Movies in mono on DVD

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Alan Lee UK, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Alan Lee UK

    Alan Lee UK Stunt Coordinator

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    Got my copy of the movie 'Just Between Friends' on DVD through the post today. I was somewhat disappointed to find that, despite PlayUSA stating that it is stereo, the soundtrack is only mono. For a film made in 1986?? Surely there must have been at least a stereo soundtrack when it was shown in cinemas? (As one of the few people who saw it in a cinema, I should know, but I clearly wasn't taking much notice of cinema sound formats 17 years ago).

    Likewise 'Ordinary People' from 1980 is only in mono.

    Are there any examples of movies made later than these that are only available in mono on DVD?
     
  2. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    According to the internet movie database, Ordinary People's theatrical soundtrack was mono, but it shows Just between friends in Stereo.
     
  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    For some time, not every movie was done with a stereo soundtrack- I don't know how they decided though, since for example Last American Virgin was in stereo but Conan the Barbarian was mono! Back then there were still several theaters that had only mono sound too, or multi-screen theaters that only had stereo in some but not all houses (these I avoided like the plague, most of them are finally gone now!) I think "The Naked Gun" (1988) was the last major studio release with a mono soundtrack, which ironically is available only with a 5.1 remix on the DVD!
    In comparison, the digital formats caught on rather quickly- these days 99% of everything that's out uses it, whether it really "needs" it or not.
     
  4. Andy_G

    Andy_G Stunt Coordinator

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    Woody Allen continues to use mono mixes.
     
  5. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Anything Else was 5.1.
     
  6. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    FULL METAL JACKET from 1987 was only released mono in theatres.
     
  7. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    IMDB says it's mono. Every DVD review I saw says it's mono. Every movie Woody Allen's ever made is mono. I'd have to believe it's mono...
     
  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    It sure sounded mono to me when I saw it theatrically...
     
  9. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    Thanks for the clarification on that, I had no idea. When I rented Curse of the Jade Scorpion I just thought the local distributors of the DVD in R4 were being sloppy.
     
  10. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Here's a question regarding Mono soundtracks on DVD, any Pro or Con opinions on the use of 1.0 mono instead of 2.0? I always thought a 1.0 mono track would use less bit rate but when I used my girlfriend's Sony to look at the BR on A Christmas Story it was using a 192 bitrate same as a 2.0 track, is this common?
     
  11. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    I don't know how common it is for a 1.0 soundtrack to be @ 192Kbps; all I know is that my The Man Who Would Be King flipper, which is 1.0, sounds atrocious.
     
  12. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Most 1.0 soundtracks on major studio DVDs are 192 kbps. Lower bitrates were used on some early titles, and they are occasionally used for supplemental stuff like audio commentaries to save bits.

    It should sound better than a 2.0 track at the same bitrate, but if it is from a poor sounding source, it will never sound good at any bitrate.

    Regards,
     
  13. Mattias_ka

    Mattias_ka Supporting Actor

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    I would LOVE if they could use PCM audio for the mono soundtrack. A DD 1.0 in 192 kbps is bad IMO. So if picture and disc space allowed it, PCM audio would be a lot better.

    Btw, Terminator are in mono.
     
  14. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Terminator indeed has the original mono soundtrack, as well as a spiffed up 5.1 remix. This is the way I like to see mono tracks treated, if at all possible.
    BTW, the only reason I stated that Anything Else was 5.1 was because that's the way it played on my theatre's DD processor; not my home theatre, but the one I work at. There was activity on all 5.1 channels, so either Woody Allen is screwing with us, or DreamWorks is.
     
  15. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    A 2.0 mono track will play the same mix out of both the left and right speaker, whereas a 1.0 mono track will play only out of the center channel. I guess some studios figure that it would be better to hear the same mix coming out from two speakers than only hearing it from one speaker.
     
  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I believe that the DD compression is more efficient for a 1.0 mono soundtrack than a 2.0 soundtrack at the same bitrate. I have yet to see an HT pre-amp that could not take a 1.0 soundtrack and output it through 2-channels if someone wanted to hear it that way, so 1.0 makes the most sense to me for mono DVDs.

    Regards,
     
  17. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Screenwriter

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    There is no sonic benefit from 2.0 mono, it just wastes bit-space at the expense of sound quality. I would like to see all use of 2.0 mono stopped. I dont know which studio exec though that 2.0 mono would look better on the packaging than 1.0 mono, but it's doing nothing for my ears.

    -Lyle J.P.
     
  18. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Also, you can simply turn off the Dolby processing and get both speakers to output the track, and since is seems that many 1.0 tracks are ran at the same bitrate as 2.0 I don't suppose there would be much if any any loss in quality.
     
  19. Matt_H

    Matt_H Stunt Coordinator

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    i wish the jaws dvd had the mono track
     
  20. Mark Tay

    Mark Tay Stunt Coordinator

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    "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun" has a nice PCM Mono track. Unfortunately the DVD is OOP.
     

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