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WB poor choice in audio for Terminator 3


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#1 of 71 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted December 05 2007 - 02:51 AM

While I allready own Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines on HD-DVD that includes a Dolby Digital Plus track. I was considering getting it on Blu-ray just so I could have the trilogy all on one HD format. I thought WB was supposed to be format neutral but this makes me beleive that they are playing favorites! Posted Image While IMHO the Dolby Digital Plus is not all that great, at least the HD-DVD has a higher bit rate DD+ track. The Blu-ray version of T3 is only offering a standard sucky DD track, oh wow WB your giving us a horible 640k surround track for an HD release. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

I was actually exspecting a uncompressed PCM track or even a Dolby True HD track out of WB. But with the use of a trashy DD track you might allmost think WB didn't care about HD releases. Posted Image

IMHO this is unacceptable! There will be a no sale of the Blu-ray version for me and I hope everyone else stays away from this release! This is not about HD-DVD vs Blu-ray, its about offering a horible audio track!

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#2 of 71 OFFLINE   Scott Simonian

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Posted December 05 2007 - 04:16 AM

Damn, that sucks to hear. When I saw that ad for the Blu-ray version I was hoping it would have the advertised TrueHD track or preferably a PCM track. Bleh. I wouldnt really call the HDDVD DD+ much superior though cause all of Warner's HD's with DD+ are in the lower bitrate 640k-768k or whatever the low one is. Universal and Paramount do the much higher 1.5mbps DD+.
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#3 of 71 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted December 05 2007 - 04:24 AM

What is the bitrate on the T3 HD-DVD?
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#4 of 71 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted December 05 2007 - 04:39 AM

From the HDD review:


If true, at least Warner Bros. is being consistently mediocre. Posted Image

By the way, OCD wins out here. Must. Have. All. Cases. The. Same. Color. Posted Image
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#5 of 71 OFFLINE   David Sal

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Posted December 05 2007 - 04:39 AM

Remember that traditionally, WB uses the same sources for both, BD and HD. In HD the Dolby is called DD plus at a given bitrate and in the BD is called DD without the +, but at the same bitrate, something to do with the application. Just wait for a formal review. Otherwise, if that's the case, is a very strange move by WB.

#6 of 71 OFFLINE   Harminder

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Posted December 05 2007 - 05:23 AM

640Kbps

#7 of 71 OFFLINE   Duncan Harvey

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Posted December 05 2007 - 06:09 AM

I have to say, a little perspective is probably needed here. Why does 640k mean "horrible" or "sucky"

#8 of 71 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted December 05 2007 - 08:30 AM

Because IMHO and I feel others may agree that standard lossy DD with its low 640 bit rate. Tends to sound muddy and lacks transparency and generally is lacking of subtle detail. Especially when you take a newer flavor of DD and encode it at such a low bit rate when others are encoding at 1.5mb.sec. Even if they did not use a lossless codex like Dolby True HD or Uncompressed PCM. They should have at least encoded the DD+ at 1.5 mb/sec to acheive a decent amount of transparency and better detail. Why use an flat sounding outdated DD track when they could have used a more up to date codex that would have offered better sound? Its basically the DD codex that does not sound very good IMHO.

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#9 of 71 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted December 05 2007 - 09:38 AM

So the HD-DVD doesn't have a higher bitrate track then? Go figure. It may not be the best possible quality, but "horrible" and "sucky" are stretching it.
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#10 of 71 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted December 05 2007 - 10:37 AM

Yes but at the 640 bit rate, its still head and shoulders above what you heard at the theater. Doug
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#11 of 71 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted December 05 2007 - 12:32 PM

One of the big differences between theatrical and consumer DD is that in a commercial theater DD can suffer from high error rates. Which can cause distortion in the DD audio presentation. IMHO standard lossy DD is far from perfect even when considering that it is a lossy system.

Dolby Digital: Max of 640 kbit/sec for commercial home discs, theatrical may or may not be higher?

Dolby Digital Plus WB is encoding at 640kbit/sec and other studios are encoding at somewhere around 1.5mbit/sec. Even though DD+ can operate as high as 3mbit/sec on HD-DVD and 1.7mbit/sec on Blu-ray. Not sure why Blu-ray has a lower bit rate even though the format has a higher bitrate capability on the transfer side, (bandwidth).

Dolby True HD is aprox 18mbit/sec for both Blu-ray and HD-DVD I belive? I someone knows the actual bitrate for HD media please let me know.

DTS is 1.5mbit/sec for both DVD, Blu-ray and HD-DVD

DTS-HD High Resolution Max of 6mbit/sec for Blu-ray and 3mbit/sec for HD-DVD

DTS-HD Master Audio: Max of 24.5mbit/sec for Blu-ray and 18mbit/sec for HD-DVD

Dolby Digital and DTS are capable of using sampling frequencies of 32, 44.1, or 48kHz (DTS can also function at up to 192kHz)

Consumer Dolby Digital operates exclusively with a 48kHz sampling frequency. DTS on DVD also uses a sampling rate of 48kHz. Both Dolby Digital and DTS are capable of 24-bit resolution, but currently nominally operate at 18-bit resolution, allowing a dynamic range of approximately 108dB.


IMHO DD+ is basically Dolby Digital with more bits and 2 more channels. I do not feel that DD is all that impressive. I may have been decent when it first came out but now we have lossless audio, (Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio and Uncompressed PCM). Dolby Digital lacks transparency and its bass and dialog sound compressed and muddy. Why in the world would WB use standard lossy 640kbit/sec surround track when they could have done much better. The way I understand it they could have used higher bit rates for DD+ as this should not affect applications where legacy DD processors are used. I am sure that this is the case with DT-HD as legacy DD processors are only capable of decoding the core of DT-HD. Both DD+ and DT-HD are backwards compatible with all existing legacy DD decoders. By using the lower bit rate like DD they are applying new HD discs with the same audio limitations as DVD. I honestly do not think WB is doing much to entice people to jump into the HD market. Its more than just raw bits making up the audio track, its the actuall codex that is used and not all audio codex are created equal! IMHO for lossy audio DTS is still the king over DD, as far as lossless goes I will have no favorite until I have the capability to decode everything at full bandwidth. I also am willing to admit that there may be no audible difference in lossless formats.

When I watch T3 on DVD is basically sounds like the HD version on HD-DVD. With WB using 640kbit/sec they make DD+ the diet coke of HD audio, only one calorie not even enough. Posted Image I own the HD-DVD version of T3 and I do prefer it to the DVD as it does have a slight edge over its DVD counterpart. But there is no way I am going to pay for T3 all over again on a HD format when WB has choosen to use old DD. I have other movies with better choice of surround tracks and WB will not double dip me on this one.

Maybe we should start boycotting any HD title that uses the same old original lossy codex that was used on the former DVD format. IMHO Fox is the studio on the cutting edge and WB is one of the worst studios by offering old tired DD tracks on HD releases.

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#12 of 71 OFFLINE   Craig_Ehr

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Posted December 05 2007 - 12:48 PM

I already have T3 on S-DVD, and I did not re-purchase this title on BD for just this reason (i.e. no HD lossless soundtrack.) Are we getting the same video and audio encodes because WB is being cheap or because they don't want to upset the HD DVD crowd (or both)? Either way they lost a sale. I'll wait for an eventual hi-def double-dip.

#13 of 71 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted December 05 2007 - 12:50 PM

The Dolby codec used on 35mm film prints is AC3, the exact same codec used on standard DVDs. The maximum bit rate in theatrical Dolby Digital is 320 kbit/s. That is the max they can fit in between the sprocket holes. There just isn't room for a higher bit rate. The standard bit rate for DVD is 448 kbit/s. Home audio on most DVD releases has significantly exceeded theatrical audio from the start. Only Digital Cinema (digital projection) has started to exceed the quality of most home presentations as I believe Digital Cinema uses PCM audio. Doug
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#14 of 71 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted December 05 2007 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for the clarification of the bitrate on theatrical Dolby Digital Douglas much appreciated. Posted Image I was not sure how high the data rate was for theatrical. I figured it could not be to high since the data is stored between the sproket holes of the film.

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#15 of 71 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted December 05 2007 - 02:42 PM

It's funny we weren't saying that when LD DD audio was using 384 bit rate audio. It's the mix.

#16 of 71 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted December 05 2007 - 03:07 PM

I should have included this thought as well in the above post: That the theatrical version of DD does not sound any better and suffers from all the same short comings as the home video version of DD. If WB gets there act together and stops putting out lame DD versions on HD media. And if WB can at least put out a very good sounding DD+ that can grab my attention, then I might entertain the idea of buying it again on Blu-ray. There is a very good chance if WB comes out with T3 in ether uncompressed pcm or Dolby True HD without DN, that I may buy it. I do not see them offering DTS-HD Master Audio. All they have to do is offer lossless audio with a top notch mix and I will be all over it. If not then there will be no double dipping of this title on HD and that is just money I can put towards another title to go in my HD collection.

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#17 of 71 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted December 05 2007 - 04:12 PM

I have T3 on HD DVD and the sound track is quite good and helps draw you into the film. I never found the sound track in any way distracting from the film presentation. Doug
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#18 of 71 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted December 05 2007 - 04:16 PM

Although standard DD (as opposed to DD+) is theoretically capable of 640kb/ps, most consumer decoders can't handle it at that rate, and most DVD players cannot pass it. As Douglas Monce has already pointed out, the theatrical rate for DD is 320kb/ps, which is lower than any rate for DD 5.1 that has been available for home theater since the format first appeared on laserdisc in 1994. No LD was ever encoded with DD 5.1 at a bitrate higher than 384kb/ps. I am not aware of any standard definition DVD (except for test discs) encoded with DD 5.1 at a bitrate higher than 448kb/ps. IOW, the Warner DD+ tracks, while certainly nowhere near the high end of the available bitrates on Blu-ray or HD DVD, are all higher than what has generally been available on previous home formats, which were already at a higher bitrate than what is available in the theater. I support effective efforts to push studios for better quality in their soundtracks, and certainly Warner has a history of dragging their feet when it comes to allocating more bits to audio. But a big part of being persuasive is being credible, and it's hard to be credible if you don't get the basic facts right. M.
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#19 of 71 OFFLINE   Dave Moritz

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Posted December 05 2007 - 11:20 PM

As stated above I was not sure what the bit rate was for theatrical DD and asked for someone to correct me if I was wrong. So what other basic fact did I not get right? I like many hear come to learn so please inform me, just dont say I am not getting the basic fact right and leave it at that. You agree that WB could have done alot better and that they drag there feet. What it boils down to IMHO is that the old Dolby Digital is lacking and that is what WB offered us on Blu-ray releases. WB also chooses to limit DD+ to low bit rates for some crazy reason. I am sorry I am not able to get my point across as well as other are and I am not as eloquent as others, but I do the best I can. WB should be doing more to offer better audio especially if they want to see more consumers buy HD players. Other studios are doing a great job in that area and WB is not doing much of anything.

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#20 of 71 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted December 06 2007 - 01:09 AM

And that's the basic fact that's wrong. While there may be legitimate criticisms of DD+ at 640kb/ps, it is not "the old Dolby Digital". If you don't believe me, try playing that alternate 640 track on your Pulse disc on your standard DVD player through a standard DD decoder and see what happens. Then take it to a friend's and see what happens there. The vast majority of standard definition consumer equipment simply cannot play it. After you've tried that, see how many movies you can find that have a DD track encoded at 640kb/ps. I've played thousands of DVDs, and I have yet to see one. So the accurate complaint would be that Warner is giving us the lowest possible audio bitrate available for hi-def releases. They did the same thing on standard def releases for the longest time (384kb/ps vs. 448kb/ps for DD 5.1). I'm all for agitating Warner to increase the rate, because by all accounts -- and I'm relying on other people's reports here, because I don't yet have the equipment to perform even rudimentary listening tests -- there's an audible improvement with DD+ when you increase the bitrate up to the rates used by Paramount and Universal. But let's start from an accurate foundation. M.
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