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Warner Bros. says no to DTS!


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#1 of 131 Samuel_M

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Posted April 22 2003 - 02:09 PM

Greetings all!

I was fortunate enough to participate in the online chat session with WB DVD executives earlier this evening (4/22/03) and asked them the following question:

Given Paramount's newly announced decision to support DTS with the upcoming release of the Jack Ryan Special Edition Box Set (on 5/6), to what extent will WB be supporting DTS in the future?

WB's response: No DTS support at this time. Posted Image

They didn't give a reason (maybe because I didn't ask for one) but I was just wondering if someone out there could shed some light as to what the rationale is behind this decision...True, they do have a few movies out there with DTS tracks (i.e. Lethal Weapon 1-3), but its been pretty much been slim pickings ever since.

I'd be interested to know what everyone's thoughts are on this. Thanks for your time (and please forgive me if this topic has been discussed before!). Posted Image

#2 of 131 greg_t

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Posted April 22 2003 - 02:20 PM

Well, it is disappointing to me, but that won't stop me from buying Warner releases. I asked during the chat why they still use 384kbps dolby instead of 448kbps. The answer was that it is a balance between sound quality and content. However, don't many other studio's release dvd's with both content and the 448kbps bitrate? Some manage to also add a DTS 754kbps track and still have content and video quality. I think Warner is having some great releases coming soon that I will defintitly pick up, I just think their answer to my question was flimsy.

#3 of 131 Mark Basile

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Posted April 22 2003 - 02:26 PM

I asked the same question unknowingly later in the chat when I arrived. And someone also asked why they don't use the 448kbs DD rate.

Not sure, I guess Warner Brothers obviously doesn't really care about superior audio as much as video. Myself and others have been asking for DTS on titles for a long time, and I guess we'll never see them. It's too bad because I would buy a lot of their titles again if they came with (IMHO, superior) DTS soundtracks, ie. "The Matrix." People DO care about quality, and the longer DVD stays around, the more people are gonna learn about "transfer quality". A lot of my friends don't know what 16x9 means, but they all know what DTS and Dolby Digital are.

Also, why and how did the 2-disc "True Romance" get a DTS track?


#4 of 131 Patrick McCart

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Posted April 22 2003 - 02:30 PM

True Romance is a Morgan Creek film, thus calls the shots for their films.

The thing is... WB would be wasting their time for the most part by adopting DTS. First, most of the catalog titles wouldn't get DTS. Then, many of the new releases would lose extras.

WB supported full bitrate DTS on those early 5, so that may be the reason. They may not want to adopt half-rate.

Solutions can usually be found in reason, rather than concluding that "they don't care."

#5 of 131 Bruce_S

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Posted April 22 2003 - 05:14 PM

I hope WB will consider putting DTS soundtrack for upcoming release of Matrix DVD's. I prefer to have better soundtrack than those extras. For me - I really don't care much for the extras features. Sony is able to come up with "Superbits' line up. Maybe, they should consider doing the same or follow the footsteps of New Line DVD released such as "Lord of the Rings Extended Version".

I think, WB is taking the lazy approach of their dvd line up. Come on and wake up WB - look at T2 UE dvd. That's one is one the best dvd ever produced with both great DD-EX and DTS-ES soundtrack also maintain high picture quality.

-Bruce

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#6 of 131 Ryan_TD

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Posted April 22 2003 - 06:20 PM

I know someone at Warner will read this thread and here's my prediction:
They will release The Matrix as a 2-disc ultimate edition with a new transfer and a newly remixed dts track, just like the sequels will.
Cause I tell ya, as much as everyone will boast on its refrence quality - the sound is truly lacking in respects to what its full potential can be.
Just wait and see -- Matrix trilogy - dts-es.

And speaking of the Lethal Weapon dvds....what's holding up the director's cut of lethal weapon 4?
It's like the neglected red headed stepchild of the bunch. 1-3 are all director's cuts sporting dts and have shiny silver packaging and 4 is just lacking in every way......Posted Image
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#7 of 131 Sean Moon

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Posted April 22 2003 - 06:59 PM

the lethal weapon trilogy DCs also have 448kb DD tracks on them in addition to the full bitrate DTS tracks.
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#8 of 131 Rob Gillespie

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Posted April 22 2003 - 09:01 PM

Warner had some run-in with DTS a long time ago so the decision probably has more to do with industrial politics moe than anything else.

The five titles they realeased with dual DD/DTS soundtracks we're I believe some kind of experiment they tried and the soundtracks were encoded from the same source (unlike most DTS versions which are slightly different). The end results sounded so alike that it wasn't worth the effort.
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#9 of 131 Geoff_D

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Posted April 23 2003 - 12:02 AM

Quote:
The five titles they realeased with dual DD/DTS soundtracks we're I believe some kind of experiment they tried and the soundtracks were encoded from the same source (unlike most DTS versions which are slightly different). The end results sounded so alike that it wasn't worth the effort.

While dts themselves would refute what Rob states about dts masters being 'slightly different', I agree 100%. I own Lethal Weapon 2 and Twister, and their dts tracks sound identical to the dd on my set-up. In fact, in an issue of Home Cinema Choice (a UK-based home cinema mag) they had an article about dts in the home and how it's been 'cooked' in the past. They specifically mentioned how Warner's sound techs discovered that their dts encoder was automatically adding 0.5db to each channel, and that extra work had to be done to match the sound levels between the dd and dts versions. And after this had been done, the end results really were so similar that Warner dumped dts after the initial run of five titles. But hey, I'm not saying this is gospel, it's just what I read in a (reputable) magazine.

#10 of 131 greg_t

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Posted April 23 2003 - 12:19 AM

Twister special edition has both great DD and DTS, the closest I have heard. I personally still prefer the DTS on it. On my setup, DD often uses some boomy bass, while the DTS bass is more level. Lets also remember that on those 5 Warner DD/DTS titles, They set the dolby dialoge normalization feature to 0, which is not it's default settings of 4. Would this in a sense have been "cooking" the DD mix to get it closer to the DTS?

#11 of 131 kevin_asai

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Posted April 23 2003 - 12:34 AM

Slightly off-topic. FYI, HK version of Hero 2 disks set DVD has average video bitrate of 9.43Mb/s and it has full bitrate DTS-ES track and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX. It's an anamorphic transfer too.

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#12 of 131 Adam Barratt

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Posted April 23 2003 - 01:15 AM

Quote:
While dts themselves would refute what Rob states about dts masters being 'slightly different'

I doubt they would be willing to refute this, as it is common practice. It's doubtful whether DTS themselves would have direct knowledge of these practices when it comes to specific modern soundtracks, as they are much less involved in actual DVD soundtrack encoding these days. This is usually performed by independent production houses.

Quote:
Would this in a sense have been "cooking" the DD mix to get it closer to the DTS?

I would say not. Uniformly adjusting the playback volume of all channels doesn't really count as 'cooking'; this would require the adjustment of specific channels or frequencies independently of others. If anything, a neutral dialnorm value results in less impact on a soundtrack than the usual -27dBFS value.

Quote:
HK version of Hero 2 disks set DVD has average video bitrate of 9.43Mb/s and it has full bitrate DTS-ES track and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX

The combined audio and video bit-rates might average 9.4Mbps, but this can't be the average video bit-rate. Together with a full bit-rate DTS soundtrack and a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, this figure would exceed DVD's maximum bit-rate capacity of 10.08Mbps by nearly 15%.

Considering how small the differences were between the DTS and Dolby Digital tracks on their releases, I don't think there would be any real benefit to Warner using DTS. Remember that these discs used 1509kbps; at 754kbps I imagine these differences would be even smaller (if that's possible). However, perhaps they will eventually follow Columbia TriStar's lead by including DTS as a marketing strategy (as with their Superbit titles).

Expecting currently available soundtracks such as that of The Matrix to be somehow transformed by presenting them in DTS just isn't realistic. It's just an audio format, not magic.

Adam

#13 of 131 DaViD Boulet

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Posted April 23 2003 - 03:02 AM

Color purple and Amadues SEs were 2 titles I hoped would get DTS.

They didn't. Neither will Matrix.

At *least* WB could do DD at 448!!!

GRRRRRRRRRR..... Posted Image
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#14 of 131 David Coleman

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Posted April 23 2003 - 03:26 AM

It is disappointing that Warner steadfastly refuses to use DTS! In most cases (not all) i usually prefer DTS to the DD!

What's even more confusing to me is their use of 384kbs DD! This makes absolutely no sense to me! If I recall correctly even Dolby states that their preference for DVD is the 448! Also doesn't DD 384 top off the high end at 15mhz?

I hope the powers that be really look at what the people that are buying what as opposed to their own seemingly personal agenda!

#15 of 131 Randy A Salas

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Posted April 23 2003 - 03:54 AM

Quote:
However, perhaps they will eventually follow Columbia TriStar's lead by including DTS as a marketing strategy (as with their Superbit titles).


This seems unlikely. Although Columbia Tristar continues to release Superbit titles, they're still not big sellers. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they go away soon. A major clue to this is the fact that other studios aren't jumping on the bandwagon to release such premium-branded titles. If the Superbit titles were doing well, you'd have seen a rush of copycats by now.

Also, people keep repeating here that Paramount is now supporting DTS. It might be just a matter of semantics, but I think that's going a bit far to characterize it like that. Paramount has announced DTS on a handful of upcoming titles. That's no more "support" than when Warner issued a handful of titles a few years with DTS (Twister, Lethal Weapon, etc.). Warner quickly found that space concerns and the extra money for licensing rights didn't translate into sales that made the effort worthwhile. I wouldn't be surprised if Paramount soon discovers the same thing.

It's also funny that so many people complain about Warner not supporting DTS. I do understand the frustration. But as Adam noted, it's just a format.

The Warner complaints might be valid if the studio were producing crap, but it's not. Its Dolby Digital tracks consistently sound fantastic, even at lower rates. I could repost a bunch of Ron's reviews (or any other reviewers') that prove this to be the case. Even for DVDs on which Ron has pined for a DTS track, he goes on to praise the DD.
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#16 of 131 MarkHastings

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Posted April 23 2003 - 03:59 AM

Since most companies have to put out a 2 disc set in order to have both DTS and the bonus stuff, Warner has to create new packaging every time they want to do this (since they can't fit 2 DVD's in their snapper case).

Maybe that's why? Posted Image

#17 of 131 Michael St. Clair

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Posted April 23 2003 - 04:56 AM

Warner knows how to do DD right. There is zero objective evidence that a non-remix, non-EQd DTS track is more transparent to the orginal master than DD is. Zero. The best thing to do is put love and care into the DD track and do it right, and leave the DTS track off.

I salute Warner for not wasting valuable bitspace and the inevitable picture quality compromises that come with excessive soundtrack data.

Also, it is important to note that splitting movie SEs onto two discs can increast average bitrate, but the peak bitrate headroom that is lost when adding additional soundtracks can not be reclaimed.

#18 of 131 Rob Gillespie

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Posted April 23 2003 - 05:08 AM

Quote:
Warner knows how to do DD right.

So right that they use a lower DD bitrate than everybody else.
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#19 of 131 Randy A Salas

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Posted April 23 2003 - 05:21 AM

Quote:
So right that they use a lower DD bitrate than everybody else.


And yet reviewers consistently praise the audio quality, so Warner must be doing something right.

Quote:
Since most companies have to put out a 2 disc set in order to have both DTS and the bonus stuff, Warner has to create new packaging every time they want to do this (since they can't fit 2 DVD's in their snapper case).

Maybe that's why?


Not at all. Warner said in the chat that it is committed to digipaks for two-disc sets. Creating the digipak is not much different than the work that goes into creating the snappers; they're both formatted packaging.
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#20 of 131 Michael Reuben

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Posted April 23 2003 - 05:29 AM

Quote:
Warner knows how to do DD right.

Quote:
So right that they use a lower DD bitrate than everybody else.

The same bitrate that's used on some of the most highly praised laserdisc DD tracks of all time: Saving Private Ryan, The Matrix, The Phantom Menace -- all tracks that are routinely said to "blow away" the DVD versions (including the DTS DVD of Ryan).

To paraphrase your old signature, Rob: It's the mix, not the bitrate.

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