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Next-Gen dvd to down-rez audio?

Old 10-19-05, 05:11 PM
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Next-Gen dvd to down-rez audio?

Intersting article from DvdFile :

Both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc are establishing audio standards for their respective disc formats. Based on reports elsewhere, there are hints concerning the audio formats we might expect, and there’s good news and a bit of bad news. Both formats have endorsed Dolby Digital Plus, an enhanced extension of the Dolby Digital format. DTS will likely be offered on both formats, and DTS has also created an extension in the form of DTS-HD. Both Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD are lossy, but each should provide improved fidelity and accuracy. But best of all, both Dolby and DTS have devised new lossless digital audio formats that promise to convey every single bit found on the studio masters for greatly improved fidelity: Dolby TrueHD and DTS++.

So the good news is that as high definition DVDs are introduced, fidelity should enjoy a significant leap upward; the sound quality should be noticeably better than the finest DTS or Dolby Digital track you’ve ever heard from DVD. The bad news is that with respect to audio, technological progress is going to force investments in new equipment. Your existing decoders are not programmed to deal with the new processes, and I’d be surprised if any could be updated with new algorithms; I suspect that the processing power required to deal with the new digital audio formats will exceed your processors’ computational abilities. But don’t throw that expensive decoder or receiver out the window just yet; our friends at Dolby and DTS have made their new audio formats backward compatible.

You will be able to feed the digital audio S/PDIF bit stream from the new high definition players into your current decoder or receiver and the fidelity you’ll experience will be no less than you perceive today, possibly better. And if you have a system that supports proper bass management when driven from its analog inputs, the first wave of high definition disc players are expected to have multi-channel analog audio outputs to provide full fidelity audio decoded with the new algorithms.

So unlike the studios’ potential requirement to have early adopters purchase new displays equipped with HDCP-compliant HDMI inputs to view full resolution high definition video, you will not have to rush to purchase a new digital audio decoder. The difference in urgency between preparing for the video and the audio stems from the differences in video and audio improvements found on high definition discs; unlike the dramatic improvement over standard resolution video you’ll see in high definition images, the new “high definition” audio formats’ improvements will be subtler. You’ll eventually want to upgrade your audio path, but Dolby and DTS have been kind to us. Backward compatibility is assured. Now, if only the studios would be as kind with the video.
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Old 10-19-05, 05:20 PM
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"DTS plus plus"? Who the hell thinks up these names?

Maybe Dolby can follow that up with "Dolby DoublePlusGood"
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Old 10-19-05, 06:20 PM
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When I saw the thread title, I got scared ... for a minute, I thought it would be like the new HD cameras (I believe they're Sonys, but I'm not 100% of that) which make amazing picture, but immediately compress the sound to MP2. Naturally, this creates all sorts of pops and whistles and whatnot. And that's professional level equipment.

So I'm glad to hear it's not as bad as that.
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Old 10-19-05, 06:44 PM
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I am really hoping to see some preamps this year at CES that show off DTS HD or Dolby Digital Plus - I haven't heard of the others mentioned above but that is great. The question is how long will it be before they are adopted into the hardware. Seems like DTS was in a lot of hardware before it was on many DVDs. From what I've read that has something to do with the storage capacity of DVDs. Hopefully they won't have any excuse with BR and HD-DVD for not giving us the best audio - they'll probably just give sure high res video of the keygrip's breakfast and other useless crap just so they can get us to double dip for one with the best video and audio.
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Old 10-19-05, 07:48 PM
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Considering how fast recievers turn over, I would not be surprised to see DD + and DTS HD start to be included in receivers around the summer or '06 or fall of '06. (Likely Denon, Pioneer Elite and Yamaha... Plus the independent compontent companies.)

Both audio formats are required in HD-DVD and Blu-Ray hardware.

DTS was in receivers well before DVD arrived because DTS CD's and DTS LD's had been since winter of 1995. Part of the problem, which DTS still denies to this day, is that their codec for DVD wasn't finished for the launch of DVD, that is why it took until the middle of '98 before DTS outputs showed up on DVD players.

I wouldn't be surpirsed if DTS HD on the HD formats is even more sparse than DTS on DVD.

fitprod
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Old 10-19-05, 08:04 PM
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thanks for the info. Hopefully someone will press them for final specs etc at CES so there won't be a delay. Last I read they didn't have the final specs out for DTS HD a little while ago. I would love to buy a new preamp within the next 6 months but it won't happen until it has a processor for Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD. I'd buy one next week if I could get those now! I'm hoping Denon or Rotel comes out with something in the mid range line soon for that - I don't care about the video - I usually bypass and go straight from the player to the TV. Of course I'll want a nice new 1080p TV that does 60fps!
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Old 10-19-05, 08:07 PM
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Most tech geeks these days upgrade their equipment long before it's worn out, rather because they are prodded into obsolescence. 7.1 receivers are the rage and 5.1 receivers are old news, but a great 5.1 receiver will still do one hell of a job of giving you an enjoyable listening experience. Same thing applies here, just an incentive/excuse for the hardcore A/Vers to buy more toys.
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