DSP, DTS, and various Surround Modes

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by MatthewKolden, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. MatthewKolden

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm trying to gain more knowledge on the subject of various surround modes, as well as DSP settings, THX, DTS, and any other audio options that may be present on nice receivers.

    My Onkyo TX-SR502 has a variety of options, but I don't have the knowledge of all the settings to effectively utilize all of them. I want to make sure that i'm getting the best possible sounds out of my music, as well as the surround sound for movies, TV, and Playstation 2/Xbox games.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of any resources that are helpful in these categories. Thanks for any help!
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
  3. MatthewKolden

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So reading about DTS, it says it delivers 6 channels (5.1) of sound. Does this mean that DTS is not compatible with 6.1 surround? This is probaby a stupid question, but I want to make sure I have the facts right.
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    0


    There are two basic type of 5.1 digital sound for DVD's, they are Dolby Digital (DD) and DTS. Each of these have at least one 6.1 digital format (adds a rear speaker channel). They are DD-EX for Dolby and DTS-ES and DTS-ES Discrete for DTS. These 6.1 formats are not on every DVD, only those that are encoded with it. In addition, a DVD has to have a Dolby Digital or PCM (uncompressed CD type digital) soundtrack on it according to the DVD specifications, DTS is not required. So you'll find the majority of DD DVD's without DTS and a few DTS dvd's that lack DD (they include PCM stereo instead).

    THX is a standard started by George Lucas to certify theaters and home theater equipment to a quality specification. Unfortunately, the certification costs lots of $$ and although it is a mark of good equipment, there is a lot of non-THX stuff that performs as well if not better. In other words, THX is not a very good guage of quality when comparing non-THX to THX equipment.

    DSP's are digital sound processors and they are used to put "effects" such as "Concert Hall", Loud Barroom" and "Played Inside a Tile Bathroom" on your music (just kidding on the names, but you get the idea). Most people I know think they are unnatural sounding and add nothing favorable to the original mix. Your mileage may vary, because the effect they have is different for each brand and model of receiver.

    One sortof DSP of note is Dolby Pro-Logic II. This is a successful implementation of Dolby's old Pro-Logic Surround that can put a good surround effect on TV shows and movies that are not originally recorded in surround sound. I've never heard it, but some people like it fine.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110

    Not true, if one is using the "x.y" notation correctly. DD-EX is a 5.1 format in which a rear center channel is extracted from the left and right rears in post-processing by what amounts to a DSP.

    The only true "6.1" format (meaning 6 discrete channels of sound, plus a Low Frequency Effects channel) is DTS-ES Discrete. There is also DTS-ES Matrix, which is the DTS version of DD-EX and is also a 5.1 format.

    To answer Matthew's earlier question: All DTS tracks (standard, ES Discrete, ES Matrix) are compatible with any DTS decoder, and all DD tracks (regular DD and DD-EX) are compatible with any DD decoder.

    M.
     
  6. MatthewKolden

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That was a very helpful response, but I do have one further question. I do have a 6.1 receiver, so if I plug in the rear surround speaker and put in a DVD with 6.1 capability, am I going to get audio out of that rear speaker, or is there an additional piece of equipment that I need to purchase before the rear speaker will transmit sound?
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110
    If I'm reading the spec sheets correctly, your receiver can process all of the various modes we've been discussing. You don't need any additional equipment.

    BTW, I'm moving this to the Receivers forum.

    M.
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I knew that Michael, but I was trying to keep it simple. THanks for clarifying in a way that did not complicate it.
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    5,110
    I know, Jeff. It's just that the misuse of "6.1" is a pet peeve of mine. I don't like the looser use of the term. To me it's a loser.

    [​IMG]

    M.
     

Share This Page