DTS home ENcoder for $99 by Creative Labs

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by LanceJ, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Check out this gizmo:

    DTS-610 standalone encoder

    A member of another forum said the encoded output is in 44.1kHz stereo form - this way a receiver's DTS decoder can convert it back to 5.1 channel form using just one cable instead of six.

    Before this came along, you had to own computer-based DTS encoding software which IIRC costs about $500.
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    OK, 5.1 analog channels to a 2.0 16/44 DTS signal.

    Trying to get a feel for how much compression is really going on. And how this relates to the common DTS bit rates on a DVD, for example.

    Be nice if they said what the ADC's are and what the resolution is. [​IMG]
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Mmmmm, not quite.

    Those 5.1 analog channels are converted to a 5.1 DTS signal, which in this case is encoded as a 44.1/16bit stereo PCM signal. This is the format that DTS-CDs use and why a CD player can be used as a playback transport for them.*

    So, this piece of gear can be also used to make your own DTS-CDs of quad recordings. Just hook up the quad decoder's outputs or other multichannel device like a quad tape deck to this device's inputs. Then connect its digital output to a CD burner (you'll have to create your own track markers) and ta da! a DTS-CDR is born.

    Now you can listen to those multichannel recordings on systems without all those various decoders AND use bass management if you need to: on a secondary system; on your buddy's system; or in the mobile systems that are available in several cars nowadays. There are also a number of aftermarket in-dash dvd-video players that include internal DTS/Dolby decoders.

    BTW: DTS Entertainment nows calls their DTS-CDs "5.1 Music Discs". So look for that designation when going through their album listing. FYI: at first they were selling these discs in normal CD jewel cases, then changed to dvd-audio-style cases. But at a Best Buy a couple weeks ago, I spotted two Moody Blues Days Of Future Past discs, but they were in CD jewel cases again. That's fine with me because like my dvd-audio discs, my DTS-CD of the Moody's Seventh Sojourn in that larger case won't fit in my storage rack. They were selling them for $15.99 a piece (I found out much of their older stock, including dvd-audios, were severely mispriced, some by up to $7).

    And holy cow, don't let the lossy format thing keep anyone from buying one of these discs. On my $1400 mid-fi system during careful & deliberate A/B listening, I can hear its deficiences compared to the CD or the dvd-audio version (usually the highs are just a tad "crispier"), but that's nitpicking. When that massive brushed cymbal stroke occurs on track 3 of Seventh from the left front area of your system, the letters "MP3" won't be entering your mind (well, MY mind anyway [​IMG] ). And operation-wise, these discs act just like a conventional CD.

    Another FYI: many of the older albums they sell on DTS-CD use the original quad master recording.

    * the player's *digital* output must be used to carry the DTS signal to a DTS-equipped receiver; the player's analog outputs will only contain bunches of nasty white noise, which might damage tweeters if the amp's volume is turned up high enough. And when using a dvd-video player to play a DTS-CD, you'll probably first have to enable the "DTS bitstream" option in the player's audio menu - then the DTS signal will be available at the digital output.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I've found DTS-CD in the same spot together in both the DVD-A format jewel case and standard CD case. It's kind of annoying because I end up with one album from an artist with large case size and another with the standard case size because that is what they had on hand...

    So some questions: did they go back to the masters when they made the DVD-A versions or are they somehow done using the DTS tracks or vice-versa? Is it just a matter of taking the data that was used to generate the DTS-PCM track and make a MLP track?
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    OK:


    But all my questions about resolution, DACs, etc, still hold. [​IMG]
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    John: I've never actually read about DTS' remixing process in detail, but going strictly on their reputation, I cannot imagine them doing something as cheesy as upconverting a DTS track to MLP. AFAIK, when the quad masters are delivered to them, they have to make a PCM digital version first which is then converted to DTS. They obviously could do a direct analog > DTS conversion "on the fly" like this device does, but then they couldn't do any EQ or other mastering work that is usually needed. Again, this is all guesswork on my part.

    Yes, that original PCM track is run through an MLP encoder.

    FYI: a dvd-audio disc doesn't have to use the MLP lossless compression system to qualify as a dvd-audio. A German label actually has some multichannel dvd-a discs that use six channels of 48kHz "regular" PCM (this type of PCM is sometimes listed as linear PCM or LPCM, which is what CDs use). Two channels of 192kHz/24bit LPCM can also be present if space allows: this particular sampler disc from AIX Records* contains two such tracks. And many dvd-audio titles from DTS Entertainment & a few from EMI and Warner include 48/24 or 96/24 LPCM stereo tracks that will play on a dvd-video player.

    But to get six channels of 96kHz/24bit PCM onto one disc almost always requires the MLP lossless compression system to get it to fit, because there is almost always a stereo track that needs to fit on there too + Dolby 2.0 and 5.1 and/or DTS 5.1 + the video portions.

    Kevin: I couldn't find anything on Creative's page concerning your questions. Though based on movie soundtracks, where DTS can get really compressed by clueless studio people ("everyone LOVES tons of bonus features!" [​IMG] ), I personally have yet to run into a bad-sounding DTS track.


    * if anyone here is into choir music or just loves vocals, you need to buy AIX's Zephyr: Voices Unbound. One of their songs was on the fisrt sampler I used to own and to be surrounded by all those powerful voices was incredibly stirring. No special effects or anything, just 12 human voices from everywhere. Few other surround recordings have affected me like that. BTW: except where noted these are NOT DualDiscs; they are conventional two-sided dvds
     
  7. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    instead of getting that, for about the same price you can replace your existing sound card w/:

    http://www.auzentech.com/products_xplosion.html

    it is the same application except it is done internally and it can do Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect. Meaning if you were playing video games in 5.1, you can now do so via one cable to your a/v receiver. i have the older card, mystique and in Counter Strike Source, you can set it to 7.1 and it really works =). Sounds directly behind you is REALLY behind.
     
  8. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I ran into this press release too - not DTS but allows you to make 5.1 sound on home made DVDs:

    "Jul 26, 2006 08:00

    Ulead VideoStudio 10 Plus Brings High-Quality Surround Sound to Home DVDs; Consumer Video Editing and DVD Authoring Software Includes Support for Creating Soundtracks in 5.1-Channel Dolby Digital Surround Sound

    TAIPEI, Taiwan --(Business Wire)-- July 26, 2006 Ulead Systems Inc. (TSE:2487), a subsidiary of InterVideo Inc. (NASDAQ:IVII), is bringing fresh enjoyment to home video projects by allowing users to create soundtracks in high-quality 5.1-channel surround sound. Ulead(R) VideoStudio(R) 10 Plus video editing software includes full 5.1-channel surround sound support with Dolby(R) Digital 5.1 Creator.
    "Surround sound adds enormously to the richness of the video experience," said Eldon C. M. Liu, president of Ulead. "With VideoStudio 10 Plus, one click adds high-quality surround sound in the same format used by professional studios. The results are simply breathtaking."

    VideoStudio 10 Plus simplifies the process of enhancing home videos and DVDs with surround sound. A single button enables 5.1 sound in editing projects, automatically converting two-channel audio to 5.1 channels. Individual adjustments for center channel, subwoofer and overall level allow users to quickly mix audio in the video, overlay, narration and music tracks. For precise placement of sounds, a new Surround Sound Mixer lets users drag-and-drop audio to position it within the sound field.

    "A simple technique for creating a pleasing surround mix for home movies with a music soundtrack is to leave the audio from the camcorder video untouched while zeroing the center channel level and reducing the overall level by 6 or 12 db for the background music in the music track," said Vinson Chen, VideoStudio product manager at Ulead. "This ensures that important dialog remains clear but still lets you use music to establish mood and emotion. It's what they do in the movies."

    "VideoStudio 10 Plus makes it easy for anyone to take video productions to the next level with dramatic and satisfying Dolby Digital 5.1 sound effects. We are very excited to see Ulead bring this powerful technology to home users," said Greg Rodehau, Director, PC Business Segment, Dolby Laboratories.

    About Ulead VideoStudio

    VideoStudio 10 and VideoStudio 10 Plus are consumer software packages offering easy video editing and DVD authoring. VideoStudio 10 gives users affordable, easy-to-use editing and authoring tools for making great home movies. VideoStudio 10 Plus adds unique and powerful features including multiple overlay tracks, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, iPod(R)/PSP(TM) support and the category's only complete solution for capturing, editing, authoring and playback of high-definition video.

    About Ulead Systems

    Ulead Systems, Inc. (TSE:2487), a subsidiary of InterVideo, Inc. (NASDAQ:IVII), is a 17-year industry leader in video, image and DVD software. As more people use digital technologies at home, school and the workplace, Ulead software empowers users of all levels with the tools to easily and affordably personalize, manage and share digital content. Ulead is a member of the DVD Forum, participates in DVD Forum Working Groups and is a general member of the HD DVD promotion group. Ulead is also a Contributor member of the Blu-ray Disc Association and serves on the BDA TEG. For more information on the company, its products and services, please visit Ulead's Web site at http://www.ulead.com.

    "
     

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