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I'm beginning to become a "DTS GUY".

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Daniel Becker, Jul 18, 2003.

  1. Daniel Becker

    Daniel Becker Well-Known Member

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    The more DTS disks I acquire the more i'm beginning to wonder how there is any debate that DTS is better than Dolby Digital. I've only been on this board for 6-9 months now but i'm beginning to wonder just how anyone could honestly believe that DTS and DD are equals.


    I found a copy of Road to Perdition DD the other day on Ebay for real cheap. So I picked it up knowing i'd rather have the DTS version but I figured I could live with it since it was such a great deal. So, I get it in the mail and watched about half of it the other night. I was just bothered by how weak the DD track sounded. It was just plain flat sounding. I was over at a friends place the next night and I realized he had the DTS version and he doesn't even have a Dolby Digital system so it meant nothing to him. So I offered to trade him my DD version for his DTS version and I informed him he'd be gaining a 30 minute documentary about the film. So he went for it.


    I get the DTS version home last night and I watched the first 15 minutes since it was so late. I was blown away by how nice it sounded. The difference from the DD track was obvious and everything just had a much fuller sound to it. The background noises were the most obvious addition. They whole funeral scene had a much more lively sound to it with background effects and the like.


    So, I don't want some huge debate that i've heard about in the past but i'm still confused as to how some people still argue that DD is the equal to DTS.


    Dan.B
     
  2. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Well-Known Member

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    Your assumptions are based off of 1 comparison? How can you say
     
  3. Matt<>Broon

    Matt<>Broon Well-Known Member

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    Uh oh.. I can see how this thread is going to turn out already. [​IMG]

    My view is that some DTS tracks are way above their 5.1 counterparts and some are distinctly not. It rather depends on the film and the soundtrack.

    I'm glad to have the option and if there are two seperate discs I'll pick up one or the other based on reviews.
     
  4. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Well-Known Member

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  5. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Well-Known Member

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  6. Mitch Stevens

    Mitch Stevens Well-Known Member

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    While I used to think that DTS was a million times better than DD, I've also heard some DVDs that have both, and they sound exactly the same when they use the same mix. What you are hearing is a different mix/master used on the DTS disc, and that's why it's so different/better than the DD version. While usually they will use the better mix to put on the DTS version, there are a few discs out there that the Dolby Digital is said to have MUCH better sound. For example:

    The Rock (Criterion Collection) is said to have a better DD mix than the DTS version. While I myself have never heard the DD version, I can in all honesty say that the DTS version will literally blow you away! It's so amazingly crystal clear with deep DEEP bass that is so clear and unbloated it will make your jaw drop. Because of this, I have never heard the DD track on my DVD because I'm more than satisfied with the DTS version...HOWEVER everyone swears by the DD track. I'll get around to watching it in DD one of these years.

    Saving Private Ryan also has a DD & DTS release (not on same disc) and I have heard both, and I much prefer the DD version of the horrible unclear/bloated bass DTS track! The DD version to me sounds so much clearer and unbloated. Plus, on my equipment the bass sounds so much better on the DD version...but I'm the only person in the universe who prefers the DD version over the DTS version. This DVD has two different mixes, so you can't quite compare the two.

    Like I said, I used to think DTS is better but now I'm a firm believer that the mix you're hearing is the one that determines which version is better.
     
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    Your confusion comes from the fact that the differences between DTS and DD may be due to different masters than to different codecs. Does SPR and Gladiator sound better in DTS than DD? Yes. Did they use different masters for DD and DTS in these (and many other titles)? Yes. Are the differences between DD and DTS less apparent (or non-existent) when they are from the same masters? Well . . . therein lies the debate.

    Seems like a perfectly good reason for some people to argue.
     
  8. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Well-Known Member

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  9. Daniel Becker

    Daniel Becker Well-Known Member

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    I guess I wasn't giving enough information Mark. Road to Perdition certainly isn't the first DTS disk i've heard. In fact, out of the 60+ DVDs I own I would estimate that about 20 of them have DTS tracks. So, my opinion on the DTS Vs DD debate has slowly developed.


    I guess I just used Road to Perdition as my latest evidence as to the difference between DD and DTS. I've noticed it many times before but haven't really commented on it. Road to Perdition was just very obvious and made me think of posting this thread since I still occasionally see people who argue that DD is equal to DTS and that people who think DTS is better are basically imagining things.



    Dan.B
     
  10. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    Daniel,

    Road to Perdition is a Dreamworks production. Dreamworks is well known to release a DTS track that is from a very different master than the DD track. See my comments on SPR and Gladiator. The reason the differences between DD and DTS are "obvious" with this title is the DD and DTS tracks *are* different. They are just not different in a way that can be attributed to the codec. Compare a DTS and DD that are from the same master and you may be surprised at the how alike they sound.
     
  11. Chet_F

    Chet_F Well-Known Member

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    "I don't want some huge debate that i've heard about in the past but i'm still confused as to how some people still argue that DD is the equal to DTS."

    You seem to contradict yourself. You don't want a debate but yet you seem to want to know other's opinions. I'm confused.
     
  12. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Well-Known Member

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    Dan,

    while differences can vary from title to title and the master used can obviosly affect the difference (as many have mentioned):

    I've found that DTS does some things consistently that DD never does. It almost *always* sounds more "airy" with more naturally-toned midrange timbres and sounds more "analog".

    For me...that's means sounding better so for me DTS almost always *does*.

    Some folks hear louder base or more active surrounds and those things tend to form how they characterize sounds. But timbre-timbre comparisons in my experience almost always have the DTS just sounding more "natural" with the DD version sounding a tad more "digital".

    If there are any audiophiles here the best way I can describe it is that DTS sounds like a decoded HDCD and DD sounds like a standard 16/44.1 bit CD in comparison.

    Are there some discs that come incredibly close between the two? Yes...but i've yet to hear a disc where the DTS didn't sound at least a *little* more "natural" to my ears.
     
  13. Daniel Becker

    Daniel Becker Well-Known Member

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    In regards to me "contradicting myself". I'm basically saying I don't want this to become a heated debate. Yes, i'm looking for opinions but I want people to keep it civilized. I've heard previous debates have been less than civilized. [​IMG]


    It seems that whenever DD vs DTS debates arise you see people saying "The DTS is a different mix, therefore it's not an equal comparison".

    Well, i've got one question then. Why don't the folks in charge of the DD mix do a better mix so the DD tracks matches up to the DTS mix? If Dolby wanted opinions to change they could just work harder on their mixes and they could prove once and for all that they are equal. Wouldn't that be easy?


    Dan.B
     
  14. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Well-Known Member

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    Another thing to keep in mind is that DTS tracks are usually presented somewhat louder than DD tracks. If you're going to make a fair comparison, you have to crank up the DD to the same level as the DTS. It's a well-known fact of psychoacoustics that (at moderate levels) louder tends to sound better to most people. Just switching between the tracks without compensating will give a very misleading impression (and one that, no doubt, DTS is very happy to say nothing about).
     
  15. Chet_F

    Chet_F Well-Known Member

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    "If Dolby wanted opinions to change they could just work harder on their mixes and they could prove once and for all that they are equal."

    The answer is: Why even bother. I don't thnk they care about opinions. They have the "monopoly" on sound mixes as every release needs to have a dolby digital track. Why even bother with impressing people when they are going to get the job anyway.

    Just my opinion
     
  16. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Cees Alons
    The DD track isn't done by Dolby Labs. The argument therefore is futile.

    Cees
     
  17. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Well-Known Member

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    Dan,

    It's one of the things that SUCKS about DD...it's often compromised out the wazoo!

    Many 5.1 mixes are "downgraded" to sound better when the DVD player produces a 2.0 Pro-Logic down-mix on the fly. The bass and surround information is degraded in 5.1 to make it sound better in 2.0!!!

    Also, all sorts of crazy filters and processing happens for many DD soundtracks that is unnecessary...but if the guy mixing your DD soundtrack is a "this one goes to 11" geek you're going to get sound that's been modified.

    the less change that happens to the signal, the better it will sound. This is a principle all-too-forgotten by most mastering engineers today...and it's true for music-only recording as well as 5.1 movie mixes and even applied to *video* mastering (why do we have EE on so many DVDs?).

    BTW, it's not that many DTS mixes are *louder* so much as many are recorded at a *proper* recording level and many DD soundtracks needlessly waste headroom and in doing so waste bit-resolution.

    In a 16-bit recording, each 6 db you don't use drops the effective resolution of the signal by a bit. So a 16-bit recording that never peaks above -6db is recorded with only "15 bits of effective resolution". Well I have *many* DD DVDs that leave more than 12db unused! That's bascially a 13-15 bit recording!

    DTS as a rule utilizies 20 bit PCM masters and provides full 20 bit resolution (maintaines). Most DD soundtracks are encoded at 16-bit res (though DD can do 20 from what I understand). If for no other reason, DTS might sound "better" than DD in many cases just because 20 bits sounds smoother and more "natural" than 16 bit audio.
     
  18. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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  19. Daniel Becker

    Daniel Becker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Dave. I guess it just comes down to Dolby's big "strength" being that it can be very compressed and therefore take up little space on the disk. I know it's compressed and therefore sounds weakened but thats the whole benefit of DTS then. It's not as compressed!



    Dan.B
     
  20. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    David was not saying the DD is more compressed. He is saying there are changes to the master *before* compression that make the final product less desirable. Sometimes they even optimize the DD track for pro-logic playback by remixing before compression.

    The following point has been stated ad infinitum and is as true today as it was back when digital compression techniques were in their infancy - Just because a codec uses more compression does not mean it is inferior to another separate codec that uses less compression. I could take out every other bit in a master and have a fairly small 2:1 compression ratio, but the sound that results would be unintelligble. It is all in the results and most DD and DTS tracks from the same master have little or no differences between the two.

    If you say you like the DTS mixes better than the DD mixes, I have no argument. But somehow that does not have the same "Ford vs. Chevy", "Coke vs. Pepsi" or "Kubrick vs. Speilburg" appeal, does it?
     

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