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PCM-Bitstream??

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by CoreyAC, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. CoreyAC

    CoreyAC Well-Known Member

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    I switched DVD players last night and went into use my avia disk and when i was testing the surrounds it would play sound from both L and R speakers when it played them both? Also in the subwoofer check where it counts down in MHz's it wouldn't work?

    I ended up going into the dvd options and it says PCM...when i switched it to bitstream then tried it again, it worked...

    What is PCM...What is bitstream?? What's the difference and why did it mess my settings up?

    Anyone know?
     
  2. hodedofome

    hodedofome Well-Known Member

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    On a DVD player PCM only sends 2 channel (left-right) info to your receiver, Bitstream sends 5.1 channels and then is decoded by your receiver to send sound to all speakers. I may have the specifics wrong as to what decodes what, but just remember PCM = 2 channel, Bitstream = 5.1 channel.

    You won't believe how many people think they're listening to surround sound on their new system until I go into the DVD player's settings and change it to Bitstream. I think by default it's set to PCM.

    On the new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players they can send up to 7.1 channels in PCM over the HDMI cable to a receiver, but on normal DVD's it's just 2 channel.
     
  3. WillG

    WillG Well-Known Member

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    I've got a question, I'm using PS3 for Blu-Ray. I set the output for the Optical output for Bitstream (I don't have an HDMI receiver) I set the audio for the BD that I am watching to 5.1 PCM. It does sound like I am getting discrete 5.1 but my Receiver display is only indicating two channels. Is it possible to be getting 5.1 channels on PCM while the display only indicates two?
     
  4. FeisalK

    FeisalK Well-Known Member

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    first of all its not possible to get 5.1 channels PCM from player to receiver without HDMI

    if your display indicates 2-ch PCM then your receiver is applying some processing (probably Dolby PLII) which makes it sound like 5.1 channels (PLII is very good at this)

    in your case its probably best to select DD or DTS in the movie so that you will get encoded 5.1ch audio through the optical connection
     
  5. CoreyAC

    CoreyAC Well-Known Member

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    Okay, sounds good...while i had it with pcm which wasn't showing dolby it was saying "prologic" but when it's playing correctly it will show "dolby digital" when i had it set for bitstream...

    whenever a disc has DTS i set it to that and the receiver will show "DTS" even when it was set at PCM.
     

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