Confussed (Dolby Digital/Dolby 5.1)?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Craig_K, Sep 8, 2001.

  1. Craig_K

    Craig_K Auditioning

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    Are they the same? Reason im askin is, I have a Pioneer VSX-D509S receiver w/5.1 inputs. Also have a Philips DVD-950 w/5.1 outputs. Now, when playing a 5.1 dvd, what gives the best results, listening in Dolby Digital or 5.1? Or does DD put out the 5.1 signal and I wasted money on buying (expensive) cables to connect the 5.1 outs on the dvd to the 5.1 ins on the receiver?
    I am new to this stuff. I did "search", but my question is still unanswered.
    Thanks for any help.....Take Care All
    Craig
     
  2. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Craig, welcome to the forum!
    DD and DD 5.1 are one and the same. The thing to remember is DD can mean anything on dvd, it can mean 2.0, 5.0, 5.1, 4.0, it can even mean mono. So just because a dvd says DD on it, doesn't nessasarily mean that it's 5.1, but just about all of the new releases are in 5.1 and more classic titles are being given new 5.1 soundtracks, like Halloween, and I just bought Phantasm last week and it boasts a new 5.1 track even thoght the movie was originally mono in theaters.
    Also I noticed that you use the words "inputs" and "outputs" in the plural form, is your dvd player and reciever "5.1 Ready", or are you just reffering to the single digital outputs and inputs on your equipment? If you player is just an average everyday player, it should have two options for the digital audio...
    1. Digital coax output (looks like an average rca input) or...
    2. Digital optical output (uses a cable thats delivers the audio to your reciever through a beam of light)
    In case your wondering, it's an open debate whether one is better than the other, but I thnk most people agree that you can't go wrong using either one, I use digital coaxial myself.
    ------------------
    "How can I heal, when I can't feel time?"
    Leonard from Memento
    [Edited last by John Williamson on September 08, 2001 at 09:04 AM]
     
  3. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Dolby 5.1 is a subset of Dolby Digital. Dolby Digital can have anywhere from 1 to 6(5.1) channels.
    The simplest way for you to connect your DVD player to your receiver would be with a one digital optical, or one digital coaxial cable. This one cable can carry all of the 5.1 channels over to the receiver to be processed and amplified.
    Theoretically, the DVD player could have better DACs than the receiver. In that case if your receiver has analog pass through on its 5.1 inputs, it might sound better to allow the DVD player to convert the signals to analog before sending them over to the receiver. The problems with this approach is that you have to buy more cables as you stated, and your receiver can no longer process the signal (bass management, time alignment, DSPs, etc...).
    Unless your DVD player has DVD-Audio or SACD, I would stick change your setup to allow the receiver to process the signal and convert it to analog. You can use one of your new cables to connect to the receiver via the digital coaxial input and to your DVD player via digital coaxial output.
     
  4. Craig_K

    Craig_K Auditioning

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    Thanks much for the replies. Yeah, my receiver and dvd both have the 5.1 inputs and outputs along with the dvd having a optical and coaxial out. I have the dvd player connected the the receiver via the coaxial output and also connected to the receiver using the 5 or 6 cables for DD 5.1.
    So, from what you are saying, i dont need the dvd player connected both ways. I achieve Dolby in all formats just from that 1 coaxial cable and would be able to remove the others and return em to the store.
    Thanks Again....... Craig
     
  5. Dan Hine

    Dan Hine Screenwriter

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    That is exactly right, Craig! Enjoy getting your money back! [​IMG] Plus, here's another "welcome to the forum".
    Dan Hine
     
  6. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    Craig, welcome to the forum. You got it figured out. It's amazing to think one little cable can output all those signals [​IMG]
     
  7. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    You should use whichever decoder is the better one.
    You'll need to listen to them both to decide.
    Unfortunately, being able to make this comparison also depends on the features in your receiver. Some redigitize their multichannel analog inputs, others pass those signals through unchanged to the amplifier. Redigitizing would tend to mask improvements in the player.
    Another problem is that very few receivers provide any bass management or speaker timing alignments when their multichannel analog inputs are used. Depending on your speaker configuration, this couuld cause problems. Some of the newest dvd players include their own audio management controls, which helps a little. It also introduces variables that make it very hard to make direct comparisons. Unfortunately, a slightly louder output tends to sound better.
    As best I can tell from the online specs, however, the Phillips DVD-750 doesn't indlude a DTS decoder but the Pioneer receiver does. If you want to play any DTS DVDs or CDs, you'd need to use digital for that anyhow.
    [Edited last by Selden Ball on September 09, 2001 at 10:41 AM]
     

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