Since Nuendo does not provide a consumer format for Atmos distribution

Yep. And the extra kicker is that not all Blu Ray authoring software recognizes the file, for instance BD Wizard (which does fine with TrueHD files). However, I’m not sure how absolute that requirement is for DD+ to be on a Blu Ray, as BD Wizard DID accept a standard Atmos .ec3 file from the encoding engine and mux it without complaint.

I’m sure Scenarist recognizes the .eb3 file since it’s the only real game left in town for high end authoring. I got a quote on a yearly license for that and nearly choked on my drink.

So back on topic: previewing DD+ Atmos files from the renderer on consumer HT hardware is a pain in the ass unless you want to drop some money on DEE for a TrueHD file.

Jeez! How much is it?!!? And while we’re on the subject of ridiculously expensive gear (this is totally off topic) does anybody have any idea how much an SSL S500 console costs? I can’t find pricing info anywhere! Is that a “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” piece of hardware?

Okay, I want to be sure that I have this straight. Testing ATMOS mixes via Blu-ray is basically not possible without mega-buck authoring software. So our only option is to use ALTERNATE PLAYABLE SOURCES like USB sticks or playing it through laptops via HDMI, right?

Do we know how accurate our home theater tests are compared to the Blu-ray option?

For Blu Ray it’s over $2k a year. I said “Nope”.

I wouldn’t say it’s that terribly expensive. It’s $400 a year for DEE, and Blu-Disc Studio Lite is free and works with Atmos TrueHD tracks just fine after an extra step in Eac3to (which is also free). If you’re really diving into Atmos then the DEE is a good business expense. You can export pretty much any Dolby format from that thing and it’s not that hard to use either.

Aside from that, yeah it’s pretty much USB sticks or via laptop.

Yes, Scenarist BD/UHD can handle this file. So can Blu-print.

The muxing is not the problem, the playback is. :wink:
When I get the chance, though, I’ll test it.

You have no idea how cheap these things are now. In the old days, everything was a lot more expensive. You would have also choked on your bagel. :rofl:


As I have Scenarist open, I quickly tested it: The Atmos file for online media (.ec3) is rejected by the MUI generator during the spec check with the comment that it is the wrong stream type. So I can’t process a DD+ track for online media in Scenarist. DD+ for Blu-ray (.eb3) is no problem. (But that’s no surprise now.)

Note that the Encoding Engine (DEE) has no sexy GUI, but is controlled via command line and scripts. Not everyone likes that. If you want a GUI, you have to go for the Media Encoder (DME).

That’s the one I’m evaluating. I get the two confused.

Oh I’m sure it’s much cheaper than it used to be. But it’s all about perspective and the cost makes me chuckle at some of the entries in the “Who Should Subscribe” section of their page, especially “Ministries and Individual authors”.

Regarding the DD+ .ec3 file, that must be an issue with BD Wizard’s mux. Either that or they just skipped over that because nobody uses DD+ on Blu-Ray. :grinning:

I could perform a test on one of our Blu-ray players for quality control. (The player is a Panasonic. Unfortunately I forgot to check the model number. Some top of the range model from the last decade.) I used Scenarist BD to create a ISO image containing an E-AC-3 JOC track for Blu-ray (.eb3). This disc plays correctly on the player. The AV amplifier outputs Atmos.
If I replace the audio track with an E-AC-3 track for online media (.ec3), the Player plays the picture but the AV amplifier remains mute. The player identifies the audio track as DD+, but the amplifier receives no signal. So it gets NO signal at all. (I can tell by the fact that it goes into power saving mode after a certain amount of time.)

CONCLUSION: The Dolby Media Encoder (DME) is essential if you want to give a Blu-ray to your clients for quality control. The E-AC-3 JOC track output by the external Dolby renderer is NOT compatible for playback on Blu-ray.

IMPORTANT: This limitation only applies to “official” hardware players. Software players such as PowerDVD can play the ISO file with an “.ec3” track. And I don’t want to rule out the possibility that there is a hardware player out there that ignores the specifications and plays the E-AC-3 JOC track for online media as well. (Maybe some cheap chinese device or a media player.)

In testing, I found that the free tsMuxeR, which I have mentioned many times before, accepts E-AC-3 files for online media (.ec3). So at least you have the option of creating a PowerDVD ISO file for your clients. PowerDVD is easier to use than MPC-HC and will probably be preferred by most.
And for those who haven’t guessed yet: With a DD+ file for Blu-ray (.eb3) tsMuxeR refuses to work. (That was to be expected. :wink:)

Warner Bros. uses DD+ more often for the second Atmos track. Universal has also occasionally used DD+ for Atmos. But the leader in using DD+ (without Atmos) is Disney. The German dubbed version of Disney’s (UHD) Blu-ray is very often stored as a DD+ track.

They do? I thought they used 640kbps Dolby Digital for alternative tracks. Clearly I’m wrong.

This is true for audio tracks that do not contain Atmos. On discs where the dubbed version is also in Atmos, the dubbed version is often in TrueHD and the original (English) is in E-AC-3 JOC.