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With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

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With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Old 02-18-09, 05:12 AM
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With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Considering that studios seem to use one format or another exclusively and therefore can't really be compared, since one film's mix is obviously different from another, does the whole Dolby/DTS battle even exist anymore? Is there a general preference based on experience with the new HD versions of the audio formats?
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Old 02-18-09, 08:47 AM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

The only preference is that the audio is uncompressed. Whether that be Dolby TrueHD, PCM or DTS HD Master, as long as your sound system can support it, they are all equal to me.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:48 AM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Both Dolby Digital and DTS still exist for DVD releases. Movies are still released this way as well. And both companies offer an HD codec so the competition is still there.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:49 AM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Blu-ray Audio Explained

Uncompressed vs. Lossless Audio
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Old 02-18-09, 09:03 AM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Lossless = lossless. Doesn't matter which codec is used. The only differences I know of would involve Warner Bros. and Paramount, who both use dialnorm, which lowers the DB level a bit. I have to turn my volume up a little for their movies.

Also, alot of people, who can't get lossless audio, prefer DTS HD Master Audio because the core track is still presented at 1.5 mbps, which is louder than the core Dolby Digital tracks.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:23 AM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Solid article on uncompressed vs. lossless Josh Z. I learned quite a few things I either didn't know or forgot about.
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Old 02-18-09, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema View Post
Lossless = lossless. Doesn't matter which codec is used. The only differences I know of would involve Warner Bros. and Paramount, who both use dialnorm, which lowers the DB level a bit. I have to turn my volume up a little for their movies.

Also, alot of people, who can't get lossless audio, prefer DTS HD Master Audio because the core track is still presented at 1.5 mbps, which is louder than the core Dolby Digital tracks.
"Louder"? Although a whole lot of people here seem to think so, louder has nothing whatsoever to do with audio quality.

If some of the folks who swear by the new sound on high def discs were to actually volume match the lossless codecs and the "core" or legacy tracks, they might be surprised to find that there is little to no difference. Unless one has a fairly high-end system and "golden ears", that is.

It would be fun to put a sample of HD forum denizens through a double blind test of audio codecs and see how many can consistently pick out the lossless samples.
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Old 02-18-09, 12:59 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by lizard View Post
"Louder"? Although a whole lot of people here seem to think so, louder has nothing whatsoever to do with audio quality.

If some of the folks who swear by the new sound on high def discs were to actually volume match the lossless codecs and the "core" or legacy tracks, they might be surprised to find that there is little to no difference. Unless one has a fairly high-end system and "golden ears", that is.

It would be fun to put a sample of HD forum denizens through a double blind test of audio codecs and see how many can consistently pick out the lossless samples.
I'm always amused by this as people always like to claim DTS MA/TrueHD/PCM sound better then some DD+/DTS Core tracks. I've never really been able to tell the difference unless a new mix was created (Transformers Blu-ray is a good example) and its exactly why I've happily held onto my HD DVDs with DD+ tracks. Not paying extra for a placebo effect.
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Old 02-18-09, 01:11 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by lizard View Post
"Louder"? Although a whole lot of people here seem to think so, louder has nothing whatsoever to do with audio quality.

If some of the folks who swear by the new sound on high def discs were to actually volume match the lossless codecs and the "core" or legacy tracks, they might be surprised to find that there is little to no difference. Unless one has a fairly high-end system and "golden ears", that is.

It would be fun to put a sample of HD forum denizens through a double blind test of audio codecs and see how many can consistently pick out the lossless samples.
I never said louder had anything to do with audio quality. But that's what others prefer, whatever is louder. I have a very basic 5.1 setup and I can easily tell between lossless and standard DD or the core DTS track. I think most everyone could.

I believe a test like this was conducted and mentioned on either AVS or bd.com. I think all the testers chose the lossless track.
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Old 02-18-09, 01:13 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
I'm always amused by this as people always like to claim DTS MA/TrueHD/PCM sound better then some DD+/DTS Core tracks. I've never really been able to tell the difference unless a new mix was created (Transformers Blu-ray is a good example) and its exactly why I've happily held onto my HD DVDs with DD+ tracks. Not paying extra for a placebo effect.
Why is this amusing? Any reason why you think they are lying? So to you, lossless is a "gimmick"?
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Old 02-18-09, 01:27 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema View Post
Why is this amusing? Any reason why you think they are lying? So to you, lossless is a "gimmick"?
It's amusing because some will claim lossless is way better then DD+/DTS Core, yet the 'Core' is transparent to the lossless track. I'd love to see some people actually do a blind-test and pick out which one is lossless and the other lossy.
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Old 02-18-09, 03:08 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by lizard View Post
"Louder"? Although a whole lot of people here seem to think so, louder has nothing whatsoever to do with audio quality.

If some of the folks who swear by the new sound on high def discs were to actually volume match the lossless codecs and the "core" or legacy tracks, they might be surprised to find that there is little to no difference. Unless one has a fairly high-end system and "golden ears", that is.

It would be fun to put a sample of HD forum denizens through a double blind test of audio codecs and see how many can consistently pick out the lossless samples.


Exactly where I lie on the matter. I don't think most people would be able to tell on a double blind test. Same deal with mp3 compression. I doubt most people would pass a double blind test past about 256kbps or so.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's a whole lot of blind test data on the newer codecs.
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Old 02-18-09, 04:02 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Well IMO I think there is a difference but it might not be as big a difference as some claim. I, for one think alot has to do with the transfer of the movie and your system(speakers). IMO most movies have decent transfers at best.
A few I can think of that were above the rest are: Fellowship of the Ring(DTS), Casino Royale(BD), Batman Begins(HD DVD),Pan's Labyrinth(HD DVD)Titanic(DD).
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Old 02-18-09, 05:30 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Interesting. There doesn't seem to be the anticipation for one (usually DTS) over another (Dolby) that there was with DVD, which is why I was curious about it.
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Old 02-18-09, 11:47 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema View Post
Lossless = lossless. Doesn't matter which codec is used.
CD is lossless. Think that sounds the same?

Movie soundtracks are 50% or more dialog. Lossless is pointless for this. And most of the rest is fake sound, anyway. Effects created by a computer. You want to hear what lossless sounds like? Get music on DVD-A or SACD.
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Old 02-19-09, 02:34 AM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
CD is lossless. Think that sounds the same?

Movie soundtracks are 50% or more dialog. Lossless is pointless for this. And most of the rest is fake sound, anyway. Effects created by a computer. You want to hear what lossless sounds like? Get music on DVD-A or SACD.
I am unsure where you are heading with your analogy. If you are going to argue about pure (non-processed by a computer) sound, then I would be the first one to point out to you that pure organic sound is impossible to reproduce. There is a music lab/studio in Berlin that Deutsche Gramophone heavily invested in during the early 90s precisely so that they could experiment with organic recordings courtesy of the Berlin Philharmonic, but the end result was practically identical to what they could achieve with far less expensive, ultra-modern, recording hardware. And as far as lossless audio being pointless for film dialog, there are quite a few people within the industry with very long resumes that will openly disagree with you.

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Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 02-19-09 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:49 AM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Wow. Resumes.

I can hear exactly where my speakers' quality level ends (and why I should therefore upgrade) with a nice orchestral SACD. I have yet to hear anything from a movie that impresses me in the same way. Lossless just isn't that much of an upgrade for movie soundtracks. Don't get me wrong, I choose to use it. But all I've really heard is more and/or louder use of surrounds. Which may be considered perceptually improved, but that's all. Oh, I've also noticed a wider dynamic range used, although legacy tracks could also do this if desired. Again, not a quality issue, just different usage of the tools.

Maybe those with the resumes can try to explain that voice is that much trickier to digitally encode than a full percussion suite? Or even one violin? Doubt they'd try, as that simply isn't true. Even legacy DVD Dolby/DTS is plenty for voice. At least, movie dialog.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:20 AM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

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Old 02-19-09, 10:35 AM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by SUPERMANROB View Post
Well IMO I think there is a difference but it might not be as big a difference as some claim. I, for one think alot has to do with the transfer of the movie and your system(speakers).
Upgrading your speakers and/or AV receiver will have a much greater audible impact on sound quality than the differences between any of the audio compression codecs, lossy or not.
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Old 02-19-09, 12:53 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Wow. Resumes.

I can hear exactly where my speakers' quality level ends (and why I should therefore upgrade) with a nice orchestral SACD. I have yet to hear anything from a movie that impresses me in the same way. Lossless just isn't that much of an upgrade for movie soundtracks. Don't get me wrong, I choose to use it. But all I've really heard is more and/or louder use of surrounds. Which may be considered perceptually improved, but that's all. Oh, I've also noticed a wider dynamic range used, although legacy tracks could also do this if desired. Again, not a quality issue, just different usage of the tools.
With all due respect, what you could hear, or not, does not validate your generalization. There are plenty of people out there who apparently do not see a difference between 720p and 1080p; this does not mean that such does not exist.


Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Maybe those with the resumes can try to explain that voice is that much trickier to digitally encode than a full percussion suite? Or even one violin? Doubt they'd try, as that simply isn't true. Even legacy DVD Dolby/DTS is plenty for voice. At least, movie dialog.
Here's what I would like to point out to you - professionals within the industry often refer to the human voice as the most complex musical instrument. So, yes, producing the full scale of overtones that a human voice is capable of reproducing is a far more complex, albeit impossible, task than reproducing the full range of sounds a set of timpani could produce.

And, yes, I could probably point out a few people to you with long resumes that very much know what they are talking about that will be happy to argue against your theory.

As far as BD playback is concerned, I see what you want to clarify but, still, your point is flawed.

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Old 02-19-09, 01:16 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

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Old 02-19-09, 04:08 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
Upgrading your speakers and/or AV receiver will have a much greater audible impact on sound quality than the differences between any of the audio compression codecs, lossy or not.
I completely agree here. If you want to improve your AQ and thinking that going with the new Codecs will help. Don't just save your money and get a lower end BD player(I bought both the BD35 and the S350 for $150) and apply most of your money upgrading your speakers.
This all depending what you already have.
I doubt a $1000 BD player will do any better than what I have now regarding HD sound(TrueHD or DTS-HD/MA)

Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post
With all due respect, what you could hear, or not, does not validate your generalization. There are plenty of people out there who apparently do not see a difference between 720p and 1080p; this does not mean that such does not exist.




Here's what I would like to point out to you - professionals within the industry often refer to the human voice as the most complex musical instrument. So, yes, producing the full scale of overtones that a human voice is capable of reproducing is a far more complex, albeit impossible, task than reproducing the full range of sounds a set of timpani could produce.

And, yes, I could probably point out a few people to you with long resumes that very much know what they are talking about that will be happy to argue against your theory.

As far as BD playback is concerned, I see what you want to clarify but, still, your point is flawed.

Pro-B
Well I'm no expert to say the least but here is my take on this. I would have to agree more with pro-bassoonist on this. I for one have concluded(well with me and fiancé's hearing) that a female voice and a piano are thee hardest things for a speaker to reproduce. I have listened to music regarding this on way more time than I should have(many,many hours) and found that between speakers,those two(mainly female vocals) was the two where I found to have the biggest difference(or reproducing) with. Again I'm not going by what anyone said just going by what I heard so take it for what it's worth. I would say also that if you can I would have a female with you,they have better hearing than men do
Regarding lossless for music I can't say because I don't listen(or care for) multi channel music. I like to listen to it in direct(2-channel).
For HT, if your talking about comparing DD/DTS VS TrueHD/DTS-HD/MA well to me and my fiance there a good difference(of everything) but again I will state again a lot has to do with the transfer of the movie and not to mention your speakers and what you are using to power them with.
AQ wise Fellowship of the Ring(DTS-ES) IMO should be used as a benchmark as how to transfer a movie. Most of my HD movies(BD or HD DVD) don't come close to this transfer. just my two cents take it for what it's worth.
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Old 02-21-09, 10:33 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post
Here's what I would like to point out to you - professionals within the industry often refer to the human voice as the most complex musical instrument. So, yes, producing the full scale of overtones that a human voice is capable of reproducing is a far more complex, albeit impossible, task than reproducing the full range of sounds a set of timpani could produce.
You know, for someone consistently trying to be the most knowledgeable and most intelligent person on the board, it seems strange that you don't understand 2 five-letter words. So let me point out to you: Movie != Music. (usually)

My favorite SACD is Norah Jones 1st album. And the 24/96 voice is why. Iron Man isn't exactly using that same vocal range, if you ask me. But I'm sure you'll have some reason to disagree.

If you wish to have a deep discussion about high-quality audio discs, I'd say we are at the wrong website. I do need to start checking out the music on BD, I have a feeling I'll be buying discs again. CD leaves me cold.
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Old 02-21-09, 11:59 PM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Originally Posted by SUPERMANROB View Post
I for one have concluded(well with me and fiancé's hearing) that a female voice and a piano are thee hardest things for a speaker to reproduce.
whewwww, glad I don't buy any chick flicks

I'm glad lossless is an option that is out there for those who feel they can hear it .... I'm content without it
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Old 02-22-09, 12:49 AM
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Re: With HD audio formats, is the Dolby vs.DTS issue void?

Wait if Lossless is Lossless what's the deal with 16 bit over 24 bit and bit rates of these audio tracks? Poppycock or the real deal?
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