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Digital Sound Question (1 Viewer)

Shiaw C

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I have both the optical and analog outputs from my DVD player to my reciever. This has been bothering me for awhile, but if something a DVD only has 2.0 Digital sound, is it better to leave it as such or to switch my reciever to Pro-Logic to get surround? What I mean is, if I leave it on Video 1 with the optical connection, I only get digital 2.0. But if I switch to Aux with my analog connection, then I get Dolby Pro Logic Surrond. I guess the heart of my question is: when using my analog connection, does the DVD support dolby pro-logic surrond in analog, with specific forward and rear stage directionality, or is it a trick of my reciever that just equally distributes what's really 2.0 sound into all the speakers?
This is bothering me because I don't like to loss in sound quality I get from optical to analog, but at the same time, I'd rather take poorer quality supported surrond sound than 2.0. Maybe its just my mind playing tricks on me, but I keep thinking I hear rear directionality in Pro-Logic, whereas that obviously isn't happening in 2.0. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Marc Rochkind

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I suppose it could happen, but it would be unusual for a DVD to have only 2.0 on the Dolby Digital track and surround on the analog Pro Logic track. Probably what is on the analog track is simlply stereo, and while the receiver is indeed playing it through more than just two speakers, it isn't surround sound.

I would play the digital track, because persumably that is how the sound engineer intended the movie to be heard. In my opinion, the goal of HT is to reproduce the film as it's creators intended. (But that's just me.)

If you do want to play around with the speakers, you might find that the so-called DSP modes on your receiver will do the trick. These are the modes labled "concert hall," "stadium," etc. My Denon has a 5-channel stereo DSP mode that I like a lot for stereo CDs. I've never used it for DVDs, however.

Hope this helps...
 

Bob McElfresh

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Hi Shiaw. Welcome to HTF! :)
Your Digital connection will handle:
- PCM for audio CD's
- Dolby Pro Logic (2.0) tracks from a DVD
- Dolby Digital tracks from a DVD
- DTS tracks from a DVD
So you should be getting EVERYTHING with that digital connection.
Most DVD's have pro-logic tracks as the default/#1 track. Try disconnecting your front 3 speakers and fireing up a DVD and select the ProLogic track. With your optical connection, you should hear sounds from the rear speakers.
Note: Some receivers have DSP modes like "Hall", "Jazz", "Theater" that will play with the sound and send stuff to the rears that were not originally intended. If you hear sound from one rear speaker and not the other, it could be a DSP doing things.
Hope this helps.
 

Michael Reuben

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but it would be unusual for a DVD to have only 2.0 on the Dolby Digital track and surround on the analog Pro Logic track
There's no such thing as a separate "analog" track with DVD. It's the same 2-channel digital track. The difference is whether it's converted to analog in the player and then sent to the receiver, or whether it's sent directly to the receiver as digital data.
M.
 

Michael Lomker

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I pondered the same question, except it is with digital cable. I can either listen to 2.0 DD out of the main speakers or analog to PLII. I generally opt to listen to the DD. I think your decision will really vary depending upon how good your main speakers are.

My main speakers often fool me into thinking that the center is playing so I don't really miss the matrix surround.
 

KlausWinkler

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I think you need to check your receiver settings, it seems you manually activated DPL processing for all analogue signals on your Aux-input.

Most DVDs indicate whether a DD 2.0 Track is DPL or plain stereo.
 

Michael Reuben

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Most DVDs indicate whether a DD 2.0 Track is DPL or plain stereo.
FWIW, I've found those label markings to be less than reliable. My processor reports the presence of absence of matrix encoding, and I'm startled at how often it reports a different result than what the packaging indicated.
It doesn't really matter. You can apply DPL to any 2-channel recording; the results are just less predictable than if the track is matrix-encoded. And, of course, DPL2 is intended to be applied to all 2-channel sources, regardless of whether they were originally created for surround sound.
M.
 

Ted Lee

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so now i'm slightly confused here. does the digital connection output all sound formats or is it limited? i thought it did all.

michael - it sounds like you are stating that in some cases, it may be the receiver that is incapable of decoding the signal...but it's not the "fault" of the signal coming from the dvd player?
 

Michael Reuben

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The digital connection is good for all "sound formats" that are on a DVD. What the receiver can do with the formats is a different question.
Bear in mind that ProLogic is not a sound format. It's a decoding scheme applied to 2-channel sources that could be stored in a variety of formats: analog, PCM, DD, DTS, etc. (This applies, BTW, to either plain DPL or DPL2.) While it's true that there's a way of encoding 2-channel sources to make them work well with DPL decoding ("matrix encoding" -- the term "Dolby Surround" is now so generic that it could mean anything), the part of the process that routes signals to the left, right, center and rears is still strictly a matter of what the receiver does. And some receivers aren't able to do it with DD 2.0 signals from DVD.
it sounds like you are stating that in some cases, it may be the receiver that is incapable of decoding the signal...but it's not the "fault" of the signal coming from the dvd player?
In this situation the receiver is capable of decoding the signal, because it can play it as 2.0. But it apparently isn't able to apply the additional step of ProLogic processing.
M.
 

Ted Lee

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ahh..thanks michael. i see what you're getting at. using the term "sound format" was a poor choice of words on my part... :D
 

Shiaw C

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My reciever indicates what speakers are being used, and whether Pro Logic is being utilized. Some DVD's will have digital and pro logic lit up, while other's will only have digital and the two stereo speakers. This question came up because I read a review for a DVD that I owned claiming it had pro-logic mix, with music and sound effects being thrown to the rear speakers, but when I ran it on my DVD through optical, it was only using a 2.0 mix. Thanks for all the comments so far; am I to assume the possibility my player is unable to read the pro-logic track digitally from this particular DVD? Or is there something I'm still missing here...
 

Michael Reuben

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am I to assume the possibility my player is unable to read the pro-logic track digitally from this particular DVD? Or is there something I'm still missing here...
Shiaw, repeat after me:
These is NO "pro-logic track". :)
There are only 2.0 tracks that are processed through a receiver's ProLogic circuitry. Now, if your receiver can do that with some tracks, it should be able to do it with others. What happens when you manually select ProLogic decoding on your receiver with a DD 2.0 mix.
BTW, you still haven't identified your receiver. Does it do DD 5.1? What illuminates when you're playing DD 5.1?
M.
 

Jeffrey R

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Shiaw, to amplify on what Michael has been explaining to you, I have the Kenwood VR-509 receiver and Toshiba SD-5700 DVD player. I have the DVD player connected to the receiver using a digital coaxial cable. If I want to play a 2-channel DVD, such as Fast Times at Ridgement High, the set-up is exactly the same as when I would play Saving Private Ryan with 5.1 DTS sound. When the 2-channel DVD is playing, I can cycle through different sound options on my receiver. In other words, I can listen to Fast Times in 2.0 Dolby Digital, stereo, Prologic II, etc., just by cycling through the "Listen Mode" on the receiver.
 

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