Falling Down not 5.1

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jerry Parker, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. Jerry Parker

    Jerry Parker Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG]

    Well I went to Walmart today (they are the devil yes I know) to check out what inexpensive DVD's they had.

    I bought Falling Down along with some other DVD's. At the store, I looked at the packaging and saw the Dolby Digital emblem on the back and thought, ah, cool, a 5.1 mix. Yet I get home and pop the dvd in my player and watch and notice there is no surround! I checked the package again and in very fine print it said Dolby Digital surround stereo!

    This makes me mad. Technically yes, I suppose it has a Dolby Digital soundtrack, but who cares if its PCM or DD if its only 2 channels!!! I guess you get what you pay for though, because the dvd was only $7.50 :b

    Do they do this on a lot of movies? What is even the point in putting that kind of soundtrack on a movie?

    I also noticed that the voices seemed like they were distorted and crackling at loud parts in the film, does anyone notice this with their copy?
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    1. "Dolby Digital" is not synonymous with "5.1". DD is a digital audio format and can contain anywhere from 1 to 6 discrete tracks of audio.

    2. On the back of Falling Down, right next to the DD logo, it says "ENGLISH Dolby Surround Stereo". On Warner discs of that vintage, when it was 5.1, it said "5.1".

    3. "Do they do this on a lot of movies?" Yes, they do it on hundreds of movies that were made before the era of multi-channel digital audio -- which is still the majority of movies ever made.

    4. "What is even the point in putting that kind of soundtrack on a movie?" In many cases, the point is to preserve the integrity of the film as originally presented. Sometimes the sound is remixed to satisfy people who think that all movies should be 5.1. The results of such remixes are often problematic.

    5. "I also noticed that the voices seemed like they were distorted and crackling at loud parts in the film, does anyone notice this with their copy?" It's been a while, but I don't remember that being a particular problem with this title.

    6. And finally, because this thread concerns the DVD, it belongs in Software, which is where I'm moving it.

    M.
     
  3. Dave Molinarolo

    Dave Molinarolo Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Dave, surely you can specify Pro-Logic or flat stereo. I have many concert DVDs that sound terrible in DPL, just a push of a button
     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Gotta agree with that. There are many, many remixed DVDs I've come across where the original 2 channel matrixed soundtrack was moderately to severely screwed up when the studio tried to do a half assed 5.1 mix. There are also many movies that just don't need or honestly benefit from a 5.1 soundtrack.

    Case in point, the recent release of one of my absolute favorite movies, Miller's Crossing, which was remixed to 4.0. As far as I'm concerned, not only was the 4.0 remix not needed, but is was poorly done. Fortunately, I discovered the 2 channel downmix of the 4.0 soundtrack is much better, if still not quite even what it should be.

    I am a big fan of Falling Down, which you'll see if you look at the Top 20 link in my sig, and I see no real need for a 5.1 remix. It's not T2 and is not an action/effects film. The disc is more than fine for me, and I should say it is a real pleasure to get it for $7.50.
     
  6. Jerry Parker

    Jerry Parker Stunt Coordinator

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    Hang on guys, I am not saying that it is bad that the disc is in stereo, I am just wondering why they bothered putting a stereo AC3 track on there? I assume there is also a stereo PCM track for the people who dont have a DD decoder, right?
     
  7. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    Everyone has a DD decoder. The DVD spec says all players must handle MPEG, DD and PCM audio. Since it's the most efficient of these, most releases are DD only. You occasionally see PCM on music releases, but that's about it. You pretty much don't see MPEG audio at all.
     
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Well said!

    I bought Citizen Cane and it had the Dolby Digital logo too! It only had big fat mono! [​IMG]
     
  9. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  10. Jerry Parker

    Jerry Parker Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, I didnt know that all players could infact "interpret" the ac3 signal and downmix it to analog inside the player. I thought that all dvds had to have a pcm stereo mix for those without decoders...
     
  11. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  12. Dave Molinarolo

    Dave Molinarolo Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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  14. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  15. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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