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#7798 - 01/08/03 08:04 PM Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, NEO:6???
DanTana Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 162
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
What exactly do all these formats do and how/what do I need to use them?

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#7799 - 01/08/03 09:09 PM Re: Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, NEO:6???
fhw Offline
devotee

Registered: 11/22/01
Posts: 345
Loc: London, ON
Dolby Labs and DTS are competitors, and each company masters digital movie sountracks (in Dolby's case, it's Dolby Digital). These are 5.1 formats for movie sountracks, but are not compatible with one another (i.e. your receiver/processor will need both onboard decoders to decode both the DD and DTS sountracks on a DVD).

DD EX soundtracks also contain a matrixed sixth channel for a speaker directly behind the listening position (the side surrounds are generally placed to the side and a little behind the listener). To decode EX soundtracks, you will need a receiver with EX capability (or an analogous 6.1 decoding chip like in the Outlaw 1050), plus 1 or 2 speakers for the back surround. All EX soundtracks are backwards-compatible with DD 5.1, so fear not if you've only bought 5 speakers and a sub.

DTS has a similar 6.1 system called DTS-ES. In a few rare instances (such as the Gladiator DVD), the surround back channel is actually encoded as a discrete channel, or DTS-ES Discrete. Other DTS-ES soundtracks use a matrix-encoded back surround channel much like DD EX. DTS-ES DVDs are also fully compatible with 5.1 systems.

DTS 96/24 is an encoding of music discs (which I *think* can be either DVDs or CDs, somebody correct me if I'm wrong) that contain a high-resolution recording (96kHz/24bit) which requires a DTS decoder to play. A receiver with a DTS decoder should have no problem with DTS 96/24 playback.

Neo:6 is a DSP mode on new receivers developed by DTS to derive surround sound from a 2-channel source, such as a CD or VHS tape. Dolby has its own patented DSP called ProLogic2 (which replaced the old ProLogic). Every receiver will have a pile of generic DSP modes as well, usually called things like Hall, Jazz and Cinema. I've heard mixed reviews of Neo:6 (ProLogic2 seems to be more popular), but DSPs are very much a personal taste thing anyway.

New receivers/processors decode all of these signals, unless the unit has no provision for a surround back speaker (via a powered channel or pre-out), in which case it will not decode the back surround channel. Personally, I don't think the surround back channel adds a whole lot if you're using Quadpole or dipole speakers, but others are very high on 6.1. If upgrading to a 6.1 receiver is going to blow your speaker budget, I wouldn't bother. On the other hand, if you're building a dedicated media room and have a big budget, might as well go all out.

Hope this helps, and happy shopping!

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#7800 - 01/08/03 09:28 PM Re: Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, NEO:6???
Semi_On Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 737
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
fhw covered that pretty well so I'll just cover what he missed, the difference between DD and DTS.

The only real difference is the amount of compression and the ultimate bitrate of the audio file. DD compresses at most 12:1 while DTS tops out at about 3:1. DTS encoded files are typically left at a much higher bitrate, which means less compression and less audio has to be taken out to make it fit.

Whether or not this results in a noticeably better audio is somewhat disputed, but what is more important to me is that DTS is typically mixed with more care. The only people that actively look for a DTS audio track are those of us crazy enough to spend a [censored] load of money on all this equipment and anal enough to nitpick over sound. As a result, sound engineers SEEM to take more care in mixing the track.

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#7801 - 01/08/03 10:32 PM Re: Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, NEO:6???
john_henderson Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/03/02
Posts: 186
Only one minor correction,

In reply to:

(DD EX soundtracks also contain a matrixed sixth channel for a speaker directly behind the listening position (the side surrounds are generally placed to the side and a little behind the listener).



In a 6.1 setup the side surronds are placed to the side and forward of the listner not behind as stated.

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#7802 - 01/09/03 12:39 PM Re: Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, NEO:6???
DanTana Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 162
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
Thanks for the responses guys, that helped clear things up alot. Some receiver manufacturer's put some info about supported formats, but usually not in any detail. I don't understand what the big secret is, I've even d/l some user manuals hoping for more detailed info, but that was to no avail also.

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#7803 - 01/09/03 12:46 PM Re: Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, NEO:6???
Semi_On Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 737
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
Axiom's board censors naughty language? How silly.

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#7804 - 01/09/03 04:52 PM Re: Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, NEO:6???
Patchwork Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/23/02
Posts: 199
yes it does.

cursing and proper audio conversation don't really mix, do they?

I like this board because people are respectful. I registered for another board not too long ago, and when I made a comment about Paradigm and Dahlquist all I received were personal insults. I've not visited that board since.

Let's keep the language clean, please

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#7805 - 01/09/03 06:35 PM Re: Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, NEO:6???
Semi_On Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 737
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
An occassional curse word to emphasize emotional impact is far from chasing off every new person with a hail of insults, but it's not a major issue.

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