DTS was founded by Terry Beard, an audio engineer and Caltech graduate. Beard, speaking to a friend of a friend, was able to get in touch with Steven Spielberg to audition a remastering of Spielberg's film Close Encounters of the Third Kind mixed in DTS. Spielberg then selected DTS sound for his next film, Jurassic Park (1993) and with the backing of Universal and its then-parent Matsushita Electric, over 1,000 theatres in the United States adopted the DTS system.
VIDEO and AUDIOThe Santa Clause boasts excellent picture quality on Blu-ray. For someone as familiar with the film as I, the gains in detail are easily noticed. For instance, the fine print border around Santa's business card is very easy to make out in the early shot, you'll spot a Magic School Bus book on display in the classroom scene, and the few white hairs atop Wendy Crewson's head are suddenly unmissable. This is one of those movies that never seems as old as it really is; that it was shot nearly twenty years ago sort of blows me away. It's tough to find any evidence of its age in this highly satisfying 1080p transfer.The original movie also deserves commendation for its fine 5.1 DTS-HD master audio soundtrack, which renders dialogue crisp, clear, and weighted while doing a great job of distributing all music (especially Convertino's delectable score) and some appropriate directional sound effects. There does not seem to be any room left for an improved presentation on this format.The Santa Clause 2 also receives an exemplary hi-def transfer. There is a small, fitting amount of fine film grain present in some shots and otherwise, the film looks brand new, with its clean, sharp, vibrant appearance and lively, directional 5.1 DTS-HD master audio. The first two films also include some uncommon dubs and subtitles (Russian! Thai! Korean!) unmentioned on the packaging.The Santa Clause 3 may be one of Disney's earlier Blu-rays, but the presentation doesn't suffer for that. Its immaculate, vivid picture is the most flawless here. Its soundtrack offered in uncompressed LPCM 5.1 is plenty potent; just make sure you've got that selected and not the more austere Dolby Digital 5.1 English mix that for some reason plays by default. BONUS FEATURESThe first two movies are joined by most of the same bonus features of their current DVD editions.As one of the rare live-action Disney movies given an upgrade on DVD, the original Santa Clause's 2002 Special Edition was very disappointing. Not only did it bring little to the table, but it lost the one extra from the film's first DVD: the theatrical trailer that proved conclusively that there were at least some deleted scenes to include. The Special Edition had no trailer and no deleted scenes and the Blu-ray maintains that unfortunate tradition, missing the most obvious opportunity to correct this.Instead, The Santa Clause is joined by just a few minor extras, all presented in standard definition"So You Wanna Be an Elf?" (6:30) is hosted in character by David Krumholtz's Bernard on the set of Santa Clause 2, a sequel whose promotion is the purpose of this piece. Pretending that the real Santa made this movie, the head elf trains a new crop of recruits in gift-wrapping and mail-sorting before talking about making a movie "with Santa" over 85 seconds of behind-the-scenes clips that his narration drowns out.Next and most exciting to Disney animation fans is the 1933 Silly Symphony short The Night Before Christmas (7:55). Opening with a musical recitation of part the famous poem attributed to Clement Moore, this cartoon follows Santa Claus inside a house, where he pulls a tree and presents out of his bag to create a parade of toys and dolls. This old cartoon, Disney's fourth time depicting the holiday, remains presented in the censored form of The Santa Clause's DVD, losing around thirty seconds of racially insensitive doll depictions. Not only has the short not been upgraded to HD, but it doesn't even make use of the far cleaner windowboxed print used on 2006's More Silly Symphonies Walt Disney Treasures tin. At least you no longer have to jump through hoops to watch it; more on that below. Finally, the tenuous "Making Santa Snacks with Wolfgang" has Austrian celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck leading a group of kids in making pizza (7:12), cookies (4:42), and hot cocoa (3:47) for Santa Claus. Presumably to make the disc look fuller than it really is, the segments get individual listings and cannot be viewed as one piece. Livened up with jokes, vintage movie stock footage, video effects, clip art, painfully scripted interaction, and Puck's sacred mantra ("Live! Love! Eat") this is one of Disney's most random supplements, but at least it's memorable. Detailed recipes, complete with conversion tables! and available in all of the disc's languages, are provided for all three in pausable, self-advancing screens, adding more listings to that potentially pitiful menu.
Although the 24/192 to 8 channels is part of the spec of HDMI and BluRay I don't believe that most consumer audio equipment will support it. Most playback equipement I have seen (I don't pretend to be an authority so I may be totally wrong here) will only support mc up to 24/96 however. So the possibility exists and apparently there are even recordings that make use of it. However, for playback I am not exactly sure what you could use. The Oppo even tops out at 24/96 for MC if Im not mistaken and most of these formats that would take advantage of the extra bandwidth would still be limited by the receiver to which it is bitstreaming or passing LPCM. These tend to top out at 2ch 24/192. I think this is true of most popular OS's as well--again could very well be wrong as someone has to work on masters for surround presumably in 24/192...An interesting aside: was reading up on the DVD-A standard recently and though it includes 24/96 for 5.1 it's also true that the standard allows differing resolutions for different speakers! In other words, your towers might be rocking 24/96 but your surrounds might be spunking out at 24/48 to save space. I just read this PDF that Mishka suggested on dolbys site that included the info as I was reading up on proper 5.1 set up with differing standards (SACD, DVD-A, Blu-ray) without compromising too much on either standard. Anyway, I probably didn't really answer your question but my understanding is that for now most receivers and transports are no able to support surround at those settings currently. And even if something like the Oppo did in fact support that, it would likely need to be bitstreamed over HDMI (if you want those sound formats) or at least read by the receiver as LPCM and most receivers just don't go there yet. 24/192 is going to be a stereo thing until newer equipment comes out that will force us to buy that 'one more thing' to play it. I'm sure flac can support it, I believe it goes to 32/384 or whatever that standard is. It also retains whatever encoding you use...for example flac can contain dts, dts-ma, dts-hd ma, ect. which can be bitstreamed to whatever can decode it. More friendly Upnp and DLNA thingamabobs like Playback Media Server will let you stream DTS-HD MSTR files in flac to like an Oppo and will keep the resultant stream in the flac. It's up to the Oppo or your DAC/AVR to decode it. And no bluray audio has yet to take the world by storm, but 2011 saw the first commercial releases of this kind of material. If the music industry does NOT do away with discs, I'd say that blu ray has about the best shot at music format very soon. At the end of 2012 there will be no CDs from the labels. 2b1af7f3a8