Uncompressed PCM

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by LawrenceK, Sep 17, 2001.

  1. LawrenceK

    LawrenceK Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why is uncompressed PCM never used on DVD releases? I know of only one instance of it on dvd, in Do The Right Thing, and it sounds phenomenally better than the Dolby digital stereo track. I would much rather have PCM on dvd releases, than silly re-mixes to 5.1 of films that don't really need it. In addition, if you are going to release a film in stereo why not go with uncompressed PCM? It is definitely worth it. Is there some reason (disc space?) that makes it hard for studios to use it? DVDFILE mentioned that the PCM soundtrack for the laserdisc of Crocodile Dundee sounded much better than the barebones release of the dvd, which is in Dolby 2.0, surely they could have fit the laserdisc soundtrack?
     
  2. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 1998
    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Adam
    An uncompressed PCM soundtrack equivalent to that found on a LaserDisc would take up an awful lot of room: 1536kbps, or eight times the space required by the average Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
    Most studios would be unwilling to sacrifice this amount of space when only a few people seem to object to the soundtracks they currently use. I agree that it would be nice to see more PCM soundtracks on DVD, especially when only the original mono or stereo soundtrack is presented on a disc, but I don't really see any studios rushing to do so.
    In my opinion, a better compromise would be to include higher bit-rate Dolby Digital soundtracks, such as that found on Labyrinth, which includes a 384kbps Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack (double the bit-rate used by most stereo Dolby Digital soundtracks). Higher bit-rate Dolby Digital soundtracks should result in higher quality audio, but without detrimentally impacting video quality or the quantity of supplemental material possible.
    Adam
     
  3. LawrenceK

    LawrenceK Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Do The Right Thing managed to have a nice audio commentary, anamorphic widescreen, and great picture and maintain a PCM soundtrack...maybe PCM would not be appropriate for EVERY release, but for older films that deserve a nice 2-disc set, I would love it if studios went with PCM, instead of any remixes...
     
  4. Tony_P

    Tony_P Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2000
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wonder if the lack of PCM comes down to simple economics. If bypassing PCM for DD2.0 reduces replication time by 20%, that may result in a substantial cost savings to the studio. It may be that simple.
    ------------------
    ----------
    Tony Paris
     
  5. richard plumb

    richard plumb Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 1999
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Isn't DD a required sound format on DVD? So the studio would have to include at least one DD track anyway- so why not just leave it at that?
    I didn't realise you could have 384k 2.0 - that should sound really nice, as its the same as a lot of studios use for the full 5.1
     
  6. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 1998
    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "Why is uncompressed PCM never used on DVD releases?...
    ...well, actually uncompressed PCM is used more than you may think: a lot of music DVDs (for instance: operas [from La Scala, Milan, and the New York Met], rock concerts) and even a few movie DVDs use it...
    . . . [​IMG] . . .
    [Edited last by Hendrik on September 18, 2001 at 08:55 AM]
     
  7. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  8. Mattias_ka

    Mattias_ka Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2001
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I also think that laserdisc's PCM audio is much better than the bad DD.
    richard plumb:
    No, DD is not required sound format, I have some dvd's that have PCM audio. And even if 384k DD is better it's a long way from PCM's 1536kbps.
    The laserdisc will live on with the help of DD [​IMG]
     
  9. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  10. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 1999
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    195
    Trophy Points:
    610
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Real Name:
    Joel Fontenot
    I think Mystery Science Theater 3000 - The Movie used a PCM track only for its Dolby Surround soundtrack. At least that's what the back of the case says.
    Joel
     
  11. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    Messages:
    8,800
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm with all you guys. I start forgetting how dull and lifeless most 2.0 DD soundtracks sound until I pop in the occasional Laserdisc...and suddenly I'm BLOWN AWAY by good-ole' 2.0 PCM!
    In many cases, I prefer the Pro-Logic processed PCM to many 5.1 mixes!
    If PCM can't always be fit for space reasons, I'm also of the mind that studios should encode 2.0 DD at the 384 or even 448 kbps rate. The way bit-sharing among channels in DD works...most 5.1 soundtracks are offering you much better fidelity when it counts because if you're just hearing a vocalist in the center channel and the other channels are silent...than that ONE channel gets to use all the bits! Since most soundtracks have much more front L/C/R use during the movie than surround activity, during these critical listening passages you're hearing excellent compression because only those channels with activity have to share the bit-bucket.
    With a 2.0 soundrack stuck at a 192 rate, no matter what, it's compromised.
    I say 448 for ALL DD soundtracks...even 1.0 Mono. And if possible use PCM for 2.0 stereo/mono if space permits.
    -dave
     
  12. Robert Spalding

    Robert Spalding Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 1998
    Messages:
    484
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a few PCM concert video's that sound great. So is it just me or do i also hear surround information in the PCM soundtrack too?
    ------------------
    ------------------
    Sirdvd.com
    DVD-Community.com
     
  13. Yuifai Cheung

    Yuifai Cheung Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As far as I am concerned, I always choose to buy LPCM "music video" DVD versions the same way I choose to buy OAR/OSL DVD versions if available from all Regions. Japan and to a lesser extent UK produce most "music video" DVDs containing at least a LPCM sound track (though mostly only in 48Hz/16bit, 20 bit or 24 bit as opposed to the best 96Hz/24bit up to which DVD-video is capable). That cannot be said for R1 "music video" DVDs. Examples include "Cats" (R2 NTSC LPCM), "Bee Gees One Night Only" (NTSC R2 LPCM) and "Michael Crawford in Concerts" (PAL UK R2 LPCM).
    One of the main reasons for so few LPCM "movie" DVDs and not enough R1 LPCM "music video" DVDs is little demand from the general consumers who may not know the superior sonic quality of LPCM over DD 2.0 and sometimes even DD5.1/DTS 5.1.
    I hope one day there will be many consumers who will refuse to buy "sound of music" and other great musical movie DVDs which do not contain a stereo LPCM sound track. As for now, I will continue to enjoy LPCM from LDs for classical/pop/jazz/opera videos/concerts/movies.
    By the way, the Image R1 "movie" DVDs "Road to Morocco" and "of Mice and Men" are encoded only in LPCM mono.
     
  14. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    Messages:
    8,800
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes, Image Entertainment seems to be providing the most LPCM soundtracks on DVD for film-titles.
    -dave
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  16. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2001
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would definately love to see PCM stereo used on all music releases and on films in mono, stereo and pro-logic where possible.
    Given the amount of work that must have gone into the refurbishment of the 60 year old audio elements of Citizen Kane, to present it in low-bitrate dolby digital seems to be a major wasted opportunity as far as optimum fidelity is concerned.
    Re the comment about hearing surround sound on a PCM release - PCM can be encoded in pro-logic or if it's plain stereo can be matrixed into pro-logic, by just about all pro-logic decoders - the effect will very from good to terrible.
    Regards to all
    MA
     
  17. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Pink Floyd's: The Wall has a very well produced PCM track (the original film track) plus a very good 5.1 DD track & a very good commentary track & three very good documentaries & the cut Hey You scene and 5.1 sound tests...etc. etc. etc.
    Why can Columbia/Tri-Star fit all this onto one RSDL disc but so many other studios "can't spare the space"? Odd.
    ------------------
    -Kevin M.
    "Have a good time all the time........that's my philosophy, Marty."
     

Share This Page