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  #1  
Old 10-06-2012, 09:08 AM
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Did you know Netflix cripples the audio on BD rentals??

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1430959/ne...-1-instead/360

I'm reading this discussion thread on AVSforums.com. It's a strange practice by the rentals like Netflix, Blockbuster, RedBox, etc.

Original BlueRay comes with the lossless format of DTS-HD Master Audio, but when they produce this BD for rental, they will remove the high quality audio and replace it with a lower quality 5.1 or similar instead.

Strange practice. You are renting a BlueRay for the high quality of the video AND the audio. Those that have a nice audio system can definitely hear a difference. Besides, your expensive audio system sits there not utilizing the most sophisticated parts of it. What a waste.

Seems like a questionable and sad practice to me.

Comments?
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2012, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
Comments?
yes.

I posted 'what tv should I buy?' over there and they were very mean to me.




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  #3  
Old 10-06-2012, 10:16 AM
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Copying DVD's and Blu-Rays is pretty easy these days so I'd guess it's anti-piracy. Or for some reason it's cheaper to reproduce blu-ray with reduced audio quality.
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2012, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by johnc_22 View Post
Copying DVD's and Blu-Rays is pretty easy these days so I'd guess it's anti-piracy. Or for some reason it's cheaper to reproduce blu-ray with reduced audio quality.
I doubt its an anti-piracy thing, since people ripping rented videos aren't generally going to care that the audio isn't absolutely the best. Also, a true pirate would buy the high-end blu-ray and then make copies off that.

It'd be s so they can generate more video sales to the people with high-end audio systems, figuring that those people more willing to pay the extra money. I, like most people, don't have a high-end audio system hooked up to my 1080p tv, so the video quality is the most important thing.
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2012, 10:43 AM
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It's cheaper to produce.

Most peeps have a Home Theater In A Box (or its equivalent) and wont hear the difference anyways. Just like when you download a song from iTunes or Amazon, it's compressed to a crappy 256k because most people are going to hear in on some junky earbuds - and it takes up less space.
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  #6  
Old 10-06-2012, 10:52 AM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
*snip*It's a strange practice by the rentals like Netflix, Blockbuster, RedBox, etc.

Original BlueRay comes with the lossless format of DTS-HD Master Audio, but when they produce this BD for rental, they will remove the high quality audio and replace it with a lower quality 5.1 or similar instead.*snip*
I'm not going to wade through all that back n forth BS. However, if you want my comment on any specific post, I'd probably be happy to offer my 2 cents, but I'm not going to give a summary on all that (seemingly useless) arguing. This said, the discussion about Hunger Games, that's the first time I've heard of Netflix removing the lossless track on purpose (if I'm getting your implication correctly).

The first time I suspected Netflix themselves, was with a lossy track on Red, with Bruce Willis. I think the codecs are never given on the sleeve, but regardless, I often can pick out a lossy (I should namely say DD) track pretty quickly; I'll get up, go to the receiver and see that I was right. Well, it wasn't Netflix's fault, the producers of Red decided to give only the DD on the movie-only version, and the DTSMA on the SE version. And the audio track on the lossless version is supposed to be top notch. (What I kind of don't understand is why didn't it have regular DTS on the dumbed down version?) So if it wasn't for your post, if this happened again to me, I would immediately suspect the producers, not the rental company, so thank you.

But I say DD above, because the bitrate is the lowest. I'm sure you might agree with my thought that there must be some scale of diminishing returns. Off the top of my head, I think DD (on BD as a format) maxes at 640 kbps. DTS core (DTS-MA compromises of a dual bitstream, core+extension) is at 1509 kbps. That is a big diff, I mean that's over 2 and 1/3 the bit rate. According to the main dude over at Todd-AO, the guy who mixes many of the films you've already seen (you should see the photos of the place he works at), and I can't remember the exact number of significant digits he used, but he said that DD+ at 3 mbps is basically 99.99% of lossless. I bring all this up because even as a fan of lossless audio, I don't think it's apples and oranges when "lossy vs lossless" is concerned.

Depending on the specific codecs, I don't think lossy vs lossless has to be that big of a deal. The real tragedy lies with everyone listening to music as MP3, in my opinion. Particularly at 128 kbps. Brittany Spears while jogging next to high traffic, ok fine. Otherwise . . .

Though I recently read about iBiquity "HD" radio being at a truly shameful low double-digit kbps, an expert I trust mentioned even as low as 20 kbps.

Like I said, this Hunger Games is the first I heard of it. If this will be a continuing thing, I will try my best to find a different rental source that will not continue this practice. If they all do, I guess I'll be making a few more blind buys per year, particularly for blockbuster titles. However, even for non-blockbuster types, say The King's Speech, I would definitely want the lossless, for example.

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 10-06-2012 at 10:54 AM.
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  #7  
Old 10-06-2012, 11:03 AM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
I doubt its an anti-piracy thing, since people ripping rented videos aren't generally going to care that the audio isn't absolutely the best. Also, a true pirate would buy the high-end blu-ray and then make copies off that.
This makes sense to me. My first suspicion is that tiny amount of money per disc they need to pay to DTS/Dolby. I once read the figure, this is so out of my butt (so ignore it) but I want to say something like 30 cents per. That is probably an extraordinarily incorrect figure, but I had to blurt it out, I thought I may have read that recently.

Quote:
It'd be s so they can generate more video sales to the people with high-end audio systems, figuring that those people more willing to pay the extra money. I, like most people, don't have a high-end audio system hooked up to my 1080p tv, so the video quality is the most important thing.
But then you kind of lost me there. Anyway, I don't know what you consider high-end to be, but I'm just about positive you could easily tell the difference between DD and lossless with very affordable speakers, like this pair at $84 bucks, designed by Andrew Jones.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc..._-82117406-L0I
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ard View Post
yes.

I posted 'what tv should I buy?' over there and they were very mean to me.








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  #9  
Old 10-06-2012, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1430959/ne...-1-instead/360

I'm reading this discussion thread on AVSforums.com. It's a strange practice by the rentals like Netflix, Blockbuster, RedBox, etc.

Original BlueRay comes with the lossless format of DTS-HD Master Audio, but when they produce this BD for rental, they will remove the high quality audio and replace it with a lower quality 5.1 or similar instead.

Strange practice. You are renting a BlueRay for the high quality of the video AND the audio. Those that have a nice audio system can definitely hear a difference. Besides, your expensive audio system sits there not utilizing the most sophisticated parts of it. What a waste.

Seems like a questionable and sad practice to me.

Comments?
Shrug. Just sound. Makes so little different as long as you can hear the voices...

While I do enjoy a good DTS soundtrack once in awhile, in the end it's not gonna make a difference if the movie is good or not.

Last edited by brkf; 10-06-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2012, 12:49 PM
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It does distract from the total experience and enjoyment of the movie.

Licensing fees. I forgot about that.

But here's the thing, and I will make a distinction between a Ripper and a Pirate for the purpose of this post.

A ripper would be someone who copies a disk for his own collection, to be viewed a second time sometimes in the future.

A pirate would be someone who copies to put it on the internet for others to download.

I would argue that rentals are not for pirates. They are for rippers.

A pirate will never wait for a disk to become available as a rental because by that time nobody is going to download his movie. The pirates are in a competition to be the first or among the few first to publish it online. So these pirates buy the BD, and so they get the lossless audio and put it online. The studios lose.

A ripper pays for a rental. Watches it on his BlueRay player, then if he likes it and figures he might want to watch it again he'll rip a copy. Where's the lose for the studios here? The guy's decision to rent it again if he doesn't rip it, or to rip for his collection will have close to nothing to do with lossless or lossy audio. There's no money lose to the studios. He rented, he payed for it. That's all they can ask of him. He's a good customer. Why rob him of the full experience of the movie??? Makes no sense to me.

OK, cost of production? The cost of per disk. It's a one time fee for the one who buys it, and it's part of the total cost. But when they produce the rental, that disk is going to see a lot of customers. The cost of production is divided and I know that studios sell the rental disks for a much higher price. So where's the big issue here? People pay more to rent a BD. The cost should include the few cents of licensing per renter.
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2012, 07:49 PM
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MatWiz-

I'm on that forum too and from what I gather so far it is only the studio Lionsgate that is doing that, not Netflix or RedBox or Blockbuster.
So far everything I've rented from Blockbuster that came from any studio other than Lionsgate has had DTS-HD Master Audio (if it was suppose to in the first place).
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  #12  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:25 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Thanks for that info, Ishniknork. So my assumption to immediately blame the studio would still have been the right one. Per usual. Too bad though, I liked that Lionsgate (and 20th Cent Fox) had MA on all their stuff from back when. I will simply avoid Lionsgate BDs for rentals from now on perhaps, a shame.
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:47 PM
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Thanks for that info, Ishniknork. So my assumption to immediately blame the studio would still have been the right one. Per usual. Too bad though, I liked that Lionsgate (and 20th Cent Fox) had MA on all their stuff from back when. I will simply avoid Lionsgate BDs for rentals from now on perhaps, a shame.
Yes, you are correct and it is a shame. Lionsgate seems to put out a lot of movies I like.

Last weekend I rented The Avengers (Disney). It had 7.1 DTS-HD MA. Snow Whit and the Huntsman (Universal) also had DTS-HD MA 7.1. The weekend before I rented Cabin in the Woods- only 5.1 (Lionsgate). The first one I noticed was The Hunger Games, also Lionsgate. I was surprised when I played it and only got DD 5.1 after reading a review stating it was DTS-HD MA 7.1.

Personaly, for a rental I can live with DD 5.1. Not saying I like it, but I can live with it. I don't usually buy a movie until I preview it and renting is usually how I do it. I may just put off renting new releases from Lionsgate until the rental price drops. It's bad enough new release BD's cost the same as a DVD at Blockbuster, if I don't get all the audio I won't pay full price.
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Last edited by Ishniknork; 10-08-2012 at 10:01 PM.
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