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keyser: with the advent of Lossless audio coming to Bluray/HD-DVD our sources should improve making for at least better SQ in the 5.1 conversions

WHY should it be anything to do with the mess that is Blu Ray & HD DVD?

We already HAVE lossless, it's in several flavours too:

1 - MLP Lossless (DVD-Audio) AKA Dolby True HD.  Support for this in both BRD and HD DVD is mandated for stereo only, not surround.

2 - WMA Pro Lossless - downside is that it plays on PC only, but it's free and it's lossless up to 24/96 in 7.1 channels.

3 - AAC lossless for Mac Dopes.  Don't know anything about it though.

AFAIK, BRD and HD DVD will be using DTS-HD Lossless for multichannel - IF they go the lossless route.  My guess is that both will simply use Dolby Digital Plus - which goes up to 640Kbps instead of 480kbps.  Again, this is not new as my Dolby Digital encoder will already produce a 5.1 stream at 640 bitrates.

These blue laser formats will not be used for Audio, and to be blunt we don't need them to be.  Each format will require a new player (no universals here) plus a new amp, plus a genuine HD display or it won't work.

Authoring tools?  To get Scenarist 4 for BRD & HD DVD will set you back a whopping great $150,000 , yes, One hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

And nobody is even trying to develop a cheap alternative as the specs are not yet finalized, plus nobody wants to spend the hundreds of thousands required to develop something that may well fall flat on it's arse.  Nice one Sony.  Again.  They have a talent for screwing things up by being greedy & wanting to own all their release formats.

What we do have - here and now - is DVD-Audio.  There are entry level tools for lossless high resolution multichannel sound ranging from open source GUI interfaces (reverse engineered & wobbly as all hell.  No use for anything commercial) to hobbyist interfaces (Cirlinca's excellent VFM DVD-Audio SOlo) through to consumer grade apps (discWelder Bronze), ProSumer versions (Discwelder Steel & WaveLab & Samplitude) and entry level Pro apps (Discwelder Chrome) right the way up to the only real one, Sonic's DAC.  So depending on what you want, it's already here & you do NOT need these new "white elephant" formats at their bank-busting price tags that ain't going to change in the next 5 years.

A well created DVD-A disc can play on ALL DVD players, and if you use DTS at 24/96, then I can assure you 99.9% of listeners will never be able to tell you it's compressed - hell, we are talking about a generation now who think MP3 sounds good, so expect the unexpected.

So - why d you think that BRD or HD DVD will change the way a conversion from stereo to MC will sound?  It won't.

The basic facts are that some conversions (or upmixes, to use the correct term) are fine pieces of work, most are bloody awful.  I have often thought that conversions should be labelled as such too, and not foisted off as genuine surround.

The RPG recommends this wording:

"The Surround performance on this disc has been electronically recreated without the benefit of the original multitrack tapes".

As aleksey says, it's not possible to extract the individual sounds from a mix.  It is exactly like attempting to get the eggs out of a cake, in a nice pile with the flour & the sugar.

Some well made discs will upmix quite nicely.

Most modern albums will never work because of the brutal overcompression & brickwall limiting used resulting in a total lack of anything resembling dynamic range as well.  Try to up-mix these, and you end up with a godawful mess if you ripped the source off a CD.

Sorry to have ranted on, but it makes me mad when I read posts that have been written by someone who has been taken ibn by the propaganda emanating from Sony ET AL about how BRD will save the entertainment industry.

For another viewpoint, see

Multichannel Audio Specialists

DVD-A, DVD-V Authoring

Mixing & Mastering to most formats

Hi Neil..

I'm well aware of all the negatives against these new formats - I just read the editorial at to refresh my memory..:)

The counter arguments are:

1- Despite the obsessive piracy paranoia amongst studio execs, the other internal pressure comes from the sales side - DVD was a HUGE cash cow for the studios and they want HD as a vehicle to resell the same stuff again - make HD too expensive and restrictive - and no one will buy it and they realize this too..

2-I don't have a player yet, but by all accounts people are saying the picture is impressive - noticeably superior over DVD especially the larger your screen is - My screen is 9' wide and I'm positive I'll love the better picture..

3-Audio - both DD and DTS are compressed formats - DTS did have the occasional movie come out in the double bit rate - disc size of current DVD even with dual layer is a factor as to why DD and DTS are compressed in the first place..HD DVD has more space to allow for the uncompressed formats such as 24/192 MLP in 7.1

4-I have had a 7.1 setup for years and there's no way I would go back to 5.1..I can't wait for 7.1 discrete movie scores - there are a number of sonic advantages to having 7.1 over 5.1..

5-it's safe to say that both DVD-A and SACD are for all intents and purposes - DEAD - oh there are titles that do come out still but in relative terms it's less than even a trickle - HD DVD offers another opportunity to at least try to get more studios to release 5.1 studio albums - after 2 failed attempts with surround, I'm not optimistic about this ever catching on , but I may get say a few more hundred titles into my collection..

WRT to upmixing, with HD DVD if they release higher quality stereo recordings that are say the eqivalent to 24/192 MLP, then I would assume we have a better end result of the 5.1 upmix..

I do agree that upmix results are not consistant - this is why I'm here - to learn about tools to improve on the original stereo CD and to have plugins developed that do a better job inthe upmix and produce fewer artifacts..

I hear your arguments.


As far as 7.1 in High Rez lossless goes?  It ain't gonna happen.  Most consumers won't buy into 5.1, so 7.1 has no chance IMHO.

And as I say, Dolby True HD (AKA MLP Lossless) won't be used at 7.1 in 24/192 either.  It's not going to happen, even if it is possible - and from memory I don't think it actually is, I think it's pegged at 24/96 in multichannel at up to 13.1 channels.

Insanity when we can't even get the majority of labels to do anything in 5.1

SACD may well be dead, but DVD-A is not.  DVD-A has a huge advantage that most people just don't seem to understand - it's affordable to the hobbyist and it's here & working now.

When BRD & HD DVD fall on their behinds - the next real "big thing" will be movies on demand.  I still think SD DVD is going to be the last big consumer format, and the vast vast majority of people are happy with it in exactly ther same way the majority are happy with their music as MP3.

Multichannel Audio Specialists

DVD-A, DVD-V Authoring

Mixing & Mastering to most formats

your arguments are solid and all either one of us can do here is purely speculate..

I agree VOD is where we are headed but I do think BRD will be the format in place when VOD happens - as much as you love Sony, they will win the HD format war because they have the support of 7 of the 8 major studios and with Toshiba's format having only 3, there's no way I would buy into the Toshiba format..

It will take 5 years for SD DVD to be phased out and replaced with HD DVD - which is about the amount of time it took to kill off VHS - the key will be player prices, for which there's no reason a HD player won't be $100 in 5 years time..

The 7.1 factor is to me a non issue - virtually every receiver today says it is "7.1" - although not 7.1 discrete.. - with HD DVD, you can stay at 5.1 if you wish - the receiver will downmix a discrete 7.1 back to 5.1 or you just get the standard 5.1 DD/DTS track as is if nothing more, 7.1 becomes a feature to sell the new formats..

Std DVD sales are stagnant, and falling - the studios need HD DVD to succeed - they cannot expect to make that much off std DVD as they used to..

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