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I've been shopping for 5.1 receivers for my new HT setup and realized that since the receiver is on a shelf behind the viewer, I could add another rear surround speaker or two (near the receiver) without diong any more in-wall wiring than I've lready done for 5.1.


So what do 6.1 and 7.1 receivers do with 5.1 source material? I assume they either mix the two rear surround channels (6.1) or mirror each channel on another speaker (7.1), right?


Other than that, what kind of material is available in 6.1 or 7.1 format? What DVD's? Isn't DAD-A 5.1? Help a newbie out! ;)


Thanks,

Charlie
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cbwood
I've been shopping for 5.1 receivers for my new HT setup and realized that since the receiver is on a shelf behind the viewer, I could add another rear surround speaker or two (near the receiver) without diong any more in-wall wiring than I've lready done for 5.1.


So what do 6.1 and 7.1 receivers do with 5.1 source material? I assume they either mix the two rear surround channels (6.1) or mirror each channel on another speaker (7.1), right?


Other than that, what kind of material is available in 6.1 or 7.1 format? What DVD's? Isn't DAD-A 5.1? Help a newbie out! ;)


Thanks,

Charlie
I'm not quite sure what you're asking, but here goes. If your 7.1 amp has all 7 speakers wired and is set to auto decode the bit stream and a 5.1 source is detected the 2 surround back speakers sit quiet. Some amps have a setting that will force 7.1 out of a 5.1 input. On my system that just muddies the sound, so I don't use it. Did that answer your question?
 

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Depends on the receiver or processor. I'll use my AVM 20 as an example since that's what I'm most familiar with.


On 5.1 sources I have several options. I'm able to play them back in their native 5.1 format, leaving the two rear speakers silent. I can also force 6.1 matrix decoding using THX Surround EX, generating a rear center channel that is identical in both rear speakers. The quality of this effect varies depending on the source; sometimes it causes the rear soundfield to collapse into the center, ruining any sense of ambience. Another option is THX Ultra2 processing, which simulates 7.1 and makes use of all speakers. Basically, this seems to partially mirror the sounds of the left and right surrounds into the respective rear speaker, while also helping to anchor sounds in the center that normally would be a bit "floaty" in plain 5.1. Overall, I like the effect on most soundtracks.


I'm sure many receivers and processors have similar processing modes despite a lack of official THX processing. They'll have their own pet names for their particular processing modes.


As far as the 7.1 "format," keep in mind that there's really no such thing as a native 7.1 soundtrack at the consumer level. 7.1 is a processing method that simulates 7.1 from a 5.1 source. The best thing available to consumers right now is 6.1 via Dolby Digital EX or DTS-ES. Here's a post on HTF that lists current DVD releases that have DD-EX and DTS-ES tracks.
 
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