The Departed [Blu-ray] PCM better than The Departed [HD DVD] TrueHD - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:18 PM
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Default The Departed [Blu-ray] PCM better than The Departed [HD DVD] TrueHD

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Now, how do the PCM and TrueHD tracks compare? Given this historic opportunity, I decided to conduct a little experiment. I invited a friend over, who is a big movie and music buff, but not particularly technical. He knows good audio when he hears it, yet doesn't know a PCM from an RPM from R.E.M. In other words, he's Joe Six-Pack with a great ear. Anyway, together we conducted a "blind" audio test -- we select ten short sequences from the film, and listened to a compare of each. We took turns firing up each scene, and selecting which one sounded better, with no knowledge of which sample was the Blu-ray and which the HD DVD.

After writing down our answers on little scraps of paper (note that we didn't throw them into a hat -- we aren't that dorky), the results were interesting. Out of the twenty comparisons (ten for him, ten for me), we could only detect differences on four scenes total. But of those four, we both always preferred the PCM track, if only a smidgeon. For example, there is a scene in involving an attempted trade bust between the Costello character and a Chinese gang. There is a sound of a gun firing that we went back over a few times, and as silly as it sounds, the force and impact of the sounds was a shade more realistic in PCM. Also a beneficiary of the uncompressed mix is the music, as this is a film brimming with rock songs. The first scene we picked featured the Rolling Stone's "Gimme Shelter," and again the PCM track boasted a slightly more spacious feel to the music in all channels -- as if the very highest end of the frequency range was more palpable.

I had too.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:20 PM
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Yeah figures. I'm waiting for more music disc's I could give a shit about from either side. As it stands there's only one I want and the rest would be from Japanese and Korean artists. BoA in HD, HINT, HINT.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:21 PM
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I for one do not have the "ear" to be able to tell the difference like that. So not really a big deal for me.

Who are you quoting BTW?
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:24 PM
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Like I said in the thread on the BD review, sounds like (pun intended) lossless TrueHD isn't so lossless Someone should call Dolby out on this one
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by wingnut View Post
I for one do not have the "ear" to be able to tell the difference like that. So not really a big deal for me.

Who are you quoting BTW?
http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/departed.html

Peter Bracke.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:26 PM
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My money is on that one was a slightly different volume than the other, this isn't exactly a scientific comparison. Or perhaps something with the setup? Maybe using a XB360 with Optical vs PS3 with HDMI?

What would be interesting is a scientific analysis of the actual difference between PCM and Lossless codecs so that you can quantify if it is actually worth it to use raw PCM over a lossless codec.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:27 PM
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if only a smidgeon
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a shade
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slightly more
Sounds like another thorough trouncing

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Originally Posted by dobyblue View Post
I had too.
Now. How did both compare to say a plain old DTS on a DVD (you know the soundtrack we'd be ecstatic to see instead of just D5.1)?

Last edited by rick240; 02-13-2007 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:27 PM
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Now we just need a DTS-HD MA to PCM to TrueHD shoot out. We haven't been able to hear full DTS-HD yet, but this leaves open the slight possibility that it is superior to TrueHD just like 98% of DTS tracks are when compared to Dolby.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aodh View Post
My money is on that one was a slightly different volume than the other, this isn't exactly a scientific comparison. Or perhaps something with the setup? Maybe using a XB360 with Optical vs PS3 with HDMI?

What would be interesting is a scientific analysis of the actual difference between PCM and Lossless codecs so that you can quantify if it is actually worth it to use raw PCM over a lossless codec.
Please, don't think that the reviews on this site are done using an optical connection.

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Audio is processed with the Pioneer Elite VSX-81TXV 7.1CH Dolby Digital/DTS A/V Receiver, which supports full 192 kHz / 24-Bit conversion of decoded Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio formats via HDMI. It powers three S-150THX left, center and right speakers, a pair of left and right SS-150 surrounds, an additional pair of S-100B back left and back right surrounds, and a M&K MX-200 subwoofer. No artificial equalization or other sound processing is used to retain the integrity of the original source material.

For high-def disc playback, we currently use Toshiba's HD-XA2 for HD DVD, and Samsung's BD-P1000 for Blu-ray. Beginning in November of 2006, we also began comparing high-def playback on our standalone players vs high-def playback on Sony's PlayStation 3 60Gb Blu-ray Player and Microsoft's Xbox 360 HD DVD Player.

For comparison with other standard definition and high-definition pre-recorded and broadcast video sources, we are currently using a Panasonic RP91 standard DVD player, JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS with D-Theater high-def VCR, and a Dish Network HD-942 High-Definition DVR to receive satellite and terrestrial HD broadcasts. All standard-definition DVD comparisons are made via 480p outputs; no upconversion to 720p or 1080i is made to best represent image quality typical of what most consumers are capable of receiving.

All discs provided to High-Def Digest for review are final consumer release versions. We do not review test discs or other non-consumer-quality pre-release versions.

Complete specs for the High-Def Digest Review Reference System:

Video Displays:
- Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV [via HDMI] (11/12/06 - present)
- HP Pavilion MD6580N 65" DLP Rear-Projector (4/18/06 - 11/11/06)
- Toshiba 65H81 65" CRT Rear-Projector

HD DVD Players:
- Toshiba HD-XA2* [via HDMI] (1/29/07 - present)
- Toshiba HD-XA1* [via HDMI] (4/18/06 - 1/28/07)
- Microsoft Xbox 360 HD DVD Player (used for comparison purposes only)

Blu-ray Players:
- Samsung BD-P1000 (via HDMI)
- Sony PlayStation 3 60Gb Blu-ray Player [via HDMI]

Sound Processors / Amplification:
- Pioneer Elite VSX-81TXV 7.1CH Dolby Digital/DTS A/V Receiver (12/10/06 - present)
- Denon AVR-1803 A/V Dolby Digital/DTS Surround Processor (4/18/06 - 12/09/06)

Speakers:
- M&K S-150THX Left, Center, and Right
- M&K SS-150 Left, Right Surrounds
- M&K S-100B Back Left, Back Right Surrounds
- M&K MX-200 Subwoofer

Standard DVD Player:
- Panasonic RP91 Progressive Scan [via Component]

DVHS Player:
- JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS with D-Theater HD VCR

Set-Top Box:
- Dish Network HD-942 High-Definition DVR

Accessories:
- BetterCables Interconnects
If they were testing the optical output of the 360 vs. the PCM on Blu-ray then there would have been a massive difference.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:33 PM
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Of course, this comparison only holds true assuming that the master audio wasn't fooled around with prior to authoring the discs. We CAN'T make that assumption, since lossless is lossless. When we zip up a Word file on our computer, we don't unzip it only to find that zip has changed one of the fonts to it's own liking.

So... this has to be some other random variable:

- Warner screwed with the audio
- Warner has a screwed TrueHD encoder
- the player has a screwed TrueHD decoder
- the results of this blind test are not what they seem, Sony is not the evil empire, and that wasn't incense...
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