discs you won't hear ANY difference but on others, there's a difference but it's hard to say if one is better than the other. My impression is that there's a bit more bass on some DTS titles and I don't think the DTS does the dialog normalization so maybe dialog is a bit louder on DD but I could be wrong! Anyway, don't know if this helps at all, but it's certainly not a night and day thing. As some have said before, often the DD and DTS soundtracks for a particular movie are mixed by different engineers, so there's no way to really compare them in terms of quality. I think your speakers and receiver itself will be a bigger factor than DD vs DTS. And that I can definitely attest to because my receiver upgrade made EVERYTHING sound better. I went from a Sony DA90ESG to a Pioneer Elite 49TX by the way.
 

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I'm a HUGE fan of dts and I would say it's definitely worth it to add dts capability to your HT system. I would NOT necessarily think of it as an "upgrade" but rather adding support for mroe audio format options to your HT system....


Peace......
 

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A properly done Dolby Digital soundtrack cannot even compare to a properly done DTS soundtrack - DTS is superior by far! I say "properly" done because I've watched older movies where the DVD producers decided to add a DTS soundtrack (e.g. the original Gone in 60 Seconds, the Rambo series), and to me this seems pointless - these DTS soundtracks aren't any better than their Dolby Digital counterparts. However, take a DVD like Planet of the Apes or Jurassic Park III and compare the DTS vs. Dolby Digital... DTS puts Dolby Digital to shame.


BTW, DTS using something like 1/10th the compression that Dolby Digital does... in the theater, DD sound is actually encoded onto the filmstrip.... DTS soundtracks come on a separate disc due to their size and the filmstrip only contains "pointers" to the audio disc.


My rule of thumb is that if the movie was released with a DTS soundtrack in the theaters, than if we are lucky enough to get that soundtrack on the DVD - by all means that is the one to listen to! I've noticed that almost all new movies are realeased with DTS, DD, and Sony SDDS soundtracks in the theater. The DVD is guaranteed to have DD, and now DTS is appearing more often. Sony SDDS is not availble at home (yet).


Hyperseer
 

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If you are looking to upgrade your receiver, a better plan would be to upgrade to a receiver that has Dolby Pro Logic II as well. DPLII is great with DVD's that are only in stereo, music CD's, a VCR, and TV sound. DPLII can make a stereo or DPL 2.0 source sound almost as good as 5.1 surround. I have an Onkyo 797 and I use the DPLII Music Mode on all my two channel sources.


Of course, a DPLII receiver would come with DTS too.


--Randy Schissler
 

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tag - tonight I picked up the DVD (video) of Hell Freezes Over by the Eagles. It only has stereo or 5.1 DTS - no DD! So I'm glad I have the DTS now :D


The DTS soundtrack for this DVD is AMAZING.
 

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Magazines such as widescreen have compared the 2 side by side many times. They mostly, but not always, prefer DTS. It is an improvement but how much will depend on the rest of your system. The better the system the more noticible the difference. I have a pretty high end system and a while ago upgraded the Lexicon DC1 preamp to DTS (new chips not a new processor). DTS was definitely better but not so much that I would tell everyone to do so. Depends on how much you care and are willing to spend.
 

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It will also depend upon the DVD. I have a DTS system, and truly love DTS sound. There's a demo on the Lushkin Defense DVD that is amazing. Sort of like the DTS "test pattern". But DTS is not on a lot of discs that I have. So if you're getting a new receiver definitely get it, if you're really into sound, get it. . .otherwise it can wait.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ian Montgomerie
If you compare data rates found on typical DVDs, DTS has twice the bitrate of Dolby Digital 5.1. 768 vs. 384 kilobits per second.
How would you see the data rate for just the audio? My player only shows the overall data rate (audio and video together).


Both formats can support a wide variety of compression rates.
 

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Taguirre:


I agree with the comments that DTS will be superior, but by how much depends on your total system. I have a McIntosh home theatre with Definitive Technology 3000 front speakers, plus matching centre and rears. All of the speakers are full range and the McIntosh has a special DTS option which passes full range to all the speakers in DTS mode only.


On this system, DTS is always superior to DD 5.1. DD 5.1 isn’t too shabby either.:D
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Boden
All of the speakers are full range and the McIntosh has a special DTS option which passes full range to all the speakers in DTS mode only.
Not sure what you mean by this, why wouldn't your McIntosh pass 'full range' for DD content?


And by the way, my experience is that there's no technical diff between DD and DTS *BUT* there's generally higher bit rate CONTENT on DTS (which is going to result in better audio of course). Check out Sting's 'All This Time' DVD though - amazing DD audio.
 

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To quibble, a bitrate difference *is* a technical difference, as is the type of algorithm used to compress and decompress the sighal. I suspect you meant "audible" perhaps.


The higher bitrate used by DTS compared to DD doesn't necessarily equate to a higher quality result since DTS and DD use quite different compression algorithms. This distinction has been beaten to death in many other threads.


However, the higher bitrate (~1.2Mbits/sec) used on DTS CDs does mean that their audio CD format can produce better audio than can be heard on DTS DVDs (~400-700Mbits/sec).
 

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Bitkahuna:


Thanks for the question and comment. Of course, it does pass full range for DD if the speakers are set to large (full range). I reread the manual for the first time in quite a while and found out the DTS full range option changes the default settings of all speakers from small to large. It also will switch to full range dynamically, when set to music modes (as opposed to Cinema or THX Cinema for movies) when it detects DTS.


The documentation is a bit confusing:confused:, but they do implement DTS a bit differently from DD.
 

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Quote:
How would you see the data rate for just the audio? My player only shows the overall data rate (audio and video together).


Both formats can support a wide variety of compression rates.
I've written audio software for DVD players so I have some familiarity with the bitrates. Both formats do support a variety of compression levels, however actual DVDs don't vary much in the levels they use. Major releases will typically use 384 kbps DD, and 768 kbps DTS. 1536 kbps is found in the DTS trailer itself, but virtually nowhere else. 448 kbps DD is used on the "Superbit" discs. Some non-major releases use lower bitrates than 384/768.
 
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