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5.1, 6.1, 7.1 (1 Viewer)

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Oct 28, 2004
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Time for a dumb question.

I'm wanting to make the correct choice. I know what the difference is in regard to number of speakers. But, are movie soundtracks being produced in 6.1 or 7.1? Or are the additional channels being "faked" somehow?

My HT won't be large enough for 7.1. I'm really not even sure I can manage space for the rears needed in 6.1. Can I get a 6.1 reciever and use only a 5.1 speaker set-up? If so, I'd probably be persuaded to go that route, and add the additional speakers sometime down the road.

Thanks for any input. This forum has been a HUGE help to me!

Later
 

Michael Reuben

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Feb 12, 1998
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Michael Reuben

The short answer is "no". But that's not the end of the discussion.

If you haven't already read the HTF Primer and FAQ, you should start there. It will answer a lot of questions. Use the link in my signature.

M.
 

John S

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Nov 4, 2003
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6.1 DTS and Dolby EX is about it right now. One being sort of flags not a true format. DTS 6.1 is 6.1 discreet as far as I know.
 

Jeff Gatie

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Not all. There is a DTS ES matrixed and a DTS ES discrete. But neither of these or DD (THX) EX are "sort of flags". The matrixed DTS and DD have center rear information matrixed into the rear channels in the same way Pro-logic had the front center matrixed in. The information is really there, it is just not as efficient a way to store and/or decode it as discrete. But it most certainly is not just "sort of flags", especially since many of the DD-EX DVD's seem to have the EX flag improperly turned off and yet they play fine through any 6.1 receiver.
 

John S

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Nov 4, 2003
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Well it's true.. But I was speaking of source only.

Your last sentence at least implies froma source perspective, what I posted was essentially true.
 

Jeff Gatie

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I thought you meant that creating a 6.1 audio mix simply required turning on a flag. This is not true. The rear channel for DD-EX and DTS EX-Matrixed have to be literally mixed into the rear surrounds. That is, they definitely are recorded streams and the process to encode them into the surrounds is required and does not consist of just turning on a flag. My last sentence just says that a DD-EX encoded title will play the rear center simply because the information is encoded, regardless if the flag is set to on or not.
 

John S

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Hmm, as I said, I was just posting from a source perspective. It seemed he was interested from a source perspective from the initial post was all.

I should have been more clear, agree'd.
 

ChrisWiggles

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
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Chris: to summarize what's going on, do seek the FAQ too, but here's what is out there on DVD right now:

Dolby Digital 5.1: 5.1 discrete channels
A variant, which is DD EX. This has 5.1 discrete channels, but within the two surround channels is a matrixed 6th channel, which is something like the way a Pro-Logic center was matrixed into 2-channel stuff back in the day. When speaking of flags, the idea is that discs mixed in EX, and intended to be processed from 5.1 into 6.1, the flag will tell your receiver to go into 6.1 if it is capable, the speakers are there and set up, etc. Sometimes the flag is missing, so you can engage EX processing manually.

There is an identical variant to DTS, which is DTS ES-matrix.

In either ES matrix, or EX, you can apply this processing manually to ANY 5.1 title, even those not labeled EX/ES, and usually get good results.

The last thing is DTS-ES discrete, which is on a small number of titles, which also contains a 6th channel rider that is discrete (not matrixed into the regular two surrounds). Note that this is also backward compatible with 5.1 systems, or systems that can do ES-matrix but not ES-discrete, because the 6th channel is also duplicated in a matrixed format, that is then stripped by the ES-discrete processing when the 6th channel rider is utilized.

And to answer your other question, 6.1/7.1 receivers are fine in 5.1, just make sure you turn ON the speakers that you DO have,and make sure the other channels are set to off, since no speakers are present, and leave things in 5.1.
 

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