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Dolby Digital versus DTS

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by j_morgan54, Apr 22, 2002.

  1. j_morgan54

    j_morgan54
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    On my home cinema system, DTS is hugely superior to Dolby Digital 5.1. With DTS, surround sound and general presence really works whereas with DD 5.1 the sound is predominantly from the front. I have checked speaker levels and even boosted the rears. Is this a feature of the different systems? Should I get the system checked out?
     
  2. orange

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    Sounds like you need the Ultimate DVD Platinum.

    Fantastic DVD that allows you to test and set-up all aspects of your cinema system audio and video.

    You can get of from jungle.com, you'll have to search for it.

    Has done wonders for detail retrieval on my Toshiba TV and showed that my sound was perfectly set-up.

    DTS does tend to give the results you describe.

    What discs are you using?
     
  3. j_morgan54

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    'Gladiator' sounds much better on DTS whereas the new Kylie disc is brilliant on DTS.

    No DD 5.1 discs I've played so far match this.

    Where is the likely source of this - the DVD player or the AV amp?

    Thanks for help so far

    John
     
  4. petrolhead

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    Does this DTS disk also cover DTS ES Matrix and Discrete?
     
  5. orange

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    Have you tried the Eagles DVD.

    I am not a massive fan but was bought it for xmas as it is used in system demos.

    It sounds stunning and is DTS only.

    The DTS effect is in the decorder, so where ever that is, player or amp!
     
  6. Stewart C

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    I used to subscribe to the DTS is better than Dolby Digital argument and to a certain extent my ears still tell me this.

    However, I am very suspicious about DTS. It is claimed that DTS artificially enhances parts of the soundtrack to 'sound' better than it's competitors.

    It is widely acknowledged that DTS enhances the LFE from the subwoofer.

    Now in my mind this is wrong and does not give a true picture of the differences between DTS and DD.

    Regards
     
  7. Rock Da Bass

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    Surely if it sounds better then it is better?

    RDB :)
     
  8. Stewart C

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    Would it be better though if Dolby Labs artificially enhanced its frequency responses to the same level as DTS.


    Artificially enhancing something and saying it is better is like saying DTS Rock Stadium (DSP Mode) is better than DTS. (bad analogy but some rockers out there may like it)

    I would rather hear the movie the way the director intended thank you very much.

    Regards
     
  9. orange

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    Where did you read this/ get it from.

    The reason I ask is that in the articles I have read they state that the low end is slightly less than DD therefore you may need to adjust the level slightly.
     
  10. CarlB

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    I used to subscribe to the point of view that DTS was better, particularly with my mid-range kit which always sounded more lively with the dts track.

    However, since I upgraded I almost always prefer Dolby Digital with THX processing - it just sounds more natural to my ears whereas the dts track is usually 'showing off' a little...
     
  11. Stewart C

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    HCC covered this in depth last year over 2 months if I can remember. Lots and Lots of detail.

    It is true that DTS enhances the LFE, without question.

    You just have to hear the difference between the tow on my system, oh yes the DTS sound impressive but not realistic.

    Regards
     
  12. Reiner

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    I was about to go into the DD vs DTS debate initially but then re-read the original questions and thought it wasn't necessary, but here we go again:

    Both formats have their pros and cons. None is "better" unless fairly proven, but unfortunately lot's of people think it's better because they have been told so.
    DTS claims to have a higher data rate but reduced it over the years to half - though it's still higher than DD. However DTS 'suffers' from a high-frequency cut off (above 15kHz) which has been acknowledged by DTS, whereas DD maintains the same level over the entire band (20Hz-20kHz).
    As well they are mislead by the fact that the channel volumes are higher than compared to Dolby Digital, which makes it appear to sound better. (The human ear thinks louder is better - in simple terms)

    In the end it however depends on the mastering, there are good if not excellent Dolby Digital tracks as are there for DTS, but there are also bad tracks in both camps, thus any discussion in regards to which is better is pretty pointless at this time.
    (Basically the same what applies to the NTSC vs. PAL debate if you allow me this comparision)

    If you prefer DTS that's fine, but for me they are both equally good and enjoyable.
     
  13. kevb

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    I was Going to start a new thread but I will tag my question on to this one.

    Has anybody done a comparison between the Se7en 2 disk edition DD & DTS soundtracks with EX/ES enabled.

    My vote on DTS is still out at the moment the reason is this. I was watching a few scenes first in one format and then the other. Can't remeber what sin it is sloth I think. Anyway it's the bit where the guy has been tied to the bed for a year. If you play the scene from where the swat van pulls up outside untill they find the guy.

    The music in DD EX has much more impact and infact apears to include a bassline that does not seem to be there in the DTS version. It is very noticeable. I have picked up on other DVD's duel format disks discrete effects that are more pronouced in one format than another.

    Could anyone else check this out as Id be interested. I don't if it's my ears, my kit or if it's the sound designers bais towards one format over another.

    Could be I have been listening to DD for so long, there isnt as huge a diffrence between the two format as people say.
     
  14. Reiner

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    My previous statement still stands. If you want to hear a great DD5.1 soundtrack try Roy Orbison's "Black and White Night", you can switch to DTS 5.1 and thus compare, assuming they were both made from the same master.
    In my opinion both sound pretty much identical in a positive sense.
     
  15. lechacal

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    The problem is DTS/DD aren't often made from the same master making a direct comparison very difficult. You say that DTS increases some levels artificially which isn't quite true. For some DTS tracks the mix has been fiddled with the increase the subwoofer and surround levels to make it sound 'better'. This isn't done by DTS, but by the studio.

    If louder levels are better then surely you are better off without a calibration DVD. Just turn everything way up and you will dramatically enhance your home cinema experience. Unless you're one of those odd people who thinks the whole point of spending money on decent kit is to get as close to the sound that was intended by the director as possible.

    Like I said, it's extremely difficult to make valid comparisons due to the nature of the source material, but I used to believe that DTS was inherently the superior format due to the higher fidelity achieved by the faster data rates. However, since learning that DTS has a high-cutoff and DD is ruler-flat all the way to the top of the spectrum, the only way to choose is to listen to both soundtracks.
     
  16. Ian J

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    Interesting comment that I have quoted.

    It seems to be the mission in life of most forum members to only watch films as the director intended, but only so far as picture, aspect ratio and cuts are concerned.

    The same people seem quite happy to "enhance" the sound from whatever the director's intention was.

    According to reviews most amps don't seem to handle the LFE output from DTS tracks accurately and I frequently have to turn down the subwoofer when replaying these discs.
     
  17. juboy

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    I tend to think that a major part of the perception by the majority that DTS is universally 'better' than DD is mainly due to the marketing efforts of the DTS camp and because, on whole, movies released with a DTS soundtrack are ones which tend to have higher quality sound design and production in the first place.

    If you take a look at which films appear with DTS, it's nearly always big budget films which are already known (from the cinema experience) to have 'big' or high quality soundtracks... I'm thinking 'Fast & The Furious' as a good, recent example.

    I do get a little fed up reading reviews where the (lazy) reviewer simply states 'When switching to the DTS soundtrack, I preferred it. I'm not sure why'.

    As with many things HC and Hi Fi related, a lot of it is about perception and frame of reference. If your system is already a little brash and you've upped the rears and sub channels yourself, DTS may well sound false and 'too much'. If you're systems a little more polite and set up modestly, it may well appear that DTS adds something, especially to action movies.

    Funnily enough, the soundtrack that I thought very poor was for 'American Beauty'. It was DTS but you'd have thought it was merely an average DD track, totally underwhelming.

    I can't help thinking they had an eye on their potential purchaser demographic for the rationale to include DTS on that one. I also think the 'Behind Enemy Lines' DTS track was included for similar reasons...
     
  18. lechacal

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    Just to make myself clear, that comment was made with a little touch of sarcasm, directed at a couple of the ealier posts in this thread.

    Sorry if you recognised this, but I couldn't quite tell whether you did from what you wrote.

    Hey, I think we agree about something for a change!
     
  19. kevb

    kevb
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    Personal I prefer the DD soundtracks. I like the way the you feel you are immersed in the soundfield. High frequency sounds are higher and lows are way lower. Maybe it's as I said before because I have listened to DD for so long.

    With DTS I feel that the soundfield is more transparent. Personaly I am not that keen on this I realise it is proberbly more natural. The bass to me doesn't seem as deep. It's definatley more pronouced and what is there does have more impact.
    As stated in a early post because of the high and low frequency cut off.

    My system is not set-up inyour face with the rears and sub turned way up. I hope I am trying to hear the sound design the way it was supposed to be. Its just in a few tests I have done between the two formats DTS has not been as impressive as people/publicity/reviewers have said it should be.

    I thought maybe incorectly that as se7en had been remixed to ES/EX that the soundtracks would at least be on a similar footing.

    Maybe more time will tell but at the moment my first choice of soundtrack would be DD.
     
  20. Ian J

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    I think that we disagreed once, last year sometime.
     
  21. lechacal

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    I tend to lurk rather than blunder into arguments these days.
    Mostly...

    :blush:
     
  22. HeadBanger

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    Apart from having a (relatively) limited bandwidth, DTS has also got a far lesser dynamic range (the difference between the quietest and loudest sound reproduced) than DD.

    In theory, DD has a dynamic range of 120dB and DTS just 96dB.

    Regardless of the technical merits that both claim, I actually prefer DD most in most instances - it just sounds more natural and realistic.
     
  23. graham_ew

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    For anybody that wants it www.ezydvd.com.au are doing "Ultimate Dvd Platinum " for about £10 inc P&P (play247 want £30) .....mines on its way!!;) you can find it in their specials section.
     
  24. DazJWood

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    Unfortunately this is the NTSC version which means certain elements of picture setup are not acurate for PAL viewers :(

    Anyone know of a cheap region 2 version of this disc ??
     
  25. HeadBanger

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    There is only one version of this disc. It is region 0 and NTSC.
     
  26. juboy

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    Just received my copy from Australia (not bad, I only ordered it three days ago!)... it'll be interesting to see what it shows on my TV as it's been set-up using Avia about 3 weeks ago.

    It's a real shame on my TV (Panny 36PF10) that you can't set up two picture settings as switching from RGB to regular SCART inputs puts the image out whack, especially colour and contrast wise.
     
  27. Steve.EX

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    For what it's worth i believe specific disc's offer varying qualities of DTS/DD on some i "prefer" the DD (THX) whilst others i "prefer" DTS, to state catagorically that DTS is "better" is both misleading and quite inaccurate, of the two formats DD has potentially the more robust and accurate domestic decoders/performance.

    Steve
     
  28. RMCF

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    I had my 1st experience of DTS last night on a rental copy of 'I Am Sam'. I own a Sony DAV-S500 system and have been looking for a rental DVD with both soundtracks to compare. I must say that I preferred the DTS soundtrack. It seemed more 'full' and there was a better overall soundstage. The soundtrack has a lot of music included and this sounded better in DTS. I realise that there is going to be arguments over the 2 formats and people will quote dB figures and compression rates etc etc but as someone said above - the best format will sound better to your ear, and on this single experience DTS wins. Having said that, I never had any problems with DD to be honest.
     
  29. marcoeser

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    I've read this thread with great interest and like to bring in some points of discussion. Firstly, I haven't made my mind up yet which is better, though I prefer DTS, I've notice the differences, DD has a heavier stonger front sound stage and DTS a more all around clearer sound, but I can't make a full comparison because as some has said the tracks that have been mixed in way that they can't be compared fairly.
    I do remember reading the HC article last year and recall that the writer said that the "Leathal Weapon" director series disks have been recorded in way that the sound tracks can be fairly compared. Anyone tried them out?
    I have the "Ultimate Platinum Dvd" and always use the "Harley Davidson" & "freight train" as demos or whenever I want to test my system. The tracks really "rock", (no other way to say it). With a good system the bike/train come straight through the room.
    marc :)
     
  30. j_morgan54

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    I bought Behind Enemy Lines (R1) recently. Good mindless fun, especially after a takeaway and a few drinks. The sound effects are excellent and use the sound sound to great effect.

    Funny though - the DD soundtrack is better than the DTS one! It must be in the mix. :confused:
     

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