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Dolby Pro Logic II vs Dolby Digital vs DTS


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   piggydad30

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Posted January 25 2009 - 01:46 PM

Greetings,

Please excuse this newbie. Finally purchased 5.1 speakers to match my receiver (5 years later).

My Dennon 1802 purchased many moons ago has the option of Dolby Pro Logic II decoder, Dolby Digital Decoder and DTS for decoding. My DVD player Denon 1600 can output bitstream to use the receivers Dolby Digital and DTS decoder.

What is the difference between Dolby Digital and DTS? Which is better for movies and which is better for Music?

Thanks,
Marc

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted January 25 2009 - 02:54 PM

Dolby Digital and DTS (and their variants) are digital multichannel audio systems developed originally for theatrical films and later adapted for home use. Dolby Digital is the product of Dolby Laboratories, DTS was created by Digital Theater Systems. There have been other digital surround systems used in theaters, some of which are now defunct (Kodak had a system for a time), while others continue to be used in theatrical applications but were never adapted for home use. (Sony's SDDS, for instance.)

The original Dolby Digital, which can carry anything from mono ("1.0") to 5.1 discrete channels (front left, center, right, rear left & right, and a low-frequency effects channel) is a required part of the standard DVD spec and also the standard for digital broadcast multichannel audio. All DVDs must carry a Dolby Digital track. DTS is optional. You need to select the DTS track from the DVD menu to paly the movie with that track.

DD is slightly more compressed than DTS and a lot of people pefer DTS tracks (when available) for both movies and music. I tend to prefer DTS tracks for SD-DVD myself, although the difference is not night-and-day. (As the difference between analog matrixed Dolby Pro Logic and Dolby Digital can be.)

Later versions of DD and DTS offer more channels, and the latest versions (available only on Blu Ray discs and requiring either a receiver or a Blu Ray player that can decode them) user 'lossless" compression schemes that exactly reproduce the original theatrical DD and DTS tracks. I don't have a Blu Ray player, so can't offer a personal opinion here, but my impression is that there is little or no difference between Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Quote:
Which is better for movies and which is better for Music?

That isn't really how it works. For one thing, there aren't all that many music discs encoded in DD or DTS. Most people who prefer DTS for movies will also prefer it for music, but, again, the disc has to be encoded for one or both formats in order for you to play it back that way. Because of space limitations, most DTS movie discs will make the mandatory DD track a 2.0 track that can be played back as matrixed Doly Pro Logic. DTS music discs will generally not include a DD track at all. And while all DTS movies are also available in DD versions, the same is not true of music discs.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Joe

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted January 25 2009 - 02:58 PM

This is a question that just won't go away! Posted Image Most believe there is really not much difference between DD and DTS at all. I however prefer DTS because I think I can hear a little deeper bass and a little higher high's. But it's probably just my imagination.

To me, there is a much bigger difference between ProLogic II and Neo:6. PLII has a wider soundstage and more active surrounds but the high's are somewhat muted and there's slightly less bass. DTS has a more confined soundstage but the high's and low's are more like the stereo source.

If DD and DTS are both offered then try them each and see which you like the best. I only use Neo:6 for stereo tv programs, almost never for music. If it's recorded in stereo, I listen in stereo. All in my own opinion of course.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#4 of 8 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted January 25 2009 - 03:09 PM

Quote:
DD is slightly more compressed than DTS and a lot of people pefer DTS tracks (when available) for both movies and music.
I don't remember where I read this as it was many years ago, but I do remember reading that Dolby Digital thru out everything below 20hz and above 20khz thereby leaving more room for the info between 20 and 20k. DTS was said to throw out a little bit from the entire range giving better bass/treble at the possible expense of the mid-range. Does this make sense or have I been carrying around false information all these years. Posted Image
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#5 of 8 OFFLINE   sptrout

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Posted January 26 2009 - 02:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gene c
I don't remember where I read this as it was many years ago, but I do remember reading that Dolby Digital thru out everything below 20hz and above 20khz thereby leaving more room for the info between 20 and 20k. DTS was said to throw out a little bit from the entire range giving better bass/treble at the possible expense of the mid-range. Does this make sense or have I been carrying around false information all these years. Posted Image

I don't know about that.....I do not have any first had knowledge or references, but I believe that the frequency response spec of both CODECs are the same (20Hz - 20kHz); for marketing purposes if nothing else. The compression algorithms used by both companies I am sure are tightly controlled secrets. It would be interesting to put engineers from both Dolby Labs and DTS in the same room and let them explain why they think theirs is the better algorithm! The for the new HD CODECs also........
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#6 of 8 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted January 26 2009 - 10:14 AM

Quote:
I don't know about that.....
I wish I could remember where I read it. But as time passes on I'm less inclined to believe it. But still, there is possibly a minor difference between the two and I also wish I knew the reason why, if there is.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#7 of 8 OFFLINE   David Judah

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Posted January 26 2009 - 10:07 PM

Your question, Marc, brings back memories of the heated Dolby Digital vs. DTS threads that were very common in the earlier days of the HTF. I spent many a late night at the keyboard participating in those seemingly endless debates. The only more contentious issue was perhaps the "Do cables make a difference?" threads.Posted Image Thankfully, the lossless codecs put much of it to rest.

HTF moderator Adam Barratt wrote a very nice article that may be of interest to you about the lossy versions on DVD.

Dolby Digital, DTS and DVD: A History

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Graham: You're insane.

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 27 2009 - 02:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by piggydad30
Greetings,

Please excuse this newbie. Finally purchased 5.1 speakers to match my receiver (5 years later).

My Dennon 1802 purchased many moons ago has the option of Dolby Pro Logic II decoder, Dolby Digital Decoder and DTS for decoding. My DVD player Denon 1600 can output bitstream to use the receivers Dolby Digital and DTS decoder.

What is the difference between Dolby Digital and DTS? Which is better for movies and which is better for Music?

Thanks,
Marc
On a related note, DPL II is a must for Nintendo GameCube and Wii gaming, which lack Dolby Digital output. But their stereo output is often specifically encoded for DPLII use. A great example was Star Wars Rogue Leader on the GameCube.


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