Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

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swampdaddy
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:19 am

Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by swampdaddy » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:43 pm

On many BD rips I see that the best audio track is "DTS-HD MA" and it seems that this is the only track I need since Plex seems to transcode as needed to my iPhone and Apple TV 4K as well.

So Typically I see:
Track 1: DTS-HD MA
Track 2: DTS
Track 3: AC-3 (DD Surround)
Track 4: Stereo (Commentary)

So in a case like this, I'll take the highest quality 5.1 (or 7.1 track) and any commentaries too. Any problem with this? It seems that its unnecessary to have a lower bit-rate DTS or an AC3 track just for compatibility which is also lower quality than the other tracks... Is there a situation where I'll be unhappy with this choice?

Thanks,

R

VarHD
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Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:40 pm

Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by VarHD » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:37 pm

In the end, it's completely up to you, there's no "officially correct" way, but... personally, I'm always ripping two tracks - the highest quality and the second-highest so based on your example, that would be "DTS-HD MA" and "DTS".

Why? I generally prefer using a "raw" stream of a "worse" track than a transcoded version of a better one. Right now I'm using an A/V Receiver which can't natively decode some of the newest formats (such as TrueHD or Atmos) so when I watch a movie, I'll pick the second track so the receiver would "do the job" rather than Plex. Same goes for other devices (when watching a TV show on an iPad, for example). However, I also know for a fact that I'm going to finally upgrade the receiver in the (near?) future and then I will want to use the best/primary track.

That said, I suggest you do some testing, switch between one and the other, listen to the difference - does it sound just as good when it's transcoded, is it just as dynamic as when the device decodes it etc. If you don't hear any difference, then sure - pick just the one best track. I like to have a "fallback" just in case and I don't mind sacrificing the relatively small space the second track takes.

swampdaddy
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:19 am

Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by swampdaddy » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:43 pm

Thanks for the reply.... Since ATV 4K and iPhone do not decode DTS at all you will always be hearing the results of a transcode, yes?

Also, when you get a new receiver will you have a way of globally changing the track that is chosen? I guess you are manually selecting the lesser track now and later won't have to do that.

Thanks,

R

VarHD
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:40 pm

Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by VarHD » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:51 pm

swampdaddy wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:43 pm
Thanks for the reply.... Since ATV 4K and iPhone do not decode DTS at all you will always be hearing the results of a transcode, yes?
Yes, of course there will still be devices that can't decode even the lesser track, but if it's something like a phone then honestly at that point I don't really care about it that much especially if I'd use Apple's earbuds ;) My goal is to just always let the device give it a shot, if it can deal with the "worse" track - great, if not, then it would have to transcode anyway.
swampdaddy wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:43 pm
Also, when you get a new receiver will you have a way of globally changing the track that is chosen? I guess you are manually selecting the lesser track now and later won't have to do that.
Exactly. I'll just pick the main one. That's still far less work than having to re-rip the movie.

swampdaddy
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:19 am

Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by swampdaddy » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:06 am

I'd like to hear from others... I'd like to know which audio tracks they are keeping... It seems that DTS HD MA is way better then regular DTS or AC3 and that there is no reason to keep the lesser quality tracks. I suppose if I was trying to play this file directly on my iPhone it would be a problem but I don't see this as an issue because Plex allows me to download them and it will transcode to a large variety of formats for something like a plane ride.

I guess I need to do some testing.

Thanks,

R

Woodstock
Posts: 6599
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:21 pm

Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by Woodstock » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:44 pm

A DTS HD MA track contains the lossy DTS data, plus the data necessary to replace what was lost in the compression. You are never really "throwing away" the lossy part of the track - it's a necessary part of the lossless playback.

The reason that MakeMKV writes a separate DTS track is that some players cannot deal with having the extra data. If your player doesn't have an issue, there is no reason to save the separate copy; the "full" track has a copy of it anyway.

The same goes for TrueHD.
How to aid in finding the answer to your problem: https://www.makemkv.com/faq/item/8

Grauhaar
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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:46 pm

Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by Grauhaar » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:48 pm

Right, there is no need to save both DTS tracks. If you save the DTS MA (very huge, abut 4GB and more), you can extract the DTS Core later with some tools from it. Normaly, if DTS MA is not supported, the player or Software cannot see the DTS MA extention of the DTS Core and playes the DTS Core. To really hear the difference, you need a very good equipment. TVs or whatever in this area can never ever reproduce the benefit from an DTS MA track.
Good Luck :)
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swampdaddy
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Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by swampdaddy » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:26 pm

So, what audio tracks do you save and/or regularly use?

What tracks are really on the Blu Ray? You mentioned that MakeMKV writes out a separate DTS track so I’m getting the idea that it’s more than a straight copy of raw data.

Thanks,

R

Grauhaar
Posts: 354
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:46 pm

Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by Grauhaar » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:04 am

swampdaddy wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:26 pm
What tracks are really on the Blu Ray?
If an DTS MA track (an a HD track) is available, the DTS Core is imbeeded in the HD track as the base. There is no seperate DTS 5.1 (the Core) track. The DTS Core is extracted from the DTS MA track. Of cource, there can be an extra DTS 5.1 track, but then MakeMKV shows it as an extra track and not as an subtrack from an HD track.
Good Luck :)
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Woodstock
Posts: 6599
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:21 pm

Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by Woodstock » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:23 am

For me, I have MakeMKV rip ALL audio tracks, including the "core" copy from the DTS HD MA track. If I were going to store the raw rip, I wouldn't remove any of them.

But, I don't keep the raw rip around longer than needed. I run it through handbrake, and have it create an AAC plus an AC3 audio track, and then pass through the DTS* tracks to the (much smaller) output MKV. Compressing the video make the size of the audio tracks (mostly) irrelevant.
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swampdaddy
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:19 am

Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by swampdaddy » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:49 am

Why create an AC3 AAC plus track?

Woodstock
Posts: 6599
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:21 pm

Re: Keep DTS-HD MA Only?

Post by Woodstock » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:58 pm

AC3 because it's more universal (same audio codec used on DVD).
AAC because Apple devices don't like AC3 (licensing issue), and AAC is native to Apple products.
DTS pass-through for when I have something that actually supports DTS audio properly.

To be honest, though, the DTS will probably not be used by me. My experience with DTS-enabled titles is that they're mixed to emphasize the background, because voices just aren't exciting enough to be heard in 7.1 channels that lets you hear the beating of a butterfly's heart. It's gotten so bad that even my 15 year old nephew uses subtitles when watching English shows, because the voices are unintelligible. But the sound of that motorbike and its screaming tires is really high fidelity!
How to aid in finding the answer to your problem: https://www.makemkv.com/faq/item/8

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