Hey folks... question about PCM

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by JeremyR, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. JeremyR

    JeremyR Supporting Actor

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    What exactly is PCM. I'm only a couple of years into home theater, I just ordered some new Paradigm speakers to replace my old crappy HTB speakers. I do love my receiver, it's a Kenwood VR-507 and have had great luck with it, and it's pretty easy to operate. One thing I don't like about it, however, is that I can adjust the tone controls (treble/bass/bass boost)on it with only two settings. This is the quote from the manual "You can adjust the sound quality when the receiver is in the PCM stereo and analog stereo mode". I take that to mean that I can't adjust when I'm in DD5.1, DTS, DPLII, etc, and can only adjust it when I'm in 2-channel stereo mode. But, exactly what is PCM. I've seen it before, like my dad's Digital Cable box says PCM on teh back of it, and that's the connection he's using to his equipment. If somebody could give me a good, basic, not over my head definition of what exactly PCM is it would make my week.

    thanks,
    Jeremy
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    PCM= Pulse Code Modulation. This is the digital format that is on CDs.

    As for tone controls, these usually only work for stereo source (which would include PCM).

    FYI, I am VERY hesitant to recommend the use of tone controls in a good, permanent setup.
     
  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Tone controls are usually junk, it's better they don't work on surround formats, and I always recommend bypassing them all together.

    As others have said, PCM is the digital format, essentially, contained on CD and used for formats like the digital tracks on Laserdisc, and carrier for Digital Cable (although most seem to actually compress to a mpg format for transmission, and then the box decompresses to PCM format- as most receivers won't accept MPEG audio directly).

    BUt if you hook a cd player up to a receiver via the optical cable, the digital format passed would be PCM (and the receiver would show PCM). I believe the specs for PCM limit it to being a 2 channel carrier...

    -Vince
     
  5. JeremyR

    JeremyR Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for your help fellas. I think I understand now, currently I'm having to use rca jacks to hook up my cd player, it's an older 100 disc Technics changer.
     

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