Alright, can you stomach another DTS thread?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mitty, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    I have, for the first time, experienced DTS.
    I'm an admitted audio neophyte. A more accurate way to put it might be that when it comes to understanding the science of sound, I'm a moron. If Obi, or the elitist bastard himself, Mike Knapp, came to my humble "home theater" they would probably assume the fetal postion and weep softly upon taking an SPL reading and seeing (hearing?) the conditions in which I live. [​IMG] I'm a visual guy, to be sure. I can talk video transfers, but audio? I'm a space cadet.
    However, since my faithful 4 year old Panny A-300 died one fateful night, I have been in pro-logic land. Since my previous receiver was digital ready, with no internal processor, the player itself did all the DD processing. It was fine. I was happy. Then I wasn't. In the early days of DVD, players with built in processors were prevalent. Not anymore. In fact, since digital receivers are dirt cheap, players with built in processors are scarce and (generally) expensive. To make a long story short (too late), it was upgrade time. Pro-logic, while fine for TV/VHS, etc., just doesn't cut it for DVD, IMO. I find the centre channel doesn't always get the dialogue, surround activity comes out of nowhere, and I often find it hard to discern dialogue, especially at lower volumes.
    Having gotten through Christmas, I realized that I hadn't incurred any credit card debt. Surely such a dire situation must be rectified. [​IMG] So, I bought myself a new receiver, a Sony STR-DE1075 (I think that's the model #, I know the 1075 part is right).
    I hooked the beast up, and picked through my DVDs for DTS titles. I honestly had no idea I had so many dual format releases. So, I filled up my 5 disc changer with Jurassic Park III, Moulin Rouge, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Red Violin & A Nightmare Before Christmas. I also tried a few later, but I won't bore you with the details.
    First, I must say that I can now sympathize with those who complained in the past about switch-on-the-fly being disabled. It is indeed a real pain in the ass for these types of comparisons. I will roll my eyes no more at those complaints. [​IMG] I think the only one I could switch on the fly was 'Hedwig' but I'm not certain of that (I would love it someone would kindly post a whole wack of switch-on-the-fly DTS/DD dual format releases).
    My impressions (takes deep breath):
    - DTS is louder on almost every disc I tried. That in itself, while not better per se, is a convenience. I find that audio levels on my receiver need to be considerably higher for DVD than for TV/VHS/DBS, etc. It's a convenience that selecting DTS bridges some (most? all?) of that gap.
    - Volume adjusted, in DTS, most discs seem to have less compartmentalization of the front 3 channels. I don't know any other way to describe it than to say it almost sounds as if the sound is coming from one large speaker, rather than 3 separate ones. I guess a technical way to put this might be to say the front sound field sounds more natural. Of course, as with all of my findings, this will vary disc to disc. But this is my general (and early) observation.
    - Dialogue seems easier to discern. As I mentioned before, I find pro-logic can make a lot of dialogue hard to hear, or maybe more accurately, to separate out from the other sounds. Discrete DD is a significant improvement on this, and DTS seems (to me) to be an even more significant improvement. Again, a general and early observation.
    - Not a DTS specific observation, but I notice that there is a slight delay while the receiver's processor discerns what signal it is receiving. I notice it when the disc first cues up and the menu loads. For a split second, there is only silence. I never experienced this with the player with the internal processor. Am I safe in assuming this is normal?
    Alright, if you've made it this far, thanks for reading a neophyte's foray into the world of dts. I looking forward to pedantically poring over the latest releases and bemoaning the lack of full bit rate releases and other hot button issues. [​IMG]
    You may now begin welcoming me. [​IMG]
    BTW, mods, this sort of skates the line between being a hardware and a software type of post. I'm putting it here since, frankly, I almost never surf the hardware area. I understand if you must move it, but pretty please can it stay here? [​IMG]
     
  2. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    Mitty,
    the only "switch on the fly" discs I can name off the top of my head are Warner DD/DTS releases: Twister, Lethal Weapon 1-3 and Interview With the Vampire.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  4. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Titles that have switching on the fly:
    - Any Anchor Bay title that has Dolby Digital and DTS (Suspiria, Opera, Bad Taste, etc)
    - Any latest DreamWorks title (Shrek, Evolution, Almost Famous / Untitled: The Bootleg Cut, etc)
    - Any Warner/New Line title that has Dolby Digital and DTS (Rush Hour 2, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, etc)
     
  5. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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    Congrats. Welcome to the world of dts! [​IMG]
    Jon
     
  6. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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    Most FOX DVDs allow you to change audio on the fly from DD to DTS - although not Planet of the Apes or Moulin Rouge because of the seamless branching on both those discs. In fatc, the only Studios which consistently refuse to permit you to change audio on the fly are Disney and Universal - which is not only irritating for DTS but more importantly for commentary tracks.
     
  7. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    The only switchable ones I can think of off the top o' me head are Paul McCartney Live at the Cavern, and Blue Man Groups AUDIO.

    These certainly opened *my* eyes to DTS. DD almost sounds muddy in comparison.

    What's great about the McCartney disc is that it also has 2 channel stereo so it's a great demo on the difference in sound.

    -paul
     
  8. Jerry Gracia

    Jerry Gracia Supporting Actor

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    Congratulations!
    Great observation, Mitty.
    dts soundtracks on selected titles do 'sound' "better" to me. (JURASSIC PARK)
    But there are a few titles where I find the Dolby Digital track to sound equal to and sometimes better than dts. (TWISTER)
    For me, its not about the label applied to the soundstrack, but the soundtrack itself.
     
  9. Jerry Gracia

    Jerry Gracia Supporting Actor

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  10. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Mitty
    I have the same receiver and also experience the slight sound drop while it "boots up" the soundtrack, so I believe it's normal.
    I also agree that to my relatively inexperienced ears, dts does sound better than DD, but not by that much.
    And since you are now dts enabled, how about checking your Moulin Rouge DVD to see if the dts track is slightly out of sync. There's a thread about this problem that Peter Staddon has responded to and is monitoring.
    Congrats[​IMG]
     
  11. Jerry Gracia

    Jerry Gracia Supporting Actor

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    I've watched MOULIN ROUGE the whole way through twice, once in Dolby Digital and the other in DTS. To my ears running on my set up it was a toss up. I could hardly hear a difference...both do their job in delivering the musical wonders and atmosphere of the excellent film.

    No out-of-sync problems on my SONY 5 disc changer.
     
  12. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    Found at least a couple more switch-on-the-fly discs: Se7en: Platinum Series and Predator. That leads to believe Julian, that a lot of DTS releases are switchable, just not Universal (who have the most DTS releases by a fair margin) and Disney. That further leads me to believe that a lot of those DTS reissues (like the aforementioned Predator, The Thin Red Line, X-Files, etc.) are switchable. Just not the ones with seamless branching, or "white rabbit" type features.
    Tino, I have a Pioneer player, and I didn't notice any lip synch problems on Moulin Rouge. Of course, I wasn't really looking for it either. Maybe I'll check it again, this time using my eagle eyes. [​IMG]
     
  13. EricK

    EricK Second Unit

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  14. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    Mitty,
    You've just upgraded from ProLogic and already you're comparing DD to DTS?!
    When I upgraded and heard DD for the first time at home I just said (in best Keanu Reaves voice) "WHOAH". And watched the film. [​IMG]
    (Of course I did the same thing when I tried the DTS track on Bowfinger).
    BTW, my hacked Sony player can change audio on the fly for any disc. Tee-hee. [​IMG]
     
  15. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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  16. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    My poor speed reading strikes again. :b
    So have you tried 6.1 DTS ES yet? [​IMG]
     
  17. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I remember my first DTS experience it's like getting a new toy. There is a lot more titles available now but a year ago it was a different story. Enjoy, I don't think I ever listened to the other tiltes with the dual format in anything other than DTS. Enjoy the sub outputs as well. I find that Rush Hour 2's last explosion was so intensely deep and loud my wife said wow that's some bass.
     
  18. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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  19. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    congratulations. There are Naxos classical music DVDs that allow switching on the fly. On those, the DD seems brighter and thinner whereas the DTS seems more smooth with all frequencies(esp bass) integrating better for a more cohesive soundfield.
     

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