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humprof

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I just posted this question in another thread, but it more properly belongs here, I think. (Sorry for the cross-post, mods.)

So let's say I get my hands on a copy of the VHS--or maybe even the Japanese Laserdisc--of Big Time, transferred to DVD-R or otherwise digitized. (@fizzywiggs41 , did you ever find one?) Like the unofficial DVD-V release, which is rare as hen's teeth, the VHS/Beta and the LD are reputed to have been encoded in Dolby Surround--in fact I think it was you who said so, Fizzy--though I don't know if that's ever been independently confirmed. Anyway, my question is this: how could I tell for sure? If I play back this hypothetical copy with Dolby PLII and it sounds good, that might mean it's encoded--or it might just mean that the PLIIx or PLIIz circuit in my AVR is doing a convincing job of "up-converting" it. Or, in that case, maybe I shouldn't ask questions...
 

atrocity

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So let's say I get my hands on a copy of the VHS--or maybe even the Japanese Laserdisc--of Big Time, transferred to DVD-R or otherwise digitized. (@fizzywiggs41 , did you ever find one?) Like the unofficial DVD-V release, which is rare as hen's teeth, the VHS/Beta and the LD are reputed to have been encoded in Dolby Surround--in fact I think it was you who said so, Fizzy--though I don't know if that's ever been independently confirmed. Anyway, my question is this: how could I tell for sure? If I play back this hypothetical copy with Dolby PLII and it sounds good, that might mean it's encoded--or it might just mean that the PLIIx or PLIIz circuit in my AVR is doing a convincing job of "up-converting" it. Or, in that case, maybe I shouldn't ask questions...
I don't know how you could tell for sure, but pretty much any stereo video release of a film that got a Dolby theatrical release is going to be encoded. That was one of the selling points in the early days of stereo home video: The stereo video tracks were identical to the stereo optical tracks that were used on the film. Creating a non-Dolby soundtrack for home video would actually have been more work.
 

humprof

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I don't know how you could tell for sure, but pretty much any stereo video release of a film that got a Dolby theatrical release is going to be encoded. That was one of the selling points in the early days of stereo home video: The stereo video tracks were identical to the stereo optical tracks that were used on the film. Creating a non-Dolby soundtrack for home video would actually have been more work.
That's good to know--thanks! I was doing some googling this morning and looking at images uploaded with the four major releases listed on Discogs. The UK VHS doesn't mention Dolby at all--box or tape--although the case for the "unofficial" DVD, released by the same UK company, carries the Dolby logo and explicitly mentions “Dolby Digital 2.0 / 5.1.” The US VHS and the Japan LD, however, merely have the Dolby logo with the words "Dolby System" underneath. (The LD also identifies the soundtrack as "stereo," while the US VHS says "VHS Hi-Fi," which was stereo by definition.) Anyway...sounds like there's good reason to think that all versions are Dolby Surround-encoded.
 

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That's good to know--thanks! I was doing some googling this morning and looking at images uploaded with the four major releases listed on Discogs. The UK VHS doesn't mention Dolby at all--box or tape--although the case for the "unofficial" DVD, released by the same UK company, carries the Dolby logo and explicitly mentions “Dolby Digital 2.0 / 5.1.” The US VHS and the Japan LD, however, merely have the Dolby logo with the words "Dolby System" underneath. (The LD also identifies the soundtrack as "stereo," while the US VHS says "VHS Hi-Fi," which was stereo by definition.) Anyway...sounds like there's good reason to think that all versions are Dolby Surround-encoded.
Yeah, the video companies used to be pretty sloppy about Dolby labels. "Dolby System" is an appropriate thing to put on a pre-recorded tape with Dolby B but doesn't make any sense on a Laserdisc. They definitely used to do that, though. Just to make it even more confusing, analog Laserdiscs had an optional noise reduction system of their own, so you could potentially have a disc with that "Dolby System" logo on it that actually had CX encoding. And you could have a VHS (and maybe Beta, I'm not sure) that had Dolby B noise reduction on the linear tracks which were also Dolby Surround encoded.

My brain hurts.
 

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I just posted this question in another thread, but it more properly belongs here, I think. (Sorry for the cross-post, mods.)

So let's say I get my hands on a copy of the VHS--or maybe even the Japanese Laserdisc--of Big Time, transferred to DVD-R or otherwise digitized. (@fizzywiggs41 , did you ever find one?) Like the unofficial DVD-V release, which is rare as hen's teeth, the VHS/Beta and the LD are reputed to have been encoded in Dolby Surround--in fact I think it was you who said so, Fizzy--though I don't know if that's ever been independently confirmed. Anyway, my question is this: how could I tell for sure? If I play back this hypothetical copy with Dolby PLII and it sounds good, that might mean it's encoded--or it might just mean that the PLIIx or PLIIz circuit in my AVR is doing a convincing job of "up-converting" it. Or, in that case, maybe I shouldn't ask questions...
No still lookin and hoping. Had a great transfer from cable in stereo (surround) played by MuchMusic the equivalent to MTV.............MTV may have also been involved , but I'm not certain.(That Laserdisc would be the way to go I think humprof. :)

The film credits have the late 80's "Dolby Stereo" as did many dolby surround films of that time. And I believe there is a credit to a Dolby sound engineer who provided or worked the encoder for the film's soundtrack.
No actual surround mention , but that lack of was common back then (surround and quad were still a dirty word)

That film which is a unique Music Film fwiw sounded great with my Fosgate.
I believe Talking Heads Stop Making Sense 85 edition is similar in that there are no surround indications , again just Dolby Stereo.


I'm still hoping like hell , that one day soon Tom and Island Visual get around to releasing a digital surround .
 

fizzywiggs41

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Additionally, I had a copy (rented) years ago of the VHS HIFI which I tranferred to Beta hifi.

Sounded great. It was for sale, used as it was , however to purchase that used original tape was mega bucks (around $130.00 !!!!)
I think it is kinda rare , nowadays.



Sorry that I could not be of more positive news , regarding "Big Time ".
 
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