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Old 03-11-2008, 11:36 PM   #1
Big Daddy Big Daddy is offline
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Default A Guide to Home Theater Audio CODECs

For additional information on Bitstreaming versus LPCM or Multi-Channel Analog Connection versus HDMI, read Post #167 and Post #183 of this thread.

More information on SACD/DSD and DVD-A/DualDisc can be found in their respective threads.,

A GUIDE TO HOME THEATER AUDIO CODECS

Prepared by Big Daddy

DOLBY SURROUND SOUND
Dolby Surround Sound, the earliest form of surround sound, is a three-channel system. The Dolby stereo track is decoded into the front left and front right speakers, and a mono signal is sent to the two rear surround speakers. Since Dolby Surround signal can be encoded in a stereo analog signal, it is called a Matrix surround system. The process of extracting several channels from a 2-channel system is called Matrix surround decoding.

DOLBY PRO LOGIC SURROUND SOUND
Dolby Pro Logic, introduced in 1987, added a center channel to Dolby Surround. The four channels were front left, front right, one center channel, and one mono matrix surround channel. The frequency of the surround channel was limited up to 7kHz. Dolby Pro-Logic was available on HiFi VHS and analog TV broadcasts in the United States.

Cables Needed: RCA analog stereo cables.

DOLBY DIGITAL (AC-3) SURROUND SOUND (DD)
Dolby Digital (also known as Dolby AC-3, short for audio coding 3) was introduced in 1996. Dolby Digital content first appeared on LaserDisc. Hi-Fi VHS only supports up to Dolby Surround Pro-Logic. Dolby Digital is the standard for DVD-Video and is also part of the High Definition TV (HDTV) standard in the United States.

The Dolby Digital surround sound format provides up to five discrete full frequency (from 20Hz to 20,000Hz) channels (front left, front right, center, surround left, surround right), plus an optional sixth channel for Low Frequency Effects (LFE). The low frequency effects channel contains only low bass frequencies (3Hz to 120Hz).

Dolby Digital offers a maximum bit rate of 640kbps. Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players are required to support DD at its maximum bit rate.

Cables Needed: Toslink (Optical) or Coaxial S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format), HDMI, and Multi-Channel Analog Cables (see footnote). For differences between the two cables, see A Guide to Optical, Coaxial, and Speaker Cable.

DIGITAL THEATER SYSTEMS (DTS) DIGITAL SURROUND
An alternative and competing format to Dolby Digital is DTS Digital Surround. The basic difference between these two formats is the method of compression. The use of DTS Digital Surround is optional on DVDs and it is not supported by HDTV or digital satellite broadcasting in the United States.

Some audiophiles claim that DTS is better in sound quality than Dolby Digital because it offers more data rates. The main disadvantage of DTS is that it uses more disc capacity. There are more DVD titles with Dolby Digital soundtrack than DTS.

Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players are required to support DTS at its higher 1.5Mbps bit rate.

Cables Needed: Same as Dolby Digital.

COMPARISON OF DOLBY DIGITAL AND DTS DIGITAL
Both DD and DTS use lossy data reduction techniques for soundtracks in order to minimize the limited space available on a DVD. Dolby Digital can be encoded in 192Kbps (reserved for 1.0 or 2.0 soundtracks and generally lower quality), 384Kbps (better quality), 448Kbps (used on the majority of DVD 5.1 soundtracks), and up to 640Kbps. DTS can be encoded in 754Kbps (the most commonly used), or a maximum rate of 1.5Mbps (very seldom seen). Theoretically, the less compression used in the encoding process, the better the sound quality will be. However, Dolby and DTS use different compression techniques, and their bit rates are not directly comparable to one another. While 448Kbps Dolby Digital encoding is better than 384Kbps Dolby Digital encoding, 754Kbps DTS Digital encoding is not necessarily better than 640Kbps Dolby Digital encoding.

DOLBY DIGITAL EX (THX SURROUND EX) AND DTS EXTENDED SURROUND (DTS-ES)
In November 2001, Dolby Laboratories began to license the Dolby Digital EX (jointly developed by Lucasfilm’s THX division and Dolby Laboratories.) Shortly afterwards, DTS introduced DTS-ES. Both Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES introduced a new surround back channel. However, the information in the back channel (either one or two speakers) was encoded into the surround left and surround right channels (similar to the way the center channel is encoded for Dolby Pro-Logic). The extended surround formats are fully backward compatible.

Because the surround back channel is not a discrete channel, the correct way to refer to these two formats is “Dolby Digital 5.1 EX Matrix” and “DTS 5.1 ES Matrix”. It would be misleading to refer to them as 6.1-channel or 7.1-channel formats.

DTS-ES Discrete 6.1: A true 6.1-channel format
DTS-ES optionally supports a discrete full-bandwidth surround back channel, independent from the surround left and surround right channels. This is called DTS-ES Discrete 6.1.

Cables Needed: Same as Dolby Digital and DTS Digital.

DOLBY PRO-LOGIC II, DOLBY PRO-LOGIC IIx, AND DOLBY PRO-LOGIC IIz
Dolby Pro-Logic is very disappointing when you play a CD or stereo album through it. For this reason, Dolby Laboratories introduced Dolby Pro-Logic II (DPL II). It creates 5.1 discrete channels (5 channels are full-bandwidth) from stereo CDs, old Dolby Surround movies, Laser Discs, and DVDs that were not mastered for 5.1.

Pro-Logic IIx, an enhancement over DPL II, converts any stereo or 5.1-channel audio input to 6.1-channel or 7.1-channel output. There are usually two or three modes: Music, Movies, and Games.

Dolby Pro Logic IIz is the newest Dolby Labs' audio enhancement. It introduces two additional front height channels. Pro Logic IIz contains all the quality of Pro Logic IIx and expands a 5.1 playback system to 7.1, or a 7.1 system to 9.1.

Through the addition of a pair of speakers above the front left and right speakers, Dolby Pro Logic IIz introduces a vertical component to the horizontal soundfield of a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system. Because it processes only nondirectional sounds for the height channels, it maintains the integrity of the source mix. The added dimension complements the sound from the rear surround speakers.



Dolby Pro Logic IIz 7.1 SETUP



Dolby Pro Logic IIz 9.1 SETUP


Cables Needed: Same as Dolby Digital and DTS Digital.

DTS NEO:6
DTS Neo:6 is equivalent to Dolby Pro Logic II and IIx. It can convert stereo and matrix content (music or movie) to 5.1 or 6.1 full-bandwidth discrete channels.

Cables Needed: Same as Dolby Digital and DTS Digital.

Audyssey DSX:
See Post #144 of this thread.

DTS 96/24
DTS 96/24 is a new and enhanced version of DTS Surround and allows encoding of 5.1 channels of 24-bit, 96kHz audio on the DVD-Video format. Prior to the introduction of DTS 96/24, it was only possible to deliver two channels of 24-bit, 96kHz audio on DVD-Video. It is fully backward-compatible with all DTS decoders. The DTS Encore, a new name used by DTS, simply adds more data to the old DTS formats to encode more information on the disc.

Cables Needed: Same as Dolby Digital and DTS Digital.

DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS (DD+)
DD+ is a lossy format that uses a more efficient compression technique at data rates from 96Kbps to 6 Mbps, resulting in better sound quality. Although DD+ can support up to 7.1 discrete channels, the majority of Hollywood movies are only mixed for 5.1. Support for DD+ format is optional for Blu-Ray and mandatory for HD-DVD players. However, most movie studios prefer to use either basic Dolby Digital AC-3 or DTS Digital on their movie releases.

Cables Needed: Toslink (Optical) or Coaxial S/PDIF cannot carry a DD+ signal and will automatically play the standard Dolby Digital AC-3 track instead. HDMI cable is needed for transmission of DD+. If the player decodes DD+ to PCM, any version of HDMI connection can transmit the signal. If the player transmits the DD+ signal in bitstream, HDMI 1.3 connection is needed. Multi-Channel Analog Cables can also be used (see footnote).

DTS-HD HIGH RESOLUTION AUDIO (DTS-HD HR)
Similar to Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution is an improved version of the previous DTS Digital formats. It is a lossy format that delivers up to 7.1 channels of sound with sampling frequencies from 48kHZ up to 96 kHz and 24 bit depth resolution. It runs between 1.5Mbps to 6Mbps. Note that DTS-HD HR is sometimes referred to as DTS-HD, which is misleading. Its quality is between DTS-HD Master Audio and the older DTS Digital 5.1 and DTS-ES.

This format is optional for Blu-Ray (up to a constant bit rate of 6Mbps) and HD DVD (up to a constant bit rate of 3Mbps) players. It is an alternative for DTS-HD Master Audio where disc space may not allow it. However, most studios prefer to use basic DTS Digital or Dolby Digital.

Cables Needed: Same as DD+, except if Toslink (Optical) or Coaxial S/PDIF cables are used, the player will send the standard DTS Digital Surround signal to the receiver.

AUDIO CODECS FOR HIGH DEFINITION DISCS

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO PCM, LOSSY, AND COMPRESSED LOSSLESS AUDIO
The audio on a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disc is stored in either uncompressed linear Pulse Code Modulation (PCM), the compressed and lossless Dolby TrueHD, the compressed and lossless DTS Master Audio, the compressed and lossy Dolby Digital, the compressed and lossy DTS Digital algorithms, or combination of the above.

PCM (Pulse-Code Modulation) is a procedure to represent an analog signal in digital form. Its accuracy is dependent upon the Sampling Rate and Sample Size.

Sampling Rate or Sampling Frequency is defined as the number of times samples are taken per second to convert an analog signal to digital. A higher sampling rate (e.g., 96kHz or approximately 96,000 samples per second) allows for higher frequencies to be represented.

Sample Size or Quantization is the number of bits used to represent the analog audio signal each time it is sampled in the analog-to-digital conversion process. A higher bit number allows a more accurate representation of the amplitude of the audio signal, resulting in better dynamic range.

The Bit Rate or Data Rate is the number of bits-per-second that can be processed. It is calculated by multiplying (sampling rate) x (sample size) x (number of channels).

Currently, the very best listening experience to end-users comes with Linear PCM coding on a disc. Unfortunately, 6 channels or more of high-resolution sound take up way too much bandwidth even on a high definition disc format. Using lossy perceptual compression codecs, such as MPEG, Dolby Digital, and DTS, is one solution. Perceptual lossy compression techniques throw away the least significant bits of the audio input. Theoretically, they represent detail that is impossible to hear, or at least difficult to hear. Unfortunately, a lossy codec compresses content such that the result, when decompressed, is not exactly the same as the original master.

Unlike perceptual lossy data reduction, a lossless codec compresses the data without losing any of it when it is decompressed. The result, when decompressed, is exactly the same as the original, with no compromises. Meridian Lossless Packing (MLP), developed by the British high-end audio manufacturer for DVD-A is the original compressed and lossless techniques for recording high resolution audio on a disc. MLP is licensed by Dolby Laboratories and enables up to six channels of 96 kHz/24 bit audio, or two channels of 192 kHz/24 bit audio onto a DVD-Audio disc. Dolby TrueHD, used in Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is based on MLP, and adds 8 or more full-range channels at higher bit rates. DTS Master Audio uses a different compression algorithm.

THE NEW AUDIO CODECS FOR BLU-RAY AND HD-DVD
The new audio CODECs on high definition movies are lossless, and are identical to the audio on the original master. The three lossless CODECs supported by Blu-Ray Disc and HD-DVD are LPCM, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD MA. The difference between the three is the number of bits they use on the disc. LPCM is not compressed and takes a lot more space. Both Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD are compressed like a Zip file and use far less space, allowing more space on the disc for other features. LPCM also supports a higher sample rate than TrueHD or DTS HD, but remember that the sample rate is higher than most studio masters. It is estimated that a 2 hour movie with a 16-bit/24-bit, 5.1 soundtrack requires 4.14GB with LPCM versus 1.26GB for either TrueHD or DTS HD.

LPCM
LPCM has existed since the days of CDs, but now it can carry 5.1 or 7.1 channels of audio, at higher sampling rates and bit depth as opposed to the 2 channel audio found on CDs. A PCM audio track is an exact copy of the original master, encoded on disc without compression. The main benefit is that it is simpler and maintains the quality of the master without any degradation that may occur from using a compression technique. The chief disadvantage is that it takes a lot of disc space. LPCM support is mandatory for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players. Although the Blu-Ray Disc format is capable of using LPCM up to 24-bit resolution, studios may decide to use 16-bit resolution to save bandwidth, or if the bit resolution of the master does not require 24-bit encoding. LPCM is uncompressed audio, so it requires a lot of storage space.

Cables Needed: Toslink (Optical) or Coaxial S/PDIF cannot carry a 5.1 LPCM signal, so the signal will be reduced to 2 channels only. However, any version of HDMI connection can carry the LPCM signal in full quality. Multi-Channel Analog Cables can also be used (see footnote).

DOLBY TrueHD
Dolby TrueHD is a lossless compression codec. Although it is compressed to use less disc space than a PCM track, once decoded it is identical to the original master. Dolby TrueHD supports up to eight full-range channels (with room for expansion) of 24-bit/96 kHz audio (at the discretion of the studio) up to a maximum of 18Mbps bit rate. Support for Dolby TrueHD is optional for Blu-Ray players and mandatory for HD-DVD players.

Cables Needed: Toslink (Optical) or Coaxial S/PDIF cannot carry a TrueHD signal and will automatically play the standard Dolby Digital AC-3 track instead. If the player converts the TrueHD to PCM, the signal can be transmitted over any version of HDMI. If the TrueHD signal is transmitted via bitstream, HDMI 1.3 will be needed. Multi-Channel Analog Cables can also be used (see footnote).

DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO
DTS-HD Master Audio, previously known as DTS++, is another lossless audio codec similar to Dolby TrueHD. Although a DTS-HD MA track takes up more disc space than a TrueHD track, it does not require a secondary standard DTS Digital track for backward compatibility. DTS-HD Master Audio encodes virtually an unlimited number of channels at resolution of up to 24 bits and 192kHz and can downmix to 5.1 or 2 channels.

The use of DTS-HD Master Audio is optional for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players. On Blu-Ray Disc, DTS MA supports up to 7.1 discrete channels at 96kHz/24bit or up to 5.1 discrete channels at 192kHz/24bit and up to a variable bit rate of 24.5Mbps. On HD-DVD, the maximum bit rate is limited to 18Mbps.

Cables Needed: Same as Dolby TrueHD, except if Toslink (Optical) or Digital S/PDIF is used, the standard DTS Digital track will be played.


ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENCES IN SOUND QUALITY BETWEEN THE THREE HD AUDIO CODECs?
LPCM soundtracks on Blu-Ray Disc and HD-DVD are not compressed. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are lossless codecs. They are compressed versions of the PCM track.

The maximum uncompressed bit rates for a movie soundtrack are approximately:

48,000(samples per second) x 16(bits per sample) x 6(channels) = 4.6Mbps
48,000(samples per second) x 20(bits per sample) x 6(channels) = 5.8Mbps
48,000(samples per second) x 24(bits per sample) x 6(channels) = 6.9Mbps

48,000(samples per second) x 16(bits per sample) x 8(channels) = 6.1Mbps
48,000(samples per second) x 20(bits per sample) x 8(channels) = 7.7Mbps
48,000(samples per second) x 24(bits per sample) x 8(channels) = 9.2Mbps

96,000(samples per second) x 16(bits per sample) x 6(channels) = 9.2Mbps
96,000(samples per second) x 20(bits per sample) x 6(channels) = 11.5Mbps
96,000(samples per second) x 24(bits per sample) x 6(channels) = 13.8Mbps

96,000(samples per second) x 16(bits per sample) x 8(channels) = 12.3Mbps
96,000(samples per second) x 20(bits per sample) x 8(channels) = 15.4Mbps
96,000(samples per second) x 24(bits per sample) x 8(channels) = 18.4Mbps

192,000(samples per second) x 16(bits per sample) x 6(channels) = 18.4Mbps
192,000(samples per second) x 20(bits per sample) x 6(channels) = 23.0Mbps
192,000(samples per second) x 24(bits per sample) x 6(channels) = 27.7Mbps

BDA format specifications, p.18 limit the audio to 6 channels of 192kHz/24bit.

Please remember that since Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD MA use variable bit rates, we cannot calculate the average bit rate of a typical soundtrack. In addition, Dolby TrueHD and DTS MA use different compression algorithms and on the average use much less than the maximum numbers.

Theoretically, LPCM, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS Master Audio should sound the same if they are encoded at the same number of bits and sampling frequency (16 bits, 48 KHz for example). Any difference that you may hear are due to channel volume differences.

Decoded Dolby TrueHD = Decoded DTS HD MA = Uncompressed LPCM

In the future, we will see less LPCM titles (especially at 24-bit, 96KHz, and 7.1-channels) since this will require a lot of disc space. TrueHD and DTS Master Audio are encoded at variable bit rate and compressed, leaving more disc space for better picture quality and more extras.

BITSTREAMING HD AUDIO

Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA compress the LPCM audio signals without any loss of original data in order to save space on a disc. When the saved signals are decoded and decompressed, we will get LPCM signals again.

If the disc player decompresses and decodes the compressed audio, it will send the LPCM signals to the receiver. The receiver will then covert the LPCM signals from digital to analog for playback through the speakers. Alternatively, the compressed Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD MA signals can be sent by the player in raw digital format to the receiver (the older PS3 cannot do this) for decoding to LPCM and digital-to-analog conversion. This process is called Raw Bitstream Transport, High Bit Rate Audio Streaming, or Direct Digital Audio Mode, depending on the manufacturer. Bitstreaming is the preferred choice of many critical listeners.

If the player decodes the high resolution audio to PCM, any version of HDMI can transmit the signal to the receiver. If the player sends the signal in native digital Bitstreams to the receiver, HDMI terminals on both the disc player and the receiver must be version 1.3, and the receiver must have the ability to decode high resolution audio codecs.

If the receiver does not have HDMI inputs, your only option is to use multi-channel analog cables (PS3 does not have multi-channel analog outputs), and you must rely on the player (assuming the player has all the decoders for the high-resolution audio formats) to perform all the digital-to-analog conversion. The main drawbacks to using analog connections is that your sound quality will be limited by the quality of the decoders, audio processors, and digital-to-analog convertors inside the player. Another problem with analog connections is that bass management must be handled by the player or the receiver must have the ability to handle bass management in analog domain.

THE IMPLICATIONS OF DIGITAL BITSTREAMING ON AUDIO IN BONUS VIEW FEATURES
As was mentioned earlier, many critical listeners prefer that all the processing and digital-to-analog conversion be done in the receiver or pre-amp, which may have superior audio components. To do this, we need to send the audio signal in native digital Bitstreams to the receiver or pre-amp. The downside to sending the advanced audio codecs in native bitstream is that you can only send the movie soundtrack itself. Any secondary content, like menu beeps or the audio that accompanies Picture-in-Picture interactive features is not part of the original bitstream and will not be transmitted. Audio commentaries and alternative-language audio may also be affected, depending on how the disc was authored. The only way to send the additional content is by allowing the disc player to perform the audio decoding itself, during which the player mixes the new material on top of the movie soundtrack for transmission in either PCM or analog format. In some cases, you may lose the lossless soundtrack. If you are watching a movie with the Bonus View features enabled, and you want to restore the high resolution audio, it may require you to stop the disc playback to go to the player’s setup menu, and that can be a big nuisance.

Theoretically, there is no difference in audio quality between setting the BD player to output audio in LPCM or bitstream. In most cases, the D/A chip may have more of an effect on sound quality. Practically, there are several reasons why setting the player to LPCM may be preferred.
  1. Some receivers do not have enough processing power. If you set the player to bitstream, the receiver will have to decode the compressed audio and as a result the receiver will not have enough processing power left to do other things. Some receivers may turn off the calibration program such as Audyssey.
  2. In the case of SACD, if the player is set to bitstream audio in SACD's native format (DSD), the receiver may not be able to perform Bass Management.
  3. Another downside to sending the HD audio codecs in bitstream is that on many players, you can only send the movie soundtrack itself. Any secondary content, like menu beeps or the audio that accompanies Picture-in-Picture interactive features is not part of the original bitstream and will not be transmitted. See the section above.
  4. For some players such as the Oppo BD83 player, if you turn the Secondary Audio to On in its menu, it will automatically set the audio to lossy DD or DTS.
THX
THX, a company started by George Lucas, is not a sound CODEC like DD or DTS. It is a set of technical specifications in order to standardize the performance of surround sound systems. Manufacturers of A/V products are given a set of specifications that their products must meet in order to obtain the THX certification. Some manufacturers choose not to participate in the program, preferring to use their own specifications.

IMPORTANCE OF CALIBRATION
In order to enjoy the HOME THEATER AUDIO in the most optimum way, you need to calibrate your audio system and adjust your speakers/subwoofer. Although many new receivers have their own built-in calibration programs, I highly recommend the use of an SPL meter in addition to them. Radio Shack offers two excellent choices below $50. I also encourage you to read Calibrating Your Audio with an SPL Meter. Pay close attention to the section at the end on subwoofer positioning and its interaction with the main speakers.

CONCLUSIONS
  1. Optical (Toslink) and Digital S/PDIF cables cannot carry Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD High Resolution Audio, LPCM, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS HD Master audio signals. You need an HDMI cable.
  2. If the player converts the high definition signals to LPCM, any version of HDMI connection will successfully carry the signal.
  3. If the player sends the high definition audio signals in Bitstream to the receiver/prepro, the HDMI connections of the player and the receiver/prepro must be version 1.3.
  4. If multichannel analog cables are used to connect the player to the receiver, Bass Management must be performed by the player or the receiver must have the ability to perform bass management for analog signals. Please refer to the footnote.
  5. If you are using the PS3 as your disc player (both Blu-Ray and standard DVD) and your receiver does not have an HDMI connection, use an Optical cable and set the PS3's audio output to Bitstream. However, you will only get Dolby Digital or DTS Digital surround signals.
  6. If you are using the standard PS3 as your Blu-Ray player and your receiver has an HDMI connection, use an HDMI cable and set the PS3's audio output to LPCM. For PS3 Slim, you can set it to either LPCM or bitstream.
  7. If you are using a standard DVD in PS3 and an HDMI connection, you can set the player’s audio output either to bitstream or LPCM.
  8. The standard PS3 is not capable of carrying the high definition audio signals in bitstream format. The PS3 Slim can output the high definition audio in bitsream.
  9. LPCM, the purest form of audio encoding on a disc, is lossless and uncompressed. However, it takes a lot more disc space.
  10. Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio are both lossless and compressed form of audio encoding. They take significantly less space on a disc.
  11. There are no major audio quality differences between LPCM, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS Master Audio when decoded.
  12. It is important to remember that only Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players and recorders are required to support the playback of the mandatory formats. Movie studios are free to decide which audio CODEC(s) they want to use for their movie releases.
FOOTNOTE

When a disc player is connected to a receiver with multi-channel analog cables, the player must perform digital to analog decoding and send the analog signal to the receiver. In this case, calibration and bass management adjustments such as speaker sizes and channel levels should be done in the player's setup menus or the receiver must have bass management for the 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 ANALOG inputs. If the player lacks calibration adjustments or the receiver cannot perform adjustments for analog inputs, bass management cannot be performed.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND REFERENCES

http://www.dolby.com/consumer/techno..._overview.html
http://www.dts.com/DTS_Audio_Formats...xtensions.aspx
http://firstdtsstudio.hit.bg/dolby_vs_dts_eng.html
http://www.hemagazine.com/node/Dolby...PCM?page=0%2C0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Theater_System
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPDIF
http://www.studioexperience.com/tech...s/dolbydef.asp
http://www.timefordvd.com/tutorial/SurroundSound.shtml
http://www.axiomaudio.com/dolbyprologicII.html
http://www.audioholics.com/education...of-the-formats
http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/04/26...d-demystified/
http://news.digitaltrends.com/talkback145.html
http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/sh...Explained/1064
http://www.emedialive.com/articles/r...leid=11397#iia
http://www.harman.com/wp/pdf/Loudspe...ndRoomsPt1.pdf
http://www.harman.com/wp/pdf/Loudspe...ndRoomsPt2.pdf
http://www.harman.com/wp/pdf/Loudspe...ndRoomsPt3.pdf
http://www.digital-digest.com/articl...ide_page6.html
http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/17/b...ments/8145972/
High Definition Audio”, Home Theater Magazine, May 2008, pp.36-40.

Last edited by Big Daddy; 10-11-2012 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:48 PM   #2
Wilche Wilche is offline
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Thanks for posting this clear and brief outline of current audio CODECs.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:01 AM   #3
TheWatcher TheWatcher is offline
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yup a good help tnx dude
sony KDL-40V3000
sony PS3 60gig
onkyo TX-SR705
wharfedale Diamond 9HCP 5.1 speakers

psn:old-oak
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:08 AM   #4
turboLAZER turboLAZER is offline
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the information in original post should be added to the blu-ray FAQ page, so newcomers can find it without searching through the forum
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:06 PM   #5
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Great Big Daddy! You're on fire!
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:10 PM   #6
Moefiz Moefiz is offline
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Excellent read.....good job
MOE
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:26 PM   #7
Kilian Kilian is offline
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Default a couple of points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
COMPARISON OF DOLBY DIGITAL AND DTS DIGITAL
...DTS can be encoded in 754Kbps (the most commonly used), or a maximum rate of 1.5Mbps (very seldom seen)...
The DTS HD Whitepaper cites the figure of 768kbps repeatedly; so both 754 and 768kbps are used?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
THE IMPLICATIONS OF DIGITAL BITSTREAMING ON AUDIO IN BONUS VIEW FEATURES
...
Any secondary content, like menu beeps or the audio that accompanies Picture-in-Picture interactive features is not part of the original bitstream and will not be transmitted. Audio commentaries and alternative-language audio may also be affected, depending on how the disc was authored. The only way to send the additional content is by allowing the disc player to perform the audio decoding itself, during which the player mixes the new material on top of the movie soundtrack for transmission in either PCM or analog format....
The Panasonic DMP-BD30 outputs Dolby Digital to HDMI and S/PDIF when "bitstream" is selected and "BD-Video Secondary Audio" is set to "On" (manual, p.21).
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:02 PM   #8
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Great Report. Only one small error.

Dolby Digital Plus was also mandatory for HD-DVD. Same as True HD.

I found that was a great move on behalf of the DVD forum that created the format. How much happier would all blu ray customers be if they realized before buying their player that not all of them can really decode the HD sound formats
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:30 PM   #9
Sweeney Todd Sweeney Todd is offline
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Default PCM sound may be the best...

When compact disc players came about at 1985, experts said that this is the best possible sound human ear can hear. That was big lie of course, everyone knows nowadays.
Now we have 3 different lossless ways to have our blu-ray discs audio.
PCM, True-HD and DTS-MA. What do you think..? Isn´t it same that 1985, that experts say all three are perfect, but 2 of them are not, because True-HD and DTS-MA are not "lossless" because of compression??
I have couple of blu-ray discs and I have to say that Tim Burton´s Big Fish movie with pcm sounds perfect (limitless). With true-HD blu-ray I don´t have same feeling. DTS-MA souds bit better to me, but not same as PCM.
I´m professional musician, so I hear very small differenses in sound quality easily.
I´m not saying that I´m right or anything like that, but still again I want to ask anyone who got better knowledge:
Is it possible, that only PCM is perfect and others just almost?
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:42 AM   #10
n9949y n9949y is offline
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Default Rotel w/DB25 5.1 pin input- useable?

Before I buy any Blu-Ray 2.0 Profile aka BD-Live player, I'm wondering how using a new player's 5.1 or 7.1 analog audio outputs would work w/my system. My reveiver's a Rotel RX-965, vintage 2000, equipped with a DB25 5.1channel audio input. Appears the Rotel was designed to utilize SACD (Super-Audio CD) when that format was considered to have been the last and greatest.

I recently picked up a 6 jack RCA to DB25 cable; the RCA's are labled: Right, Left, Rt surround, Left surround , Center, and Subwoofer-standard 5.1 set up.

When I do buy a Blu-Ray player with 5.1 or 7.1 analog outputs, would connecting them to the receiver's DB25 cable 5.1 audio inputs work so I can receive Dolby TrueHD or DTS MA?
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n9949y View Post
Before I buy any Blu-Ray 2.0 Profile aka BD-Live player, I'm wondering how using a new player's 5.1 or 7.1 analog audio outputs would work w/my system. My reveiver's a Rotel RX-965, vintage 2000, equipped with a DB25 5.1channel audio input. Appears the Rotel was designed to utilize SACD (Super-Audio CD) when that format was considered to have been the last and greatest.

I recently picked up a 6 jack RCA to DB25 cable; the RCA's are labled: Right, Left, Rt surround, Left surround , Center, and Subwoofer-standard 5.1 set up.

When I do buy a Blu-Ray player with 5.1 or 7.1 analog outputs, would connecting them to the receiver's DB25 cable 5.1 audio inputs work so I can receive Dolby TrueHD or DTS MA?
I don't know a lot about your receiver. However, if it can handle analog SACD and DVD-A, my guess is that you will get the new HD audio codecs through multi-channel analog input. It is important that you consider the following:
1. Make sure the BD player decodes the new codecs to PCM.
2. You may have to do bass management in the BD player's menu.
3. Your Receiver does not have HDMI or Component video input/output. Therefore, you need to connect the BD player directly to a TV with component or HDMI input to take advantage of 720p, 1080i or 1080p.
4. Since your BD player is connected to the TV directly, you will have to do input switching manually.
5. Since your audio comes from the receiver and your video comes directly from the BD player, you may have a bit of lip sync problem. I am not sure how much of that you can fix with your receiver.

I hope this helps. I invite others to correct me or add anything else that I may have missed.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:29 PM   #12
n9949y n9949y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
....consider the following:
1. Make sure the BD player decodes the new codecs to PCM.
2. You may have to do bass management in the BD player's menu.
3. Your Receiver does not have HDMI or Component video input/output. Therefore, you need to connect the BD player directly to a TV with component or HDMI input to take advantage of 720p, 1080i or 1080p.....
5. Since your audio comes from the receiver and your video comes directly from the BD player, you may have a bit of lip sync problem.
Thanks, Bigdaddy, for the pointers. I intend to purchase a BD player such as the Panasonic DMP-BD-50 or 55 or equivalent w/onboard decoding.

Presently the Rotel RSX-965 is connected to my Progressive Onkyo DV-CP702 DVD player with a AC-3/PCM digital optical cable, and the LG RU-44SZ63D Monitor is connected to the DVD player with a component video cable. Never have had a lip sync problem.

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Old 12-26-2008, 09:58 PM   #13
Sir Terrence Sir Terrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweeney Todd View Post
When compact disc players came about at 1985, experts said that this is the best possible sound human ear can hear. That was big lie of course, everyone knows nowadays.
It wasn't a lie at all. 16/44.1khz redbook CD sound quality has never been fully explored in my opinion. Limitations on D/A converters, poorly designed anti-aliasing filters and poor recording techniques has always kept the CD format from sounding as good as it could.

Quote:
Now we have 3 different lossless ways to have our blu-ray discs audio.
PCM, True-HD and DTS-MA. What do you think..? Isn´t it same that 1985, that experts say all three are perfect, but 2 of them are not, because True-HD and DTS-MA are not "lossless" because of compression??
Wrong. Dolby TrueHD and Dts-HD master audio reconstructs PCM signals to exactly what they were before encoding, that is why they are called lossless. If you look at the waveforms of identical signals in PCM, and encoded in the lossless codecs, they look exactly the same.

Quote:
I have couple of blu-ray discs and I have to say that Tim Burton´s Big Fish movie with pcm sounds perfect (limitless). With true-HD blu-ray I don´t have same feeling. DTS-MA souds bit better to me, but not same as PCM.
I´m professional musician, so I hear very small differenses in sound quality easily.
Being a musician does not guarantee you can hear any better than a non musician. You also cannot compare PCM on one title to a DTHD or Dts MA lossless track on another title. I seriously doubt in a DBT that you could tell PCM signals from the losslessly encoded ones.


Quote:
I´m not saying that I´m right or anything like that, but still again I want to ask anyone who got better knowledge:
Is it possible, that only PCM is perfect and others just almost?
The answer to that question is no. With digital there is no almost. Either its identical zero and ones, or completely different. Its the same or not. There is no zero point something, or one point five something, its just zeros and ones.
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:08 PM   #14
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+1,000,000. Thank you Sir Terence.

I have pretty much given up on responding to misinformed posts about the differences between the lossless audio codecs. Many people do not understand the difference between "Compressed", "Lossy ", and "Lossless".
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Old 12-27-2008, 05:26 PM   #15
Sir Terrence Sir Terrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Daddy View Post
+1,000,000. Thank you Sir Terence.

I have pretty much given up on responding to misinformed posts about the differences between the lossless audio codecs. Many people do not understand the difference between "Compressed", "Lossy ", and "Lossless".
I do not think folks understand the difference between compressed data(lossy) and lossless compression or dynamic range compression. They think its all compression, so it must be the same.

Some folks just haven't transitioned out of legacy DD or Dts yet.
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Old 12-27-2008, 05:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Terrence View Post
It wasn't a lie at all. 16/44.1khz redbook CD sound quality has never been fully explored in my opinion. Limitations on D/A converters, poorly designed anti-aliasing filters and poor recording techniques has always kept the CD format from sounding as good as it could.



Wrong. Dolby TrueHD and Dts-HD master audio reconstructs PCM signals to exactly what they were before encoding, that is why they are called lossless. If you look at the waveforms of identical signals in PCM, and encoded in the lossless codecs, they look exactly the same.



Being a musician does not guarantee you can hear any better than a non musician. You also cannot compare PCM on one title to a DTHD or Dts MA lossless track on another title. I seriously doubt in a DBT that you could tell PCM signals from the losslessly encoded ones.




The answer to that question is no. With digital there is no almost. Either its identical zero and ones, or completely different. Its the same or not. There is no zero point something, or one point five something, its just zeros and ones.
Thank you for posting this, as it gets annoying/frustrating reading post after post about one being better than the other, blah blah blah. I wish it was a prerequisite that all people read this when it comes to the codecs and compressions. Thank you for the clarification (although I think I've seen you post something similar a couple of other times ).
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:14 PM   #17
djm7105 djm7105 is offline
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I started two days ago as a newb, but I have been reading a lot so I am a newb with questions.

1)
PS3---(HDMI LPCM)--->>Samsung LCD
Samsung LCD---(Optical)--->> non-HDMI receiver

Am I running into surround problems because I am trying to cram too much into the optical cable at the tv hub? If correct proceed to 2).

2)
PS3---(HDMI Bitstream)--->>Samsung LCD
Sumsung LCD---(Optical)--->>non-HDMI receiver

The PS3 should bitstream and at tv hub, optical should accept UP TO 5.1 signals? Therefore my receiver will be using dolby digital or dts to decode?

MY REASONING FOR SETUP
**I am aware of and not focused on lossless audio. I play 5.1 games most, not watch movies...
**Because of my non-HDMI receiver and many game systems, I chose the tv to be my central hub with 1 optical going to receiver, instead of receiver as central hub with 1 HDMI to tv...

-Derek
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:21 PM   #18
aramis109 aramis109 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djm7105 View Post
I started two days ago as a newb, but I have been reading a lot so I am a newb with questions.

1)
PS3---(HDMI LPCM)--->>Samsung LCD
Samsung LCD---(Optical)--->> non-HDMI receiver

Am I running into surround problems because I am trying to cram too much into the optical cable at the tv hub? If correct proceed to 2).

2)
PS3---(HDMI Bitstream)--->>Samsung LCD
Sumsung LCD---(Optical)--->>non-HDMI receiver

The PS3 should bitstream and at tv hub, optical should accept UP TO 5.1 signals? Therefore my receiver will be using dolby digital or dts to decode?

MY REASONING FOR SETUP
**I am aware of and not focused on lossless audio. I play 5.1 games most, not watch movies...
**Because of my non-HDMI receiver and many game systems, I chose the tv to be my central hub with 1 optical going to receiver, instead of receiver as central hub with 1 HDMI to tv...

-Derek

Ack. You're making it more complex than it needs to be.

PS3 > HDMI > HDTV.
PS3 > Optical > Receiver.

Set your optical out on the PS3 as Bitstream and stop using your tv to be the "central hub". All this does is make things more complex.

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Old 09-03-2008, 05:35 PM   #19
Sweeney Todd Sweeney Todd is offline
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Ahoj!
Is PCM and LPCM same thing? I mean if it is written on blu-ray cover, that there´s PCM 5.1 sound, does it in every case mean that audio is uncomprerssed and identical to 5.1 original master tape of the movie? Is there any change that PCM written on blu-ray´s cover, means something else than 100% uncompressed? Quite often this word uncompressed is missing from the cover notes. I think that for many blu-ray noobies like me, it would be easier, if it was written down.
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweeney Todd View Post
Ahoj!
Is PCM and LPCM same thing? I mean if it is written on blu-ray cover, that there´s PCM 5.1 sound, does it in every case mean that audio is uncomprerssed and identical to 5.1 original master tape of the movie? Is there any change that PCM written on blu-ray´s cover, means something else than 100% uncompressed? Quite often this word uncompressed is missing from the cover notes. I think that for many blu-ray noobies like me, it would be easier, if it was written down.
Yes, LPCM and PCM stand for the same thing. By defenition, PCM is the uncompressed translation of analog sound to digital. Therefore, it is redundant to write on the covers that the PCM is uncompressed. Read the section under the heading A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO PCM, LOSSY, AND COMPRESSED LOSSLESS AUDIO in the OP.

"The audio on a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disc is stored in either uncompressed linear Pulse Code Modulation (PCM), the compressed and lossless Dolby TrueHD, the compressed and lossless DTS Master Audio, the compressed and lossy Dolby Digital, the compressed and lossy DTS Digital algorithms, or combination of the above.

PCM is a procedure to represent an analog signal in digital form. Its accuracy is dependent upon the Sampling Rate and Sample Size."
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Last edited by Big Daddy; 09-04-2008 at 04:47 AM.
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