5.2 or 7.2? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-10-2012, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys. what are the benefits of going 7.2 over 5.2? what do you guys prefer and why?
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-10-2012, 10:40 AM
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Personally I haven't noticed a difference between my 5.2 and 7.2 system. Perhaps it's the movies I've been watching our how I set it up but I don't notice them. You mileage may vary.

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-10-2012, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you find it to be true with blue rays? Is your gear made to decode 7.1? Just wondering. Im ready to go for the 7 channels, but wonder if the extra 2 would add to the experience or not. Im thinking about putting 2 of th beookshelfs in my bedroom.

This is the list if gear I have

Denon 1912 (7.1)
6 Definitive Technology SM350's (book shelf speakers)
1 Definitive Technology CLR202 (center channel)
2 Definitive Supercube II (subs)

Thanks for your response
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-10-2012, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocuriel View Post

what are the benefits of going 7.2 over 5.2?
When a car exits screen left, you expect its sound to disappear to your left side. When a plane flies overhead, you expect its sound to disappear behind you. How will you get stable imaging at your sides and behind you with a 5.1 set-up? One pair of surrounds can't be in two places simultaneously (at your sides AND behind you). You can try positioning a single pair of surround speakers at some inbetween location to get a compromise between side and rear imaging. But why do that when the solution is so easy: use a pair of speakers at your sides and another pair behind you (especially since you already have 7 speakers).

In my experience, I've found three main benefits to doing this. Better wrap-around envelopment: 4 speakers can literally 'surround' you better than 2 speakers can. More precise directionality: clearly distinct side vs rear imaging in the surround field rather than some sort of side-ish, rear-ish localization. Greater imaging stability: no matter where you sit, sounds at your sides and sounds coming from behind you stay at those locations (no magic involved, just a pair of speakers at your sides and another pair behind you, making it difficult for those sounds to come from the wrong direction).
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Originally Posted by Ocuriel View Post

Im ready to go for the 7 channels, but wonder if the extra 2 would add to the experience or not.
If you can tell the difference between sounds coming from your left or right vs sound coming from behind you, then you'll be able to appreciate what the extra 2 speakers add to the experience.

The most important part of deciding between 5.1 and 7.1 set-ups is seating location. In order to get rear vs side separation in the surround field, your seating area needs to be a few feet away from the back wall. If your listening position is at or near the back wall, then stick to a 5.1 layout. Better to do a good 5.1 set-up than a poor 7.1 layout.

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post #5 of 16 Old 07-10-2012, 04:53 PM
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IMO, part of the problem is the disappointing lack of 7.1 content in 2012 but Dolby PLIIx does a pretty good job of "converting" all the 5.1 to 7.1. My two favorite surround movies at the moment are the latest Transformers (7.1) and Live Free or Die Hard (5.1). The last one gets converted to 7.1 through the receiver but the algorithms used to do it must be a PERFECT match for that movie.

Another vote for 7.1!
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Unacceptable View Post

IMO, part of the problem is the disappointing lack of 7.1 content in 2012 but Dolby PLIIx does a pretty good job of "converting" all the 5.1 to 7.1. My two favorite surround movies at the moment are the latest Transformers (7.1) and Live Free or Die Hard (5.1). The last one gets converted to 7.1 through the receiver but the algorithms used to do it must be a PERFECT match for that movie.
Another vote for 7.1!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS!!!

It is very true that -most- blu rays do not have a 7 channel track. The vast majority of the Dolby TrueHD or DTS-MA tracks are 5.1. That being said, I watch every single movie in Doly PLIIx mode. (Keep in mind that this does not drop the sound quality from a lossless master track to a normal pro-logic track) This will matrix any 5.1 to 7.1 and it works very very well. When the movie starts in 5.1, and I change it to The PLIIx mode, I can totally hear how it fills out the surround field better. Even if it is a direct copy of the side speakers, it sounds better to me. Most receivers you buy will have inputs for 7.1 and the PLIIx feature, and surround speakers are not that expensive. You will never regret going 7.1 since it didn't cost you a fortune, but you may regret not doing it.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Very good info. Thanks guys! Now it sounds like 7.1 is the way to go, as long as I have the right decoding.

This is what my receiver has per crutchfield.

Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD™ Master Audio,
Dolby® Digital Plus,
DTS-HD™ High Resolution Audio,
Dolby® Digital EX, DTS-ES™,
Pro Logic® IIz, and
DTS Neo:6 decoding

Would any of these do the trick, and are they the same as the ones being used as mentioned on above posts? Also, I always wondered this. Does the blueray player also have to have the same decoder along with the receiver?

Thanks guys. Learning a lot here.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 09:59 AM
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7.1 is awesome, but there are not many movies with a 7.1 track. They are appearing more and more often, though. It's worth the time and effort to wire for 7.1 or even 11.1, but that's another story. smile.gif

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post #9 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carboranadum View Post

7.1 is awesome, but there are not many movies with a 7.1 track. They are appearing more and more often, though. It's worth the time and effort to wire for 7.1 or even 11.1, but that's another story. smile.gif

True. I watch every movie in Audyssey DSX (11.2) mode. Even though there are no movies encoded with an 11 channel track, sound is still steered to all 11 channels, even with a 5.1 track. I've used stereo, 5.1, 7.1, and now 11.2, and the soundstage is much larger and more enveloping with 11.2.

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post #10 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 12:52 PM
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I set up a 6.1 configuration, and it is quite noticeable when the 5.1 surround channels are steered to the back speaker.
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocuriel View Post

Very good info. Thanks guys! Now it sounds like 7.1 is the way to go, as long as I have the right decoding.

This is what my receiver has per crutchfield.

Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD™ Master Audio,
Dolby® Digital Plus,
DTS-HD™ High Resolution Audio,
Dolby® Digital EX, DTS-ES™,
Pro Logic® IIz, and
DTS Neo:6 decoding

Would any of these do the trick, and are they the same as the ones being used as mentioned on above posts? Also, I always wondered this. Does the blueray player also have to have the same decoder along with the receiver?

Thanks guys. Learning a lot here.
If the soundtrack on the disc is 7.1 DTS-HD or 7.1 True-HD, you're good to go. If it's not, I think your only options are the Neo:6, and maybe the DTS-ES. These develop an additional mono rear signal, directed to both rear speakers. So it's not as highly nuanced as PLIIx, but should be better than 5.1 (at least in terms of generating rear signals). Your PLIIz is for use with height channels, not rear surround.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocuriel View Post

Would any of these do the trick, and are they the same as the ones being used as mentioned on above posts?
Yes, Dolby PLIIz includes PLIIx (same algorithm, except you're not using height speakers). So you're good to go with your receiver choice.

When you apply PLIIx to 5.1 material, the front channels aren't touched. 3 channels, 3 speakers, nothing to process. The processing happens only in the surround field, where the information in the 2 surround channels is steered across your 4 surround speakers. (Don't confuse channels with speakers.)

If you were listening to a properly laid out 5.1-speaker set-up, you would notice that sounds that were mixed to the left surround channel would be heard from the left surround speaker and sounds from the right surround channel would come from the right surround speaker. Sounds that are mixed to both surround channels would come from both surround speakers, creating a phantom image somewhere behind you. In order to hear that phantom image back there, you would have to be sitting exactly between the surround speakers. If you were sitting to the left or right, that image would collapse to the speaker near your side instead of appearing to come from behind you.

PLIIx extracts those particular sounds and sends them to the speakers behind you. Now, no matter where you sit, those sounds always appear to come from behind you. Since they're coming from actual speakers behind you, they won't collapse to the nearest side speaker. Same directionality as before, just made more stable, especially for listeners sitting outside the sweet spot. One of the advantage of playing 5.1 material on a 7.1-speaker set-up.

Sanjay
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Yes, Dolby PLIIz includes PLIIx (same algorithm, except you're not using height speakers).
I'm surprised to hear this, as Dolby doesn't say anything about extra rear channels in the basic page, but you're right - I read only the basic description, not the full details.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-11-2012, 11:19 PM
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I have a 7.2 setup myself.. But none of its installed yet.. So cant really offer you any information but this is what I plan on doing
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-12-2012, 06:48 AM
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If you are watching a 5.1 bluray using PLIIx and then switch to a 7.1 bluray, are the receivers smart enough to switch to the true 7.1 mode or do you have to remember to manually change them?

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post #16 of 16 Old 07-12-2012, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nebrunner View Post

If you are watching a 5.1 bluray using PLIIx and then switch to a 7.1 bluray, are the receivers smart enough to switch to the true 7.1 mode or do you have to remember to manually change them?

I'm pretty confident that kind of auto-switching is a pretty standard feature. On my Denon AVR-3312CI, it actually has 2 displays for audio - what the original track is encoded with (5.1 or 7.1), and what the output mode is. You can restrict it to only play the native track, so 5.1 on the disc is also output as 5.1 (or 7.1 on disc is output as 7.1 as well), or configure it to add "ghosting" for the rear channels (PLIIx). With a 7 speaker surround sound configured, the system always outputs at 7.1, so native 7.1 material is kept as-is and 5.1 material gets the additional processing for 2 more surround sound speakers.

No manual changes necessary.
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