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Say I burn a DVD with a 5.1 audio track, and play it in a DVD player which is connected to the TV via composite A/V cables (or even HDMI, I'm assuming the cable type matters less than the capabilities of the display/audio device). Will the player automatically downscale the 5.1 to 2.1? Or will it simply cut out the surround channels, causing a loss of sound data? Does the DVD player detect the capabilities of the audio playback device and adjust output accordingly?


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if you connect the player via HDMI to the TV the TV will convert the signal to 2 channel stereo.


if you connect via analog audio cable such as the red/white stereo cables then the audio has already been converted in the player.


No you wont lose any content but the 5.1 is converted to 2.0 (not 2.1). 2.1 means there is a dedicated subwoofer channel and stereo cables don't provide that.


Of course TV speakers will not sound anywhere near as good as having a receiver and standalone speakers.
 
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