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 Post subject: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2017, 17:22 
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Afternoon, all.

Could someone explain the difference between DTS and AC3?

I’m a bit confused if they are the same technology, two technologies that work together, or two alternative surround sound options found on Laserdiscs. If they are separate options, how are each accessed?

I understand that AC3 is accessed through a AC3 out port and then an external demodulator. If DTS is separate, how is that accessed?

Thanks all for answering these beginner questions.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2017, 17:27 
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Good start: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaserDisc#Audio

DTS is stored on the digital tracks and outputs via coax/toslink as is.

AC3RF is stored on the right analog track and outputs on the AC3RF dedicated plug. This is analog.
To turn it into digital signal, it requires an AC3RF demodulator (analog in -> digital out).

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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2017, 17:37 
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Okay, so it appears they are two separate systems if I am reading correctly. Did these two systems compete with each other during the Laserdisc era? It’s a little unclear to me if they were competing technologies.

I understand how to extract AC3, but if I find a disc with DTS what exactly is required to extract that stream?
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2017, 18:37 
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DTS and AC-3(Dolby Digital) are just different codecs for the audio signal, like MP3 or AAC. DTS supports higher bitrates than AC-3, 1234 kbits vs 640. For DTS you only need a Receiver or TV capable of DTS, and I guess in the last 15 years every Receiver Model does.

They both exist today aswell and you can find both on Blu-Ray, just with much higher bitrates, and fancier names than on LD.(DTS Master Audio and Dolby True HD or the newest: DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, wich both are object based instead of cannel based).

Nowadays I don't think you could hear the diffrence, but on LD DTS should sound better, because of the higher bitrate.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2017, 20:03 
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OK, so it sounds as if DTS is much higher quality and much easier to use than the AC3 system for the principal reason that you don’t need an external decoder.

Do all LD players support DTS output? It seems that all I need is a receiver then, that can receive the DTS signal. If a disc has DTS on it, do I have to switch to that digital signal from the standard analog signal it would normally put out?

Lastly, I’m assuming that if a disc offers both DTS and RC3, I can pick which I would prefer.

Thanks again for all the help.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2017, 20:06 
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Yes, if you want to listen to the DTS track you just have to switch to the digital output.

If a LD would offer both you could choose, but AFAIK there is no disc with DTS and AC-3
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2017, 20:11 
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OK, a quick search of the database shows that there are a lot more discs with Dolby Digital, so I guess if I want surround-sound that would be the way to go.

I’m sorry if you already answered this question and I just didn’t understand. But do all players support the output of DTS or would I need a player with the correct outputs?
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2017, 20:16 
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Every player with digital out supports DTS, your S104 doesn't have a digital out, so it's not possible to hear the DTS track.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2017, 20:18 
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OK, so the player needs a specific digital output.

Thanks for all the help and advice, I truly appreciate it!
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2017, 01:47 
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And don't forget if you get a player with red and white RCA you must connect them along with the Digital toslink and along with the AC-3 so you can select the
audio tracks you want.

Otherwise you just use the red and white RCA and enjoy the options other than DTS and AC-3
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2017, 18:52 
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spyral wrote:
DTS and AC-3(Dolby Digital) are just different codecs for the audio signal, like MP3 or AAC. DTS supports higher bitrates than AC-3, 1234 kbits vs 640. For DTS you only need a Receiver or TV capable of DTS, and I guess in the last 15 years every Receiver Model does.

They both exist today aswell and you can find both on Blu-Ray, just with much higher bitrates, and fancier names than on LD.(DTS Master Audio and Dolby True HD or the newest: DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, wich both are object based instead of cannel based).

Nowadays I don't think you could hear the diffrence, but on LD DTS should sound better, because of the higher bitrate.


Bitrate for AC3 on LD is 384 kbits and DTS is 1235 kbits.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 16 Nov 2017, 22:18 
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Dolby Digital and DTS were competing theater technologies, that soon trickled down into home theater. DTS is more convenient to decode nowadays but it was pretty expensive back then. The selection of either is pretty bad but DTS has very little in the way of titles worth watching, IMO, due to the limited window of availability. From a technical perspective DTS LD is way better than DD LD.

You don’t need either for “surround sound” though. Most major motion pictures on LD are in Dolby Stereo, just like the theatrical one. You need to use the stereo out (RCA or SPDIF/TOSLINK) and then turn on Dolby Pro Logic on your receiver to make four channels out of it.
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 Post subject: Re: DTS 5.1 vs. Dolby Digital AC3 - what's the difference?
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2017, 04:03 
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In short DTS on LD is better, they are kind of equal on DVD except for a handfull full bitrate DTS titles, they are identical on Bluray since they are both lossless.
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