DSS Newbie questions

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by JohnnyM, May 12, 2003.

  1. JohnnyM

    JohnnyM Auditioning

    Oct 6, 2001
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    I could not find these answers to a few basic questions.
    Background: Direct TV (with Starz package) with Samsung SIR-S60W Satellite receiver and an oval dish. This is how the package came about 11 months ago. The only outputs that put out stereo sound from the receiver are RCA jacks(L-R-Video)The coax is mono and there is no S video output. I've got a very good Denon receiver with 5.1 sound. Question #1: does that stereo signal going into my Denon come out as any sort of real "surround" sound?" Dolby pro-logic etc? If so, does the program have to be broadcast in a "surround" format? Does the dish have anything to do with what audio signals I receive. Is it a function of the satellite receiver, dish or both? OK, question #2: I see Samsung now has an SIR75W that says it receives Dolby Digital. If I get that, does it "receive" a DD signal that my Denon processes into 5.1 sound? The Samsung 75W has RCA (L-R), 3-plugs for video and an S-Video output. #3 In all the questions above, I'm not asking if my Denon can "synthesize" the surrounds. I want to know what kind of audio I can receive, what dish and sat receiver do I need and how do I know what sound I should be hearing (how do I know what the show is broadcasting in)? and lastly, if the show intro says "broadcast in Dolby Surround (for example) is that what I should be receiving and hearing?
    Lot's of questions, yes, but I can't find these answers anywhere here nor on the Direct TV site. Thanks for any help you can give to this newbie. John
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi John.

    1) Yes, your receiver only needs a Stereo signal and do pro-logic decoding. This means it will take the L/R signal and break out:

    - Separate center speaker track for dialog
    - Separate rear speaker track (same sound to both rears)

    Try this: while a "broadcast in Dolby Surround" show is playing, un-hook the center speaker. If you get zero dialog from the L/R speakers - you know the receiver is doing ProLogic decoding. WARNING: turn off the receiver before re-attaching the center speaker. You could touch the two wires together and cause a short/damage otherwise.

    Note: "Dolby Surround" and "Pro Logic" mean the same things.

    2) Yes, a receiver that advertises "5.1" sound has a DIGITAL output (usually an optical port). This wire will carry ALL sounds to your receiver digitally from mono to full 5.1. It's a function of the receiver, not the dish.

    When your receiver hits a show/movie with true 5.1 sound, usually an indicator lights up to say "Digital" or "DD". Many times this is your only clue.

    Hope this helps.
  3. SteveKNJ

    SteveKNJ Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 10, 2003
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    Also realize, that in order to get TRUE Dolby Digital sound, you need to have a DirecTV receiver that has DD output. They are available for about $100 from various sources. The various DirecTiVo receivers ALSO do DD. Also, keep in mind, that only some of the premium (HBO, Showtime, etc.) offer DD, as well as some PPV. So if you are a movie buff, then getting a DD receiver is worth the cost, otherwise, it is ok to stick with your basic receiver and go Pro Logic (or in my case, I use the Circle Surround on my Kenwood receiver).

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