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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, dumb question, but I am new to this realm with a recent upgrade to a Pioneer 811s. It isn't spelled out how to get Dolby Digital out of my DVD player.


I set up my DVD player *temporarily* with RCA left/right cables into my reciever. I set the reciever for analog input. Sound comes from my front 3 speakers, but the reciever doesn't see Dolby 5.1 and no sound comes from the rears. I did a test tone and all speakers are correct.


Do recievers need the digital bitstream to decode Dolby 5.1? What about the lower end DVD players, can they only put out stereo then with no surround? We just bought my sister an Apex (not an HT afficianado) with RCA left/right out. So she will never be able to read Dolby Digital or DTS?


Help here understanding...
 

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Even the lower end Apex's have some kind of digital output. It doesn't have to be optical it can be coax. Usually the coax output is colored orange. You'll need to set the DVD player to output bitstream for DD and DTS. On the 811 set up the DVD input to use either the optical or coax depending on which you're using. Anymore questions, feel free to ask or e-mail me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Joe. So RCA left/right doesn't have enough information to decode beyond the front 3 speakers then?


I will have to recheck the Apex, we are talking a $75 DVD player here, I would be surprised to see optical or coax.


Anyway, sounds like I am correct that I need to make a Circuit City run today for my optical cable.



Here, my original plan was to research, think through and plan setup of the reciever. Instead, I ripped open the box and jammed all the wires in so I could see how cool it was. It's hard to be a grown up sometimes!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by empirebuilder
Thanks, Joe. So RCA left/right doesn't have enough information to decode beyond the front 3 speakers then?


I will have to recheck the Apex, we are talking a $75 DVD player here, I would be surprised to see optical or coax.
All DVD players have a digital sound output of some kind, either optical, coaxial or both. It is a requirement of the DVD spec. The Apex probably has a coax connection but you never noticed it.


If using the L/R analog connections, the player downmixes a 5.1 signal to 2-channels. Your receiver should have a ProLogic setting that will decode this into basic surround, but you may not get as much surround activity as with a full-fledged 5.1 mix (at the very least, the surround channel is monaural, not discrete left and right).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys, you are both right. I checked the Apex, it has digital coax outputs. Definitely makes sense to me, you need some type of digital signal for that much sound information.


I will go with the Toslink optical digital cable for noise immunity, and will have it hooked up tonight!


Thanks for the quick responses and excellent answers.
 
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