THX Ultra2 vs. Dolby Digital EX - Need advise!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Flora, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. David Flora

    David Flora Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just received my Onkyo TX DS989 upgrade with all the new goodies. I was wondering, what is the best surround for a dvd? I'm sure it's up for interpretation, but between Dolby Digital EX, THX Surround EX, and THX Ultra 2, what is the better surround to use for a dolby digital encoded disc or for an EX encoded disc? Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Jeff Engel

    Jeff Engel Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2002
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good question, I think you are gonna have to figure it out for yourself. Let us know what you find to be your favorite. THX surround EX and DD EX are the same thing. THX used to license the EX and then it expired so it's just now DD EX. I think for a DD EX encoded disc the best would be DD EX since that is what it was designed for. Ultra 2 is meant to turn 5.1 into 7.1. For a 5.1 encoded disc it would be personal preference.
     
  3. Gary Hensley

    Gary Hensley Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 1999
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I asked this question a few weeks ago. From playing with a few DVD's I really like the Ultra 2 mode.

    As far as THX-EX Vs DD-EX. I think they are essentially the same thing minus the THX re-eq and other THX functions.

    Can anyone confirm?
     
  4. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    0
    yes gary you are correct. all of my dvd's (about 30) need the re-eq except for "tombstone" which oddly enough is THX cert so this is the only movie I watch with THX turned off.

    Daniel Smith
     
  5. James Stierman

    James Stierman Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2002
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    From what i've herd about THX ultra 2 there should be an THX ultra 2 for movies and one for music. And those 2 are the ones that are recommended. They are trying to simplify your life.
     
  6. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2001
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    For me the best part of THX-2 is that you don't need specially encoded DVD's to use it. The list of DD-EX/DD-ES DVD's is so small (like DTS ones too) that I would not build a system around that surround field. So my vote is Ultra-2.

    Mike
     
  7. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    0
    James you're correct there are 2 modes one is called thx ultra2 which os for movies and the other is thx musicmode the difference is that musicmode doesn't have the re-eq because it isn't designed for movie soundtracks.

    Mike,
    In order to use THX ultra2 you have to have a 7.1 setup you can't use the features of ultra2 with a 5.1 setup. So don't buy an Ultra2 receiver or pre-amp if you don't plan to have a 7.1 setup.

    Daniel Smith
     
  8. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    0
    James you're correct there are 2 modes one is called thx ultra2 which os for movies and the other is thx musicmode the difference is that musicmode doesn't have the re-eq because it isn't designed for movie soundtracks.

    Mike,
    In order to use THX ultra2 you have to have a 7.1 setup you can't use the features of ultra2 with a 5.1 setup. So don't buy an Ultra2 receiver or pre-amp if you don't plan to have a 7.1 setup. In fact I mentioned in my earlier post i could've used THX Musicmode on the Tombstone dvd and everything would sound fine. Since the dvd didn't need re-eq in fact i use thx musicmode on SSX Tricky a video game with a DTS 4.0 setup on my PS2.

    Daniel Smith
     
  9. Peter Overduin

    Peter Overduin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    776
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you read a lot, you will find that the huge majority of those folks who are very knowledgeable in the HT will tell you that THX is geared at the theatrical presentation; and is largely a marketing gimick for HT. It has little relevannce and in the cases of Disney DVDs for example, are in fact inferior to some non-anamorphic DVDs. Some were even defective after being THX certified.
     
  10. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    5,575
    Likes Received:
    486
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Dave Moritz
    IMHO I would run your 5.1 movies in 5.1 in what ever format you prefer (DD or DTS). And run any 6.1 formated disc in EX or ES mode. Or unless you Onkyo has a auto dectect feature then I would run that if it can detect 5.1 or 6.1 sources? I do not have any exsperiance with THX2 or Prologic2 as of yet. So I really can not help you there, sorry.
     
  11. Geoff S

    Geoff S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2002
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    The comparison between Dolby Digital EX, THX Surround EX, and THX Ultra 2 is this:

    Dolby Digital EX: 5.1 Dolby audio tracks with the surround channels encoded with matrixed information that is extracted into the 6th channel (center surround, surround back, rear surround, whatever you want to call it) on systems with EX decoding, or played back as 5.1 on older systems. Simply, this is an audio format.

    THX Surround EX: Post processing for EX tracks. It adds THX post processing features such as addaptive decorrilation, timbre matching, and mainly Re-EQ. On many systems, having THX can improve the presentation of a film's soundtrack, but this is chopped down to personal preference in the end. Nice thing about THX EX is it can upconvert 5.1 to 6.1 when used for standard 5.1 tracks. It is no longer its own audio format, just post processing.

    THX Ultra 2: Hardware certification for receivers, pre/pros/ amps, and subwoofers. It provides more 7.1 playback solutions than Ultra 1 (more for 5.1 and 6.1), and more specific options like setting distance between surround back speakers in 7.1 systems, and support for Ultra 2 subs (subs that play down to 20hz... but how is this any different from past THX subs??? oh well) Also includes a new THX Music Mode which eliminates RE-EQ normally used on movies when post processing music for better presentation.

    Hope this clarifys things. If anyone has anything they want to add please follow-up, but lets not end up turning this into a Pro-THX vs. Anti-THX thread like all the others. Thanks.
     
  12. Gary Hensley

    Gary Hensley Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 1999
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Glad that I was on the right track afterall. I really enjoy Ultra 2. The rear surrounds are very active in this mode much more then I was use to hearing in THX-EX.
     
  13. David Flora

    David Flora Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 26, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone for the input. I figured that the sound choices were more of a personal favorite thing than a legit black/white issue. Anyway, so if I have a movie that is EX encoded (Like Lord of the Rings for example), should I just simply use the DD EX setting or the THX EX setting and leave the Ultra 2 setting for movies with only 5.1? I just want to get the best possible experience out of my receiver, so I'm sorry if I sound like I'm asking the same question over again.
     
  14. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't believe THX is a gimmick. I love Ultra 2 and I use that for all movie playback. Do other formats sound better? Probably for some movies you're better off without THX and going 5.1. But I'm not one to mess around before I watch a movie so I just leave it at Ultra 2 and if I am not happy then I'll try things out.
     
  15. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    455
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unfortunatley David there is a problem with some receivers with the DD-EX (THX-EX) flag on dvds that they get audio dropout where the sound will disappear for a couple minutes during the movie or just not play at all not really sure but to prevent this they have turned off the automatic detection of DD-EX titles including LOTR, except for a few I think (atlantis and jp:III). I think the problem is mainly with some versions of Onkyo receivers but they have fixed it now. So if you want DD-EX you will have to manually select it yourself the rear channel info is still there but you'll get off your butt and walk all the way to receiver and select DD-EX yourself or just use the remote (God I love the industrial revolution, are we still in the industrial revolution?).

    Daniel Smith
     

Share This Page