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kk650's Star Wars Semi-Specialised Edition HD, The Empire Strikes Back Semi-Specialised Edition HD, Return of the Jedi Semi-Specialised Edition HD - Help Needed Please! -

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Hi guys, i've been lurking on this site for a few years now but after seeing what fantastic feedback you guys provide Harmy and others with their projects, helping them to constantly improve their releases, I hoped that you could be a great help for me too.

I have created Semi-Specialised Editions of the original trilogy which are available and can be found on tehparadox. They are essentially the original trilogy with all the good special edition changes kept in and all the bad changes removed. They have received a fair amount of positive feedback but the majority of the feedback has been thanks which is fantastic but in terms of creating new improved versions of these releases is not much help. These have been out for around half a year now and seeing Harmy releasing his new version of Star Wars Despecialized 2.5 got me thinking that I shouldn't be resting on my laurels, I should also try to be improving on what i've already done because I'm sure that there is much that could be improved upon.

I humbly ask that you guys check out my releases and give me feedback on how you think they could be improved. I hope that with your help i'll be able to release new and improved versions of these releases in the near future. Below are details about each of the three Semi-Specialised releases taken from tehparadox:

 

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kk650 presents: The Star Wars Semi-Specialised Edition


Technical Specs:

Name: Star Wars Semi-Specialised Edition

Size: 15.4 GB

Video: 1920x824 H264 23.976

Audio Track: Uncompressed PCM track based of Belbucus's 1993 PCM audio mix

Subtitle Track 1: Alien Subtitles in English

Subtitle Track 2: English Subtitles

Subtitle Track 3: Spanish Subtitles


Like many, I was unhappy with a lot the changes that were made for the Special Editions and most recently the blu-rays.

Harmy's Despecialised Editions are great for those that want to see the films exactly as they were when they were originally released theatrically, but some of the changes (especially the updating of special effects) actually make the films better IMHO, so I decided to make 'Semi-Specialised' editions of these films to remove what I considered the bad changes while keeping all the good changes/additions.

After working on and off on these three films for almost two years, the Star Wars Semi-Specialised original trilogy is finally finished.

I hope that you enjoy these releases as much as I enjoyed making them. Do please let me know whether you like this release and if not, feel free to say why. If you run into any problems, also let me know and i'll see what I can do.


Below is a brief summary of the changes made to this film:


Star Wars:


Audio changes:


Original Krayt Dragon call restored

New lossless pcm audio track created to fit this semi-specialised edition, based off Belbucus's excellent 1993 Star Wars PCM audio mix


Video Changes:


Regraded to remove blue tint running throughout the whole film that was introduced for the first time in the special edition DVD and was carried over to the blu-ray

R2D2 no longer hiding behind a CG rock when Obi One Kenobi appears

Silly CG droid and jawa antics when they enter Mos Eisley have been removed

Jabba scene removed

Han shoots Greedo first with no awful CG head dodging action

Lightsabers made more consistant so they are not constantly changing colour, Vader's lightsaber is now red all the time rather than turning pink.

 

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kk650 presents: The Empire Strikes Back Semi-Specialised Edition


Technical Specs:

Name: The Empire Strikes Back Semi-Specialised Edition

Size: 15.4 GB

Video: 1920x824 H264 23.976

Audio Track: Uncompressed PCM track based of Belbucus's 1993 PCM audio mix

Subtitle Track 1: English Subtitles

Subtitle Track 2: Spanish Subtitles


Like many, I was unhappy with a lot the changes that were made for the Special Editions and most recently the blu-rays.

Harmy's Despecialised Editions are great for those that want to see the films exactly as they were when they were originally released theatrically, but some of the changes (especially the updating of special effects) actually make the films better IMHO, so I decided to make 'Semi-Specialised' editions of these films to remove what I considered the bad changes while keeping all the good changes/additions.

After working on and off on these three films for almost two years, the Star Wars Semi-Specialised original trilogy is finally finished.

I hope that you enjoy these releases as much as I enjoyed making them. Do please let me know whether you like this release and if not, feel free to say why. If you run into any problems, also let me know and i'll see what I can do.


Below is a brief summary of the changes made to this film:


The Empire Strikes Back:


Audio changes:


The emperor's original dialogue from the theatrical release has been restored

The original voice of Boba Fett from the theatrical release has been restored

Luke's line 'you're lucky you don't taste so good' after R2D2 gets spat out has been restored

Darth Vader's line 'Bring me my shuttle' has been restored

New lossless pcm audio track created to fit this semi-specialised edition, based off Belbucus's excellent 1993 Empire Strikes Back PCM audio mix


Video Changes:


Regraded to remove blue tint running throughout the whole film that was introduced for the first time in the special edition DVD and was carried over to the blu-ray

The original emperor from the theatrical release has been returned (my thanks goes to Adywan for the original emperor footage taken from his Empire Strikes Back colour corrected 'purist' edition)

The digitally added sparks for the blu-ray in the scene where chewie is trying to get c3po from the dwarves have been removed

All extra shots of Darth Vader going back to the Executor and the arrival on the star destroyer that were not in the theatrical release have been removed so they do not interupt the escape of the millenium falcon

Lightsabers made more consistant so they are not constantly changing colour, Vader's lightsaber is now red all the time rather than turning pink.

 

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kk650 presents: Return of the Jedi Semi-Specialised Edition


Technical Specs:

Name: Return of the Jedi Semi-Specialised Edition

Size: 16.1 GB

Video: 1920x824 H264 23.976

Audio Track: Uncompressed PCM track based of Belbucus's 1993 PCM audio mix

Subtitle Track 1: Alien Subtitles in English

Subtitle Track 2: English Subtitles

Subtitle Track 3: Spanish Subtitles


Like many, I was unhappy with a lot the changes that were made for the Special Editions and most recently the blu-rays.

Harmy's Despecialised Editions are great for those that want to see the films exactly as they were when they were originally released theatrically, but some of the changes (especially the updating of special effects) actually make the films better IMHO, so I decided to make 'Semi-Specialised' editions of these films to remove what I considered the bad changes while keeping all the good changes/additions.

After working on and off on these three films for almost two years, the Star Wars Semi-Specialised original trilogy is finally finished.

I hope that you enjoy these releases as much as I enjoyed making them. Do please let me know whether you like this release and if not, feel free to say why. If you run into any problems, also let me know and i'll see what I can do.


Below is a brief summary of the changes made to this film:


Return of the Jedi:


Audio changes:


Han Solo's 'it's alright, I can see a lot better' line from the special edition when he's aiming his gun to free Lando from the Sarlacc's clutches has been replaced with the original line 'it's alright, trust me'

Darth Vader's 'Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!' at the climax of the film has been removed and his silence restored.

New lossless pcm audio track created to fit this semi-specialised edition, based off Belbucus's excellent 1993 Return of the Jedi PCM audio mix


Video Changes:


Regraded to remove blue tint running throughout the whole film that was introduced for the first time in the special edition DVD and was carried over to the blu-ray

The huge CG door leading into jabba's palace that was added for the blu-ray release has been replaced with the original door from the theatrical release

The awful CG fest 'Jedi Rocks' has been removed and replaced with the original song from the theatrical release, Lapti Nek

The over the top carbon defreezing effects added to the blu-ray have been removed and replaced with the original defreezing effects from the theatrical release

The CG Dug added to the blu-ray release that walks down the steps of jabba palace just before Luke arrives has been removed and replaced with the original shot without the CG Dug

The creepy CG blinking ewok eyes added to the blu-ray have been removed and replaced with how they were in the theatrical release

When R2D2 gets shot, all the CGI appendages added for the blu-ray release have been removed

All the CG celebration scenes on the other planets have been removed with the exception of the first, cloud city. Jar Jar Binks and his 'Weesa Free!' is gone, thankfully.

Hayden Christensen and his creepy glare has been removed from the final scene with the jedi spirits and replaced with the original actor from the theatrical release, Sebastian Shaw

Lightsabers made more consistant so they are not constantly changing colour, Vader's lightsaber is now red all the time rather than turning pink.

 

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I really like the editions you've made but there's a couple of things I'd like you to consider.   The changes you made to ROTJ I like but I can't stand the Special Edition Sarlacc; I'm sure many here would agree.

Most importantly,  I think your color correction might be off on all three.   You_Too, Adywan, and Harmy (members of this forum) are exceptional at color correction of the movies and maybe they could help you out.  Granted I would rather have basic correction on them than have it like the Green shifted Star Wars DE 2.5.

Edit:  I'll watch them again and see if I can find anything else you can improve upon.





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kk650 said:  Audio Track: Uncompressed PCM track based of Belbucus's 1993 PCM audio mix

Is your PCM a combination of Belbucus' PCM and a downmix of the DTS-HD MA from the BD?

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Chewtobacca said:

kk650 said:  Audio Track: Uncompressed PCM track based of Belbucus's 1993 PCM audio mix

Is your PCM a combination of Belbucus' PCM and a downmix of the DTS-HD MA from the BD?

No, the program I was using for the audio editing was not able to register dts audio so I had to settle for the Special Edition dolby digital 5.1 audio from the DVD. So the PCM from these releases are a combination of Belbucus's PCM and a downmix of the SE dolby digital 5.1 audio from the DVDs.

The problem was able to handle the PCM audio no problem though and the dolby digital 5.1 as well and then output to PCM audio as well, so technically no audio quality loss should have occured along the way from either of the two sources to the final output mix, apart from the downmixing of the dolby digital 5.1 audio of course. I should mention that 99% of the audio mix comes from Belbucus's great 1993 PCM audio. I would always use the PCM audio, which I find much superior to the Special Edition audio because it sounds much richer and the John Williams score is so much more prominent. I only used the Special Edition audio when I had absolutely no other choice (usually for new SE special effects shots), the final mixes of each film are pretty much 99% Belbucus's PCM mixed with 1% of SE dolby 5.1 audio.

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stretch009 said:

I really like the editions you've made but there's a couple of things I'd like you to consider.   The changes you made to ROTJ I like but I can't stand the Special Edition Sarlacc; I'm sure many here would agree.

Most importantly,  I think your color correction might be off on all three.   You_Too, Adywan, and Harmy (members of this forum) are exceptional at color correction of the movies and maybe they could help you out.  Granted I would rather have basic correction on them than have it like the Green shifted Star Wars DE 2.5.

Edit:  I'll watch them again and see if I can find anything else you can improve upon.





Thank you for your thoughts. I did very much consider bringing back the original Sarlacc, the only problem I had was that I would have to take the footage from the GOUT and because the Sarlacc footage is not continuous like say Lapti Nek, I thought the change between uprezed DVD footage and HD footage from shot to shot would be too jarring and draw attention to the lower image quality of the uprezed dvd footage. I can certainly give it a try though, see if I can make it work. If only there was HD footage somewhere of that scene with the original Sarlacc...

In terms of colour correction, what would you say is off? Do you feel that a certain colour is too strong? I don't have all the colour reference sources that Harmy has but I did look at many promotional stills taken from the shooting of the films to try to get a feel for the colour of the films.

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kk650 said:technically no audio quality loss should have occured along the way from either of the two sources to the final output mix, apart from the downmixing of the dolby digital 5.1 audio of course.

That's true, but it would, of course, be better to use a lossless source.  I can help you out with a downmix of the BD audio at some point if you're interested.

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Chewtobacca said:

kk650 said:technically no audio quality loss should have occured along the way from either of the two sources to the final output mix, apart from the downmixing of the dolby digital 5.1 audio of course.

That's true, but it would, of course, be better to use a lossless source.  I can help you out with a downmix of the BD audio at some point if you're interested.

If you could downmix the BD audio to stereo and save it to a lossless format like PCM that would be fantastic.

Do you think that the downmixed BD audio would be noticably better than the downmixed dolby digital 5.1 audio though or is the difference likely to be very subtle?

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kk650 said:

Do you think that the downmixed BD audio would be noticably better than the downmixed dolby digital 5.1 audio though or is the difference likely to be very subtle?

If I might pipe in, here:

One man's "very subtle" is another's "Night and Day."

For this man, the DVD sound is so irritating that it causes listener fatigue and makes me want to turn it off. The BD Master audio is way, way better and easier on the ears. If you must have stereo (why stereo only?) I'd request a full-res 96k/24bit stereo downmix. 

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I would go with the 1997 SE mix (some forum members recently released the theatrical DTS version) rather then the Bluray/DVD mix. The 97 mix is a solid remix, but the 2004 mix sounds rather awful. It's all muffled and dynamically compressed, with a droning bass sound.

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Just out of curiosity where can we find these to view?  Sounds interesting as I've always had a personal interest in something like this.

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penguinofgreatness said:

I would go with the 1997 SE mix (some forum members recently released the theatrical DTS version) rather then the Bluray/DVD mix. The 97 mix is a solid remix, but the 2004 mix sounds rather awful. It's all muffled and dynamically compressed, with a droning bass sound.

I agree with you completely about the post 2004 audio mixes to me, dynamically compressed is exactly how I would put it as well, they lack the richness and dynamic range of the PCM audio. The 1997 SE mix sounds like a great option but I don´t know if it covers all the SE scenes I included in these semi-specialised editions. Do you know anywhere where I might be able to get the 1997 versions of the films, so I can check out what new scenes were included at that point? The image quality isn´t important so it could be a tvrip or vhs no problem.

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kitt1987 said:

Just out of curiosity where can we find these to view?  Sounds interesting as I've always had a personal interest in something like this.

I mention where you can find these in my initial post, at the start of the second paragraph. I hope you enjoy what i´ve done with these. Do please get back to me with your thoughts on these semi-specialised editions and even better, any suggestions on how they could be improved.

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kk650 said:

penguinofgreatness said:

I would go with the 1997 SE mix (some forum members recently released the theatrical DTS version) rather then the Bluray/DVD mix. The 97 mix is a solid remix, but the 2004 mix sounds rather awful. It's all muffled and dynamically compressed, with a droning bass sound.

Do you know anywhere where I might be able to get the 1997 versions of the films, so I can check out what new scenes were included at that point? The image quality isn´t important so it could be a tvrip or vhs no problem.

On usenet (binsearch.info) search for 'lee thorogood'.   Scroll down to his 1997 dvds.  Myspleen might have some broadcast versions still available.

 

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stretch009 said:

kk650 said:

penguinofgreatness said:

I would go with the 1997 SE mix (some forum members recently released the theatrical DTS version) rather then the Bluray/DVD mix. The 97 mix is a solid remix, but the 2004 mix sounds rather awful. It's all muffled and dynamically compressed, with a droning bass sound.

Do you know anywhere where I might be able to get the 1997 versions of the films, so I can check out what new scenes were included at that point? The image quality isn´t important so it could be a tvrip or vhs no problem.

On usenet (binsearch.info) search for 'lee thorogood'.   Scroll down to his 1997 dvds.  Myspleen might have some broadcast versions still available.

 

Thanks for pointing that out, I'm off to check those out right now.

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Okay, I finally got round to trying to download lee thorogood's 1997 versions but annoyingly many of the parts are missing on usenet, making me unable to properly extract it, I assume due to the age of the post. Does anybody know anywhere else where I might be able to check out the 1997 SE releases?

With regards to the Semi-Specialised Editions of Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, has anybody that has checked these out over the last week have any input on how they could be improved?

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As far as Empire is concerned, the only real problem I have is the new Throne Room discussion added for the DVD and the Vader returning to the star destroyer montage that messes up the Bring me my shuttle line and the pacing of the Bespin escape. 

People seem more split on the Wampa scene. I personally prefer how it was in 80, but I have friends who like it now. 

What's the internal temperature of a TaunTaun? Luke warm.

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penguinofgreatness said:

I would go with the 1997 SE mix (some forum members recently released the theatrical DTS version) rather then the Bluray/DVD mix. The 97 mix is a solid remix, but the 2004 mix sounds rather awful. It's all muffled and dynamically compressed, with a droning bass sound.

penquino is correct.  The theatrical DTS mixes are available.  Silverwook helped me obtain what I was missing and I did the ISO's for the discs so they could be shared with anyone who may need them for a project. 

You can find them in the newsgroups.

:)

 

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

― Socrates

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How does one decode them though?  Eac3to seems not to recognize them.

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Chewtobacca said:

How does one decode them though?  Eac3to seems not to recognize them.

 

Winamp + plugin ..... there is plenty of info about it.

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/DTS-audio-preservation-UPDATE-13-July-2013-Work-In-Progress/topic/15271/

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Preserving-DTS-LaserDisc-tracks-specifically-Jurassic-Park/topic/13541/

....

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Star-Wars-1997-DTS-CD-ROMs/topic/14241/

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Star-Wars-PT-DTS-CD-ROMs-First-Post-UPDATED-08-DEC-2012/topic/14273/

 

I hope this helps.  DoomBot kindly offered to partner with me concerning the DTS stuff because there are upcoming projects in the works that will use these as part of the audio treatment.  Also, schorman did a SE Trailer project with DTS cinema audio for the trailers.

Thanks as always go to borisanddoris, El Donante, Silverwook, CapableMetal, & Doombot + whomever anonymously donated the 2 DTS soundtracks I didn't have for the SE. 

This post has been edited.

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

― Socrates

Author
Time

Ah heck, I'll add it here for you Chewtobacca .....

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Jetrell Fo said:

Okay....I want to get this posted for all of you who've downloaded the ISO's and now don't know what to do with them...Forum member CapableMetal has kindly sent me a tutorial to describe what he has done with these files for use. I'm going to post it here as a tied-you-over if you want to try somethings while we await the work borisanddoris and Eldonante are working on. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You need the in_APTX.dll plugin for Winamp and Winamp 2.91 (the later versions don't recognise the plugin so cannot work). You then need to configure the output in Winamp from the DirectSound module to the Disk Writer. You then need to load the AUD file you're copying for the reel into the playlist, select mono track mode and just press play (important: only once!).

I had the Disk Writer output the WAV file to the desktop of my old laptop (its running XP, so I used it to ensure i didn't get compatibility errors, but as long as Winamp 2.91 works in later versions of Windows it should all work perfectly) and renamed the file so I knew which part it was (anh_r1_fR.wav, for ANH Reel 1 Front Right, for example) and kept doing it until I had ripped all channels of all reels separately. Then I opened up Sound Forge 10 (although any WAV editor that can handle 5.1 should work; I use Sound Forge and Adobe Audition as I have actually had training as a performance sound engineer for live theatre) and dragged each channel into place.

This is where I realised that the channels output by the AptX plugin were all wrong, I noted the correct mapping for ANH and am guessing for the rest of the trilogy, as they're mastered by the same studio.

This is how I label the channels for the sake of quicker reference: Front Left (fL), Front Right (fR), Center (C), Surround Left (sL), Surround Right (sR) fL = fL fR = sL C = C sL = sR sR = fR The values left of = are what the AptX plugin thinks they are and the right is where the channels actually belong.

When you create a 5.1 file in Sound Forge they are listed in the order of 1=fL, 2=fR, 3=C, 4=LFE, 5=sL, 6=sR, so you just mix them together putting the correct WAV to the correct channel. At this point I copied and pasted the sL and sR into a new 2.0 WAV and performed a low pass filter cutting all frequencies above 80Hz, and performed a channel conversion down to mono.

Then I copied and pasted the mono file to channel 4 (LFE) in the 5.1 file. Next, save all your files to a format that supports 5.1 (WAV's can be saved as 5.1 but can be awkward for compatibility; I saved mine as Sony w64 files but FLAC or any lossless format supported by Audition CS6 would suffice), and open them into an Audition CS6 5.1 mix.

At this point you need a Sync source video saved to a compatible format, like a MOV or uncompressed; Audition seems to hate x264's AVC video and won't open MKV files, so I saved my capture with the Lagarith Lossless RGB codec to AVI, which are BIG files, but if you shrink your video to something like 640x288 it will play nicely and be smaller. Using the 2.0 audio from my laser disc, I slid each reel into place and matched the peaks at the END of each reel, as close to the end that I could find matching waveforms and zoomed in to align them as closely as possible.

I then had to rate-stretch them to the right length so they matched up at the start. I did this for all reels, cropping the end and beginning "beeps" from each one and rendered them under stretch properties as Rendered (High Quality), Polyphonic to preserve pitch.

After many hours of it 'Rendering', you will be able to mixdown to a 5.1, I choose FLAC. I must point out at this point that converting these files to any DTS format would likely be overkill. DTS-HD MA has a large size and will be hundreds of megs larger than a FLAC file. FLAC will happily encode to 16-bit, 44KHz, as the DTS discs seem to be, encoding to normal DTS will slightly compress them again, and encoding to DTS-HD will offer no performance gains. It would probably need to be upsampled to 24-bit, 48KHz (at least), which cannot serve to make it sound better but probably only worse.

I read the Wiki page for theater DTS, and it mentions the 24-bit timecode, which has nothing to do with the actual audio bit-rate (same way video uses the SMPTE time code, which is 80-bits, whereas the video is likely around 10-bits). I'm fairly convinced, due to the age of the discs, that 16-bit 44KHz is their format and it would be best to keep it that way.

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PLZ, read this carefully as it explains something I read & posted about briefly in regards to the Winamp plugin not mapping the channels properly. CapableMetal will be on vacation for a bit so he probably won't be doing any further work until mid October. He has said the he's done versions of ANH & ROTJ from the ISO's he downloaded. Folks are waiting for me to get TESB up....it will be up soon. I will shoot for end of the week. Cheers!!!! :) :)

 

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

― Socrates

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Chewtobacca said:

Yeah, I know where the threads are.  I think I'll wait for someone to put synced audio up in another format.

EDIT:  Thanks for posting the info though.  I didn't see it before I posted.

Schorman was able to process DTS audio.  Check out his thread on the SE Trailer project he did.

:)

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

― Socrates

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