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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading how Laserdisc releases are much better sound quality than the equivalent DVD releases. ( or so some say ) People say DVD has more compression while the Laserdisc opens up the soundstage and sounds so much better.


Question i have is are Blu Ray discs with their lossless soundtracks now a step above what Laserdisc offered.....Would you say that even the 640kb/s or 1.5mbp/s lossy tracks are better than Laserdiscs sound ?


I know that you have to compare on a movie basis and you can't just say one sounds better than the other but i was wondering if the owners of Laserdiscs are now happy with the sound they get from Blu Ray ?


Of course it's also all in the mix and Laserdisc used to offer PCM 2 chanel soundtracks which you could decode into Pro Logic....Should Blu Ray offer the original 2 channel soundtrack in PCM form for older films as well as a remix ( i think so )
 

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DVD AC3 vs LD PCM or LD AC3?


There were a lot of complaints about the dvd 5.1 mixes being weaker than their laserdisc counterparts, supposedly because of mixdown purposes. I guess that's not done anymore.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kram Sacul /forum/post/14180837


DVD AC3 vs LD PCM or LD AC3?


There were a lot of complaints about the dvd 5.1 mixes being weaker than their laserdisc counterparts, supposedly because of mixdown purposes. I guess that's not done anymore.

A textbook example is the AC-3 track of the "Space Jam" LaserDisc compared to the SE DVD. The DVD track is not even in the same league as the LD (I am comparing the 5.1 mixes), so much so that the anamorphic picture is not enough incentive for me to play the DVD vs the non-anamorphic picture of the LD.
 

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It was a well known phenomena that laserdisc soundtracks often beat their dvd counterpart. There are various reasons for this of course. The Blu-ray audio tracks are in a different league all together, as most of them are the original master soundtrack in lossless form. I think it would have to take a disastrous remix job for the Blu-ray to lose to the laserdisc soundtrack.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger /forum/post/14181382


It was a well known phenomena that laserdisc soundtracks often beat their dvd counterpart. There are various reasons for this of course. The Blu-ray audio tracks are in a different league all together, as most of them are the original master soundtrack in lossless form. I think it would have to take a disastrous remix job for the Blu-ray to lose to the laserdisc soundtrack.

Just working off memory, I believe that laserdiscs had 44.1KHz digital PCM tracks (whereas many Blu-Rays today have 48KHz). OTOH, if you compare it to Warner's many Blu-Ray 640K DD only lossy tracks, then on a pure fidelity basis laserdisc is better.


It is so pathetic that after 20 years, we still cannot make a definitive statement that today's best consumer format has better audio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess a question would be - If you take the DTS-HD Master Audio or Dolby Tru HD track and listen to it's core at 1.5mbp/s or 640kbp/s is this core as good as the old Laserdisc mixes as in has the compression that people didn't like about DVD ended with Blu Ray even on the core soundtracks ? I ask that because the core of these tracks is taken from the lossless version so surely should be a massive improvement. I admit my knowledge is limited on the sound aspect of Blu Ray and how it really works.


I ask that because at the moment my sound is restricted to core listening as i don't have HDMI in my current amp and the Playstation 3 doesn't offer analog out. I believe many will be listening to the core rather than the full uncompressed lossless track until they upgrade their amps.


At the moment studio's are giving us a remix but another question is should they give us the original unaltered 2 channel track as PCM stereo so we can listen to it as Dolby Pro Logic or Pro Logic II - Remixes don't always offer the best sound i have found although that's on a per movie basis.


What do others here think ?
 

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I had a laserdisc player with pretty good equipment.

For example "Speed" or "Independence Day" on dvd never even got close to their Laserdisc counterparts. Now with Blu Ray and DTS HD sound that has changed.
 

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I never thought that DD 5.1 on Laserdisc was superior to the same soundtrack on the DVD. They were mostly comparable. The difference in the debates I remember were the DTS laserdiscs vs. their DVD DTS counterparts, and of course the PCM 2 channel vs. the DD on DVD.


There was especially some hullabaloo over the Jurassic Park DTS DVD having weaker bass than it's LD equivalent. They even repressed the DVDs to add on the same soundtrack of the DVD, which some people claimed was cooked at the time to help sell DTS equipment. I personally never heard that much difference, and felt both soundtracks sounded incredible.


Now, PCM always has had better fidelity than anything DD put out. That was always the attraction to LD -- the standard stereo sountracks were much warmer than the 5.1 mixes on DVD. However, that warmth is apparent on the PCM 5.1 tracks on Blu-Ray, and in my opinion of the TruHD and DTS HD Masters. So, after some rambling, yes, I think Blu-Ray is superior to LD in the sound department.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyMulder /forum/post/14182292


I guess a question would be - If you take the DTS-HD Master Audio or Dolby Tru HD track and listen to it's core at 1.5mbp/s or 640kbp/s is this core as good as the old Laserdisc mixes as in has the compression that people didn't like about DVD ended with Blu Ray even on the core soundtracks ? I ask that because the core of these tracks is taken from the lossless version so surely should be a massive improvement. I admit my knowledge is limited on the sound aspect of Blu Ray and how it really works.


I ask that because at the moment my sound is restricted to core listening as i don't have HDMI in my current amp and the Playstation 3 doesn't offer analog out. I believe many will be listening to the core rather than the full uncompressed lossless track until they upgrade their amps.


At the moment studio's are giving us a remix but another question is should they give us the original unaltered 2 channel track as PCM stereo so we can listen to it as Dolby Pro Logic or Pro Logic II - Remixes don't always offer the best sound i have found although that's on a per movie basis.


What do others here think ?

i think the answer is difficult and simple. If we are dealing with a lossless track (TrueHD, DTS-MA, then the answer is obvious as lossless would win.)


On the other hand...... From what I understand, LDs were not as "compressed" as DVD so it should offer better sound. Most bluray tracks even though they may seem the same as the SD are sometimes improved and offer a higher bitrate. On the other hand, some tracks are just carry overs from the HD. If this is the case, this may be a case where the LD sounds better if it was a bad encode.


By and large though, BD will usually sound better.
 

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Quote:
From what I understand, LDs were not as "compressed" as DVD so it should offer better sound.

If I recall correctly, ld used ac3 at 384 kbs, while dvd mostly uses 440 kbs. the only way ld were not as compressed is if they were 2 channel pcm...which in theory dvds could do as well, but most of the time, studios are too lazy...the release of the original original star wars, a direct laserdisc port, had 2 channel dd instead of pcm.
 

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I don't believe anyone claimed that AC3 on laserdiscs sounded better than AC3 on DVDs (unless it was due to the use of different masters). However, it is evident that the fidelity of the laserdisc PCM tracks were an order of magnitude better than DVD DD. The sad part is that this quality difference would still exist if they put the exact same laserdisc PCM track on DVD.


One of the problems with DVD players is that due to the intrinsic nature of the player mechanisms, its jitter performance is about 1,000 worse than the worst CD player. It is this poor timing of the digital datastream that put the DVD audio resolution ceiling at 12 bits.


So irregardless of the quality of the DVD player DAC circuitry, or even if one used high-quality outboard DAC circuitry, it is the timing accuracy which clocks the music. Jitter in CD transports is measured in part of a picosecond, whereas in DVD transports it is measured in tens of thousands of picoseconds. So while in theory DVD players are capable of 16-20 bits of sonic resolution, in practice it is only capable of 12 bits. Some players (such as those by Faroudja) addressed this shortcoming, but these were few and far in between.


For me, a simple conclusion is that the best laserdisc audio was better than the best DVD audio, and that the typical laserdisc audio was also better than the typical DVD audio.


When it comes to Blu-Ray, we still have 640K DD-only discs. So the general statement that "BD has better audio fidelity than 20-year old laserdiscs" cannot be made. Also, does anyone know what the jitter performance on BD players are?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Burke /forum/post/14184613


I don't believe anyone claimed that AC3 on laserdiscs sounded better than AC3 on DVDs (unless it was due to the use of different masters). However, it is evident that the fidelity of the laserdisc PCM tracks were an order of magnitude better than DVD DD. The sad part is that this quality difference would still exist if they put the exact same laserdisc PCM track on DVD.


One of the problems with DVD players is that due to the intrinsic nature of the player mechanisms, its jitter performance is about 1,000 worse than the worst CD player. It is this poor timing of the digital datastream that put the DVD audio resolution ceiling at 12 bits.


So irregardless of the quality of the DVD player DAC circuitry, or even if one used high-quality outboard DAC circuitry, it is the timing accuracy which clocks the music. Jitter in CD transports is measured in part of a picosecond, whereas in DVD transports it is measured in tens of thousands of picoseconds. So while in theory DVD players are capable of 16-20 bits of sonic resolution, in practice it is only capable of 12 bits. Some players (such as those by Faroudja) addressed this shortcoming, but these were few and far in between.


For me, a simple conclusion is that the best laserdisc audio was better than the best DVD audio, and that the typical laserdisc audio was also better than the typical DVD audio.


When it comes to Blu-Ray, we still have 640K DD-only discs. So the general statement that "BD has better audio fidelity than 20-year old laserdiscs" cannot be made. Also, does anyone know what the jitter performance on BD players are?

But what if BD has an advanced codec such as DD+, DTS=HD, DTS-MA or TrueHD?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini /forum/post/14184864


But what if BD has an advanced codec such as DD+, DTS=HD, DTS-MA or TrueHD?

IMO the lossy codecs (DD+, DTS-HD, DTS core) do not belong in the same category as the lossless (PCM, DTS-HD/MA, TrueHd).


So the question is probably "are the BD lossless tracks sonically superior to the laserdisc PCM tracks"?


For that, we probably need to answer the question "what is the jitter performance of BD player mechanisms vs laserdiscs ones". While in theory the BD lossless audio that is physically on the disc has better specs, it is a different issue whether those better specs are taken advantage of in practical terms.
 

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Unnecessary comments deleted.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Burke /forum/post/14181676


Just working off memory, I believe that laserdiscs had 44.1KHz digital PCM tracks (whereas many Blu-Rays today have 48KHz). OTOH, if you compare it to Warner's many Blu-Ray 640K DD only lossy tracks, then on a pure fidelity basis laserdisc is better.

As others have noted Laserdisc was only capable of 2 channel PCM audio so that is debatable since you are sometimes comparing 2 channel PCM audio with multi-channel lossy audio. Also I would mention that 2 channel PCM audio was added to Laserdisc after it was released and originally Laserdisc didn't support it .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Burke /forum/post/14181676


It is so pathetic that after 20 years, we still cannot make a definitive statement that today's best consumer format has better audio.

You can make the statement that Blu-ray can support better audio quality and that in the vast majority of cases is superior to what either DVD or Laserdisc offered. Also even with a better video format some definitive statements can't be made and for instance you can't make the definitive statement that "DVD has better video quality than VHS" since that isn't always true.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Burke /forum/post/14184613


One of the problems with DVD players is that due to the intrinsic nature of the player mechanisms, its jitter performance is about 1,000 worse than the worst CD player. It is this poor timing of the digital datastream that put the DVD audio resolution ceiling at 12 bits.

According to Jim Taylor that was a myth made by Widescreen Review.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul /forum/post/14185694


As others have noted Laserdisc was only capable of 2 channel PCM audio so that is debatable since you are sometimes comparing 2 channel audio with multi-channel audio. Also I would mention that 2 channel PCM audio was added to Laserdisc after it was released and originally Laserdisc didn't support it.



You can make the statement that Blu-ray can support better audio quality and that in the vast majority of cases is superior to what either DVD or Laserdisc offered. Also even with a better video format some definitive statements can't be made and for instance you can't make the definitive statement that "DVD has better video quality than VHS" since that isn't always true.


That was a myth made by Widescreen Review.

Yes...tests done in an UK mag showed jitter was not a problem in even modestly priced DVD players.


I believe Laserdisc got an upgrade though that allowed Digital 5.1 sound in both DTS and Dolby formats and DTS tracks were about 1200kbp/s ( not sure on exact figure )


It's the 2 channel PCM part which interests me with regards older films...I remember reading how Forrest Gumps 2 channel PMC track on Laserdisc sounded more immersive with more going on in the surrounds albeit in mono than the 5.1 track which according to the review at the time said the 5.1 track lacked surround information.


My point for bringing it up would be that i hope we can get older films from the eighties and early nineties the original 2 channel track as PCM ( as well as a remix ) on Blu Ray software.
 

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What is this about 640 kbps soundtracks? Every studio outside of Warner is releasing lossless master soundtracks on their Blu-rays. Fox and Sony have never released anything but lossless audio on Blu-ray. Lionsgate stopped offering lossy only soundtracks after their initial wave of BDs. Even Starz has used PCM on all their releases. Apparently Universal will be releasing DTS-HD MA on every Blu-ray release and Paramount will be going forward with Dolby TrueHD on all new BDs. Blame Warner for continuing to issue substandard audio tracks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger /forum/post/14186021


What is this about 640 kbps soundtracks? Every studio outside of Warner is releasing lossless master soundtracks on their Blu-rays. Fox and Sony have never released anything but lossless audio on Blu-ray. Lionsgate stopped offering lossy only soundtracks after their initial wave of BDs. Even Starz has used PCM on all their releases. Apparently Universal will be releasing DTS-HD MA on every Blu-ray release and Paramount will be going forward with Dolby TrueHD on all new BDs. Blame Warner for continuing to issue substandard audio tracks.

The core track from Dolby True HD is usually 640kbp/s ( sometimes 448kbp/s ) its the minimum a person can get if they don't have an HDMI receiver or analog outputs on their player.


For DTS HD MA the minimum is usually 1.5mbp/s.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Paul /forum/post/14185694


According to Jim Taylor that was a myth made by Widescreen Review.

Jim knows a ton about DVD. But he doesn't have any expertise in high-performance audio. His description of jitter degradation is pretty wrong in that quote. The effect of jitter is precisely that: it reduces the effective resolution. *Measured* perforamance of many DVD players is no better than 12-14 bits. Even DVD-A players struggled to get above 16 bits when they came out.


The fact that there are many more clocks/circuits in a DVD player as compared to a CD player heavily impacts how feasible it is to get good performance from them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyMulder /forum/post/14185723


Yes...tests done in an UK mag showed jitter was not a problem in even modestly priced DVD players.

That is pretty much at odds with tests in US magazines. I used to read the reviews religiously and many players fall way short of their specs. This was in high-end audio magazines that know what they are talking about.


Who had done the tests in UK and what was the nature of it?
 
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