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Old 12-11-2003, 15:32   #1
slh
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DTS can you really tell the difference?

hiya

I have a 5.1 setup with a dts amp and dvd player, basically its a normal home setup with no fancy stuff or realy expensive components.

for a film enthusiast like myself is it possible to notice a difference in sound quality between DD and DTS.

Im not talking about: "i can definatly tell the difference in my system" sort of claims, what i am talking about is: is it possible for my system to take advantage of the higher quality DTS is supposed to give us.

basicaly is it worth worrying about what sound track a dvd has for a normal home cinema setup?

also excuse my ignorance and difficulty in explaining myself, i dont really know alot about home cinema setups

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Old 12-11-2003, 15:42   #2
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DTS films also come with a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack, so I suggest you rent or buy one and try for yourself by switching between the audio tracks.

Some people can, some can't, some claim the difference is because the DTS tracks are remastered differently, some say DTS is just louder, it is all down to personal preference.

Myself, I do find DTS to be better and given the choice I will always choose DTS unless there is something wrong with it (e.g. The Rock Criterion). It just sounds sonically better on my setup.

As I say, spend Ł3 or however much it is and rent out a DTS DVD, but don't get a comedy or something as it is not worth it, get an action film to try it out. Then decide for yourself. If you can't hear any improvement on your system, then don't worry about it because Dolby is pretty damn good anyway.

Last edited by Jowser; 12-11-2003 at 15:43.
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Old 12-11-2003, 15:46   #3
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DTS is usually recorded at a higher frequency and with less compression than DD 5.1 so you can sometimes notice a slightly 'louder' noise.
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Old 12-11-2003, 15:48   #4
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yea ive played a fair few DTS films and DD films but i dont really think i can tell the difference. anyway, ive been told so often DTS is better its not a fair test to just listen to the track as my mind will play tricks on me and i'll hear what i want to hear.

can a standard home cinema 5,1 setup physicaly output better DTS audio than DD audio so there is a real difference? or do you need 6.1 or some other funky setup?

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Old 12-11-2003, 15:52   #5
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yes DTS is frequently mastered at a higher level, but even with the volume compensated on the relevant DD track you should be able to hear the difference between the two.

DTS also comes in two flavours (one at around 748kbs and the full rate one at something like 1584kbs) now i defy anyone to listen to a full-rate DTS soundtrack and not be able to hear the difference themselves. The two disc R3 set of Hero is full rate and sounds incredible with possibly the most aggressive, active mix I have ever heard on DVD.

As for doing a rental test I would suggest renting Reign of Fire, the DTS track on that film is a bit of a cracker.... i even like the film!

Last edited by James45; 12-11-2003 at 15:53.
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Old 12-11-2003, 15:56   #6
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Quality of components can play a part naturally. But if you have listened and can't tell the difference on your setup thats fair enough. There wont be anything you can do to improve what you are getting without upgrading, and even then you might not detect a difference. A lot of people claim they can't, even though I can.

I wouldn't worry about it, and just enjoy what you have.

6.1 then DTS wins out because it has a discrete (DTS ES - seperate) channel at the center rear, if the soundtrack supports it.

Of course, Dolby can do 6.1 matrix (5.1 EX - merged left and right to make a rear center channel), but it's not a patch on discrete (in my opinion). DTS can do 6.1 matrix if it is not a discrete soundtrack, so competes on that as well.
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Old 12-11-2003, 16:07   #7
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Not again -

But still a good topic for those who have not been here for long!

I personally prefer to have the option for DTS - DTS is louder in my opinion but thats the only difference I can tell!

Last edited by w_n_s; 12-11-2003 at 16:08.
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Old 12-11-2003, 16:19   #8
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sorry, im sure this is a much done to death thread, but like you said:

Quote:
Originally posted by w_n_s


But still a good topic for those who have not been here for long!

I
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Old 13-11-2003, 00:32   #9
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The way Dolby Digital works is, in essence the louder the passage of film, the lower quality. Subsequently two quiet films with lots of dialogue will be difficult to tell apart, but comparing 2 very loud sequences should reveal subtle but noticeable differences in quality. However the success of DVD owes much more to DD because the very frugal resouces it uses lends itself to features of DVD such as multi language support and directors commentaries. These are what add value to a DVD over video and brings the mass market into play.
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Old 13-11-2003, 02:39   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by mickl
DTS is usually recorded at a higher frequency
So dogs can hear it? :confused:

Quote:
Originally posted by mickl
and with less compression than DD 5.1
Less efficient compression than DD 5.1

Quote:
Originally posted by James45
Reign of Fire ... i even like the film!
I've heard it all now

Last edited by Squirrel God; 13-11-2003 at 02:41.
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Old 13-11-2003, 17:37   #11
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I do think DTS is better, but it's pretty subtle. For example, at the start of Gladiator, during the battle where the arrows are flying around, the DTS is much more active in the rear speakers. The clarity and loudness of the arrows flying by you is significantly more impressive than the DD 5.1 track. At the end of the day, it all depends on how the studio mix the tracks.
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Old 13-11-2003, 18:21   #12
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For some reason i prefer the DD version of the LOTR EE soundtrack.

I just felt the DTS version was a bit OTT...
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Old 14-11-2003, 11:16   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jowser
DTS films also come with a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack,
This is not always the case. Take Saving Private Ryan DTS (one of the best DTS soundtracks you're ever likely to hear) - this film has the choice of DTS or pro-logic - if you want DD then you have to buy the DD version of the film.

As for the general question - it depends upon the mix - with some films like Saving Private Ryan the DTS soundtrack is in a different league to the DD version. With others there is little in it.

I also noticed that when I upgraded to a really decent processor (Tag AV32R) - the differences between DD and DTS were less marked.

Matt.
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Old 14-11-2003, 16:57   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mattie F
As for the general question - it depends upon the mix - with some films like Saving Private Ryan the DTS soundtrack is in a different league to the DD version. With others there is little in it.
And there are some discs where the DD is miles better than the DTS version, including a few music DVDs that I have
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Old 14-11-2003, 17:58   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mattie F
This is not always the case. Take Saving Private Ryan DTS (one of the best DTS soundtracks you're ever likely to hear) - this film has the choice of DTS or pro-logic - if you want DD then you have to buy the DD version of the film.

As for the general question - it depends upon the mix - with some films like Saving Private Ryan the DTS soundtrack is in a different league to the DD version. With others there is little in it.

I also noticed that when I upgraded to a really decent processor (Tag AV32R) - the differences between DD and DTS were less marked.

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Old 14-11-2003, 18:24   #16
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Yea the whole DD/DTS thing is a bit silly, it all depends on the source and the time taken on the encoding bit, if the guy's having an off day then DTS will sound worse.

I'm not sure how true this is, but as DD has to be on the DVD, if there is a DTS track then 'extra' effort has been put in to get it there...which in turn suggests that it could also sound better (though this theory is ruined by LOTR:EE which has a pants DTS track)

Another point is that AFAIK most DTS aren't full bit rate, if they were maybe the differences would be more pronounced.
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Old 14-11-2003, 18:43   #17
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[/B][/QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally posted by cjb110
Yea the whole DD/DTS thing is a bit silly, it all depends on the source and the time taken on the encoding bit, if the guy's having an off day then DTS will sound worse.

I'm not sure how true this is, but as DD has to be on the DVD, if there is a DTS track then 'extra' effort has been put in to get it there...which in turn suggests that it could also sound better (though this theory is ruined by LOTR:EE which has a pants DTS track)
That's true. So that anyone who buys the disc can actually here something. DVD specs say that either a DD or PCM track must be provided (mpeg2 audio is also technically an allowed option for R2, but its rarely usd).
Quote:
Originally posted by cjb110

Another point is that AFAIK most DTS aren't full bit rate, if they were maybe the differences would be more pronounced.
Definitely true, but since full DTS uses about 4x the bandwidth of DD5.1 you would expect it to.
I say that DD is the mpeg4 to DTS's mpeg2, DTS is capable of better quality, since its "target" bitrate is higher, but if DTS was forced to use the same bitrate as DD, it wouldn't be able to cope.
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Old 15-11-2003, 04:27   #18
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DTS tracks (usually) seem to have a greater dynamic range, meaning that if the volume is up loud enough to hear the quiet bits, the loud bits are really loud. I often find myself having to turn down the volume temporarily if listening to DTS, to avoid having a heated exchange of views with my neighbours.

DD not only has a lower dynamic range, but it can also be set to 'night mode' on many amps, which reduces the dynamic range still further so you can still enjoy the film even with the volume turned down quite low.
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Old 15-11-2003, 10:25   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deron
For some reason i prefer the DD version of the LOTR EE soundtrack.

I just felt the DTS version was a bit OTT...
This has been quite documented on here, a good example (And the most widely quoted one) being near the beginning where Sauron "blows up". The DTS track is good, but the DD track is really sofa-rattling. Both are very good tracks though.

I have an example of DTS being "better" that I think is a good example - On the Terminator 3, R3 DVD that's just been released, there is a scene quite near the beginning where a mobile phone conversation is taking place in a department store (I can't remember the chapter point as I'm thinking from memory - if anyone really wants to know it I'll have a look and post it - but it's easy to find). Listen to the "muzak" that's taking place in the background, then switch between DTS and DD. Both again are good soundtracks, but the DTS definately has the edge, and in this case is a definate improvement - my opinion and on my equipment anyway.
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Old 15-11-2003, 12:59   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jowser

Myself, I do find DTS to be better and given the choice I will always choose DTS unless there is something wrong with it (e.g. The Rock Criterion). It just sounds sonically better on my setup.
What's wrong with the DTS on The Rock soundtrack?:confused:
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