DTS track on theatrical release = DTS track on DVD?

Ron Reda

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Being the HT freak that I am, I've been looking for the "dts" logo on commercials for movies that are to be released soon. The one I'm most psyched about is (of course) Spiderman. Is it safe to assume that, because this film will be released with a DTS track, it will contain a DTS track when it's released on DVD?
 

Damin J Toell

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No. most major films these days have DTS tracks (along with DD and SDDS), but most of those end up on DVD as DD-only.

DJ
 

Artur Meinild

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Sorry, the fact that a film has a theatrical DTS track has absolutely nothing to do with a eventual DTS track on the DVD.

Theatrical DTS and Home Video DTS is two entirely different sound systems, and you can easily have one without the other (both ways).

However, some studios are known to be DTS friendly (Dreamworks, Universal), and it's safe to assume that high-profile releases from these studios will have DTS on the DVD.
 

Shayne Lebrun

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Theatrical DTS and Home Video DTS is two entirely different sound systems, and you can easily have one without the other (both ways).

Yup. Dolby Digital AC-3, however, is the same on both film and DVD. In fact, I vaguely remember hearing that the Phantom Menace DVD specifically had the theatrical DD track dumped onto it with little or no modification.
 

Dave H

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Since most theater movies have SDDS, DTS, and DD, most of the time I am hearing it in which at the theater? I assume SDDS.
 

Ron Reda

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Thanks for the responses! I guess I just need to keep my fingers crossed on the DTS track. I believe Spiderman is being released by Sony, so perhaps a Superbit Deluxe DVD is in the works...?
 

Clint B

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Without getting too technical, can anyone explain how a theatrical DTS soundtrack differs from a DVD DTS soundtrack (besides bit rate issues)? Thanks.
 

Rob W

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Well, for one thing a DTS soundtrack for a feature film is not even on the film print itself. The soundtrack is on a CD-rom that is interlocked with the print by a reader that scans a code printed on the film to synchronise the two.

SDDS & Dolby Digital soundtracks are part of the physical print itself.
 

Clint B

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Thanks, Rob. But how is it that they SOUND different? Is it just because of more speakers in the theatre, or is there less compression on a theatrical DTS track? Educate me, please!
 

Michael Reuben

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In fact, I vaguely remember hearing that the Phantom Menace DVD specifically had the theatrical DD track dumped onto it with little or no modification.
Sounds like the kind of thing that gets posted as speculation and, after being repeated enough, gets treated as "fact".

M.
 

Oscar

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Well that seems true. As many of the DD soundtracks I hear sound at a very low volume compared to their DVD counterparts.

But in DTS its backwards;the DTS soundtrack on the DVD sounds lower than the DTS track in theaters.

I asked one at a General Cinema and they said that they have a 0-10 amplifier and the studio and DTS tells them to put up the volume from five to seven, depending.

Does anybody do that on their HTs?.

I will begin to.
 

Jon D

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What Michael said about DTS using different compression algorithms in their HT and theatrical systems is right. If I remember right, DTS theatrical is a codec that works at around 800 Kbps. It also has no dedicated LFE channel. The bottom 80 Hz of the surround channels contains the LFE information. It is stripped off the surround channels, boosted 10 Db, and sent to the subs. The theory behind this is that theatrical surrounds can't handle bass under 80 Hz anyway, so why not stick the LFE info there and save the bandwidth for the other channels. Home DTS has an entirely different procedure (presumably because home accoustics are different from theatrical ones) that works at 1,509 Kbps, or more commonly, 754 Kbps, and includes an LFE channel. Dolby has the same encoder for home and theater with different data rates, which can, in theory, go all the way up to 600 Kbps. Nobody seems to use this setting though.
 

Ken Seeber

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Since most theater movies have SDDS, DTS, and DD, most of the time I am hearing it in which at the theater? I assume SDDS.
It entirely depends upon which format the theater chose to have installed and it can vary from one auditorium to another, even within the same multiplex.

Most theaters advertise which system they use. Look for a logo next to the title of the film as you walk into the auditorium or ask a manager.
 

Adam Barratt

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I'm afraid it isn't possible to explain the difference between domestic and theatrical DTS without getting technical, but here's a simple rundown.

Domestic DTS uses a combination of perceptual coding (that is, discarding sounds that aren't audible to the listener and can therefore be removed without significant detrimental effects) and ADPCM or 'Adaptive Differential Pulse Code Modulation'.

The latter is a variation of PCM, but considerably more efficient (most of the time) as it codes only the difference (x) between actual (w) and predicted (y) samples. To do this it uses a system called Predictive Analysis which predicts or 'guesses' the value of future samples using a predetermined model and a sequence of known previous samples. Linear PCM expresses the full value of a sample, so requires a higher bit-rate.

This hybrid system is called 'Coherent Acoustics', and it allows the reproduction of audio at up to 24-bit resolution. By adjusting its reliance on its ADPCM or perceptual coding components, the system can operate at a very wide range of bit-rates (a much greater range than Dolby Digital is capable of; up to 4.096Mbps compared to Dolby Digital's maximum bit-rate of 640kbps).

Theatrical DTS (apt-X) is a much more basic system, and was developed by a company called Audio Processing Technology and licensed to DTS. It also uses a Predictive Analysis ADPCM system that allows a compression ratio of 4:1, but doesn't include any sort of perceptual coding. The system is restricted to 16-bit resolution and is modular, so DTS could basically add as many channels (requiring 175kbps each) as they want by adding additional processors and CD-ROM drives.

Apt-X is nearly lossless (that is, the original source content is reproduced almost entirely intact). Coherent Acoustics is quite lossy (that is, much of the original source content is discarded, although not audibly so) in most lower bit-rate incarnations (ie. on DVD). The domestic system is still capable of outperforming the theatrical system by a wide margin, however.

Despite the significant differences between the two formats, assuming the same 16-bit source material is used and the same channel configuration is used, there wouldn't be significant sonic differences between the two (other than perhaps in surround channel bass content, as explained by Jon above).

Adam
 

Oscar

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I have noticed that theatrical DTS sounds more electronic than the domestic one.
But i just did the math, and if an amplifier has its db rate from 0 to 30, and theaters have it from 1-10, i assume if you want seven, then you put it at 21 and 8 at 21.
Its a real shame, as they dont sound as good as the theatrical ones. And HT is about reliving the theater experience
 

Roger Dressler

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>>Dolby Digital AC-3, however, is the same on both film and DVD. In fact, I vaguely remember hearing that the Phantom Menace DVD specifically had the theatrical DD track dumped onto it with little or no modification.
 

TedD

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But i just did the math, and if an amplifier has its db rate from 0 to 30, and theaters have it from 1-10, i assume if you want seven, then you put it at 21 and 8 at 21.
It's not a db value, its just arbitrary 0 to 10 marks on a fader (volume control). Dolby reference level is usually around 7.

Ted
 

John P Grosskopf

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Yup. Dolby Digital AC-3, however, is the same on both film and DVD.
It is my understasnding the theatrical Dolby Digital is 5.0 tracks as opposed to 5.1 (meaning no "Boom" track in theaters, just filtering and routing of bass from the other channels into the subwoofer amplifiers and speakers).

The Tarzan and Waterworld DVDs are supposed to be direct ports of the 5.0 masters used to create the theatrical soundtrack, but I have no way to confirm that rumor.

I assume the need to encode the .1 track is why DD in the home environment requires a higher bit rate. Also, the film version of DD maximizes the available encoding space between the sprocket holes, severely limiting the amount of bits it can utilize.

DTS is unlimited in terms of bit space (beyond its compression scheme of course) because multiple CD-ROMS can be used seamlessly in tandem in theaters to carry the soundtrack for longer films.

If I am incorrect with any of this, please feel free to correct me.
 

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