Audio modes, HD-A1 help, and THX history - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-27-2006, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Some very noob questions...please help!

1)If I have a 7.1 setup, and I buy the HD-A1 and use the 5.1 analog audio output to my receiver, will the back surrounds output sound (i.e. will the receiver convert it)? Will future HD-DVD players (or Blu Ray) have 7.1 analog outs?

2)What exactly is the point of having THX certification? I know that HTIB's are shunned here, but I'm interested in the Onkyo HT-S990THX and want to know what the THX actually means versus the Onkyo HT-S790.

3)What are the THX audio modes? I've seen Cinema, Cinema2, Game, and Music. What do they do to the audio track? Is THX Cinema2 preferred over using DTS or Dolby Digital listening modes?

4)What is DTS 96/24 (I think that's it), Neo or something like that, and some of these other options. I know of Dolby Digital, Dolby-EX, Pro Logic, DTS...I guess what I'm asking is WHAT are all these listening modes and WHEN would I use them?

5)Should surrounds always be placed above ear level? Or is ear level (i.e. on a table) appropriate for small rooms (around 12x16).

I'm looking to upgrade in the next month and will get a new sound system and if I don't pick up the HD-A1 I will be buying the HDMI Oppo upconverting player (and likely an Onkyo HTIB). Thanks for any and all help you guys can provide!
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-28-2006, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Any help from the experts on here? I'm really in a bind and would like some knowledge.
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-28-2006, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnytheSkin View Post

Any help from the experts on here? I'm really in a bind and would like some knowledge.

1. The HD-A1 using the 5.1 analog out: Here's what I do to get 7.1. My receiver (Denon) has 7.1 analog inputs. I split the surrounds from the HD-A1 to the Denon receiver to get sound out of the rear center speakers.

2. THX specs are just that, a minimum spec that systems need to have to be THX certified. They pay to get the logo/certification. Just because something isn't THX certified doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. Just that they didn't pay for it.

THX certified isn't necessary. The Onkyo HTIB perform fairly well for the money. If you go to shoponkyo.com you can find good deals on refurbed units which are reportedly as good as new. I'd recommend you buy the Toshiba HD-A1. HD-DVD's are great, and it's excellent as an upconverting dvd player as well.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-29-2006, 10:01 AM
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Note, that if you use splitters as suggested, if there is _DISCRETE_ 7.1 outputting from 5.1, you're not going to get the discrete channels from the back surrounds. The only way to get the discrete channels is to have 7.1 outputs, or use HDMI.

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post #5 of 16 Old 09-29-2006, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you think there will be 7.1 analog outputs on the upcoming next gen DVD players? Or is it only going to be 5.1?

Any help with the audio modes? Anyone use the THX modes? What about the other DTS modes (what should I use for the LOTR DTS-ES tracks for example).

I appreciate the help and just want to make sure I get the most out of my next purchase, since my wife is pretty adamant that this will have to tide us over for a couple years!
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-29-2006, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnytheSkin View Post

Do you think there will be 7.1 analog outputs on the upcoming next gen DVD players? Or is it only going to be 5.1?

Any help with the audio modes? Anyone use the THX modes? What about the other DTS modes (what should I use for the LOTR DTS-ES tracks for example).

I appreciate the help and just want to make sure I get the most out of my next purchase, since my wife is pretty adamant that this will have to tide us over for a couple years!

LOTR DTS-ES will pass thru a optical cable for sound. The Onkyo HTIB 7.1 system will send the signal out to all your speakers. I'm not sure about 7.1 analog outs being included with next gen HD players. The next gen Toshiba HD DVD player (lesser expensive one) won't have analogs, so if you want that feature buy the HD-A1. You need a receiver with HDMI or analog for the new Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD found on HD discs. The optical and coax doesn't have the bandwidth to pass the sound (it's converted to regular DTS). Back to your question on LOTR-es: ON movies you want to play Dolby Digital or DTS. THX is just a stamp on the receiver and really means nothing.
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-07-2006, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scott View Post

ON movies you want to play Dolby Digital or DTS. THX is just a stamp on the receiver and really means nothing.

Not to open another can of THX worms, but not really...

THX uses techniques like Re-eq (modified ISO 2969) to more accurately reproduce the way soundtracks are heard in the home. Film soundtracks are mixed and played back under the 2969 in both the dubbing stage and commercial cinema. If you really want to hear them the way they were meant to be heard, then you do need at least Re-eq, cinema eq, etc...

The most important aspect is not to confuse THX with the encode/decode formats like DD and DTS, as THX is not such a system. What THX does is process the decoded sound channels...

THX

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post #8 of 16 Old 01-02-2007, 02:54 PM
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anyone have an update on this?
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-02-2007, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnytheSkin View Post

Do you think there will be 7.1 analog outputs on the upcoming next gen DVD players? Or is it only going to be 5.1?

The Panasonic (and Pioneer, IIRC) Blu-ray players have 7.1 analog. I don't think any of the HD DVD players do.

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post #10 of 16 Old 01-02-2007, 08:40 PM
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What concerns me about using the 5.1 or 7.1 inputs on an AVR is that processing like THX can not be used. Whist there is no need for MC HR music, what about film sound which needs at least some Re-eq?

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post #11 of 16 Old 01-03-2007, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBlacklow View Post

The Panasonic (and Pioneer, IIRC) Blu-ray players have 7.1 analog. I don't think any of the HD DVD players do.

Which ones use 7.1 analog?
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post #12 of 16 Old 01-03-2007, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVX View Post

Not to open another can of THX worms, but not really...

THX uses techniques like Re-eq (modified ISO 2969) to more accurately reproduce the way soundtracks are heard in the home. Film soundtracks are mixed and played back under the 2969 in both the dubbing stage and commercial cinema. If you really want to hear them the way they were meant to be heard, then you do need at least Re-eq, cinema eq, etc...

The most important aspect is not to confuse THX with the encode/decode formats like DD and DTS, as THX is not such a system. What THX does is process the decoded sound channels...

THX

Mark

In addition to this, THX certified receivers/pre-pros (and, presumably, players) include a crossover setting at 80hz with a specific slope (12/24, IIRC), which, if mated to THX rated speakers, yields the correct crossover response. Moreover, THX receivers/pre-pros also have test tones that are a fixed level (I don't recall exactly which, I haven't touched the levels on my receiver in a long time) from a specified reference level. This can simplify level setting. None of this suggests that non-THX gear is inherently inferior (or superior) but THX is a little bit more than a meaningless logo.

I wouldn't pay more for THX (well, I might pay an extra few dollars for the convenience of the level setting test tones, but not too many extra dollars), but I do make use of some of its features as it is part of my receiver and it did make setting up a bit easier.
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-03-2007, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidML3 View Post

Which ones use 7.1 analog?

I assume you mean the titles on the formats, in which case both are capable yet neither has released titles with advanced (i.e. LPCM, DD+/TrueHD or DTS-HD/Master Audio) 6.1/7.1 soundtracks, although some have DD-EX or DTS-ES tracks.

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post #14 of 16 Old 01-03-2007, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by JBlacklow View Post

I assume you mean the titles on the formats, in which case both are capable yet neither has released titles with advanced (i.e. LPCM, DD+/TrueHD or DTS-HD/Master Audio) 6.1/7.1 soundtracks, although some have DD-EX or DTS-ES tracks.

NO actually I mean which blu ray players have 7.1 analog connections
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-09-2007, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post

In addition to this, THX certified receivers/pre-pros (and, presumably, players) include a crossover setting at 80hz with a specific slope (12/24, IIRC), which, if mated to THX rated speakers, yields the correct crossover response. Moreover, THX receivers/pre-pros also have test tones that are a fixed level (I don't recall exactly which, I haven't touched the levels on my receiver in a long time) from a specified reference level. This can simplify level setting. None of this suggests that non-THX gear is inherently inferior (or superior) but THX is a little bit more than a meaningless logo.

I wouldn't pay more for THX (well, I might pay an extra few dollars for the convenience of the level setting test tones, but not too many extra dollars), but I do make use of some of its features as it is part of my receiver and it did make setting up a bit easier.

Whist some of the original specs may seem dated, the THX system (as a whole) is about synergy - IE everything works together...

I wouldn't say "meaningless logo", because your first sentence really says it all. The biggest problem (I think) is the lack of understanding of what it does. They have just re-done their website and there is (once again) easy to find technical references to what the system actually does.

Calibrated volume control (the test tones you refer to) are IMO what really sets THX apart from so much on the market...

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post #16 of 16 Old 01-12-2007, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidML3 View Post

NO actually I mean which blu ray players have 7.1 analog connections

It appears it's just the Panasonic. FYI, it also does DVD-A.

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