Originally Posted by Hawgfin
I feel that the owner's manual doesn't do a very good job explaining what these modes are for and the differences between the two. The manual does say that they are recommended for music, and that is just about all the detail I could find. I did change the Pure Direct setting from "audio" to "audio and video" thinking it was some type of stripped down (no frills or extra DSP mode) 5.1 coding. I used it on a dvd using PS3 via HDMI. I wasn't impressed.
Anyone understand what these features are, the differences between them (they both seem to be unprocessed), and how they are best used?
I agree that the manual explains little. Unfortunately, there are few simple answers. And I could probably write for quite awhile. But I won't - highlights only.
Straight mode is your starting point for the best sound in any mode. It will ensure you are decoding most stuff properly, and it will sound great.
If you have a 7.1 speaker setup, try hitting extended surround when watching DVDs to select DPL IIx movie. This will utilize your rear speakers even for 5.1 movies. This may also work well for movies on Cable/Sattelite in 5.1.
For two channel music, you might want to try DPL IIx music (hit surr decode). There are a lot of options here, but DPL IIx music is one of the better sounding ones, and the one I usually use. NRL THX Music seems to be also nice. Of course, you might prefer to use no surround sound on music, which is fine - personal preference.
Some music sounds good to me in 7-channel strereo. 7-channel stereo is also good for diffuse music at parties. Hit the 'stereo' button to select this.
Some movies/shows on cable/sat might be in Dolby Pro Logic. This was a very popular surround sound format popular years ago. It's still used here and there. For example, some sports have surround sound on channels where they can't send the sound in Dolby Digital. Dolby Digital is now common on HD channels and is the standard for DTV.
How do you know a show/movie is in Dolby Surround? You may not. Some shows had a Dolby Logo at the beginning shown. You can choose DPL IIx or Dolby Surround while playing a movie/show you think might be in surround. If it IS, you should hear a well balanced sound. If it's not, you will probably hear all sound from the center speaker only. A bit of experimentation and paying attention and you should figure this out.
That's about it for the main modes. For some kinds of music, there's a few DSP modes you might try out for kicks. Sometimes out of boredom I try something like warehouse (the live music button.) Mostly these sound artificial. Most sound awful, IMO.