Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES worth it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Shelly, Nov 17, 2002.

  1. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    I recently added a 57 inch Toshiba RPTV to my home theater and a Toshiba progressive scan player.

    I am now starting to feel the weakest link is my receiver. I have a 1 year old Sherwood RD-7106. I bought it over the Internet for $129. I am running 5 JBL N24 speakers and a PB12 subwoofer. It actually sounds pretty good and is working perfectly.

    Lately I have been giving Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES alot of thought. I also have a spare N24 speaker with the intentions of using it for a future 6.1 setup.

    I am not rich and partially deaf in one ear. I really don't need to spend a great deal of money to be satisfied. I just like alot of power. I really have not shopped around but I like the looks of the Panasonic SA-HE200. It has alot of features and 130Wx6.

    Is Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES really worth the upgrade?

    Chris
     
  2. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Chris,
    In my experience it makes for a more enveloping and enriching surround sound experience. There are not many dvd's that are encoded in EX or ES(there is a thread in the software forum on ex/es encoded dvd's). There are a few movies that really sound better (to me at least) in ex/es:
    Star Wars Episode I
    Star Wars Episode II
    LOTR (both versions)
    Gladiator
    These are just a few. I compared them in both standard 5.1 and ex/es and the ex/es was a definite improvement IMO. IN the end though you have to decide if you like enough to upgrade. If possible an in home demo is always the best way to go.

    Good Luck,
    Dalton
     
  3. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    Thanks for the info..

    I am wondering if a movie was created in Dolby Digital EX or DTS ES for the cinema would it automatically have the encoding on the DVD?

    I have noticed just about every major release in the last 2 months has been encoded in EX/ES at the Cinema.

    Chris
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    There are plenty of EX/ES titles, and the list is growing rapidly.

    Is it worth the upgrade? YES. Since you already have an extra speaker, you should be all set to go. You don't have to spend an exorbitant amount of money to get EX/ES capability.
     
  5. Mark Amayao

    Mark Amayao Stunt Coordinator

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    DTS-ES AND DD-EX arent formats used in the theaters or commercial venues, I believe they are formats that bring the Hometheater experience closer to what youd experience in the theaters as far as ambience and overall perceived size of the environment.

    I believe it does make a difference but it is dependant on how the movie is mixed for the dvd release. There are movies that are perfect examples of 6.1 i.e. star wars I&2 Blade II. There are also some movies that shouldve taken more advantage with the 6.1 platform like Lord of The rings (at least in the first edition dvd release) ... Lord of the rings I feel sounded better in 5.1 than in 6.1 ... again it is my ears ....

    go to your local shop and get a demo ... also how big is the room and where are your "side" speakers going to be placed in relation to your seating position? good luck
     
  6. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Stunt Coordinator

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    My one question is that of coarse ex and es are newer technology that just 5.1 it will sound better but if you were to spend 500 on the Panasonic HE100 or say a lower end Yamaha,H&K, or Denon which would be the better sound. With The Panasonic you dont get high current power but with the yamaha etc. you do getting less distorted sound. Really would it be better to spend it on a 6.1 receiver or a high quality 5.1 receiver?
     
  7. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    According to some tests I have read on the internet, the Panasonic tested at 70W/Channel with all 6 channels driven which was more than the Denon 2802. MAybe High-Current like a lot of other things is just becoming one more gimmick?
     
  8. Greg Kolinski

    Greg Kolinski Second Unit

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    Like you Chris I am partially deaf ,mine is "shock"damage from almost 20 years of air impact tools.I finally opted for the HK 520 5.1 but upgradeable to 6.1 or 7.1.It is difficult for me to hear some tones etc.,haven't been officially cked for hearing damage,but when my every conversation starts with"HUH. what did you say?" I don't think I need a doctor to tell me something is broke
    '[​IMG] Right now the HK performs so far above what I was used to,Im still just blown away by anything on it,and I can upgrade with another amp when needed.
    Greg
     
  9. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    oops.
     
  10. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Damn dirty double post! [​IMG]
     
  11. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Mark Amayao,

    DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX are formats used in commercial movie theaters. DTS-ES in theaters is the matrixed form only. DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 is a consumer format with superior surround channel separation due to the fact new 6.1 discrete mixes are created for such encoding.

    The whole idea behind DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX was that the sound mixers could have specific sound cues coming from in back of the audience with separate left and right side surround information. The array of speakers in most auditoriums is that the left and right surround array wrap along the side walls and into the back of the auditorium with no real back channel present.

    However, instead of coming up with brand new formats, that would take theater chains forever to upgrade to, with more discrete channels (and possibly better fidelity) DTS and Dolby decided to piggyback matrix encoding (like Dolby ProLogic) onto the discrete left and right surround channels to create a back surround channel. While this can add some steerable surround ambience any Matrix Surround 101 class will tell you that channel separation and hard panning techniques are severely limited compared to having a fully independant and discrete channel setup.

    That's where DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 sort of comes in. Because Coherent Acoustics (which is the codec behind consumer DTS encoding and decoding) has the unique structure of "core data + extension files" you can add discrete channels or other data to be decoded onto the core data while remaining backwards compatible with older 5.1 DTS decoders (they ignore the extension files and focus soley on the core data packet). As I said earlier, a new 6.1 discrete mix is then called for.

    With the coming of HD-DVD and Blue Ray movie discs we may be able to upgrade to multichannel DSD or PCM audio, but it remains to be seen whether the studios and manufacturers will adopt those higher resolution audio formats for home video. One would think Sony, with their competing Blue Ray format, would go with their own high resolution DSD audio technology. Although one can never tell with these manufacturers.

    Dan
     
  12. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    I stopped by my local Circuit City and auditioned the Panasonic SA-HE200 and the Onkyo TX-SR600. I really could not tell the difference in sound quality but I could hear the difference between regular 5.1 Digital and 6.1 Digital EX. I thought the center rear speaker helped anchor many of the surround affects. Both receivers are available for $469 at CC but the Panasonic can be found for a lot less online.

    Again because of my bad ear I really could not tell the difference in sound quality. The salesman was really pushing the Onkyo. I am sure the Onkyo is better but I might not matter for me as long as the Panasonic is reliable. Interestingly the Onkyo was clipping and slightly lower volume levels during peak sounds. The Panasonic remained nice and tight. The Panasonic at 130 Watts might have a little more room for headroom over the Onkyo's 80 Watts.

    I now see all these receivers have Pro logic 2. I hear a lot of good things about it but I am somewhat of a purist. I have heard some very good Pro Logic mixes. Some don't need to be processed any more then the regular matrix. Please tell me we have the options to disable the Pro Logic 2 process?

    Chris
     
  13. Carlos_E

    Carlos_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Dan:

    What is multichannel DSD and PCM audio? How do they differ from the current sound standards for Dvd? How many channels are available in these formats? 5.1? 6.1? or more? Are they all discrete?

    Thank you.

    Carlos
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  15. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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