Will Apple ever offer Dolby True HD for iTunes films and Apple TV 4K?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by BODYBUILDERPAUL, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #1
    What do you reckon guys?
    It's clear that Apple want to be the best with Apple TV 4k, 4K Dolby Vision film BUT often the sound is lacking isn't it! Surely if Apple could offer the same lossless choice as BluRay or even UHD BluRay, they'd have it all wouldn't they?

    The reason why I'm asking is that last night we saw the new film 'THE HERO'. 1080p HD and new to iTunes. Not a brilliant film but OK to rent.

    There was plenty of seaside / ocean breaks in the film and being a mad keen surfer, I know what ocean breaks and the sea sounds like with the crashing of the waves. SADLY, on this film, the sound was so compressed, restrained that the crashing of the waves had no impact what so ever to it. I picked up on it instantly. Whilst I appreciate, it is the studios to mix sound well but this is a 2018 release. I was expecting better. Is this a limitation of Dolby Digital 5.1?

    I was really disappointed and wondered if a BluRay disc version (which does not exist here in the UK) would of sounded more lifelike?

    Will Apple ever offer first class audio??? Surely, they want the best.
     
  2. Tech198 macrumors G5

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    #2
    i think the thing is, even with better audio your always gonna get bigger files... True, compression maybe better, but audio and video still take up space regardless how good compression is..

    Plus, the container Apple users... They'd have to add support to all devices as a consequence if they had to change formats.

    Not everyone have the setup of a home DTS system for one as well, so for for it only to be downgraded back to stereo, would be a waste, unless it was a seperate version of the same movie.

    1. The HEREO
    2. The HEREO + True DTS/Atmos

    Its probably not a limitation, just more to satisfy everyone... and users bandwidth. No one wants to watch movies and have buffering every 10 minutes.

    Video has more reason too, but so can audio.
     
  3. BODYBUILDERPAUL thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Good points. I was thinking of the iTunes 4K file that is exclusive to the ATV 4K, if that automatically played with a Dolby True HD soundtrack? Surely it wouldn't make a 4K DV file that much bigger - if it's 15GB to stream right now, then with a HD lossless audio, the whole file would be 17GB?

    It seems really sad though doesn't it that iTunes 4K is a great way forward with its picture but its sound is no better than a DVD which was horribly compressed sounding back in 1999.

    It's a very clear to see where BluRay is heading here in Europe - most new releases are not making it to anything above a DVD physical disc wise. If iTunes is to replace UHD BluRay in the long term - next 2 years, then, it's going to need to be able to sound nearly?? a involving as its rival that it's replacing?

    Certainly, it would be nice to choose Dolby True HD etc in the audio/subtitles menu. Not too bothered about DTS as Apple have never gone that route anyway.

    It's a real shame as picture quality is beautiful but recently we've had a few iTunes films were the sound has been so lifeless that it's spoilt the film. Maybe that's how Hollywood mix them?
     
  4. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #4
    Here is an example from a blu-ray. Indeed, video bitrate of 50Mbps is 60% over Apple's streaming, but the 6,3Mbps of TrueHD+Atmos would remain about the same, constituting a significant increase over today's 640kbps of DD5.1/AC3 and occupying 1/5th of the video bitrate.
    Therefore, I believe Apple will go the same route as other stream providers and run Atmos over DD+/EAC3, not over TrueHD.
    DD+'s higher bitrate compared to DD is also a big improvement in sound quality.
    Screen Shot 2018-04-28 at 15.50.03.PNG
     
  5. BODYBUILDERPAUL thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Oh wow thanks for that Prilitv8 :) Would be nice as I feel that we need to move forward and when a films sound is lifeless and it truly truly spoils the experience doesn't it - and that's coming from someone like me who watches only one film a week - I appreciate why home cinema fans are upset!
    DD+ films on iTunes seem very very few sadly.
    But it does seem very half baked when Apple went to great lengths to include Dolby Vision, HDR, 4K but have totally forgotten about the sound stage.
    Maybe tvOS 12 will unveil some exciting options :)
     
  6. Mrbobb macrumors 601

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    #6
    Don't blame Dolby 5.1 unless you have listened to both versions and you can clearly hear a huge difference. To me, how they mix it has a greater impact than whether they deliver it to you in compressed or uncompressed format.
     
  7. BODYBUILDERPAUL thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Good point and certainly true with regards to mixing! Would of been nice to of heard the crashing of the waves in the film though instead of the muffled sound that came from the film. Bad for a new 2018 film! No excuse for bad audio. My gosh if i'd done that in radio 10 or even 15 years ago when I first started, i'd of been fired - career over!
     
  8. priitv8, Apr 29, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #8
    Although mixing and studio mastering play a big part in the quality of the end result, the inherently low bitrate (640kbps / 6 = ~100kbps per channel, many sources still carry 448kbps / 6 = ~75kbps per channel streams) sets it's limits.

    https://developer.dolby.com/blog/dolby-audio-over-hdmi-part-1-codecs/

    PS the above mediainfo comes from LEGO Batman movie, their Atmos mix is modest at best (height channel being used only during very brief moments throughout the movie, silent most of the time). Hence I would expect a full-immersive soundrack would end up occupying more space than that.
     
  9. 400 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Certainly source to receiver can have bad results, I have one DVD that is quite poor and I suspect metadata for the audio at fault though of course post recording editing etc. can be bad. However as an older amp owner, I wonder what the spare capacity is on the stream for stuff I do not need, what they can add without taking away for the video. I would rather video quality.

    That is of course until I upgrade......
     
  10. priitv8, Apr 29, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #10
    DVD audio does not carry any metadata, as far as I know. It is just a plain stream of compressed audio signals.
    Apple currently seems to max out at 30Mbps when streaming it's 4K movies and that is consumed mostly by video data.
    Take a look at this screenshot: #65
    You will see, that video bitrate is north of 28Mbps, audio bitrate is only 384kbps, which is common for heavily compressed dolby digital (next common values are 448 and DD5.1 maxes out at 640 kbps).
     
  11. shinseiromeo, Apr 30, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018

    shinseiromeo macrumors 6502

    shinseiromeo

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    #11
    Your post brings up a good point.

    Months ago, I was diehard waiting for the ATV4K, I was so excited to get it. At that time I also got a 65in LG OLED tv, Denon X1400 Atmos receivedr, the works. I have well over 1,000 titles in my iTunes movies library.

    Now Apple TV was always my go to streaming device. The VUDU app never worked properly on it so I just didn’t bother using it, until one day I found out my TV has a built in VUDU app, and also streams Atmos over ARC. I was floored, and I hate to say this...

    I no longer use my Apple TV 4K. The VUDU app, UHD Dolby vision and Atmos steaming utterly destroys... obliterates Apple TV 4K. There isn’t even a contest, the audio is 100x better in my theater between the two devices.

    For now, ATV is used for iTunes only movies and hbo go. I hope Apple gets off their rear and fixes this system. They are way behind at this point
     
  12. BODYBUILDERPAUL thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #12
    DAMN! I guess Vudu uses the compressed Dolby Atmos probably like the ATV 4K will. That's very promising though. Could be something to really look forward to in tvOS 12. I now buy all of my film from iTunes (with a few surfing ones from Vimeo that are not available on iTunes). I really hope that Apple can match its incredible picture sound wise. Already for picture we've got 4K, Dolby Vision and most excellent Frame Rate Match. Having amazing sound would be the icing on a very nice cake!
     
  13. 400 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Apologies, I was going slightly OT, this is referring to the data within the Dolby stream (Dolby specific) that carries certain info to control the channels and levels (for when it hits a particular decoder). In reference to my particular issue in that might come out mixed wrong(dialnorm i think).

    :)
     
  14. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #14
    I need to stand corrected myself! The metadata included in Dolby Digital is minimal at best, but it is there nonetheless:
    A guide to Dolby metadata
     
  15. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #15
    You cannot simply extrapolate from a single to multiple channels. Multichannel codecs can exploit the fact that there are usually strong correlations between the channels to reduce the coding rate. For example, AC3 and E-AC3 use a mechanism called channel coupling, where signals that are common between multiple channels are encoded only once for all affected channels (together with metadata that allows the reconstruction of the original signals). Also, the LFE channel is obviously band limited and requires less bandwidth to encode.

    5.1@640kbps sounds excellent to my ears, while I can easily hear artifacts at 384kbps. I don't think TrueHD makes a lot of sense for streaming (because of the huge bitrate variability), but higher bitrate AC3 or E-AC3 would make sense at least for 4K streams where a few hundred kbps more don't really matter relative to the video bitrates.
     
  16. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #16
    I agree that there are couple of tricks up in the sleeve of multichannel audio encoding.
    But I bet you do hear the difference between DD5.1@640kbps and TrueHD or DTS HD-MA soundtracks?
     
  17. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #17
    I haven't done a blind test with this specific configuration, but I doubt I could reliably hear it.
     
  18. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #18
    I still want to bet the difference is clearly there. Maybe not so much in a movie track, but definitely for music.
     
  19. Phil in ocala Suspended

    Phil in ocala

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    #19
    _____
    I have been to France three times, Germany, Holland etc...the people in the EU are more social and don't spend every night in front of the TV.....more people go to clubs, cafés etc.....
     
  20. Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    They need to get it together on Atmos and DTS:X. It’s silly they haven’t implemented it.
     
  21. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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  22. 400 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Whatever they choose to do, as long as basic 5.1 or DTS can be pulled down, and video bit rate held high. Overall video bit rate for a 4K needs to be up there for me.

    I wonder how many serious AV watchers there are vs just bought it for using streaming and no interest in AV quality.

    Ultimately not all pipes are equal. They have to squeeze the signal out there and there will be a trade off.
     
  23. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #23
    TBH I don't much care about their streams.
    I'd like the format support to be there in tvOS.
     
  24. BODYBUILDERPAUL thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #24
    So true! Reading AV Forums & YouTube comments on TV reviews etc shows only one thing to me - a lot of these AV enthusiasts lack a life! I get the impression that they sit in a dark room by themselves 24/7. To me, that's a true waste of a life. They criticise everything. They find fault. Are they really enjoying the film? I'd argue no! They find fault with Oppo, bitch about SONY vs Samsung vs LG and burn in. Personally, I find them tragic and I wouldn't want them to use an Apple TV as it's lovely concept is wasted on these sad people. I find it tragic and pathetic that an educated man can actually waste his time arguing about something as dull as a television. It's laughable. Do they not have any real life friends?

    I enjoy my weekly film very much BUT I wouldn't want film watching to be a part of my life. Life is too exciting and short. It's about making as many memories through experiences as you can. Getting out there and meeting as many cultures as possible.

    Look at this months WhatHiFi Cinema mag. (I had a read of it in my supermarket). They are testing the new LG 4K BluRay player. Their conclusion is that it is a disgrace. Poorly built. Very thin, lifeless sound. Bland picture. Banding. Apple TV is perfect and always has been compared to that!

    I'm just going to leave it to Apple as they know what they are doing. And I realise, that it's the studio to blame if a film sounds poor in the majority of cases.
     
  25. 400 macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I think it is up to people what they want to do. I like the visual experience and will chase it and have done. I know people who watch TV in SD and are happy. Each to their own.
     

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