How often do you use EX/ES with 5.1 material?

John E F

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I'm just curious as to how many people use DD-EX/DTS-ES processing with 5.1 sources. I know many people prefer to listen to the soundtrack as recorded, but I know a lot of 5.1 soundtracks give pretty good EX/ES results. Also, with my Onkyo 898 (I believe the Denon 3802 has the same feature), it can be set to use the rear surrounds in a non-matrix mode essentially reproducing the sound of the side surrounds. Does anyone use this and how did it sound to you.

I have been playing around with the different combinations and can't really determine what sounds "better" or if just listening to 5.1 as intended is "better" and save EX/ES for those limited titles. It's really easy to become paranoid thinking "Did I just ruin that soundtrack by not setting the receiver correctly?" Actually maybe I am just being paranoid.
 

Wes

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I would say I listen to 5.1 material in EX/ES 95% of the time! I am yet to hear a "EX/ES encoded" disc that has any better surround separation than a lot of my 5.1 discs.

Wes
 

Alf S

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100% of the time with my old Outlaw 1050, and the same will hold true when I get into a DVD mode with my new Pioneer 811 (I really cut back on watching DVD's during the summer months).....

Alfer
 

Robert George

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I never use EX processing unless a soundtrack has been mixed for EX. There can be undesirable phase shifting in the surrounds that places sounds in the wrong location.

On the other hand, THX Ultra 2 processing for 5.1 sources is exceptional. The best 7.1 soundfield I have heard from standard 5.1 sources.
 

Legairre

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Hey guys I have a question. Sorry for the off topic, but how do you know a movie is DD-EX if it doesn't say so on the box? I mean I haven't seen any movies that say DD-EX. How do you know other than sites on the web telling you it's DD-EX? I'm going from a 5.1 to a 7.1 system in a couple of months and was just wondering.

Thanks

Legairre
 

RichardMA

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Obi's Reviews

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July 4th, 1997

"I never use EX processing unless a soundtrack has been mixed for EX. There can be undesirable phase shifting in the surrounds that places sounds in the wrong location."

Obi, I can believe this. It kind of brings into question

the surround qualities of alternate matrix methods

like Lexicon's 7 channels or Circle Surround's method.

I've read a few posts that Circle Surround's method produces superior quality additional surround than does

Dolby's EX, but if it's not decoding the material as

Dolby encoded it, I'm wondering if Circle Surround

didn't merely play "louder" than the Dolby effects and

make people "think" it sounded better?
 

Dan Hitchman

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To me it seems like ES or EX matrix decoding of mostly surround active action, sci-fi, and fantasy movies with 5.1 soundtracks helps spread out the sound more.

Many films' surround channels with heavy stereo panning usage have hard-center (in-phase) information that was created to give the illusion of something happening directly in back of you, even before the idea of DD EX and DTS-ES came to be. By engaging the 6.1 matrix mode it helps place them in actual hard speaker positions if you are sitting outside of the sweet spot. Basically, that's all EX and ES matrix formats do is pull out the in-phase material frome the surround left and right channels and direct it to the back surround speakers.

Dan
 

Robert George

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Richard:

I've not familiar with Circle Surround so I can comment on what it does, well or otherwise. I am familiar with Ultra 2 and that is a processing algorithm similar to Lexicon's Logic 7. Ultra 2, unlike EX, is intended for use with regular 5.1 material. Ultra 2 uses both of the back surround channels in conjunction with the two side surround channels. A form of logic steering is used to place some sounds in the back surrounds. I've never heard any phase problems using Ultra 2.
 

Dave E H

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On the other hand, THX Ultra 2 processing for 5.1 sources is exceptional. The best 7.1 soundfield I have heard from standard 5.1 sources.
I concur - I leave THX Ultra 2 processing on my VSX-49TX all the time and I'm blown away by it, even on normal unspectactular audio tracks. Definitely worth it. The SO's even impressed by it.
 

Andy Brady

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Nov 28, 2001
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I currently own a Denon 3802 and I listen to 5.1 material as 6.1 about 95% of the time. However, I have heard some older movies that place all the surround signal in the surround back and very little in the surround channels themselves. The Thing is a prime example. There is virtually no sound out of the surrounds and a tremendous amount out of the back channel. I therefore think it comes down to the source if 6.1 can be used.
 

John E F

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Alex, I tend to agree. A lot of older movies, even those remixed in 5.1, have a lot of in-phase sound in the surrounds. This is probably due to the fact that they have been designated as 5.1 when the surrounds are the same as the old Dolby Surround mix, with little separation. This could lead to effects like the soundtrack music playing out of the rears and nothing from the side surrounds.

I have found that a lot of the more current releases do have really good results with EX/ES engaged. I watched "The Others" last night with EX and work really well. The problem I have is that the results vary from movie to movie quite a bit, so leaving EX/ES on may give bad results. I guess it may boil down to the quality of the source.

By the way, has anyone checked out the EX listing on the Dolby website listing lately? There are a lot of EX releases that seem pretty pointless and a lot of movies that could definately benefit from it that aren't EX encoded.
 

Andy Brady

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I watched The Others last night and I thought it was a 5.1 movie that sounded outstanding when listening as 6.1. There was one particular seen when there are foot steps upstairs and Nicole Kidman's character is downstairs alone. The steps go from left to right behind you and the side surrounds mix perfectly with the back channel. Not every 5.1 movie does this as accuratley as this movie did. Does anyone know why The Others wasn't released with DTS also? I had read on this sight that it was suppose to be.
 

Wes

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Obi, care to give us some examples scenes of this "phase shifting" 5.1 that I can try for myself on my system to see how it handles it?

Wes
 

Legairre

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Hey guys I have a question. Sorry for the off topic, but how do you know a movie is DD-EX if it doesn't say so on the box? I mean I haven't seen any movies that say DD-EX. How do you know other than sites on the web telling you it's DD-EX? I'm going from a 5.1 to a 7.1 system in a couple of months and was just wondering.
I asked the above question earlier. Isn't there anyone here who can answer it? Come on guys, your watching the movies. How do you know there DD-EX?

Thanks

Legairre
 

Legairre

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Wes,

Thanks for the list, but how does someone know a title is EX if it just came out and isn't on the list?

Thanks

Legairre
 

Wes

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Troy has made it his life long chore to keep the list up and he also places titles on there before they are released if he finds that the title is in EX/ES through his sources.

Wes
 

Legairre

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Thanks again Wes. So I guess we have to rely on Troy. Too bad the studios don't mark the boxes. Thanks for answering my question.
 

Lewis Besze

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Well I used to use the "EX decoding" 100% of time till I put the Dolby trailers from the "DVD Spectecular" disc in and played it in both 5.1 and with the back surround engaged.

The forced EX decoding pretty much "destroyed" the rear surroundfield on these trailers,especially on the "Canyon" trailer.Discrete surround effects almost dissapeared,and instead a big "cloud" of sound appeared behind me just like what dipole speakers do with DPL,not exactly my cup of tea.

I also experinced with some movies after that like U-571, Das Boot,and Predator,and found that same problem existed though to a much lesser degree.U-571 and Das Boot did better then Predator.

As a matter a fact Das Boot,and Dracula are my favourite 2, 5.1 movies with the EX engaged,but my experiment made me more cautios,as which movie I use this feature with.
 

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