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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » BluRay Audio Fromats and DMA-8 (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: BluRay Audio Fromats and DMA-8
Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 10-03-2008 12:38 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've really about had it with BluRay's proprietary audio formats.

Two formats in particular.

DolbyTrueHD and DTS Master Audio. There is no way to know when ordering a BluRay from Amazon weather or not these are the only English options. When they are, I'm forced to go out the 2-ch anaolg jacks and decode in pro logic, since the DMA-8 plus can't recognize the formats properly.

My question is, does Dolby make a "next level up" from the DMA-8 plus that properly decodes DolbyTrueHD? Or is the DMA upgradable via software? Does DTS make a similar product for decoding DTS Master Audio? It's getting to the point where I'm going to stop geting BluRays for the theatre and running standard DVDs. Tht would be unfortunate for the picture quality, but at least then I can always guaranty audio compatibility.

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Demetris Thoupis
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1240
From: Aradippou, Larnaca, Cyprus
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-04-2008 02:27 PM      Profile for Demetris Thoupis   Email Demetris Thoupis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In some applications we choose DVD/Blue Ray players with discrete channel outputs. This way any decoding is passed via the DMA8 without the need to decode anything since the decoding is done in the DVD/Blue Ray player
Demetris

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-04-2008 03:52 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Olpin
There is no way to know when ordering a BluRay from Amazon weather or not these are the only English options.
I don't rely on specs posted at Amazon's web site. They're often incomplete or even wrong at times. It's better to visit a site like Blu-ray.com or other BD movie review sites to get a better idea of what's on the disc.

quote: Mike Olpin
When they are, I'm forced to go out the 2-ch anaolg jacks and decode in pro logic, since the DMA-8 plus can't recognize the formats properly.
What kind of BD player are you using and what sort of connection is being used to send the audio the player? HDMI? Old fastioned optical or coaxial? Analog leads?

Both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio contain backward compatible data lossy "core" tracks. Any BD player should be able to send lossy core DD and DTS audio out of coaxial or optical connections. Some BD players offer the ability to internally decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio and send it as multichannel Linear PCM over HDMI connection or output it via 5.1 or 7.1 analog outputs.

Sony's Playstation 3 has to internally decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio and output it as LPCM 5.1 or LPCM 7.1 over HDMI. Some limitation in its chipset won't allow the raw, undecoded bit stream to go out over HDMI. It can still send DD and DTS audio via the optical connection.

There may be an additional problem with certain discs since they have 7.1 audio with four discrete surround channels, which is something commercial movie theaters should have adopted more than a decade ago, but appear to have no plans to do so. I'm wondering just how a movie theater would fold those four surround channels down into two for a traditional 5.1 setup.

Also, doesn't the DTS XD-10 processor have some capability for handling DTS-HD audio? Or is it just limited to decoding the "home" variants of DTS and DTS-ES?

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
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 - posted 10-04-2008 07:32 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Very true, Both Dolby TrueHD and DTSHDMA core down to their shitty-ass counterparts that we all know and love on DVD. All you have to do is run the audio out of a digital port (optical, coaxial) that is not HDMI.

You are welcome. Send reward soon.

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 10-04-2008 09:35 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The player is a LG SuperBlu BH200. Audio is passed to the DMA via optical SPDFF.

All audio passed through the SPDFF seems one quarter to a half second out of sync. Audio from the analog L/R jacks are in sync. A standard DVD player is normally used via the same SPDFF input on the DMA and has not shown any sync issues.

On the BluRay player, the audio output options are "Primary Pass-Through", "DTS RE-Encode", and "PCM Stereo".

When Primary pass through is selected, and a standard Dolby Digital track is present, the DMA automatically lights up for Dolby Digital with Descrete decoding. If DTSHDMA or DolbyTrueHD is present, all lights on the DMA go out, and no decoding takes place.

When "PCM Stereo" is selected, the DMA automatically lights up for PCM with Pro Logic decoding, regardless of weather the dsik has Dolby Digital, DTSHD, or Dolby TrueHD.

DTS Re-Encode causes all the lights on the DMA to go out for obvious reasons.

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Carl Martin
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Oakland, CA, USA
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 - posted 10-05-2008 04:05 AM      Profile for Carl Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Carl Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
how about running film?

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
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 - posted 10-05-2008 10:03 AM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We always run 35mm when a suitable print is available. But we run A LOT of old films, many of which are unavailable on 35.

http://www.statetheatretc.org/?page=comingsoon

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 10-05-2008 02:12 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Olpin
All audio passed through the SPDFF seems one quarter to a half second out of sync. Audio from the analog L/R jacks are in sync. A standard DVD player is normally used via the same SPDFF input on the DMA and has not shown any sync issues.
Check for a firmware update. That sync issue seems to a pretty common problem with a lot HD related devices. My satellite TV receiver has a similar issue that still hasn't been corrected; it's one of the primary factors driving me to buy a new HDMI-equipped AV receiver.

Playstation 3 had a similar sync problem when playing DVDs with DTS audio tracks, but that was fixed with a firmware update. I saw the problem with the Saving Private Ryan DTS DVD. The first time I updated the PS3 system software the problem got fixed.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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From: Denver, Colorado
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 - posted 10-05-2008 07:49 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Why are you using an LG player? LG stands for "Low Grade" so you can't really expect much out of it.

I see you are playing/played "Tell no One". I hope you didn't get the mysterious "no heads no tails" print that some other lame theater accused us of giving them.

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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5438
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-06-2008 04:52 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Boy, you got that Paul Newman Sunday set up fast. [thumbsup]

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Brian Guckian
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 594
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 10-06-2008 12:29 PM      Profile for Brian Guckian   Email Brian Guckian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Again this highlights the problem of running what are domestic video formats in a theatre environment. They were not designed for this application. That's why the DMA-8 Plus does not support domestic formats, in the main.

Mike, you said something very interesting there - which BTW anyone could have said - and it shows how "DVD substitution" has been working its way into exhibition culture:

quote: Mike Olpin
We always run 35mm when a suitable print is available. But we run A LOT of old films, many of which are unavailable on 35.

Aha! But your theatre is not in fact running old films - it's running Blu-Ray DVDs! That's the difference. And, as more and more venues engage in "DVD substitution", it reduces the demand for new prints. It's a vicious circle.

NB - I am not in any way criticising you Mike or anyone else on this forum. I'm just raising concerns about people being asked to do things in the theatre environment which are not desirable from an engineering point of view.

One could lobby Dolby and DTS to manufacture software, firmware or hardware to support these domestic formats in the theatre but it would be interesting to hear their thoughts on this.

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Scott Jentsch
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: New Berlin, WI, USA
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 - posted 10-07-2008 11:15 AM      Profile for Scott Jentsch   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Jentsch   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
LG's Blu-ray players have never been considered in the top tier for performance or features, so I would recommend looking into replacing the player with something better. LG and Samsung have some of the worst reputations for quality and reliability among Blu-ray players.

As someone who is most likely interested in giving his customers the best possible picture and sound, the new lossless formats are a gift, not a curse! For less than $500, you can upgrade your source device so that you can access those high definition soundtracks to go along with the high definition picture.

I don't know about pro-grade Blu-ray players, but Panasonic is coming out with the DMP-BD55 that has all the latest and greatest specs, as well as 7.1 channel analog audio outputs. The Sony BDP-S550 does as well, I believe.

I don't know how suitable these players are for your specific situation. Since you probably don't need the BD-Live functionality, you may be able to track down the previous gen models as well (just make sure they decode both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio to the analog outs).

Amazon has the Panasonic DMP-BD55 on pre-order (10/28) for $400, and the Sony BDP-S550 is $400 as well.

Personally, I don't think it should matter whether you are showing movies on 35mm, DVD, or 8mm. You are showing movies in a community experience with the added value that you can provide over and above what people can experience at home. I applaud your desire to deliver the best experience possible!

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 10-07-2008 11:23 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Brian Guckian
One could lobby Dolby and DTS to manufacture software, firmware or hardware to support these domestic formats in the theatre but it would be interesting to hear their thoughts on this.
If the Blu-ray player has the ability to internally decode the lossless Dolby and DTS formats then that issue would be a moot point.

I don't know how a traditional booth setup would accommodate a HDMI connection to receive multichannel LPCM data. But if the equipment can accept 5.1 analog leads from the player then the problem should be solved.

Again, I think 7.1 analog output could open a can of worms. Some players on the market do have 5.1 analog output of decoded lossless surround formats. The Panasonic DMP-BD50 (soon to be discontinued) does.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

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From: Denver, Colorado
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 - posted 10-07-2008 01:56 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If the house is properly set up for EX, then 7.1 is doable in a discrete manner... at least from the amplifier point of view. I don't think something like the CP650 accepts 7.1 inputs.

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Brian Guckian
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 594
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 10-08-2008 06:12 PM      Profile for Brian Guckian   Email Brian Guckian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The CP650 is "8 channel ready" albeit not at the "front end".

Presumably a new option card / Cat. 794 variant would activate full 8-channel capability there.

[EDIT for the record: this post was referring to the basic CP650, and Steve Guttag has pointed out that the existing Cat. 794 does have 8-channel inputs - apologies]

[ 10-11-2008, 07:43 AM: Message edited by: Brian Guckian ]

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