Help with Blu-ray player, Forrest Gump on BR, and 5.1 DD reciever.

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Clint_G, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Clint_G

    Clint_G Agent

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    Hello, I just got a Panasonic Blu-ray player and so far everything is fine. However, today, I found Forrest Gump on BR for cheap, so I bought it. Upon trying to play the disc, I am having trouble getting it to output to regular DD 5.1, despite the box saying it supports this format.


    My receiver is kinda old and only supports Dolby Digital 5.1. With default settings, I get NO sound. The audio options allow DD 5.1 but in other languages, which seems completely ridiculous. I tinkered with a few settings on the player and can get it to output to Dolby Pro Logic.


    I have the Blu-ray player connected via HDMI to my Plasma TV, and then via optical to my receiver. The receiver does not have HDMI inputs.


    As I said, I tinkered with some settings on the player but a lot of it was trial and error as I do not yet understand the different settings. I would really like to hear this in DD 5.1 as an improvement in picture quality yet a decrease in sound quality is simply not acceptable to me.


    Am I stuck with DDPL or are there some settings I can mess with? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The English audio track on the Forrest Gump Blu-ray is DTS-HD Master Audio. Some Blu-ray players have the ability, with the right settings, to convert this to DD 5.1. I don't know whether yours is one of them.


    Generally, though, the "legacy" output for DTS-HD MA is basic DTS. If your receiver can only handle DD, you're going to run into this situation a lot, because DTS-HD MA is becoming the preferred sound format on Blu-ray.
     
  3. Clint_G

    Clint_G Agent

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    Thank you for the reply. I am still researching the issue but haven't resolved it yet.


    My player is a Panasonic DMP-BD65. Here are some settings that can be adjusted as well as the options that can be set; I just am not sure of what and how much to adjust.


    Dynamic Range Compression: On/Off/Auto
    Digital Audio Output:

    Dolby D,Dolby D+,Dolby True HD: PCM/Bitstream

    DTS, DTS-HD: PCM/Bitstream

    BD-Video Secondary Audio: On/Off


    PCM Down Conversion: On/Off
    Downmix: Stereo/Surround Encoded
    7.1 Audio Reformatting: Auto/Off
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    After a quick glance at the BD-65 manual online, I don't think it has the conversion capability. I have a Panasonic BD-50, and it has many more settings for its digital audio output. I discovered the conversion of DTS-HD MA to DD 5.1 purely as an accidental side effect of setting my player to access some special features that I was watching for a Blu-ray review.


    In any case, the best that could be achieved would be a workaround for the limitations of your receiver. The main reason why DTS-HD MA has become so popular on Blu-ray is because the format is designed to be backward compatible with older DTS decoders. It has a standard DTS "core" that the player automatically extracts and send to the digital output (optical or coax), while the full Master Audio signal can be routed only over HDMI. Therefore, older decoders still deliver the disc's original audio, but they do so in a "lossy" format.


    Any conversion reduces quality. Although the results may still sound quite good, conversion is the least preferable alternative.
     
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    After reading page 32 in the manual for that player I'd agree with Michael--the player can't convert DTS-MA to DD 5.1, and since your receiver apparently doesn't decode core DTS you're limited to 2 channel PCM when playing discs with DTS-MA soundtracks-hence the "pro logic" indication on your receiver.


    The good news is that HDMI recievers capable of decoding DTS-MA and Dolby Tru-HD are getting cheaper.
     
  6. Clint_G

    Clint_G Agent

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    Ah, that's disappointing news as my financial situation won't allow me any purchases on new receivers for a long time probably. So I suppose I need to read reviews more thoroughly so I can avoid this problem in the future, but it seems -- as mentioned above -- that this audio format is becoming more and more common.


    Anyway, thanks a lot for the very informative posts. They were a big help to me!


    One more question. My TV is a Panasonic TH-42PX75U. It has two HDMI inputs of which one is occupied by the BR player. It also has an optical out. I took the optical cable out of the BR player and plugged it into the TV (which goes to the receiver still) but still got the DDPL indicator on my receiver. I don't suppose my TV has any way to convert the signal? I seriously doubt it but thought I would ask.


    Again, I greatly appreciate the replies!
     
  7. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    To specifically answer your question regarding the optimal setting with your current equipment:



    Dynamic Range Compression: Off
    Digital Audio Output:

    Dolby D,Dolby D+,Dolby True HD: Bitstream

    DTS, DTS-HD: PCM

    BD-Video Secondary Audio: On


    PCM Down Conversion: On
    Downmix: Surround Encoded
    7.1 Audio Reformatting: Off



    With those settings you'll get the benefit of split surrounds and LFE with Dolby Digital and/or Dolby True HD encodes. DTS-HD MA will be automatically converted to surround encoded PCM. If your receiver provides Pro-Logic II conversion you'll still have split surrounds available.
     
  8. Clint_G

    Clint_G Agent

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    Thank you, Joesph!


    Unfortunately it appears that I still get Dolby Pro Logic according to my receiver, which is a Yamaha R-V1103. I don't believe it is capable of DPL II and, unless I am misunderstanding things, I don't get split signals in the rear surrounds.


    But at least I do get sound period.


    I suppose I could play the regular DVD in my other player with audio and try to sync up the A/V while it plays video through the Blu-ray player if I really wanted to go to extremes, lol.
     
  9. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Clint,


    Yeah ... I just checked and that receiver doesn't provide DPL II.

    Ya' know, if I were you I'd try to pick up the Yamaha RX-V365 which was just recently discontinued. It has the exact same wattage specs as your current Yamaha so you could just plug it right in. It provides DD 5.1, DTS, and DPL II decoding ... and you should be able to acquire it for just a little over $200. With the DTS decoding you'll get the benefit of the "core" portion of the DTS-HD MA soundtracks. There are *lots* of caveats with this receiver starting with the fact that the provided HDMI inputs are "passive" (don't handle the audio portion of the signal); but that won't bother you with your current setup.


    Other than that, I would start saving up for a true 7.1 receiver with onboard DTS-HD MA processing.
     
  10. hugejames

    hugejames Auditioning

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  11. Clint_G

    Clint_G Agent

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    Again, thanks for the help. Just one more question, and it may have already been answered.


    Is Dolby TrueHD 5.1 backwards compatible, i.e. will it play on my receiver?
     
  12. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    If he were going to get a new receiver, which he says he can't afford righrt now, it makes no sense not to upgrade to DTS-MA and DD TrueHD. A smart shopper can find full HD receivers for little more than $200


    Yes, it is backwards compatible. All blu-ray discs that have DD TrueHD also carry a companion lossy DD track though it may not be selectable in the menu, it is still what will come though the optical digital output when the TrueHD track is selected.
     
  13. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Mark,

    I agree with you ... but the thing is the Yamaha R-V1103 receiver which Clint currently owns probably set him back around $500-$700 in the day. He probably owns speakers perfectly matched to it as well. The recently discontinued Yamaha RX-V365 is practically the same receiver (even with the same wattage specs and DSP Cinema modes) ... but with DTS and DPL II decoding ability added. So all he has to do is unplug his old receiver and plug the new one in. Heck ... He probably wouldn't even have to re-program his remote! And I've seen it on sale for as low as $170 in the past two weeks.

    It should also be noted that the compatible Dolby Digital track which Blu-ray provides over optical for Dolby True HD typically consists of a much higher bit rate than what would be provided on the DD 5.1 track on the DVD iteration of the movie. And the same could be stated regarding the core DTS portion of the DTS-HD MA tracks. So Clint would be able to derive noticeably better audio from his new Blu-ray discs with this relatively minimal cost and hassle-free receiver upgrade.


    But I also agree with you that he would be much better off in the long run to just go ahead and purchase a new 7.1 active HDMI input receiver with on-board DTS-HD MA processing. But I really believe he'll need to plunk down around $450 in order to obtain one which will match the overall sonic quality of his current receiver.
     
  14. Clint_G

    Clint_G Agent

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    Hello. I just went ahead and bought a Yamaha RX-V665BL that supports all formats. Found it for $270 w/

    free shipping from Amazon.

     

    Now I am curious what to set my Blu-ray player's audio settings back to.

     

    I messed around with the settings and thought this sounded good:

     

    Dolby D,Dolby D+,Dolby True HD: Bitstream

    DTS, DTS-HD: Bitstream

    BD-Video Secondary Audio: Off

     

    But what about the following settings?

    PCM Down Conversion:
    Downmix:
    7.1 Audio Reformatting:

     

    I am still learning and have been doing some research, but I am not quite as knowledgeable as I'd like to be. I got some great help here so I look forward to more helpful responses. Also, if there are any resources on the web that would help me, I would appreciate some pointing in the right direction.


    Thanks again!
     
  15. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Clint:

     

    The main thing you should know about that particular Yamaha is that a firmware update was released for it which allows it to reassign audio inputs. If you already have that ability then you have the latest firmware.

     

    With your current setup you have chosen the correct configuration settings for the audio. Be aware, however, that you'll need to run HDMI to the receiver in order to get the full benefit of DTS-HD MA.

     
     
  16. Clint_G

    Clint_G Agent

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    Hello Joseph. My receiver came with updates installed luckily, and I have everything connected via HDMI and it all looks and sounds great!

     

    I was curious about the secondary audio because someone said menu sounds were contained in that and I didn't know if it needed to be enabled or not.

     

    Thanks again for your help!
     

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