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onemoretime

Do some movies sound better on DVD than Blu Ray?

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Theoretically movies *should* sound better on Blu Ray than on DVD, but have you ever found the reverse to be true?

 

We watched the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy over the weekend to test out the Heresy HIP mains + center channel. So many scenes now pack a wallop it's unbelievable. That said, the voice tracks, organic sound effects and even some of the LFE's seem to sound more natural with more fullness, on DVD than on Blu Ray. Is it possible that Blu Ray tracks are more compressed?

 

FWIW, our setup is:

  • Yamaha RX-A3000 (HDMI)
  • Oppo BDP-93 (HDMI)
  • Panasonic VT-50 plasma (HDMI)
  • Klipsch Heresy HIP 1 (left, right & center)
  • KG 3.5 (rear surrounds)
  • Hsu Research VTF-3 Mk IV sub

 

Just curious if anyone else has noticed this. Thanks!

 

 

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I bet they sound different because DVD is probably mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1 while the BlueRay is 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.

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Yes.

The DVD version of Master and Commander and it's DTS 5.1 soundtrack is better than the BD version soundtrack.

Google the subject to see why.

 

Bil

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What I've notice is that a lot of DVD tracks appear louder. I don't know if it is just a thing mixing 5.1 vs 7.X.

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When the home theater is made, they are almost always turned up and volume, and have the dynamics compressed. Often these days the BluRay simply takes the 7.1 full uncompressed mix and that is used as the TrueHD or MasterHD track on a BluRay. So yes, the 5.1 DD mix will sound 'different'. The BluRay should actually be more accurate and match what was heard in the theater more though.

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18 hours ago, willland said:

Yes.

The DVD version of Master and Commander and it's DTS 5.1 soundtrack is better than the BD version soundtrack.

Google the subject to see why.

 

Bil

I searched for DVD vs. Blu Ray and all I got was the standard party line about how Blu Ray is better for everything. Is there something I'm missing?

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5 hours ago, TimNielsen said:

When the home theater is made, they are almost always turned up and volume, and have the dynamics compressed. Often these days the BluRay simply takes the 7.1 full uncompressed mix and that is used as the TrueHD or MasterHD track on a BluRay. So yes, the 5.1 DD mix will sound 'different'. The BluRay should actually be more accurate and match what was heard in the theater more though.

Sorry, are you saying DVD is typically compressed or vice-versa?

 

Would it make a difference if I had a 7.1 instead of a 5.1 speaker set-up?

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44 minutes ago, onemoretime said:

I searched for DVD vs. Blu Ray and all I got was the standard party line about how Blu Ray is better for everything. Is there something I'm missing?

 

Let me be more specific.  The LFE portion of the DVD soundtrack is better.

 

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-subwoofers-bass-transducers/1257990-master-commander-scene-4-subwoofer-test-dvd-vs-bluray.html

 

Bill

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3 hours ago, onemoretime said:

Sorry, are you saying DVD is typically compressed or vice-versa?

 

Would it make a difference if I had a 7.1 instead of a 5.1 speaker set-up?

I find the back surrounds provide more depth...instead of panning from left to right 2 more speakers provide a better sweep than just the first 2.  Not necessary but what is?  I found a pair of rb51iis for $100....i said why not.

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On August 22, 2016 at 1:13 PM, onemoretime said:

Sorry, are you saying DVD is typically compressed or vice-versa?

 

Would it make a difference if I had a 7.1 instead of a 5.1 speaker set-up?

The DVD 'Home Theater' mix is always always compressed somewhat. The BluRay may or may not be. The BluRay has the ability to hold a fully uncompressed mix, the exact same mix that the theatrical DCP uses. But there is often also a home theater mix done for BluRay, so it's not always possible to know, did they put just the theatrical mix on the BluRay, as someone notes Paramount did, or did they do a custom home theater 7.1 mix for BluRay. If they did, it would most likely be slightly compressed, with a boost in the dialog of around 2dB just for sake of clarity.

 

I have not heard of studios rolling off BluRay mixes below 25Hz, although to be honest, very little of the bass we typically work with in movies goes that low anyway. I find it hilarious that people are saying the bass in Jurassic is completely underwhelming. You must normally be listening purely to Michael Bay movies with your subwoofer at around +20. Jurassic has wondering low end, if you had ever seen it in a theater you'd know that.

 

People so quickly become 'sub junkies' and 'surround junkies' and since they've invested in all these speakers, and us to constantly 'use' them. I'm always amused that most BluRay audio reviews give marks purely on how much crap is in the surrounds, or how much rumble they can generate. Low end is impossible to calculate from room to room, subwoofer to subwoofer. It's impossible to tame, and sounds drastically different in every setup.

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I try to always watch with Blu-ray, NetFlix or my purchase. To me video and audio are  much better. i recently changed receivers to Pioneer 5.1 and like it better than 7.1 Onkyu. I changed the Khorns to small after years on large and was amazed at the improvement in mid range and very tight bass.

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On 8/23/2016 at 5:46 PM, TimNielsen said:

I have not heard of studios rolling off BluRay mixes below 25Hz, although to be honest, very little of the bass we typically work with in movies goes that low anyway. I find it hilarious that people are saying the bass in Jurassic is completely underwhelming. You must normally be listening purely to Michael Bay movies with your subwoofer at around +20. Jurassic has wondering low end, if you had ever seen it in a theater you'd know that.

Tim, are you saying you're in the movie industry and that you work with sound? Would be very interested to hear more.

 

To be clear, I''m not trying to shake the house or anything, I just notice that with some movies I have on DVD the sounds sounds fuller than on Blu Ray. On Lord of the Rings, the dialog is quieter and less distinct in the mix. Stuff like that, which seems to dampen the sound rather than enliven it. This is happening with the same title, same AV setup, different video format... and possibly different mixing? I'd just like to get to the bottom of it since right now I'm getting the impression the sound mix on some (not all Blu Rays) is disappointing compared to the DVD I originally bought.

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I have also noticed my music in FLAC is not as loud as the mp3's from amazon.  The mp3's are more compressed that the FLAC.  I read somewhere that what we hear with FLAC has some minor compression somewhere in the chain.

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2 hours ago, onemoretime said:

Tim, are you saying you're in the movie industry and that you work with sound? Would be very interested to hear more.

 

To be clear, I''m not trying to shake the house or anything, I just notice that with some movies I have on DVD the sounds sounds fuller than on Blu Ray. On Lord of the Rings, the dialog is quieter and less distinct in the mix. Stuff like that, which seems to dampen the sound rather than enliven it. This is happening with the same title, same AV setup, different video format... and possibly different mixing? I'd just like to get to the bottom of it since right now I'm getting the impression the sound mix on some (not all Blu Rays) is disappointing compared to the DVD I originally bought.

I do work in the industry and was one of the sound effects editors on Fellowship and did some of the sound design, cut all of the backgrounds. I'll write a bit more in a bit but you're right in that hearing the DVD and BluRay would sound different and I can explain that, but strangely the BluRay is most certainly closer to the original track we created. The DVD mix is often noticeably different. For instance the dialog track would almost always be louder than the fx and music on the DVD and Streaming (both would be using the Dolby Digital Home Theater mix. I'm not sure why you'd hear the LFE as stronger though.

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9 hours ago, derrickdj1 said:

I have also noticed my music in FLAC is not as loud as the mp3's from amazon.  The mp3's are more compressed that the FLAC.  I read somewhere that what we hear with FLAC has some minor compression somewhere in the chain.

There is no compression in a FLAC file, it will play 100% identical to the wave or aiff file it was created from. The MP3 could have some compression done to it when bein made, but not typically. The MP3 should certainly sound 'worse' but not louder. 

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This is what I was talking about:

Some of these lossless formats also provide compression. For example, a WAV file is a completely uncompressed audio file, and takes up quite a bit of space. FLAC and ALAC are both lossless types of audio files that contain the same data as a WAV file, but they use a form of compression to create smaller files. http://www.howtogeek.com/142174/what-lossless-file-formats-are-why-you-shouldnt-convert-lossy-to-lossless/

 

The key is no data is loss.

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8 hours ago, derrickdj1 said:

This is what I was talking about:

Some of these lossless formats also provide compression. For example, a WAV file is a completely uncompressed audio file, and takes up quite a bit of space. FLAC and ALAC are both lossless types of audio files that contain the same data as a WAV file, but they use a form of compression to create smaller files. http://www.howtogeek.com/142174/what-lossless-file-formats-are-why-you-shouldnt-convert-lossy-to-lossless/

 

The key is no data is loss.

Yes and the key is, because the file is being uncompressed with zero data loss, there CAN BE NO DIFFERENCE in sound quality. The unompressed FLAC will appear 100% identical to the wav file in every single way. You could not tell the difference.

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On 8/25/2016 at 11:17 PM, TimNielsen said:

I do work in the industry and was one of the sound effects editors on Fellowship and did some of the sound design, cut all of the backgrounds. I'll write a bit more in a bit but you're right in that hearing the DVD and BluRay would sound different and I can explain that, but strangely the BluRay is most certainly closer to the original track we created. The DVD mix is often noticeably different. For instance the dialog track would almost always be louder than the fx and music on the DVD and Streaming (both would be using the Dolby Digital Home Theater mix. I'm not sure why you'd hear the LFE as stronger though.

Tim, I'd definitely be interested in learning more, since we've watched these fine movies oodles of times over the years. Here are some of the things we've noticed, comparing all three extended versions on DVD and the Blu Ray for Two Towers Extended--

  • The LFE on the DVD seems to be much more resonant, with quite a low-end growl/rumble - e.g. Cave Troll stomping around in Fellowship. Makes me think of a V-8 muscle car.
  • Organic sounds (or at least those engineered to emulate organic sounds) such as wind, water, fire, trees, sound effects involving wood, wings flapping, swords striking shields all seem more detailed and resonant on the DVD than the Blu-Ray
  • Dialogue seem to sounds a little louder in the DVD mix; in the Blu Ray they sound muted, almost getting lost in the mix. To me Blu Ray dialogue seems a little washed out in comparison to what we hear on the DVDs.

I'm relatively new to good sound, so I'd be interested in any insights as to why the differences. We had this in our old speakers (Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 mains & center, CBM-170 rear) but it's even more noticeable now that we're running Heresy HIPs for our mains & center (soon moving to Cornwall mains, HIP center & rear.)

 

Also curious whether you think moving to 7.1 would make a significant difference, and whether you'd add the additional two speakers to the front or rear of the system.

 

Many thanks for joining in this thread, I can't wait to see what else you post here & elsewhere.

--Scott O.

P.S. - A very special thanks to you & your team for mixing the Wilhelm screams in various places. Sometimes they're clearly done as gags; others are artfully blended so you don't notice unless you know what to listen for. Kudos!!

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