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Today’s Show:

Why are more DTS-HD Master Audio Blu-rays Being Released?

We received a few emails of late asking why there are more Blu-ray titles being released with DTS-HD Master Audio vs Dolby True HD. So we thought we’d take a look at the formats and see if we could determine why.

Dolby True HD (From Dolby Website)

  • Delivers 100 percent lossless audio that is bit-for-bit identical to the original studio master
  • Supports up to 24-bit/192 kHz audio in Blu-ray Disc
  • Provides up to 4:1 compression efficiency, maximizing HD disc space and minimizing bandwidth requirements
  • Supports up to 14 channels, with eight-channel playback that takes full advantage of Blu-ray Disc’s capabilities

DTS-HD Master Audio (From DTS White Paper)

  • Lossless Audio with variable data rates up to 24.5 Mbps for Blu-ray Disc
  • Up to 7.1 discrete channels with a sampling frequency of 96 kHz and 24 bits of signal resolution
  • Up to 192 kHz sampling frequency and 24 bits of signal resolution for 2.0 channel
  • Speaker Re-mapping with multiple speaker playback configurations for 7.1 channel systems
  • Secondary Audio/Sub Audio Stream for supplemental audio content*

If you look at the specs the two formats look very similar when you consider Blu-ray discs. Both are lossless formats so that means what goes in comes out. Theoretically, both formats should sound identical, and in listening tests that we’ve done, about the only difference we can hear is level. So why are more studios going with Master Audio? Here’s what we’ve been able to find out:

  • Sony claims that based on an Internet poll consumers prefer DTS-MA. Here is one such poll over at blu-ray.com
  • Simpler encoding and more cost effective. – Unverified claim made by former DTS employee
  • A good marketing strategy?
  • Carry over from the DVD?

So let’s start a discussion here. Do you have an opinion? Chime in!



Download Episode #487

Posted by The HT Guys, July 14, 2011 11:23 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.