The Superbit titles utilize a special high bit rate digital encoding process which optimizes video quality while offering a choice of both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. These titles have been produced by a team of Sony Pictures Digital Studios video, sound and mastering engineers and comes housed in a special package complete with a 4 page booklet that contains technical information on the Superbit process. By reallocating space on the disc normally used for value-added content, Superbit DVDs can be encoded at double their normal bit rate while maintaining full compatibility with the DVD video format.
The original DVD release for Das Boot
featured a fabulous digitally remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. In addition, that DVD included one of the more informative director commentaries and making-of documentaries yet. The only complaint was that the movie was so long that it was spread over two sides, and the viewer had to get up to flip the disc over halfway through. This Superbit version won't remove the inconvenience of getting up off the sofa; it spreads the movie across two separate DVDs. However, the picture is slightly less noisy, something that will only be noticeable on larger screens with high quality A/V equipment due to the already murky, shadowy cinematography inside the submarine. The Superbit version of the movie has both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and a new DTS 5.1 mix of the soundtrack which is very similar to the digitally remastered soundtrack from the original DVD, but both are at a higher bit rate. Whereas the original DVD had a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix of both the original German and an English dubbed soundtrack, the Superbit DVD's Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS mixes are both of the German soundtrack. The English dubbed soundtrack only comes in Dolby Surround.
Is the higher bit rate audio and video worth losing the commentary and documentary? For anyone without the right A/V setup, it won't be, but a submarine movie is so much about the audio experience that Das Boot might be one of the movies most worthy of the Superbit treatment. --Eugene Wei