Problem with new 5.1 setup: missing surround channels

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Karl Stahl, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. Karl Stahl

    Karl Stahl Auditioning

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    Hi, I'm hoping I can get some help. I just set up my new and first home theater system.

    -Pioneer VSX-D814 receiver
    -Fluance SX-HTB speakers
    -Sinclair Audio SA1000 subwoofer (10", 175W)

    So I set it up, first using the 'quick setup' that only asked how many speakers I had, how big the room was and where the listening position was closest to in relation to the surround speakers. I then went through the more advanced setup, specifying distance between listening position and all speakers and some other settings.

    When trying out the manual-MCACC feature, all the speakers seemed to work perfectly, emitting the test tone and letting me make adjustments. It seemed like I was finally all ready to go!

    I stuck in Attack of the Clones and checked out that THX test/optimizer feature that plays its own test tones. Everything sounded fine except for the surrounds! I couldn't get anything to come out of the surrounds.. but when the test tones played for the surrounds, I heard it come out of the front left and right speaker respectively, only much quieter. The exact same thing happened in the THX optimizer on the T2 DVD.. pretty much the same feature so not surprising. Since it plays a test tone for 'surround left', 'surround right' and 'surround back' (encompassing 2 speakers in one test tone), I hear something for all of them.. just different volumes from the front left and right. Maybe they're supposed to be playing sound anyways to go along with the surrounds?

    I tried playing scenes from movies, etc.. and nothing out of those back speakers. [​IMG]

    Now the first thing I'm confused about.. the connections on the receiver allow for a 6.1 set up with both "surround" and "surround back". I have the back 2 speakers hooked up to surround. When I tried hooking them up to surround back, I could not hear the test tones in the receiver set up.. so I'm assuming it was correct to connect them to surround back (I've switched them back and re-set it up.. now able to hear the surround test tones in the receiver setup only). So I'm pretty stumped now.. any help would be so appreciated! I had to watch my first movie in crappy 3.1 [​IMG]
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The test tones generated by your receiver have nothing to do with how you have your DVD player setup, and it sounds like this may be where your problem is.

    You MUST use a digital connection, or multichannel analog to get m/c surround sound. If you are using a digital (coaxial or optical) connection, you need to go into your player's setup menu and make sure the digital audio settings are correct - both Dolby Digital and DTS should be on and set to "bitstream", not PCM.
     
  3. Karl Stahl

    Karl Stahl Auditioning

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    Thanks very much. I am using a digital coaxial connection and wasn't aware you had to change a setting on your DVD player. That alone didn't fix it, but after playing with some settings on the receiver, it worked!

    One of the readouts had always reported 'digital' and even said 'DD' when I was playing a Dolby Digital source, so I assumed it was set up correctly to play in 5.1.

    I was swapping between the surround modes (pro logic, stereo, etc.) when it finally worked. It must have also been set to stereo.

    Thanks so much!

    -Karl
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Congrats! If your receiver has an "auto" setting, you should be able to leave it on that. With most receivers, this mode will select an appropriate default mode based on the material being played (DD, DTS, CD, etc...).
     

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