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help me pick which codec to use (DTS, Dolby EX, etc)


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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Todd Alexander

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Posted December 15 2003 - 01:28 AM

I bought an Onkyo TX-NR900 and it's great. Trouble is that all the sound mosed sound awesoem and I trully can't tell the difference between them. For example, Lord of the Ringd Extended version has the DTS 6.1 Discrete sound setting, the end all of codecs, right? Sounds great yes, but I really don't know if it is better than the pro logic II setting.

Without getting too technical, wold someone which ones are 'supposed' to be the better sounding modes? Please rate these from "best" to "worse" if possible. I'm trying to keep it simple.

DTS
DTS-ES Discrete/Matrix 6.1
Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital EX

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Brian Corr

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Posted December 15 2003 - 02:07 AM

It's a little subjective but I'd say:

DTS-ES
DD-EX
DTS
DD

DTS-ES gives you 6 discrete channels plus the LFE for a total of 6.1 discrete channels.
DD-EX gives you matrixed rears, not truly discrete, so you get 6.1.
DTS and DD are both 5.1.
Pro-Logic II is matrixed in the rear and shouldn't give you the separation and imaging that you'd get from any of the above formats. You get 5.1 but again, the 2 surrounds are matrixed, not discrete.

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   David Judah

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Posted December 15 2003 - 02:23 AM

It's not really a choice between Pro-logic and one of the discrete modes for most newer DVDs. If you have it in DPL II mode and you select DD or DTS on the DVD menu, your receiver will automatically detect and switch to whichever mode you choose.

As for which is better, that's not an easy question to answer and involves alot of variables. If you have a 6.1 set-up and the disc has an EX or ES soundtrack, then use one of those, obviously, as your subjective preferences dictate. Some soundtracks can also sound good forced into 6.1 mode even if it's 5.1, so I'd say some experimentation is in order.

For 5.1 with both soundtracks(remember sometimes only a DD is available from some studios), alot will depend on how they are prepared. I don't think you can automatically assume one will be better than other because of that, but for those that believe the codec can play some part, DTS is usually preferred. Of course, there are those who think it's all in the mix, and if that's true, you'll have to listen to both and see which you prefer.

I'm to the point now where I don't really care to take the time to compare, and I'll usually select a DTS track if it's available because it will usually sound no subjevtively worse than its DD counterpart, and in some cases sound "better"(again, there could different reasons for this).

The Software Forum is a good tool, as some members will compare and offer their opinions as to which they prefer on a particular release and for what reason.

DJ
Lecktor: Then how did you catch me?
Graham: You had disadvantages.
Lecktor: What disadvantages?
Graham: You're insane.

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Todd Alexander

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Posted December 15 2003 - 02:50 AM

Yeah, it's hard to compare because it take a cople minutes to switch audio tracks on the DVD, switch modes on the receiver and find the exact spot on the DVD to compare. By the time you do that you forget what the other track sounds like. Not like an on/off switch! Posted Image

Thanks for the input. There is one other mode, Neo 6 (DTS?) when would someone use this mode?

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   David Judah

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Posted December 15 2003 - 03:20 AM

Some discs will let you switch on the fly and you forgot the most important thing when making comparisons--volume matching. You will have to compensate for Dolby's Dialogue Normalization on some discs, which can be up to a 4 dB offset(sometimes even more but for different reasons). Yes, I agree that it's too much of a pain.

DTS Neo 6 is used like DPL II for two channel sources and Dolby Surround sources like CDs, TV, sattelite, etc...

DJ
Lecktor: Then how did you catch me?
Graham: You had disadvantages.
Lecktor: What disadvantages?
Graham: You're insane.

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted December 15 2003 - 04:28 AM

For many people, I have found it best just to always let the processor make the selection from the source.

Except for one friend I have, sound modes and the logic on using them, is totaly beyond them.


The only real way for you to make informed choices on them, is to read and educate yourself, on what they are and when they can be used. There will be some time involved in this, but you will be educated on it once you have done this.

I use DTS and DTS-ES when ever it is present on the DVD.
DD EX, usually will come up when flagged as such on the media, even if it is not really listed on the dvd case for the particular title.

If a movie or source is in DTS, I usualy let it ES matrix.

I still use Denon Widescreen 7.1 a lot also, available on most sources.

I hope this helps some.