superbit? What is it?

I just bought another DVD to add to my collection. I had a choice to buy the fifth element on regular dvd or superbit. Difference in price is $10.00; don't mind spending the extra, but can anyone tell me if there is truely a difference in sound? Also will superbit be the next generation of dvd's and should I be buying them? Just looking for some help from the guru dvd experts. As always, thanx for your help in advance. Pete
The superbit has a higher bit rate than standard DVDs. If you have a DVD player that can display the bit rate, you will notice that most DVDs change the bit rate during the picture. Scenes with a lot of motion require higher bit rates. Lower bit rates allow more movie time on the same disc. Sony has made these "superbit" DVDs with significantly higher bit rates, but have left out other bit using features such as director commentary or trailers or the making of the movie and instead have opted to give a really great picture and in most cases have added DTS sound (although I understand it is compressed slightly more than usual to fit with the superbit bandwidth). I definitely notice a difference in the superbit vs the conventional disc, but it's not a huge difference. Better color saturation and better 3D characteristics are the most noticable benefits. I don't really ever watch many of the "extras" that have been cut out of the superbit version, so for me the decision is pretty simple.
Superbit DVDs are fully compatible DVDs that utilize the disk's resource (space) fully for movie, thus eliminating the extras. Video is stored on the disk compressed, so the more space you use for the movie, the less the compression will affect the picture quality. On normal DVDs, by putting on multiple soundtracks, trailers, deleted scenes, etc., more of the storage space is used for non-movie material, thus necessitating a higher compression ratio for the main event. Think of them as videophile DVDs. I haven't seen one, so I can't comment on how much benefit they would have. There's nothing about them that putting all the extras on a separate disk wouldn't accomplish, and I can't imagine why they'd be $10 more. -Kirk
Hello Pete. Superbit DVD's are transferred at a higher data rate, squeezing the last drop of resolution from the "standard" DVD format. I have bought many (of the few) Superbit DVD's available and they DO offer clear improvements in video quality. I find that the Superbit DVD's are more comfortable to watch, considering the 2 hours of eye energy it takes to watch a movie, I like them. Politically there are many viewpoints regarding them. The studios have the capability of making all DVD's "superbit", but supposedly they need to eliminate the "extras", using the disc space they have freed up for improved audio/video. There are some outstanding transfers that make superbit seem unnecessary (Moulin Rouge) for example, but videophiles are always curious about getting any improvement in picture quality, so there is a market out there. As for audio, I believe that most, but not all of the Dolby Digital and DTS transfers are also done in a higher bitrate, improving dynamics and intelligibility. In a few years there will be blue laser High Def DVD players available, but it will also take time for studios to produce copyright protected HDDVD's, and then find its place in the market, so considering the inevitable industry hot air regarding copyright protection of digital high def formats, don't hold your breath. Try If you do a search there are dozens of threads regarding Superbit DVD's. I'd go for it if I were you, sometimes they go on sale, so keep an eye out for that as well.
Thanx you all for your time. I've noticed everyone has seen an improvement in video, but how about audio? I do agree with the above, I myself never waste my time with trailers, deleted scenes. I say just give me the best audio/video you can and leave out the rest or for those who enjoy it, have a collector's edition. Pete
PETE!!! welcome back buddy!! You've got mail.

Just thought I'd chime in with my one "sb" experience. I rented Dracula. I have the Pan rb91,and a Sharp projector. For some reason or other I had to turn off "prgressive" for this disc.--Once I did this the picture was stunning.On DTS audio-- I have the DTS Dances/W. W.--2 disc set. This is one of a hand full of "FULL-BIT RATE" DTS discs.(Something in the neighborhood of 1700 bits) The sound doesn't do anything spectacular for me. (Good wine waisted on swine?)
I guess I can comment on the audio.

I can really only comment on The Fifth Element, as it's the only disc I've seen enough to know the soundtrack well enough.

The DD track is slightly better than the old version. There's a bit more detail to it than old version had as the old DD track was compressed more than the Superbit version is.

I didn't care for the DTS mix on it though. You can argure all you want as to which is better DTS or DD. It's more about the mix, than it is about the compression scheme. I usually preffer a DTS track. Though sometimes the difference is non-existant. And sometimes the DD track is better, as I feel it is on the Superbit Fifth Element.

Though if you really want the best audio track, go with the LD release.
I was under the impression that Dolby Digital and DTS had fixed compression rates (unlike, say, MP3s). In that case, the soundtrack on both standard and superbit DVDs would be identical unless the studio went to the trouble of remastering--and why would they do that?
Both DD & DTS have 2 standard bitrates. On Superbit DVD's the higher rate DD is used, and the lowed bitrate DTS is used. If the full bitrate DTS is used they have no room for a DD track. The early DTS titles had no DD track on them, as they were full bitrate. Which meant there were two different releases, the DTS version, & the DD version. I believe the last full bitrate DTS DVD was Saving Private Ryan.