Why are DVD titles still including DD2.0 tracks alongside DD5.1?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by JediFonger, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    after all, DD5.1 downmixes into stereo. so... why bother with a DD2.0 mix? for example, star wars ROTS. DD5.1EX sounds awesome... it can be downmixed into stereo. why include DD2.0? what a waste of bandwidth.
     
  2. Joe Wong

    Joe Wong Second Unit

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    It's a matter of whether you want the audio engineers' stereo mix or your processor's "downmixed" stereo mix...

    Joe
     
  3. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    Have you tried listening to both 5.1 and 2.0 tracks of a same title on headphones? The differences are more than subtle. I often use headphones when watching movies late at night, and prefer having this option whenever possible.

    Stereo tracks are usually encoded at 192Kbps; the bandwidth loss is minimal.
     
  4. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    I appreciate the 2.0 option because I only watch movies on my 32" with built-in stereo speakers. I was gonna get a home theatre audio system, but then disease robbed me of complete hearing in my left ear a couple years ago; so I figure, what's the use...
     
  5. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    If the 2.0 track is going to be there why does it have to sound so tinny and weak? Downmixing 5.1 to 2.0 almost always sounds better.
     
  6. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    But NEVER on someone with only a Pro Logic receiver.
     
  7. Ray_R

    Ray_R Screenwriter

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    But what if the 2.0 is the ORIGINAL soundtrack and the 5.1 is the remuxed track? I have a quite nice receiver and would rather listen to the original audio track than listen to a remuxed version. And I use the Pro Logic IIx processor on said receiver to remix the original audio track. I only have listened to the ORIGINAL monoaural audio track (cause since I've owned it I've yet to give the remuxed DTS and DD 5.1 tracks a go) on JAWS 30th Anniversary Edition. Also helps to research the varying audio differences between the original and remuxed. Especially if said tracks are just the 70mm 6-track master used for the films such as used for the 5.1 track for the Indiana Jones Trilogy. Research is key when trying to figure out the audio.[​IMG]
    So, research dammit!
     
  8. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    joe, isn't that equivalent? isn't the demux version the sound designer's version? if not, couldn't it be done technically? if it can, why not? i still don't get why duplicate it.

    marko, yesh i have. got a nice pairo' senneheisers and also love night-lovin'... i mean. erm... watching. anyway, i prefer the 5.1 demux because it's louder/heavier/thicker. the dd2.0 is lighter, cheaper and well... just plain out sux =(. sorry. there are certain titles with Dolby Headphone, now THAT is another story altogether...

    peter, you already have DVDs with ONLY DD5.1 and you can still hear it through your stereo speakers because your DVD player demuxes 5.1 into 2.0. FYI. hence my post. if that can be done, why keep the DD2.0 track.

    ray, that's almost a diff point because you're going back to the source material. i'm talking about a MODERN movie like... say Revenge of the Sith. lucas wanted people to enjoy that in a multichannel environment. why keep a DD2.0. why not let DD5.1EX be the *only* track and then engineer the track in a way that the demux is also the DD2.0 *official* release OR demux=Dolby Headphones. *sigh*.
     
  9. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Long ago before I bought my 1st receiver and speakers, I played movies thru my minisystem for a couple of months, and downmixed DD5.1 always sounded significantly better than DD2.0.

    I remember the day I first switched to 5.1 like yesterday. I was watching Anaconda, and decided to switch the sound just for kicks. First ever DVD player bought a couple of days earlier, my knowledge of AV was still rudimentary, so I didn't even expect to hear any sound -- I thought one needed a 5.1 capable receiver for the 5.1 track. The difference was striking. Everything was clearer, fuller/richer and the bass was dramatically deeper.

    Of course, this sort of stuff depends on the hardware and the mix. In my case, 5.1 was always the way to go.

    --
    H
     
  10. Magnus T

    Magnus T Supporting Actor

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    My experiences are similar to yours Holadem. I remember when I had a Kenwood Pro - Logic receiver and watched Fight Club (one of my first DVD's). I watched the movie first in 2.0 and the plane crash seemed very flat to me, not engaging at all. I switched to the 5.1 track and 2 minutes later my neighbor was knocking on my door complaining about the noise.

    Besides, aren't alot of these 5.1 remixes only taking the original audio and encoding it in 5.1? I can't seem the remember much separation in the surrounds on my Warner DVD's of old movies.
     
  11. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Speaking as a sound engineer, a downmixed 5.1 track is NOT the same as a mix done for 2.0. There are different approaches when mixing discrete versus a matrixed surround format. The reason downmixed playback may sound "fuller" is that most of the 5.1 mixes found on DVDs are hotter than the 2.0 mix, and have the top and bottom end hyped. If you did proper level matching, and assuming your playback system is properly calibrated and the bass management is working correctly, the 2.0 mix should sound fine, especially if this was the original mix.

    Simply taking a 2.0 mix and encoding it as 5.1 is a hack job, not that it isn't done.

    Personally, I prefer to have the original mix included, even if it is mono.
     
  12. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    On all of the dvds I've run across the 2.0 mix is weak, tinny, thin, and just plain SUCKS. I think we're getting tv friendly 2.0 mixes. No bass, flat EQ, and non-threatening. LDs didn't have this problem with their powerful PCM tracks.
     
  13. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    hi jeff,

    i'd like to pick your brain (sounds like boogers [​IMG].

    i know that DD5.1 != DD2.0. we've established. but as an audio engineer yourself. is it technically possible to do so? meaning demux a 5.1 track into a DD2.0 that an engineer could live with purposefully? this can negate a *need* for including a DD2.0 soundtrack and make room for video bandwidth. and of course we should prefer the original track that is closest to the one that came with the film when it was first shown. thus, nearly all big-budget/hollywood, modern features after batman returns (the first DD films AFAIK) should contain DD5.1 mixes.

    what one prefers isn't the question, it's a question of technicality. is it technically possible. and if it is, why both with including a DD2.0? if i were a director and releasing DVD's i'd forgo DD2.0 entirely.
     
  14. Nicholas Martin

    Nicholas Martin Cinematographer

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    Up until October or so, I had 2.0 as my only option, and I found that listening to that versus the downmixed 5.1 track on films like ID4 and Titanic always sounded better - the downmixing sounded like the dynamic range compression was set to maximum, if you get my meaning.
     

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