dvd sound.....stinks!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by bhanrahan, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. bhanrahan

    bhanrahan Auditioning

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    I think it's safe to say this and if it isn't, I'd love to know how to get sound that is even in the ballbark of a pro-logic laserdisc from dvd. I just can't imagine how this new high tech device can't even reproduce a soundtrack in dd5.1 that is as good as a laserdisc dolby surround track. I was out of the home theater game for a while and when I returned and became a dvd lover, I couldn't figure out what was wrong with the sound in my system. Others thought it sounded great, but it's just missing something, it just doesn't sound very good. I'll be damned if I can't get equivalent sound out of this format!!

    I think this format has taken a back seat when it comes to audio. It seems like the audio portions of most dvd's are an afterthought. I used to get lost in a good laserdisc where now I sit on the couch and constantly think of how the sound is mediocre.

    "Rich" is not a term that I have heard to describe any mix on dvd, yet it is this quality that I dearly miss.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, bhanrahan, this post doesn't belong in the Widescreen Review forum, which is intended specifically for discussions about stories and reviews and issues raised in the magazine.

    Also, I might advise that your post has a confrontational tone to it. If a discussion results, it will be monitored closely.

    Finally, I can't say I agree with your blanket assessment of DVD sound quality. At all.
     
  3. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    So what associated equipment are you using? That would be a good start. DVD player, processor etc

    Now I WILL state that my Saving Private Ryan DD laserdisk is very hard to beat in the sound department. There is no compression for LD's because of the extra storage capacity while DVD's do compress. Still, I don't find myself thinking my DVD's sound like crap and I still use a older Panasonic A110 DVD player.
     
  4. bhanrahan

    bhanrahan Auditioning

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    Well,

    I have a Panasonic RP-56 and I think maybe it could be a problem, audio wise. A few years ago I had a HK avr 25 and now I have an HK 520, very comparable pieces except the 520 has a decoder etc.etc. B&W speakers have been the same all along, so the only difference is the dvd player and perhaps a slight difference with the receiver. I'm tellin' ya, ld's had a much more pleasing sound. For instance, the Professional...I watched it on Saturday and the sound just isn't quite right...I can't put my finger on the problem but I know it doesn't sound nearly as good as the LD did. I'm just ranting a bit because I'm in search of a sound quality that I just don't think is being delivered from dvd. Perhaps a new player with a built in decoder will sound better...only time will tell.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  6. bhanrahan

    bhanrahan Auditioning

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    ---------------------------------------------------------
    You may have the defective pressing of this title, which was subsequently corrected by Columbia Tristar. The defective pressing lacked bass and most rear channel activity.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    interesting point I will have to look into this.

    But seriously, don't you think the 2 channel pcm mix on ld's is superior to any dd5.1 mix on dvd?? There's just something missing on the dvd versions, I wish I could quantify what it is, but I can't...yet.
     
  7. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    bhanrahan if you seriously think this is true, either you don't have something hooked up right, or you aren't doing A/B comparisons and are just forgetting what the LDs really sounded like. Have you gone through all the settings in your processor and made sure they are set right? Do you have the small/large settings for your speakers set up correctly along with your sub?

    In the early days of DVD there were a lot of LD fans who had a hard time accepting that they'd need to change to a format that was far more accessible to the average person. They constantly argued that there were certain areas that LD was superiour in. However as the technology has matured, those complaints have gone away. Seriously, I don't think I've seen such a discussion in years. Of course part of that is there so little LD publishing going on anymore, if any, so the comparisons are becoming fewer. Pick up any of the new star wars movies on DVD and tell me if any version of the original trilogy come close to these. While not a direct comparison by any means, it does show how far DVD production has come.
     
  8. bhanrahan

    bhanrahan Auditioning

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    ================================================== ====Pick up any of the new star wars movies on DVD and tell me if any version of the original trilogy come close to these.
    ================================================== ====

    I agree 100%, but the originals were done so long ago that it would be tough to get them to sound up to snuff.

    When I used to use ld, I didn't even have a sub! Now I do and I have it set up right. This includes speaker setting, x-over and level, all set to give the most uniform response and deep bass. I'm speaking of a musical quality, an audiophile might call it "imaging" or a "deeper soundstage" or some crap like that, but something is just not as good. What other titles do you consider to have an abover average surround track?
     
  9. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Lucas redid the audio for the Star Wars SE release. Its still not that impressive IMHO.

    As for other DVDs, well just about any action movie released in the last few years. Plus most of the computer animated stuff, Shrek, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and then there's movies like Fellowship of the Ring which are beyond phenomonal, even the first release in DD is great, Band of Brothers has a great soundtrack too.
     
  10. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I'm surprised so many people are questioning your ears when the concept of PCM 2 channel on laser as superior is old news.

    PCM 2 channel will slaughter DD in most cases- even with a 6 channel advatage- if you're really listening for fidelty it's a no brainer. But it should be, you're basically comparing a MP3 to a CD.

    Dolby Digital is a seriously lossy audio compression. DVD's 384k for 6 channels of sound versus LD's uncompressed PCM at 1500k+ is a big difference. While bitrate doesn't tell the whole story (it never does)- I think it should be pretty obvious that the 15:1 compression of DD material is not without some trade off. Again- many people have trouble making a meaningful comparison because a 5.1 vs a 2.0 source is a bit like comparing apples and oranges---- but if you critically listen I think the issue of fidelity and clarity are obvious to even a passing listener.

    The interesting debate, to me at least, is comparing DD 5.1 tracks from laser to DVD-- where the DVD format should have an edge but LD comes out as "superior" often enough to make me scratch my head.

    -Vince
     
  11. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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  12. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Actually 384Kbps is still a higher bitrate than either LD or theatrical DD. DVD can take up to a 448Kbps track and still stay on spec.
     
  13. Ben Hanrahan

    Ben Hanrahan Stunt Coordinator

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    Vince,

    well worded post! Finally...somebody who can put some real knowledge behind their statement.

    Well, I guess that's just what i have to live with. While the video is far better IMHO, the audio is worse IMHO. This is why I'm searching for the best audio I can get from my dvd player! Anything I can do to get somewhere's close to the quality of LD, I'll do it.

    Don't you other enthusiasts find it frustrating to be getting inferior audio on this superior media/technology? I DO!!
     
  14. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  15. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Thanks for the correction Michael

    Ben, DVD IS capable of carrying a PCM audio track just fine, unfortunately you rarely find it outside of music titles(and in my experience, most of those are in foreign markets)
     
  16. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I could of swore that the orginal DVD standard (If it exists anymore) mandated that PCM and DD audio track and added DTS later as an optional audio track.
    What ever happened on that or is it just ignored now????
     
  17. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    Real Name:
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  18. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  19. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I guess PCM got the short stick
     
  20. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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