AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 76 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm no audiophile. I just got my home theater set up with killer speakers. But when listening and comparing between Dolby Digital 5.1 vs DTS 5.1, I can readily hear the difference!


So why isn't Hollywood encoding their DVD releases with DTS instead of Dolby Digital? Is it more expensive? More difficult? WHAT?!?! :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
Joel, your subject title is confusing by naming DVD-audio. Yes ,there may be a few who swear by the 'superiority' of DTS over DD but after correcting for the bitrate & SPL discrepancies most would agree the differences are subtle the best. And that is for DVD-video.


As for DVD-audio, DTS did try to compete but was beat out by Meridian (I am sure you'll hear & read more about it's lossless algorithm MLP) which is now the standard for DVD-audio.


PF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,316 Posts
It is more expensive AND most believe it is not as clear cut as you say. Most technical reviews of them put them roughly similar. Theoretically, DTS should sound better with higher bitrates but it seems to have some faults.


What is probably happening is that people view it as a superior format, so sometimes a DVD is released with the audio remastered and presented in DTS. In that case, they could have remastered the audio and put it in DD 5.1 and it would sound better with that as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
578 Posts
Long story short,


DTS was late to getting their format submitted as an option for the DVD standard.


They also didn't have encoders available to studios like Dolby did in the early days.


Both formats throw away sound that you can't hear (called 'lossy'), and both are diff. methods so it's NOT a matter of DTS being a little higher bit rate 'cuz they're two diff. types of encoding systems.


Why they sound diff. on DVD's sometimes is that often DTS discs are recorded louder overall, often have louder surrounds, and louder LFE track.

That's not better quality, just louder, and louder is usually perceived as better sounding by people who don't realize that effect. Often used by shady audio salesmen too!


Some claim that discs that have both DTS and DD tracks the DTS tracks are tweaked to actually sound better than DD not that DD is inferior, but you never know what happened in the recording of the two soundtracks so who knows?


you'll see DTS most often in Dreamworks films. Speilberg's company. He's behind DTS too, so you think he might want his DTS tracks to be encoded to sound better than the DD track... hmm?


Both can sound great. Both can sound bad. At their best, same movie soundtrack encoded at the exact same levels in both formats, you'd probably never be able to tell the diff.


Look up 'Dialouge Normalization'. You'll probably have to re-spell it right to find more info though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info. Didn't know that. Since I've been listening to DTS format in the movies that had them, I sort of got turned off with the DVD's that only had DD. So I never bothered picking up the rentals that had only DD and not DTS. Maybe I should re-consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,335 Posts
Joel,


I have to admit, I'm scratching my head on this...


Why would your choice to rent a movie be based on the soundtracks available?


Personally, I pick based on whether I want to see the film or not.


Maybe I'm misunderstanding your post.


Regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,284 Posts
I watch alot of blockbuster movies of junk status purely for its special/sound effect. So picking DTS over DD is just an extension of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
Well, I like DTS but certainly wouldn't rule out rentals for titles that don't have it!


As for the arguments on why DTS might sound better, I am not convinced that the sound pressure level differences as a whole account for the perceived differences, with a few movies, I've listened to DD5.1 and DTS on the same disc and I thought that DTS sounded better, but it also sounded like the same overal volume.


It could very well be the mixing, at least when they started out, DTS did quite a bit of the audio engineering in-house, they might be better at it than the studios using DD, particularly as DTS engineers likely know their own encoders inside & out better than most studio engineers know Dolby Digital encoders and maybe can compensate accordingly.


The DTS/DD5.1 DVDs I've listened to were NOT made by Dreamworks, so if anyone is crippling the DD mix, I don't think it would be Spielberg.


Both use psycho-acoustic models to determine what data to throw away, and as such is an approximation of the general population, might each individual stand a chance of hearing things differently based on the compression model used?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
One other reason DD was picked over DTS (I haven't seen it in this thread) is the same reason some people think DTS is superior. DD's lower bit rate meant that more information could be put on a single DVD. At the time DTS's sound quality did not seem to differ enough for the higher bit rate trade off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As a reply to the others, I haven't been dismissing movies without DTS for that long...maybe a week. I didn't really ponder over this dts vs. dd until recently. I just like the sound of dts better and just grabbing movies that had them for listening pleasure.


@bluedevils:

This is the reasoning that makes the most sense. I can see why they wouldn't encode dts due to the high bit rate.


I guess that pretty much explains why the SUPERBIT dvd's only have the video and audio encoded without any other "extras" in there. I just got the 5th element in Superbit and will probably never run it with DD. DTS all the way!


Consequently, when releasing SUPERBIT DVD's, they should follow suit with the just-released Mel Gibson's "The Patriot" as a 2-disc DVD. That way, the movie is seperated from all the extras so we get the best of both worlds. Dont'cha think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
Actually, when DTS lost the race (for more than *just* the bitrate thing), they were the ones to turn it around and say "we're the audiophile's choice because we have a higher bitrate (less lossy)".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
I like DTS in general and look for it. If it is available I always play the DVD in DTS, although I don't watch the movie twice to compare the sound tracks. Widescreen Review more often than not gives the DTS recordings a higher rating. I would think that they have a well educated ear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
I think it comes down to two things. First of all Dolby Digital had already been picked as the 5.1 sound standard for HDTV a number of years before. I also seem to remember reading an article in USA Today in 1995 or 1996 about setting the standards for DVD. Part of the article talked about how dts was actually favored as the sound standard for a while but that they dropped the ball and did a bad job of presenting and marketing themselves to the panel that was setting the standards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,365 Posts
>>Widescreen Review more often than not gives the DTS recordings a higher rating. I would think that they have a well educated ear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by BSN
So why isn't Hollywood encoding their DVD releases with DTS instead of Dolby Digital? Is it more expensive? More difficult? WHAT?!?! :confused:
There are many reasons why DTS was not picked as the standard and many are covered here, but that still does not answer this question. When DD won the battle, for whatever reason, DTS was already doing music CD's, which I and many other people enjoyed very much. Dolby was not even interested in this market at that time. DTS was VERY VERY slow in puting out CD's. I am not sure why. Maybe nobody would give them permission to use their music, or maybe it was just too hard to do. But in any case I really think they missed the boat with that. DVD-A was years away, and they could have really cornered the market in the mulit-channel music. They were playable in ANY CD player that had a digital output. No new DVD player to buy like DVD-A made you do.


They were too busy wining about DVD's to see this. I may be wrong, but I would think most musicians would love to have their music sold in another format for just a piece of the action. But instead DTS for the most part choice these off the artists or pieces of music and stayed a minor player in the multi-channel music market. Then a few years went buy and MLP beat out DTS as the DVD-A standard mainly becuase it is a lossless codec and DTS is not. (I think that might have been a requirment). Then the wining started. If they spent more time acutaly putting stuff out in those few years, they really could have something special now. Now we just get a few movies every couple of months (if we are lucky) and DVD-A and SACD are the standards as the multi-channel formats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,452 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by BSN
Thanks for the info. Didn't know that. Since I've been listening to DTS format in the movies that had them, I sort of got turned off with the DVD's that only had DD. So I never bothered picking up the rentals that had only DD and not DTS. Maybe I should re-consider.
As others have mentioned some of the differences in one's percieved hearing may just be that the two formats are recorded at different levels. Once SPLed the difference is subtle in most cases but in some DTS may sound slightly better and in others DD sounds better. One other possible reason is that early in the DTS CD/DVD development, some DTS titles were recorded with the LFE channel about 10dB too loud because they apparently forgot that the decoder adds 10dB to the LFE.


Some of my best sounding DVDs are DD titles. You really owe it to yourself to listen to The Phantom Menace, Toy Story 2, X-men, and the Matrix...just to name a few.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,752 Posts
Quote:
I just got the 5th element in Superbit and will probably never run it with DD. DTS all the way!
So much for the ability to make an informed choice.


If you ever do decide to approach this in a more open-minded fashion, try listening to a passage from the DTS track on Fifth Element then switch over to the DD track of the same passage and turn your volume up by 3 or 4 dB. Might be an enlightening experiment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Robert George
If you ever do decide to approach this in a more open-minded fashion, try listening to a passage from the DTS track on Fifth Element then switch over to the DD track of the same passage and turn your volume up by 3 or 4 dB. Might be an enlightening experiment.
I've done informal A-B comparisons on non-Spielberg non-Superbit DVDs and the overall volume differences seemed to be quite minimal, certainly not 3-4dB different, and DTS still sounded better. Some say it might be bass manipulation, but that's not what I heard. If anything it *might* be "brightening" on the trebles, but it sounded to me a wider effective bandwidth, to me like taking the last band of an equalizer from all the way down (DD) to normal (DTS). It may be sign of tampering with the DD, but as far as I know, the DTS crew doesn't touch the DD track.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,907 Posts
On concert videos I'm at the point where I won't purchase it unless it has a DTS soundtrack. The recording is always so much more vivid and detailed For movies it doesn't matter too much for me, as a soundtrack that sounds tooo good can distract from the movie.


Before getting my current system I'd also read how similar the sound was between DTS and DD. After hearing them, I was shocked by how superior the DTS soundtrack invariably is.
 
1 - 20 of 76 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top