Many DVD's come with a 2.0 and a 5.1. You will have to switch the audio track before starting the movie to take advantage of the 5.1. If you DVD remote supports it you can also cycle through audio tracks while playing.
Now don't get 5.1 confused with dolby surround. Dolby surround is a 2.0(1?) downmix that can be decoded with a sourround matrix ( not as good though ).
I would agree that it is inaccurate to print 5.1 on the DVD packaging and then only deliver 2.0 sound.
I believe that even more commonly the packaging will state that the sound is Dolby Digital and then provide 2.0 or mono sound. This is technically accurate because the Dolby Digital specification allows for a variable number of channels, but it is still somewhat misleading because most people expect 5.1 when a DVD is advertised as Dolby Digital.
If I remember right all DVDs are required to encode a Dolby Digital track, it's just that there is no requirement to make it 5.1 channels. So advertising Dolby Digital sound on the DVD cover while providing less than 5.1 channels is marketing double talk. It would be kind of like pointing out that the DVD is MPEG encoded.
I know of no lists which are specific to pointing out DVD labelling errors, although if you look at a variety of reviews on any given DVD one of them will often mention errors in the package listings.
My usual expectation is that older movies which were released as mono or stereo or Dolby Surround will not necessarily contain a full 5.1 soundtrack. Many of them do have 5.1 remixes, though, and that can be a nice bonus. I'm not aware of any DVDs in which an original DD or DTS or SDDS movie soundtrack has been downgraded to less than 5.1 channels.
Originally posted by K_Thompson Can you give us an example of a DVD or two that actually has this error on the packaging? I've never seen this before and I would be interested to know.
Ricochet is one such mis-represented DVD! In fact this DVD has got to be the WORST produced DVD I have ever witnessed! It say it is DD 5.1 when in fact it is mere DD 2.0. It has incorrect flags that indicate it is non-Anamorphic, sub-titles are on by default etc...
A forum community dedicated to home theater owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about home audio/video, TVs, projectors, screens, receivers, speakers, projects, DIY’s, product reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!