7 Channel reciever in 5 channel mode

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Mark Hedges, May 20, 2003.

  1. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    I am going to replace my HTIB reciever and am leaning toward a 7 channel model. Right now though I an running only a 5.1 system. How do 7 channel recievers work in 5.1 mode? Are there any problems? I am most closely considering the Sony DA4ES and the Harman AVR525.

    Mark
     
  2. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

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  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Remember that the standard for HT audio is 5.1. This is true even for so-called "6.1" formats like DTS-ES. All multi-channel soundtracks are mixed and designed for 5.1 playback. So if your question is, "How will a '7.1' receiver operate if it only has 5 speakers?", the answer is that it will act as if the extra two speakers aren't there (assuming you've set it up correctly), and you'll get regular 5.1 sound.

    Now, if your question is, "What will the receiver play through the extra two speakers when I give it a standard 5.1 soundtrack?", the answer is that it depends on the receiver. If the receiver has a proprietary 7-speaker mode like Logic7, it will separate the rear surrounds into rear and side surrounds. If it simply has the matrix processing used for DD EX or DTS-ES Matrix, it will try to extract a center back channel from the right and left rear and send that center back channel to the rear two speakers; the results may or may not be pleasing, depending on the track.

    Does that help?

    M.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    When you tell your receiver you only have 5 speakers, no extraction is done for the rear center(s). It should sound no different than any other 5.1 material. I have a 6.1 receiver, but because I do not have anywhere to put my rear center in my new room, I am running 5.1 and everything works and sounds fine. (but I do miss the more eveloping rear stage [​IMG] )
     
  5. DarrylM

    DarrylM Stunt Coordinator

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    In addition to the processing issues discussed above, running only 5.1 channels in a 7.1-channel receiver should also increase your power/dynamics/headroom. The fewer the number of channels the capacitors and power supply have to drive, the more you will get from each channel.
     

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