5.1 or not??

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by AndrewH, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. AndrewH

    AndrewH Auditioning

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    I've been confused lately by the sound processing coming from my digital cable and was wondering if anyone else has experienced this.

    Occasionally, I'll turn on a show and the guide will say 5.1, but my reciever (pioneer elite 26tx) will read it just as left right, other programs it will read all 5 channels.

    Is this an issue with the cable company or mistakes in advetising the shows broadcast or is it a problem with my reciever?

    Also, to anyone that may own this reciever is there a way to set it to 5.1 for sources that are not.?

    I normally have it set to standard. thanks
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    It sounds like you're decoding 2 different types of Dolby Digital signals, DD2.0 and DD5.1. I'm guessing the guide lists all programs encoded with Dolby Digital as 5.1 regardless of whether they're 5.1 or 2.0. This is the cable company's fault.

    As for listening to 2.0 sources in 5.1 you may or may not be able to. If your receiver has the ability to overlay Pro Logic over DD2.0 then you should be able to tell it to do so. It may not be able to however, but that would be somewhat strange. Someone more familiar w/ the Elite 26TX should be able to tell you more about its particular features and abilities.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    No, I don't think you can use PL to process DD2.0, because it is seen as a DD stream which most stereo DSPs cannot be applied to. A standard stereo broadcast or a Dolby Surround (which is NOT the same as DD) broadcast will be handled fine by PL/II/IIx.

    Your cable box sounds like it is setup correctly, so it may be the broadcasts or cable company that are not sending the correct stream.
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    There is nothing about a DD 2.0 stream that prevents ProLogic decoding. Indeed, DPLII was specifically designed to accommodate all 2.0 soundtracks, regardless of format. If a particular model of receiver doesn't allow it, that's a limitation of the receiver, not the DSP.

    M.
     
  5. AndrewH

    AndrewH Auditioning

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    Thanks for the responses so far. I'd really like to hear from someone who watches cable HD or has an older pioneer elite reciver (i have 24tx).

    What's really bothering me is not knowing whether or not my reciever is processing correctly.

    When I watch DVDs -- all 5 channels are lit on my reciever (fronts, center, surrounds)

    When I watch regular cable -- no channels are lit

    When I watch cable HD -- normally only the two front speakers are lit (not even the center)
    other times the two fronts are lit and a one "center surround" channel
    still other time all 5 channels come in

    any thoughts?
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I recently watched a DVD that was DD2.0 and no DSPs could be applied to it. It bugged me, so I had to find out why, and this was the only thing different about this disc that I could tell might be the cause. When I tried to select NEO:6 or DPLII, which I normally do with a stereo DVD, I got the same display from the receiver as if I was viewing a DD5.1 movie. if I had not recently experienced this, I wouldn't even have mentioned it.

    I don't think it's my receiver (Marantz 8300), because I had not experienced this on any other movie.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    A question. How is your HD cable box connected to your receiver?

    M.
     
  8. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I'm on directv rather than cable, have been getting HD for over 3 years. DirecTv also has some non-HD stuff in 5.1.

    The guide is not reliable as far as whether the audio will actually be 5.1.

    If your receiver never makes a mistake when getting a 5.1 bitstream on dvd, it won't make a mistake on a 5.1 bitstream off your cable box. If you don't get a 5.1 indication on your reciever it's because it's not getting one from the cable box.

    The guide data is wrong on your cable box, plain and simple, and there's nothing wrong with your receiver. As to whose fault this is it could be anyone from the source of the guide data used by the cable company to the cable company itself, but it's not the fault of your equipment.
     

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