Dolby Surround

Spottedfeather

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I have several movies that have what is called Dolby Surround. According to what I've read, that means 5 channels of audio mixed into 2 channels. What listening mode should I use ? There's All Channel Stereo, Stereo, and Mono. I want to listen to the soundtrack as close to what was intended as possible. Pro Logic II wouldn't be the right one to pick, right ?
 

gene c

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The five channels of Dolby Surround are Front Left, Front Right, Center, Subwoofer and a single Surround. I would think the matching Dolby mode would be the old Dolby ProLogic as it also only provided a single surround signal sent to both Surround channels.
 

schan1269

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Yes you use DPL ii.
If your AVR has TV-Logic, that is Onkyo's spin on the original DPL.
Just like Jazz, Hall, Classical...or whatever music sound modes it has, are spins on the original DPL.
 

Spottedfeather

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My receiver has both TV Logic and Pro Logic II. Which do you think would sound better ? Also, should I turn off the center speaker, or with Dolby Surround, does it just not turn on ?
 

schan1269

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TV Logic is Onkyo's "spin" on the original 7k "surround" back in 1987(yep, DPL has been around since 1987).
Back then, AVR were "just beginning" to have "equal power" to all 5 channels. So, TV Logic is Onkyo's spin on 1987 surround sound decoding.
DPLii came out in 2000 to take advantage of two things...
1. AVR had finally caught up across the board as having equal power to all speakers, unlike in the beginning(you know back in 1987) with the front having say 80wpc and the rears making due with 15wpc.
2. Since "equal power" became the mainstay, surround sound started becoming "full range" instead of "7k background noise"...
So...
If you are listening to "prior to 2000" content, use DPL.
If you are listening to "since 2000" content, use DPLii.
Or do what makes sense. Try both and see what you think.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Pro_Logic
 

Spottedfeather

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I have an Onkyo R391, which only has Pro Logic II. Would this be alright for Dolby Surround ? Or TV Logic, as suggested ?
 

Mark-P

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Dolby surround is technically only 4 channels - 2 discrete (front left and front right) and 2 matrixed (center and surround). The subwoofer is not a channel but pro-logic mode simply distributes low frequency signals to the subwoofer.
Dolby Pro-logic IIx is just an improvement over Dolby Pro-logic. One of the "improvements" is that IIx gives a bit of faux separation between each surround speaker, whereas plain old Pro-logic has mono surround.
 

Spottedfeather

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What about Dolby Digital 1.0 ? One dvd I have, The Thing From Another World, has it's sound as Dolby Digital 1.0. What listening mode should I use for this ? Full Mono, Mono, stereo,..? Would prologic II do anything ?
 

schan1269

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O
M
G...
From the Dolby Digital website
"Channel configurations
Although commonly associated with the 5.1 channel configuration, Dolby Digital allows a number of different channel selections. The options are:
Mono (center only)
2-channel stereo (left + right), optionally carrying matrixed Dolby Surround
3-channel stereo (left, center, right)
2-channel stereo with mono surround (left, right, surround)
3-channel stereo with mono surround (left, center, right, surround)
4-channel quadraphonic (left, right, left surround, right surround)
5-channel surround (left, center, right, left surround, right surround)
These configurations optionally include the extra low-frequency effects (LFE) channel. The last two with stereo surrounds optionally use Dolby Digital EX matrix encoding to add an extra Rear Surround channel.
Many Dolby Digital decoders are equipped with downmixing to distribute encoded channels to speakers. This includes such functions as playing surround information through the front speakers if surround speakers are unavailable, and distributing the center channel to left and right if no center speaker is available. When outputting to separate equipment over a 2-channel connection, a Dolby Digital decoder can optionally encode the output using Dolby Surround to preserve surround information.
The '.1' in 5.1, 7.1 etc. refers to the LFE channel, which is also a discrete channel."
 

schan1269

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The point being, there is no "best" sound mode to use for anything...
Yours, cause it is basic, has to use Dolby True HD and DTS HD(does the 3X00 HTiB decode DTS HD as MA or HR???).
Outside of those two...
Do you "want" surround sound on anything non-DD 5.1?
Use TV Logic or DPLii. Period.
This particular movie with a DD 1.0 soundtrack...
I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what that movie sounds like, on your system, using DPLii or TV Logic.
On that movie, cycle through the sound modes to get it where it sounds good to you. If you want to listen the way they did back in 1951, you know...for nostalgia...listen in Direct Mode.
If you want "mono from both L/R speakers", choose Mono.
If you want the AVR to "fake its way creating faux stereo", choose stereo.
 

gene c

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DTS HR is High Resolution (also called DTS HD). Not quite Master Audio but a bit better than regular old DTS. Much like Dolby's Digital Plus. These two surround formats are pretty much useless since they require an hdmi connection which means you might as well select True HD or Master Audio. This is why you may not have heard of them. They were obsolete the minute they came out. I also stumbled accross a format I hadn't heard of while reading the 391's manual, DTS Express. And Dolby has a new format, Dolby Atmos.
If you want to listen to a disc exactly the way it was recorded then I think the best thing to do is to select the Direct mode Sam just mentioned. Onkyo doesn't offer a Pure Direct mode like Pioneer and Marantz but plain old Direct should work O.K. In Direct mode I don't think you get any processing like Bass/Treble controls or any eq settings if your receiver has them. If I'm wrong about that hopefully Sam will correct me. I have an Integra 70.2 but I'm sure it has additional features which may work different than those in your 391 so I'm hesitant to use it by comparison.
If you start playing around with the surround modes like Dolby ProLogic II, DTS Neo:6 (my personal favorite), etc. then there is no right or wrong setting. Run throught them all and select the one that sounds best to you for that particular format. Most members listen to things the way they were recorded. Stereo in stereo (not ProLogic or Neo:6), Dolby Digital and DTS in their native formats, etc but I like DTS Neo:6 Cinema as it seems to really anchor the dialog, and most everything else. in the center speaker.
I have been reading up on the older Dolby formats and the information I've read is somewhat sketchy and vague. Dolby Surround seemed to stand for more than one format in the early stages of surround sound. I like Sams earlier comment. Use Prologic for discs recorded before 2000 and ProLogic II for those after 2000.
 

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