Just got a Sony STR-DH740 and am very confused with the sound field options. Which one should I use? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-04-2014, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I just upgraded from an old Onkyo and so far I'm really liking this receiver. However, I am really confused with all of the sound field options and I'm hoping someone can break it down for me.

Here's a link to the manual: http://content.abt.com/documents/47437/STRDH740_manual.pdf. The sound fields are detailed on page 45.

I'll outline my questions in number format for readability:

1. Which sound field should I use for my Xbox 360 and PS3? I'm pretty sure the 360 does 5.1 and some PS3 games support 7.1 (including bluray movies?), so which sound field is best if I just want the sound the way it was recorded with no additional "effects" laid on top? Would that be A.F.D. Auto? Will A.F.D. Auto also spread the 5.1 channel out to the other rear speakers in my 7.1 setup, or would I have to choose a different sound field for that?

2. What about when I play games on my Wii that support Dolby Pro Logic II? When I play Wii games with A.F.D. Auto, sound only comes out of the front speakers. Sound comes out of all speakers when I choose either PLII Movie, PLIIx Movie, PLII Music, PLIIx Music, or HD-D.C.S, but I have no idea which one of these is the "best". And I thought it was strange that there wasn't a PLII Game like my old Onkyo receiver had...

3. So, I guess my questions boil down to this. Since I have a 7.1 speaker setup, which option do I choose when I want to take play a game with Dolby Pro Logic II, what about a game with 5.1 discrete channels? What about 7.1? What about when I'm watching a blu-ray movie on my PS3?

I'm just hoping someone can break this down for me in a relatively easy-to-understand way. The manual didn't really help me understand which sound field to choose when...

For reference, here are all of the available sound fields I have to choose from:

Auto Format Direct (A.F.D.)/2channel sound mode
A.F.D. Auto (Presets the sound as it was recorded/encoded without adding any surround effects)
Multi Stereo (Outputs 2 channel left/right signals from all speakers)
2ch Stereo (Outputs sound from front left/right speakers only, no sound from subwoofer)

Movie Mode
HD-D.C.S. (Sony's new innovative home theater technology)
PLII Movie
PLIIx Movie
Neo:6 Cinema (Neo:6 CIN)

Music Mode
Hall
Jazz Club
Live Concert
Stadium
Sports
Portable Audio
Headphone (Direct)

One more note: According to the manual, HD-D.C.S. provides "not only the high quality of sound, but also the best sound ambience, just as the movie's sound engineer intended in the mastering process." So does this mean that HD-D.C.S. is the best option to choose when watching movies? But not for playing games? I was under the impression that this mode applied additional "processing" to the sound such as making it sound like you're in a theater or a studio or something like that, things which I don't necessarily want..
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-04-2014, 07:51 PM
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AFD Auto plays it like it was recorded. 5.1 is 5.1, for example. PLIIx expands stereo and 5.1 content to 7.1. Never heard of HD-DCS
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-04-2014, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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So, should I just use PLIIx Movie for everything, or is there some reason I might want to use AFD Auto?

How does PLIIx handle discrete 7.1 sources? Does it just leave it alone or do some kind of effects get applied?
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-04-2014, 08:59 PM
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If you have a discrete 7.1 source you won't need PLIIx....

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-04-2014, 09:01 PM
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PLIIx does nothing when the source is already 7.1. So, you can apply it and leave it.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-04-2014, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Reason I ask is because some PS3 games are 5.1 and some are 7.1. If I leave it on AFD auto, it won't put sound out of my surround back speakers if it's a 5.1 source, right?

Maybe I should simply ask this, which one of those sound fields are best for the following situations:

1. Discrete 5.1 source (PLIIx?)
2. Discrete 7.1 source (ok to leave on PLIIx?)
3. 2-channel with Dolby Pro Logic II (PLIIx?)

And what about for gaming specifically? I only have PLIIx movie and PLIIx music to choose from.. No PLIIx game.

I'm just really confused what I should be using to get the most out of my 7.1 system without adding on a bunch of reverb and stuff.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-04-2014, 09:51 PM
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Try PLIIx and see if you like the sound it produces with each type of audio you get. It doesn't use reverb or delays. Rather, it uses phase information to intelligently steer sound to the rear speakers. Movie, music, and game all work a little differently. But, you can certainly use movie or music when gaming.

You can certainly leave it on all the time as native 7.1 sources will play without alteration.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-04-2014, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Try PLIIx and see if you like the sound it produces with each type of audio you get. It doesn't use reverb or delays. Rather, it uses phase information to intelligently steer sound to the rear speakers. Movie, music, and game all work a little differently. But, you can certainly use movie or music when gaming.

You can certainly leave it on all the time as native 7.1 sources will play without alteration.

Ok, so PLIIx will leave 7.1 alone while "upmixing(?)" 5.1 sources to 7.1 providing suedo-7.1 surround sound without adding reverb and delay and whatnot.. That sounds like it's exactly what I want. Unless you can think of a good reason why I should just let 5.1 be 5.1...

But, what about the whole PLIIx "Movie" vs. PLIIx "Music" thing? Does the Music one use the front speakers more or something? I'm assuming that for playing video games, I should keep it on PLIIx Movie?

Also, thanks for all the help guys. I am pretty ignorant when it comes to audio technologies and I'm learning a lot here.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-04-2014, 10:42 PM
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I don't recall the exact differences between the movie and music modes. With 5.1 sources, the front channels are left alone and some of the surround material is routed to the rears. I think that's the case with both modes. With stereo sources, music has some settings for width and depth of the sound field that don't exist with the movie mode.

But, I wouldn't characterize what PLIIx does as pseudo 7.1. It takes sounds that would phantom image behind the listener and anchors them in actual speakers. At least, that's the goal.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-04-2014, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I see. It's too bad that A.F.D. Auto doesn't detect Pro Logic II sources and automatically switch to PLIIx mode or something like that. That would be nice.

I guess I'm just going to leave it on PLIIx Movie for gaming, since that seems to make the most sense.

Edit: After doing a little research, it seems that Pro Logic IIx comes in 3 flavors:

"Movie"
"Music"
"Game"

It would appear that, for some reason or another, my receiver doesn't have PLIIx Game, which is supposed to handle bass a little differently than the other two modes.

That seems like kind of a bum deal to me, since I primarily game with my equipment. Maybe I should look into returning this receiver and getting a different one. I'm surprised that it doesn't have this mode -- my 5-year-old (plus) Onkyo had it! Well, maybe not PLIIx, but PLII, anyways.
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-05-2014, 05:49 AM
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Here's a post from one of the most knowledgeable members on this subject:
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Test123455 View Post

Is there any difference between PLIIx movie, PLIIx game, and PLIIx music?


Even though all the PLIIx modes use the same surround processing algorithm, there are differences.

With 2-channel sources:

PLIIx Music mode allows you to choose how much centre info and surround info is extracted, so you can tailor the results to be as exciting or as subtle as you want. By comparison, PLIIx Movie mode has no user controls, just extracts as much centre and surround info as it can. PLIIx Game mode is like Movie mode, but with more bass, since it adds the bass from the extracted channels.

With 5.1-channel sources:

PLIIx doesn't touch the front soundstage. 3 channels, 3 speakers, nothing to process. All the processing happens in the surround field, were the contents of 2 surround channels are steered over 4 surround speakers. PLIIx Movie mode extracts surround-back info and sends it to the speakers behind you, then cancels that info from the speakers at your sides (emphasizing rear versus side separation with movies). PLIIx Music mode extracts the same surround-back info for the rear speakers but doesn't cancel it from the side speakers (emphasizing rear plus side envelopment with music).

Sanjay has participated in numerous discussions about ProLogic over the years. Search for sdurani and PLII and you'll find them.
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