5.1 Audio on DVD’s – Part 1

3-15-12          5.1 Audio on DVD’s

Soulman Sylvester (Sly) Stone born 1944, guitarist Ry Cooder born 1947; I own music by both (close call).

Since getting a 5.1 DVD set-up last year, I have been in search of discs with 5.1 audio – whether they be music or films.  Of course, I already had quite a few films with 5.1 audio, on DVD.

Bummed that I couldn’t find a website that listed which films has particularly good audio in 5.1, I asked a few of my friends – and the suggestion came up that I look at which titles had won academy awards for ‘best audio’ etc.  For latter day films, this list would be films I had never seen, by directors I had never heard of etc. – famous films, to be sure, but not in my universe.

Sometimes when looking at the external packaging on a DVD, it’s hard to find what audio is present.  I like it when they hit you over the head with this:

The little box with the 5 dots tells me that this disc has what I am looking for!  Of course, not every DVD with 5.1 audio has this charming little illustration!

So, anyway – there I am, upstairs in Amoeba Hollywood – in search of 5.1 audio on DVD films.  They couldn’t make it any more difficult if they tried!  The film could be filed under director or in genre!  And what is the genre?  If “Face/Off” an “Action Adventure” or “Science Fiction”?  Or is it filed way over there under the director’s name?

This scenario reminds me of:  Is it filed in oldies, when I think it should be in the A-Z of “Rock”?  Where is Eric Burdon & The Animals?  In oldies, of course!  When did they move from being a rock band to being in oldies?  Jefferson Airplane is still in Rock!  How to make determinations of this nature?

So I am shuffling around between sections, trying to find used, inexpensive DVD’s with 5.1 audio.  Sometimes, the exterior packaging says if it has 5.1 audio, sometimes not.  I got a nifty “Lawrence of Arabia” DVD 2 disc set – and what I got definitely looks to be the “Deluxe Edition” (they also had an older version, in a plain DVD box); couldn’t tell for sure until I got it outside that it was the right version!  No matter – I could’ve just marched right back in, saying “Wrong audio, let me go get another one” – or words to that effect.

C’mon Amoeba!  Make it easier to find feature films upstairs in your Hollywood store!  Or would you allow me to go up to the info counter back there and ask, “What section is ___________ filed in?” without you rolling your eyes at me?  BTW, congrats on having so many PAL AC:2 discs up there – I didn’t know that was going on!  Nice!

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