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Surround EX - Can it be made out of any 5.1 track?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John M Miller, Aug 26, 2001.

  1. John M Miller

    John M Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got an Outlaw 1050 receiver that has 6.1 capability, but I don't have any movies that indicate on the packaging that they are DD Surround EX. Question is: If I buy a third surround will this speaker be utilized by all my existing 5.1 movies, or only those that are Surround EX? Being that I really don't watch too many action movies, is this something that I even want to buy?
    Thanks in advance.
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  2. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I know a lot of receivers do this, I'm not certain about the Outlaw. For 6.1 matrix formats, anytime something is common between the right and left rears, its put out the center rear. So it should work with all 5.1 discs, although in some weird cases it may not sound right.
    This method is very similar to Pro Logic's matrix decoding. In fact early on the life of these formats a lot of people were taking the surround channels and running them through an old DPL receiver in 3 channel mode to simulate this. Heck you can even carry this to greater extremes, which some people have done, and make even more channels by running the right rear and right main through a DPL receiver and so on.
     
  3. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    But with the your receiver (yes, specifically that one), you cannot apply 6.1 decoding with DTS. Maybe it is different now.
    I read a review of it in Sound & Vision and they said it wont apply the 6.1 decoding to DTS. If you could care less for DTS then you should be ok.
    [​IMG]
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  4. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    It seems to me that if the matrix decoding is similar or the same as Pro Logic 3-channel, that you would not want to use it on 5.1 encoded discs. I'm just speculating, I've never tried it. When using Pro Logic on non Pro Logic encoded two channel sources, it almost always directs most of the signal to the center. However, when the source material is encoded for Pro Logic, it works pretty well.
    I would be curious to hear what those of you with 6.1 processing think of using it on 5.1 encoded discs.
     
  5. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    I've recently purchased a Yamaha RX=V1 and I've noticed that I CAN turn the rear center on and off on most movie modes, regardless if they're encoded 6.1 or 5.1 DD or DTS. I also noticed that if a 6.1 dvd is popped in, the Yam auto selects ES. I haven't had the time to get into all the various parameters available for adjustment but a quick review is that some 5.1 audio is a little fuller with 6.1 on but some are also more hollow sounding which may well be the result of not having optimized all settings in the dsp modes yet. Typically, I keep my speaker settings on small even though I have large JBL L100 (old and strong) as mains. I notice that the SVS has far enough bass for me.
    Then again, it all may be wishful thinking on my part since I sold my beloved Yam 2095 and bought the RX-V1 just so I could do 6.1.....!!!
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  6. John M Miller

    John M Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the comments that have already been posted. But I'd like to ask you guys what your experience has been with it. Does EX dramatically improve sound, such as the leap from Pro Logic to AC-3, or is it a more subtle move? Does anyone have experience playing a 5.1 track in 6.1?
    Thanks again.
     
  7. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Yep,
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  8. derek

    derek Second Unit

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  9. Scott Gaffney

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    John:
    The answer to your original question is YES. The Outlaw will extract a matrixed center surround signal if it is there (DD EX) and will "make up" a signal out of the 5.1 signal if it is not. Since you have the Outlaw, and the capability, I would strongly recommend getting an additional speaker, even if you only brought it out for certain movies with a long speaker cable. That is what I did until I climbed back under the house to run another wire.
    The movies with an official "matrixed" DD are a definite improvement. I also very much enjoy those w/o. I haven't noticed the Outlaw creating a center surround that overpowers the "true" surrounds. I find it is usually "just right".
    The additional good thing about the Outlaw is that if you have a DVD player that can decode DTS, you can use the 5.1 outputs and use the "Direct" mode of the Outlaw to listen to DTS and then press the 6.1 button and you now have a "matrixed" 6th channel in DTS. While not truly discrete, it is better than not having it at all. I prefer the DTS verion of Gladiator w/ a "created" matrixed center surround over the DD version that has a supposed "real" matrixed center surround channel.
    If your player does DVD-Audio, you'll need to use the 5.1 outputs anyway. The 6.1 button works on DVD-Audio also.
    Not sure if a drive down the Peninsula is worth a demo, but, I live in Belmont and you could listen to my Outlaw w/ a center surround if you'd like. I also have an SVS if you've been curious about those.
    But, if you've got some spare wire and an extra speaker, try it out. Then, you can be the judge. A wonderful demo is SuperSpeedway. The engine feels like it is right behind your head (where it should be).
    Good luck!
    sdg
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  10. John M Miller

    John M Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    I ended up dredging an old JBL CC speaker from the closet and connecting it with some crappy wire. Despite the low quality of the gear, I was very pleasantly surprised with the results. The surround information really opened up, and the lack of voice matching really didn't hurt the sound that much. Perhaps in the future I will replace the JBL with a Paradigm, but for right now it sounds fantastic. Thanks for all the input.
    Scott- I just might have to take you up on the offer to demo the SVS sometime.
     

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