Is DTS important? - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

View Poll Results: Should DTS determine DVD player purchase
Yes, DTS is the one thing that really takes advantage of your sound system 13 65.00%
DTS is a niche product and not important 2 10.00%
If you're happy with the player without DTS, don't worry. 5 25.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 50 Old 06-02-06, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Is DTS important?

I just bought an inexpensive DVD player which cleans up a lot of the artifacts that were bothering me (esp in menus, documentaries, etc.). It wasn't rated in the DVD Benchmark, but passed my own informal tests (some of them taken from the benchmark).

However, when trying to play Flight of the Phoenix last night- I turned on DTS... and... *nothing*. My old artifact-prone DVD player did play DTS.

I read through the specs and it doesn't mention DTS. Models above and below it in the manufacturer's lineup do have DTS, so I don't know why this one was left out.

But, my question is- since I'm going Blu-Ray in the future- do I really care that I don't get DTS?
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post #2 of 50 Old 06-02-06, 03:54 PM
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Re: Is DTS important?

If a movie is in DTS, I'll always choose it.

Check out the lightning scene in War of the World in DD and then DTS. I was testing and watching it in DD on accident. I came away thinking it was sounding kinda flat and disappointing. Then I realized my mistake and flipped to DTS and it comes to life! I've heard people say that DTS is just a few dB hotter than DD, and I would tend to agree. Still, if I just turn it on an listen at whatever volume, I think I can hear a distinct difference -- including better surround "presence" and better dynamics. I'd never had DTS until this year, and I'm glad I have it now.

Too bad it's rather limited.

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post #3 of 50 Old 06-02-06, 04:53 PM
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Re: Is DTS important?

There are audible differences but its not night and day.

Dolby wrote a paper about why there are differences and they say it has nothing to do with the codecs, but instead there are other changes made to the soundtracks. (DTS hotly debates their claims.)

1. Dolby claims that they use a feature called 'diaglogue normalization' which usually reduces overall volume by 3dB. Since DTS does not use 'normalization', the DTS material may sound more dynamic to listeners.

2. Dolby claims that differences listeners notice in sound quality are down to changes made to the digital master, rather than differences in codec efficiency between DD and DTS.

3. Dolby claims differences between DD and DTS material may also be explained by remixes of the source material. Some DTS ES versions were remixed to add the extra discrete channel.


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post #4 of 50 Old 06-03-06, 02:52 AM
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Re: Is DTS important?

Hi All,
I always use DTS when available. It was my understanding that the DTS signal uses a different compression algorithm and is nowhere near as compressed as DD. So, as a result, DTS sound is more dynamic, as it contains more information.

A good example of this is the movie Pitch Black with Vin Diesel. If you watch the scene when the space ship crashes in DD, and then DTS, you will notice a definate difference ie: The DTS track has more spatial information and more seems to be happening on the audio level regardless of volume.

This is a direct quote from a DTS Wiki (link below)

One advantage of DTS (for DVDs) is that it has a much higher bitrate than equivalent Dolby tracks. DTS 5.1 typically uses 768-1536 kbit/s (overall), while Dolby 5.1 uses 384-448 kbit/s. Proponents claim these extra bits give higher fidelity and a greater dynamic range, providing richer and more life-like sound. They also claim that DTS is louder and has less hiss at the same volume.

Of course I could be wrong.

Last edited by Rezon_8; 06-03-06 at 02:58 AM.
post #5 of 50 Old 06-03-06, 11:28 AM
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Re: Is DTS important?

YES!! If one can't hear the difference in DD and dts, one must be deaf.. It's been some time since I've checked the difference so I put Hero in the 'ol Sony and selected the dd track and then the dts track. Not only is dts louder, there is noticebly less hiss, more definition and I could hear things that I couldn't hear with the dd track.
post #6 of 50 Old 06-03-06, 01:51 PM
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Re: Is DTS important?

Receivers and pre-pros should account for the 3dB difference between DD and DTS. I remember my Yamaha RX-V1400 would always show a -3dB on the display panel when I used DTS to account for the difference. Otherwise, in general, people think the same thing is better if the only difference is volume. Maybe some processors aren't doing this.

The few instances where I have read anecdotes of double-blind comparisons between DD and DTS indicate the listener could not tell the difference between DD and DTS. If you've got a friend, you owe it to yourself to conduct a double-blind comparison if you really think DTS is that much better. The only movie where I can really say there's a significant difference is in Appleseed, and that's because it seems they messed up the DTS center channel level during the mixing.
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post #7 of 50 Old 06-03-06, 04:34 PM
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Re: Is DTS important?

I'll take the challenge. Not only will I do it with a friend but my husband and my grandmother. She'll be over tonight for a going away dinner for the old man and I'll do a blind test tonight, I'd like to see the results myself.
post #8 of 50 Old 06-03-06, 04:58 PM
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Re: Is DTS important?

I always go for DTS - it's a few years since I did an AB, but it always sounded significantly more dynamic particularly with for concert DVD's than DD.
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post #9 of 50 Old 06-03-06, 08:49 PM
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Re: Is DTS important?

It occurred to me, if the audio information is +3dB on DTS versus DD, that would obviously explain a higher SPL on DTS with the same amount of background noise (due to your gear, not the audio track). If you are playing at SPL levels such that +3dB on your receiver will make the noise audible (when no audio is playing back).
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post #10 of 50 Old 06-04-06, 09:55 AM
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Re: Is DTS important?

I think that DTS is a must have as a choice - but not necc the end all solution for all DVDs. The mix could sometimes be better on the Dolby soundtrack, although most report a better film audio mix being done on the DTS track (to satisfy those picky users with better audio systems who bother to select the non-default DTS option on the disc menu). BTW it is not necc to have it in the player if your AVR supports it. Just set the player to bitstream and let the AVR fed by a coax or toslink S/PDIF connection decode it. IMHO DTS is more of a AVR/Pre-Pro requirement

I've read Dolby's and DTS's material describing their codecs and personally I like the DTS approach better. Throwing higher clock sample rates at the problem means less tricky compression tricks needed. IIRC Dolby Digital tops out at 640 kbps whereas DTS goes to 1509 kbps.


Last edited by bobgpsr; 06-13-06 at 03:13 PM. Reason: corrected DTS max bps rate
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