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Old 03-07-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
tolledesign tolledesign is offline
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Default Is PCM better than Dolby Digital?

I have just started building my collection of blu-ray discs and was wondering if PCM is the best sound over Dolby Digital 5.1? Please help...
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:06 PM   #2
dgator783 dgator783 is offline
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its like asking is Blu-ray better than VHS?


ITs loads better....nothing beats uncompressed audio....its sex for the ears
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:07 PM   #3
nhaase nhaase is offline
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Yes, PCM is uncompressed audio, whereas Dolby Digital is compressed, which compromises quality for space. Dolby TrueHD, on the other hand, is a lossless audio format, like a zip file, which is identical to PCM, in theory (I won't get into that debate).
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:08 PM   #4
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That's like asking if CD's sound better then MP3's.

PCM is the best you can get.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:09 PM   #5
skrill skrill is offline
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PCM = TrueHD = DTS-MA -- these are "lossless" tracks and sound great. Make sure that your player and/or receiver can handle and decode the TrueHD and/or DTS-MA tracks. PCM needs to be handled by HDMI to get full 5.1 (or 7.1) sound.

Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HR are approximately equal -- lossy next-gen HD codecs, but generally very good.

DTS -- the best of the older DVD codecs.

Dolby Digital -- the most compressed of the codecs. But it still sound decent -- but not as good as any of the above.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:10 PM   #6
un4gvn94538 un4gvn94538 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhaase View Post
Yes, PCM is uncompressed audio, whereas Dolby Digital is compressed, which compromises quality for space. Dolby TrueHD, on the other hand, is a lossless audio format, like a zip file, which is identical to PCM, in theory (I won't get into that debate).
debates are because of personal taste. like bitstreaming vs decoding by the player. people hear different things. but in this case about what your asking, most if not all think pcm is better. but let your ears test em out.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:10 PM   #7
tolledesign tolledesign is offline
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Ok, so if I have the option for PCM, go ahead and always set to that? I'm still confused on what Dolby TrueHD is? For example, on my 300 BD, is it better to use TrueHD audio or PCM? They give you both options...

Sorry for the questions, just trying to get the best out of my discs...
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:14 PM   #8
Ascended_Saiyan Ascended_Saiyan is offline
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To measure how far DD is lower than PCM, you would have to use AU measurements.

Last edited by Ascended_Saiyan; 03-07-2008 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:15 PM   #9
skrill skrill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tolledesign View Post
Ok, so if I have the option for PCM, go ahead and always set to that? I'm still confused on what Dolby TrueHD is? For example, on my 300 BD, is it better to use TrueHD audio or PCM? They give you both options...

Sorry for the questions, just trying to get the best out of my discs...
From Hi-Def Digests review:

Warner has supplied both next-gen editions with matching Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround tracks (48kHz/16-bit), but this Blu-ray is also graced with an additional PCM 5.1 surround option (48kHz/16-bit/4.6mbps). Right upfront, the PCM sounded a bit louder, but after some level matching, a direct A/B comparison of several scenes revealed only slight differences. Although I'm sure this disc will stir up the whole TrueHD vs PCM debate, either way you slice it, the action scenes in '300' deliver the kind of demo-worthy audio that should be pure nirvana for any home theater enthusiast.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tolledesign View Post
Ok, so if I have the option for PCM, go ahead and always set to that? I'm still confused on what Dolby TrueHD is? For example, on my 300 BD, is it better to use TrueHD audio or PCM? They give you both options...

Sorry for the questions, just trying to get the best out of my discs...
Just use Skrill's chart.

IMO I would use PCM as a first option if your receiver supports it. It's the sound completely uncompressed in it's pure form. DTS-MA and TrueHD are my second choices if PCM isn't available. They are lossless, compressed but without dropping data.
Everything else is highly compressed with dropped data to save space. When I first got my DTS DVD player I tried Apollo 13 DTS version and have been a audio snob every since, the different is large for me.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:24 PM   #11
tolledesign tolledesign is offline
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thanks to everyone to has been so quick to response. I really appreciate it...
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:29 PM   #12
teemacone teemacone is offline
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I run 5.1 analogs out of my Sony BDPS-1 and I get real good sound out of my Pioneer 82 with both PCM and DTHD. However, I have to say that the DTS MA, which I know only comes out at legacy DTS, sounds awesome. X3 and especially Live Free or Die Hard are pretty much demo material on my system.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:38 PM   #13
Krandor Krandor is offline
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I am just getting my HD setup as well and have a related question. On my PS3 I have options for "Linear PCM" or "Bitstream". So based on this discussion I'm assuming "Linear PCM" is what I want?
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skrill View Post
PCM = TrueHD = DTS-MA -- these are "lossless" tracks and sound great. Make sure that your player and/or receiver can handle and decode the TrueHD and/or DTS-MA tracks. PCM needs to be handled by HDMI to get full 5.1 (or 7.1) sound.

Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HR are approximately equal -- lossy next-gen HD codecs, but generally very good.

DTS -- the best of the older DVD codecs.

Dolby Digital -- the most compressed of the codecs. But it still sound decent -- but not as good as any of the above.
Thank you for that breakdown. I am going to use it now.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:45 PM   #15
krizzz krizzz is offline
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I need to add my ignorance to this thread. I have a PS3 connected via optical (no hdmi support) to an older Sony STR-DE937 (I believe...not near it right now).

If I set the PS3 output to PCM, the DD and DTS tracks play and sound OK. But when I set it to bitstream, I lose the telltale "blue light" and the track that outputs sounds really quiet. I'm not sure what audio track I'm getting at that point and want to get the best out of my current rig until I can upgrade to a nice 7.1 setup.

Any PS3 gurus?
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:47 PM   #16
Brian Cash Brian Cash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sporty View Post
That's like asking if CD's sound better then MP3's.

PCM is the best you can get.
what does that mean i have mp3s that sound better then actual cd and i have cd's that sound better then mp3s
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:47 PM   #17
crackinhedz crackinhedz is offline
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if you use an optical cable, your Player or PS3 should be set to bitstream.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:49 PM   #18
crackinhedz crackinhedz is offline
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HOW TO GET: Uncompressed PCM, Dolby TrueHD & Dts-HD MASTER Audio

explained.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:49 PM   #19
un4gvn94538 un4gvn94538 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackinhedz View Post
if you use an optical cable, your Player or PS3 should be set to bitstream.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:51 PM   #20
hitechiowa hitechiowa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skrill View Post
PCM needs to be handled by HDMI to get full 5.1 (or 7.1) sound.
.
not true dude, you can get full 5.1 pcm via 5.1 analog out on players like the Sony S300 and others, you are partially correct in the 7.1 part, 7.1 pcm needs to be handled by hdmi. not bashing you or saying your wrong just givin a fellow poster some info
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