Tons of Questions (New Poster)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DonaldM, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. DonaldM

    DonaldM Extra

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    Hi All,
    Im new to the forum so bear with me while I ask a ton of questions. I've just spent an hour going over some of the FAQ pages and learned a lot but I have a few questions specific to my system that I hope someone can answer.

    My wife and I just moved to Henderson NV and had Cox cable install their HDTV signal in our home as we had just purchased a Mitsubishi WS48311 48" 16:9 Wide Screen HDTV.
    We love the HDTV signal we get on the four stations provided locally.
    I have a couple of questions on the TV,
    1. I cant get the Closed Captioning to work, yes I went into the options menu and set it to on and yes I am on stations and programs that are closed captioned. I am supposed to be able to turn the CC on by hitting my mute button and this is not working.
    2. My wife and I are losing our minds trying to decide what mode we should be in watching some movies. There is a guide within the owners manual of the TV that is pretty cryptic. We've been experimenting as we go but its a bit frustrating. Older films I know are not screen but is there a production year I can use as a guide for when wider screens started being used?
    I also have a Pioneer Elite VSX-09TX Receiver, I went through and adjusted all the speaker levels when we moved into the new house without using a sound meter but will get one soon. The problems I am having are unrelated as follows.
    When watching DVD's I get amazing sound through all speakers, but as soon as I go to my Pioneer Elite Laser Disc player I lose the rear channel, I shouldn't have to set each media player up separately should I??? I never did before.
    Not that it should matter for this question but the rear speakers are Klipsch SS.5's.
    I also bought my first sub woofer when I got the TV and new rear channels, my question on this is the various adjustments I can make to the output. The volume adjustment I can handle as well as the standby mode, but there are others (low-pass and Phase) I haven't a clue what to do with. The sub woofer is a powered downward firing. Klipsch 12" 441w.
    Thanks to anyone who took the time to read through this, If anyone can answer any or all of this I will greatly appreciate the help.
    Don
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Welcome to HTF!

     
  3. DonaldM

    DonaldM Extra

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    [​IMG] Thanks M that was very helpful. I agree about the other modes, they may fill the screen but the distortion is unbearable, I don't mind black or in some cases gray bars as long as the picture is reproduced accurately.
     
  4. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Donald, You WILL need a sound meter and a test tone disk to go along with it to accurately calibrate and balance your 5.1 speakers: far superior to rcvr tones, and disk includes video adjustments. They are Avia (~$39 online; Video Essentials; and the newer Sound&Vision Home Theater Tune-Up (~$17 online).

     
  5. DonaldM

    DonaldM Extra

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    Thanks Bill for the great answers, I may actually get my system to sound like its supposed to. I will get a meter and the Sound and Vision disc you recommended, I had heard of it before, it will also get my video signal fine tuned as well. Is the level meter they sell at Radio Shack OK or should I go with a better one?
    I bought a (overpriced) Monster Cable "Y" connector for the sub when I bought it, hopefully this was money well spent. I do have a question on the standby mode, what is your recommendation, is that better for the sub rather then being always on or does it even matter?
    As for my main left and right channel I am using a pair of Polk Audio SDA-2 speakers, Ive had them for almost fifteen years and love them to death. I know they are not what a purist would probably use for home theater but should I deviate from the 75db to 85db recommendation you made? I would think not but want to be sure.
    Thanks again for the great help, this web forum rocks.
    Don
     
  6. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    The radio shack meter is not perfect, but it is what everybody uses. Use the standby mode if you can- uses less power when the system is off. The level that you calibrate at is not critical. If its too low, the calibration will be less accurate.

    You asked earlier about phase, and I wouldn't worry about it at this point. Its in the catagory of a very fine tune. If you want it optimized, you need a cd with a test tone (or better yet narrow band noise) that is near your receiver's crossover frequency. Play the sound and set the phase for maximum SPL at the listening position. Then, recalibrate the sub. This would have to be redone whenever the position of the sub or speakers in the room is changed.
     
  7. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    How is the LD connected? Depending on the connection type and the format on the disc, it is likely that you are only providing a 2 channel output from the LD to the receiver. In which case, you have to apply a processing DSP, like DOLBY PRO LOGIC or DOLBY PRO LOGIC 2 to this 2 channel signal to achieve "surround".

    Some lasers are 5.1 (either Dolby or DTS) but you will not achieve these formats unless you have your player wired a particular way (and have some specific equipment). So if you do have some 5.1 titles and they're still coming through 2 channel- let us know how you have stuff connected.

    -Vince
     
  9. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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  10. DonaldM

    DonaldM Extra

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    Many thanks to Brian Robert and Vince,
    I ordered the Sound and Vision disc last night so it should be here in a day or two. As soon as it gets here I will pick up the RS sound meter and get to work on all of this, Im pretty excited about finally getting it all "dialed in"

    Vice, you asked how the LD player is connected, I have a set of Monster Cables I use for it, no S-Video just regular Yellow video and the Blue and Red coded cables that Monster charges a fortune for. I have the video and audio "out" from the LD player going to the video and audio "in" on the receiver as I've done for years, the DVD player of course is progressive scan and I have a fiber optic cable as well as the three color video cable also by the fine folks at Monster Cable. In the past no matter what unit (LD DVD VCR) I was using I could select whatever sound mode I wanted to play the media with.
    What is different now is that when the installer came and set up my new TV he set my sound levels for me in such a way that my Pioneer Reciever now shows five lights on the screen (screen of the AV Reciever )showing what speakers are being used, and a sixth light that comes on when the sub fires, its very cool to watch (forgive me I get excited about the dumbest bells and whistles). Now when Im playing a LD that set of lights is not coming on, I would think if I was wired incorrectly and not getting any surround sound my center and sub would not fire, but this is not the case. Im still baffled by this so if you have any ideas let me know, I'll go back and check my cabling again but I don't think that's it.
    Also the LD player is Dolby Pro Logic not DTS capable, its actually about 17 years old. The model is a Pioneer Elite CLD-95. Thanks again for your help and I'll recheck my cabling.

    Brian,
    Thanks for the data, Im overwhelmed at the response I've gotten on this board, I should have found it years ago.
    Have a great day everyone.

    Don
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  12. DonaldM

    DonaldM Extra

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    Hi MIchael,
    You are absolutely right on, on both counts.
    One, it seemed like 15 plus years since I bought the CLD-95 and two, I was trying to reply to Vince's post regarding the DPL, I knew what it is and how it works but got the impression (incorrectly) that he thought it was a type of player, DTS I believe is a feature I had not yet bought into when I got my receiver or LD player, I apologize for the confusion. Actually now that Ive reread the quote he used from my post I dont think I mis-spoke, are there not DTS capable laser disc players? Or am I still confused, anyway what I noticed when I hooked up the new fiber optic cable for my DVD player was that I also had the same connection on the back of my LD player (what was really funny is that I never knew what that little square piece of plastic was before or that it came out to reveal a cable connection), bad news was I only had one of those types of input connectors on the back of my AV/Reciever. Which is why I was left connecting the LD player using standard cabling as I had in the past.
    Thanks for the help.

    Don
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  14. DonaldM

    DonaldM Extra

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    Thanks for the answer on this Michael but what is a 2 channel PCM digital mix, (pardon my ignorance).

    Don
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    It's a poorly worded phrase, written in haste. [​IMG]
    What I was referring to was the sound you get from your LD player when you play the track labeled "digital". LDs use the same PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) digital format found on CDs. When you play the digital track using the analog left and right outputs from the LD player, the LD player is doing the digital-to-analog conversion (DAC). Long before there was DTS or DD, high-end systems were using external DAC units to get better sound from LDs; that's what the digital output was for, because it bypasses the DAC in the LD player.
    Just as on CDs, the digital track on LDs has stereo left and right channels. On nearly all modern films, that 2-channel mix is matrix-encoded to provide the best possible separation from a Dolby ProLogic decoder. Films with 5.1 soundtracks have to be "downmixed" in the studio to create a 2-channel surround track. (The same thing happens now with DVDs that feature a separate DD 2.0 surround track.)
    M.
     
  16. DonaldM

    DonaldM Extra

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    Thanks for the explanation Michael, I appreciate your time in helping me, We tried another LD tonight and discovered that I am only getting a stereo signal, I had thought I only lost the rear channel but neither the center nor the sub are firing. When my wife went back and forth between analog and digital on the AV receiver she found that she lost the audio completely when trying digital and that what we were listening to was analog audio.
    My best guess is I have the audio cables installed in the wrong connectors on the back of the receiver, when the sun comes up tomorrow Im gonna get to the bottom of this, I'll let you know what I found.
    Thanks again for the help, everyone.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    That's exactly what you should be getting. With that signal, you switch on ProLogic in the receiver -- which should result in sound from all your speakers.
    M.
     
  18. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Donald,
    Essentially LD is a stereo format. While DD5.1 and DTS 5.1 laserdiscs exist- they are less common and require different configurations in order to work.
    On a Laserdisc, most stereo discs contain 2 soundtracks: One stereo track on the analog tracks and a stereo track on the digital tracks.
    Your player likely can read either the analog version or the digital version- and you can select which version you want inside the PLAYER. In the case of digital tracks, your player has internal D/A converters that allows it to read the digital track from the disc and output the audio as analog audio via the analog output jacks (just like the way most CD players work- the info on the disc is DIGITAL audio, and it is read using a laser and then internal converters turn the 1's and 0's into analog sound and pass it for you to hear).
    Since you're getting stereo sound withe the LD player connected to the analog input on your receiver- everything is connected correctly (or, to be more precise, the connection option you have chose will work for your system just fine). The analog output on the LD player can pass EITHER of the tracks on the LD depending on what you select in the player: the analog stereo track, or it can be told to read the digital tracks and pass that out via the analog output... so your connection type currently is all set- you would simply need to make the selection of soundtrack you want to hear on the player itself (similar to selecting a soundtrack on a DVD).
    As I mentioned above- this config will give you STEREO audio off essentially any laserdisc. This is how 85-90% of laserdiscs out there are encoded, and since your player doesn't even offer Dolby Digital 5.1 ability- it is the only way you likely have ever HEARD laserdiscs in your system.
    But, many of these stereo sources (like laserdisc) are prepared to be compatible with DOLBY PRO LOGIC decoding. The pro logic effect is BUILT INTO THE RECEIVER and can be applied to any sound source. You need to switch on the pro logic effect on the receiver for the input the LASERIDSC is connected to, and it will decode the stereo track on the LD into a surround track.
    The concepts of DPL are discussed a little in the primer, like here:
    Dolby Prologic and Prologic II by Chris Tsutsui
    Older Surround formats vs. modern 5.1 / 6.1 formats by Patrick Sun
    Hope that helps
    -Vince
     
  19. DonaldM

    DonaldM Extra

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    HI Michael,
    Sorry to take so long to reply to your answer but I wanted to do my research before I got back to you.
    Heres what I found.
    1. There is a digital/analog selector on the LD player, I forgot it even existed since it had been so long since I used the remote for the player itself. I have it set to analog since I am using analog connectors and the appropriate jacks on the AV/R
    2. When I checked the cabling against what the manual for the LD player recommended I found I was using the #2 audio out from the LD player and corrected it. (Moved it to #1)
    3. There is LF/RF and stereo selector on the LD player as well for listening to multiple audio tracks on an LD, I made sure that is in Stereo mode, there is no other mode selection on the player.
    4. I played Jurassic Park LD making sure I had Analog selected on the AV/R.
    5. As for the set of lights showing which speakers are firing (this is on the AV/R) I found that they only work when a digital signal is being sent to the AV/R.

    So after all of this I am still only getting sound through the left and right speakers. I tried Dolby Pro-Logic, THX Cinema and all the others and still nothing but stereo from Jurassic Park (the first one).

    So thats all I could think of to do at this point other then investing in a digital cable setup from Monster but I really don't think it will make a difference at this point.

    Thanks again to everyone for their help and I look forward to anyone who can solve this riddle.

    Don
     
  20. DonaldM

    DonaldM Extra

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    Hi Vince,
    Thanks for the great info,
     

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