See, I was under the impression that when you play a movie, there are a bunch of surround modes to choose from and you had to listen to figure out what the best is.
not sure what equipment you've had in the past but this may be due to some brands' emphasis on "DSP modes" where they overlay ambiance or reverb to change the acoustic "space" of your room. For example Yamaha has all sorts of "Cinema DSP" modes that you can overlay on the soundtrack.
Denon has more of a "purist" slant and the DSP modes are real token relics of the past like "Jazz Hall" and "Rock Concert" which are basically useless at this point. Basically, if it's a multich signal, you just decode it and play it.
now, there ARE other things you can "layer" on top like Audyssey room correction, Dynamic EQ loudness correction, etc. but they aren't really "surround modes" per se, they are post processing that goes on top of whatever surround mode you are using.
I do realize some movies may have more than one surround mode, but not typically and I think I'll just let the AVR decide.
just to be nitpicky, movies don't have surround modes -- the surround mode is the OUTPUT that the receiver provides, whereas the movies has an audio track that provides the INPUT SIGNAL to the processor. So a movie will have multiple audio tracks (e.g. a DTS-MASTER hi def track and a standard Dolby Digital track for English, plus other languages) and the receiver will pick the correct surround mode based on the track you select.
you aren't bound by that surround mode (it is just the default) so you could, if you wanted, play a 5.1 Dolby Digital track in STEREO surround mode, or even JAZZ HALL if you were feeling frisky. But the point is that, for a multichannel signal, the DEFAULT surround mode will "match" the input signal type as far as what you see on the display (e.g. a Dolby TrueHD input signal will default to DOLBY TRUEHD for the surround mode, which means the "straight" decoding of the signal).
with any multich track, this "default" is what you want to use. The only exception would be as I note above, if you have MORE than 5.1 speakers you may then layer another surround mode to generate the extra speakers (e.g. applying PLIIx to a 5.1 signal to create back surrounds for 7.1). But, as a general rule, if the input signal matches your speaker layout, you just want to play it "straight" as is.
Do a lot of people use DPL2 for old TV shows? I like watching TV shows from the 90s and most are stereo... I wasn't that impressed with how they sounded...
really a personal preference thing, I use PLII Cinema for all 2ch movies and TV broadcasts, because I'd rather watch in 5.1, but some people dislike the "fake surround" and prefer to just watch them in native STEREO when the signal is 2ch.