5.1 through 7.1 speaker set up.

greggor

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Greg
I just completed my HT room and ended up installing a 7.1 system. All of my other theaters have been 5.1. I'm noticing that 5.1 sources are not giving me any sound from my rear speakers and I was thinking that my receiver (pioneer SC67) would automatically play 5.1 sound in 7.1 since the side and back surround terminals are being used on the receiver. What am I missing here? I can get sound out of my rears by switching to Dolby surround EX but my understanding is that all that does is add a rear center channel which in my case would mean that both rear speakers are mono and not actually producing the surround sound that's coming from my side speakers?

Music in dolby prologic IIx uses all 7 speakers and 7.1 bluray does the same so is this just the way it works for 5.1 content or is there a sound field setting I should be using to use all 7 speakers with 5.1 content? Help would be appreciated.

Greg
 

Jason Charlton

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If you want to listen to movies as they are mixed, then movies with 5.1 soundtrack will use the 5.1 speakers and movies with 7.1 soundtracks will use the 7.1 speakers. That's the way the movies were mixed, and that's how they are played back.

If you want "sound coming from all the speakers" then you can choose a surround processing mode that can extrapolate the additional channels from the original soundtrack. DPL is a form of audio processing that is applied to audio to extrapolate additional audio channels that aren't natively encoded in the bitstream.

Some people prefer using audio processing to create the additional rear surround channels, others prefer to stick to the original channel configuration.

You can't avoid the fact that if your source is 5.1 any sound that you manage to get to come out of the rear surround speakers is not native to the soundtrack, and is not discrete to those audio channels.
 

greggor

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Greg
If you want to listen to movies as they are mixed, then movies with 5.1 soundtrack will use the 5.1 speakers and movies with 7.1 soundtracks will use the 7.1 speakers. That's the way the movies were mixed, and that's how they are played back.

If you want "sound coming from all the speakers" then you can choose a surround processing mode that can extrapolate the additional channels from the original soundtrack. DPL is a form of audio processing that is applied to audio to extrapolate additional audio channels that aren't natively encoded in the bitstream.

Some people prefer using audio processing to create the additional rear surround channels, others prefer to stick to the original channel configuration.

You can't avoid the fact that if your source is 5.1 any sound that you manage to get to come out of the rear surround speakers is not native to the soundtrack, and is not discrete to those audio channels.
Understand that native 5.1 will always be 5.1 even if sound is coming from all speakers. I guess I figured my receiver would automatically "up-convert" if you will everything to play in all 7 speakers. I'll continue to use one of the receivers sound fields to utilize all seven speakers when listening to 5.1 content. I guess I misunderstood how my receiver would interpret the 5.1 sound tracks with 7 speakers connected.

Out of curiosity how are others here dealing with 5.1 movies with 7.1 set ups? Will 6.1 movies use the back speakers as a rear center channel automatically? how will my receiver interpret 6.1 with out manipulating the sound fields??
 

Jason Charlton

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Understand that native 5.1 will always be 5.1 even if sound is coming from all speakers.
Perhaps it's more a matter of semantics, but I don't consider it "native" unless only the intended speakers and discrete audio channels are being used.

Configuring your setup to "force" sound to come from all speakers, IMO compromises the integrity of the original sound mix and is a less than ideal solution - but of course, that's just me.

I prefer to always listen to movie soundtracks in their native format - with no additional signal processing.

I have a 7.1 speaker configuration. 5.1 movies play back as 5.1 - the rear surround speakers are inactive. 7.1 movies play back as 7.1. I don't have any 6.1 movies, but the accepted compromise is to have the mono center surround channel split between the left and right back surround speakers (here, we venture into shades of grey - some would consider splitting a mono signal into left/right much less objectionable than using processing to extrapolate discrete left and right back surrounds from the surround channels of 5.1).

Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of preference - we're all purists to varying degrees. I've known folks who didn't want to bother running speaker wire to the back of the room, so they just put their surround speakers up front with their mains - five speakers across the front!!! They were happy, so no harm done (other than to my tongue, which was bitten severely that night...).
 

greggor

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You know if they would just make every Blu Ray 7.1 life would be perfect.:) I also hate to tamper with decoding formats in to something they're not but when you're sitting in the back seats and there's no sound coming from the rear speakers you really do lose a considerable amount of the surround sound effect. The only thing I can think of to resolve this with out additional processing from my receiver would be to switch the speaker terminals of the back and side speakers. Then the sound would at least be coming out of the rear speakers vice the side speakers during 5.1 sound tracks. Maybe I'll try this for fun.
 

DFurr

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I'm a purest. 5.1 should be presented in a 5.1 format even if you have a 7.1 system installed. Same thing for aspect ratios. No cropping in my HT. 2:35:1, 1:85:1, 1:33:1....all constant height.
The only thing that is upscaled in my screening room is the OPPO making a DVD look more like a BD.
I realize this is not a popular opinion.
 
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greggor

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I'm with you on cropping and changing aspect ratios. I watch all films in their intended viewing formats. That's what the 110" screen is for.

This is the first theater room I've been able to do which is large enough to properly accommodate a 7.1 surround system. 5.1 would have worked of course, but 7.1 really fills the room and after watching and hearing The Force Awakens in all its 7.1 surround sound glory I'm sold. All my 5.1 DVD's sound like something is missing now in comparison. I almost built an Atmos system but opted for the 7.1 instead. I wonder how 5.1 would have sounded on an Atmos set-up.....
 

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