Is PCM real or "faked" 5.1? Can somoene explain to me what is going on with my setup - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old Today, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Is PCM real or "faked" 5.1? Can somoene explain to me what is going on with my setup

I don't fully understand this.

This seems to work:
I have my blu ray directly connected to my receiver via HDMI. Then the Receiver to the TV via HDMI. My receiver tells me it is using PCM when I choose"surround"for the audio mode. According to the manual, this is what I want to happen. Is this a real 5.1 source and output? (If i choose auto select for the sound mode it also seems to work)

This seems to not work but I don't know for sure:
I am confused because I can also connect digitally from my blu ray to the receiver via digital coax out and use that. I can also connect the blu ray to the TV and use the TVs optical digital audio out to the receiver. Under both scenarios, when I select the "surround" option I get options for various Pro Logic modes (Normal, movie, music, etc). According to the manual, this means that the receiver is getting a stereo signal unless I am missing something. Under both scenarios, if I try to choose auto, I get he same behavior but I think it just uses stereo. My subwoofer is doing nothing.

Gear:
I have a Pioneer VSX-519V. My TV is a Sony XBR-850B (4K, 3D, 65" in case I got the exact model wrong). My TV has no HDMI output which kinda sucks because i would love to use it for switching and the receiver acts more like a pre-amp/amp/DSP.

More:
I want to use my PS4 as a source eventually but I don't always want to require the stereo to be on just to get the HDMI to pass through to the TV.

I can clarify what ever is needed. I really need an explanation of what is going on though.
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post #2 of 3 Old Today, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh, post #2 in this thread seems to explains some of it:
Bitstream vs. Linear PCM

Digital connections (coax and optical) can only do Linear PCM which is 2 channels of data. So that explains why my receiver seems to auto select something not 5.1. I guess it is just choosing stereo. But i can use Dolby Pro Logic (not digital Dolby Pro Logic) to get 5.0 or 5.1 channels of data.

So to get the best surround sound, I need to connect to the receiver via HDMI. And that supports 8 channels of uncompressed data. So the receiver is actually getting all 6 channels of data that 5.1 can supply. So it can actually do 7.1 also.

Now if only my TV did HDMI out.
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post #3 of 3 Old Today, 11:24 PM
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Now if only my TV did HDMI out
Your Sony TV has Audio Return Channel via HDMI so you don't need a dedicated HDMI out. The problem is that your Pioneer VSX-519 is from 2009 and doesn't support ARC. Plus it doesn't support TrueHD or DTS-HD from Blu Ray.

The other problem is that when you connect your devices via HDMI to the Sony TV the output is only stereo (2 channel PCM) via ARC or optical out. This is very common with most TV's.

To get the best audio you need to upgrade your receiver so something a little more modern to take advantage of the HD audio blu ray provides.

Quote:
I want to use my PS4 as a source eventually but I don't always want to require the stereo to be on just to get the HDMI to pass through to the TV.
And pretty much anything made in the last couple of years will provide HDMI standby pass thru so you don't have to have the receiver on. Just leave it in standby mode and the audio and video will go straight to the TV.

Your Pioneer 519V is only a 5.1 receiver so it wouldn't matter if your blu ray or PS4 can pass a 7.1 signal. Your Pioneer only has 2 HDMI inputs and that's not enough for most people. Probably time to upgrade anyway.

Afro GT

Last edited by afrogt; Today at 11:27 PM.
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