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Universal Chooses DTS HD MA for BD Titles

Old 05-01-08, 08:34 AM
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Universal Chooses DTS HD MA for BD Titles

Exclusive: Universal Talks Blu-ray Audio Plans
April 30, 2008

In the waning months of Universal Studios Home Entertainment's HD DVD era, the studio had standardized the use of Dolby TrueHD audio on almost all newly announced titles. This was in stark contrast to the early Universal HD DVD days when the appearance of Dolby TrueHD was overshadowed by the heavy use of Dolby Digital Plus lossy audio.

Times has certainly changed, and now Universal is gearing up to enter the Blu-ray Disc arena for the first time on July 22. With this move from HD DVD to Blu-ray support comes many questions, including how Universal will approach audio with the expanded room a BD-50 disc offers over a 30GD dual-layered HD DVD disc.

Although Universal is remaining tight-lipped on a lot of details surrounding their Blu-ray presence that wasn't included in the press release, they were kind enough to entertain our questions about their audio approach on Blu-ray. The simple answer may surprise you. At the least, it should delight you.

The first wave of Universal Blu-ray Disc titles on July 22 are all from the Mummy franchise and were all previously released on HD DVD: The Mummy, The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King. All of these titles were published with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio tracks, but not Dolby TrueHD tracks.

Per Universal, all three Mummy films will include DTS-HD Master Lossless Audio. That's right, folks. Instead of lazily porting over what was already completed for HD DVD, Universal has heard your cries for lossless audio and is taking action.

Universal went on to tell us that the game plan moving forward is for DTS-HD Master Lossless to become the Blu-ray standard at the studio. Obviously there will be exceptions, but it looks like the majority of titles, and probably all new theatrical titles, will include DTS-HD.

We'll have more from Universal, including their position on U-Control appearing on Blu-ray, in the near future. Stay tuned!

Source
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Old 05-01-08, 08:48 AM
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If I had any doubt I'd be upgrading my Mummy titles, that doubt is now erased.
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Old 05-01-08, 08:49 AM
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DTS MA = TrueHD = PCM
They all sound the same.

But, I'll be happy to buy off anyone 'crappy' TrueHD HD DVDs. Shoot me a PM. I'm sure I can toss a couple bucks you're way
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Old 05-01-08, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD
DTS MA = TrueHD = PCM
They all sound the same.


But, I'll be happy to buy off anyone 'crappy' TrueHD HD DVDs. Shoot me a PM. I'm sure I can toss a couple bucks you're way
but "DTS MA" sounds cooler than "TrueHD"

TrueHD can do 7.1 like DTS-MA, right?
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Old 05-01-08, 08:53 AM
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I'm not too surprised they'll be using DTS-HD MA, since they had some problems with authoring TrueHD on HD DVDs. They'll need it for Spielberg titles anyway.
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Old 05-01-08, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
but "DTS MA" sounds cooler than "TrueHD"

TrueHD can do 7.1 like DTS-MA, right?
DTS MA certainly does sound cooler...but its the same thing. The kids over at Blu-ray.com are going NUTS right now for it when most of them will be enjoying the movies on their 32' Wal-mart brand TV with no speaker setup to be found. Its comical over there

Doesn't Universal hold some sort of stake is DTS anyway?
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Old 05-01-08, 09:45 AM
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theatrically Universal was the first studio that released their films with DTS sound

Last edited by Giles; 05-01-08 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 05-01-08, 09:47 AM
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Well THAT is interesting. Any true fan of a Universal film that has the title on HD DVD will now be more likely to double-dip on their HDM to buy the Blu-ray. Kinda smart on the marketing side of things.
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Old 05-01-08, 09:49 AM
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This is good news and a good move on Universal's part, because:
1) The vast majority of Blu-ray players in homes can now either decode or bitstream DTS-HD MA
2) All Blu-ray players can decode the lossy DTS core, which is typically higher quality than the ghost DD track on TrueHD BDs for people who don't have an HDMI receiver

So, most Blu-ray owners across the audio setup spectrum are covered with the highest respective quality.

It'll be interesting to see how many of their catalog titles from HD DVD with DD+ will get DTS-HD MA on BD. I'm not huge into audio, so I will probably only replace the ones I have if they also have new/different extras.

Last edited by kefrank; 05-01-08 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 05-01-08, 09:49 AM
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Old 05-01-08, 09:50 AM
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It certainly was smart. I, however will not spend more money for something that sounds identical to TrueHD. Now if they include a ticket to see Mummy 3...well who knows.
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Old 05-01-08, 09:55 AM
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hopefully now the Blu-ray disc edition of Peter Jackson's 'King Kong' will finally have a lossless audio track.
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Old 05-01-08, 10:16 AM
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Sweet!
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Old 05-01-08, 10:28 AM
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Wow, totally was not expecting this from Universal but this is great news. Kudos to them listening to the customer.
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Old 05-01-08, 10:47 AM
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That's quite a few HD-DVD's I'll have to repurchase on Blu-ray. Serenity, King Kong, and The Mummy are ones I want to replace. I'll probably be a little more selective with titles like Midnight Run or Scent of a Woman. How much will lossless audio really benefit those films?
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Old 05-01-08, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by candyrocket786
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Old 05-01-08, 11:35 AM
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I would have been just as happy if they went with TrueHD, since The Mummy movies didn't have lossless at all.
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Old 05-01-08, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
hopefully now the Blu-ray disc edition of Peter Jackson's 'King Kong' will finally have a lossless audio track.
And a branched Extended Cut.

(Waiting for the inevitable "the movie was too long as it is comments".)
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Old 05-01-08, 12:19 PM
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While it's certainly not their only reason for doing it, adding DTS-HD MA is a brilliant move to get people to repurchase many HD movies they already own. I'm likely not rebuying the Warner ports, but I'll be certainly be getting the previously HD DVD only movies on BD with the lossless audio/new transfers.
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Old 05-01-08, 01:54 PM
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The bad news is that I might be rebuying a shitload of titles.

The good news was already mentioned in the OP.
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Old 05-01-08, 02:16 PM
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I won't rebuy any title that has TrueHD on HD DVD, but might be willing to consider a few titles that only had DD+.
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Old 05-01-08, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
I won't rebuy any title that has TrueHD on HD DVD, but might be willing to consider a few titles that only had DD+.
Same. If I double dip on American Gangster, it damn well better have the extended cut in high-def.
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Old 05-01-08, 10:07 PM
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Same here. Depends on the title, if it NEEDS lossless, etc. I'd upgrade Bourne Ultimatum solely to have a non-combo version.
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Old 05-01-08, 10:10 PM
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This won't get me to double dip, but now that the PS3 supports it bring on the DTS MA.
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Old 05-01-08, 10:53 PM
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The Bourne Trilogy will sound mighty nice with DTS-MA. So will Miami Vice...Shaun of the Dead...Hot Fuzz......I'm assuming Universal will do the same with the Rogue titles?
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