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Which soundcard to decode DTS or Dolby Digital?

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by Horrux, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Dent1

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    That is exactly what I said.

    Didn't know some PS3 games support LPCM. I would have thought PCM 5.0 by bypassing the built in DD/DTS encoder. I wonder how many games actually support LPCM.
     
  2. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

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    All PS3 games have to support LPCM; it was part of the original specifications of the console. 2 channel LPCM is the minimum required, but up to 7.1 is supported. It's up to the game designers as to how many sound output channels they want to support.

    There are two possible implementation of DD/DTS in games on the PS3. By default, a game designer programs their game to output just LPCM and then the PS3 system software takes that LPCM and encodes it into DD/DTS if that is the highest supported output (as chosen in the PS3 system software audio settings). But in some higher end games, the game designer can license the DD or DTS encoder software directly, implement it into game code, and tune it specifically to their game so that the best audio quality is possible within the specification. These are the games that prominently display the Dolby Digital or DTS logos in their games. Games that fit into the second case still have to support LPCM though (only two channel is required, but if multi-channel audio is already programmed into the game, it's trivial to tell the software to bypass the encoder).

    I have not come across a PS3 game that supports multi-channel audio only though DD/DTS and not through LPCM. As long as you select to prefer bitstreaming (i.e. avoid decoding) in the PS3 system software, you can tell this pretty easily. With this setting, if the only surround format available is DD/DTS, the PS3 will always choose to bitstream DD/DTS over decoding it and outputting it over multi channel LPCM; the only way you could get LPCM in this mode is if it was a native soundtrack. So if the PS3 is outputting multi channel LPCM and the bitstreaming option is enabled, then you are not just decoding DD/DTS.

    The XBOX 360, in contrast, does not support greater than 2 channel LPCM for games, so it has to output Dolby Digital via HDMI for multi-channel audio (DTS encoding is not supported). It's still up to the game designer whether they just want to use Microsoft's built in implementation of the DD encoder or to pay to license it directly and get better control over the encoding parameters.

    This is, for the few console games I do play, one of the reasons I choose the PS3 versions of games.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
    springs113 and Dent1 say thanks.
  3. Dent1

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    DD and DTS are also part of the specification. Realistically how many games support LPCM 7.1? Personally I'm not a fan of it, requires too much room space for little support. I think game developers know this and cater for DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1. I think game developers are lazy so 90% of the time they'll have 5 uncompressed audio channels to fulfil the LPCM obligation and use built in DD/DTS encoder to fill the DD and DTS obligations.
     
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  4. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

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    The one thing you're forgetting is that Sony has Blu-ray disc in the PS3. On the X360 developers are looking to cut corners to fit games on a minimum number of DVDs, and the sound quality can suffer for that. When you have a multiplatform game designed to fit on DVDs and find yourself with extra space on a Blu-ray disc, one of the easiest ways to use this space is to put less compressed sound files on the disc. Lossless audio isn't likely to be used, but 256/320kbps MP3 samples mixed onto LPCM would sound much better than Dolby Digital.
     
  5. springs113

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    Last I remember the first gen(40&60) ps3 do it was the slimline and the other subsequent models that don't.

    To the OP, have you also checked out AVForums?
    I think GOW3 for the ps3 do...don't quote me though.
     
  6. The Von Matrices

    The Von Matrices

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    The first generation "fat" PS3s removed a lot of features during their lifetime, but none of them supported bitstreaming DTS HD Master Audio or Dolby TrueHD; they can still decode it to LPCM though. Only the "slim" and "superslim" PS3s can bitstream those two formats. Maybe you're thinking of SACD support, which was present in the initial models but not the later ones?
     
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