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Surround sound - DVD player to Receiver  

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My components:

Daiwa progressive scan DVD player, 5.1 surround sound
Onyko HT-S760 home theater system, 6.1 surround sound.

1) I have seen how the surround sound speakers connect to the receiver (and I have hooked them up as told to). How do I hook up my surround sound from the DVD player to the receiver??

2) I have run an optical audio connection from my DVD player to my receiver. Do I need to connect the surround sound RCA jacks from my DVD player into the receiver's 6.1 surround sound inputs? Or can I just use the optical cable and the receiver will sort out all the data coming from the DVD player?

3) know any good websites to explain all this Dolby, DTS, Dolby Digital etc... I find it a bit confusing.

post #2 of 13
Using the optical line is all you need. It sends digital audio data to the receiver. The receiver will decode and amplify the signal. Your DVD player is perfectly capable of passing 6.1 channel sound to your receiver as 6.1 is simply an extension of 5.1 formats - see below.

Don't connect the analog RCA jack outputs to your receiver. This would be for people who are using TV speakers to play back the sound.

I'm not sure of any sites that explain Dolby Digital and DTS, but it's not really all that complicated. Currently, you can have the following sound formats, all of which can be passed through the optical connection:

1. Mono.:rolleyes: Some receivers have a "mono" setting which plays the sound over all the speakers with a slight delay to add a bit of presence to the sound.
2. Stereo. You can play this as-is, or use analog surround-sound settings on your receiever such as Dolby Pro-Logic, Pro-Logic II or DTS Neo:6 to make a 4-channel (PL), 5-channel (PLII) or 6-channel (Neo 6) mix.
3. Dolby Surround. Similar to stereo, but contains specifically-encoded steering cues to fully control the surround-sound decoding in PL, PLII or Neo:6 playback.
4. Dolby Digital. This can be encoded in mono, stereo, Dolby Surround, or 5.1 (its most typical use).
5. DTS, a 5.1 format. This often sounds better than Dolby Digital, but it depends on how it's mixed.
6. Dolby Digital EX. 6.1 format. The 6th channel is encoded into the surround left/surround right channels, so it must be mixed out.
7. DTS-ES. 6.1 format. The 6th channel can be mixed in with the surround left/surround right channels (this is a "matrix" mix) or completely separate (a "discrete" mix).

There are now 7-channel formats as well, Dolby Pro-Logic IIx and Logic7. Logic7 has been around for a while in harmon/kardon receivers, PLIIx is brand-new. These take a stereo sound signal and decode it into 7-channel sound, using steering queues in the sound.

On my receiver (Denon 1803), I can use mono, stereo, PL, PLII and Neo:6 on analog signals (i.e. on regular TV broadcasts or VCR tapes). It forces me to use PL or PLII on Dolby Surround encoded signals coming over a digital medium (certain digital satellite TV channels or a few older DVDs like Blade Runner: Director's Cut). DD or DTS signals will force the receiver into DD or DTS mode, although I can choose EX or ES format simply by turning the rear channel on and off, even if the material is not encoded in EX or ES. Note that in order to use DD or DTS, the source must be digital, i.e. digital cable, digital satellite or DVD, and the source must be specifically encoded in DD or DTS.

I'm still learning about PLIIx but from what I understand it could be used with DD or DTS signals to extract 7 channels from 5.1 or 6.1-encoded material.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
for my Daiwa 6038 DVD player, the speaker settings menu, options include:
1. Speaker setup
2. SPDIF setup
3. Doby digital setup
4. Equalizer
5. 3D processing

In the Speaker setup menu, it lists:
1. Downmix
2. Front speaker
3. Cntr speaker
4. rear speaker
5. sub woofer

in the downmix sub menu, it lists
1. LT/RT
2. Stereo (do I use this one?)
3. 5.1 channel (or do I use this one?)

Do I have to change some of these options? Will the settings have to be changed when switching from a DVD movie to a CD?

Thanks for your help!


so what do I set my DVD settings for to play regular CD's?
post #4 of 13
Since I don't have that particular DVD player, I am unsure of your exact settings.

However, your receiver should be able to handle everything. And you shouldn't have to make any changes to settings when playing a CD (except perhaps changing your receiver to stereo mode, 6 channel stereo mode or Dolby PLII or DTS Neo:6 to "music" mode if you prefer).

On my DVD player, the only setting I needed to alter was the digital audio out line, probably your "SPDIF setup". Mine (Toshiba SD-1800) is set to "Bitstream". You will probably have something similar to this along with a "PCM" mode. Just select bitstream.

This will allow your receiver to automatically select the mode based on the input it's receiving (Dolby Surround, DD, DTS).

I don't think you have to alter any of the other DVD player settings - these are probably all for connecting speakers directly to the DVD player using the analog audio RCA jacks and not using a receiver. Your receiver will have much more advanced controls than this anyway.

You will have to alter the settings on your receiver at first to get things set up the way you like.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
sounds good, thanks!
post #6 of 13
BTW - forgot to mention about the subwoofer (the ".1" part of 5.1 or 6.1. ".1" because it's not full-range, it's bass only).

Dolby Digital and DTS have a dedicated signal being sent to the sub called LFE (Low Frequency Effects). These are, for example, the rumbles you should hear when there's an explosion on the screen.

In the other modes, the sub will only be active to fill in the bass sounds your other speakers may not be able to reproduce. You can set the bass volume through your receiver, as well as the crossover frequency, which sets how low sounds will have to go before they're sent to the sub. These signals are also sent to the sub in DD and DTS modes, in addition to the dedicated LFE signals.

Also, note that channels decoded into Dolby PL, PLII, DTS Neo:6, Logic7 and PLIIx are not fully discrete, meaning that they're mixed together and must be unmixed from each other to construct the surround sound. So to some degree, the channels are not independent and you'll get some cross-talk (signals intended for one speaker will be played very quietly in the others). And in the case of Dolby Pro-Logic, the surround left and surround right channels, in addition to being in mono, are not full-range (i.e. they don't cover the full range of frequencies you can hear). Both these deficiencies are corrected with PLII and PLIIx. Playing back source material encoded in Dolby Surround greatly enhances the surround sound in these modes. Some TV shows are recorded in Dolby Surround - look for the logo on the credits at the end of the program. Some programs I can think of are The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Enterprise and Oz (I think).

Dolby Digital, DTS and DTS-ES discrete are fully discrete. Each channel is fully independent of all the others, and each channel is full-range.

Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES matrix may be digital, but the rear channel is not fully discrete - it's mixed in with the surround left and surround right signals.

Umm, that should cover it, yeah...:D
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm not getting the correct surround sound out of my three surround speakers. I used the "THX optimizer" on the "Finding Nemo" DVD to test my surround.

I get individual sound out of the front left, front centre and front right speakers, but no individual sound out of the three surround speakers, nor the sub-woofer... any ideas on what I should do? Is it my settings on my Onkyo receiver?
post #8 of 13
Originally posted by Howie17
I'm not getting the correct surround sound out of my three surround speakers. I used the "THX optimizer" on the "Finding Nemo" DVD to test my surround.

I get individual sound out of the front left, front centre and front right speakers, but no individual sound out of the three surround speakers, nor the sub-woofer... any ideas on what I should do? Is it my settings on my Onkyo receiver?
That does sound like a receiver setting problem. Make sure the subwoofer is set to "ON" in the receiver, and that the 3 surround speakers are either set to small or large (not "NONE").

Not owning an Onkyo or ever having this problem, could someone else jump in here and give Howie17 a hand?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I get good sound out of the sub, but the sub doesn't make noise in the THX optimizer tests???

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I used the Onkyo receiver remote's "test" button to test the 6 individual speakers to see if they do work. Only the the surround rear anf left surround did not work... why?
post #11 of 13
Also not being familiar with your equipment, I'm going to take a guess here. You mentioned in the DVD setup menu under speaker setup you have "downmix". Unless I misunderstood what you meant, it sounds like you selected that and then get another submenu. Downmix should only be used if you have two speakers, not five, as you would have in a surround system. The downmix setup would then send the signals that would normally be handled by the center channel and the surrounds to the two main speakers, hence the term "downmix". You should not select downmix. Under your speaker setup menu, select the speakers that you have (front, center, surround, sub) and that may fix it.
post #12 of 13
By the way, both your receiver and DVD player have set up menus that need to be set. You'll have to tell the components how many speakers you have, whether they are capable of full range sound (set to large), whether you have a sub, the distance from each speaker to the listening area, etc.
I still think that by selecting "downmix" you basically told the system that you don't have surrounds so those signals are being rerouted to the main speakers.
post #13 of 13
Sounds like the 5.1 settingin the downmix menu in the dvd player was the one he wanted?

Howie, armed with the knowledge you just gained about the formats, re-read the manual and more of it will be clear now.

From the DVD controls, all you want to do is get a digital signal out of that optical cable to the receiver that is bitstream, for dolby digital and dts. (multi-channel music can wait 'til later!)

In the receiver, you may have to tell it that a particular digital input (optical 1, optical 2, co-ax, etc.) is a digital signal and is for the DVD.
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