Prologic II revisited

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BrianAe, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    I've noticed that the performance of prologic II on my Onkyo sr600 receiver varies widely depending on input. When playing cable TV audio (stereo content) most of the sound comes out of the center channel, with the fronts outputting less and with low volume, and the surrounds outputting even less at an even lower volume. So, most of the time I use the "TV" mode setting instead pf plII when watching TV. Note, that this is with stereo content, not mono which only comes out of center speaker as expected.

    However, when I play a DVD with stereo content, it sounds great with good surround sound simulation.

    I haven't tried to play a VHS in a long time.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences? Do you think it's a digital vrs analog input issue? Or perhaps specific to cable TV?
     
  2. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    I've noticed that the performance of prologic II on my Onkyo sr600 receiver varies widely depending on input. When playing cable TV audio (stereo content) most of the sound comes out of the center channel, with the fronts outputting less and with low volume, and the surrounds outputting even less at an even lower volume. So, most of the time I use the "TV" mode setting instead pf plII when watching TV. Note, that this is with stereo content, not mono which only comes out of center speaker as expected.

    However, when I play a DVD with stereo content, it sounds great with good surround sound simulation.

    I haven't tried to play a VHS in a long time.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences? Do you think it's a digital vrs analog input issue? Or perhaps specific to cable TV?
     
  3. Chris A H

    Chris A H Stunt Coordinator

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    The source program is the usually the deciding factor. On some shows my stereo VCR's indicator's will show "stereo input" and all I get is front speakers even in DPLII mode. Then I'll switch stations, the indicators still say "stereo" but now I get great DPLII surround.

    So even though it might seem to be stereo, it might not be "true" stereo in reality.

    For those shows that don't use the surrounds in DPLII mode, try 5/6/7-channel stereo or Neo:6. I prefer CSII myself!
     
  4. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Yes, I've noticed the differences you mention. I attribute it to signal quality. Either bad signal transmission (poor stereo separation, interference, etc.) or bad source material to start with.

    In my setup (and it seems so in yours), the better the signal, the better DPL II sounds...
     
  5. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Same can be said for regular DPL as well. When I listen to my cable with cable box > rca cables > receiver, I get 99% of the sound out of center channel only. When I watch the same cable channel thru my VCR > rca cables > receiver, I get nice sound out of all my speakers.

    It's definitely a weak source issue.

    Rich B.
     
  6. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    So Richard, your saying you get a better signal running your cable through your VCR than through your cable box? Does your VCR support all the channels you can get through cable?

    I have comcast digital cable which I would think would give me a good signal, but most of the time it seems not to with respect to this issue. The picture seems very good though. hmmmm.
     
  7. ChrisDixon

    ChrisDixon Second Unit

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    Part of it has to do with the mix and the amount of dynamic range. TV shows are usually mixed for TV speakers (ie. pretty even volume without the very loud or very soft). I've always wished that action-oriented TV shows like The Shield and Alias would be mixed like movies with more surround atmosphere and dynamic range. PLII can only improve a narrow soundtrack so much. Even The Sopranos (which is broadcast in DD 5.1) is pretty flat.

    Chris
     
  8. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    After some more experimenting, I've found that programming has something to do with it, in addition to source. Dune II on the sci-fi channel was pretty decent in PLII. Still, it seems to be very inconsistant. Sometimes, action movies on HBO sound very flat.
     
  9. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    What's so suprising about this is that this very same reason is why I went from cable to satellite years ago, now you are telling us with digital cable the problem still exists. That bites, does your digital cable have a digital audio output, optical or coax. Maybe to take advantage of the best sound is to use it. Of course for time shifting continue to have the analog audio connections out through the VCR but listen to everything else through the receiver via the opt or coax connections. DPLII will still work since there's no DD programming.
     
  10. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    I still have analog cable, but by cable box has stereo rca outputs, though it sounds like MONO. As for tuning channels on the VCR, it depends on how you hook it up. You can use it 2 ways, bypass the cable box and lose premium programming (but gain a second tuner) or you can hook it up in line (between cable box and TV). In both scenarios, the sound is significantly superior for my usage thru the VCR. I have Cablevision here in NJ. And yes it is program dependent, but most channels provide good sound nowadays (as long as I use the VCR), for me anyway.

    Rich B.
     
  11. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    It sounds like you guys are perfect candidates for satellite. Until you get digital cable or when your digital cable get's their act together I think you won't be sorry. Heck it's even cheaper.
     
  12. MarkyM

    MarkyM Agent

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    I have the same problem with my Yammy
    all source (CD and VHS) sound really good using DLPII
    but my when the source is TV most of the sound goes to the center channel.....I can only assume that it is the rotten
    cable signal I get from Time Warner......
     
  13. Greg Conti

    Greg Conti Stunt Coordinator

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    You might see how you like DPII Music. DPII movie mode emphasizes the center channel. DPII Music does not. I notice alot more sounds coming from L, R and surrounds in DPII Music mode. While I don't like using DPII Music for movie viewing, it does seem to kick things up a little for normal TV viewing. I like to spread the center out to the L & R a little too.
     
  14. JohnDG

    JohnDG Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    I personally love what DPL2 does for music... It takes a 2 channel stero soure, and really widens the mix....
     
  16. Roger Dressler

    Roger Dressler Stunt Coordinator

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    >>...can you config your DPL II Music to match DPL II Cinema for the surround processing? If so, what did you set your DPL II Music to?
     
  17. jad

    jad Agent

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    Can prologic II be set to a phantom center?
     
  18. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

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    Jad,

    in music mode, DP2 can be set for high center width, which will distribute the front sounds between the left and right main speakers; movie mode does not offer this. However, you can set your center speaker to "none" in your processor to achieve the desired results.

    Marty
     
  19. GlennK

    GlennK Auditioning

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  20. Mike Up

    Mike Up Second Unit

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    BrianAe,

    What your experiencing is normal. Most CDs and DVDs have the sound mixed to convey a large sound-stage with effects.

    The problem can be the mix. The mixes your complaining about keep most of the signal in the center. That's because all signals going to the center channel, are "MONO" signals.

    DVD usually offers movies that are mixed to compliment DPL. CDs are usually mixed to convey a large sound-stage with effects for imaging.

    As long as those mixes are not mono signals, you'll have front, left and right signals, and the surround channels activity is determined by the film.

    Many channels from cable and satellite are not in stereo but MONO. Those channel's sound will only come from the center channel. The premium channels as HBO and Showtime should have good effects. However many drama movies don't have effects in the surround channels. They should have effects in the front left and right, along with the center channel, but on none action oriented films, there's just not much action that can be portrayed in the surround channels. If there is no sound to put in the surround channels to enhance the mood setting, there should be no sound then. Sometime just putting noise in the surround channels can lessen the effect that the Director is trying to convey.

    Hope that helps, have a good one.[​IMG]
     

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