Dolby Digital EX - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-24-2003, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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If a movie is originally recorded and released in Dolby Digital EX, like Lord of the Rings or Behind Enemy Lines, does the EX encoding survive rebroadcast over DishNetwork or other media? Some of these movies are being featured on HBO HD and other Dolby Digital capable channels. Since the 6th channel information encoding is in the two surround channels, it would seem that a 6.1 capable receiver could pull it out. Some people seem to think that the encoding cannont survive the compression algorithims. This doesn't make sense to me if 5.1 can be broadcast without difficulty since it wouldn't require additional bandwidth. Has anyone tested this?
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-24-2003, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
...does the EX encoding survive rebroadcast over DishNetwork or other media?
Absolutely it does.
Quote:
Has anyone tested this?
I listen to EX-encoded soundtracks through my digital cable service, often movies that I am familiar with on DVD. The surround-back content has always tracked properly on the 5.1 broadcast versions. I can't think of why wouldn't.

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post #3 of 9 Old 04-25-2003, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sdurani
Absolutely it does. I listen to EX-encoded soundtracks through my digital cable service, often movies that I am familiar with on DVD. The surround-back content has always tracked properly on the 5.1 broadcast versions. I can't think of why wouldn't.

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Does your amp give you an indication that is decodoing EX/6.1? Like say lighting a LED, or the display showing DD EX?
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-25-2003, 07:30 AM
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bone_stock:
I have TW digital cable and like Sanjay, I get DD EX and my receiver has an indicator (different from DD) that indicates that it is detecting an EX signal.

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post #5 of 9 Old 04-25-2003, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mnilan
bone_stock:
I have TW digital cable and like Sanjay, I get DD EX and my receiver has an indicator (different from DD) that indicates that it is detecting an EX signal.
Ok good. Since there are so many simulation modes a lot of people are confused by DD EX. If your AMP has the capability to decode DD EX, but you don't see some sort of indication odds are you are not tuly decoding.
I have TWC (Brighthouse now) also, but I've never seen DD EX advertised in the on the screen guide. How did you know to look for an EX signal? Did you just happen to know a certain movie was encoded? Then you went about testing it? I'm just curious?
If you don't mind what movie did you decode DD EX? I've tested my EX capability via DVD, but never through the cable. I'd like to see my amp auto sense DD EX through the cable. Thanks!
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-25-2003, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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OK now here is the problem with all that. I have a Denon 5803 receiver. Its pretty new stuff and it does not auto-detect Dolby EX material. It will continue to indicate EX on the display even with normal 5.1 material whenever you have the surround back speakers enabled. You must manually disble those speakers for the EX indicator to revert to just Dolby Digital. The receiver does auto detect DTS ES (discrete and matrixed) material and automatically enables the SB speakers. The gurus on the Denon foum say this is normal because the flages are not yet included in the Dolby EX material. If this is true nobody is auto detecting EX matrerial. Are you guy sure you are auto detecting EX material?

As for the original question, I do get some background sound through the SB speakers when I lisiten to an EX movie on Dish, I'm just not sure if the impact is the same as DVD. With my DVD player its unmistakeable. The movie Behind Enemy Lines is a good test. There is a barking dog throughout the movie that comes from directly behind the viewer right out of the SB speakers. On Dish, that barking dog noise is much more diffused into the rear surround channels.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-25-2003, 01:31 PM
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I haven't checked the dolby web site lately, but I read way back when that it was only a few movies that didn't include the EX flag. Surely, by now that problem has been fixed. I rented the DD EX movie "We were soldiers" about 6 months ago and it did NOT, repeat not have the EX flag. In the DVD setup I saw DD 6.1 and manually set up my amp to decode. However, I could never get it to auto detect DD EX from the "We were soldiers" DVD.
This is why I was asking the other gentlemen if they were seeing an indication (such as an LED) that they were truly decoding EX.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-25-2003, 03:57 PM
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Hi,
I have the denon 5800 with the upgrade and although it has most of the 5803 audio there are some nuances.

I think the EX can be either Matrixed (faked to create a sharing of the back channel into the extra speakers or perhaps discrete ( i may be mixing up DTS here) which would in fact be separate info.

Someone loaned me a dnlded copy of a current movie and i was suprised to see the ddex faceplate on my reciver indicate i was hearing it and i could swear that it was separate info on the effects speakers.

Peter m.

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post #9 of 9 Old 04-26-2003, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by NightHawk
The gurus on the Denon foum say this is normal because the flages are not yet included in the Dolby EX material. If this is true nobody is auto detecting EX matrerial.
Some DTS ES titles ('Bone Collector', 'Pitch Black', '102 Dalmations') aren't flagged and won't automatically trigger ES (matrix) decoding; however, most ES titles have the correct flag in place. Titles in the DTS ES Discrete 6.1 format haven't had this problem so far.

Flags were a more recent addition to EX soundtracks. Surround EX encoded DVDs started appearing in 1999, but the software to embed flags wasn't released till two years later; and it was some time after that when studios finally started using the flags. By this time, of course, quite a few of EX encoded DVDs had been released; many initial titles weren't even labelled as EX because some of the studios didn't want to confuse typical consumers with yet another format.

Initially, there was a problem with the way the flagged EX soundtracks reacted with some receivers and pre-pros. The culprit wasn't the flag itself as much as it was the 'change-of-state' data that was included along with the flag. When you switch from one processing mode to another, you probably notice that your reciever mutes for just a moment. However, when the the EX flag was detected and the receiver was told to change its state from DD 5.1 to DD EX, some receivers and processors (like mine) muted and stayed that way. Oops! Another amusing early goof: the first EX flagged DVD was 'Pearl Harbor', which was NOT an EX encoded movie but the DVD's French 5.1 track mistakenly had the flag in place. Doh!!

Since much consumer gear was already out there, that reacted problematically with the flag, Dolby fixed the problem with new software for their professional EX encoders. While I'm sure that studios have started using the corrected flagging software, I have yet to see a list of properly flagged DVDs. It may actually be difficult to to make such a list because studios don't report to Dolby which titles they encode in EX, let alone which they flag. Besides, there seems to be no consistency for what's flagged and what isn't. For example: Dreamworks' 'Minority Report' and Disney's 'Atlantis:The Lost Empire, Collector's Edition' are both, strangely enough, auto-flagged for DD EX but not for DTS ES. Go figure!
Quote:
Are you guy sure you are auto detecting EX material?
Personally, my last experience with a properly flagged EX soundtrack is when I ordered 'Minority Report' on pay-per-view (digital cable) from my local cable company (Charter Cable). My processor allows me to set the EX decoding parameter to ON, OFF or AUTO. I had it set to the latter and the movie automatically triggered EX decoding.

If you want to be sure whether a particular DVD has a back-channel encoded into the soundtrack or not, here's the most thorough and accurate EX/ES list I've seen, plus it is kept very up-to-date. The list has DVD titles separated out by the various back-channel formats: DD EX, DTS ES, DTS ES Discrete 6.1 and even ES 6.1 DTS CDs.

Best,
Sanjay

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