Aargh! DTS and their misleading packaging

Discussion in 'Music' started by Tim Hoover, May 9, 2003.

  1. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    I've gotta vent a little frustration here...

    I was at CC a few nights ago and, lo and behold, they had several new DTS Entertainment titles in the DVD-A section. They were even in the regulation DVD-A cases. I thought 'Great, I need a few new discs'. I picked up a couple and went on my merry way.

    Being somewhat ill for the past week seems to have impaired my cognitive abilities a bit. You see, I didn't notice that the inserts had NO DVD-Audio logo anywhere on them. I did notice that the disc had a message around its perimeter stating "Requires a DTS-compatible playback system". I figured that DTS was just plugging itself. I finally understood that the discs were merely DTS-encoded music CDs when my player only recognized them as CDs. At $20 each, I'm not too thrilled...

    These WILL be going back to the store. One title is unopened and the other will be accepted when the employees see the look of impending doom on my face. So beware if you see these discs. The black sticker along the top says (somewhat ambiguously IMO) DTS 5.1 music disc. These are not to be confused with the wonderful hi-rez discs.
     
  2. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I'll play the DTS suck-up here:

    The label did say "DTS music disc", right? What else could they call them?

    Did you even listen to that one opened disc? On my admittedly mid-fi system (Boston Acoustics/Technics/Pioneer player), DTS tracks sound very close in sonic quality to dvd-audio tracks (the DTS high frequencies have a tiny bit of "grain" to them). I have no complaints and many of my CD's don't sound as good as the DTS track on a music disc or dvd-audio--honestly.

    And $20 is not outrageous considering DTS is a pretty small company--IMO the economy of scale thing can't really work with them.

    BTW, what were the discs you bought?

    And in the interest of fair reporting: Hi-res marketing confusion

    LJ
     
  3. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    sorry, but what is your complaint, tim/

    are you upset because you didnt read that package properly

    i dont get it.
     
  4. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    My complaint stems from the fact that these were packaged in super jewel cases, which heretofore have been associated with DVD-Audio. The packaging and labeling are extremely similar to the DTS Ent. DVD-A discs that I've purchased in the past. Add to this the fact that CC stocked these discs in the DVD-Audio kiosk. Further compounding the confusion is a plethora of stickers on the packaging, obscuring any potential labels. THAT is my problem: if it looks like a DVD-A and is stocked in the DVD-A kiosk, then it should be a DVD-A.

    Anyways, I'm pissed at CC and DTS for the confusion and pissed at myself for not checking the packaging thoroughly. I'm a knowedgeable guy about such matters, but besides actually locating hi-rez releases in both SACD and DVD-Audio, checking SACDs for channel content and hybrid layers, and being on the lookout for potentially copy-protected CDs, it's getting to be a bit much.

    Lance, I purchased Sting's "Brand New Day" and Sheryl Crow's "The Globe Sessions". I don't have any other versions to compare to.
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Concerning cases: Maybe people were buying DTS CD's thinking they were regular CD's and complaining; maybe DTS saves money by using only one case style; maybe to Regular Joes, that big case means "surround music inside!" (remember all the arguments about pushing the surround aspect of dvd-audio, rather than the hi-res one, to the non-audio-hobbyist public?).

    LJ
     
  6. RobBenton

    RobBenton Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree.. what are you complaining about? What case should they have used? Another case might have cuased just as much confusion with cd's or SACD or such? They do sound as good as CD usually and not a huge step down from DVD-A. If you are returning them just becuase they don't have DVD-a you are doing your self a huge diservice. DTS discs often have great 5.1 mixes. Those 2 discs you mentioned in particular are great discs and since they aren't available in DVD-A take what you can get. The price is not a bad one for what you are getting.
     
  7. Mikael Soderholm

    Mikael Soderholm Supporting Actor

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  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    You have no legitimate beef with either Circuit City or DTS Entertainment. You just jumped to incorrect conclusions based on the shape of the package. Where else should they put these discs?

    DTS CDs, which have been around for at least 4 years, sound fantastic. On my system with my ears, in many cases equal to DVD-Audio (I know the "no compression!" crowd is cringing at that statement - but I think ATRAC 4+ is transparrent, too![​IMG] ).

    Enjoy those great discs and pick up more of them. The latest Midnight Oil DTS-ES CD is the single best surround music I've ever heard in my house.
     
  9. George See

    George See Second Unit

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    I think your all being a little to harsh on Tim and a little too forgiving of CC. My local Best Buy has these same type of discs also in a section that is clearly labeled the section for DVD-A. These discs are not DVD-A and should not be put in a rack that is clearly labeled DVD-A. I would think they should either have a separate rack for this discs, or relabel the rack to something like Hi-Res/Surround/Audio Discs. Something that indicates that the rack is not just DVD-A. We want this format to succeed and when Joe 6 pack (not implying you are tim) goes into the store because he just got a DVD-A player he's gonna buy the discs in the DVD-A rack that he wants, he's not gonna read all the fancy labels which may or may not be covered in 5 different stickers, he's also not going to know exactly what DTS means and how it's different than DVD-A. If we continue to make shopping for these titles confusing to the layman this format will never take off and achieve the type of success that we want. Success=Content.
     
  10. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    Alright guys, I'll give them both a spin (probably several) over this weekend.

     
  11. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    this is no different then when people complain that they bought the full screen version of a dvd instead of the widescreen version.

    all you have to do is read the package and you will see exactly what you are buying.

    you can go into any store and find product on the wrong shelf or location.
    go into any video rental store and find the wrong movie behind the wrong cover box.

    sheesh just read the label.
     
  12. Jerry Klawiter

    Jerry Klawiter Screenwriter

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    DTS has been packed like this even prior to the release of any DVD-A disc's.
    I think you just assumed to much.
    Maybe you should think why did DVD-A copy the DTS packaging:b
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Actually, before the advent of DVD-Audio, DTS packed their discs in regular CD Jewel boxes, which is even more confusing.
     
  14. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    I know. That's what happened with the Toy Matinee CD I ordered years ago ended up being a DTS CD. Course, now I can listen to it and it sounds great.

    Jason
     
  15. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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  16. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    DTS CDs used to get their own section in many stores, but now with SACD and DVD-Audio out, they've ended up being mixed in with either or both of those in many cases.
    When they came in regular CD cases, they were easy to spot because of the big DTS banner at the top, and a sticker on the front of the case saying that playback requires a DTS decoder (you get pink noise otherwise). I think they should have just stuck with that packaging, the larger cases make them harder to determine what format they really are- DTS Entertainment even now puts out DVD-Audio discs in the same type of packaging!
     
  17. RobBenton

    RobBenton Stunt Coordinator

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    Tim just enjoy the music. In many cases the DTS cd's are very close in quality to DVD-A and if they are only in DTS then just take what you can get and don't worry about the format!
     
  18. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    I was just thinking the same thing myself.

    Yesterday, I got "Every Breath you Take" by The Police in SACD.

    Much to my surprise, I found the following:

    1) *Some* DTS music discs come in standard jewel boxes.
    2) *Some* DTS music discs come in DVD-A jewel boxes, and they have in their moldings the DVD-A logo (my "...nothing like the Sun" disc by Sting, for example).
    3) *All* DTS DVD-As come in DVD-A jewel boxes, and they look *identical* to the DTS music discs that come in them. A bit confusing.
    4) *Some* SACDs come in standard jewel boxes.
    5) *Some* SACDs come in cardboard sleeves with plastic disc retainers.
    6) *Some* DVD-As come in DVD-A jewel boxes.
    7) *Some* DVD-As come in DVD-V standard boxes (Blue Man Group's "Audio").
    8) *Some* DVD-As come in CD jewel boxes ("Machine Head" by Deep Purple).

    Can we *PLEASE* have a standard? Not only is this all confusing for many of us, but it looks UGLY in my shelf!
     
  19. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I agree that it's confusing, and while I don't think anyone has legal cause for restitution for having been so confused, the music producers might be doing themselves a favor with some effort to alleviate this confusion.

    In my house, it was becoming a problem for my wife. Basically "what player does this disc go into?". So, I have all my CDs and SACDs on certain shelves ("these all go in the SACD/CD player), and I have all my DVDs, DTS/DVD-A discs, and DADs on other shelves ("these all go in the DVD player").

    That works at home, but I have to know exactly what I'm looking for when I go into the record store or I can still be fooled. I went to the Tower Records in Harvard Square this past weekend, and where they used to have two sections, side-by-side, one for DVD-As/DTS and the other for SACDs, they now have them all mixed together. For the average consumer, this must be immensely confusing.
     

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