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Need clarification on DD-EX and DTS-ES (1 Viewer)

Chirag

Auditioning
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May 3, 2003
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A few questions regarding Dolby Digital Extended Surround and DTS Extended Surround.

1) Is DD-EX true discrete 6.1? Or is the 6th channel matrix-encoded from Left surround and Right surround only?

2) DTS-ES Matrix is not-true 6.1 (6th channel matrix encoded) while DTS-ES Discrete is true 6.1, right?

3) Is there a true discrete 7.1 encoding (DD or DTS)? Or is the max number of discrete channels upto 6.1?

4) If DD-EX is a matrix 6.1 channel then why are there some DVDs like Gladiator which have DD-EX on them? I would assume that ALL 5.1 DVDs would also be 6.1 DVDs (and 7.1) if one has the right receiver and right number of speakers?

5) If I want to setup a 7.1 HT, should I necessarily look at a THX-certified receiver because Extended Surround was invented by THX/Dolby Labs, I believe? Or will something like Denon AVR1082 which has 7 discrete amplifiers suffice?
 

Kevinkall

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 20, 2003
Messages
331
5) If I want to setup a 7.1 HT, should I necessarily look at a THX-certified receiver because Extended Surround was invented by THX/Dolby Labs, I believe? Or will something like Denon AVR1082 which has 7 discrete amplifiers suffice?
You do not need a THX-certified receiver to setup a 7.1 system, any receiver/amp that has 7.1 processing will work.

Hope that this helps.
 

JeremyFr

Supporting Actor
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Jan 28, 2003
Messages
794
Actually there is only DTS-ES no EX

DTS-ES can be one of either Matrix or Discrete depending on how it was mastered.

And yes any 6.1 reciever will play a 6.1 matrix soundfield off of any 5.1 material.

DD-EX simply has a flag to force this on the reciever otherwise you have to manually put the reciever into a 6.1 matrix mode for the DVD you're watching.
 

Chirag

Auditioning
Joined
May 3, 2003
Messages
11
Thanks a lot guys! That cleared up some of my questions.

So, basically, DD-EX DVDs are only a marketing fad. The only difference between a DD-EX DVD and a non-DD-EX DVD is the encoded flag in the DVD which can anyway be set manually in a 6.1/7.1 capable receiver.

Also, I learned that 6.1 discrete is the max it goes (DTS only, DD doesn't have the capability). There is no discrete 7.1 by eiter DD or DTS.

This brings up another question:
1) Can any DTS 5.1 material be played in 6.1 DTS-ES Matrix if one has a DTS-ES receiver?
2) Are there any 6.1 DTS discrete ES DVDs out there?
 

JamesHl

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 8, 2003
Messages
813
1) My receiver can force the 6th channel, yes.
2) Yes, the ones I own are: Blade 2, LOTR extended dance mix, and Gladiator.
 

JohnnyG

Screenwriter
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Dec 18, 2000
Messages
1,522
2) DTS-ES Matrix is not-true 6.1 (6th channel matrix encoded) while DTS-ES Discrete is true 6.1, right?
ES Discrete does indeed have a 6th channel encoded and the processor will play this through the center rear channel and use it as a filter to extract that information from the left & right rear channels, which are unchanged from their original 5.1 mixes. Really, if the matrix decoder is working properly, there should be very little audible difference (if any) between a Matrix and Discrete soundtrack.

As far as DD-EX goes, although it's true that just about any recording can have the EX processing applied sucessfully, when you, as a recording engineer, know exactly how to 'use' the center rear channel, you can utilize it more effectively by intentionally steering certain sounds.
 

ChrisWiggles

Senior HTF Member
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Aug 19, 2002
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Well, there's a fine line there. It's like pro logic, for instance. You can apply pro logic processing to ANY 2-channel source you want. The ones that are labeled pro-logic, though, are mixed with this in mind, so that the results of the processing are intended. Many old soundtracks, and most music is not mixed with this in mind at all, so the results are mixed. Same thing goes with DD-EX, and DTS-ES matrix. The ones labeled as such have been mixed so that the right sounds come out the rear when processed as such. Older titles, and titles not mixed with this in mind will usually sound better if you engage the EX/ES processing, BUT it's your call. It isn't really JUST a marketing thing, although I would say that almost all 5.1 discs benefit from having 6.1 engaged, wheras with pro logic, many things(like music) were better in plain stereo.

As for now, 6.1 is as far as it goes in the home. SDDS can provide 7.1 (5 on-screen channels, two surrounds) in the theater, but the extra two channels on screen aren't ever mixed for (that I know of anyway), and it is not available in the home. I'm not familiar with the encoding there either, but I hear it's crappy.

Other formats, including DTS can, in theory support many more channels. I think MLP can support like 60 something channels or something. Now THATS a lot of channels, if anyone ever used them. :D
 

Lanny_B

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Messages
280
So, basically, DD-EX DVDs are only a marketing fad.
No, no. It's not just a flag for the receiver. It sounds like you're getting confused because you can tell your receiver to fake the 6th track on any 5.1 DVD. The difference is that DVD's encoded with DTS-ES have a real 6th track - one that's actually programmed to be it's own unique track, encoded into the DVD. Then there's DD EX and DTS ES Matrix which are programmed from the DVD creators to take certain parts of the rear speakers in the 5.1 setup, and form a 6th track. This isn't as fake as your receiver trying to make one, because it's encoded that way right on the DVD. So, it's still a pretty clearly designated 6th track.

So, to restate, there's 3 ways to have 6.1:
1. DTS-ES - real 6th track.
2. Dolby Digital EX or DTS-ES Matrix - an encoded mix of the back two tracks, making a semi-real 6th track.
3. Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS with receiver forcing 6.1 - fake 6th track that's a mixture of the back two.

That's my understanding of it after my time reading into it.
 

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