5.1 surround sound how to set up? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-09-2010, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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hello guys, i know that one of you can help me with my small problem,regarding on how to set up the speakers, this is my first time to own a 5.1 surround sound (philipps 1000W 5.1 channel upconvert dvd/divx player home theater system) and i dont know which speakers do i need to make louder or lower, do front speakers louder?or center speaker is louder?or rear speaker is louder?or subwoofer is louder? and i have 3 choices of sound and i dont know which one is the best to use while watching dvd movies and blu ray movies, and the choices are Dolby digital and dolby pro logic II, 5 channel speakers, and stereo. which is the best sound do i need to use while watching movies? i hope anyone will reply and i appreciate it. thanks. caloy.

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post #2 of 18 Old 11-09-2010, 09:07 PM
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http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/sp...d-sound-system

I'm guessing you don't have an spl meter so you'll need to adjust levels by ear.

Out of the three formats you mentioned, Dolby Digital is best.


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post #3 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 04:23 AM
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What is the model number?
Did you check the manual for some sort of calibration feature?
Also, does it play Blu-Ray discs or just DVDs?
The listening mode depends on what audio track you are watching, it can be DD, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD etc.
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post #4 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrkazador View Post

http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/sp...d-sound-system

I'm guessing you don't have an spl meter so you'll need to adjust levels by ear.

Out of the three formats you mentioned, Dolby Digital is best.

thanks for the reply. yes i dont have any spl meter, but how come if i chose tthe Dolby digital prologic II to watch movies the sound is not that loud compare to 5 channel speaker with the same level of the volume (10). thats why maybe i need to tweak all the speakers volume?

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post #5 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent View Post

What is the model number?
Did you check the manual for some sort of calibration feature?
Also, does it play Blu-Ray discs or just DVDs?
The listening mode depends on what audio track you are watching, it can be DD, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD etc.

here is the model number,HTS33720/F7.i checked the manuals and it doenst say anything on how to set up the speakers,and it has a speakers delay too which i dont know what is that for.it only play DVDs.coz if im watching DVDs i use this player and while watching blu ray i used my PS3, how im gonna know about the listening mode?like while watching on my cable should i use dolby digital,stereo,or 5 channel speaker?and also while watching dvds or blu rays?which one?thanks.

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post #6 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 07:07 AM
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You should ALWAYS use Dolby Digital... PERIOD. This is NOT to be confused with Dolby Pro Logic, or Dolby Pro Logic II, and certainly not L + R or plain Stereo.

The art of surround sound is that the rear channels are used by the audio director for emphasis. Watch a HD broadcast of a football game and you'll hear the crowd all around you... watch a scary movie and there will be 'thumps' behind you at the worst times! The 5.1 channels are L, Center, R, L-surround, R-surround and LFE (subwoofer). The majority of a program is in the Center (dialog), L+R are there for your soundstage and the rears for enveloping and spacial emphasis... guess what the LFE is for...
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post #7 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

You should ALWAYS use Dolby Digital... PERIOD. This is NOT to be confused with Dolby Pro Logic, or Dolby Pro Logic II, and certainly not L + R or plain Stereo.

The art of surround sound is that the rear channels are used by the audio director for emphasis. Watch a HD broadcast of a football game and you'll hear the crowd all around you... watch a scary movie and there will be 'thumps' behind you at the worst times! The 5.1 channels are L, Center, R, L-surround, R-surround and LFE (subwoofer). The majority of a program is in the Center (dialog), L+R are there for your soundstage and the rears for enveloping and spacial emphasis... guess what the LFE is for...

Sir I am sorry for asking any advice, im not expert when it comes with this that is why i post here so that anyone can help me. anyway thank you for youre reply, i just got the system 2days ago and i dont have any idea what is the best set up for the speakers,but you said starting today im gonna use the dolby digital from now on wheter HD broadcast or movies.one more concern is should i put all the speakers volume to maximum?and the subwoofer too?.thanks.i appreciate youre reply.

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post #8 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 08:21 AM
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It all depends on what you are listening to. Audio is very subjective and it is often about personal preference.

For movies, most of the audio via dialogue will come from the center speaker. The remaining speakers provide filler sounds to draw you into the movie.

For example, when a jet flys by in the movie, you can hear directionality as the audio moves from one speaker to another and makes it seem like the jet is passing overhead.

If someone drops a fork behind the camera, you will hear the ping come from your rear speakers.

In many cases, you can use presets that will automatically set up your speakers for a given condition. However, some people prefer to tune their speakers to a specific viewing position since not all rooms are set up the same. Therefore, they may tweak settings to optimize to their room environment. Perhaps their seating is really close to the rear speakers and therefore, the ambient noises are too loud and distracting, so they drop the output levels in the rear. Likewise, maybe the sub is really far from the seating and therefore, they want more bass pump so they kick it up a little.

If you are listening to music, you may decide you only want L/R channels so you can turn down everything else.

Therefore, you may start with a preset configuration and then tweak to your preference and seating arrangements.

Regards.
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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thank you jack, the problem is my player doenst have any preset settings,thats why i need to do it by me self all the tweaks from all the speakers.how usually it works, the front speakers suppose to be louder than the rear speakers?thanks

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post #10 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloyzki View Post

thank you jack, the problem is my player doenst have any preset settings,thats why i need to do it by me self all the tweaks from all the speakers.how usually it works, the front speakers suppose to be louder than the rear speakers?thanks

I think you are missing the point of surround sound, let's say you are watching a movie that has a dolby digital soundtrack. In that case all the speakers are playing different sounds and will not have the same volume so you cannot use a disc like that to calibrate.

Does the sound system have a mode called 5 channel stereo or something similar, if so then play music and set the 5 channel stereo mode on. Doing so will more or less insure that the same thing is coming from all the speakers, now pick your place in the room(wherever you watch movies from)and adjust the speakers until all of them sound like they are at the same volume. The front speakers most likely need to be adjusted higher since they're probably further away from you then the rear ones.
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post #11 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloyzki View Post

thank you jack, the problem is my player doenst have any preset settings,thats why i need to do it by me self all the tweaks from all the speakers.how usually it works, the front speakers suppose to be louder than the rear speakers?thanks

It really depends on the activity. Basically what you have with a 5.1 set up is 6 channels of audio (5 speakers and 1 subwoofer = 5.1). For content like movies encoded with 5.1 audio like Dolby Digitial, then the audio content will be split across the different channels, but not equally. Hence, dialogue will come out of your center channel while ambient sounds (wind through the trees, car horns, traffic, etc.) will come out of the other channels. Even those ambient sources may be at different levels depending on the sounds relation to the camera.

What you are trying to do with your system is to optimize it based upon your seating position(s). Therefore, seat distance to each speaker determines the output level you might want to set for each channel. The closer the seat to a given speaker, the "louder" the audio source will sound from that speaker. So think of this in terms of watching a movie...you probably don't want ambient sounds drowning out the dialogue so that you can't hear what people are saying. However, you still want to hear that ambient sound in the backround as that adds a lot of flavor to the experience and helps draw the viewer in.

Now, if you wanted all the ambient sources to have the same level of volume and you were sitting an equal distance from all the speakers, then you would set them at the same level. However, that is probably not what your seating arrangement looks like. Therefore, you need to adjust the output levels based upon your seating. If you are seated farther from the front speakers than the rear, you might boost the front a little and dim the rear so that they might have the same relative value to the ear.

For music though, this is typically 2 channel content and therefore many audio purists will dim all but the L/R channels as that will produce the most acurate playback of the 2 channel content. However, as Calcvictim points out, your system may offer a mode to "mirror" L/R content on all speakers equally. This would push audio out all the speakers at the same level. Some people prefer that all speakers play at the same level when listening to music while others only want L/R channel.

Keep in mind, even each seating position will hear the audio slightly differently. On mainstream and higher end AVRs, they have a auto tuning function that uses a microphone and some test patterns to generate tones that the mic hears and then the system adjusts based upon distance to the speaker. However, I don't think most prepackaged 5.1 systems offer this functionality. Therefore, this may require just some trial/error to adjust it to your liking.

So as you can see, it is a very subjective topic and you should optimize it to what sounds best to you. There really is no right/wrong setting here, only general guidelines. If it sounds good to you, then that is what really matters in the end.

Regards.
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post #12 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 12:46 PM
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OP:

Your receiver should have a mode where it plays static in each channel. You can use this to set the levels of the speakers. To start out, set them so they sound the same volume. You can then tweak from there. A lot of people like increasing the center channel so that dialog is easier to hear in movies.

For most primetime TV shows and DVDs/BDs you should use Dolby Digital/DTS. The shows/movies were encoded with specific sounds for each channel, and this setting will keep that setup intact.

For other shows and any non-music stereo inputs (e.g. Wii, daytime TV) use Dolby Pro-Logic II or DTS-Neo. This will take the stereo (two-channel) source and apply some processing to make a best guess as to what should come out of the surround speakers. Many times, the stereo source will be delivered in a way that provides hints to the Pro-Logic processing as to what should go where. Lots of VHS tapes from the 90s are stereo but encoded with Pro-Logic in mind. The Wii also likes Pro-Logic.

For music, most people prefer plain stereo. But go ahead and try the other modes and see what you like.

Finally, this is the wrong forum for this kind of question. This section is dedicated to people using computers in their home theater. Check out the HTIB and Audio Theory sections.
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post #13 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calcvictim View Post

I think you are missing the point of surround sound, let's say you are watching a movie that has a dolby digital soundtrack. In that case all the speakers are playing different sounds and will not have the same volume so you cannot use a disc like that to calibrate.

Does the sound system have a mode called 5 channel stereo or something similar, if so then play music and set the 5 channel stereo mode on. Doing so will more or less insure that the same thing is coming from all the speakers, now pick your place in the room(wherever you watch movies from)and adjust the speakers until all of them sound like they are at the same volume. The front speakers most likely need to be adjusted higher since they're probably further away from you then the rear ones.

yes i have 3 choices to choose,its 5 ch. stereo, multi channel / DPLII , stereo. and i have 8 choices of preset which is action and rock, concert and classic, drama and jazz, sports, and night. what i am using now while watching cable HD broadcast is multi channel / DPLII with the action and rock preset. i also put the center speaker on maximum volume and the L&R front speakers less two volume from the center and my rear L&R less two volume from L&R front speakers and sub is same volume with the L&R front speakers.thanks

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post #14 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

It really depends on the activity. Basically what you have with a 5.1 set up is 6 channels of audio (5 speakers and 1 subwoofer = 5.1). For content like movies encoded with 5.1 audio like Dolby Digitial, then the audio content will be split across the different channels, but not equally. Hence, dialogue will come out of your center channel while ambient sounds (wind through the trees, car horns, traffic, etc.) will come out of the other channels. Even those ambient sources may be at different levels depending on the sounds relation to the camera.

What you are trying to do with your system is to optimize it based upon your seating position(s). Therefore, seat distance to each speaker determines the output level you might want to set for each channel. The closer the seat to a given speaker, the "louder" the audio source will sound from that speaker. So think of this in terms of watching a movie...you probably don't want ambient sounds drowning out the dialogue so that you can't hear what people are saying. However, you still want to hear that ambient sound in the backround as that adds a lot of flavor to the experience and helps draw the viewer in.

Now, if you wanted all the ambient sources to have the same level of volume and you were sitting an equal distance from all the speakers, then you would set them at the same level. However, that is probably not what your seating arrangement looks like. Therefore, you need to adjust the output levels based upon your seating. If you are seated farther from the front speakers than the rear, you might boost the front a little and dim the rear so that they might have the same relative value to the ear.

For music though, this is typically 2 channel content and therefore many audio purists will dim all but the L/R channels as that will produce the most acurate playback of the 2 channel content. However, as Calcvictim points out, your system may offer a mode to "mirror" L/R content on all speakers equally. This would push audio out all the speakers at the same level. Some people prefer that all speakers play at the same level when listening to music while others only want L/R channel.

Keep in mind, even each seating position will hear the audio slightly differently. On mainstream and higher end AVRs, they have a auto tuning function that uses a microphone and some test patterns to generate tones that the mic hears and then the system adjusts based upon distance to the speaker. However, I don't think most prepackaged 5.1 systems offer this functionality. Therefore, this may require just some trial/error to adjust it to your liking.

So as you can see, it is a very subjective topic and you should optimize it to what sounds best to you. There really is no right/wrong setting here, only general guidelines. If it sounds good to you, then that is what really matters in the end.

thanks for the explanation jack. all of my speakers are ear levels where i am seating. i did tweak all of my speakers the center in max. volume the L&R front lower than the center and L&R rear speakers lower than L&R front speakers,and i think the sound is much better now . and i use surround sound multi channel / DPL II with the action/rock preset while watching HD broadcast cable. i hope everything is fine. thanks for the rep jack.

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post #15 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

OP:

Your receiver should have a mode where it plays static in each channel. You can use this to set the levels of the speakers. To start out, set them so they sound the same volume. You can then tweak from there. A lot of people like increasing the center channel so that dialog is easier to hear in movies.

For most primetime TV shows and DVDs/BDs you should use Dolby Digital/DTS. The shows/movies were encoded with specific sounds for each channel, and this setting will keep that setup intact.

For other shows and any non-music stereo inputs (e.g. Wii, daytime TV) use Dolby Pro-Logic II or DTS-Neo. This will take the stereo (two-channel) source and apply some processing to make a best guess as to what should come out of the surround speakers. Many times, the stereo source will be delivered in a way that provides hints to the Pro-Logic processing as to what should go where. Lots of VHS tapes from the 90s are stereo but encoded with Pro-Logic in mind. The Wii also likes Pro-Logic.

For music, most people prefer plain stereo. But go ahead and try the other modes and see what you like.

Finally, this is the wrong forum for this kind of question. This section is dedicated to people using computers in their home theater. Check out the HTIB and Audio Theory sections.

thanks for the reply. what im using now while watching HD broadcast is multi channel / DPL II if im gonna choose this i think this is together with multi-channel surround output: Dolby Digital, and Dolby Pro Logic II. with the action/rock preset. and i did tweak all the speakers using my ear. thanks again for the time for replying.

Energy RC 70 fronts
Energy RC LCR center
Energy RC LCR surrounds
Rythmik LV12R and Mirage Omni 12 subwoofers
Denon 2112CI
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post #16 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 04:55 PM
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thousand words.
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post #17 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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thousand words.
that is what i did, but my only problem is how to get the exact volume of each speakers, because i dont have any SPF to check.

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post #18 of 18 Old 11-10-2010, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloyzki View Post
thanks for the reply. what im using now while watching HD broadcast is multi channel / DPL II if im gonna choose this i think this is together with multi-channel surround output: Dolby Digital, and Dolby Pro Logic II. with the action/rock preset. and i did tweak all the speakers using my ear. thanks again for the time for replying.
Make sure your cable box is set to output Dolby Digital. It sounds like your receiver is only getting a stereo signal.

The Action/Rock preset is probably an EQ setting.
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