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Audio settings for a Comcast box

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Joe Pick, Jun 10, 2006.

  1. Joe Pick

    Joe Pick Well-Known Member

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    I have a non-HD Comcast box (Motorola 700 Series) connected to my Onkyo 703 for TV viewing. I'm confused with what the audio settings should be. There's a light setting for compression, heavy, matrix, and so on. Anyone know what an ideal setup within the audio setup might be?

    Thanks!
     
  2. EarleD

    EarleD Well-Known Member

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    I use the HD box, but audio settings should be the same.

    Turn compression to off.
    Set audio to stereo.
     
  3. Joe Pick

    Joe Pick Well-Known Member

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    Thanks EarleD, but what's the difference between matrix and stereo? I have a 5.1 speaker setup. When I turn compression to "none", why does it sound less "full"? I just want good sound for regular TV watching.

    Here's the options I have under audio setup, if you wouldn't mind pointing me in the right direction.

    Audio output: Options are TV Speakers, Stereo, Advanced
    If I choose advanced (above), two more options appear.
    Compression: Options are None, Light, Heavy
    Stereo Output: Options are Mono, Stereo, Matrix

    What should my settings be?
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt Well-Known Member

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    Hi Joe,

    Use the Advanced setting.

    Compression is a process that “squashes” signal peaks, and boosts weak ones, so that you get everything pretty much at the same volume. Compression should be generally set to “none.” This is because virtually all channels have their own compression built-in. You don’t want or need to compress on top of that. The exception might be watching a premium or PPV channel late at night when others in the house are sleeping– those channels may have movies uncompressed, like DVDs. So you’d be having to run the volume up during quiet scenes, like when characters are whispering, and then run it down when the car chase starts. So in that situation you probably want to move the compression setting to “Heavy.” The rest of the time you’ll want it off, because the dynamics between quiet scenes and explosions is a big part of what makes movie sound so much fun and cool.

    For the audio output, use the basic “Stereo” setting. This will give you surround sound when programming has been mixed and mastered for that. The “Matrix” setting is probably the same as a “Stereo Expand” mode, that makes the soundstage seem wider. It’s not a bad effect if you’re listening to the TV speakers, which are really close together, but if you have a full system where the speakers have a good spread, it usually just sounds weird. Plus it might mess up the Dolby Pro Logic decoding for surround programming.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Joe Pick

    Joe Pick Well-Known Member

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    Wow - thanks for taking the time to post a great reply. Very helpful information!
     
  6. MikeEn

    MikeEn Well-Known Member

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    Joe,

    FYI, concensus is that these options have no effect on digital output, only analog. I just goofed around with these setting on my replacement box (a DCT-6412-III) and, on my receiver connected via optical, zero effect. On my TV via analog, I could hear an effect except for the mono/stereo/matrix choice, but I didn't try too hard.

    So don't sweat it too much if you mostly listen via a digital connection.

    Mike
     
  7. EarleD

    EarleD Well-Known Member

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    What Wayne said
     
  8. Skunk

    Skunk Member

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    Finally! someone explained this! I have the same setup and was wondering if I had things set correctly. Matrix was really bugging me. I have a 5.1 system, but was "afraid" to select stereo, same with compression, I wondered about that also. COOOL!
     

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