Have been experimenting w/ this, and have a couple of questions:
1.) Is the disadvantage that there is no downmix to 2.0--meaning a DTS CD will not play in a "standard" DVD player?
This is irrelevant. You cannot downmix a DTS 5.1 core stream, only DTS-HD streams. When these discs are played in a regular CD player the only rule is that the CD player must be hooked up digitally, or you will get noise only.
When the stream gets to an amplifier with DTS decoders, it will be seen for what it is - a DTS stream - and decoded. On the disc, it looks like
a stereo wav file.
2.) Is the manufacturing process the same for these discs, i.e. just send the Cd w/ the encoded wav to the replicating plant?
Personally, I would send not only a CD-R, but ask the plant if they would prefer a DDP image as well. But that is just me.
For all intents & purposes, it IS a CD. The tracks "look like" CD-A tracks, they are just DTS streams fudged to appear this way.
And one more--I read your thread on the Dolby VST encoder by Minnetonka (or surcode). Are you currently using this, and how is it working for you?
I'm a little leery of having to make a 5.1 mix folddown compatible.
The Dolby VST Encoder from SurCode is not a Dolby Digital one - it is a Dolby Pro Logic II encoder.
And it is awesome. I have been using it since before release, and it is truly an indispensable tool for me.
What it does is takes your existing 5.1 mix, and wraps it up as an Lt/Rt stereo stream - in exactly the same way the broadcast industry is doing & has been doing for years. You can monitor the output either as stereo or 5.1 so you can adjust the trade-off of matrix encoding to be minimal. Sure, it won;t be discrete. But it will play back in stereo on analogue stereo setups, and when the DPL II buttons are pressed it will decode into 5.1
All Dolby Digital Decoders are capable of decoding DPL II as well. You just need to decide if Stereo comnpatibility is as important as the surround. If it is, then you should be producing either DPL II Matrix encodes for CD or else MLP Lossless for DVD-Audio. If stereo compatibility is not important, then DTS-CD will be the cheapest distribution option for you.