DTS? Core? HD-MA? huh??

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by chuckg, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    Alright, ya'all are making me feel stupid!

    Could someone point me to a reasonable, concise, and meaningful description of all these new digital formats on these new high-def disks? I'm hoping to get permission from "the boss" to spend some money on a Blu player after the tax rebate and the bribe from the feds, so I need to know what I'm talking about when I check the specs!

    thanks....from an old Auld school guy.
     
  2. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    Basic - just like the old Dolby Digital & DTS - Studios include 1 or 2 types on a film along with
    good old Dolby from the Standard DVDs. Most sound better, but not all (SOS Man)

    Linear PCM (LPCM) - up to 8 channels of uncompressed audio. (mandatory)
    Dolby Digital (DD) - format used for DVDs, 5.1-channel surround sound. (mandatory)
    Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) - extension of Dolby Digital, 7.1-channel surround sound. (optional)
    Dolby TrueHD - lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio. (optional)
    DTS Digital Surround - format used for DVDs, 5.1-channel surround sound. (mandatory)
    DTS-HD High Resolution Audio - extension of DTS, 7.1-channel surround sound. (optional)
    DTS-HD Master Audio - lossless encoding of up to 8 channels of audio. (optional)

    Plenty of discussion on all the forums - one example

    BD Player Audio Support Comparison - AVS Forum

    Much discussed here as well

    Have fun
     
  3. sptrout

    sptrout Stunt Coordinator

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    You can also go directly to the horses mouth by looking at Dobly Labs & DTS' web pages. Good stuff at both places, including "pdf" documents (at DTS anyway).
     
  4. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    All of the dts soundtracks have a core, which can be interpreted by the most basic dts decoder, and extensions, which add extra channels, higher sampling rates, etc, by "correcting" the core.

    An analogy:

    There are 365.2425 days in the Gregorian year. But fractional days have their problems. So we assume that the year has 365 days and add a leap year every four years, except when it's the end of a century, unless the century is divisible by four.

    365 is the core data-- the leap days correct it.

    If the player only decodes the "Core" portion of DTS-MAHD, it's not giving you anything special-- it won't be lossless, it won't be 192/24, it won't be 7.1.
     
  5. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    Thanks everyone!

    Well, this is pretty crazy stuff. While I understand digital audio reasonably well, I think I will need to do a bit if studying to understand why there are so many formats! For instance, if Uncompressed Linear PCM is on the disc, what benefit do we get from "lossless" encoding? I'm guessing it is a higher sample rate, greater bit depth, or both.

    My poor simple mind wrestles with the notion. Why not simply have 8 channels of 96 kilosamples per second at 24 bits and be done with it? The bit rate would be kinda high, I suppose [​IMG]
     
  6. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  7. Camper

    Camper Second Unit

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    Never mind!
     
  8. Scott Jentsch

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  9. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    All these "formats" are just ways to save space, to pack PCM data for storage. "Lossless" codecs, like TrueHD and DTS-HD MA, don't discard any data and when unpacked/decoded are a bit-for-bit identical copy of the encoding master. There's no advantage to this, although it's certainly possible to fit a higher-quality compressed/packed soundtrack than might otherwise fit as PCM.
    You can't listen to any of these "formats" in their native form any more than you can read a zipped file, they all originate as PCM and must be decoded to such before processing and D/A conversion. With HD-DVD and BD, this can happen in the player or AVR, a single HDMI cable is required either way.
     
  10. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    Ok - starting to get it...must....think...harder....!

    I want to make certain that when I have the spare cash (come on, tax rebate!) that I get a Blu player that will decode the latest and greatest, and send it out through analog connections. It may be a while before I can justify a new rcvr or pre/pro setup with HDMI inputs!
     
  11. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    Many of us are doing just that. BD to Receiver/pre with 6 or more cables.
    Then it's on to the wonderful world of levels.

    You'll love it - trust us [​IMG]
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I'm not up to date on the very latest hardware releases, but the big problem with BR players to date has been DTS-HD MA. Most (if not all) of the BR players available right now cannot decode that format internally and end up giving you the basic DTS core. This is primarily an issue with titles from Fox.

    Since you're waiting, this is something to keep an eye on as future players are announced. If you were looking to buy right now, I wouldn't let it dissuade you, as there are many BR titles with truly excellent 5.1 PCM soundtracks.

    M.
     
  13. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    Wellllll, not just right now. There are a couple of players coming out with internet connectivity...and I told the wife I'd wait until the prices drop this fall....and of course my 5 y.o. is still wondering why daddy had to get a new TV...heh heh.

    Thanks all for the support...even a tech-geek like me can get buried!
     

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