Why no PCM support?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon Robertson, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    Quite frankly, I'm fed up with DTS and DD remixed soundtracks on older films that neither need nor are particularly suitable for such treatment. What I'd much prefer to a 5.1 remix in either format is to see the original mono or stereo soundtrack presented in uncompressed PCM, keeping the entire fidelity and detail of the soundtrack and, crucially, the original mix intact. In many ways, it's the soundtrack equivalent of anamorphic (PCM) and non-anamorphic (DD).

    If it means making a disc dual-layer, so be it (if I'm unmistaken, a two-channel stereo PCM soundtrack has the same bitrate as full-bitrate DTS), but PCM is a sorely underused sound format on DVD.

    Compare the rich, detailed and precise PCM stereo soundtrack with the anaemic DD alternative on Criterion's Do The Right Thing.

    Surely this is the best way to present the limited fidelity of an aged recording on DVD, rather than an entirely inappropriate and gimmicky 5.1 remix?

    I've no intention of starting a petition, but since virtually everyone here is intent on presenting the film as it was originally presented, can we please see a show of hands supporting a greater use of PCM soundtracks?
     
  2. Michael St. Clair

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    I've been asking for it for a long time. There are a LOT of titles that could be authored this way and still have excellent picture quality.
     
  3. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    Amen.

    Am I still a big fan of laserdiscs? Yes. Why? PCM audio. MMmmm mmmm mmm.
     
  4. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    agreed 100%. This is one area where my 2.0 PCM laserdiscs still blow-away many of my 5.1 DD DVDs!
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I'd like to see PCM used for mono DVD's especially. Since only one track is there, it wouldn't take as much room.

    The PCM track on City Lights is wonderful, BTW.
     
  6. Joe Schwartz

    Joe Schwartz Second Unit

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  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I've always thought most DVDs don't use PCM just because the Dolby Digital logo is more "marketable", even if it is really inferior. Simitar, a small company no longer in business that put out low-priced "junk" DVDs, had most of their titles in PCM, though the picture quality left something to be desired. I have "Amazon Women on the Moon" from Image which is in PCM mono also, other than that it's mostly been on music discs.
     
  8. Gui A

    Gui A Supporting Actor

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  9. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    I hear ya Jon... I would gladly take 2-channel uncompressed PCM over Dolby Digital or DTS any day of the week [​IMG]
     
  10. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    Actually, Full Bitrate DD (448kbps) sound a lot better than 192kbps for Mono/Stereo Tracks... I have a few disks like that in my collection...
     
  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I have several 7 concert and music video DVDs from Japan. All have PCM tracks.
     
  12. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

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    When I made my DVD of Star Wars, I originally wanted to use the PCM that came directly from the digital outputs. The problem, as stated here, is that PCM takes up WAY too much space and the video quality suffered. So, I converted the stereo to DD at 448kps and compared the two. The difference was so slight that I kept the audio in DD. At 384 I actually heard more of a difference.

    Mike
     
  13. paul o'donnell

    paul o'donnell Second Unit

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    God yes. All "old" movies which studios don't deem "worthy" of a remix (which they can stick anyway) should be presented in a mono pcm track. Oh baby.
     
  14. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    And there are DVD's with PCM tracks out there that also have extra material so don't give me that "not enough disc space" stuff (not you Mike), just look at Pink Floyd's The Wall with the original surround PCM tracks - DD 5.1 - Commentary - three docu's - "Hey You" cut scene - Another Brick in the Wall Video - Photo galleries - trailers - a 5.1 sound check.
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Agreed. At least vendors can give us high bitrate DD steteo tracks which sound SO MUCH better than the low bitrate ones.

    I compared my 45th anniversary "It's a Wonderful Life" LaserDisc with the DVD when the DVD first came out. I found that the difference in sound was so dramatic that it made the video difference (subtle, slightly in favor of LD to my eyes) irrelevant to which version I kept. It's a shame as this fantastic movie deserves better.
     
  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  17. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    FWIW (and a great deal, if you ask me), Criterion also included a PCM track for "The Magic Flute".

    Is there any reason why every mono or 2-channel soundtrack shouldn't be PCM? Surely there can't be disc-space issues (can there?). And why release any music DVDs without a PCM track as at least one option?
     
  18. Mattias_ka

    Mattias_ka Supporting Actor

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    Jon Robertson, I totally agree with you!
     
  19. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Let's hope the next "HD" version of DVD nixes the whole audio-compromise once and for all.
    24/192 audio with MLP (lossless) compression.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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