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Discussion in 'Streaming and Digital Media' started by Cranston37, May 1, 2019.
"Netflix had been streaming 5.1 audio with 192 kbps using the Dolby Digital Plus codec. The result sounded pretty good on 5.1-capable home theater setups, but there was room for improvement. “We knew we could do better,” said Phill Williams, Netflix’s senior software engineer for audio algorithms.
That’s because with 192 kbps, Netflix wasn’t achieving what audio codec engineers call 'perceptual transparency,' a term that describes a level of quality that even expert listeners can’t tell apart from the original master recording. During testing, Williams’ team discovered that they could effectively dupe expert listeners with 5.1 streams encoded with 640 kpbs.
Williams demonstrated the difference between these two audio bitrates during a recent listening demo with Variety that used a recording of applause as a sample sound. With 192 kbps, some parts of the audio sounded a bit wetter, less differentiated. With 640 kbps, everything was crystal clear, virtually indistinguishable from an uncompressed version."
192 kbps is way too low for 5.1. I would say 384kbps is minimum, 448kbps is preferrable. 640kbps gets you much closer to effectively lossless.
Wait a minute.
They're acting like discovering 192 kbps is too low for 5.1 is some great accomplishment, and giving themselves big kudos for bumping it? They needed experts to figure this out?
And Atmos will be 768kbps!
That's being a bit jaded - I think the bitrate talk in the article was more about teaching the consumer what the techy-looking word means.
I think Netflix's accomplishment here is getting it into homes that have varying internet connections without buffering, by making it adaptive. That's not nothing.
What I have yet to comprehend is, if Netflix is using Dolby Digital Plus, why am I still unable to get Dolby Atmos in my 4K streams on my Roku devices (yet Netflix on a Roku TV can get Atmos)? Vudu uses Dolby Digital Plus with an Atmos extension without any issues on my Roku.