5.1 Audio on Blu-rays doesn't *feel* like 5.1 ..


Stunt Coordinator
Jun 13, 2008
Real Name
Ahmad Najeeb
Hi guys ... I have this is the correct place for positing this issue .. If not, please feel free to move it ..
I have a 5.1 Home Theater system which I use with my HDTV and PS3 to play blu-rays ... However, the sound I get sounds very much stereo-ish, and doesn't *feel* like its surround .. Except the bass .. the subwoofer does an excellent job with the bass ..
My setup is as follows:
PS3 Sony 46EX720 HDTV Sony DAV-DZ640K Home Theater system ..
On my PS3, the 'audio detect' function detects 5.1, and I also have a Dolby Sound Check video on my PS3 which I use to verify that all 5 speakers and the subwoofer are outputting audio at correct levels .. That is, I check that 5.1 is working, and with this file it seems to be working .. However I then load a blu-ray and play it, and most times it feels like like 75% of the sound is coming from the 'Center' speaker, 15% sound is coming from the left/right speakers, and the remaining 10% is coming from the surround left/right speakers ...
Can I do anything to maybe make the 5.1 feel more real ? ... Or is the 5.1 audio on most blu-rays like this anyway ? .. Maybe someone can recommend a blu-ray to which whose 5.1 feels really like 5.1 ? I have like 240+ blu-rays, so I have a wide variety from which I can test ..
Lastly, the BD Audio Output setting on my PS3 has two options .. Currently its set to 'Linear PCM' by default, but there's also a 'Bitstream' option ? ... I have some idea on whats the difference between them, but would Bitstream improve the results in any way ?

gene c

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 2003
Bay area, Ca
Real Name
From what I can remember, PS3's sometimes work a little different from a regular BluRay player and the way they are each set up. Set the PS3 to bitstream. What might be happening is LPCM is being converted to Stereo somewhere along the line and the Sony is awitching to Dolby ProLogic which is a simulated surround sound format and not the real thing.
Also, many htib's don't accept a 5.1 input source and your Sony might change it to stereo anyway (adding ProLogic again). Does a dvd in the Sony's built-in player sound a lot better.
Sorry to say this and don't be offended but that Sony system is a bit outdated and can't really take advantage of all a Bluray player can offer. With an HD display, a 240 disc BluRay collection and a PS3 (excellent BR player) you need a sound system and speakers that are up to the task. Start saving your nickels and dimes (or whatever currency you use :) ).
Your level of enjoyment will go through the roof with a proper sound system.

Dave Upton

May 16, 2012
Houston, TX
Real Name
Dave Upton
What does your receiver show it's decoding when playing back a movie? Does it show Dolby or DTS, or is it defaulting to a processing more like ProLogic or DTS: Neo X?
Kevin is dead on when he recommends setting levels - some folks will actually run their surrounds a couple of dB hot in order to improve the "surround" sensation - personally I have found that I only have to do that on really poorly mixed films.

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