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Dolby True-HD and DTS-HD


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44 replies to this topic

#1 of 45 Chris Huber

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Posted March 08 2006 - 02:17 AM

I need to understand these... I've been to Dolby.com and dtsonline.com to review the technology.

1. Will the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players coming out soon support and output this? I am aware that the software(disc) must have this encoded too. When will they start encoding this on discs?

2. Obviously, current receivers will be able to play new stuff in regular 5.1(DD EX, DTS-ES), since the new audio format will include the old on the datastream as well, right?

3. When will we see new receivers that can decode Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD? Will these be fake 7.1 (like the current) or will they be true 7.1(or at least a step up from PLIIx)?

#2 of 45 JediFonger

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Posted March 21 2006 - 07:42 AM

1. yes, both BR&HD-DVD support this in their spex. in fact, it's BECAUSE of BR&HD-DVD that DD-HD, TrueHD, DTS-HD are coming out. it's upto the studios when they'll start encoding.

AFAIK, there's been no confirmation on whether the 3 new HD-DVDs (phantom of opera, last samurai and million dollar baby) will be authored with HD versions of their soundtrack. let's hope it is soon.

2. well, here's what's gonna happen. the BR/HD-DVD player will transcode DD-HD, TrueHD, DTS-HD to DD&DTS formats that we now know. in fact, even the new Toshiba players coming out next week will decode the new surround formats but spit them out in existing/compatible formats. in the future when new a/v receivers come out decoding HD surround formats, you won't (supposedly) need any new equipment to enjoy HD surround formats.

3. i've been asking the same question. with the player+software launch so close, i haven't seen/heard any a/v receiver mfr announcing anything. i'm hoping Denon's planning one real soon. i really hope they utilize HDMI connection to the max.

#3 of 45 Tim Vickroy

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Posted March 21 2006 - 08:35 AM

I don't think Yi's reply is entirely accurate.

First of all, I believe the answer to your first question is NO. The first wave of HD DVD & Blu-ray players will not support DD HD or DTS-HD.

This is because these formats rely on HDMI 1.3 to be passed digitally to the receiver (earlier HDMI versions as well as optical & coaxial just don't have the bandwidth). HDMI 1.3 won't have a final spec until June / July.

The first DVD players, receivers, etc. with HDMI 1.3 probably won't show up until early 2007.

#4 of 45 JediFonger

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Posted March 21 2006 - 09:00 AM

tim, have you been checking out Toshiba player spex? all HD-DVD&BluRay will support decoding HD sountracks. whether movie studios will choose the encode the discs with HD soundtracks remain to be seen. a spec is a spec is a spec. the firstwave of DVD players supported decoding Dolby Digital so users can hear it either using analog or coaxial toslink. that's why the consortium spec'd DD into DVD. likewise for the HD discs.

all of what i wrote above will come independent of HDMI. whether HDMI spex pass the info or not is irrelevant. i believe the players output 7.1 using analog RCA plugs. so any a/v receivers can hear HD soundtracks if they accept analog inputs. i dunno whether they can pass HD sountracks through coaxial or toslink.

#5 of 45 Daryl Furkalo

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Posted March 21 2006 - 09:12 AM

The question is whether the players will decode the higher res audio on board or pass the signal via HDMI. Each manufacturer has a different answer on generation one.

HDMI 1.3 will have the copy protection the studios feel they need, I don't think there is any technical limit on the data transfer with the previous versions of HDMI.

#6 of 45 Dave Moritz

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Posted March 21 2006 - 02:00 PM

I would not count on Denon offering any new surround hd decoding anytime soon. I emailed Denon and the only thing they would say is that there are no plans to offer DD+ & DTS-HD any time soon. In another email Denon said there will be no HD-DVD or Blu-ray will be offered until the format war is over.

I had hoped that Denon would offer a Blu-ray HD player but that will not be happening for the forseeable future. So I will be looking to purchase ether a Sony or Pioneer Elite Blu-ray hd player.

I however wonder how good the quality will be on the dd+ / dts-hd decoders built into the hd players? Will they be high quality capible of high end audio?
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#7 of 45 Johnny G

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Posted March 21 2006 - 07:25 PM

The specs are out for the first 3 HD-DVD titles:-

Million Dollar Baby

Main Feature:
1080P HD 16x9 2.40:1
Dolby Digital-Plus: English 5.1 & French 5.1
English, French and Spanish subtitles

Extra Features:
480i Standard Definition
Stereo Sound
James Lipton Takes on Three: Roundtable with Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman and Moderator James Lipton
Born to Fight: A discussion with real-life boxer/actress Lucia Rijker
Producers Round 15: Behind the Scenes
Theatrical Trailer

The Last Samurai

Main Feature:
1080P HD 16x9 2.40:1
Dolby Digital-Plus: English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 2.0
English, French and Spanish subtitles

Extra Features:
480i Standard Definition
Stereo Sound
Commentary by Edward Zwick
Deleted Scenes
Edward Zwick: Director's Video Journal
History vs. Hollywood: The Last Samurai {History Channel Documentary)
Tom Cruise: A Warrior's Journey
Making an Epic: A Conversation with Edward Zwick
A World of Detail: Production Design with Lilly Kilvert
Silk and Armor: Costume Design with Ngila Dickson
From Soldier to Samurai: The Weapons
Japan Premieres
Imperial Army Basic Training
Theatrical Trailer

The Phantom of the Opera

Main Feature:
1080P HD 16x9 2.40:1
Dolby True HD: English 5.1
Dolby Digital-Plus: English 5.1 & French 5.1
English, French and Spanish subtitles

Extra Features:
480i Standard Definition
Stereo Sound
Behind the Mask: The story of The Phantom of the Opera
The Making of The Phantom of the Opera in 3 Spellbinding Acts:
Pre-Production
The Director
Production
No One Would Listen: Additional Scene
Singalong
Theatrical Trailer
__________________________________________________ __________

So at least one of them has Dolby True HD and all have Dolby Digital-Plus or is that standard for HD?

#8 of 45 JediFonger

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Posted March 22 2006 - 01:51 AM

yeah DD+ is DD-HD (next gen HD codec from Dolby but still compressed). TrueHD is unique in the sense that it's supposed to be uncompressed like DVD-Audio. really high quality. thx for the spex =). so the disc will have the material. the toshiba players will be able to decode it and output via analog 7.1 rca plugs or will it pass those signals digitally over coaxial/toslink? anyone know?

re: HDMI 1.3, i thought 1.3 only adds DVD-Audio&SACD and HDMI spex already passed DD+&truehd.

#9 of 45 Juan C

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Posted March 22 2006 - 02:05 AM

The Toshiba 1st-gen players only decode 2-channel Dolby TrueHD.

#10 of 45 JediFonger

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Posted March 22 2006 - 02:36 AM

found my answer:

Quote:
1) Some cable TV boxes with HDMI out are not delivering any picture to displays with HDMI inputs.



We have heard complaints that some cable TV boxes are not working correctly when used in conjunction with an A/V receiver (but will typically function correctly when connected directly to a TV/monitor). Investigation of some of these devices reveals that this is caused by an error in the way these devices implement HDCP (HDCP is a content protection system that is nearly always implemented in HDMI). Specifically, some of those boxes do not support "HDCP Repeaters" such as an A/V Receiver or switch. The same is likely true of all such failures. This is not an HDMI-specific problem (as we have seen the same problem in DVI outputs as well). We believe that this may be a problem in the initial versions of these products, and in some cases there is new firmware available that fixes this issue in HDMI (newer versions may already have this fix.). We have contacted the manufacturers to try to get a more complete and direct resolution of any problems.



We suggest that users contact their cable operator and request the new software to address this bug. Additionally, please note that HDCP is not licensed (or required) by HDMI, but is licensed by Digital Content Protection, LLC, a subsidiary of Intel (www.digital-cp.com). We also urge users to contact digital-cp if they suspect that they are having problems with HDCP implementations such as this issue.



(2) The current HDMI plug appears not to be as sturdy as anticipated, and there may be a change next year in the design of the plug, and the new plug would not fit in current HDMI sockets.



We have occasionally received requests for the connectors to have a higher removal force for situations where the cable may be pulling on the connector (e.g. long cable lengths or in equipment racks). We have been looking at new/latching connector designs to remedy this problem, but this would be backwards compatible with the current connector – there’s no reason for it not to be. We have also have seen a few connectors that were out of spec (e.g. not the right size, too much over-molding, etc), which led to compatibility issues and, in some cases, connector damage. However, we are commencing a connector certification program to help ensure that all Adopters use compliant connectors.



Otherwise, I am not sure where this question is coming from - we have a strong interest in maintaining backwards compatibility.



(3) If you have an HDMI source such as a DVD player, and connect it to your display via HDMI, you may not be able to get 5.1 digital bitstreams to come out of the coaxial or Toslink digital output of the player at the same time as digital video and audio out of the HDMI output.



HDMI places no restrictions on any other digital or analog interface or any restrictions on the behavior of the product other than the behavior of the HDMI output (or input) itself. If a source device chooses to shut down other outputs, then that is a manufacturer product design decision (and I suggest probably a poor decision at that).



(4) HDMI is a two-way digital communication, and some displays send a handshake signal to the DVD player that permanently messes up the player's ability to output digital video through its HDMI jack.



We have not heard of this problem, and from a technical perspective it seems nearly impossible for a signal from the TV/receiver that would “permanently” mess up HDMI. We are investigating one particular high-end DVD player that may have a bug that causes it to crash when it reads certain unexpected data from the TV. However, all the problems that we have seen are implementation issues that the manufacturers can easily fix.



(5) HDMI v 1.1 is already hitting the shelves, with v 1.2 on the way, and v 1.3 in the next couple of years (v 1.3 will deliver higher res 5.1 digital audio). What will be the backward compatibility of these versions?



All new versions of HDMI are backwards compatible with all previous versions of HDMI; we have no plans to add any new functions that will break this backwards compatibility. This is very important for us. Each new version of the specification describes one or more new optional features, but all of the functions of the previous version are still supported in the new versions of the HDMI specification.



The only reason a user may wish to upgrade HDMI is if they wish to use one of the new optional features that the new specs provide. In this case, the user should not be looking for "HDMI 1.2" or "HDMI 1.1" labels, but for descriptions of the exact features that they want. This is because, while HDMI enables functionality, manufacturers are the ones that choose which functionality to implement.



For instance, from HDMI 1.1 to HDMI 1.2, One Bit Audio support was added - the type of audio used for SuperAudio CD. Prior to HDMI 1.2, some SACD players could play a disk in SACD format, and send the audio to an audio amplifier over HDMI, but it could only send the data in the more common PCM format, after having converted from the native SACD format. With HDMI 1.2’s new One Bit Audio option, the SACD player can now send the native SACD data to the audio amplifier over HDMI, as long as that amplifier supports One Bit Audio as well. If the amplifier is not capable of handling One Bit Audio then the player can still send PCM.



This example points out a couple of things: even though the player has been designed to take advantage of the new optional feature in HDMI 1.2, it is still backwards compatible with PCM-only amplifiers. In addition, because this new feature is optional for all devices, a particular device could implement “HDMI 1.2” without implementing all of the new optional features. If you want to have the audio transmitted in One Bit Audio format then you need to verify that the player and receiver are "HDMI One Bit Audio" capable.
http://www.hometheat....0930#post20930

#11 of 45 Greg T

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Posted March 22 2006 - 04:36 AM

Of all the announced players from either format....only the PS3 will pass 5.1 or 7.1 DD Tru-HD multi channel via hdmi 1.3.
Ironic that a game machine will do what no other hi res player will.

Also, all or most, depending on which article you read, Sony/MGM titles will have multi channel(at least 5.1) uncompressed audio.

And finally...no announced players have more than 5.1 analog outs.

#12 of 45 DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 22 2006 - 08:56 AM

"Main Feature:
1080P HD 16x9 2.40:1
Dolby True HD: English 5.1
Dolby Digital-Plus: English 5.1 & French 5.1
English, French and Spanish subtitles"


Why both DD True HD *and* DD+ English 5.1? Isn't DD True HD enough since the player can transcode to legacy DD???

Personally, I'm a little disappointed that only one of these HD DVD titles seems to be pushing for lossless audio compression. IMO, that is *the* next most important step-up with HD media after 1080P video...
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#13 of 45 JediFonger

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Posted March 22 2006 - 02:35 PM

david, that was my point in DD5.1 downmix into DD2.0 as well =). think about it:

have only ONE track: TrueHD 7.1 downmixes into DDEX (6.1), which can downmix into DD2.0!

#14 of 45 AaronMK

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Posted March 26 2006 - 04:50 AM

According to Dolby's website, DD+ is backwards compatible (will output a DD bitstream for current systems), but no similar capability is mentioned for TrueHD. Could you please cite your source for saying:

Quote:
the player can transcode to legacy DD

It is one thing to be able to decode and output 5.1 over analog outputs, or to take a subset of a DD+ track. It is another thing to compress and encode a DD 5.1 bitsream in realtime.

If TrueHD does not have backwards compatibility, the player would have to decode and then encode a standard DD bitstream on the fly. Are the HD players capable of on-the-fly DD 5.1 encoding, and doing a good job of it? I'd imagine if this were not an issue, they would not be including a backward compatible track along with the lossless track.

#15 of 45 Jeff(R)

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Posted March 26 2006 - 12:16 PM

Quote:
"According to Dolby's website, DD+ is backwards compatible (will output a DD bitstream for current systems), but no similar capability is mentioned for TrueHD. Could you please cite your source for saying:"

This is what I found during a Google search.

http://www.dolby.com....HD_avrs_2.html

"If your A/V receiver or processor has neither multichannel analog or digital inputs, but is equipped with 5.1-channel Dolby® Digital decoding and playback, you will still be able to enjoy 5.1-channel performance from next-generation optical players. Included within 7.1-channel multichannel Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD streams is a core 5.1 mix prepared by the content maker that is used when the player is set for 5.1-channel mode. After playback audio signals have been mixed in the player, the PCM signal can be encoded to a Dolby Digital signal and output from the player via S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) to your connected Dolby Digital A/V receiver or processor.

In many instances, the audio quality you will experience from this connection may be better than what you would experience during playback of standard-definition DVD-Video discs, especially if the native signal on the disc is Dolby TrueHD or high-bit-rate Dolby Digital Plus. This is a direct result of a higher-quality source signal feeding a Dolby Digital encoder running at 640 kbps—higher than the maximum bit rate on DVD-Video."

#16 of 45 DaViD Boulet

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Posted March 26 2006 - 01:48 PM

Jeff,

great post.

This makes me wonder though:

Quote:
After playback audio signals have been mixed in
the player, the PCM signal can be encoded to a Dolby Digital signal and output from the player via S/PDIF

That part doesn't sound like a "core" signal, but rather that there is a DD True HD decoder in the player which is actually *decoding* the lossless audio into PCM...and then *recompressing* using the dolby digital codec on-the-fly for your recevier.


Aaron,

after posting that I realized you had already posted this:

Quote:
If TrueHD does not have backwards compatibility, the player would have to decode and then encode a standard DD bitstream on the fly. Are the HD players capable of on-the-fly DD 5.1 encoding, and doing a good job of it? I'd imagine if this were not an issue, they would not be including a backward compatible track along with the lossless track.

Sounds like Jeff's quote actually *confirms* that even though it uses the "core" terminology along the way.
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#17 of 45 AaronMK

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Posted March 26 2006 - 05:57 PM

Jeff,

Thank you for finding that. The next paragraph after you stopped quoting read:

Quote:
Because Dolby Digital encoding support is optional in HD players, you will need to look for a next-generation player equipped with a S/PDIF output and built-in Dolby Digital 5.1-channel encoding technology.

Unfortunately, that page raises as many questions as it answers. Does "core" refer to a pre-downmixed 5.1 in TrueHD or Plus track so the player does not have to "guess" at it, or a standard DD 5.1 track? If it is the latter, the player would not need an encoder since it would just extract and pass the standard bitstream. The optional onboard encoder would be nice for video overlays so both the soundtracks could be mixed instead of having to select one or the other.

If both TrueHD and Plus have the same backwards compatibility, the only reason I can think of that they are including both on 'Phantom' is because the first generation Toshiba only supports 2ch TrueHD.

#18 of 45 JediFonger

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Posted March 27 2006 - 12:31 AM

aaron,

realtime DD&DTS encoding is possible:
http://auzentech.com/

i got the mystique and it works flawlessly with nearly all games (at least the ones i play).

re: Dolby questions, couldn't someone just email dolby.com and ask them? =).

#19 of 45 ChristopherDAC

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Posted March 27 2006 - 03:18 PM

"Plus" is just an extension to the original AC-3 CODEC, and ought to be backwayd compatible — that is, the legacy AC-3 decoders whould just ignore the extension data, just as with Dolby EX; it wouldn't need re-coding unless the bitrate is just too high for the input to accept. "HD" is something else entirely, though, and in that case I would guess that the "core" is a plain 5.1 mix, to which the additional channels [if present] are either bolt-ons, or matrixed like the rear-center in dts 6.1 Discrete. This "core" mix can then be, if necessary, mixed with the system sound, and in any case real-time encoded to standard AC-3.

That, anyway, is my impression from the quotes and the other technical information I've heard; I think the ATSC website has sufficient descriptive information on DD+ to be sure of that part. Since it's supposed to be applied to DTV broadcasts in future in place of standard DD, I'd guess that there are no backward-compatability problems within the usual bitrates.


#20 of 45 PeterTHX

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Posted March 28 2006 - 08:19 PM

Well, as expected Dolby Plus is the standard codec, with Dolby TrueHD being used here & there.

DTS much ado about nothing.

I expect Blu-ray to follow suit, using PCM multi in place of Dolby TrueHD for some titles.


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