Dolby Prologic II or Dolby Digital 5.1

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by daniel socal, Dec 27, 2002.

  1. daniel socal

    daniel socal Auditioning

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    Please forgive a newbie question. My old second hand receiver died last week (A Yamaha Pro Logic), and I replaced it with a Denon 1403. I connected my DVD player via a digital coax cable to the receiver and sure enough, the digital indicator on the receiver lights up.

    So, here is my question...

    When I got the old receiver, it was explained to me that Dolby Pro Logic was an "program" sends a percentage of the audio signal to each of the 5 speakers according to a mathmatical formula. Dolby Digital 5.1, on the other hand, send a discrete signal to each speaker according to how the sound is encoded at the source (i.e. send this sound to the left rear, send this sound to the center, etc.)

    My new receiver supports both Dolby Digital 5.1 and the "new" Dolby Pro Logic II. When I play a DVD, the receiver seems to want to use Pro Logic II. Is Pro Logic II better than 5.1? Is it more advanced? Should I use it, or will my movies sound better by setting it to 5.1?

    I've tried reading the manual and searching the forums for hints, but most explainations assume a certain foundation of knowledge which I obviously don't have.

    I don't know if it matters to the answer, but just in case, my setup is:

    Denon 1403 receiver
    Boston CR2 center
    Boston CR6 (2 front and 2 rear)
    Sony SA-WM40 subwoofer

    Regardless of which I select, it sounds 100% better than it did before. I just want to be sure I'm using my equipment to it's top potential.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    -Dan
     
  2. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Dolby Digital 5.1 is a compressed multichannel audio format that has audio information for 5 discrete channels(left front, right front, center, left rear and right rear) and a low frequency effects(LFE) channel for a subwoofer. The LFE is the .1 in 5.1, since it only takes up about 10% of the audio bandwidth. Dolby Digital 5.1, like DTS(Digital Theater Systems) has to be supported by both source media and hardware component, to be played. It is much like mp3 compression. You need an mp3 file and the decoder.

    DPL2 however, is a formula that tries to intelligently create 5.1 sound from a stereo signal. It works on any kind of source media, and doesn't need to be supported for it to work.

    For DVDs, definitely use Dolby Digital 5.1 whenever possible because its what the director intended for you, the audience, to hear, and will be the most faithful sound reproduction, unless there's an additional DTS track.

    For music however, DPL2 will be the obvious choice.
     
  3. BrentPollard

    BrentPollard Second Unit

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    No DPL II is not better, it is different.You will use Dpl II for older VHS tapes or any other stereo broadcast off of cable tv etc. 5.1 will be sent from your DVD player or satellite dish via a coax or optical cable. My explanation may be a little thin but I think you will get the point.[​IMG]
     
  4. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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  5. Jack_V

    Jack_V Extra

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    I agree, for stereo music sources, stereo mode sounds the best, its just personal taste and depends on your speaker setup.

    Also, receivers usually have more power in stereo mode.

    As mentioned, be sure to use DD 5.1 for DVDs with DD 5.1 audio, or DTS if your receiver and DVD disc permit.

    Some like Pro Logic 2 for stereo music/tv/VHS sources, see what you think...
     
  6. Barry BB

    Barry BB Stunt Coordinator

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    "When I play a DVD, the receiver seems to want to use Pro Logic II"
    -------------------------------------------------------

    If your receiver is defaulting to PLII then it is not detecting a DD 5.1 signal so you have something wrong with your set up. Here are some things to check:

    1. Check that your receiver's input signal is set to auto mode. This way your receiver will automatically detect the signal it is receiving and play it back in the correct format.

    2. Your DVD player needs to be set to bitstream. Consult your manual for how to set up your DVD player.

    3. You should have either a coax or toslink connection between your receiver and DVD player. In your receiver set up verify that you have assigned the receiver's input to optical or coax.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  8. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    Remember also that a lot of dvds have the 2.0 soundtrack as the first (default) track. You have to select the 5.1 track with your player
     
  9. David G Greene

    David G Greene Stunt Coordinator

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    I like Pro Logic 2 for stereo music/tv/VHS sources better,but for DVD it's DTS or DOLBY DIGITAL.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. David Lorenzo

    David Lorenzo Stunt Coordinator

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    Every one said it all already. I just want to add that PL2 is intended to expand a 2 or 4 channel source to 5.1 sound. Dolby Digital and DTS are, for the most part, already in a 5.1 format so the there is no need for PL2. Hope this helps.
     
  11. Barry BB

    Barry BB Stunt Coordinator

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    -------------------------------------------------------
    Or he could be playing discs that only have a 2.0 soundtrack.
    --------------------------------------------------------

    That didn't even occur to me!
     
  12. Jeff Braddock

    Jeff Braddock Second Unit

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    Also, (at least with my 1803) the receiver goes into PLII when the menu is coming up and all. It switches to DD or DTS when the movie actually starts. That could possibly be what is occuring here as well.
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  14. daniel socal

    daniel socal Auditioning

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    Thanks to everyone that responded.

    As it turns out, those that were familiar with Denon were correct, it does default to Prologic II until the audio stream begins. I didn't see the behavior originally because I was testing with an old DVD that only had a streo track.

    Thanks again.
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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