Firmware Update for Sony DA4ES / 7ES - Unnecessary?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MartinV, Feb 22, 2003.

  1. MartinV

    MartinV Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 1998
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been reading the DA4ES /7ES firmware update threads over the last couple of days. I noticed that my serial number for my 7ES falls in the "need to upgrade" category. However, when I tested my DD-EX and DTS 6.1 DVDs on my unit it functioned properly.

    I know that DD-EX requires you to set SB Decoding as "Matrix" rather than "Auto" in some titles (i.e. Star Wars - EP I & II). Otherwise it stays in 5.1 mode. So, correct me if I'm wrong... the firmware update does not fix this.

    When I put in LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring (EE) and I had the 7ES in "Auto" it detected the 6.1 discrete and automatically set me up in 3/3+1 which is using the built-in DTS 6.1 decoder. So again, the firmware update to me seems unecessary since it was processed correctly to begin with.

    For those that have applied the firmware update, what's the point if it doesn't add any extra value? The real danger is that by applying this, Sony could void the 5 year warranty. Is it really worth the risk?
     
  2. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    My 4ES seems fine with decoding too, until today when I played "Simone". It decoded it as 6.1 (3/3.1) regardless of whether I selected DTS ES 6.1 or Dolby EX 5.1. Yet it decoded other movies accurately with no problem. Mine is a Canadian model, I have no idea whether its serial numbers fall into the group that needs update. I would appreciate it if someone could shed some light on how to tell whether it needs update or not.
     
  3. MartinV

    MartinV Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 1998
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Shiu,

    It seems like it's picking up the highest source automatically. Unless you force the selection of DD-EX in the DVD sound setup menu.
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problems w/ DD-EX aren't the fault of the receiver, they're the fault of the DD-EX tag. Most DD-EX movies are not tagged as being EX, so you have to force the receiver to decode EX. There are no problems, however, w/ DTS-ES discrete and matrix tags. That's why DTS-ES titles work with the receiver still set to auto.

    As for the firmware update being needed, I'm not positive, but I plan to update mine when it arrives just for good measure.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  5. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  6. Bill Mullin

    Bill Mullin Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 1999
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  7. David Smith

    David Smith Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1998
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Martin, I posted this in another thread but did't get much feedback. My DA4 did fall between the serial numbers needing the update and here is how mine went:


    Auto, Matrix, & off before the update...


    DTS-ES Discrete would play in the Auto mode and Matrix mode, but I’m not sure if it was truly playing discrete in the matrix mode or not. If I went to the display, it showed 3/3.1 regardless of the 3 modes, but it didn’t play at all if the mode was set to off, plus the SB icon on the receiver front panel turned off.

    All of the EX modes would play in Matrix, but not at all in Auto or off. The display reads the same if it’s an EX title or not, 3/2.1, and the SB icon on the receiver front panel only turned on in Matrix.

    Regular 5.1 NON-EX titles seemed to play exactly the same as EX titles.

    My non-digital sources (Cable) didn’t play anything in the back surrounds at all, regardless of the mode, and the SB icon on the receiver front panel was off regardless.


    After the update...

    Since the upgrade, everything works great, but I’m not sure if it’s how they intended it to work.

    Now the 3 surround back modes seem to do nothing at all! It doesn’t matter what mode it’s in, it seems to decode things properly!

    Even if it’s set to off, it still decodes the back channels, plus it even decodes them with an analog signal now also, so the back channels work with my cable, Dish, VCR, etc.

    One more thing After the update, my 2nd zone will turn on and work properly without the receiver being on!
     
  8. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aaron, for that particular movie even when I selected Dolby EX 5.1 on the DVD movie's menu screen, using auto decode on the 4ES, it decoded the movie as 3/3.1. When I selected DTS ES 6.1 on the movie's menu screen, again using auto decode on the 4ES, it also decoded it as 3/3.1 but in this case, of course it worked perfectly. Anyway, according to some of the responses here, my reciever was not the problem.

    "Unless you force the selection of DD-EX in the DVD sound setup menu"

    Martin, How do you do this? In the DVD movie sound set up menu there are only two selection, DTS ES 6.1, or Dolby EX 5.1, as I mentioned before, I slected Dolby EX 5.1 but the receiver (using auto decode) still decoded it as Dolby 3/3.1

    Thanks
     
  9. MartinV

    MartinV Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 1998
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Shiu,

    Unfortunately I can't help you further on this one since I don't have the movie.


    David,

    from what you describe after applying the firmware update, it doesn't seem like a good thing... at least from my vantage point. Having a 2-channel or 5.1-channel source playback at 6.1 (without the option to turn it off) is not a fix but a new problem. Well, I'm not going to upgrade my receiver. The worst thing would be that I would have to hit the button to force SB decoding. On the other hand, by applying the update... I risk this new problem of forced SB no matter what the source and the voiding of my Sony 5-year warranty.
     
  10. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Martin, thanks anyway, actually I just realized that Stephen Hopkins sort of addressed my concern. Except that I am still not clear as to how to force the receiver to decode DD EX. I assume this is something to do with settings in the receiver, not the DVD movie itself. I don't remember coming across this topic in the manual, but I will read it again.
     
  11. David Smith

    David Smith Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1998
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK...weird,

    I actually have 2 surround back speakers, and when I turn surr. back L/R on, my 3 surround back modes are basically bypassed and the surround backs ALWAYS play when any surround sound mode is playing, either analog or digital.

    When I turn the surr. back L/R off, which is the setting if you only have one surr. back speaker, then the surr. back modes seem to do what they're supposed to do. They don't play at all with any analog source, and they don't play at all when turned to the off mode. They only play on digital sources when the surr. back mode is set to either matrix or auto.

    Anyone know what's going on? Maybe my unit just isn't working properly. Can anyone else tell me if their DA4ES does this?

    Thanks! David
     
  12. Greg Schwabacher

    Greg Schwabacher Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 31, 1999
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    David, your unit is operating properly. If you have rear speakers connected, surround back L/R is on, and you're playing a 5.1 source with 6.1 decoding off, the signal sent to the left side surround is duplicated in the left rear surround and the signal sent to the right side surround is duplicated in the right rear surround. If 6.1 decoding is on, then the rear surrounds get the sixth channel (be it matrixed or discrete).

    Check out Note 5 at the bottom of page 71 in the manual. If you look at the chart on the same page, this note indicates that, even with DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1 sources where the surround back decoder is set to off, the output will still be "7.1 channels."
     
  13. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  14. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    OKay Aaron the problem was I did not realize EX 5.1 has an extra channel to decode. No problem now that you explained it. I have been in hi-fi for a long time but only 2 months old in H.T. I thought EX simply indicate better surround effect but I never understood how it is implemented. Thanks for taking the time to explain.
     

Share This Page