Senior HTF Member
Oct 26, 2002
My Technics SA-DA8 receiver can downmix 5.1 dvd-video tracks (Dolby and DTS) when its "stereo" listening mode is chosen and yes, these also sound rather weird and disjointed. Their *sound* is fine - its the mix itself that's funky.

BTW: at least with my receiver, the LFE track is still present (though I haven't tried this with my dvd-audio player while playing a dvd-video disc). On plain jane dvd-video players with just a stereo analog output the LFE is definitely eliminated. IIRC this is done because that particular output is usually going to be connected directly to a TV......and except for large RPTVs, the typcial 3" speakers in smaller sets will be quickly overloaded with many modern movies' low frequency sound effects. This is why some 5.1 mixers also include a (relatively) higher frequency version of those LFE effects in some of the other channels so those people can experience a portion of what the director wanted them to hear.

BTW: the system used for the downmixing process uses something called "SMART tags" which is included in the disc's software. Couple years ago there was a site that explained this in detail but I can't find it now. Those tags are supposed to instruct the player on what levels to use and which channels to redirect the rear/center/LFE signals to. Like many pros have mentioned, I also wouldn't want my player to try to do its own mix job. Because most stereo mixes start with 16, 24 or more individual tracks all carefully placed within the space between two speakers; now were asking a machine to take the six tracks of a surround mix, each of those containing the sonic result of 4,5, etc original master tracks & with each track having a carefully set individual volume level for that particular speaker location, and then mash them together with the other channels' tracks. So the chances of this forming an artistically pleasing stereo mix with everything at the right level/location I think would be really small!

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