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Black Hawk Down DTS - You're/Mine honest thoughts.

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Steve.EX, May 1, 2003.

  1. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Firstly, i would like to thank Hans (you know who you are) who has been a real sport in assisting me in obtaining the Norwegian single disc version of Black Hawk Down containing a DTS track and my/and any thoughts on this are in no way "diminishing" his kind efforts and good will.

    I have spent the last 2 hours "flipping" through various/any scenes to compare the tracks - it is somewhat annoying that i cannot do this on the fly and have to return to various menu's to switch tracks but i am made in mind of these early thoughts.
    For reference my kit now consists of: (amoungst other "stuff")
    Kef ref 203's main L/R
    Kef ref 202c center
    Kef ref 201's back surrounds
    Kef TDM34ds side surrounds
    Tag AV32r dual sharc.
    2.3 kw of Rotel power amps (likely to be changed in the not to distant future)
    4 x Servo 15's sub's.
    Toshiba sd900 dvd player (also likely to go at some point)

    Contary to Tee's/www.electronicreality.co.uk "rave" reviews i am somewhat dissapointed to say the least.
    If ever there were an example of two distinctly different "mixes" then this must surely be it, whilst i do not know if they are sourced from an identical master there are lots of "variations" present.
    Firstly (on my kit - and i will not discount some sort of early generation Tag bug present, but have not noticed similar on other dual format discs) The DTS track seems to be at least 4db LOWER if not more than the Dolby varaint.
    Comparing the more animated moments the DTS track just does not have the "snap" or "bite" of the Dolby offering, even when applying THX processing (to Dolby obviously) i would still say that it had more shine and attack than the DTS track. The Tag is telling me DD is at 384kbs (lower than the R!) and DTS is at 768kbs (no surprise there then)
    I would also say that the rear channels are played down on the DTS track - to almost non-existance in some examples - take the first few seconds of chapter 9, with DD you clearly have a 360 presence of wind/breeze that is hardly there with DTS.
    some of the "differences" i am aware, will be a matter of perhaps personal taste and idea's on fidelity.
    In the DTS options favour i would say that i prefer what is going on with the sub channel, it does seem slightly tighter and a less bombastic and better intergrated presentation (although some might "hear" this as "less" bass)

    I gueass i will have to sit through it twice over and perhaps make another judgement based on the whole event rather than individual spots.

    For those of you who have (or heard) this i would be interested in your opinions as i have just done a search here and found the
    "usual" - "rocks" and "blows DD out of the water" stuff and cannot agree.

    Regards

    Steve.
     
  2. Madskilzz

    Madskilzz
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    Steve

    I noticed the same thing when i played my dts version of the film. the dd version had a lot more punch even when you allowed for the difference in volume levels between the two soundtracks.

    The norwegian dolby digital track even sounds better then the
    r2 dolby digital track despite the lower bitrate. I was relieved as i thought i had just wasted £20 on a dts track that just sounded FLAT.

    I have more respect now for dd and will not jump on the "dts is always better" bandwagon

    Mark
     
  3. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    I would expect the U.K DD bit-rate to be the same 384kbs.
    Generally speaking most region 1 dvd's contain a 448kbs DD track.
    i have been a long standing member of the "non-lemming DTS club"

    regards

    Steve.
     
  4. Squirrel God

    Squirrel God
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    Prepare to be shocked then because the UK DD5.1 track is 448Kb/s (lots are, though many people generalise about R2 soundtracks).

    I've not heard the DTS, but I was more than satisfied with the UK DD5.1 track anyway and thought it was an excellent mix.
     
  5. kevb

    kevb
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    I wonder how many people in the dts is always better camp actually even bothered to listen to the DD tracks. I know it's very difficult to perform a direct comparison due to the difference in volume levels etc but I have compared a large number of disk and often found that the surround channels as you said " are played down on the DTS track - to almost non-existence in some examples" The Rock is a prime example of this in various shoot out scenes towards the end of the film. Gunfire from the rears is muted in dts where it’s clearly audible in DD.
     
  6. sweetmate

    sweetmate
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    Is this R1 Criterion or R2 Buena Vista?
     
  7. kevb

    kevb
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    R2 BV but it's not the only disk I've noticed stuff like this on.
     
  8. Squirrel God

    Squirrel God
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    They are the same.

    The R2 even has the Criterion menus.
     
  9. sweetmate

    sweetmate
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    So does that mean the dts track on the R1 has the same issues?
     
  10. kevb

    kevb
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    Don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with the dts track. It's just different to the DD. The dts track sounds smoother (that’s the only word I can think of to describe it at the mo:() than the DD which can sound a little cluttered at times but some of the discreet effect are more pronounced in DD than the dts IMO. Checkout the rain at the start of chapter 3 for an example.
     
  11. puddleduck

    puddleduck
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    I don't think many DTS fanatics even *listen* to the DD 5.1 version!

    You often see remarks such as "The DTS soundtrack rocks!", but this comment is meaningless unless

    a) They've heard the DD version as well.
    b) They've done an A-B comparision, comparing scene by scene

    I used to be a DTS advocate but I see (hear!) no evidence of superiority - just more volume - a HIFI Salesman's snakeoil trick - crank up the volume on units you get the best commision on :)

    When I have done an A-B comparions (Stargate Ultimate Edition (can switch on-the-fly) and LOTR EE I've preferred the DD5.1 version.
     
  12. sweetmate

    sweetmate
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    Just did some A-B comparing on R1 The Rock and to me it sounds like the DD is incorrectly mixed. The rear effects are WAY too loud. Apart from the whole soundtrack being louder in DD (I find this on most DD v DTS comparisons, dont understand people who say DTS is always louder) the rear effects sound too loud on the DD track and correct on the DTS.

    Listen to when the fighter jets fly past the camera near the end, in dts the jet sounds pan from front to back smoothly, in DD they increase in volume noticeabley when they pan to the rear speakers, its not smooth at all and sounds like a badly calibrated setup with the rears being way too high!
     
  13. Rambo John J

    Rambo John J
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    I've not seen the film for a while, but from what I remember of the film wouldn't the jets increase in volume anyway seeing as they'd be getting nearer and the loudest point being pretty much when they'd hit the back speakers as that'd be more or less as they go over the guys head?
    Just wondering.
     
  14. sweetmate

    sweetmate
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    Nah thats not it, listen to it in dts, sounds like a natural sounding front to rear pan (with the planes getting louder as they approach), in DD sounds like the rears are too loud as the sounds jumps in volume.
     
  15. Bonesy

    Bonesy
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    Good post Steve, I've been trying to get the Norwegian BHD for some weeks now, although now I am not sure whether to just decide between R1 or R2...

    Post again if you conclude more, please...
     
  16. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    Indeed a good post Steve, its nice to see a objective post rather than the usual rant of dts is better than DD is better than DTS that is normally sen.

    Keep up the good work.
     
  17. Marv

    Marv
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    Although this has nowt to do with the thread. How many of your dvds in your collection have a DTS track on them. Out of the 108 dvds in my collection 23 of them have DTS soundtracks.
     
  18. Lux

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    accoring to dvdprofiler 60 out of 236 DVDs have DTS
     
  19. Squirrel God

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    60 out of 537 have DTS. Of the ones I have on order, 5 out of 37 have DTS.
     
  20. Arthur.S

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    Hmmmmm.... the 'ol DTS Vs DD chestnut. Lifes too short - why bother? There are superb tracks from both camps. Eagles, hell freezes over - DTS, Independance Day - DD, Apollo 13 - DTS,
    Rules of engagement - DD.
    There are occasions where there are versions from both camps that one is clearly superior - Terminator 2 DTS for instance. I recently bought 'Black & White Night, Roy Orbison on the strength of the DTS demo disc, only to find that the DD mix on the same disc is far better. Wether that's down to it not being the 'full' DTS as on the demo disc, I'm not sure. But the rear channels are so loud, you can't hear the vocals. Sure I can tone 'em down a bit, but why should I have to?

    Lets just be grateful that there are DD & DTS to enrich our movie experience! :clap:
     
  21. Phil Hinton

    Phil Hinton
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    Well said Arthur
     

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