Receiver Input Channel Indicators Confusion: 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, EX, ES, aaaaaaaahhhhhh!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by questrider, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. questrider

    questrider Second Unit
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    Alright, hang with me here...

    I have a Yamaha HTR-5760 and I understand most of the indicator lights for input channels. Obviously, if it's Dolby Digital, it's Dolby Digital. If it's DTS, it's DTS. If I use Pro Logic, it does a little extra encoding. If I use Pro Logic II, it encodes it to fill the 6 and 7 channels. Etc.

    However, what I'm a bit confused on is my input channel indicator. When I play something that is Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1, it looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    When I play the only thing I have that is DTS 6.1 (Lord of the Rings EE), it looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    However, when I play any of the new Star Wars Original Trilogy movies, I also get this:

    [​IMG]

    But the Star Wars Setup screens and box information says it's Dolby Digital 5.1 EX. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if it's including a Surround Back (SB) channel, isn't this 6.1? And obviously, when something finally comes out in 7.1 it will include the SBL | SBR channel, but my receiver will be sort of outdated in that it won't indicate anything but a SB channel.

    Is EX just a fancy way of saying 6.1 so not to confuse the consumer who only has a 5.1 system into not buying it because they think they won't be able to play it?

    Anyone that can help me clean up this mess in my brain concerning 6.1, 7.1, and all this ES and EX stuff would be surely appreciated.

    Also, I've looked elsewhere for explanations and they sometimes just confuse me more. All of us around here seem to be able to explain things better than Dolby themselves can!!
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    No, it isn't. "6.1" means that there are six discrete channels in the audio data, along with an LFE channel. In DD EX, the surround back channel is not discrete, but is matrixed into the left and right rear channels and then extracted by the decoder (much as additional channels are extracted from 2-channel sources with DPL or DPL2). The receiver light indicates that something is being sent to the "SB" speaker, but it's not from a discrete audio track.

    As for 7.1, it doesn't exist for home theater, and I think it'll be a long time coming (if ever).

    M.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Note that DTS ES also comes in both discrete and matrix flavors as well. The end result is, you get 6.1 or 7.1 channels of sound, though only in some cases the rear channel(s) is/are discrete.

    Your receiver indicates SB correctly in that when you have two rear channels, both are the same signal, with the exception of some proprietary decoders and DPL IIx.
     
  4. questrider

    questrider Second Unit
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    But these receiver lights do not indicate what is being output, it is indicating what is being input. Thus, if I use DPLIIx to output sound from a 5.1 mix to the SLB and SLR, this does not change these indicators lights at all. The SB box still does not light up because it's not indicating output but input from the DVD itself.

    That's what has me confused. If Star Wars OT is 5.1 EX yet it is indicating there is a SB channel input, isn't this a discrete channel? If it's not discrete, then why does the SB box light up to indicate a sixth input channel?

    And what exactly is the difference between ES and EX? Is EX a Dolby Digital signifier and ES a DTS signifier? And when I'm watching the movie, do I have to turn on the ES/EX decoder because it does change the sound ever so slightly, usually not for the better.

    Sometimes I long for the days when my receiver was simple. [​IMG] Heh
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    SB is present in EX, it is just matrix, not discrete, so the receiver "sees" it.

    Yes, EX is DD; ES is DTS. These are actual surround formats, while DPL IIx is a DSP.

    You can use EX/ES processing, but if it doesn't sound better to you, then why?
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I wouldn't really worry about the input channel indicator that much, it might be lighting the SB light in anything that's flagged that way, even matrix tracks.

    As long as your output is correct and it seems like you have a firm grasp of what's going on, I wouldn't worry about it. I guess this is how yamaha does it?
     
  7. questrider

    questrider Second Unit
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    Thanks everyone. I'd almost like to treat this thread now as a glossary for anyone who searches later. There has to be a FAQ detailing this stuff somewhere, but darned if I can't locate it. I may be right or wrong on some of these... help me out! Basically I'm quite interested in clearing up all this EX and ES business.

    Dolby Digital 5.1: 5 discreet channels + 1 LFE channel

    Dolby Digital 5.1 EX: 5 discreet channels + 1 LFE channel + 1 matrixed channel

    Dolby Digital 6.1: Has anything been released in this format yet? And will it potentially be called DD 6.1 EX? What does EX stand for? Does EX imply the 6th channel, either discreet or matrixed, or is it specifically for matrixed 6th channels?

    Dolby Digital Surround: Original 2-channel "surround" ( a lot of DVD-Audios are like this--disappointing) Am I correct in assuming this is old technology? Not that it isn't useful for those with regular old-style 2-channel stereo owners.

    Dolby Digital Pro Logic: DSP processing for 2-channel sources (the original). Is this what the above Dolby Digital Surround tracks where meant to be decoding with? I remember watching VHS tapes back in the old days (10 years or more) at a friend's house who could afford the expensive equipment with "quad-surround" using Pro Logic as the "quad" decoder (no center channel back then).

    Dolby Digital Pro Logic II: DSP processing for turning 2-channel sources into 5.1

    Dolby Digital Pro Logic IIx: DSP processing that adds 6.1/7.1 channel to 5.1 and below sources, including 2-channel PCM stereo. (Is this right?)

    DTS 5.1: Digital Theater Systems with 5 discreet channels + 1 LFE

    DTS 6.1 ES: 6 discreet channels + 1 LFE channel (Lord of the Rings EE) Has anything else been released in this format? Are there any 6.1 "matrix" with the ES title?

    DTS Neo6: DSP processing for movies/music that adds 6.1/7.1 channel to 5.1 and below sources, including 2-channel PCM stereo.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Try the link in my signature.

    M.
     
  9. questrider

    questrider Second Unit
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    Whoa. [​IMG] Thanks for the tip. I have signatures turned off in my profile so it's easier to read these discussion threads. Now that you've pointed me in the direction of that FAQ, you can close and delete this thread and I may never need to ask a question again. [​IMG]
     

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