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cobb007's picture
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UHD Blu-ray audio

Does anyone know if there are new surround sound formats to match

the UHD picture quality?  Dolby DTS UHD?

 

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RE: New Surround formats for UHD

Hi cobb007 :wave:

I doubt if there be any new surround formats to go with the UHD picture quality, most people don't realise we already have reference quality surround formats in Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master audio with up to 7.1 channels of discrete audio on certain blu-ray discs. With the avent of 4K blu-ray discs to be launched later this year we may get the option of 9.1 or 11.1 but no specs have been confirmed yet.

The only possible new surround format that could be on these new 4K discs may be Dolby Atmos, this is only a cinema format at the moment but who knows, sometime in the future one of the major manufacturers of A/V amps ( Onyko,Yamaha,Pioneer etc ) may bring a version of it to the home market, only trouble is will be finding the space for up to 62 speakers and two subs.

Hope this helps

:bounce:

 

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RE: New Surround formats for UHD

macdiddy wrote:

only trouble is will be finding the space for up to 62 speakers and two subs.

A fairly significant trouble for 99.9999% of homes I would think! Though Atmos is actually stated to go "up to" 64 channels, so if Dolby do decide to start licensing it for home use, it would no doubt require significantly fewer - the key extra ones being the ones in the ceiling, plus the extra subs I would think.

 

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RE: New Surround formats for UHD

There was no mention of a UHD-specific audio format at CES, the focus was all on improved picture quality. Dolby Atmos sounds great in the cinema (heard a demo at Dolby Labs last year), not sure I need it in the home though.

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RE: UHD Blu-ray audio

Surely we could have a higher bit rate for sound.

i.e. mastered at 96khz and then on disc at the same.

The disc capacity will need to be much larger for UHD so there must be room for higher bit rate sound

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RE: UHD Blu-ray audio

ellisdj wrote:

Surely we could have a higher bit rate for sound.

i.e. mastered at 96khz and then on disc at the same.

I was under the impression DTS HD Master Audio at least already was. Yes 24/192 up to 5.1 channels and 24/96 up to 7.1 channels.

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RE: UHD Blu-ray audio

Maybe it is capable - I think most discs are 24/ 48 though

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RE: UHD Blu-ray audio

Thank you all for replies I thought I might upgrade my AV receiver and wanted to

hold off if new formats were in the pipeline.

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RE: UHD Blu-ray audio

Sorry to chime in so late, but there was ONE consumer based object oriented audio deliverable codec that made its debut at CES 2014 in Las Vegas: DTS-UHD.  As the name implies it is designed for UHD (4k) media and will not be attached to the current Blu-ray specs.

They used a quad core Cirrus Logic chip since object based rendering takes a lot more horsepower and DTS claimed it was a finalized format ready to ship in the second quarter to any manufacturer willing to include it.  I would also have to assume DTS had DTS-UHD software encoding suites ready to ship to A/V mastering houses.  Can't have one without the other.

This is DTS's contribution to UHD media and it is their way of delivering DTS Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA) object oriented sound to the home.  MDA is in direct competition with Dolby Atmos in both commercial and consumer situations. 

DTS-UHD is also an umbrella licensing package for the media industry and consumer chip manufacturers that can contain anything from regular channel based audio encoding/decoding via DTS-HD Master Audio lossless (already part of the Blu-ray spec.) to sound field expansion post processing instructions via DTS Neo:X (similar to Dolby ProLogic II and Audyssey DSX) to headphone surround matrixing via DTS Headphone:X.    

Questions remain as to how similar or different DTS's consumer version of object based surround is to Dolby Atmos, which is currently available only in commercial theater venues.  As good as?  Better?  A hybrid with channel beds and object sound files (like Atmos) or a pure object bitstream?  Bit-for-bit lossless?  Bit depth and sampling quality?  How many individual speakers can be addressed?  Atmos can map to 64, but that's in a professional setting.  NHK in Japan, who helped develop UHD specs., has pushed for about 22 speakers plus subs. as a maximum configuration.  I haven't run across DTS-UHD's specific capabilties yet.

Both Dolby and DTS claim that their rendering software can adapt and re-map object sound files to whatever speaker layout it encounters and then places those specific sounds as closely as possible to the original metadata instructions contained in the studio mix.  You could say that you're getting a customized, real-time soundtrack mix in your home.  DTS claims that their with their UHD format, any metadata controlled sound object can be adjusted by the listener. 

For instance, during a live sports broadcast if each individual sports caster's mic feed is encoded as an object rather than globally mixed into one center channel, you can raise or lower each mic feed to suit your tastes... or even mute them individually.  If they mic a player on the field and assign the audio as an object, you can select and adjust that one player's voice, or eliminate it.  

One thing I'd love to see is a movie (like Gravity, since it had such an aggressive object mix) created for Dolby Atmos re-created in the home using DTS-UHD and then be able to compare the two to see if the same immersive 3D effect is retained.  

Both Dolby and DTS have previously held private industry and press meetings with select guests to demo beta versions of their consumer object based formats using BD-R discs and select clips of movies and in-house demo reels.  They were trying to convey the message that Atmos and MDA were viable options for consumer UHD media from streaming to downloads to broadcasts to pre-packaged discs.  Though, both object formats definitely need more space than currently made available on 50 GB Blu-ray's for a full length movie.

The biggest noticeable addition to traditional home based speaker layouts is the height layer.  This allows for the placement of sounds in a kind of virtual 3D space based on X-Y-Z (three-axis) positional metadata instruction.  No longer are you tied to a flat plain of sound.  In fact, there are psychoacoustic mixing techniques in development that will allow engineers to virtually float sound objects out into the middle of the room rather than having them tethered to set speaker locations.     

No matter what, the concept of fixed channel amounts with fixed locations is a thing of the past.  You could potentially have a 64 speaker output surround mix contained on one disc, if your bank account and room can handle recreating it.  

 

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