The high definition disc formats have introduced so many variables that it leaves consumers guessing bitrates, resolution, or what we are actually getting with these new soundtracks. Hopefully this will add some clarity.
Here's the link or read below:
dts Finalizes Branding of High Definition DVD Audio Formats
DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio and DTS Encore Offer Flexibility for Delivering the Best Sound for High Definition Content and Current Generation Equipment
Agoura Hills, CA – DTS, Inc. today unveils a three-tiered system of audio solutions for the next generation HD DVD and Blu-ray Dics formats. The naming system is a scalable architecture that can support a variety of different quality levels in a single stream. Designed to provide flexibility for content providers and immediate audio improvement with existing home theater equipment, the solution entails a series of new logos that communicate the varying quality levels to consumers: DTS-HD Master Audio, for sound bit-for-bit identical to the master soundtrack, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, for audio that is nearly identical to the master soundtrack, and DTS Encore, which delivers 5.1 channels of audio at twice the resolution found on most standard DVDs.
"DTS' audio solution for the next generation high definition formats is unique in that it allows content providers to offer improved sound today for existing equipment, with the promise of unprecedented high quality audio tomorrow as consumers adopt next generation A/V equipment – all in a single bit stream,” said Brian Towne, Senior Vice President, Consumer / Pro Division at DTS. “We created this system to best serve content providers, hardware manufacturers as well as consumers as the industry makes the transition to a high definition world."
DTS-HD Master Audio
DTS-HD Master Audio delivers sound that is bit-for-bit identical to the studio master. It can deliver audio at very high variable bit rates which are significantly higher than standard DVDs. DTS-HD Master Audio can provide up to 7.1 audio channels at 96k sampling frequency / 24-bit depths that are identical to the original. The DTS-HD Master Audio bit stream also contains the DTS 1.5 Mbps core for compatibility with existing DTS-enabled home theater systems, and delivery of 5.1 channels of sound at twice the resolution found on most standard DVDs.
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio can deliver up to 7.1 channels of sound that is virtually indistinguishable from the original soundtrack. It provides audio at high constant bit rates superior to standard DVDs to produce outstanding quality. It can carry up to 7.1 channels at 96k sampling frequency / 24-bit depth resolution, thereby allowing content creators to provide rich, high definition audio on content where disc space may not allow for DTS-HD Master Audio. The DTS-HD High Resolution Audio bit stream also contains the DTS 1.5 Mbps core for compatibility with existing DTS-enabled home theater systems, and delivery of 5.1 channels of sound at twice the resolution found on most standard DVDs.
DTS Encore delivers 5.1 channels of audio at 1.5 Mbps – twice the resolution found on most standard DVDs, thereby providing the best sound performance possible from currently existing DTS-capable equipment. Due to space limitations on the standard DVD format, most DVD content featuring DTS surround sound is encoded at 768 kbps. However, with the introduction of the new higher capacity high definition optical disc media, consumers will be able to experience the DTS core at a full 1.5 Mbps, resulting in an immediate improvement in sound quality even if a next generation player is connected to standard home theater hardware.
Check out the chart below, and please give me your opinion on this.
BTW, that fine print at the bottom says: "Note: In certain instances Blu-ray or HD-DVD content encoded in DTS-HD may not contain the full 1.5 Mbps core. Please check content packaging and look for the DTS Encore logo, description line, or audio specifications to confirm."
So it seems that based on information given to us, data rates for DTS and Dolby Digital are always able to be higher on Blu-ray disc than with HD-DVD.
It begs the question: when looking at this comparison chart, could DTS-HD Master audio sound better on Blu-ray disc than on HD-DVD? It can (but not necessarily) use a higher bitrate, and if that's the case, is there any sonic improvements at 24.5MBPS vs. 18MBPS? If there is a sonic benefit, then how can the lower bitrate be claimed as truly lossless? (I know there are many people ready to jump on me again about this).
Therefore, tell me what would be the advantage of using higher bitrates? For DTS (and Dolby Digital) to acheive a point of being "lossless audio" shouldn't the data rate remain a constant for the highest encode of the highest resolution (eg.24/192) for both HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc?
Or could it be the way each HD disc technology works? For example, to acheive the same success level of "lossless" audio, HD-DVD needs to be @ 18MBPS and Blu-ray needs to be @ 24.5MBPS?
It seems how the technologies are designed are playing a role. Given the discussion about Dolby Digital vs. Dolby Digital+ here starting on post #58 it seems HD-DVD has some limitations when implementing audio (they seem restricted by some original DVD standards). That is why we see Dolby Digital at a full 640kbps on Blu-ray and Dolby Digital+ at 640kbps on HD-DVD...both yielding similar audio quality...but HD-DVD needing DD+ to achieve this.