Posted August 01 2007 - 04:48 PM
| Originally Posted by CRyan |
...Not only that, but I dont purchase HD movies without a lossless track. This is as important to me as 1080p video.
I'm glad you feel that way as those are my sentiments exactly. You can do a lot with the video portion of SD DVDs (and my DVDO VP50 does a heck of a job with 480i source material via HDMI scaling it up to 1080p) but there's one thing that electronic wizardry can't even come close to when comparing SD discs to HD discs (either format) - the HD Audio Codecs. To me the "HD" experience involves both video and
audio and this is what really
separates it from SD counterparts.
We can argue the merits of upscaling video all we want but there is very little argument when one compares audio bitrates in the k
bps range with HD audio bitrates in the M
bps range. Yes, DTS at 640kbps is better than what we are used to on SD where it clocks in at about half that (remember all the fuss about how DTS LDs actually sounded better than DTS DVDs? The LDs were carrying a 640kbps DTS bitrate.) Now crank this up to the MEGAbps arena and you really have to have a tin ear not to notice a difference (unless you are limited to the internal speakers on some displays.) Without a doubt, comparing the sound available on most HD discs when compared to SD DVDs is like comparing the sound of SACD or DVD-A to redbook CDs. If you can't hear a difference (assuming a good source) then you are either not using audio equipment capable of producing the sound or you have hearing problems. To me, and obviously to many others, this is not an insignificant part of the whole HD (both formats) disc experience.
In a related matter, I realized that there are several other BR titles out there which offer more than 5.1 sound. The Descent
contains uncompressed PCM 6.1 audio as does Weeds - Season 1
. And Weeds - Season 2
contains uncompressed PCM 7.1 audio. It looks like the start of a trend. Some of this, of course, is related to what is available at the source.
Generally, I've found that HD-DVD titles have generally held a slight edge over BR where the movie was available in both formats. Paramount was releasing BR titles with 640kps sound while the HD-DVD equivalent title was 1.5Mbps. Same for Warner Bros. (No surprise here). However, with the uncompressed 6.1 and 7.1 PCM audio showing up on some BR titles the playing field is leveling.