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Old 08-15-2007, 06:18 PM   #1
BTBuck1 BTBuck1 is offline
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Default The Lookout 3 1/2 stars, Only LPCM 5.1?

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/913/lookout.html

Quote:
The Lookout (Blu-ray)

The Audio: Rating the Sound

While most high-def releases usually include at least two audio tracks, 'The Lookout' on Blu-ray features only one -- but at least it's a good one.
Though it doesn't have a lot in the soundscape to work with, the uncompressed PCM 5.1 surround track (48 kHz/24-bit/6.9 Mbps) on this disc still manages to create an intricate world with ambiance and environmental acoustics. Listen to the dialogue in a scene in the bank and then skip to one in a smaller apartment -- notice the difference? The sound designers have clearly worked hard to make each setting unique and realistic. Effects don't sound canned, dialogue is both lush and well prioritized, and there is a fullness to the soundfield that takes advantage of the rear speakers for subtle enhancements.
That being said, aside from the opening scene and the more action-oriented elements of the final act, the remainder of the film is a quiet experience that relies on viewer immersion rather than surround wizardry. As such, the majority of the track pulls forward and inhabits the front three speakers. The results aren't terribly involving, but still this track handles what it's given with a technical proficiency that sets it apart from other quieter mixes released in high-def.

is this for sure? only LPCM 5.1? what about those guys with just optical? is it 2 channel for them?
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:42 PM   #2
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The thread title is a bit misleading. The overall is 3.5, but the PQ rating is 4.5.

I have no idea what happens with a only LPCM situation. I would expect it depends on the player.

This is the first time that something has been released that way, isn't it?
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:55 PM   #3
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The back cover says it has a DD Enlish track.

Regardless, PCM would be the way you'd want to go, even with optical/coax. Having your receiver apply Dolby Pro Logic and splitting the signal is much better than a dedicated low bit rate 5.1 track. At least, in my opinion.
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:59 PM   #4
Jim L Jim L is offline
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And isn't LPCM a standard capability on all Blu-ray players anyway?

(whether one uses the analog, HDMI, or optical output)

If so, why would we ever even need a DD 5.1 track on any disc? Just save the space!
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh View Post
Regardless, PCM would be the way you'd want to go, even with optical/coax. Having your receiver apply Dolby Pro Logic and splitting the signal is much better than a dedicated low bit rate 5.1 track. At least, in my opinion.
At least in the past the PS3 had an issue where selecting PCM with optical output would only give 2.0 sound. I don't recall seeing a fix for this and would pick the lossy 5.1 track in that case myself.

--Darin
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:12 PM   #6
dialog_gvf dialog_gvf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim L View Post
And isn't LPCM a standard capability on all Blu-ray players anyway?

(whether one uses the analog, HDMI, or optical output)

If so, why would we ever even need a DD 5.1 track on any disc? Just save the space!
Optical/coax only has sufficient bandwidth for two channels of LPCM (this is 10 year+ old limit). So, if more is desired then (like HD DVD) a real-time encoding to DD or DTS would be required.

If the player is being told to send audio out optical/coax and all it has to work with is LPCM, then one interpretation is to strip the stream down to stereo and send that.

A lossy real-time encode is suspect when it comes to fidelity.

Last edited by dialog_gvf; 08-15-2007 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darinp2 View Post
At least in the past the PS3 had an issue where selecting PCM with optical output would only give 2.0 sound. I don't recall seeing a fix for this and would pick the lossy 5.1 track in that case myself.

--Darin
As mentioned, that is a limit of the technology. You can only get 2 channels of PCM over optical or coax connections. Your receiver will then matrix the signal into 5.1 (or more, depending on your set-up) giving you surround sound from the uncompressed stereo source. Many have found this better than the lossy 5.1 track, but its all personal preference.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim L View Post
And isn't LPCM a standard capability on all Blu-ray players anyway?

(whether one uses the analog, HDMI, or optical output)

If so, why would we ever even need a DD 5.1 track on any disc? Just save the space!
It really only takes up like a half of a gig so you're not saving very much.

I saw this film last night, while the PQ is good, I'd only rate it at about a 3.5-4. The main problem being with the dark levels. I've started noticing each movie requires a different brightness setting. I had watch Wild Hogs and that looked perfect. I then watched The Lookout and the picture seemed to bright in some parts while being too dark in others. The picture seemed so bright that the black bars actually seemed bright. Very odd...
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh View Post
As mentioned, that is a limit of the technology. You can only get 2 channels of PCM over optical or coax connections. Your receiver will then matrix the signal into 5.1 (or more, depending on your set-up) giving you surround sound from the uncompressed stereo source. Many have found this better than the lossy 5.1 track, but its all personal preference.
I agree, I am using optical and always select LPCM and let my processor matrix the sound to 7.1 channels - handily beats a lossy track imo.
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:27 PM   #10
ClaytonMG ClaytonMG is offline
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I just checked, it does have a Dolby Digital track on it. So the reviewer is wrong...
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:48 PM   #11
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Kenneth Brown reviewing 24bit tracks using his state of the art Klipsch Synergy speakers is an eyebrow raiser.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh View Post
The back cover says it has a DD Enlish track.

Regardless, PCM would be the way you'd want to go, even with optical/coax. Having your receiver apply Dolby Pro Logic and splitting the signal is much better than a dedicated low bit rate 5.1 track. At least, in my opinion.
I don't fully agree on this point. I find that when my system outputs the PCM track to 2 channels and uses the Pro Logic rendering for the rear speakers this is what happens:

#1. The stereo speakers are much louder than the rear speakers. Unbalanced.
#2. The overall surround atmosphere is quite poor compared to the overall directional dynamics of the DD 5.1 track

However, in its defense, the stereo PCM track with Pro Logic certainly puts some serious "oomph" into the subwoofer that is missing in the DD 5.1 track. Still, I prefer the balanced surround atmosphere of the DD 5.1 track to the stereo + Pro Logic PCM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:32 PM   #13
coolmilo coolmilo is offline
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Kenneth S. Brown gave The Lookout only 3 stars for the movie itself. Richard Roeper of Ebert & Roeper said last week that The Lookout is one of the best films of 2007. I bought this movie on the strenght of Roeper's recommendation (I usually agree with him). Well I guess I'll find out this weekend when I watch it. I hope it's better than 3 stars.
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