Onkyo 605 Handling of a "DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo" Blu-ray Track... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 77 Old 09-12-2014, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Onkyo 605 Handling of a "DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo" Blu-ray Track...

Was wondering if anyone could help me out with this Onkyo head-scratcher...

I recently bought Scream/Shout Factory's Blu-ray release of the underground fan favorite PRISON (1988, directed by Renny Harlin) as seen here:




The back of the slipcase claims the Blu-ray version (it's a DVD/BD combo pack) comes with a DTS Master Audio 2.0 track, but when the film starts up and the setup menu is presented, there is a choice of a Master Audio 5.1 track OR a 2.0 mix. Playing the 5.1 mix for the first time the other night, I was blown away at how awful this sounded (and it was confirmed in reviews I read about the title) with lifeless dialogue, inconsistent levels and lack of punch, requiring me to jack my system's master volume WAY beyond normal ranges to even catch the dialogue. I read online that the optional mix -- a DTS Master Audio 2.0 stereo track -- was actually more effective and aggressive, so I tried that option the next night, but was confused by the "behavior" of my Onkyo 605's processing when this track was selected...

Immediately, my receiver clicked and went into its STEREO mode, placing the track in my two front main channels (Polk RTi12s) but the "DTS" and "MSTR" orange indicators remained lit on the top of the receiver's display, indicating it WAS in fact receiving a "Master Audio" bitstream signal -- but when I tried to force another kind of surround mode using my receiver's remote, the indicator said "NOT AVAILABLE..." and wouldn't let me play the track as anything other than STEREO. Then I started thinking...

In my receiver's LISTENING MODE PRESET section of the setup menu, I am able to configure all sound fields for all codecs/signals, etc. -- so I have Dolby Digital set to Dolby Digital, DTS set to DTS, Dolby TrueHD set to Dolby TrueHD, etc. However, with regard to TWO CHANNEL signals the receiver is sent, there is an option that reads "D.F. 2 CH" and I have this set to PRO LOGIC II MOVIE, as to process stereo surround tracks with the Pro Logic system; there doesn't seem to be any way to "control" how DTS TWO-CHANNEL signals are processed, and I'm wondering if this is "normal"...in other words, why would there be a way to process and control DOLBY encoded two channel software through the PRO LOGIC II system, but no way to control DTS encoded software? Is this the reason I am ONLY able to use STEREO when running a DTS Master Audio 2.0 track like on Prison?

Can anyone shed some light on this for me...those who have some experience with Onkyo's listening modes (which I THOUGHT I did until the other night)?


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post #2 of 77 Old 09-12-2014, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Some edits made to post.

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post #3 of 77 Old 09-12-2014, 08:39 PM
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I don't think I have any titles with the DTS HD MA 2.0 format to try in a different Onkyo...

I looked in your manual and it has a footnote on page 62 about various sound formats: "For PCM 176.4/192 kHz signals input through HDMI IN, only Pure Audio, Direct, and Stereo listening modes can be selected. (HDMI input only)".....wonder if that's it. Do you have only those modes available?

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post #4 of 77 Old 09-12-2014, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
I don't think I have any titles with the DTS HD MA 2.0 format to try in a different Onkyo...

I looked in your manual and it has a footnote on page 62 about various sound formats: "For PCM 176.4/192 kHz signals input through HDMI IN, only Pure Audio, Direct, and Stereo listening modes can be selected. (HDMI input only)".....wonder if that's it. Do you have only those modes available?

First, thank you for the reply; it's much appreciated.

This is actually a BITSTREAMED signal coming in over the HDMI IN connection to my 605 -- all Dolby and DTS signals are set for bitstream out of my Oppo BDP-83 player. What I am describing is what is happening when I choose a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (stereo) encoded soundtrack on a Blu-ray; it seems as is what happened with PRISON, the 2.0 track engaged my receiver's STEREO mode, playing the track from the left and right front channels only, but the "DTS" and "MSTR" orange indicators on the front panel were illuminated, suggesting to me that the receiver WAS getting a bitstreamed DTS Master Audio signal...but there was NO way to "matrix" the two-channel signal through something like Dolby's Pro Logic system, which I could do with Dolby-encoded two-channel soundtracks/signals...


Follow?

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post #5 of 77 Old 09-12-2014, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
First, thank you for the reply; it's much appreciated.

This is actually a BITSTREAMED signal coming in over the HDMI IN connection to my 605 -- all Dolby and DTS signals are set for bitstream out of my Oppo BDP-83 player. What I am describing is what is happening when I choose a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (stereo) encoded soundtrack on a Blu-ray; it seems as is what happened with PRISON, the 2.0 track engaged my receiver's STEREO mode, playing the track from the left and right front channels only, but the "DTS" and "MSTR" orange indicators on the front panel were illuminated, suggesting to me that the receiver WAS getting a bitstreamed DTS Master Audio signal...but there was NO way to "matrix" the two-channel signal through something like Dolby's Pro Logic system, which I could do with Dolby-encoded two-channel soundtracks/signals...


Follow?
Yes, and from what I see on the DTS HD MA wiki that on bluray can support 192khz thus wondering if the 2.0 version is equivalent? I don't know, just throwing an idea out there, does the avr only respond in those formats? I've not run across a 2ch format I couldn't have my Onkyo use one of its multi-ch modes for....

ps I take it neither manual helped out otherwise? I already closed out the 605 manual that I stopped when I saw that footnote, and didn't look at the Oppo....

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post #6 of 77 Old 09-12-2014, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Yes, and from what I see on the DTS HD MA wiki that on bluray can support 192khz thus wondering if the 2.0 version is equivalent? I don't know, just throwing an idea out there, does the avr only respond in those formats? I've not run across a 2ch format I couldn't have my Onkyo use one of its multi-ch modes for....

ps I take it neither manual helped out otherwise? I already closed out the 605 manual that I stopped when I saw that footnote, and didn't look at the Oppo....

I still have my manual, but thank you for looking that up anyway; I think what I am experiencing is coming via a lack of processing power on my receiver's part...in other words, the signal this particular Blu-ray release is sending is a DTS HD Master Audio type, encoded in 2.0 stereo in this case, so because it is DTS and not Dolby, I cannot, for example, apply Dolby's Pro Logic II to "spread" the stereo soundtrack around...the signal is indicating a DTS HD Master Audio bitstream as reported by my receiver, but it appears it is LOCKED in the stereo mode for this transmission, not allowing me to "process" it any way via Pro Logic II, thus I have to listen to the track through ONLY the two front main (stereo) speakers...


I was just wondering if anyone had any information regarding bitstreamed DTS MA signals from soundtracks such as these, and if STEREO is indeed the "normal" option here...

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post #7 of 77 Old 09-12-2014, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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You know what's strange, also? Why can't I access any "DTS NEO" matrixing system when I'm playing DTS Master Audio signals? Since they're DTS-encoded, why can't I access the receiver's DTS matrixing systems for these 2.0 stereo tracks, such as NEO:6?










Are these all limitations of my receiver's processor?

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post #8 of 77 Old 09-12-2014, 09:57 PM
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1. Is this happening only with that Blu-ray title?
2. Which Blu-ray player are you using.
3. Did you try HDMI Audio Out = LPCM from your BD player? ...Instead of Bitstream.

* Your Onkyo TX-SR605 AV receiver; is it limited somehow with DTS-HD MA soundtracks?

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post #9 of 77 Old 09-12-2014, 10:15 PM
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By the way, this Blu-ray ('Prison') comes with two audio soundtracks:
1. English DTS-HD MA 5.1
2. English DTS-HD MA 2.0

And the Audio rating (score) is extremely poor (2.5 out of 5) according to a review I just read online.
...Very inconsistent, and you lose parts of it most of the time after the beginning. ...Muffle sound, dialog is lost, and you name it...

Just thought of letting you know.

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post #10 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
1. Is this happening only with that Blu-ray title?

It's the only Blu-ray I have with a 2.0 stereo Master Audio soundtrack...


Quote:
2. Which Blu-ray player are you using.

Oppo BDP-83.


Quote:
3. Did you try HDMI Audio Out = LPCM from your BD player? ...Instead of Bitstream.

No; I am relying on bitstreaming for all processes, and wouldn't go through changing my audio out settings even as a workaround...just a personal thing that I'd rather stick to bitstreaming for...

Quote:
* Your Onkyo TX-SR605 AV receiver; is it limited somehow with DTS-HD MA soundtracks?

Don't know; seems like it has something up its arse with regard to processing 7.1 DTS-HD MA in 5.1 as all the soundtracks doing it this way are extremely low in volume output and "heft"...and, from what I've read and what you and others have discussed over at High Def Digest, it seems the processing onboard this receiver is limited in terms of applying Audyssey (which I don't use anyway) over some high resolution (TrueHD/MA) signals...

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post #11 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
By the way, this Blu-ray ('Prison') comes with two audio soundtracks:
1. English DTS-HD MA 5.1
2. English DTS-HD MA 2.0

And the Audio rating (score) is extremely poor (2.5 out of 5) according to a review I just read online.
...Very inconsistent, and you lose parts of it most of the time after the beginning. ...Muffle sound, dialog is lost, and you name it...

Just thought of letting you know.

Oh, yes, Bob I know -- I was aware of this before I even bought the disc via Amazon, but thanks for looking that up for me anyway...


The full 5.1 DTS-HD MA option for this title is ridiculously poor in terms of its audio quality; it's almost unwatchable. Dialogue is almost non-existent in certain places and there's no energy to this "upmix" (not a remix) whatsoever. I had read that people had some better experiences with the alternate 2.0 stereo DTS MA mix, so I have been experimenting with that one and that's why I started the thread...


I watched the film again last night, picking the disc's 2.0 track and listening to it in stereo on my 605...at some moments, it sounded like there was indeed a "phantom center" we all hope to create wherein dialogue seemed to be somewhat locked to the center even though the audio was coming from only the two front mains...but for the most part, it ended up sounding like a hollow, empty mess with that dreaded comb filtering effect that makes dialogue sound weird when it's coming from the front mains...

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post #12 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
You know what's strange, also? Why can't I access any "DTS NEO" matrixing system when I'm playing DTS Master Audio signals? Since they're DTS-encoded, why can't I access the receiver's DTS matrixing systems for these 2.0 stereo tracks, such as NEO:6?

Are these all limitations of my receiver's processor?
Hi IntelliVolume, possible Onkyo limitations. As my Denon can matrix DTS-HD MA 2.0 (Quigley Down Under) to Stereo, PLII, Multi Ch Stereo and DTS NEO.
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post #13 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi IntelliVolume, possible Onkyo limitations. As my Denon can matrix DTS-HD MA 2.0 (Quigley Down Under) to Stereo, PLII, Multi Ch Stereo and DTS NEO.

Hello J, and thanks so much for your input...indeed now we're getting somewhere with all of this...


I always wondered about the "limitations" of Dolby and DTS algorithms as well -- in other words, does a signal HAVE to be a Dolby variant in order to use Pro Logic II, or can it be applied to DTS signals as well? I suppose you just answered this for me...


I guess the bottom line is that my receiver doesn't allow matrixing of DTS stereo signals -- such as 2.0 stereo DTS MA tracks -- and if necessary they would have to be run in standard stereo...as I reported, I tried running the disc again last night and selected the 2.0 mix option just to see what it would be like in stereo mode. The presentation was mildly decent, but after awhile started to get annoying with dialogue comb filtering (losing its "phantom center" illusion) and a hollow, canned, empty vibe...


I suppose when I watch this title, I'm going to have to just "deal" with the incredibly weak, uneven nature of the DTS-HD MA 5.1 upmix...

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post #14 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 11:40 AM
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Surround modes such as PLII are applied to PCM after an encoded track is decoded. But, some manufacturers engineer their receivers in ways that do not permit a surround mode from one vendor to be applied to a source originally from another vendor.

The Onkyo 605 is an early model for lossless decoding and does not have the processing power to decode dts-MA and apply DSPs to the resulting PCM.
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post #15 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Surround modes such as PLII are applied to PCM after an encoded track is decoded.

...in other words, when they're BITSTREAMED?


Quote:
But, some manufacturers engineer their receivers in ways that do not permit a surround mode from one vendor to be applied to a source originally from another vendor.

The weird thing is, when I look in my receiver's manual, it does indicate, under available listening modes, that with DTS-HD HR (HIGH RESOLUTION) signals, Dolby processing modes such as Pro Logic II ARE available...so is this a processing limitation with regard to MASTER AUDIO signals?

Quote:
The Onkyo 605 is an early model for lossless decoding

...actually the very first, if I am not mistaken...


Quote:
and does not have the processing power to decode dts-MA and apply DSPs to the resulting PCM.

Okay -- so even if the signal is Master Audio 2.0 STEREO, I can't play the bitstreamed signal/soundtrack in anything BUT stereo (or direct) mode?

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post #16 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:01 PM
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I was merely pointing out that surround modes are applied to PCM, not the encoded track. If you bitstream from the source, the processor needs to do the decoding before applying the surround mode. Unfortunately, your 605 cannot decode a Master Audio track and apply a DSP to the resulting PCM. If you decode in the player and send PCM to the AVR, you'd be fine. But, you've said you don't want to do that.

DTS-HD HR is a different codec than Master Audio, one that is almost never used. So, it's not often helpful that the 605 can apply DSPs after decoding HR tracks.
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post #17 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
I was merely pointing out that surround modes are applied to PCM, not the encoded track. If you bitstream from the source, the processor needs to do the decoding before applying the surround mode. Unfortunately, your 605 cannot decode a Master Audio track and apply a DSP to the resulting PCM. If you decode in the player and send PCM to the AVR, you'd be fine. But, you've said you don't want to do that.

So...I'd be stuck using STEREO or DIRECT on these DTS MA 2.0 signals, yes?

Quote:
DTS-HD HR is a different codec than Master Audio, one that is almost never used. So, it's not often helpful that the 605 can apply DSPs after decoding HR tracks.

Yes, I know they're hardly used -- but I was merely pointing out that my manual claims those can be used with Pro Logic II and other DSPs...which, of course as we know, isn't helpful in this situation...

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post #18 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:12 PM
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Listen in stereo or let your Oppo decode the track when watching that one disc. I'd try the latter myself to see whether a mode like PLII improves the sound.
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post #19 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:19 PM
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Yes, the Onkyo 605 was the first Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD MA AV receiver (then the 705, 805, 875 and 905),
but the 605 was limited in what it could do and could not do (not enough horse power - DSP chip).
Plus Audyssey was only the 2EQ flavor (the lowest one, with no EQ @ all in the sub channel). The 705 & above had MultEQ XT (better).

I cannot recall exactly what the 605 cannot do (I used to know though), but BIslander knows its limitations.

* Nowadays you can get better AV receivers for not much money @ all; I'm sure you are well aware of that.
As I see it you have two options:
1. Live with your beloved 605 and the limitations that come with it.
2. Upgrade.

Guess which option I would pick?

<> Have a fantastic weekend my good friend. ...And try your chance, buy a lottery ticket; you never know...

Bests, ~ Robert § (Bob)

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Last edited by NorthSky; 09-13-2014 at 12:33 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #20 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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It doesn't matter that the decoded track into PCM (from the player if I switched it) was of a DTS source...something like Dolby's Pro Logic II could still process it?

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post #21 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I think at this point I would just play the upmixed 5.1 Master Audio option on this title, and just deal with the horrendous audio quality they gave it...I have to jack my master volume to insanely high levels just to catch the dialogue, but such is life for that option...

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post #22 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Yes, the Onkyo 605 was the first Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD MA AV receiver (then the 705, 805, 875 and 905),
but the 605 was limited in what it could do and could not do (not enough horse power - DSP chip).
Plus Audyssey was only the 2EQ flavor (the lowest one, with no EQ @ all in the sub channel). The 705 & above had MultEQ XT (better).

I cannot recall exactly what the 605 cannot do (I used to know though), but BIslander knows its limitations.

* Nowadays you can get better AV receivers for not much money @ all; I'm sure you are well aware of that.
As I see it you have two options:
1. Live with your beloved 605 and the limitations that come with it.
2. Upgrade.

Guess which option I would pick?

<> Have a fantastic weekend my good friend. ...And try your chance, but a lottery ticket; you never know...




Have a good weekend as well, my friend...

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post #23 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Yes, the Onkyo 605 was the first Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD MA AV receiver (then the 705, 805, 875 and 905)

Yes...and...


Quote:
but the 605 was limited in what it could do and could not do (not enough horse power - DSP chip)

Yes...and...


Quote:
Plus Audyssey was only the 2EQ flavor (the lowest one, with no EQ @ all in the sub channel). The 705 & above had MultEQ XT (better)

Yes...and...

Quote:
* Nowadays you can get better AV receivers for not much money @ all; I'm sure you are well aware of that.

Yes...I am also aware of that; I have no issues with the AVR save for slight quirks like this and the "low volume on 7.1 tracks played in 5.1" thing...

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post #24 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
I was merely pointing out that surround modes are applied to PCM, not the encoded track. If you bitstream from the source, the processor needs to do the decoding before applying the surround mode. Unfortunately, your 605 cannot decode a Master Audio track and apply a DSP to the resulting PCM. If you decode in the player and send PCM to the AVR, you'd be fine. But, you've said you don't want to do that.

DTS-HD HR is a different codec than Master Audio, one that is almost never used. So, it's not often helpful that the 605 can apply DSPs after decoding HR tracks.
That; what he just said above, and what I also suggested to you before.
And that's your best setting with your 605, honest to god.

* HR: High Res audio...forget it; it is dead. All Blu-rays are DTS-HD MA (90%) or Dolby TrueHD (10%).
...DD+ and DTS-HD HR are older audio codecs from 2006 and hardly used nowadays.
{I might have less than ten Blu-rays with DTS-HD HR, from more than 4,000}

** Some people cannot tell the difference between Dolby TrueHD and DD+; I can.

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post #25 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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That; what he just said above, and what also I suggested to you before.
And that's you best setting with your 605, honest to god.

* HR: High Resolution audio...forget it; it is dead. All Blu-rays are DTS-HD MA (90%) or Dolby TrueHD (10%).
...DD+ and DTS-HD HR are older audio codecs from 2006 and hardly used nowadays.
{I might have less than ten Blu-rays with DTS-HD HR, from more than 4,000}

** Some people cannot tell the difference between Dolby TrueHD and DD+; I can.

I know High Resolution DTS isn't a viable format; I was merely pointing out that according to my manual for the 605, Pro Logic II and other DSPs WERE available with DTS-HR bitstreamed signals...NOT with Master Audio...

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post #26 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
It doesn't matter that the decoded track into PCM (from the player if I switched it) was of a DTS source...something like Dolby's Pro Logic II could still process it?
Just try it; you'll find out in only few sex (secs - seconds).

Bests, ~ Robert § (Bob)

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post #27 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
I think at this point I would just play the upmixed 5.1 Master Audio option on this title, and just deal with the horrendous audio quality they gave it...I have to jack my master volume to insanely high levels just to catch the dialogue, but such is life for that option...
'Prison' on Blu-ray (directed by Renny Harlin) is most probably one of the worst flicks audio wise.
I would simply .... you know what.

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post #28 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
Yes...and...

Yes...and...

Yes...and...

Yes...I am also aware of that; I have no issues with the AVR save for slight quirks like this and the "low volume on 7.1 tracks played in 5.1" thing...
If you would be @ my mansion right now with me real-live, you would see a very friendly man with a big heart. I would even give you one of my unused receivers. ...Free.
I am all smile, with good humor, and full respect to all people. All my friends say so, and they are happy to know me.

Yes, I also don't shy too much of telling like it is; but always about the products; not about the people making them.

Invest in people first, not the products.

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post #29 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Just try it; you'll find out in only few sex (secs - seconds).
*Cough Cough* I think you meant SECS as we say here in the 'States....

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post #30 of 77 Old 09-13-2014, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by IntelliVolume View Post
It doesn't matter that the decoded track into PCM (from the player if I switched it) was of a DTS source...something like Dolby's Pro Logic II could still process it?
Sure. The receiver has no way of knowing that it originated as DTS. After decoding, it's just PCM. DTS and Dolby Digital are not audio formats. They are data compression codecs, like zip files, used to save space on a disc.
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