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5.1 Dolby Digital Laser disc vs. DVD, is there a difference in sound??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jerome Grate, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Well-Known Member

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    I'm on the LD kick again, see some good deals on players. DTS certainly is one reason, but with out a demodulator DTS is the only disc I can play on a LD. Hence the question, is 5.1 Dolby Digital better on Laser as oppose to DVD?
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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    In theory, it's worse because it's at a lower bitrate (all fts being equal of course)

    Some discs are supposed to sound better (like Star Trek Generations) because they haven't been remixed for the near field and people with monster HTs will get better performance out of them
     
  3. Chris Purvis

    Chris Purvis Well-Known Member

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    having owned both LD and dvd's of several 5.1 movies I couldn't really tell a difference in the audio quality between the two. If you don't already have a huge collection of 5.1 LD's I'm not sure it would be worth the cost of the demodulator (seems like they sell for around $150.00 these days) unless you can find one cheap.
     
  4. Sanjay Gupta

    Sanjay Gupta Well-Known Member

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    Not just theory, the fact is that LAser DIsc Dolby Digital blows away Dolby Digital on DVD atleast most of the times. What a shame that a newer format is actually inferior to an older one.

    Sanjay
     
  5. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Well-Known Member

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    I can't comment for all LD's, but I have to agree about ST:Generations. The region 1 dvd sounds limp and lifeless. But the ac3 LD is wonderful; it just seems to have more energy. The bass response in particular is much improved over the dvd. Is it the best DD track ever? No. But is it better than the dvd? I would have to say yes.
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Well-Known Member

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    Well, it seems as so far the answers have varied between what should theoretically be true and what has been experienced...

    The technical answer is that they should, for the most part, be virtually identical. While DVD is capible of higher bitrate DD soundtracks, truth is that the majority of releases are using the same rates as were present on laser. The higher rate does appear on DVD, mostly on newer releases- but it is not yet in any numbers that would warrant it be considered the standard just yet.

    So, if numbers told the whole story- this would be all there is to write on the topic. However- it seems that numbers are not the be all, nor the end all.

    Many posters have claimed a "better" DD soundtrack on many LDs. I believe HEAT and STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE are often cited as examples of the LD being superior to the DVD. The question as to why almost certainly points to the master process and the mixes used. However- it would then stand to reason that the preference of LD DD vs DVD DD would be split down the middle- however those with a pref often side with the LD as their favorite.

    I'm beginning to wonder if there is a weak chain or two in the signal processing chain for DVD prep. It seems that most modern DVD tracks, at some point, spend some time in a PRO TOOLS environment- and I wonder if the same was true for laser. Pro Tools, while overwhelmingly popular, has been the target of complaints by many in the audio world for its lackluster sound quality.

    Some have argued that there are night and day differences on some discs-- since there is no rule of thumb for determining which discs have these giant differences, I would allow your own ears guide you...

    I think the bottom line answer to this question of "is there a difference in sound" comes doen to a response question of: "I don't know, do you hear a difference?"


    -V
     
  7. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Well-Known Member

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    Here's what I'm looking to do, for 100 bucks I can probably by a good LD player, but as Chris Purvis said, a demodulator is about 150.00. 250.00 for a player and demodulator is just too much for me to spend on something that's obsolete. However, the task would be to get DTS discs to play with the need of demodulator. Am I making a mistake in considering the purchase of a laser disc player just for DTS titles that might be hard to find (haven't looked yet)???
     
  8. Artur Meinild

    Artur Meinild Well-Known Member

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  9. DeanWalsh

    DeanWalsh Well-Known Member

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    Isn't another factor contributing to increased sound quality on LD the lack of jitter compared to a dvd?
     
  10. greg_t

    greg_t Well-Known Member

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    I tend to think that it's more in the mix than the technical side. Laserdisc DD was mixed for people who had rather expensive ld players, and likewise, likely had good sound systems to play them with. So maybe the mixes were made a little stronger since the end consumer likely had a pretty strong system. Also, there was no need to worry about downmixing to a 19" TV with mono speakers. LD DD was true 5.1 with no downmixing.
     
  11. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Well-Known Member

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    Why would the SQ degrade with ProTools? Maybe the TDM or Audiosuite processing? I have less problems with ProTools than any other DAW out there. I also use some of the CreamW@re products.
     
  12. richard plumb

    richard plumb Well-Known Member

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    whatever happened to separate DD2.0 mixes? Weren't they supposed to do away with the need to compromise the DD5.1 mix to allow for downmixing to stereo? Do most releases these days not include a 2.0 track?
     
  13. Christopher_J_F

    Christopher_J_F Well-Known Member

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    Jerome-
     
  14. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown Well-Known Member

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    With Dolby Digital on Laserdisc only being encoded at 384, I always thought it wasn't as good as on DVD. I didn't really care because I always listen to the PCM tracks anyway. But then I heard that Dolby Digital on Laserdisc is actually better because the only channels that are DD encoded are the center and the rears, while the mains use the PCM. In that case i'd probably give the edge to laserdisc, but it sounds kind of far fetched. Can anyone shed any light on this?
     
  15. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Well-Known Member

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    It's not true, Chris. The Dolby Digital and PCM on laserdisc are mutually exclusive.

    I don't have many Dolby Digital laserdiscs but as far as I can tell their sound quality is the same as the DVDs I've bought to replace them. I did a direct comparison of Star Trek First Contact and I couldn't tell a difference.
     
  16. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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  17. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Well-Known Member

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    Christopher, yes that's the plan.
     
  18. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Well-Known Member

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  19. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Well-Known Member

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    Neil S. Bulk
    My understanding of Dolby Digital on LD is that the films used the standard 6 track masters created for theaters. It's pretty much common knowledge now that films are being re-mixed for DVD to ensure compatibility with down mixing.

    And I can also vouch for the superiority of the Star Trek - Generations mix on the LD. It has impact. The DVD is thin and wimpy sounding. The DVD is not what it sounded like in the theater.

    Neil
     
  20. Craig W

    Craig W Well-Known Member

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    Neil,

    I believe you are right. When DD debuted on LD it was only a relatively short time after DD appeared at the local megaplex. Also when this debuted, the number of homes with the capable hardware was microscopic in relation to the LD community as a whole which also was quite small. So I highly doubt studios were going to remix for a few who would benefit.

    Whats that curve that keeps getting mentioned, the Q-curve?
    Basically when a mix is done for theaters they bump up the higher frequencies and I think they increase the bass output also since they are dealing with a much larger environment. This might explain why many claim that LD sounds superior because it has a much more in your face factor in the home environment. I prefer remixed for near field soundtracks. I am against limiting DD5.1 for in player downconversion. They should always contain a DD2.0 track. Why can't they put a similar warning message like they do with dts to let the user know that if they don't have a 5.1 capable system they should select 2.0?
     

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