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Which do you prefer: Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio?

Last response: in Home Audio
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July 28, 2009 6:37:47 PM

Hello people. I recently purchased new speakers (Acesonic 510 speakers)and a pioneer 819 av receiver capable of decoding TrueHD and DTS HD. Since my previous setup was only able to decode dolby digital and dts, how much better are the new formats? I imagine they are pretty noticeable considering the difference in quality I heard while comparing dts to dts 96/24. What are your thoughts about the new formats?

-I also have to admit a personal bias favoring DTS.
August 9, 2009 6:56:19 AM

The new formats are both 7.1, as opposed to 5.1. I don't know which format is "better" this time around though, although you are right on DTS > DD :D 
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August 19, 2009 3:15:21 PM

So I've done some research and have come up with the following:
If mastered properly,
DTS HD MASTER = DOLBY TRUEHD = UNCOMPRESSED PCM

The reasoning behind this is that both DTS HD and Dolby TrueHD are "lossless" compression. Therefore when executed they should (in theory) playback the same as UNCOMPRESSED PCM.

I am getting a blu-ray player next week and I am curious to see if there is in fact a difference between the formats in reality.
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August 19, 2009 8:49:07 PM

Let us know
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August 22, 2009 10:13:25 PM

Not much difference, except for brand name. I pretty much pick whatever's available, since lossless means lossless.
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August 24, 2009 12:24:47 PM

^^Nice to know. If both are lossless, it probably comes down to what the source was recorded at.
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December 11, 2009 2:08:30 AM

Ive been using both blu-ray and HD DVD since they came out.... and i can say i have been pissed evey time i have to watch a movie in dolby true HD. My receiver is a Denon 1910 and there is a huge difference between Dolby and DTS Master. All my friends come over to watch Blu-rays and they here the difference as well. DTS Master has so much more power behind it. Makes the house shake, the highs are so much more crisp. The new Star Trek, one of the best movies in a long time.... sounds horrible!!! Iron Man... sounds horrible....the dark night... sounds horrible . Lower end movies that have DTS Master sound amazing... Babylon AD sounds amazing.... Valkyrie sounds amazing..... Pearl Harbor with uncompressed audio.. sounds amazing

All three audio types are supposed to be uncompressed.... but after a couple years of hearing all three... Dolby True HD doesnt sound any better than reg DVD quality.

I really wish they would remake Star Trek in DTS Master
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December 25, 2009 3:59:12 PM

they will both sound the same since they are both loseless

however DD and dts obv process surrounds differently

so idk one of them will have somewhat pleasing imaging to some listerners.
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December 25, 2009 4:32:47 PM

You know, my experience has been DTS is better. Maybe it that theyre just using more, as said, but it did seem more spatial to me, and just as crisp
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December 25, 2009 6:38:10 PM

then tbf all i can say is IT IS all down to PERSONAL reference

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December 30, 2009 1:15:34 AM

Avi to iphone converter is an powerful video converter to convert avi to iphone 3G.
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December 30, 2009 3:50:47 AM

bulabone said:
Ive been using both blu-ray and HD DVD since they came out.... and i can say i have been pissed evey time i have to watch a movie in dolby true HD. My receiver is a Denon 1910 and there is a huge difference between Dolby and DTS Master. All my friends come over to watch Blu-rays and they here the difference as well. DTS Master has so much more power behind it. Makes the house shake, the highs are so much more crisp. The new Star Trek, one of the best movies in a long time.... sounds horrible!!! Iron Man... sounds horrible....the dark night... sounds horrible . Lower end movies that have DTS Master sound amazing... Babylon AD sounds amazing.... Valkyrie sounds amazing..... Pearl Harbor with uncompressed audio.. sounds amazing

All three audio types are supposed to be uncompressed.... but after a couple years of hearing all three... Dolby True HD doesnt sound any better than reg DVD quality.

I really wish they would remake Star Trek in DTS Master

They're both lossless. As the happy owner of a setup that can decode both, I have to say - you're full of it (I have a Denon 2808 with B&W speakers). Both sound excellent for the most part, and although some movies do sound worse than others, it has to do with the way it was mastered rather than the format.
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December 30, 2009 4:45:40 AM

I agree wholely, but it just seems theyve done more with DTS from my personal experience, and relish it when I can use it, tho sometimes dolby rocks, but not a gaurantee
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January 4, 2010 4:11:04 PM

cjl said:
They're both lossless. As the happy owner of a setup that can decode both, I have to say - you're full of it.


You could say that, but that doesn't mean you'd be right.

Just being "lossless" doesn't tell the whole story. Soundtracks mixed for Dolby may be mixed differently for DTS, and vice versa. Additionally, a blu-ray player or AVR may decode one differently than the other as well. There is a measure of objectivity and subjectivity in opinions for both.

And just because something is losslessly compressed doesn't mean it's identical to *anything* but the source soundtrack just prior to compression.

For example, there are plenty of 16-bit/48kHz Uncompressed PCM soundtracks on early blu-rays. But if the same blu-ray had a Dolby TrueHD 24-bit/48kHz or 24-bit/96kHz soundtrack, would the results be identical?

Bit-depth and sampling frequency matter.
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January 4, 2010 4:21:09 PM

Yep, front end and back end, if the front end is crap, doesnt matter if both of the back end solutions a perfect or lossless
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January 4, 2010 4:21:10 PM

This topic has been closed by Jaydeejohn
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January 4, 2010 11:32:42 PM

This topic has been reopen by Jaydeejohn
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January 6, 2010 7:19:12 AM

ender21 said:
You could say that, but that doesn't mean you'd be right.

Just being "lossless" doesn't tell the whole story. Soundtracks mixed for Dolby may be mixed differently for DTS, and vice versa. Additionally, a blu-ray player or AVR may decode one differently than the other as well. There is a measure of objectivity and subjectivity in opinions for both.

And just because something is losslessly compressed doesn't mean it's identical to *anything* but the source soundtrack just prior to compression.

For example, there are plenty of 16-bit/48kHz Uncompressed PCM soundtracks on early blu-rays. But if the same blu-ray had a Dolby TrueHD 24-bit/48kHz or 24-bit/96kHz soundtrack, would the results be identical?

Bit-depth and sampling frequency matter.

Oh, absolutely there are differences. The audio track could be mixed poorly, or the recording equipment could be crap. The differences will never be due to the encoding format though. Given an identical initial audio mix, there will always be an identical output stream with either of the two types.

This is not true with the older types of audio tracks found on DVDs. There, you could make a good case for DTS's superiority.
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January 7, 2010 5:03:01 PM

Agreed, but there's this idea out there that "lossless" means some kind of magic bullet that makes the sound exactly like the master in the mixing studio.

Lossless only means that its a losslessly compressed version of whatever PCM or WAV files were sent to the encoder.

If the master is 24-bit 96kHz but the encoder downsamples and quantizes to 16-bit 48kHz and boosts LFE by 10dB along the way, they're obviously not the same thing, despite the lossless compression.

In the exchange you had with Bulabone, the subjective phrase "DTS has so much more power behind it" is obviously subject to scrutiny. If the DTS master he's referring to was mixed hot, or the TrueHD soundtracks he's evaluated are mixed cold or the LFE track is -10dB versus a similar DTSHD track, those differences should be compensated for prior to evaluation, and of course could lead to the impression that one codec is "bette" than the other. It is possible, though, that his 1910 has an issue with one or more decoders that helps to strengthen his opinion of one codec versus the other as well.

It would be great to have is a test disc with pink or white noise and/or frequency sweeps encoded in the popular new formats so we can evaluate our playback chain to see what each component does with, at a very minimum, the playback levels. I recall there being significant level differences between Dolby and DTS encoding back when DVD was king, even with plain old pink/white noise.
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Anonymous
August 8, 2010 11:06:48 AM

I think the studios should make it mandatory to use DOLBY TRUE-HD and dtshdma on all back catalogue titles as well as new titles.

Most if not all 95% of films have been produced using DOLBY.

I see no reason why I should pay out money for a film that I like, to have dtshdma on it!

For example DIE HARD was mixed in two forms 35mm DOLBY STEREO A type and for exclusive road show release 70mm 6trcak DOLBY STEREO A type in discrete sound!

Why should I pay Fox bluray for a film produced in lousy dtshdma a film that doesn’t represent the original theatrical flavour!

The disc is produced from two-disc DVD set! Also the sound was tampered with on that version! The original theatrical 6trcack DOLBY STEREO mix can only be found on the first edition DVD or the later version THX laserdisc or didn’t you know that FACT!

Bluray is 98% A CON format to make money! The studios haven’t been honest with us and I don’t see why we or some of us should feed the hand that has been dishonest with us.

I have since cessed buying bluray because of dtshdma no I don’t like the sound format. The way I see it, there is still a “format war”!

“The sound format war”!

The only way to resolve this is to give the paying consumer equal rights of choice to select what sound format we want the film played back in! Arrr! it goes further than that!

I don’t think films that where produced in DOLBY should get dts its WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Films that where produced and released in dts at the time of 1993 and for a remain few years where only dts release mostly Universal Pictures. At first there was no DOLBY SR-D that was beside the 35mm it was just dts and a back-up analogue soundtrack for cinemas that didn’t have dts decoders.

I think it was around 1996 or 97 when 35mm prints had all three digital sound formats on the signal print with the DOLBY SR soundtrack on the analogue side in case of DOLBY digital, breakdown.

I mean bluray SONY doesn’t even support SDDS8Channel! So much for this big headed format that has been bragging its “cinematic” LMAO ROTFLMAO!

The propaganda that SONY was putting on the extras of some bluray titles where they video actors pretending to be a family to brainwash the masses that have 0 clue!

Wow if it was perfect picture then we shouldn’t be see EE DNR and colour manipulation SHOULD WE!!!!

WHAT A CON FORMAT!

Personally I have turned my back on region2 DVD and turned to region1DVD!

STUFF BLURAY! I hope the format dies soon it doesn’t have place in this market not when they have been dishoniest with us from the start!

Remember! First impressions, is what makes it count! Bluray has failed on all those promises from start!!!!!
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August 9, 2010 2:14:43 AM

You forgot to leave your employee id #
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August 9, 2010 12:11:01 PM

Personally, I like the DTS signal; it's cleaner for my hearing, better than Dolby. Like others, I found it crisp... But if someone can't tell the difference then it won’t matter to them if it's DTS HD or Dolby TrueHD.
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August 9, 2010 6:24:07 PM

isnt there a post processing effects added to the signals???

i mean dolby digital and dts' bass management sounds different when playing through dvd.


Dolby TrueHD bitstreams carry program metadata. Metadata is separate from the coding format and compressed audio samples, but stores relevant information about the audio waveform. For example, dialog normalization and Dynamic range compression are controlled by metadata embedded in the TrueHD bitstream. TrueHD is a variable bit-rate codec.

wiki.
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August 10, 2010 12:26:04 AM

Correct me if I’m wrong but my understanding about Dolby True-HD (which I read somewhere) is when normalization is applied the encoding process; the audio attenuation on the audio encoder is set to -2dB or is it -4db? (dialog normalization default) resulting in a lower SPL relative to DTS at an equivalent gain setting, so when it's decompress a .1db is loss compared to DTS-HD. Since DTS-HD does not use Normalization, therefore the processed signal is relatively bit for bit.

If anybody knows more about this, we'd like to know more...

"In order to minimize the limited space allocated on a DVD for audio soundtracks, DD and DTS utilize lossy data reduction algorithms, which reduce the number of bits needed to encode an audio signal. DD compresses a 5.1 channel surround track to 384 kbps to 448 kbps (DVD Standard limited, DD has the potential of up to 640 kbps) while DTS uses much higher bit rates up to 1.4 Mbps for CD's / LD's and 1.5 Mbps for DVD. A higher bit rate must imply DTS will be superior sounding right? In theory, the less compression used in the encoding process, the more realistic the sound will be, as it will better represent the original source. DD tends to boast that its encoding method is more efficient than DTS and thus does not require the extra bit rates. However, even if DD is slightly more efficient, it is still not 1.5 / .448 = 3.35 times more efficient.. However, both DD & DTS will boast data rates, efficiency, etc, but what actually translates to better sound is a very ambiguous matter..." qoute from audioholics.
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August 10, 2010 3:14:43 AM

It's impossible to tell. We do not know if Dolby Digital or DTS uses equivalent compression methods. There are 8 levels of FLAC. There's also other lossless standards like APE and ALAC. All of these have different bitrates. Of course, the alleged lossless signals might not actually be equal in performance (not quite so lossless...)
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August 10, 2010 11:46:46 AM

but wether they use different compression methods, data should not be lost, when the signal is decompressed, assuming it is lossless.


both on blu ray

MAX.18mbps (DD true HD) and 24mbps/VAR (DTS HD MA)

DTS does not use MLP, method of compressing data.
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August 10, 2010 11:54:07 AM

379893,24,60833 said:
Correct me if I’m wrong but my understanding about Dolby True-HD (which I read somewhere) is when normalization is applied the encoding process; the audio attenuation on the audio encoder is set to -2dB or is it -4db? (dialog normalization default) resulting in a lower SPL relative to DTS at an equivalent gain setting, so when it's decompress a .1db is loss compared to DTS-HD. Since DTS-HD does not use Normalization, therefore the processed signal is relatively bit for bit.

you may be right.
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August 10, 2010 9:46:30 PM

Lossless is the assumption.
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April 24, 2013 3:48:40 AM

I've also felt DTS to be more realistic & crisp and i'm yet to experience DTS HD MA.
rexter said:
Personally, I like the DTS signal; it's cleaner for my hearing, better than Dolby. Like others, I found it crisp... But if someone can't tell the difference then it won’t matter to them if it's DTS HD or Dolby TrueHD.


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January 23, 2014 12:30:53 PM

You can try converting both to FLAC with max compression.
If they both are indeed lossless, the resultant file size will be the same. ;) 
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