Surround EX: Do I need a different DVD player?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Eric Wadsworth, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Eric Wadsworth

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi!

    I am in the finishing stages of putting together my home theater. Here's what I have now:

    BenQ PE7700 DLP Projector (with 10-foot screen)
    Onkyo TX-SR602 Surround Sound Receiver
    DVD player: Toshiba SD-5980

    The DVD player connects to the projector via HDMI, so it's all digital that direction. The DVD player also connects to the receiver via an optical cable (which I'll purchase in about 3 hours, after work today).

    The receiver supports Dolby Digital Surround EX "7.1 channel" and has 8 speakers (7 + subwoofer).

    Will my DVD player actually send the Surround EX audio to the receiver, or did I get the wrong one?

    Thanks!
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    You will be fine as long as your using the decoder in the reciever.
     
  3. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well there are several issues here. First, it isn't a universal player (DVD-A, SACD) and the player's only discrete, multichannel audio output is via the HDMI. But even over the HDMI multichannel path there won't be 8 channels of audio--at most there could be 6 and only then if it came from a DVD-A or SACD

    So... DVD-video has as its standard a 2 channel audio track and, optionally, a 5.1 track and each track can be in multiple formats. One of those (depending on what you selected in DVD setup) will be sent to the AVR over the optical cable, decoded and the various channels of output will be created by the receiver.

    Bottom line -- you're fine. Assuming you configure it for a 7.1 output then the AVR is going to take care of you and create output in all the channels. Exactly what will appear in each channel is dependent on what was on the DVD-V to start with as well as how you configured the AVR and the DVD player. Enjoy.[​IMG]

    (John beat me cause I took a few more words to say it! Oh, all right, a lot more words.)
     
  4. Eric Wadsworth

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the quick replies!

    I'm a little worried. Dick, you said, "... the player's only discrete, multichannel audio output is via the HDMI." In my setup, the HDMI is just going to the video projector. The receiver I have doesn't handle HDMI, and I'd like to keep the video signal digital from source on the disk, to light on the screen. Hence the direct connect.

    I understand that the audio goes along on the HDMI cable, but since the projector doesn't need it, I assume it is discarded. For audio, the optical cable comes from the DVD player to the receiver.

    I hope this setup works. I'll let the DVD player send its signal to the receiver, and let the receiver decode and send audio to all 8 speakers.

    One interesting thing: Apparently, this receiver has a fancy on-screen configuration feature. Since it will not *have* a video output, I'll pipe a composit signal to the projector, and swap inputs, so be able to configure the receiver.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0

    AFAIK all AVR's will have an on-screen-setup display (OSD). And yes, that's exactly what you want to do to see it. Essentially, the AVR is an video source for this purpose and you very much want to be able to see the OSD as you work through the setup for the receiver.

    As far as my other comment, feel free to ignore it, and everything in the rest of this paragraph. [​IMG] because what I said is true but unimportant to the bottom line in your setup. If you hang around this stuff at all you'll see references to multichannel outputs that individually link each of the 5.1 channels from player to receiver -- 6 wires, six connectors. They're necessary if the player will also play SACDs and/or DVD-A's and the user wants to pass the individual 6 channels from SACD through the player to the receiver. That doesn't figure in your setup--back to John's comment: you'll be fine.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    That isn't quite correct. For DVD-V audio, the optical output will also pass discrete multichannel sound, and it would be the ONLY way you'd get DD-EX and DTS-ES decoding (since the 602 doesn't have HDMI). Your DVD player passes whatever stream you have chosen on the DVD and sends it to the receiver. It has no idea what it's sending, so there isn't really a wrong player. If you used the six analog connections, you cannot get EX or ES, because the player will only be capable of sending a 5.1 signal.

    Not all AVRs have OSD. Usually the lowest models do not.
     
  7. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0

    Rats, just when ya think you've got this stuff figured out... or "It ain't what you know that hurts you. It's what you do know that ain't so." Will Rogers

    I think the problem may have been my use (misuse) of the term discrete--trying to distinguish between the case where the DVD player extracts the 5.1 mix and outputs each channel to a different output thus needing the 6 connector connection. Applies to SACD and DVD-A. Are we better if that word gets removed from the "...discrete mulitchannel..." phrase? If so, then we're in agreement, I think.

    On the other hand, there may be real confusion in my head about this [​IMG] and if so, I'd like to get it straight.

    Let's assume we've got a DVD-V that's labeled as having a DD-EX soundtrack. Based on what I thought I knew, the DVD will have two audio tracks. First of necessity, a 2 channel mix on it that's Prologic encoded, right? It will also have a DD-EX mix. Which one gets passed to the AVR is a player setup issue but whichever is selected is going to get passed via the optical cable to the AVR for decoding. Okay so far?

    Now's where I'm fuzzy. I thought, DD-EX or DTS-ES was a mix with encoding for the back channel (the 6 in 6.1) in addition to the usual 5.1 encoding. An AVR without -- true or did I misunderstand? If that's right then I wasn't thinking of that as a discrete multichannel output.

    But a question then comes up in my mind. Are DD-EX and DTS backwards compatible with their 5.1 counterparts? ie: a system that lacks DD-EX/DTS-ES decoding will still decode a 5.1 mix?
     
  8. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2001
    Messages:
    3,218
    Likes Received:
    0
    dts-es and dolby digital-ex are both completely compatible with their 5.1 predecessors. In fact, dts-es matrix and dolby digital-ex are both 5.1 soundtracks, with a little flag that says "apply the dolby-3 algorithm, and route the centre channel to the back surround speaker(s)."

    dts-es discrete is dts-matrix, but with additional error corrections that remove any crosstalk/smearing/etc. The end result is a discrete back surround channel for those with a dts-discrete decoder, but it's also backwards compatible with the dts-es matrix decoder, which is backwards compatible with dts. If you want the complete benefit of a dts-discrete mix, you're going to have to use a digital connection (spdif, toslink, hdmi).
     
  9. Eric Wadsworth

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0

    And I have toslink, so I'm all good to go. [​IMG]
     
  10. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    The 6.1 format goes back to turntables and mono.
    Instead of making some incompatible; the grooves on a record was not L & R they were (L+R) & (L-R) so where the mono was;so to was the L+R.
    Actually you can decode the rear L & R by running it into a old Pro Logic decoder and that output would be the matrix encoded back channel....so much for the 'new & improved'
     
  11. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Grant- More like 4.0? [​IMG] Quadrophonic. And I think there was one or two other competing formats using lp that could generate 4 channels.
     
  12. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    If memory serves, the common quad formats were CD4, SQ Matrix and QS Matrix. Yeah, I was one of those few that bought into it during the early 70's. Great idea, just 20-25 years too soon although the multichannel capability for music still isn't catching on like I thought it should.
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    I remember owning a quad version of the Doors Greatest Hits. Didn't have a quad system though. I should have held on to that lp...
     
  14. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2000
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was a little young for Quad then I just never heard about it when I had the money. I thought Quad was mostly Reel to Reel and not LPs.
    That's a lot of sound for a little groove.

    Grant
     
  15. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think they did phase stuff in the 2 channels to get 4 channels just like DPL ! [​IMG]
     
  16. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those formats were all used on LPs and worked well.


    The two matrix formats were done essentially that way. They were fully stereo compatible in that a normal turntable and cartridge was used to play them. If you have a receiver with the decode logic you got four channels otherwise it was two. CD4 was quite different and required a special cartridge for the turntable. IIRC this was done in a frequency domain -- two channels laid down normally and two boosted by 20khz and then laid down. Theoretically this produced the best output but it was very sensitive to having a very high quality pressing and the grooves would wear faster. At it's best the quad LPs were amazing, just as a good surround mix is now. But just like now many mixes were clumsy and the amount of program material in quad surround was never very great.

    None-the-less, all the basic ideas were there but it was too soon for the technology. Also keep in mind that quad was aimed purely at music, stereo TV was still some time away. And even now the multichannel music isn't doing very well -- the idea sure seems good but it doesn't seem to make much money in the marketplace.
     

Share This Page