Finding "True" Surround Sound Releases on DVD

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Cai Campbell

In Remembrance
Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 4, 2002
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Location
Seattle, WA
I buy quite a few music video DVD's online and I always look for those with surround sound mixes. I am really getting tired of companies using deceptive labeling practices to sucker you into buying a stereo or "Dolby Surround" (aka Dolby Prologic) release.

Many times I will buy a title advertised online as "Dolby Digital Surround" only to end up with a "Dolby Digital Stereo Surround". What the hell is that? Stereo is stereo and stereo ain't surround! Most websites seem to think that if it is DD then it is surround and nothing could be further from the truth. Take the Clockwork Orange movie. It has a DD track but it is MONO!

At least with DTS you know you are getting surround sound. With Dolby Digital, it's a crap shoot. I've bought a couple of titles that claim Dolby Digital Surround that end up being Dolby Digital Stereo and the promise of "Surround" instructs you to employ your Prologic decoder. What a load of crap! These "surround" Prologic mixes are just plain-jane stereo. It's like the whole "fake quad" fiasco all over again!

Okay, I'll quit my rambling for now, but the moral of this story is BUYER BEWARE! The safest way to know if you're getting a true surround sound release is to get the thing in your hot little hand and scrutinize the labelling and the surround-sound icons they use. Usually you can wade through the misleading information to determine what is really being offered. Unfortunately, this requires a high degree of awareness and education, not to mention the fact that it discounts the convenience of internet shopping.

 

The Quadfather

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Since 2002/2003
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Yeah, Cai, I also have another gripe. I am fed up with interrupted performances on DVD Video concert discs. The Two against Nature disc is a prime example. Every song is separated by audience interviews outside the stadium. I just turned off the center and the bass channels and taped the music to reel to reel (quad of course). I had a friend who bought one of these discs and found that the songs were cut in half by such nonsense. Who comes up with these ideas? I just quit buying the discs. I now only buy DVD Audio when buying surround music. I don't worry about surround when buying regular movies, either it has surround or it don't. I appreciate it when it's there, especially if it's DTS, but don't worry about it when it isn't. Still, the Roy Orbison disc is a good buy.

The Quadfather
 

MCunningham

Well-known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2002
Messages
196
Cai,

I agree 100%. I go to the local Sam Goody, which has an amazing variety of dvd music videos. I sort through until I find a good title and then I, like you, do "The Search" for the DD 5.1 or DTS icons. If they ain't there, it ain't coming home with me. One label that's notorius for misleading labeling is Rhino. Their discs are marked 5.1 Surround on the case, but when you play it, there's absolutely nothing on the menu that shows anything other than "Mastered in "RhinoPhonic" sound. What a bunch of crap. Psuedo surround! In addition, they also have the problem Quadfather mentions in interupting the song tracks with bits of biography or other non pertinent facts. Considering that they've done some very good DVD-A's, you'd think that they would know how to release a good DVD-V music disc.
 

The Quadfather

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Since 2002/2003
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
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Location
Dixie
I think the problem is that they think of them as TV shows. I'm really surprised that people are buying them. You would think that after a few of them people would just get peeved and just quit buying them. If these things can be accepted by the public, then DVD Audio ought to be no problem. Of course, they would probably say "Where's the moving video"

The Quadfather
 
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