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Lack of DTS Soundtracks for Region 4 DVD's (1 Viewer)

Paul Pacey

Jul 29, 2001
I'm sure its a problem most of you who live in the States don't really care about, but I am seeking an explanation as to why there are a very limited number of titles (about 30 or so, most of those music/concerts) that contain a DTS soundtrack.
Looking on the web, I can find heaps of DTS versions of films in Region 1 that are only available in Region 4 as Dolby Digital.
Not wanting to get into a DD vs. DTS debate, I have been a fan of DTS since I first saw and _heard_ that first DTS trailer infront of Jurassic Park all those years ago, and would love to have the option to buy DVD's with DTS soundtracks.
The only big movies available in Australia with DTS are:
1. Gladiator
2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind Collector's Edition
3. The Mummy, Ultimate Edition
4. The Mummy Returns, Special Edition
5. Hannibal
6. Seven, and funnily enough
7. Little Nicky
Added to my frustration, my DVD player _is_ region free modified, but a lot of web-sites wont sell Region 1 DVD's to overseas addresses, which is legally understandable, and even if they did, I'd be paying double with the exchange rate!
Is it that a PAL signal somehow takes more room on the disc than NTSC not leaving room for DTS, is it a legal issue, is it cost of including a DTS soundtrack, or was it determined by some beaurocrat bunch of studio execs, that Australians dont care about quality sound?
Can anyone help me with any information?

Julian Lalor

Supporting Actor
Oct 5, 1999
I understand that the issue is a combination of space restrictions, licensing fees payable to DTS and decisions made for the European market. Roadshow is the only R4 distributor which manufacturers its DVDs solely for the Australian market. They have begun to support DTS, and forthcoming DTS titles include 15 Minutes, Enemy at the Gates, Mad Max and Thirteen Days. Other distributors are beholden to the European siblings as the DVDs released in R4 are invariably the same DVDs released in Europe or, more commonly, the UK. So if the European office of FOX, Columbia or Universal don't want a DTS title for that market (R2), R4 won't get it either. The decision probably goes back even further to the US head office, who probably don't want to pay the extra licence fees to DTS for product outside North America.
The excuse given by R2/4 distributors is that PAL takes up more space than NTSC and if the DVDs were to incorporate dts, then this would force a lot more 2-DVD releases. The Mummy Returns was such a 2-DVD release, but Little Nicky, which has quite a few extras is only a 1 disc release. This was certainly the reason given by DreamWorks for the non-inclusion of DTS on Shrek (which is a 2-DVD release in the US, but one of those DVDs includes a Pan and Scan version of the film).
It must be remembered that, even in R1, there is still limited support for DTS. Only Universal and DreamWorks consistently support DTS for new releases. FOX and Disney are more discerning, whilst Columbia has just started its Superbit range. MGM, Paramount and Warners have shown no real interest in further DTS on their releases. Warners released a few titles to complete a contractual commitment to DTS and MGM had DTS on Hannibal due to pressure from Universal.
It will take time, and there are signs that DTS is at least starting to make some headway in R4. Moulin Rouge will be released on Dec 5 with a dts track, as will Predator next year, so FOX is on-board. Universal will also be freed from their contract with Columbia and may also start to do more dts releases from next year.

Quint van der Vaart

Second Unit
May 25, 2001
Fox is also releasing Planet Of The Apes 2001 next year with dts on dvd in R2.
So I think that it is only logical that it would appear in R4.
There is another world....The DVD WORLD !!


Feb 10, 1999
It all depends on who(the studio/copyright holder) calls the shots.Take a look at WARNER's releases,do you really lots of DTS offers from them,both in AMERICA and INTERNATIONAL SUBSIDARIES???
It seems to me that VILLAGE ROADSHOW recognise the popularity of DTS releases.So,if they can get more copyright ownership of other independent studios(such as MANDALAY or FRANCHISE PICTURES and others...) films,and they go with their own decisions,you can expect more DTS releases from them.
DRIVEN will be released with a DTS track,coming in few weeks from HONGKONG.There is already a release of 13 DAYS with DTS track from HONGKONG.You can expect to see,these two titles with the addition of ENEMY AT THE GATES and LOST SOULS in coming months to R4.
THE MUMMY and the sequel with DTS track is not surprising at all.Especially the first is a ULTIMATE EDITION.But that doesn't mean that UNIVERSAL AUSTRALIA has its independent right to release what they may see to have great potential.
It is now up to UNIVERSAL AUSTRALIA to show the consumers if they really have their independent rights over what they want to add in to their releases.
FOX?Too bad that most of R4 FOX releases are mostly originated from UK R2 masters.There is virtually no independent rights to FOXHOME AUSTRALIA at all!!!
JAPAN R2 releases seems to be best of all,the JAPANESE SUBSIDARIES have their own rights,there is no control at all...Or not?

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