Disturbia on HD-A3 not getting 6.1 channels? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-27-2007, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Just recently watched my HD DVD of Disturbia. The sound options are Dolby Plus 5.1 EX and DTS 6.1 ES. However, when I play through optical on my audio receiver I only get Dolby 5.1 or DTS 5.1. Anyone else getting rear center channel without having to force matrix decode?

Before anyone asks.. I've done extensive testing with other DVDs and all of my SD DVDs (except for a couple) give me DTS 6.1 ES or Dolby 5.1 EX as advertised. Disturbia is the only HD DVD that I own with DTS 6.1 ES claim on it so I have no other movie to compare.

I am curious since Dolby 5.1 EX and DTS 6.1 ES decode... and wondering if it is the HD versions (Plus 5.1 EX and DTS HD) that are being downmixed to Dolby 5.1 EX and DTS Core over optical that is the problem. If so, then I can understand, but it just appears weird when I can get 6.1 from SD and not from HD.

Oh, and on a related note.. I recently played my SD copy of Corpse Bride. The box says Dolby 5.1 but my receiver was seeing 5.1 EX from it with matrix turned off, so I wasn't forcing the decode. I found that interesting when combined with not getting the extra channel out of Disturbia.

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post #2 of 9 Old 12-27-2007, 11:16 AM
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Since both formats are matrixed 6:1, even if the A3 is sending 5:1, the information should still be there, so you'd simply need to apply that correct decoder. Could be that the A3 is somehow stripping off the ES/EX flags, but I doubt that anything more than that is happening. You don't mention what AVR you're using, but if possible, I'd suggest you use MPCM over HDMI and apply whatever decoder you like to that.
The only difference between ES/EX and regular 5:1 is the presence of the flag to tell an AVR to apply those decoders.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-27-2007, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Since both formats are matrixed 6:1, even if the A3 is sending 5:1, the information should still be there, so you'd simply need to apply that correct decoder. Could be that the A3 is somehow stripping off the ES/EX flags, but I doubt that anything more than that is happening. You don't mention what AVR you're using, but if possible, I'd suggest you use MPCM over HDMI and apply whatever decoder you like to that.
The only difference between ES/EX and regular 5:1 is the presence of the flag to tell an AVR to apply those decoders.

Exactly the ES/EX tracks still only have 6 channels the only "true" 7 channel or 8 channel sources would be the new audio codec sent over HDMI. Even these are 1 in a 100 titles. Pan's Labyrinth has a 7.1 DTS-HD MA track.

To the OP the only thing I can think of is to check the audio section of the HD-A3 setup menu. There is an option for speaker (5.1, 6.1, 7.1). I remember seeing it on my HD-A35 I think it is there on all the HD-A3x series.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-27-2007, 11:25 AM
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The issue is the player isn't just passing the DTS out to the receiver. It's decoding the DTS signal mixing in button sounds, commentary etc and then re-encoding to DTS. Unfortunately the internal decoder only currently support 5.1 decoding so it can't read the flags on what should be the extra channel. You'll have to apply neo:6 or some similar ability in your receiver to have it add back in the rear surround channel. Currently the only way to actually decode a 6.1 or 7.1 track is to bitstream the advanced codecs over hdmi to a hdmi 1.3 receiver. It's theoretically possible to create a bitstream for the SPDIF to pass out the unmodified dts on the disk but no current player supports that.

DVD's work just fine because the in player mixing of sounds isn't used so it just bitstreams the dd or dts directly over the spdif.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-27-2007, 01:34 PM
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ES and EX do not require HDMI 1.3. They are not discrete 6 channel, but matrixed. They can be bitstreamed over optical if one wants. That's not to say that the A3 will do this. Using MPCM over HDMI, this all becomes moot if your receiver can apply extended surround decoding. Of course an AVR can do the same with any 5:1 input as well.

Personally, I find that the ES/EX don't sound as good as MPCM 5:1 with DD PLIIx applied for 7-ch reproduction.

Just curious, if you turn off the menu sound on an A3, does the player then pass the audio unmolested? It's a shame if it can't pass the ES/EX flags, cause the back channel information is still there.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-27-2007, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll have to try and see if there's an option to turn off the menu sounds... I hadn't thought about the re-mixing going on inside the player. That is a shame if that is why the 5.1 EX and 6.1 ES on HD soundtracks don't pass via optical.

I have a Sony audio receiver, forget which model, but it does not support HDMI and I don't have HDMI on my HDTV either.

Since I know the player does pass 5.1 EX and DTS 6.1 ES from DVD testing/playback it struck me as curious here. So it sounds like the only way to get those might be from DVDs... as anything else requires me to upgrade my other components in the system.. OR I can force the matrix from my receiver by turning on that option if I want.

Honestly, it isn't that it is a really big deal to me.. but it is very noticable because in addition to the sound there is an extra set of lights on my receiver that lights when the center rear channel comes on, so if I'm expecting it then it is obvious when I don't see that.

I realize an HDMI setup would "cure" most of those little bits of sound discrepancies, but I'm not ready for that level of upgrading.

If I can't disable menu sounds and get the extra channel.. then I'll either turn on the matrix option at my receiver or live without it. That one "missing" channel doesn't hurt the experience for me really.

Thanks for all the good responses!

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post #7 of 9 Old 12-27-2007, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namechamps View Post

To the OP the only thing I can think of is to check the audio section of the HD-A3 setup menu. There is an option for speaker (5.1, 6.1, 7.1). I remember seeing it on my HD-A35 I think it is there on all the HD-A3x series.

No such setting on the A3. I wonder if the A35 has those settings exclusively, because isn't the A35 the only model that has coaxial digital and analog audio outputs in addition to the optical and HDMI?

I miss coaxial as that would really have been more convenient for my receiver.. but the price differential for an A35 model just didn't justify for that one output type.

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post #8 of 9 Old 12-27-2007, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

No such setting on the A3. I wonder if the A35 has those settings exclusively, because isn't the A35 the only model that has coaxial digital and analog audio outputs in addition to the optical and HDMI?

I miss coaxial as that would really have been more convenient for my receiver.. but the price differential for an A35 model just didn't justify for that one output type.

It could be that setting is just used for the analog out. I hadn't thought about that. Regarding the coax out have you looked into a toslink -> coax converter? The run about $20-$40.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-27-2007, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

I'll have to try and see if there's an option to turn off the menu sounds... I hadn't thought about the re-mixing going on inside the player. That is a shame if that is why the 5.1 EX and 6.1 ES on HD soundtracks don't pass via optical.

Wouldn't matter if you turned menu sounds off. The HD-DVD spec still says you have to decode and mix nothing. The only way to bypass that is on an a35 or an xa2 over HDMI. There is no option on a a2/a20/a3/a30 to not do the decoding.
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I have a Sony audio receiver, forget which model, but it does not support HDMI and I don't have HDMI on my HDTV either.

Since I know the player does pass 5.1 EX and DTS 6.1 ES from DVD testing/playback it struck me as curious here. So it sounds like the only way to get those might be from DVDs... as anything else requires me to upgrade my other components in the system.. OR I can force the matrix from my receiver by turning on that option if I want.

Honestly, it isn't that it is a really big deal to me.. but it is very noticable because in addition to the sound there is an extra set of lights on my receiver that lights when the center rear channel comes on, so if I'm expecting it then it is obvious when I don't see that.

I realize an HDMI setup would "cure" most of those little bits of sound discrepancies, but I'm not ready for that level of upgrading.

If I can't disable menu sounds and get the extra channel.. then I'll either turn on the matrix option at my receiver or live without it. That one "missing" channel doesn't hurt the experience for me really.

Thanks for all the good responses!

Upgrading to HDMI wouldn't help this either. It would still be decoding and mixing in the player and would just be outputting PCM instead of re-encoding to dts or dd.
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