DSU vs. Neural:X use case

Akila

Akila

Audiophyte
I know this topic was discussed many times before all over the internet. however, rarely if at all I saw any reference on two uses cases that are in my interest. so i am hoping to get an answer here:

Use case 1: Stereo 2.0 content with a 5.1/7.1 speakers layout
Use case 2: rather to use an upmix on 5.1 content in a 5.1 speaker layout.

1. what’s different about Dolby Surround and Neural:X on my specific use case? i.e. Which one works better with Stereo 2.0 content with a 5.1/7.1 speakers layout?

2. if I have a 5.1 speaker layout, is there any added value using the Dolby Surround upmixer / DTS Neural:X upmixer for a 5.1 content (e.g. DD / DTS)?
and if so , which one would most likely result best (5.1 content on 5.1 speaker layout with what upmix mode/technology)? would it enhance anything?
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
The DSU and DTSN:X up mixers are improved over previous versions as they attempt to treat the sounds in the tracks as objects in a three dimensional space using just a 5.1 setup. The effects can be heard when switching from DD or DTS to DSU or DTSN:X but the listener will decide if it is actually an improvement to the sound.

Height virtualization is now available as well from Dolby and DTS. Some receivers have their own rear channel speaker virtualizer function. When either DSU or DTSV:X is applied, they process the signal and take whatever effects would have been up mixed into height channels and sends them to the existing speakers and attempts to make the sound appear as if it is coming from above.

Seeing what is going on by bringing up the GUI doesn’t show much when using Dolby. So, if using virtualization on a 5.1 speaker setup, using DSU or Atmos height virtualization will simply show DSU 5.1 or Atmos 5.1 as the output signal to the speakers. It’s not very descriptive of what is going on.

DTS gives a bit more information while it up mixes. So, if playing a DTSHDMA track, one can apply Virtual:X and display the process. The DTSHDMA track will be displayed, then Neural:X since it is up mixing and then Virtual:X as it takes the processed signal to the existing speakers in the setup to make them appear to come from above. DTS:X tracks skip the neural process and go straight to Virtual:X like Atmos tracks go straight to 5.1.

While Dolby removed cross up mixing limitations, many will not be able to apply DTS up mixing to dolby tracks. Converting signals to PCM from devices will result in the ability to use both up mixers but will also kill metadata from both Atmos and DTS:X and the processing of the signal will not be the same as if using the virtualization processes with the non converted tracks.

There hasn’t been near enough information put out there by Dolby, DTS or manufacturers in a way that helps people wrap their heads around what is going on.o_O Oh, and if you decide to play with PCM tracks back and forth, you will find DTS up mixing more aggressive and especially so when using Virtual:X
 
Gmoney

Gmoney

Audioholic Ninja
The DSU and DTSN:X up mixers are improved over previous versions as they attempt to treat the sounds in the tracks as objects in a three dimensional space using just a 5.1 setup. The effects can be heard when switching from DD or DTS to DSU or DTSN:X but the listener will decide if it is actually an improvement to the sound.

Height virtualization is now available as well from Dolby and DTS. Some receivers have their own rear channel speaker virtualizer function. When either DSU or DTSV:X is applied, they process the signal and take whatever effects would have been up mixed into height channels and sends them to the existing speakers and attempts to make the sound appear as if it is coming from above.

Seeing what is going on by bringing up the GUI doesn’t show much when using Dolby. So, if using virtualization on a 5.1 speaker setup, using DSU or Atmos height virtualization will simply show DSU 5.1 or Atmos 5.1 as the output signal to the speakers. It’s not very descriptive of what is going on.

DTS gives a bit more information while it up mixes. So, if playing a DTSHDMA track, one can apply Virtual:X and display the process. The DTSHDMA track will be displayed, then Neural:X since it is up mixing and then Virtual:X as it takes the processed signal to the existing speakers in the setup to make them appear to come from above. DTS:X tracks skip the neural process and go straight to Virtual:X like Atmos tracks go straight to 5.1.

While Dolby removed cross up mixing limitations, many will not be able to apply DTS up mixing to dolby tracks. Converting signals to PCM from devices will result in the ability to use both up mixers but will also kill metadata from both Atmos and DTS:X and the processing of the signal will not be the same as if using the virtualization processes with the non converted tracks.

There hasn’t been near enough information put out there by Dolby, DTS or manufacturers in a way that helps people wrap their heads around what is going on.o_O Oh, and if you decide to play with PCM tracks back and forth, you will find DTS up mixing more aggressive and especially so when using Virtual:X
Thanks @Trebdp83 I knew I could count on ya. I don't like posting up long worded post. :D I will say DTS-X is really good but on some movies I found that TrueHD or Masteraudio is better.
 
Akila

Akila

Audiophyte
The DSU and DTSN:X up mixers are improved over previous versions as they attempt to treat the sounds in the tracks as objects in a three dimensional space using just a 5.1 setup. The effects can be heard when switching from DD or DTS to DSU or DTSN:X but the listener will decide if it is actually an improvement to the sound.

Height virtualization is now available as well from Dolby and DTS. Some receivers have their own rear channel speaker virtualizer function. When either DSU or DTSV:X is applied, they process the signal and take whatever effects would have been up mixed into height channels and sends them to the existing speakers and attempts to make the sound appear as if it is coming from above.

Seeing what is going on by bringing up the GUI doesn’t show much when using Dolby. So, if using virtualization on a 5.1 speaker setup, using DSU or Atmos height virtualization will simply show DSU 5.1 or Atmos 5.1 as the output signal to the speakers. It’s not very descriptive of what is going on.

DTS gives a bit more information while it up mixes. So, if playing a DTSHDMA track, one can apply Virtual:X and display the process. The DTSHDMA track will be displayed, then Neural:X since it is up mixing and then Virtual:X as it takes the processed signal to the existing speakers in the setup to make them appear to come from above. DTS:X tracks skip the neural process and go straight to Virtual:X like Atmos tracks go straight to 5.1.

While Dolby removed cross up mixing limitations, many will not be able to apply DTS up mixing to dolby tracks. Converting signals to PCM from devices will result in the ability to use both up mixers but will also kill metadata from both Atmos and DTS:X and the processing of the signal will not be the same as if using the virtualization processes with the non converted tracks.

There hasn’t been near enough information put out there by Dolby, DTS or manufacturers in a way that helps people wrap their heads around what is going on.o_O Oh, and if you decide to play with PCM tracks back and forth, you will find DTS up mixing more aggressive and especially so when using Virtual:X
thanks for a very detailed answer. even though you answered some questions I had, unfortunately I got a bit more confused.
DTS NX and DSU claim they can up mix any sound from 2.0 to get an experience of an Atmos/DTS X like experience. but at the same time DTS VX and DAHV also claim they can virtualize any sound from 2.0 to a 3D experience to Atmos/DTS X like...
I got the high level idea what those do, but I couldn't pin it to my use case what what would be better for my case.
so I'll change the question to a more pin point situation..

my speaker layout is a simple 5.1 and I got the Marantz SR5015 AV receiver which can support almost whatever I want (supports all modes).
To get the most sound experience (I am mainly focusing on movies, I very seldom listen to music) on my 5.1 speakers layout, what technology I should set in my AV receiver:

Two uses cases (don't forget my speaker layout is 5.1):
1. Content is Stereo 2.0: to use the DSU / DTSN:X or the Dolby head virtualization / DTSV:X?
2. content is DD/DTS 5.1: to use DSU / DTSN:X or the Dolby head virtualization / DTSV:X?

NOTE: I am not asking which to use the Dolby or DTS, but rather what solution that both Dolby and DTS offer that aimed for the same thing.
 
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Teetertotter?

Teetertotter?

Audioholic
For TV DD movies, I use DD + Surround mode. For internet MP3 music, the AVR is set to Multi Channel mode. DTS Neutral, I don't use for DD Movies. But, as one has said, you have to experiment and see what is best for you.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
thanks for a very detailed answer. even though you answered some questions I had, unfortunately I got a bit more confused.
DTS NX and DSU claim they can up mix any sound from 2.0 to get an experience of an Atmos/DTS X like experience. but at the same time DTS VX and DAHV also claim they can virtualize any sound from 2.0 to a 3D experience to Atmos/DTS X like...
I got the high level idea what those do, but I couldn't pin it to my use case what what would be better for my case.
so I'll change the question to a more pin point situation..

my speaker layout is a simple 5.1 and I got the Marantz SR5015 AV receiver which can support almost whatever I want (supports all modes).
To get the most sound experience (I am mainly focusing on movies, I very seldom listen to music) on my 5.1 speakers layout, what technology I should set in my AV receiver:

Two uses cases (don't forget my speaker layout is 5.1):
1. Content is Stereo 2.0: to use the DSU / DTSN:X or the Dolby head virtualization / DTSV:X?
2. content is DD/DTS 5.1: to use DSU / DTSN:X or the Dolby head virtualization / DTSV:X?

NOTE: I am not asking which to use the Dolby or DTS, but rather what solution that both Dolby and DTS offer that aimed for the same thing.
If I’m misunderstanding, disregard.....
If I get what your question is, the only thing you can do is try and experiment.

Using DSU or DTSnx will do nothing on a 5.1 layout since there’s nowhere send any height information. I may have These backwards, but DSU uses out of phase soundtrack content and DTSnx uses in phase content to be sent to height speakers. If there’s nowhere for it to go, it won’t do anything, except possibly remove it from the bed layer as the AVR might think it can upmix. But it will also know that there aren’t any speakers to send info to. Using height virtualization is the only way I can think of that will change how a track is played back on a regular 5.1 system.
What would be better? Only you can decide that. If it were MY room, I would install height speakers.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
Well, both Dolby and DTS are trying two different processes to achieve the same goal. Now, with a Marantz 5015, you can try a few different settings to see which of the processes you prefer. So, start with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. It can DD, DD+ or DTHD. Make sure speaker virtualization is off. Play the track without DSU so the display is just that of the signal, say DD+>DD+. Then, switch to the DSU so you have DD+>DSur. Finally, turn on speaker virtualization and see how you like it. You will not see a change in the display for this and should still get DD+>Dsur. If nothing jumps out at you, set it to DIRECT mode and see how you like it compared to DSU. Keep in mind 2.0 tracks will cut out the sub.

I'm using a 5.1 setup myself and there is an audible difference when applying DSU to 5.1 tracks in a 5.1 setup. It's not a significant difference but it is steering things around a bit differently even with Virtualization off. When watching shows on my TiVo, most content is DD 5.1 and I leave it alone or use TV logic as DSU doesn't do it for me when it's working with a crappy OTA DD signal. I do most of my streaming from my Apple TV 4K. Everything is output in PCM unless down converted to DD 5.1. I leave it at PCM(DD+ decoded) with Atmos available as well. Atmos tracks come over as Atmos/PCM. Everything else is PCM and I use DTS Virtual:X processing for it as it is better to my ears than DSU.

So, experiment with it. All tracks aren't equal either and some will sound better with DSU applied while others will sound better with DTS applied. There are some things I still listen to in DIRECT mode because I think anything applied to them sounds overly processed. Somebody from Dolby will explain it better than most so here is a little something from them.
 
Akila

Akila

Audiophyte
If I’m misunderstanding, disregard.....
If I get what your question is, the only thing you can do is try and experiment.

Using DSU or DTSnx will do nothing on a 5.1 layout since there’s nowhere send any height information. I may have These backwards, but DSU uses out of phase soundtrack content and DTSnx uses in phase content to be sent to height speakers. If there’s nowhere for it to go, it won’t do anything, except possibly remove it from the bed layer as the AVR might think it can upmix. But it will also know that there aren’t any speakers to send info to. Using height virtualization is the only way I can think of that will change how a track is played back on a regular 5.1 system.
What would be better? Only you can decide that. If it were MY room, I would install height speakers.
so can you advise????
Two uses cases (don't forget my speaker layout is 5.1):
1. Content is Stereo 2.0: to use the DSU / DTSN:X or the Dolby head virtualization / DTSV:X = ????
2. content is DD/DTS 5.1: to use DSU / DTSN:X or the Dolby head virtualization / DTSV:X? = ????
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
so can you advise????
Two uses cases (don't forget my speaker layout is 5.1):
1. Content is Stereo 2.0: to use the DSU / DTSN:X or the Dolby head virtualization / DTSV:X = ????
2. content is DD/DTS 5.1: to use DSU / DTSN:X or the Dolby head virtualization / DTSV:X? = ????
No. I can’t decide which one you’ll enjoy better. Imo there’s not really a right or wrong way. I mean, I do have my own preferences for things, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for everyone.
As treb said, sometimes listening in “direct” mode can be better. But also said that he hears a difference with DSU engaged on his 5.1 layout.(treb, I’d be curious if some examples if you had time)
Can I advise? Maybe. Just have to try them all and see. I have 7.3.4 so my use case isn’t the same as yours.
If I had 5.1, I would either try all the sound modes or install height/top speakers.
 
Akila

Akila

Audiophyte
Well, both Dolby and DTS are trying two different processes to achieve the same goal. Now, with a Marantz 5015, you can try a few different settings to see which of the processes you prefer. So, start with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. It can DD, DD+ or DTHD. Make sure speaker virtualization is off. Play the track without DSU so the display is just that of the signal, say DD+>DD+. Then, switch to the DSU so you have DD+>DSur. Finally, turn on speaker virtualization and see how you like it. You will not see a change in the display for this and should still get DD+>Dsur. If nothing jumps out at you, set it to DIRECT mode and see how you like it compared to DSU. Keep in mind 2.0 tracks will cut out the sub.

I'm using a 5.1 setup myself and there is an audible difference when applying DSU to 5.1 tracks in a 5.1 setup. It's not a significant difference but it is steering things around a bit differently even with Virtualization off. When watching shows on my TiVo, most content is DD 5.1 and I leave it alone or use TV logic as DSU doesn't do it for me when it's working with a crappy OTA DD signal. I do most of my streaming from my Apple TV 4K. Everything is output in PCM unless down converted to DD 5.1. I leave it at PCM(DD+ decoded) with Atmos available as well. Atmos tracks come over as Atmos/PCM. Everything else is PCM and I use DTS Virtual:X processing for it as it is better to my ears than DSU.

So, experiment with it. All tracks aren't equal either and some will sound better with DSU applied while others will sound better with DTS applied. There are some things I still listen to in DIRECT mode because I think anything applied to them sounds overly processed. Somebody from Dolby will explain it better than most so here is a little something from them.
I hear you and for sure it worth to try for my self, but I am looking for "what is the general correct approach on paper"?

so on paper / in theory, can you fill in the blank??
Two uses cases (don't forget my speaker layout is 5.1):
1. Content is Stereo 2.0: to use the DNX/DSU or the DVX/DVH = ?????????
2. content is 5.1: to use DNX/DSU or the DVX/DVH or none = ????????????

NOTE:
ignore if it's Dolby or DTS technology, just focus on the method - e.g. DNX or DVX / DSU or DVH (from my prospective for this question: DNX & DSU are the same, so is DVX & DHV)

  • DSU = Dolby Surround upmixer
  • DNX = DTS Neural:X upmixer
  • DVH = Dolby Atmos Head Virtualization
  • DVX = DTS Virtual:X
 
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T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
2.0 or 5.1 + upmixer (Dolby or DTS)= placement of information into 5.1 setup with steering abilities and sound placement better than those of previous pro logic or Neo versions at ear level.

2.0 or 5.1 + upmixer(Dolby ot DTS) + virtual speakers(Dolby Surround/Atmos Height Virtualization or DTS Neural:X>Virtual:X)= placement of information into 5.1 setup with steering abilities and sound placement better than those of previous pro logic or Neo versions at ear level with additional height effects from virtual height speakers.

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are more about creating a space to move objects within as opposed to older processing that just directed various incoming channel info to available channel speakers. Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X do what they can with signals that have no height information. Again, not a big deal when height virtualization is off but it does do some processing to 5.1 info in a 5.1 setup.

I'd be interested in hearing from those with a 7.1.4 setup and height virtualization capability. I'd like to hear about the results of turning the height speakers off and virtual speakers on as virtualization uses all of the ear level speakers available for the height virtualization process. Height virtualization can do some weird and interesting things. Many times, I've found myself looking up for speakers that weren't there. More than once, I've even looked behind the couch for back speakers because sound appeared to be coming from back there somewhere. There's no substitute for actual speakers, but I'm having a good time. I do listen to two channel and multi channel music in direct mode in most cases and use height virtualization for movies and some TV shows. Recorded TV gets TV logic because the signal sucks and DSU has a hard time with it. Every system and listener are different and the way you like it is the right way for you.
 
Akila

Akila

Audiophyte
thanks for the detailed response.
so on paper / in theory, can you fill in the blank??

1. Content is Stereo 2.0: to use the DNX/DSU or the DVX/DVH = ?????????
2. content is 5.1: to use DNX/DSU or the DVX/DVH or none = ????????????

my speaker layout is 5.1
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
Well, remember DSU and DTSN:X are for sending info to height speakers. Virtualization is faking height channels so that DSU and DTSN:X can process the audio so that sound seems to come from above the listener. So, if using a 5.1 setup, turn on virtual speakers to get more out of both formats. Using the upmixers without virtual speakers on will not get you much. You will also miss out when playing back real atmos and DTS:X tracks. I’m saying that, with 2.0 and 5.1, turn on virtual speakers and use DSU and DTS Neural:X. PCM/Dolby tracks will be output as Dolby Surround 5.1, Atmos tracks will be output as Atmos 5.1. With DTS, PCM/DTS tracks will be output as DTS Neural:X or Virtual:X. DTS:X tracks will skip Neural processing and go right to DTS Virtual:X. I’m not sure about your receiver’s ability to cross upmix.
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
This seems overcomplicated. Try the particular 2.0 content as 2.0 (or 2.1) then try it upmixed to your speaker set. See which you prefer and listen to it that way. Same thing for native 5.1 content to DSU/NeuralX. Some may sound better native, some may not.
 
Akila

Akila

Audiophyte
Well, remember DSU and DTSN:X are for sending info to height speakers. Virtualization is faking height channels so that DSU and DTSN:X can process the audio so that sound seems to come from above the listener. So, if using a 5.1 setup, turn on virtual speakers to get more out of both formats. Using the upmixers without virtual speakers on will not get you much. You will also miss out when playing back real atmos and DTS:X tracks. I’m saying that, with 2.0 and 5.1, turn on virtual speakers and use DSU and DTS Neural:X. PCM/Dolby tracks will be output as Dolby Surround 5.1, Atmos tracks will be output as Atmos 5.1. With DTS, PCM/DTS tracks will be output as DTS Neural:X or Virtual:X. DTS:X tracks will skip Neural processing and go right to DTS Virtual:X. I’m not sure about your receiver’s ability to cross upmix.
what you saying makes sense for 5.1 content, but what abut 2.0 content? isn't DSU/DNX supposed to replace the old Neo:6/PLII and upmix 2.0 to 5.1?
shouldn't I enable the DSU/DNX on 2.0 content? and where would DVH/DVX fits in if the DSU/DNX is used for upmix 2.0 to 5.1? can both be used at the same time? is it even recomanded?

This seems overcomplicated. Try the particular 2.0 content as 2.0 (or 2.1) then try it upmixed to your speaker set. See which you prefer and listen to it that way. Same thing for native 5.1 content to DSU/NeuralX. Some may sound better native, some may not.
this discussion/questions is currently not on testing phase, but to understand better the two solutions which one "on paper" should be used on my scenario based on the vendors intention of those technologies.
i would love to hear your input on what should I use (on paper / in theory) on those two uses cases.

fill in the blanks (remember, I got 5.1 speaker layout):
1. Content is Stereo 2.0: to use the DNX/DSU or the DVX/DVH = ?????????
2. content is 5.1: to use DNX/DSU or the DVX/DVH or none = ????????????
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
I’m saying use DSU/DAHV and DTSN:X/DTSV:X on 2.0 and 5.1 content. The virtual part just means that both processes are simulating the sending of info to ceiling speakers that aren’t really there. The goal from Dolby was always to get a more immersive sound from stereo signals. So, Dolby came out with Surround in movie theaters in 1976 and DTS in movies in 1993. Dolby Surround would find it’s way to home audio in the 80’s and Pro Logic came along. It would evolve and now Dolby is back to simply calling it Dolby Surround again. Here is something to read over about the evolution of Dolby Surround and what it is capable of with each new iteration.
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
The problem here is that there isn’t a “theoretical best” or an on paper “ideal”.
Both upmixers were designed to be enjoyed based on user preference, and available equipment. OP needs to experiment.....
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
Agree, some turn it all on and hate it and it’s back to DIRECT mode. Some love all of the processing and leave it on for everything. ALL CHANNEL STEREO all of the time is a popular one as well.:confused:
 

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