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Format & quality of audio on DVD-video

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by jimmy_b, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. jimmy_b

    jimmy_b
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    Hi

    With my recently acquired 2-channel offboard DAC I decided it was time to test out the quality of music on DVD videos. First purchase was the Chicane "Behind The Sun" CD & DVD video pack.

    //Slight aside here. I played the dvd-video (which contains the videos for 5 of the songs on the CD) and it sounded sweet - it was a grin moment//

    I realised that I wasn't sure what the format of the audio would be and wanted to find out.
    According to the DVD-video specification it can be Dolby Digital, PCM audio or MPEG2 - whatever the maker chooses. That surprised me!

    Anyway this DVD contains the Dolby Digital mark so that was the first problem solved. However there doesn't appear to be one of the standard channel number marks. Nor is the quality of the DD audio specified anywhere on the DVD cover.

    So, my question is, given my 2 channel only set up how do I know the number of channels and audio quality? I don't have a surround sound processor and only have 2 speakers and accordingly my pioneer 565 is set to downmix all 5.1 to 2 channel PCM. There is no menu on the DVD that gives any clue.

    AFAIK the best DD audio can manage is 24bit at 48khz (the quality of the sound suggests it is 48khz) but I guess it could be less than this.

    WRT the channel number questions the following link (containing the subsequent quoted text) seems to confirm that it isn't always possible to know the answer:

    http://www.dolby.com/assets/pdf/tech_library/42_DDFAQ.pdf

    "The Dolby Digital logo on a DVD-Video Disc or other program source indicates that it has one or more Dolby Digital-encoded soundtracks, but it does not indicate the number of channels. To help identify the latter, Dolby Laboratories is encouraging the use on program packaging of the channel-format symbols shown in Figure 10-1.

    In addition, to prevent confusion at playback, data identifying the original production format of a programês soundtrack is incorporated right into the Dolby Digital signal. Some Dolby Digital decoder units use this data to display on the control panel the type of soundtrack youêre listening to. See Figure 10-2."

    So, can anyone confirm if the audio will definitely be 48khz 24 bit format (if not how do I find out) and anyone know a way of finding out the number of channels (apart from simply trying the disc on a full 5.1 set up)

    Jimmy
     

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