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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thank goodness I found this place. :)


Hello all,


I am new to Home Theater so please pardon the newb questions. I have searched the www and found many definitions for the terms I have questions about; however I am unable to deliniate, from these definitions, the answers to the questions I have.


I have just recenty purchased a Yamaha HTR-5650 AV Receiver. Connected to that I have a DVD player and a Satellite HD Receiver connected via Optical cables and a FL, FR, C, RL, RR, and Subwoofer speakers.


Here is where I get confused:


The receiver has many different decoder options. They are Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS, DTS ES, DTS Neo:6, and it also has something called Cinema DSP which I believe recreates sound environments such as Movie Theaters. I am confused on which decoder to select when watching movies. I believe, from reading the manual, that if I choose one of the pre-programmed Cinema DSP programs that the receiver will automatically choose the proper decoder based on the input signal. Does that sound right ? What about when I do not want to use one of the Cinema DSP programs? For instance, I have a DVD and on the back of the case it has the Dolby Digital Logo and it says 5.1 Dolby Surround. Assumming I do not use one of the DSP programs which decoder do I choose to most accurately reproduce the 5.1 channels ? I would assume DTS is out of the question for this particular DVD since it does not mention DTS on the back of the case. For the life of me I cannot figure this out.


Any and all information is greatly appreciated,


Duke
 

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If you have a DVD with 5.1 DTS or DD, then you want to use that. IF there is an "auto" function, it should handle this properly.


For other stereo sources, or older DVDs that may only be in 2.0, then you should apply a matrix processing format such as PLII, Neo6, etc. You can play around with the DSP modes if you want, but I would not recommend them.
 

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The audio standard for the DVD format is Dolby Digital, but Dolby Digital comes in many different flavors... Like stereo, stereo + matrix surround, surround 5.1 and surround 6.1. However the AVR should auto-detect the proper decoder automatically.. Just be sure to select the desired format from the audio setup menu usually found on each DVD disk...

Also some DVDs include a DTS audio track (along with the Dolby) usually 5.1 surrround, suggest you compare DTS and Dolby, DTS has the capability of higher sonic performance..
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by M Code


Also some DVDs include a DTS audio track (along with the Dolby) usually 5.1 surrround, suggest you compare DTS and Dolby, DTS has the capability of higher sonic performance..
Actually, DTS has no inherent capability for higher sonic performance. its theoretical higher bitrate is more than offset by its less efficient compression algortihm, and in reality DTS tracks these days are only being produced at lower bitrates anyway to leave room for disk extras. The only differences you're going to hear in comparing DTS tracks to DD is when different masters were used for each, which may very well lead you to prefer one over the other so there's no harm in comparing them. But it would be a mistake to assume the differences are due to inherent superiority of the DTS codec, or to automatically assume that the DTS track will sound better.


Cheers,

Philip Brandes
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the information so far.


So if I am watching a DVD that says Dolby Digital 5.1 on the back then I should select Dolby Digital on my AVR, correct ?


Slightly off-track here, but what about a Pay Per View Movie or some other movie on Showtime or HBO. If it's a new release are those usually broadcast in 5.1 as well ?


Thanks again,


Duke
 

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Use what the DVD has, if it has both, listen to both and see what you like, for the matrix modes use what you like the best. Try them all. :)
 

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Hey guys I've got a question for you to ponder. I bought the Heart Live in Seattle DVD and I set it to DTS 5.0 thinking that they meant 5.1. However someone else said that it was 5.0 and did not have a discreet LFE channel for the .1 sub portion. Does this make sense to any of you guys or dolls or am I losing my mind. It also said that it had Dolby Digital 5.0 and DD 2.0. I have never heard of that and I went to the Dolby Digital website and couldn't find mention of it. However, on my Denon when I play 5.1 I get LED lights for left front, center, right front, left surround, right surround and LFE, but when I play the DVD the LFE LED does not light up. I do get bass from my sub woofer. Im totally confused as to what is going on? Anybody have a clue or a good guess. Thanks in advance.
 

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If it says 5.0 or 2.0 there is no LFE track on that disc.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Philip Brandes
Actually, DTS has no inherent capability for higher sonic performance. its theoretical higher bitrate is more than offset by its less efficient compression algortihm, and in reality DTS tracks these days are only being produced at lower bitrates anyway to leave room for disk extras. The only differences you're going to hear in comparing DTS tracks to DD is when different masters were used for each, which may very well lead you to prefer one over the other so there's no harm in comparing them. But it would be a mistake to assume the differences are due to inherent superiority of the DTS codec, or to automatically assume that the DTS track will sound better.


Cheers,

Philip Brandes
Thanks for the comments but..

Keep in mind that the studios have their own DTS encoders, so what releases are DTS encoded and how they are mixed is up to the studio/mixing masters not DTS. I don't really want to use this bandwidth to debate which is better, but if you have listened to certain DVDs like Dance with Wolves, Gladiator or Pirates of the Carribean DTS is very impressive. And if the audio is encoded in DTS 6.1 ES Discrete, then DTS 6.1 Discrete has far great separation for the back surround channel than Ex can deliver.


If you have a copy of the DTS DVD #8 that was being given out @ WCES you will find some very impressive material. Additionaly you wil find some interesting comparisons between Dolby and DTS on the respective websites....
 

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ChrisWiggles, I know it may not be a big deal to you but I would like to understand first why would they do it in DD 5.0 or DTS 5.0 instead of 5.1. Are you saying it doesn't make a difference? Then why have 5.1? I'm still confused because I've never seen it before and no one I know can explain it sufficiently and Dolby Digital doesn't even mention it on their website. What's the difference between DD 5.0 and DD 5.1 as far as the sound as I hear it? Not as good a bass?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by plasmamaniac
I know it may not be a big deal to you but I would like to understand first why would they do it in DD 5.0 or DTS 5.0 instead of 5.1. Are you saying it doesn't make a difference? Then why have 5.1? I'm still confused because I've never seen it before and no one I know can explain it sufficiently and Dolby Digital doesn't even mention it on their website. What's the difference between DD 5.0 and DD 5.1 as far as the sound as I hear it? Not as good a bass?
There are a couple of DVDs with only a DD 5.0 configuration, simply means that there is no LFE channel from the original master mix. However if the DVD is DD 5.0 and the AVR is set up with SMALL speakers then its Sub Out will only have the redirected bass from the 5.0 channels. If the speakers are LARGE then there will NO output from the AVR's Sub Out.
 

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M-code's explanation is good.


Again, DTS and DD can provide up to 5.1 channels of compressed audio. But as you will see, many older movies aren't in 5.1 obviously, they may be in mono, or stereo, or any combination of 5.1 channels. the .1 is an LFE channel, but bass can still be contained in all the other channels. What gets sent to your subwoofer depends on how your processor is set up for bass management, along with what bass information is where in the mix, such as the existence of the LFE channel.


The purpose of the LFE channel is to provide the option of VERY loud bass. The key is very loud. The main channels can all contain substantial amounts of bass. AS for why this disc uses 5 channels and no LFE is just the preference of the mixing engineers. As to how it will sound to you is a hard question to answer since we don't know what your setup is like. If it is done correctly, however, regardless of how the mix was done, it should sound as it was intended on a well-setup and competent system.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by M Code
Thanks for the comments but..

Keep in mind that the studios have their own DTS encoders, so what releases are DTS encoded and how they are mixed is up to the studio/mixing masters not DTS.
Thanks for that, but it's irrelevant to my comments as I never said that DTS did the actual encoding, only that different masters were used, which is 100% true. That is the reason for the differences you hear, not any inherent superiority in the DTS codec.

Quote:
I don't really want to use this bandwidth to debate which is better, but if you have listened to certain DVDs like Dance with Wolves, Gladiator or Pirates of the Carribean DTS is very impressive.
The reason they're "impressive" is because they used different masters with boosted LF and surround content. If Dolby Digital versions were made from the same masters they would be impressive too--indistinguishable, in fact, as controlled listening comparisons have demonstrated time and time again.

Quote:
And if the audio is encoded in DTS 6.1 ES Discrete, then DTS 6.1 Discrete has far great separation for the back surround channel than Ex can deliver.
Hardly "far greater". The most the discrete channel can do is duplicate the content that's matrixed into the surround channels (part of the spec) so the leakage issues are still there, and since the rear channel is being reproduced through two rear speakers (also in the spec) you loose the pinpoint imaging advantage that discrete offers over matrixed.

Quote:
If you have a copy of the DTS DVD #8 that was being given out @ WCES you will find some very impressive material. Additionaly you wil find some interesting comparisons between Dolby and DTS on the respective websites....
Thanks, I do have a copy of DTS DVD #8, and the material is impressive, but it would be just as impressive in Dolby Digital becaue IT ISN'T THE CODEC YOU'RE LISTENING TO.


Cheers,

Philip Brandes
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by plasmamaniac
M Code, thanks for the info. I have my speakers set to small so I guess there is no difference between 5.0 and 5.1 if you have your speakers set to SMALL.
You're confusing the delivery format with the number of channels used in that format. Whether a disk is 5.0 or 5.1 is a decision that's made by the recording engineer. Either way, you don't have separate "DTS 5.0" and "DTS 5.1" decoding modes on your receiver--you just have a DTS mode (it may have an ES option, which you should only use on ES-encoded material).


Cheers,

Philip Brandes
 

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Thanks Philip but I still don't understand the resulting difference to me in my listening ability. My Denon can decode DD or DTS but what is the difference to me in sound quality between DD 5.0 and 5.1 when the speakers are set to small. Why would most encode with 5.1 and some with 5.0?
 

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there really isnt a difference per se during playback. It's the choice of the sound engineer of what he wants to utilize to get his sountrack/mix through. I guess he didn't feel the need to utilize the LFE, so he didn't.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Philip Brandes
You're confusing the delivery format with the number of channels used in that format. Whether a disk is 5.0 or 5.1 is a decision that's made by the recording engineer. Either way, you don't have separate "DTS 5.0" and "DTS 5.1" decoding modes on your receiver--you just have a DTS mode (it may have an ES option, which you should only use on ES-encoded material).


Cheers,

Philip Brandes
No confusion here..

There are 2 different parts, the first is how is the DVD encoded and the second is how is the AVR/DSP processor is configured for decoding/playback. If there is Low Frequency content available from the master mix then the engineer will assign this to the .1 track.

Regarding the second part, really depends on # and type of speakers, if the speakers have limited low frequency capability like 2-way satellites these are SMALL but this is handled within the DSP/ bass manager module. When speakers are configured to SMALL, the lower frequencies are low passed and are summed with the LFE track, then output to the AVR's Sub Out.


Note the original thread was talking about DD not DTS, but essentially the bass manager guidelines apply to both but are driven mainly by Dolby as the original DTS system had no bass manager recommendations.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by plasmamaniac
Thanks Philip but I still don't understand the resulting difference to me in my listening ability. My Denon can decode DD or DTS but what is the difference to me in sound quality between DD 5.0 and 5.1 when the speakers are set to small. Why would most encode with 5.1 and some with 5.0?
The difference between 5.0 and 5.1 is whether or not the engineer has chosen to place content in the sixth (subwoofer) channel. Typically, this consists of content in the range of 120 Hz and below. There isn't a difference in "sound quality" because the choice of one or the other is based on the content itself. The .1 channel is very useful in action movies for punching low frequency effects like explosions, gunshots, etc. (hence the term LFE channel for the .1 channel). It's not much use in a recording of a string quartet concert. So you don't need to feel cheated if a recording is only 5.0.


In terms of what you will actually hear and from where, the differences are:


In the case of a 5.1 recording, there will always be content coming from your sub. That content will include: (1) the .1 channel in the recording, and (2) the LF content from the other channels crossed over to the sub below your crossover setting.


In the case of a 5.0 recording, if your speakers are set to large, the sub will receive no content; if your speakers are set to small your sub will receive the LF content from the other channels crossed over to the sub below your crossover setting.
 
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