Which DVDs test home theater audio?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Dennis L, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Dennis L

    Dennis L Auditioning

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    I like the mature and experienced advice on this site, and the tolerance of the contributors who recognize that one size does not fit all (and the patience with those of us who have little experience). I am going to take the advice before buying a receiver of visiting several dealers and listening to different receivers.

    My question is, what DVDs (or CDs) do you like to use to test the performance of a home theater system, and what do you listen for? Are there specific sounds on the track that are particularly revealing?

    I recognize this is probably a matter of personal taste, but I don't want to limit the responses from contributors by giving my own preferences. I want to make sure my source material is produced with quality and truly tests the receiver and system before trying it on different systems. I'll go pick up a DVD and CD based on comments.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. Kevin Deacon

    Kevin Deacon Second Unit

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    Eagles 'Hell Freezes Over"
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Diana Krall: Live in Paris DTS, Gladiator DTS-ES, Saving Private Ryan: DTS(full bitrate).

    Do a search, this is covered every few months.
     
  4. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    In a good home theater I think that LFE (Bass baby!) is the easiest thing to identify, especially if the equipment isn't up to snuff. That being said you could easily max-out your goldcard on any number of bass-heavy CD's/DVD's.

    After that you could try any number of classical-piano albums to check your potential system for an added harsh-metallic sound (not as obvious as it sounds).

    I also agree with the Diana Krall choices, womens vocals can be tough to sound accurate.

    Then again, I find that judging a surround-sound system is typically a matter of speaker quality and source material. I'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference in any number of amps or recievers at a reasonable listening level.


    But happy hunting. [​IMG]
     
  5. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    I just (!) discovered this DVD and it has pole vaulted right to the top of my faves. I love just popping it into my secondary system just to listen without video. Fantastic.

    Another recommendation, the diva scene from the Fifth Element. That movie (in Superbit) has a phenomenal audio track, and if I had one movie to take to audition surround systems, that'd be it. It has everything you could possibly want to test.
     
  6. James Sarno

    James Sarno Stunt Coordinator

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    So many people will recommend so many things...and that's what makes this forum great.

    I for one like to use a variety of DVD's, some LFE heavy,some with great surround and even some just for the score. For example for great surround/LFE I like to use the opening scene of X-Men when a young Magneto is reaching out while being held and "pulling" the metal gate, great LFE as the rain pans around my surrounds in the background.
    Also I love to pop in Hannibal for stunning colors,fantastic scenery and a superb score that sounds so rich that I often play the DVD just to listen to it.
    Saving Private Ryan is one of the all time great sounding movies,in DTS or Dolby Digital you can't go wrong.
    The Thin Red Line sounds so full in the action scenes but so suttle at the same time hearing the tall grass whistle behind you as the bombs & bullets hit.

    Underworld, not a great movie but an excellent choice for full use of all of your speakers constantly and a good workout for your sub.

    These are just a few of the titles I use,I can go on & on...
    I suggest you take a day and go through your collection and really look and listen to what gets you going...sometimes it's not the obvious title that does it for you, that's one of the perks of our thing (a soprano moment)[​IMG]

    Just sit back,relax and have fun...find which DVD's or CD's do it for you and come back here and share it with all of us. This is a great place to be,full of knowledge and some good people. I accidently stumbled on to this site and I'm so happy I did.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Two movies I didn't really like but bought just because they have some very entertaining use of surrounds and overall very good sound: The Haunting (DTS-ES) and Darkness Falls.
     
  8. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Man, there's so many GREAT ones to choose from and I certainly agree with all the above suggestions...... and add one more of my own.....When I'm setting up a friends system or testing things audio... I always use Roy Orbison- Black and White Nights. The video is not that good but the DTS mix is very enveloping and uses all speakers available........
    Enjoy.......
     
  9. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    since this hasn't been mentioned before - I like the ice field scene in Titan AE. Also, Blue man Group's Audio DVD-A (DVD-A or DD/DTS) gives the surrounds a good workout ;D
     
  10. Michael Brand

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    The movie "Underworld" has a great surround track as well as excellent LFE. Agree with earlier post on Titan AE as well, of course Lord of the Rings movies are great.
     
  11. Michael Lane

    Michael Lane Auditioning

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    Terminator 3 -DTS in the first chse scene with the huge crane truck, this scene in DTS is so amazing massive transients and some good bass too.

    For music i use Eagles-Hotel California in DTS.

    If you want to use lord of the rings though make sure it is the extended version as the soundtrack is more dynamic on that DVD, dont know why, just gets louder with the volume at the same spot.
     
  12. Harold Wazzu

    Harold Wazzu Supporting Actor

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    If you haven't heard it you'll be amazed but Top Gun has some really good LFE from the jets. Take a listen if you haven't yet.
     

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