Breaking News: Dolby TrueHD Elevates the Quality of Lossless Audio on Blu-ray (Must Read)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, May 17, 2012.

  1. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Take a listen to Cloverfield, it's Dolby TrueHD 5.1, no need to turn the volume up, earth shattering bass and a very nice surround mix.

    Perhaps like me you like the bass in soundtracks to be a little hot, i was actually disappointed in the bass of Abrams take on Star Trek, i adjusted the volume upwards and hey presto it did improve things considerably but i decided to leave at the usual volume ( -10db below reference ) for review purposes, that one was also Dolby TrueHD.

    Cloverfield was superb and Star Trek was just very good at the same volume levels, from that i would take it that it's all in the mix and maybe the sound engineers wanted it this way, increasing volume will always give a perception of better ( just louder ) bass, but you have to be careful because the bass could end up dominating the soundstage and sometimes its not how it should be, i'll give you another example, this time a DTS-HD Master Audio track, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, i thought Wolverine didn't have as much bass during some of the action set-pieces as i expected, i put it down to the fact i probably like my bass channel sounding hot but the mix on that film was excellent in all regards except the bass channel, it was very good in the bass channel, it just wasn't reference to me.

    Therefore to me it has nothing to do with the sound codec, it has everything to do with the mix and what the sound engineers were going for.
     
  2. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    We knew from the beginning 1080P was the starting point for Blu-Ray HD and eventually we would end up with 4K. On the audio side I was under the impression that "Loseless" was "Loseless" and the way to improve the sound was to buy better hardware? I subscribe to several trade magazines and never came across any published articles stating "Loseless" was not exactually "Loseless" and it will be improved and you may or may not have to buy new and better hardware. You will have to re-buy Blu-Rays.
    Now we are learning we havet been listening to a version of "Loseless" and we will be able to hear a better "Loseless" if we re-buy Blu-Rays and maybe new hardware? Seems like a way to convince the consumer the new improved sound is worth a double dip on Blu-Rays and maybe new hardware. You can see why the studios and electronic industry like this new "Loseless".
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

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    Well Lossless is really lossless. They are just working on improving "the supply chain". No new hardware, and I have heard no plans of re-encoding existing titles. It will just be something that shows up on some future new releases, so your wallet is safe......for now.
     
  4. moovtune

    moovtune Stunt Coordinator

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    In my opinion this whole new encoding is more a way for Dolby to hopefully get more titles encoded in True HD since for the last couple of years most of the studio video departments have switched to DTS HD Master. The question is whether this new process is significantly better than DTS HDM to cause the home video people to switch back to True HD. And there's the question of backwards compatibility - won't they still need a hidden Dolby Digital track (which takes up more room on the disc) and the new process is an upconversion to 96K (which takes up more room on the disc). It's going to have to sound incredibly better than DTS to prompt a change I would guess, and I'll be surprised if it does. But I'll be interested to hear for myself.
     
  5. Jacksmyname

    Jacksmyname Second Unit

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    Not sure, but it seems to me that some folks here are missing the main point that Ron, Adam and Dave have been trying to make:
    That we, the consumers, won't have to to do, or buy, anything new in order to hear the improvements that Dolby is promising, and that
    they (Ron, Adam and Dave) heard for themselves, up close and personal as it were.
    I'll be 63 next Tuesday (please send an IM for my gift registry of films :D).
    I've been fooling around with audio systems since the age of 15.
    My HT system now, while modest compared to some, is, to my ears and eyes, just plain terrific.
    The ONLY complaint I have with the audio part of my system is not the gear I have, but the way Stephan Worth puts it:
    It's in the mix. I absolutely agree with him about dialog being buried in so many films. I like explosions, gunfire, space battles, tornados
    swirling around my living room as much as the next person, but not at the expense of clear, crisp dialog.
    If this new tech helps solve these problems, or at least give a noticable improvement, then I'm all for it.
    I'd love to be able to just sit and enjoy a movie without having the remote at the ready.
     
  6. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    Audio and video technology has reached a point where image and sound quality have reached peak optimal resolution. You can screen a 4k scan and high bitrate audio, but in the typical home, you aren't going to see improvement over 1080p and redbook.
    I'm sure video will go the same way that audio has. High resolution formats will be introduced for those who view with tech specs instead of their eyes, but the average person will be more interested in compressed formats that provide the same quality as 1080p at a fraction of the file size. The equivalent in audio is SACD, which offers no real perceptible advantage but tech heads love it, and MP3s/AAC which are now dominating the market for most people and doing a fine job.
     
  7. FoxyMulder

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    I seem to recall people saying the same thing about DVD, with 4K you will get improvements with projection technology, the fill factor will make the screen door effect even less, it's now very mild anyways but further improvements are always nice, indeed those with Sony's 4K projector report improvements even with upconverted blu ray titles, with real 4K content the image would be as close to the filmed content as possible, indeed it will exceed the actual resolution of many film titles since many only have real world resolution of between 2.5K and 3.5K. I would expect if they released a new 4K format, not just blu ray with 4K but a new format, they would give us 10bit colour, this would eliminate the colour banding issues seen on some releases and give us more cinema like images, again an improvement worth investing in.

    Having said all that i do recognize your argument is that in the typical home there will not be a need for 4K, i agree this is the likely scenario for the near future, indeed the average 1080p television owner doesn't even realise their typical LCD set only has 300 odd lines of motion resolution with processing tools turned off ( Plasma has 900 to 1080 ) anyways the typical home viewer is also sitting too far back to resolve 1080p of detail.

    Still, technology moves on, they want to sell us the next great thing, 4K and 4K content will be released, i for one am looking forward to it because i think it will benefit projection setups and probably benefit those who play video games, i'm thinking when Playstation 4 is released, perhaps late 2014/early 2015, that console will be 4K and PC technology will also have graphics cards putting out 4K and probably video games rendered in that resolution, now sure it's going to be very high end to begin with but i think it will happen, people say downloads is the future, possibly so but i still think there is one more disc format before then and i think it will be a 4K format and i just hope they remember to include 10bit colour this time.

    P.S. Are you really arguing that SACD offers the same quality as compressed MP3's or are you saying the average listener who buys them cannot hear the difference, i would argue in a blind listening test you will hear a massive difference, i'm not a tech head, i just want quality over convenience.
     
  8. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    So just to be clear, people without receivers/prepros/BR players capable of handling 96 kHz will hear the SAME Dolby True HD they hear now? No effect on the sound? And those WITH 96 kHz receivers/prepros/BR players (such as the Oppo players) will treat these discs as a 96 kHz source with no new hardware needed?
    Count me as a skeptic who would need to know the results of double blind studies to believe the benefits of this, as I stated in another thread.
     
  9. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    SACD is indistinguishable from standard CDs given the same masterng, which is the exception, not the rule. I did line level matched comparisons between CD and SACD and I had to search high and low for a hybrid dsk that had the same thing on both layers. Most had deliberately hobbled redbook layers. Finally, I found a Pentatone DSD recording that had the same master on both. Trying as hard as we could, neither I nor a sound mixer friend of mine could tell the difference. The advantages of the SACD format are all beyond the range of normal listening.
    Likewise, I did line level matched A/B comparisons between various recordings and bitrates and determined that AAC 256 VBR and MP3 320 LAME are audibly identical to the original CD. I haven't directly compared SACD with lossy, but I'm assuming that if both are identical to CD quality, then they are identical.
    At work I had a 24 bit ProTools workstation. I did various tests and discovered that the difference between 24 and 16 was the depth of the noise floor. But in order to hear the difference, the volume would have to be turned up to levels that would cause hearing damage. The increased resolution extended down to the quietest sounds below the noise floor of the average living room. Up in the levels where the music resides, there is no difference whatsoever.
    In order to see the difference between 1080 and 4k, even on a projection system, you would need a screen too big to fit in any home, or you would have to sit so close, the edges of the screen would be only visible in your peripheral vision.
    This is home theater's "dirty little secret". If the average audiophile knew this, he wouldn't spend nearly as much money, and equipment manufacturers wouldn't be able to ballyhoo new developments that only exist on paper to try to gain an edge on their competition.
    EDIT: One note... When I'm talking about SACD, I'm only referring to two channel sound. The difference between a two channel stereo CD and a 5:1 SACD is huge. Multichannel sound is the biggest advance in sound quality since the introduction of stereo in the early 50s.
     
  10. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Screenwriter

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    If your system cannot decode Dolby True HD 96KHz but only 48KHz (does that even exist?) then you couldn't play back that track and would have to pick another audio track. Or you would have to have a BR player than can decode Dolby True HD 96KHz and output analog.
    People really need to have taken a college level course in digital signal processing to discuss the advantages and disadvantage of what Dolby is doing. Without that or even with that, the final result is whether the difference can be heard (apparently it can be) and whether that difference really matters to a person's enjoyment of the audio and whether a person can reliably pick the technically better track. However, what Dolby is doing is "free" other than the extra space a 96KHz track occupies versus a 48KHz track.
     
  11. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    That's the same conclusion reached in an extensive double blind study by E. Brad Meyer and David Moran and the Boston Audio Society. SACD and DVD-A recordings were compared to the same recordings passed through a level matched 16/44 ADA chain. People could not tell which was which.
     
  12. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    The big limiting factors when it comes to sound quality are room acoustics and speakers. All other aspects of sound reproduction (assuming the amp is powerful enough to push the speakers) are dwarfed by an order of magnitude. Even the best speakers reproduce the signal with only a reasonable amount of accuracy.
     
  13. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    If in fact pretty much every prepro/receiver capable of handling Dolby True HD can handle 96 kHz, then this technology really is "free".
     
  14. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    The earliest AV receivers capable of 5:1 sound couldn't resolve above 48. I had an old Sony amp a few years ago that could do Dolby 5:1 but not TrueHD.
     
  15. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Fair enough, i was thinking of low bitrate MP3's, 64kbp/s or 128kbp/s, i always find them lacking.
     
  16. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    One note... When I'm talking about SACD, I'm only referring to two channel sound. The difference between a two channel stereo CD and a 5:1 SACD is huge. Multichannel sound is the biggest advance in sound quality since the introduction of stereo in the early 50s.
    Slighlty off the subject but couldn't agree more.
     
  17. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Of course, that doesn't matter with the subject at hand, since it's 5.1 in either case.
     
  18. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

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    Bingo. The real test will be if anyone can tell the difference between the 48kHz and 96kHz audio streams in a blind test.
    As the summary from the excellent Boston Audio Society test concludes:
     
  19. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Sorry if this was posted previously. What are the titles that will soon have the 96k Dolby? Is there an ETA for release dates on them?
    Just curious to hear one and would like to know if there is a list of titles.
    Thanks!
     
  20. Dave Moritz

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    Am looking forward to hearing the new sampling rate for Dolby True HD when they start getting Bluray titles out in the stores. I am also enjoying DTS-HD MA and will keep buying them even when there is a upgrade to the Dolby True HD format. I have a Denon DBP-1611UD and a Pioneer Elite SC-05 and I am going to assume that it will sound good! I am willing to bet that Dolby is a little embarrassed that DTS passed them up the way they did and most likely never thought DTS would enjoy such a dominance on the Bluray format. Anyway I do like the DTS-HD MA format especially since I am a fan of the company. But I have also had many Dolby formats for many years and while I never cared for DD, I love Dolby True HD and buy Blurays with that format as well. Just give me a really good lossless audio track and I am happy! I would love to see all lossy audio disappear for Bluray titles though, I think that would be great! :D
    I second that, is there any list of Future Dolby True HD 96k titles coming out? What is the average DTS-HD MA sampling rate?
     

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