Originally Posted by Robert Harris
The reality is, that precisely the opposite is in play. Uncompressed audio, which can yield superb results for modern tracks, tends to reveal too many of the deficiencies of older tracks, which can sound superb in a more analogue world. The perfect and absolute reproduction of zeros and ones is not always the best way to go.
Please keep in mind that older tracks were not created to be heard 1:1 from a master. Quite the same as classic films were not meant to be viewed from their camera negatives, which in many cases reveal far too much within the image, that would be hidden in original multiple generations.
This logic frustrates me no end.
I'm not sure why it is considered that high-def video resolution is designed to (hopefully) present the original film as accurately (faithfully) as possible as when originally shown in the theaters.
But to then say that high-rez audio somehow works against the idea of presenting the audio of a film as accurately as possible or as close to its original as possible seems contradictory to me.
If the argument is that uncompressed audio reveals deficiencies in older soundtracks, then the same could be said that certain older films shouldn't get Blu-ray releases because of the condition of the elements available from which to make the HD transfer.
And for claims that side-by-side tests of compressed and uncompressed audio tracks would reveal that people actually hear no difference it could also be claimed that the same argument might then be applied to side-by-side tests of SD video vs. HD. It would depend greatly upon the equipment used in the tests as well as the hearing/sight acumen of those taking part in the experiment (and I might even add the "importance" that the listener attaches to the aural presentation of the film. I think some viewers are so overwhelmed with the video part of film that audio is considered a lesser step-child in the presentation.).
I sometimes believe that some of the people on this forum have a prejudice against the advantages of higher-end audio on the HD releases of older films.
Uncompressed audio should be a standard used on every Blu-ray release.
Anything less is shortchanging the home audience. The most important part of the audio handling should be the mastering of the signal made during the transfer of the film in preparation of the home video release. Much as the video portion of the film can be restored and tweaked (and taken from different sources) to shine in its high-def home presentation, the same can be true of the audio side. The fact that the audio track is uncompressed should only serve to mean that the best possible means of presenting the best available audio track is being used for the home audience.
Personally, I'd rather hear a faithful reproduction of a not-so-good available audio track than know that I'm being given a lesser presentation because someone else made a determination that it's either not worth the effort or that it's better for me to hear a lesser track because the original elements don't hold up so well.