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  1. #1
    MCF
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    DTS vs. Digital 5.1 vs. THX Select Question

    What's the main difference between these three and which one is best to pick if given a choice on a DVD? I have a Harman Karkon AVR-635.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Apples to oranges to watermelons comparison.

    DTS is a version of multi channel sound, similar in effect to Dolby Digital.

    "Digital 5.1" is a method of multi channel playback which included DTS and Dolby Digital.

    THX is a Lucas backed rating system whereby certain components can pay them for testing and, if the components pass, can use this on their literature. Many fine systems exist without THX certification.

  3. #3
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCF
    What's the main difference between these three and which one is best to pick if given a choice on a DVD? I have a Harman Karkon AVR-635.
    Thanks!
    I usually choose Dts soundtracks if it is on the DVD.

    Dts and DD are film audio formats. THX is a certification process for equipment, and DVD mastering. THX also has proprietary processing modes to simulate the acoustics of a dubbing stage.
    Sir Terrence

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  4. #4
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I can think of few instances where Dolby Digital sounded better than DTS, though there are a few that sound about equal to me, otherwise DTS is usually a fair step ahead.
    THX I just ignore, my receiver has some THX DSP settings or something, but they didn't sound anything special to me.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
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    I always choose DTS. There have only been a couple times when I thought Dolby Digital and DTS sounded basically the same, but more than not DTS rules!

  6. #6
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    Are there many DTS DVDs out there? I see some here and there, but it looks like DD is more widespread.

  7. #7
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Dolby Surround is the bare minimum standard on DVD's, I believe...Dolby Surround is a step down from Dolby Digital which is a true 5.1 source, this is pretty much a typical Hollywood standard for DVD's now, you'd be hard-up finding a DVD that made theaters not having a Dolby Digital track on it...Many DVD's also have DTS in addition to Dolby Digital (though not all). A few years back it was rare, now it's become quite popular...I don't know for sure, but I bet half of the films out there today have DTS at least.

  8. #8
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Z
    Are there many DTS DVDs out there? I see some here and there, but it looks like DD is more widespread.
    Dolby Digital is required on DVD. It is the audio standard for the format. Dts is a optional format., and for an optional format it is on quite a few DVD's. In my collection of about 1200 DVD's, Dts is on a little more than half of them.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    18 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surround/ceiling speakers
    2 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  9. #9
    only a newbie in name Registered Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    I always choose DTS. There have only been a couple times when I thought Dolby Digital and DTS sounded basically the same, but more than not DTS rules!
    DTS is actually less compressed than Dolby Digital. This could explain why DTS sounds better...
    Cheers

  10. #10
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    DTS is also often tilted up in volume relative to Dolby Digital as well, giving even more of an impression of better sound quality. DTS bass frequencies are sometimes more emphatic as well. Sir T, haven't DTS soundtracks been undergoing more compression for a while because of how much stuff is crammed on DVDs these days?

  11. #11
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edtyct
    DTS is also often tilted up in volume relative to Dolby Digital as well, giving even more of an impression of better sound quality. DTS bass frequencies are sometimes more emphatic as well. Sir T, haven't DTS soundtracks been undergoing more compression for a while because of how much stuff is crammed on DVDs these days?
    Actually Dts isn't tilted up in volume relative to DD, DD volume is usually attenuated by dialog normalization(the usual setting would be -27db or 3db lower than Dts), which Dts does not use on their soundtracks. So the fact is DD is softer than the printmaster and Dts.

    Dolby digital has a -225 degree lag(at 80hz) between the bass in the main channels, and what's in the LFE channel. This commonly makes DD bass sound boomy and indistinct at times. Dts has a lead of about +75 degrees at 80hz which is why it sounds tighter and deeper than the same bass from a DD soundtrack.

    Dts normal operating bitrate was 1509kbps. But at that bitrate and combined with the video and a required DD soundtrack(usually 5.1), leaves little to no room for added value content. In order to get Dts on more soundtracks, Dts had to cut that bitrate in half(754kbps) so it can fit on DVD along with DD"s 5.1 tracks and have room for extra's. An 8.1 compression is still better than the 14.1 compression you get with DD.

    I have to admit that the differences in sound quality has narrowed since Dts went half bit, but to these ears, in my room, and on my system Dts still sounds marginally better to me.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    18 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surround/ceiling speakers
    2 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

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