Help with Onkyo receiver . Pro Logic or 5 Ch Stereo?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Dennis Ellis, May 2, 2005.

  1. Dennis Ellis

    Dennis Ellis Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been using an onkyo 575x for several years. While watching digital cable I have noticed that the front always displays "Pro Logic" instead of the normal "5 Ch Stereo". First of all, what is the difference? Which is better? I realize "better" may be subjective, just talking in general.
    The only thing I can think of is that my mother-in-law was at the house recently alone watching tv (and taking care of our 3 month old). Anyway, I mentioned to the wife to ask her mom if she had touched any settings but she said she had not.
    So could something have changed with COmcast that would have changed the signal to Pro Logic? Or is it definately a setting? I haven't found my manual as of yet and I wanted to ask here.
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,849
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Bay area, Ca
    Real Name:
    Gene
    It's a receiver issue. Someone pushed a button. I'm not familiar with that receiver but there should be a button marked surround or dsp. Push it(them) until you get back to the setting you want. As for the difference, ProLogic takes a stereo signal and converts it to surround sound by sending a different signal to the front three and the same signal to the rears(mono). The newer ProLogic II sends two separate signals to the rears. I've never been quite sure what 5 ch stereo, or the newer 7 ch, actually is. I think it's a stereo signal to the fronts and rears with a down-mixed mono signal derived from the fronts for the center. ProLogic is supposed to be better but I sometimes listen to 5 ch with the center turned off. Seems to give a better "stereo" image without the center.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    5ch stereo copies the front L&R signal to the rears and matrixes the center, so it isn't "surround", just more of the same sound. 5, 6, 7 or "all channel" stereo are all the same thing.

    If you press the Dolby button, your receiver should try to decode stereo and Dolby Surround broadcasts as DPL/DPLII, and will also correctly decode discrete Dolby Digtial broadcasts.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,990
    Likes Received:
    1,546
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I have the same receiver, and without reservation I recommend the Pro-logic II option.

    Five channel stereo mimics the front channles into the rear channels. It's left-right stereo in front and in back of you.

    DPL II is a more sophisticated form of the good ol' pro-logic from the 80s. It processes a stereo signal so that the front speakers have the dialog and stereo information and the ambient and surround information is sent to the rears. With the right signal, such as from the game Rogue Leader on the Nintendo Gamecube, it will come close to mimicing Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

    DPL II really works well for TV shows. It fills the room in a more natural and cinematic way than 5-channel. To compare, do a test. Record a favorite show, and re-watch the best scenes a few times using DPL II, 5-channel, and normal stereo. Then set the TV input to use that mode.
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best will somewhat depend on source...

    If it is stereo with no real surround, you may like stereo or 5 channel stereo better.

    If it has any surround at all DPLII hands down.


    If it's mono, not sure it really matters all that much.
     
  6. Dennis Ellis

    Dennis Ellis Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the info everyone.
    DaveF, What do you mean by you recommend the Pro-logic II option? The 575x isn't Pro-logic II???
    Or are you saying to purchase a Pro-logic II receiver?


    I'll get in there and try to find out what was changed but it seems that Dolby could be a better selection.

    Another thing is that latey, my wife has been saying that she can't hear the voices as well. SO I'll have to compare the two during the same tv show.
    Also, to be honest I have never been really happy with my setup. Not sure if it's the receiver or my speakers (JBL NSP's I think is the model #). I do have a living room with a high ceilings and it is open to the dining room so I wonder if more wattage could be in order?
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    DPL/DPLII would both be covered and usually cycled through (if the receiver has it obviously), when using the Dolby button with stereo/Dolby surround info. I thought the 575 came out just before DPLII also - maybe it was the 595 that had it?
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,990
    Likes Received:
    1,546
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    Maybe I have the 595, with Pro-Logic II. Sorry for the confusion.

    If you don't have PLII, then it's a toss-up between PL and 5-channel. Normal pro-logic isn't very good, though it may be better than five-channel stereo for TV shows. I suggest trying a listening comparison to decide what sounds best to you.

    If you are interested in upgrading, then I strongly recommend getting a receiver with PLII (or the newer PLIIx); it's the bee's knees! [​IMG]
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    PLII is definitely better than the original PL. For the odd stereo movie and stereo TV broadcast it works very well. Note also that some have a "plain" version of PLII that has no options, while newer models have a configurable version with the ability to make quite a few adjustments to how it sounds.
     
  10. Dennis Ellis

    Dennis Ellis Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    Update: Sorry, it's kinda long.

    I've been a little busy so I haven't had time to respond. After finally looking at it there is actually a 5-Channel button on the front. Pressing it didn't do a thing. Then one evening I pressed it and it went to 5 Channel and sounded alot better. A few days later I noticed it was at Pro Logic again. this time I am certain no one has meesed with the buttons. This is strange because I have had th e receiver for 3 years or so and up until the last few weeks it has always been 5-Channel while watching regular tv.
    So, any chance there is something else going on?
    I do know for sure now that when it says Pr Logic only the front speakers and the center work. No sound from the rears. ALthough maybe that was the show (old rerun of Seinfeld). But I know for certain it hasn't sounded very good in the last few weeks and even my wife mentioned it. BTW the other night when I got it to go to 5-Channel, sound was coming from all speakers.

    Not sure where that leaves me. Like I said earlier I have never really been blown away with the sound of the Onkyo/JBL combo. What would be better to upgrade if I chose to? I keep thinking that the 575x just doesn't have the power.
    A quick search online shows "DD/DTS receiver 5 x 90W/CH at 6 ohms 5 x 70W/CH at 8 ohms" So how do I know how many ohms I am at? Sorry for the dumb question.

    Any advice on my current setup or upgrade options????
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pro-Logic will only output sound to the rears when a DPL encoded source actually send information back there.

    Your speakers where they connect in the back, will tell you their ohms.

    The source must be sent and maintained in stereo to the L/R inputs of the AVR at a min to get Pro-Logic.

    When it was back in Pro-Logic were you at least able to normal switch it back to 5 channel stereo?

    Comcast could have changed the way they are sending audio somewhat that has led to this, especially if your hooked up to the cable box via digital audio. I fear with an upgrade, your still going to be somewhat in the same boat, even if the sound in general is greatly improved.

    I think you may need somebody pretty knowledgable to come over to your house and help you figure it out. All sorts of great modern AVR's out there around and well under the $500 mark that would most likely be a sonic improvement, as well as having all the latest bells and whistles out there.

    To get surround, any surround to your speakers from any given broadcast sources, a lot has to happen all the way from the broadcaster to your AVR.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John

    That's not true, it works for all stereo recordings, it just doesn't usually sound as good as Dolby Surround encoded material. TV viewing will be hit and miss, because it depends on what signal is being broadcast. If it happens to be mono, you will get no surround with PL.

    Just like pro logic, 5ch stereo will only work with stereo material. It is also NOT surround, it just plays the same thing that is in the front, in the rears.

    Most receivers default to a particular setting for a given source when you switch from one to the other. DPL is probably the default for your TV viewing.

    What speakers are you using?
     
  13. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    John Garcia?? DPLII and DPLIIx will produce sound to the rear channel(s), but DPL generally will not, or so little it basically can be called none unless it is truly encoded with DPL.

    I have tested this many many times with 2 channel music sources.
     
  14. Brian_Wh

    Brian_Wh Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dennis,
    I have the Onkyo 575x also (w/ Polk RM6600 sub/sat system) and love it. I've had it since 2001 I believe. I find it plenty powerful for my needs. It does not have PLII as has been said, only regular Dolby Pro-Logic.

    If I understand your comments/questions about setting and re-setting the audio mode, what may be happening is that your "preferred audio mode" is not being set as the default mode for a particular source. For example, I have my VCR set as Video 1 and when I'm just watching TV, Video 2. Once you find your favorite mode (5 Ch Stereo vs PL, etc), I believe you have to have it in that mode (5 Ch or PL, or any other mode) then push the "test" button on your remote (the remote that came w/ the 575x) and let the test tones (white noise/fuzz) cycle through your speakers one time. After that is done press the test button again and I believe that mode should now be your default mode for that video source (V1, V2, or V3, etc). I often use 5 Ch stereo even though it may not be technically accurate. It seems that PL is often way too "quiet" for my liking when compared to 5 Ch at the same volume setting. There is also a TV Logic mode along with regular stereo and others...
     
  15. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    That's odd, because I've switched between DPL and DPLII and they seemed to sound quite similar, though PLII was much better thanks to the ability to tailor it's settings to my liking. My previous receiver did not have PLII and DPL always worked with any stereo material - but it varies depending on the recording as to how well it worked. Always worked back in the days of VHS too.
     
  16. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    You did this with stereo music sources?? The thing is with most video sources, stereo actually almost always has some surround encoded in it.

    With stereo music sources, all I have ever gotten from the rear channel with DPL is maybe an almost intermittent buzz that does seem to have just a hint of content in it.
     
  17. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I used to do it with CDs all the time, but it often sounded flat - you could HEAR the matrixing, so I just went back to pure stereo. Sting's 10 Summmoner's Tales was a good example of a CD that sounded great with DPL (not nearly as good as the DTS version though). There doesn't need to be surround information encoded into the track.
     
  18. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well this really befuddles me. I have not had a DPL reciever in a loooong time. I think back in that day, maybe I had some far inferior DLP AVR's. [​IMG]

    Interesting, see you learn new things all the time. Even if they are old things, they are new to me. [​IMG]

    I can't wait to test this again at somebody elses home.
     
  19. Dennis Ellis

    Dennis Ellis Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    Someone asked what type of speakers. Here's a link to my speakers. http://www.800stereo.com/prods/JNN.html

    Brian_Wh, I'm glad you like yours. I've heard of the Polk RM6600 set. I may look it up and compare the power handling to mine.
    Thanks for the info on the [​IMG]olk RM6600 "test". I tried it today. Turned to a channel that finally let me go to 5Channel. Hit the test button. After it finished, I did the test again. After that was finished I turned the channel and it immediately went to Pro Logic. It seems that it has to be something Comcast has done as John S implied. And he brouhgt up a good pont. If I change receivers, I may still have the problem. Mine is hooked up through digital coax. Should I try just regular composites?
    Thanks again everyone.
     

Share This Page