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Paramount will finally use hi-def audio

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 27 Jul 2007 22:03 User comments (4)

Paramount will finally use hi-def audio After more than a year of next-gen releases in both HD DVD and Blu-ray formats, Paramount's first releases with lossless audio - Blades of Glory and Next have been announced.
In the world of standard DVD-Video discs almost all discs are released with lossy audio, meaning some quality is lost from the original recording. This is due to the relatively large size of uncompressed audio, which is the only lossless format supported by standards.

Due to the smaller percentage of the disc required to use uncompressed audio for either hi-def format, as well as the availability of Dolby TrueHD as a mandatory audio format for HD DVD, it's fairly common for releases in both formats to include lossless audio.

Paramount's delay in using lossless audio on their discs likely stems from releasing discs in both formats. HD DVD's smaller storage capacity and inclusion of the compressed Dolby TrueHD as a mandatory audio format make that the obvious choice. However, since it's not a mandatory format for Blu-ray, another audio stream must be included on those discs if TrueHD is to be included.

Fortunately Blu-ray's increased size makes that posibble. However, that doesn't mean it makes sense to use different versions for each format. However, that appears to be exactly how the studio will be handling the issue.

This is an interesting result of the format war. As a supporter of both formats Paramount has no pressure on them to take advantage of either format's strongest features. Instead it makes more sense to look at the company's bottom line and use the same audio for each.

If not for complaints from consumers this move may never have happened.

Source: High-Def Digest

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4 user comments

128.7.2007 6:00
dblbogey7
Inactive

It's about time. There are a few things in vurbal's article that needs to be clarified:

Quote:
However, since it's not a mandatory format for Blu-ray, another audio stream must be included on those discs if TrueHD is to be included. Fortunately Blu-ray's increased size makes that posibble. However, that doesn't mean it makes sense to use different versions for each format. However, that appears to be exactly how the studio will be handling the issue.
What's included in the BluRay versions is the uncompressed 5.1 PCM soundtrack. This soundtrack is bit for bit identical to the original studio master.

The HD DVD version has Dolby TrueHD. What happens is this - they take the uncompressed PCM soundtrack and they encode it to Dolby True HD to save space. Once this is decoded or unpacked by the player the result is the exact same lossless uncompressed multichannel PCM signal.

Quote:
This is an interesting result of the format war. As a supporter of both formats Paramount has no pressure on them to take advantage of either format's strongest features. Instead it makes more sense to look at the company's bottom line and use the same audio for each.

All HD DVD palyers (and BluRay players for that matter) are required by spec to be able to handle uncompressed PCM. They can use the original uncompressed PCM if they wanted to. However, due to space limitations this is usually not a viable alternative.

So for BluRay lossless PCM - no royalties.
For HD DVD - royalties paid to Dolby for encoding to True HD.

228.7.2007 20:56

I would have thought Paramount had already made the change. Well the ywo movies i would say are ok to test the new audio out on. I have seen next and its a good movie :)

329.7.2007 8:28
hughjars
Inactive

This will be nice for those with the kit to handle it properly.

So, relatively speaking, hardly anyone then.

As far as the mainstream mass-market goes Dolby Pro-logic is considered 'high tech' (and that usually refers to the 2 cheapo satellite speakers that came with their TV and the little front centre speaker).

All these items are nice to have but once again to make sweeping statements that it really means a hell of a lot outside of the early adopter/audiophile/geeky circles is just self-delusion.

429.7.2007 9:18

This proves, however, that the early adopters/audiophiles/geeky circles have a powerful voice and the studios and CE manufacturers are listening very closely.

At this early stage the HDM market is an enthusiast market and the enthusiast is the driving force. The studios know this, and the CE companies know this. That's why we see these kinds of news items on a regular basis. Those who dismiss these news items as irrelevant just don't understand the audiophile/videophile mentality - "We don't care what the mass market wants or needs. Just give us the best or give us nothing." It's fortunate that the studios and CE companies understand this.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Jul 2007 @ 9:43

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