I am thinking of upgrading my system by incorporating a dts decoder. I already have a dolby digital decoder though. Does anyone know the difference and know if it is worth getting into. Is there a noticable differnece betweene dts and dolby digital. And if there is a difference, is it small or large.
Damn, boy, how old is your pre/pro? And if IT can't process DTS, can't your DVD player process it? And if it can, does your pre/pro have 5.1 analog inputs? No? Damn, that's old.
I'm not dissing your gear; hell, I'm running my surround rig on a shoestring too cuz I can't work due to health problems.
Since this is a high end audio forum, I'll just have to jump in here and say that on average, the difference between DD 5.1 and DTS is HUGE. How huge? When a DTS soundtrack came on a few years ago my disinterested wife noticed and commented on it immediately. And at the time, I was deaf in one ear with an infection and even I could tell. I have a 7-speaker surround system powered by 1100 watts plus 200 watt subwoofer. This type of dynamic range will dramatically expose the difference between run-of-the-mill DD and DTS. With a 100 wpc AV receiver, you might not notice so much.
As others in this thread have mentioned, DD has gotten better, but here's the thing: If a DVD has a DTS soundtrack, you can take it to the bank that it's excellent. If they bothered to do the soundtrack in DTS, it's pre-HD DVD state-of-the-art. In the past few years, there have been better DD soundtracks, and some of them are THX DD, such as the Indiana Jones movies.
But what I've found is that while DD THX soundtracks are about as good as it gets in DD, the DTS ones are just that much better -- sharper with faster leading transients, bigger dynamic swings, better seamless soundfield, better everything.
If you are a fan of DVD concert videos, you've GOT to get DTS capability; most of the best concert vids I have include DTS surround, and this includes Alison Kraus and Union Station and Brian Wilson's Smile.
If you want to stay behind the technology curve, fine; you can save A LOT of money and get very satisfying sound performance. If you don't have DTS now, you can upgrade with either a pre/pro that decodes DTS or at least has 5.1 analog inputs, and a DVD player with internal DTS processor. I have both in an Oppo DV-980H (internal DTS decoding and 7.1 analog output0 and my pre/pro (Boston Acoustics AVP7), which can either pass on the Oppo's decoding with 7.1 analog input or via coax or toslink digital.
It's probably cheapest to get the Oppo plus a pre/pro that has 5.1 analog inputs, though at this point, a pre/pro with DTS should be easy and cheap to find.
And while we're nominating DTS soundtracks, let me weigh in in favor of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has full digital discrete 6.1 DTS-ES at the source on the disk. The gold standard in std-def DVD soundtracks.