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Hey guys. Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong forum, but I'm pretty new to the whole home theater world. I recently bought a yamaha HTR-5860 receiver and a set of Infinity 5.1 speakers. Anyway, my question has to do with audio formats and what I should be hearing.


Right now, I have my DirectTV receiver and my PS2 plugged into the Yamaha with digital optical cables. Okay, when I play a PS2 game (Madden 2006) it says it's in DPLII mode. I can hear audio coming out from all of my speakers and my subwoofer. But on the main display of the receiver it only shows the two Front R and Front L speakers as in use. Also, the DLPII light is on as well as the PCM. What does PCM mean?


Last night I watched something on HBO that was in Dolby Digital I belive, anyway, when the show came on, it automatically switched my receiver to Dolby Digital mode and all 5.1 speakers where shown as being in use. Does this sound right? Am I doing something wrong? Very confused, thanks in advance for any info you can give me.
 

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The PS2 only does Dolby Digital during cutscenes or movies. It cannot do it in real time gameplay. Which means you are simply getting a stereo signal that might have been encoded to take advantage of DPLIIx. The PS2 can do DTS in real time, but only a handful of games support it.


What is PCM? http://www.teamcombooks.com/mp3handbook/12.htm

PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) is a common method of storing and transmitting uncompressed digital audio. Since it is a generic format, it can be read by most audio applications—similar to the way a plain text file can be read by any word-processing program. PCM is used by Audio CDs and digital audio tapes (DATs). PCM is also a very common format for AIFF and WAV files.


PCM is a straight representation of the binary digits (1s and 0s) of sample values. When PCM audio is transmitted, each “1†is represented by a positive voltage pulse and each “0†is represented by the absence of a pulse. Figure 26 shows how binary data is converted to a PCM signal.
 

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From your description, those lights on the front panel seem to be describing incoming channels, not the speakers being used.


In your PS2 example, the Yamaha receiver gets 2-channel sound and applies surround processing (PLII) to play it back over all 5 speakers.


With your DirecTV receiver, the Yamaha receives a 5.1-channel signal. There is no need to apply surround processing; just send each channel to its respective speaker.


PCM is a digital audio format. So is Dolby Digitial, DTS, MP3, etc. (Think about how digital pictures can be stored/transmitted in various formats such as JPEG, GIF, etc.) All those digital audio formats can have varying number of channels: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1.


Best,

Sanjay
 
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