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Old 01-24-2013, 05:56 PM   #1
PaniqL PaniqL is offline
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Default Very Nooby Question regarding Sound Formats

Hello,

I Know this is a very basic question but i am yet to find my answer.
With all the different sound formats going around

How do you select what format you want to use?
I know that not all Blu's have a 7.1 Mix and will be matrixed, but how do you select?

Is it on the Disc Menu?
Or is it when you run the Speaker setup? like adding 7 channels you can choose PLIIz or normal 7.1?
Or is it in the receiver's Menu?

Thanks
- Callum
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
snoman_99 snoman_99 is offline
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what receiver are you using??? should be something on the remote or receiver you can use to change any functions you need.

fill us all in a little more and i'm sure someone can help you out .

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:16 PM   #3
Petra_Kalbrain Petra_Kalbrain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaniqL View Post
Hello,

I Know this is a very basic question but i am yet to find my answer.
With all the different sound formats going around

How do you select what format you want to use?
I know that not all Blu's have a 7.1 Mix and will be matrixed, but how do you select?

Is it on the Disc Menu?
Or is it when you run the Speaker setup? like adding 7 channels you can choose PLIIz or normal 7.1?
Or is it in the receiver's Menu?

Thanks
- Callum
Combination of receiver settings AND disc menu.

First, your receiver must be set to the proper setting for it to pump out the lossless audio. If it's set to PLZII and you feed it a DTS HD MA track, it wil downmix it and ruin it. Second, the audio format options are under "setup" on the disc's main menu. Although every BD defaults to lossless audio these days, I still ALWAYS check the setup when starting a film jus in case since studios started making lossy tracks the default for the first couple of years. I've read a lot of stories on these forums about people who didn't even know that they had watched their "brand new Blu-ray" with DVD quality audio because they just assumed it would default to the lossless track.
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Last edited by Petra_Kalbrain; 01-24-2013 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:35 PM   #4
bobbydrugar bobbydrugar is offline
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^^^ not quite sure about a couple of statements.

1.) it is my understanding the running DTS-HD-MA 5.1 into Dolby PLIIz will not down mix anything but will infact matrix the 2 surround ch into sid surround and back surround.

2.) High bitrate lossy Dobly Digital and DTS that is available on BLu-ray is not even remotely the same as lossy Dolby Digital and DTS found on DVD. It is much higher bit rate and would actually be closer to a sonic match to the lossless track then it would to the lossy DVD Track.

I could be wrong
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
Petra_Kalbrain Petra_Kalbrain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbydrugar View Post
^^^ not quite sure about a couple of statements.

1.) it is my understanding the running DTS-HD-MA 5.1 into Dolby PLIIz will not down mix anything but will infact matrix the 2 surround ch into sid surround and back surround.

2.) High bitrate lossy Dobly Digital and DTS that is available on BLu-ray is not even remotely the same as lossy Dolby Digital and DTS found on DVD. It is much higher bit rate and would actually be closer to a sonic match to the lossless track then it would to the lossy DVD Track.

I could be wrong
Thanks,
T
1) Sorry, but I consider any deviation in which the 5.1 channels get mixed together a downmix since it is, in fact, downgrading the full audio experience. Matrixing a 5.1 into 7.1 is fine though.

2) Technically, yes. The lossy tracks on Blu-ray are superior to DVD. However, to say they are anywhere near the lossless counterpart is a bit of a stretch. Lossless audio offers up to 6x more digital information than a DVD lossy track. By estimation only, I'd say that lossless audio offers approximately 4x more digital information than their BD lossy track counterparts.
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Last edited by Petra_Kalbrain; 01-24-2013 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:10 PM   #6
BIslander BIslander is offline
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PaniqL - There are many variables depending on the equipment involved and how you have it configured.

In general...

Nearly all Blu-rays only have one English language track, which plays by default. So, you seldom need to be concerned about making any selections on the disc menu. However, some older releases may have more than one track and they may default to lossy DD 5.1. Also, concerts often have PCM tracks along with lossy or lossless choices. So, it doesn't hurt to check the disc audio menu to see what's there.

If you set your player to output bitstream using an HDMI connection to a receiver that can decode lossless codecs, then the player simply sends the encoded soundtrack to the AVR for decoding and processing. Most BDs have 5.1 tracks and will play as 5.1 on a 7.1 system unless you tell the receiver to add more channels. There are a variety of DSP options such as PLIIx, DTS Neo:6, and others that can be used depending on your speaker configuration (heights, wides, etc).

If you decode in the player, then there are other variables with 7.1 systems. For example, some players have DTS-HD Essential Master Audio decoders that add rear channels on their own for 5.1 sources on Blu-ray. Rear channels are added by duplicating the surrounds, which is a cruder method of expansion than the choices offered on receivers. That is not an optional feature and cannot be turned off. Panasonics, Pioneers, and Oppos have Essential decoders. Most people bitstream rather than decode in the player. But, if you want Secondary Audio, you have to have the player decode. And, some receivers cannot decode lossless tracks and apply room correction or DSPs such as PLIIx at the same time. With those AVRs, player decoding is better.

Meanwhile, with player decoding, 5.1 to 7.1 expansion is still handled most of the time by the receiver with the application of one of those DSPs (PLIIx, PLIIz, and so on).

So, bottom line: check the disc audio menu to make sure you are playing the track you want. Play 5.1 as 5.1 or apply matrix processing in the receiver to expand 5.1 to whatever speaker configuration you are running.

Last edited by BIslander; 01-25-2013 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petra_Kalbrain View Post
Although every BD defaults to lossless audio these days, I still ALWAYS check the setup when starting a film jus in case since studios started making lossy tracks the default for the first couple of years. I've read a lot of stories on these forums about people who didn't even know that they had watched their "brand new Blu-ray" with DVD quality audio because they just assumed it would default to the lossless track.
I think The Dark Knight Blu-ray defaults to lossy...that's the only Blu-ray I own that does that
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post
I think The Dark Knight Blu-ray defaults to lossy...that's the only Blu-ray I own that does that
Pretty much all of the Warner Bros. TrueHD releases did that. After Warner switched to dts-MA, they went with a single lossless track that plays by default.

Very early releases such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, and Black Hawk Down had 5.1 PCM tracks along with lossy DD 5.1 that played by default. That was back in the day before players and receivers had lossless decoders.

These days it rare to find movies with more than one English track.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petra_Kalbrain View Post
Technically, yes. The lossy tracks on Blu-ray are superior to DVD. However, to say they are anywhere near the lossless counterpart is a bit of a stretch. Lossless audio offers up to 6x more digital information than a DVD lossy track. By estimation only, I'd say that lossless audio offers approximately 4x more digital information than their BD lossy track counterparts.
Of course, audibility is all that matters. Most of the extra data does not produce sound that humans can hear.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:10 AM   #10
Petra_Kalbrain Petra_Kalbrain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
Of course, audibility is all that matters. Most of the extra data does not produce sound that humans can hear.
Wait.... wut???

Are you seriously telling me that you couldn't hear the difference between a BD's lossy 5.1 track compared to its lossless 5.1 track?

With a proper speaker configuration, that's absolutely ludicrous. In my place it is a universe of difference between the two in audible detail. A thousand shards of shattered glass hitting the floor across all 5 speakers compared to 2 or 3 per speaker is a HUGE difference. AND, I don't even have the "best of the best" speakers.
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Last edited by Petra_Kalbrain; 01-26-2013 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:18 PM   #11
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Yes, as you well know from many previous threads in which you have participated, that's exactly what I am saying. I see you have quickly gone from making a scientific argument about all that extra data to over-the-top hyperbolic claims which, of course, don't add any substance to your position. Sighted tests at home have little scientific validity.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:29 PM   #12
Petra_Kalbrain Petra_Kalbrain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
Yes, as you well know from many previous threads in which you have participated, that's exactly what I am saying. I see you have quickly gone from making a scientific argument about all that extra data to over-the-top hyperbolic claims which, of course, don't add any substance to your position. Sighted tests at home have little scientific validity.
Now wait a minute. This is the first time I've talked lossy BD vs lossless BD tracks. I've participated in plenty of LPCM vs TRUEHD vs DTS HD MA discussions of this nature... to which my personal experience is all I can speak on.

And, yes, I don't have scientific information to provide in a lossy BD track vs lossless BD track either. However, there has to be some since many a time I've been watching a BD tha has defaulted to a lossy track and clearly been able to tell it wasn't the lossless track just by listening. Then, switching to the lossless track ignites the room with far more detail.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:47 PM   #13
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There doesn't have to be some scientific information to support your position. And, there isn't to the best of my knowledge. (btw, those default DD 5.1 tracks may the same lower bitrate versions found on DVD, not the higher bitrates associated with lossless encoding.)

I was merely pointing out that having more bits doesn't necessarily mean lossless sounds better. Lossy uses psycho-acoustic encoding to remove data that cannot be heard. I think you will find that many audio professionals believe any differences between lossless and the high bitrate lossy encodes on Blu-ray are subtle at best.

If memory serves, you also think dts-MA is better than TrueHD, which is an even more curious belief since both are lossless.

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Last edited by BIslander; 01-26-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petra_Kalbrain View Post
Now wait a minute. This is the first time I've talked lossy BD vs lossless BD tracks. I've participated in plenty of LPCM vs TRUEHD vs DTS HD MA discussions of this nature... to which my personal experience is all I can speak on.

And, yes, I don't have scientific information to provide in a lossy BD track vs lossless BD track either. However, there has to be some since many a time I've been watching a BD tha has defaulted to a lossy track and clearly been able to tell it wasn't the lossless track just by listening. Then, switching to the lossless track ignites the room with far more detail.
Happened to me, too.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
There doesn't have to be some scientific information to support your position. And, there isn't to the best of my knowledge. (btw, those default DD 5.1 tracks may the same lower bitrate versions found on DVD, not the higher bitrates associated with lossless encoding.)

I was merely pointing out that having more bits doesn't necessarily mean lossless sounds better. Lossy uses psycho-acoustic encoding to remove data that cannot be heard. I think you will find that many audio professionals believe any differences between lossless and the high bitrate lossy encodes on Blu-ray are subtle at best.

If memory serves, you also think dts-MA is better than TrueHD, which is an even more curious belief since both are lossless.

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After watching a thread get closed on the over-thrashed corpse of that glue-bag of a pony, I'd think you'd be more cautious.

Many folks prefer lossless DTS to lossless Dolby, and a reasonable discussion includes the Dialnorm issue of volume reduction on the Dolby side. Volume fiddling does not equate to direct comparison with the original track (a sin for which DTS is equally culpable, but generally raises the volume, not lower it), so the semantics of what is "lossless" creeps in again, and again, the horse takes a vigorous beating.

But "psycho-acoustics"? The same term used by SRS to describe the screeching horror it inflicts on perfectly good sound tracks? That's simply an overblown term for remixing the sound to amputate, or worse, mutate, parts of the sound spectrum, with precious little consideration for what's left on the floor - or what grows like a third eyeball on some monstrous, dirty bird.

To reduce the size of the track, what do they do? Lop off the "inaudible" parts of the sound spectrum? Boost, or shrink, audible parts carrying too much data? Lop off bits every few milliseconds as "redundant", leaving a flute solo sounding like an asthmatic whistling through a soda straw?

I have an astounding example of two lossy tracks, sounding completely different, in the DVD of Master and Commander. I've never gotten the Blu version, but it must be amazing. I've played the DVD in Dolby and DTS modes, same soundtrack, and it's night and day.

The first time I watched it, I didn't think to check the menu; it just played. When we finished the movie, my wife said, "That was great, but it sounded kind of thin."

It wasn't until I rewatched it that I even realized there was a DTS track. I was astounded at the difference. Intrigued, I played the same scene over and over, checking the sound - it was as clear as day that they were very different, and this is a film that won an Oscar for sound design.

If there's that much difference in even lossy tracks - are you actually saying that the differences between lossless and lossy aren't discernable?

Perhaps someone listening to "computer speakers" or earbud headphones don't miss this supposely inaudible sound, that can't be heard. I don't buy it that the same is true of even moderately priced modern home theater equipment.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:00 PM   #16
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My goodness. All I have done is point out that removing some of the data does not necessarily produce audible changes and that even audio professionals find little difference when it comes to the high bitrate lossy codecs on Blu-ray. But, I suppose the overheated language in these replies might lead to moderator intervention. While this is not a rigorous study, it's a considerably better approach to comparisons than any of us can do at home and on better equipment, to boot:

http://www.electronichouse.com/artic...ompressed_pcm/

Blu-Dog, you might do some research into psychaoustics before launching into such a full throated attack. Learning how it works would help you understand how it is possible to accomplish transparency with lossy encoding. Your inaccurate portrayal left out things like masking, where some sounds bury other sounds, rendering them inaudible. Such sounds can be removed.

The Master and Commander BD has an error where the bottom end of the bass is cut off and it is not amazing as a result. The discussion about the DVD is not relevant to the point I am making.

As for dialnorm, even you have finally admitted that turning up the volume compensates for any software induced reductions. You just have a personal preference for leaving your receiver at a specific level. btw, dialnorm cannot raise the volume, not even for DTS. It can only lower it.

Last edited by BIslander; 01-26-2013 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
My goodness. All I have done is point out that removing some of the data does not necessarily produce audible changes and that even audio professionals find little difference when it comes to the high bitrate lossy codecs on Blu-ray. But, I suppose the overheated language in these replies might lead to moderator intervention. While this is not a rigorous study, it's a considerably better approach to comparisons than any of us can do at home and on better equipment, to boot:

http://www.electronichouse.com/artic...compressed_pcm
I've done some absolutely astonishing broken-field running on this issue (well, maybe you'd believe it, since you've been dead on my heels with a very large stick for a while now), but bottom line, it's going to be subjective. I find a huge difference between white noise or specific test tones from some tone generator, and the output from a sound engineer who may be a Ben Burtt-level acoustical genius, or some dolt that shouldn't be allowed to crank a toy jack-in-the-box.

What I'm saying is, there are so many factors that I don't think there's any absolute to encoding a lossy track with "psycho-acoustics" on every type of sound track, in every case, with every scene or song. I could be wrong, but I doubt it

If it is done better on Blu with more bandwidth to fool around with, I don't know anything about it, I confess. The strangled versions of lossy stuff I hear on DVD are just depressing, in the case of Dolby, and DTS doesn't guarantee nirvana. It's just that when I compare the two, the effect of "psycho-acoustics" seem to be handled differently, to be charitable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
Blu-Dog, you might do some research into psychaoustics before launching into such a full throated attack. Learning how it works would help you understand how it is possible to accomplish transparency with lossy encoding. Your inaccurate portrayal left out things like masking, where some sounds bury other sounds, rendering them inaudible. Such sounds can be removed.
I haven't spent much time on it. I did go through SRS's apologia a few years back, when I got my first Blu player, but I also had a home theater PC, and wondered whether it was worth fooling with. The only formats available at that time were the lossy ones, with Tru-HD still on the horizon. I checked it out, then tinkered with the result; it was hideous. Upon hearing that Tru-HD was becoming the standard, I rejoiced, and also was relieved that many releases were in LCPM (I loved Apocolypto's mix on Blu) and I never looked back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
The Master and Commander BD has an error where the bottom end of the bass is cut off and it is not amazing as a result. The discussion about the DVD is not relevant to the point I am making.
I defer to your greater knowledge on the subject, but my JL Audio Fathom finds something down there and throws it out with abandon. It's probably better on lossless, but man, it hits hard. Something may be missing, but I don't know what it is.

And yes, you're talking about something different with Blu, but are the same methods used? I mean the "psycho-acoustic" thing, even if it's not the same level of compression.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
As for dialnorm, even you have finally admitted that turning up the volume compensates for any software induced reductions.
Yeah, but I'm not happy about it. It's too haphazard. I still say it's crazy to diddle with the remote to keep from either blowing breakers in my house, or wondering where the audio went, especially with all my gear enclosed. Wandering through a menu to figure out the offset? Does that sound sensible?

Of course, one of my favorite mixes is the Police Certifiable Blu, in Tru-HD. Brilliant job. I just put in the offset, shut up, and enjoy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
You just have a personal preference for leaving your receiver at a specific level.
What's this "just" stuff, Kemo Sabe? Lots of movies out there to fiddle with. Not that I'm burdened with orthodoxy on the topic, it's all the same to me, really. Don't tell anybody I said that, I have a reputation as a curmudgeon on this topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
btw, dialnorm cannot raise the volume, not even for DTS. It can only lower it.
WHAT?!?!? Are you sure about that?
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:47 AM   #18
BIslander BIslander is offline
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Last issue first, yes, DN only lowers the volume. That's the way the software is designed.

Beyond that, the higher bitrate lossy encodes are less compressed than the versions on DVD. Less data is removed. You should check them out.

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Old 01-27-2013, 01:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Blu-Dog View Post
Yeah, but I'm not happy about it. It's too haphazard. I still say it's crazy to diddle with the remote to keep from either blowing breakers in my house, or wondering where the audio went, especially with all my gear enclosed. Wandering through a menu to figure out the offset? Does that sound sensible?
The above perspective on the dialog normalization issue is the one that I find most puzzling.

Dialog normalization is specifically designed so that you do not have to "diddle with the remote to keep from either blowing breakers in my house, or wondering where the audio went." It is intended to keep dialog at reference level, no matter the loudness or dynamic range of the mix.

I think what you actually want is dynamic range compression. But know two things: that has nothing to do with dialog normalization, and it alters the original audio mix.

AJ
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:41 AM   #20
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^^ Blu-dog likes to set his processor at one and only output level and believes he would be able to do so if only it were not for the volume reductions associated with Dolby Dialog Normalization. The rest of us have a different experience, where volume levels are not consistent and we need to adjust the volume of many programs. That's what's behind Blu-dog's comment. btw, if there's anything he dislikes more than dialnorm, it's DRC.
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