I've had a home theater setup for a while now, but, stupid me, I just realized that I had not really a clue as to what I was doing. I've got three inputs Cable TV, Blu-ray, and streaming from a laptop for Netflix and the like. All of the connections are HDMI. Inputs go into a Yamaha 5.1 receiver and goes to the TV via HDMI. It just suddenly hit me that the Blu-Ray, the cable box, the receiver, all have adjustments the affect the sound quality. I've got an audio compression on the Cable, The Blu-ray, has settings like Audio output priority, Audio (HDMI), BD Audio Setting, AudioATT, Dolby Digital, DTS, 48HZ/96, Audio DRC, Downmix. The receiver remote has a button that allows me to switch from a straight mode to a decode mode, with enhancement, and "direct mode". This is my second A/V receiver, and I still don't know what these settings do exactly. The owner's manuals might as well be in a foreign language. (Not because of me, but because of the vague instructions of the manual). I called Sony support with my first receiver and they told me that if I didn't understand then I should "just leave on the "straight" setting and forget about it". I'm not looking for some gaudy enhancement. I just want the sources sound like they were intended to sound.
Should one of the components be making all the calls with the others just neutraled out as slaves? My biggest problem right now is dynamics on Blu-ray. Great explosions, lousy, almost unhearable dialogue. Do I need to get an audio engineering degree to have all this make sense?