DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

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SiliconKid
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:57 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by SiliconKid » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:44 am

Thanks guys, those last 2 posts cleared everything up and confirmed what I was thinking and answered my question directly.

Thanks to everyone for giving intelligent and sensible feedback to my original post in this thread.

Suggestions for potential improvements to the MakeMKV GUI based on all this discussion are:

1. Don't nest the Core track under the MA track visually. Put them on the same level.

or

2. If they remain nested, then if the user checks the top level MA checkbox, the nested checkbox should automatically tick too and
should gray out and disable so it cannot be toggled independently.



In the meantime I also did my own further investigation and ripped the same BluRay with DTS-MA audio several times with
MakeMKV using different combinations of those checkboxes to see what would happen.

The results are summarised as follows:

1. Rip with ONLY the top level DTS-MA checkbox checked: Produces an MKV with ONE audio track which is the full DTS-MA
track that includes the DTS 5.1 Core and is fully backward compatible with older players that don't support DTS-MA.

2. Rip with BOTH the top level MA checkbox and the nested Core checkbox checked: Produces an MKV with TWO audio streams,
the first being the full DTS-MA track as per point 1 above, the 2nd being the DTS 5.1 Core track on it's own.

This situation is redundant and is the scenario that caused me confusion. There is NEVER a reason to do this because
effectively you now have the DTS 5.1 Core track on in the MKV twice, once as part of the MA track and once as a standalone
track. But because of the excellent backward compatability of DTS-MA, this is completely unnecessary because older media
players that don't support DTS-MA will simply extract the Core track from the MA track and play that, they do NOT need
the supplementary track.

3. Rip with ONLY the nested Core track checkbox checked: Produces and MKV with ONE audio track which is the DTS 5.1 Core track.

This scenario is valid for people who simply don't care about DTS-MA and would like to save disk space and only want the Core 5.1
track.

Given the following difference in track sizes between DTS-MA and Core only (for the disc I was experimenting with):

Full DTS-MA track: 4.78 GB

Core 5.1 track: 1.33 GB

I think it's fair to say that this is a legitimate scenario and probably worth consideration for many people because MA takes up a
LOT of space.

joe42
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by joe42 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:55 am

SiliconKid wrote: 2. Rip with BOTH the top level MA checkbox and the nested Core checkbox checked: Produces an MKV with TWO audio streams,
the first being the full DTS-MA track as per point 1 above, the 2nd being the DTS 5.1 Core track on it's own.

This situation is redundant and is the scenario that caused me confusion. There is NEVER a reason to do this because
effectively you now have the DTS 5.1 Core track on in the MKV twice, once as part of the MA track and once as a standalone
track. But because of the excellent backward compatability of DTS-MA, this is completely unnecessary because older media
players that don't support DTS-MA will simply extract the Core track from the MA track and play that, they do NOT need
the supplementary track.
How do you know this? I've seen reports (from several years ago, I think) from people who only ripped the DTS-MA track and their players were unable to handle it, so they had to go back and rip the core track. I don't remember details like what players, etc. But I think it is presumptuous for you to say that there is "never" a reason, unless you have personally tested it with every player out there and found that they all can handle it.

SiliconKid
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:57 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by SiliconKid » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:02 am

@joe42: I base that comment on standards.

The DTS-MA standard dictates that it is ALWAYS backward compatible with anything that can play normal DTS audio tracks.

That's the beauty of it over Dolby TrueHD.

To my knowledge there is NO media player that can play DTS properly that should be unable to play the Core of an MA Track because older
players that have no concept of MA are supposed to see an MA track as a normal 5.1 Core track because of how the track is actually encoded.

In other words, the clever encoding format of DTS-MA is supposed to ensure that old players don't even realise they are looking at an MA audio track.

But technical standards aside, it just makes absolutely no common sense to have both audio tracks in the same MKV in my opinion because:

a. The amount of space being consumed on disc is astronomical.

b. Pick one. Seriously. You don't need both. And the vast majority of the time people know what kind of playback device they are targeting so
they know if they want the MA or only need the Core.

joe42
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by joe42 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:04 am

Fortunately, the author of MakeMKV is not as presumptuous as you are with telling people what they need and how compatible all players are.

SiliconKid
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:57 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by SiliconKid » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:20 am

@joe42:

If you read my posts carefully, I'm not actually advocating that he prevents including both streams in the MKV.

One of the suggestions for UI improvement is to move the Core checkbox to the SAME level as the MA stream,
still allowing both to be checked.

My issue is with having the Core track NESTED under the MA track but then not slaving the nested checkbox
to the top level checkbox. If you visually nest the checkboxes like that it implies a relationship, which means
that you should NOT allow the nested checkbox to remain unticked if the parent level checkbox is ticked.

As it stands right now, the UI layout implies that you MUST tick both boxes if you want full DTS-MA.

But that's not the case, if you tick both boxes currently you end up with 2 audio tracks, wasting disk space for nothing,
which is NOT what I want at all.

The UI is currently confusing and makes the user unsure of what to check and what not to check.

The best solution is actually to NOT nest those checkboxes and remove any implied relationship because that
will completely remove all confusion. If the 2 audio track are visually on the same level in in the UI, then they
are clearly 2 completely separate output tracks and the user is free to choose either 1 or both. I'm happy with that.

I'm not happy with the current confusing UI layout.

It's very confusing for users. I build software and UIs for a living, so this stuff is of particular importance to me
because I deal with it every day of my life.

I don't know why you are taking such offence at this anyway because the DTS standard is quite clear and clearly states
that ALL older players that do NOT support DTS-MA WILL be able to play the Core track.

I see nothing presumptuous about trusting a well known and respected company like DTS when they have clearly
dictated a global standard.

joe42
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by joe42 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:55 am

SiliconKid wrote: I see nothing presumptuous about trusting a well known and respected company like DTS when they have clearly
dictated a global standard.
Wow, it is hard to believe someone who "builds software for a living" would make such a naive statement.

Have you really never encountered a case where 3rd party products are not fully compatible with an ivory-tower standard?

Anyway, at least we agree that the two checkboxes should not be nested. If you read my earlier post, you will see that is exactly what I proposed.

Our disagreement is with your assumption that all players can handle a DTS-MA stream in a MKV file. I've already told you that it is not true -- I have seen reports from people who have had problems in the past. Furthermore, there are use cases where someone would like both streams. For example, if they have one player that supports DTS-MA, and another player that cannot handle the DTS-MA stream but can handle a lossy DTS stream.

SiliconKid
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:57 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by SiliconKid » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:12 am

That standard is VERY clear and any player that supports normal DTS 5.1 properly, as per the original standard, WILL play a DTS-HD MA audio track properly.

Any player that does not, is effectively faulty and does not implement normal DTS playback properly, as per the correct standard.

As someone who works in the industry and deals with these things every day, I can assure you that designing software to cater for fringe elements that do NOT adhere to standards and are effectively faulty, is not a very good way to conduct business and not conducive to building high quality software.

This is not a subjective thing. The standard is clear and any player supporting the original old DTS 5.1 standard that shipped on DVDs should be able to play a DTS-HD MA audio track. Period.

Specifically, that is because the way a DTS-HD MA audio track is encoded means that old players don't even see the Extension portion of the track, they only see the Core, as a normal DTS 5.1 track.

Which means that any player that plays old 5.1 DTS, but won't play a DTS-HD MA track, has got something wrong with it and there is a flaw in it's DTS implementation.

I see absolutely NO reason why MakeMKVs default UI layout and functionality should cater to that kind of faulty implementation.

Sure, make it so that people CAN put both tracks in the MKV if they want to, but they should have to explicitly choose to do so, the UI shouldn't be leading them in that direction and making it look like that's normal and required just so that MakeMKV can protect people with dodgy old media players that didn't implement the DTS standard properly in the first place.

joe42
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by joe42 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:19 am

As I said, we are lucky the author of MakeMKV is not as presumptuous as you are.

SiliconKid
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:57 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by SiliconKid » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:28 am

Actually, we aren't.

Because now we sit with a UI that confused both of us, by your own admission, as a direct result of trying to cater for things that the software shouldn't have to try and cater for.

joe42
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:44 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by joe42 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:12 pm

I'll take functionality over a nice GUI every time. Ideally we would have both, but the world is rarely ideal.

mike admin
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:26 am
Contact:

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by mike admin » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:46 am

There are plenty of cases when core track should be extracted by itself. For example SPDIF bandwidth is not enough for DTS-HD, it can only handle plain DTS. So if you have setup when AV receiver is connected by SPDIF cable, you have to count on player to recognize that DTS track has HD + core data and discard HD data before it hits the cable. And guess what - most players don't do that. Yes, receiver would discard HD data too, but there is no bandwidth in cable to put junk data there in a first place.

SiliconKid
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:57 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by SiliconKid » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:29 pm

@Mike_admin: Agreed, there is no dispute that there are indeed cases for needing the Core DTS track separate.

To get back to my original issue and point, the real issue is the way that the UI is currently laid out and how it's confusing to have those checkboxes nested like that when they are not slaved to each other.

My original intent of my original post on this thread was not to start a debate about whether the Core track is necessary or required or not. That is for each user to decide for themselves and I acknowledge that peoples needs are different.

My post was actually directed at you from one dev to another to point out that I found the current UI layout confusing and I feel that it could be improved to reduce the confusion for new users who may be as confused as I was and end up ripping multiple audio tracks they don't need or want and wasting a lot of disk space in the process.

It's really all about the UI layout and the current nesting of the checkboxes which implies that both boxes need to be checked in order to get HD audio.

When Dolby TrueHD is involved it becomes even more confusing than DTS because in that case you DO need a separate Core track for backward compatibility.

I just think that the UI could be structured better in terms of handling HD audio, that's all.

I think MakeMKV is a fantastic product, I paid my license fee long ago, and I recommend it to everybody.

I just wanted to give some feedback and input and suggest things that I feel could improve the product.

Thanks

Allan

Wasabi
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:09 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by Wasabi » Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:05 am

I like the fact that the core is nested because it absolutely *is* related to the MA. It's the exact same audio just at a different quality.

If the core were to be listed separately at the same level, then it just gets lumped in with any other DTS tracks as though it might actually be distinct. Even if it were to be labeled "core," core of what? There can certainly be multiple MA tracks in the same language.

docchris
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:04 pm

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by docchris » Mon May 12, 2014 9:01 pm

Oh. My. God.

I've wasted TONNES of space!!!

necrosis
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:11 am

Re: DTS-HD MA - Why are MA and Core both selectable ?

Post by necrosis » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:05 pm

Same here. I thought it was required because it was nested.

I fully agree with SiliconKid.

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