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Breaking News: Dolby TrueHD Elevates the Quality of Lossless Audio on Blu-ray (Must Read)


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#21 of 80 moovtune

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Posted May 18 2012 - 04:17 AM

The Lionsgate logo on most DTS Lionsgate titles is at 96K as is the Blu-Ray "Leon the Professional" 96K.

#22 of 80 Osato

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Posted May 18 2012 - 04:20 AM

Osato, We don't know DTS' plans.  This is something that Dolby is doing that we  hope will revolutionize the industry.  I would assume their plan is to provide a new audio format that exceeds and replaces DTS-MA. So, presently, the answer is no -- DTS MA is not at 96k.  Will they try to play catchup?  Perhaps.  However, it is my belief that Dolby has the perfect storm of audio perfection and supportive tools that will make it difficult for  the studios not to widely adopt this new format for future releases. Pretty much, at this point, we are quite excited, but basically sitting on the sidelines to see what happens next.

Got it. Thank you! Very exciting news!

#23 of 80 Mike Frezon

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Posted May 18 2012 - 04:21 AM

Thanks for sharing, Ron & Adam!


Anything that moves the audio side of the hobby forward should be a very good thing.  Great news!  Posted Image


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#24 of 80 Ronald Epstein

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Posted May 18 2012 - 04:29 AM

Quote:
The Lionsgate logo on most DTS Lionsgate titles is at 96K as is the Blu-Ray "Leon the Professional" 96K.



I apologize I misspoke.


Let me clarify...


Dolby is the only company that is doing 96k with a specific apodising filter

pioneered by Meridian Audio that masks pre-ringing.  Pre-ringing is an

un-natural artifact that impairs the smoothness and detail in sound.  The

anti-aliasing filter removes the upstream artifact and as a result, the

highest level of lossless playback is delivered to the listener.

We are working on a write-up that clarifies a little further exactly what

has been accomplished and the benefits to the end user.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#25 of 80 Todd Erwin

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Posted May 18 2012 - 05:08 AM

The main reason, imo, that DTS has been able to grab major market share on Blu-ray is because DTS-HD is backwards compatible, while Dolby TrueHD is not. Thus, only one soundtrack is required on the disc for DTS-HD, while discs with TrueHD will still require a separate lossy track for compatibility issues. This not only makes the authoring process much simpler, it also, potentially, saves on disc space.


Originally Posted by Mark-P 

I take it this is Dolby's way of getting a leg up on DTS? Because currently DTS-HD Master Audio Blu-rays far outnumber Dolby TrueHD Blu-rays. Maybe future releases will swing in the other direction.



#26 of 80 Paul Rossen

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Posted May 18 2012 - 05:18 AM

The main reason, imo, that DTS has been able to grab major market share on Blu-ray is because DTS-HD is backwards compatible, while Dolby TrueHD is not. Thus, only one soundtrack is required on the disc for DTS-HD, while discs with TrueHD will still require a separate lossy track for compatibility issues. This not only makes the authoring process much simpler, it also, potentially, saves on disc space.

It is no big deal to most of us who wins the market share wars between Dolby and DTS. We just want the best sound from our systems. That said I'm sure that to reap the full benefits of the new Dolby system AND the DTS 24 bit/96kHZ system (don't believe it has been utilized for movies as yet) one will be required to update their system. That is not the same as saying this new codec will not sound better on your present system its just that one will have to purchase new equipment or upgrade(when available) to hear the new 24/96k codecs.

#27 of 80 moovtune

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Posted May 18 2012 - 05:31 AM

"Sex, Lies and Vdeotape" is a True HD 96K title on Blu-ray and "Leon the Professional" is a 96K title with DTS-HDM. Both are playable on equipment made in at least the last three years. It's been noted already that new equipment is not going to be necessary for this improved True HD encoding process. As far as Toddwrtr's comment about market share - I had said the same thing previously in post 19.

#28 of 80 Chuck Anstey

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Posted May 18 2012 - 06:13 AM

From the press release and discussion this seems pretty straight forward. Dolby is looking at 48KHz masters for certain artifacts that don't exist if originally recorded at 96KHz. They filter the artifact with a "better" guess as to what it should have sounded like (or simply remove it altering the sound) and the re-encode at 96KHz. The video equivalent is the difference between encoding in MPEG2 vs VC-1. MPEG2 has certain artifacts that are greatly reduced or eliminated if using VC-1. So the way to improve an MPEG2 encoding is to analyze the video for certain digital compression artifacts, filter them to make a more artifact free image, and then re-encode in VC-1. Of course this will result in an inferior result compared to going back to the original uncompressed images and encoding with VC-1 from the beginning but it will have fewer compression artifacts than the MPEG2 encode.

#29 of 80 Adam Gregorich

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Posted May 18 2012 - 09:08 AM

Originally Posted by Jason Charlton 

It really is refreshing to see a technology advancement that is truly passive* for the end-user/consumer.


Looking forward to learning more about it, and more importantly, hearing some comparisons.



* "passive" in the sense that the hardware doesn't need to change... I make no promises regarding the inevitable urge to "upgrade" existing discs to the newer format...


I couldn't agree more.  For now there is no way to compare 48k to 96k.  We were able to do it through some clips that they assembled for us.  Ron and I were both clear that they need to have a demo disc or a featurette for consumers to be able to compare for themselves that there is a difference, because there is.  Frankly I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't hear it for myself.  It just would have been another buzzword on the box.

Originally Posted by Paul Rossen 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddwrtr 

The main reason, imo, that DTS has been able to grab major market share on Blu-ray is because DTS-HD is backwards compatible, while Dolby TrueHD is not. Thus, only one soundtrack is required on the disc for DTS-HD, while discs with TrueHD will still require a separate lossy track for compatibility issues. This not only makes the authoring process much simpler, it also, potentially, saves on disc space.


It is no big deal to most of us who wins the market share wars between Dolby and DTS. We just want the best sound from our systems. That said I'm sure that to reap the full benefits of the new Dolby system AND the DTS 24 bit/96kHZ system (don't believe it has been utilized for movies as yet) one will be required to update their system. That is not the same as saying this new codec will not sound better on your present system its just that one will have to purchase new equipment or upgrade(when available) to hear the new 24/96k codecs.

I'm not sure what you are using currently Paul, but odds are if your BD player and or receiver can decode Dolby TrueHD now, then you won't have to purchase new equipment.  They aren't changing the codec, just improving the way they encode the audio.

Todd, another big reason for the market share difference is Dolby's authoring and encoding tools have been frankly, pretty crappy in the past, where DTS has had some great ones.  Dolby is releasing a new version of their Media Producer in the next few weeks that not only adds the Advanced 96k but also really simplifies the process and is pretty easy to use.


#30 of 80 Paul Rossen

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Posted May 18 2012 - 11:29 AM

I couldn't agree more.  For now there is no way to compare 48k to 96k.  We were able to do it through some clips that they assembled for us.  Ron and I were both clear that they need to have a demo disc or a featurette for consumers to be able to compare for themselves that there is a difference, because there is.  Frankly I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't hear it for myself.  It just would have been another buzzword on the box.  I'm not sure what you are using currently Paul, but odds are if your BD player and or receiver can decode Dolby TrueHD now, then you won't have to purchase new equipment.  They aren't changing the codec, just improving the way they encode the audio.  Todd, another big reason for the market share difference is Dolby's authoring and encoding tools have been frankly, pretty crappy in the past, where DTS has had some great ones.  Dolby is releasing a new version of their Media Producer in the next few weeks that not only adds the Advanced 96k but also really simplifies the process and is pretty easy to use. 

I have a Pioneer 320 player and a Theta Casablanca 111HD with their 'extreme' dacs in all channels. I believe that Theta is upgrading their dacs to play at 24/96 but that will be very expensive and I'm about 'through' upgrading my Casablanca unless I get a really good deal.(I started with the Casablanca1-regular dacs). The unit will of course play Dolby HD as well as DTS Master Audio. That said I don't believe it goes to the 96k. I'm not saying that this new Dolby HD won't sound better than the current Dolby HD on all systems. And I have to believe that people from the forum who have heard this new process are telling us what they hear... but I'm not sure that all systems can play at the full specs unless upgraded.

#31 of 80 Jeff Adkins

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Posted May 18 2012 - 12:05 PM

This sounds great to me (no pun intended). I'm glad to see that Dolby has upped the game in regards to Home Theater sound. To me, the audio has always been right up there with video in terms of importance to the overall movie-viewing experience at home. This is a win-win for the consumer. I remember just a few years ago, many people were saying Dolby Digital Plus was "good enough" and lossless was just "overkill" and that we'd never hear the difference. I'm excited to hear this new 96K process. Thumbs up Dolby!

#32 of 80 John Hermes

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Posted May 18 2012 - 01:44 PM

This sounds great to me (no pun intended). I'm glad to see that Dolby has upped the game in regards to Home Theater sound. To me, the audio has always been right up there with video in terms of importance to the overall movie-viewing experience at home. This is a win-win for the consumer. I remember just a few years ago, many people were saying Dolby Digital Plus was "good enough" and lossless was just "overkill" and that we'd never hear the difference. I'm excited to hear this new 96K process. Thumbs up Dolby!

I'm not going to say audio is equal to video in importance to me but I enjoy a good track. In my system, Dolby True HD has always sounded better than DTS-HD Master Audio, even though they should sound the same. The surrounds seem more directional and active, and the overall sound seems more distinct. Many people seem to prefer DTS, but I look forward to more Dolby True HD tracks possibly now.

#33 of 80 John Stockton

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Posted May 18 2012 - 05:25 PM

Besides Leon the Professional and Sex Lies and video tape, Akira is another title which has the distinction of having a Dolby tru HD 192 KZ sampling. Although I like what Dolby is doing I wish they would concentrate more on having the studios bring us genuine 24 bit 96 Kz or 192 Kz rather than this upsampling from 48 Kz process.

#34 of 80 Adam Gregorich

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Posted May 19 2012 - 03:57 AM

Originally Posted by John Stockton 

Besides Leon the Professional and Sex Lies and video tape, Akira is another title which has the distinction of having a Dolby tru HD 192 KZ sampling. Although I like what Dolby is doing I wish they would concentrate more on having the studios bring us genuine 24 bit 96 Kz or 192 Kz rather than this upsampling from 48 Kz process.

The problem is for the most part the cinema supply chain is set up to deliver 48k.  Thats not something that is easily changed.



#35 of 80 Dave Upton

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Posted May 19 2012 - 04:38 AM

The problem is for the most part the cinema supply chain is set up to deliver 48k.  Thats not something that is easily changed.

Just to expound on what Adam said, this was one of the first questions Dolby was asked - and it was explained by James Spezialy (who worked at Warner for 13 years) that it's a technical limitation on the studio's side that keeps them at 48 kHz. In this case, Dolby is helping to solve a problem that won't solve itself for at least several years.

#36 of 80 moovtune

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Posted May 19 2012 - 04:46 AM

I know from personal experience that at least a couple of the studios, when returning to the original stem elements to create new Printmasters for their Blu-Ray releases (which are often on 6 track mag), are digitizing these elements at 96K 24 bit, cleaning them up and are creating the new Printmasters at 96K 24 bit. Unfortunately they are downconverting to 48/24 for the eventual Blu-Ray release. I'm guessing so that it's compatible for the majority of the public's playback systems.

    As far as new films go though, 48/24 is still the final delivery standard in most cases. So if this new Dolby unconverting process can improve these masters, great. Ideally though, having the studios start using 96/24 for the audio on the dubbing stages for all the new releases and digitizing older analog sources to 96/24 and issuing them that way on Blu is the best way to go.



#37 of 80 bigshot

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Posted May 19 2012 - 05:55 AM

I've worked with a 24 bit ProTools workstation, and had a chance to do some experiments and listening tests on very good equipment. For normal playback, plain old redbook is all you ever need. The difference between high bitrate sound and redbook is the depth of the noise floor. If you're mixing, you might need to boost something to the point where the quality will not be as good. But the dynamic range of redbook far exceeds the noise floor or comfortable listening level in any home. Any difference between lossless and 96 is gong to be due to the mixing, not the technical issues. And I do not doubt For a second that studio technology salesmen would be willing to cheat comparisons in their favor. I have yet to hear a hybrid SACD that has the redbook at the same level as the SACD layer. Most of them contain two entirely different masters. Bluray sound can stand improving. But not by coming up with bigger numbers on the spec sheet. The problem with bluray sound is the wild inconsistency in the quality of multichannel mixes. Some are very good and others are imbalanced messes. Engineering is what needs improving, not hardware. Consumers need to demand better production, not bigger numbers.

#38 of 80 bigshot

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Posted May 19 2012 - 06:08 AM

Dolby's engineers were confident you could hear a difference regardless of the gear reproducing things - and that seems to hold true given the nature of the improvement - it's not upsampling per se that improves things, it's the apodising filter that cleans up the attack by reducing pre-ringing.

At what volume level does this preringing occur in relationship to the peak signal? 50dB below? 70 dB below? I'm willing to bet that any preringing artifact exists miles below the noise floor of even the quietest living rooms. (Unless you listen to your blurays at volumes beyond the level of a fighter jet engine!)

#39 of 80 bigshot

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Posted May 19 2012 - 06:13 AM

From the press release and discussion this seems pretty straight forward. Dolby is looking at 48KHz masters for certain artifacts that don't exist if originally recorded at 96KHz. They filter the artifact with a "better" guess as to what it should have sounded like (or simply remove it altering the sound) and the re-encode at 96KHz. The video equivalent is the difference between encoding in MPEG2 vs VC-1. MPEG2 has certain artifacts that are greatly reduced or eliminated if using VC-1. So the way to improve an MPEG2 encoding is to analyze the video for certain digital compression artifacts, filter them to make a more artifact free image, and then re-encode in VC-1. Of course this will result in an inferior result compared to going back to the original uncompressed images and encoding with VC-1 from the beginning but it will have fewer compression artifacts than the MPEG2 encode.

That's the Achilles Heel of all upconversion schemes.

#40 of 80 David Coleman

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Posted May 19 2012 - 07:24 AM

While I don't doubt there are sonic differences, I for one would love to hear for myself. It is interesting that according to the press release that different mixing studios are signing onto this new upconversion process. I have DVD-Audio and can definitely tell you a 96hz track sounds better than a 48hz track, however that's by native A/D conversion, not necessarily digital upconversion. Still and all, I'm a bit lost? Are they upconverting to 96hz and saved to the Bluray at 96hz, or are they upconverting to 96hz, get rid of anomalies, then downconverting back to 48hz? Reason being, a 96hz track is going to double the data rate over a 48 and space is enough of an issue.





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