True Dolby 5.1 with Optical?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JavierS, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. JavierS

    JavierS Stunt Coordinator

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    My brother in law says that you really don't get "true" 5.1 sounds with just an optical output. My question is, if you have a 5.1 compatible dvd player and receiver, will you be able to get "true" 5.1 sound with just an optical (audio) connection?
     
  2. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Second Unit

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    Your brother-in-law is clueless. You got it right, one connection is all that is needed from source to receiver for Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1. audio
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    Did he say why???


    The premiss is almost rediculous, but maybe he had some unconcievable to me reason for the statement.


    Is he saying that any Digital connection is not??

    That is crazy as it is called Dolby DIGITAL 5.1 you know...
     
  4. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Yes, you will!!!

    Many DD/DTS-5.1/6.1 AV Receiver's provides the two common Digital "true" 5.1/6.1 INPUTS for 1 device (DVD, Satellite Dish, etc. - consumer's convience), COAX or OPTICAL.

    My Progressive Scan Panasonic DVD Player has only 1 Digital OUTPUT = OPTICAL! I have no problems reproducing "true" DD/DTS-5.1/6.1 Surround Sound!

    Phil
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    There are two possibilities here:

    1) your brother in law is clueless.

    2) your brother in law knows a lot, and you are clueless.

    I'm betting on #1.

    Still, #2 could be right if we are talking about SACD/DVD-A. If you have a player that is SACD or DVD-A capable and want to utilize the high resolution that those discs provide, then you MUST use 6 analog cables from your DVD player. But this is NOT Dolby Digital or DTS.

    Most likely the previous posts are correct in your situation (well they ARE correct). A digital connection from your DVD player, either coax or optical, is necessary for DD/DTS unless your DVD player has on-board decoders, which most do not.
     
  6. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    There is also Dolby 4.0, Dolby 4.1, Dolby 2.0 etc etc..
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    Well he did say 5.1 in his post....


    Another question then? Did he state that you had to use 6 analog audio cables to really get it?

    This would be true on a Dolby Digital 5.1 Ready Receiver, where it only had prologic encoders.
     
  8. JavierS

    JavierS Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, basically, he said that if you put the RCA cables (Center, Left, Right, sorround L, sorround R, and Sub) from your DVD player to the Receiver, then it's a truer sound because the sound from each channel in not being separated by the Receiver (in order to make the true 5.1 Dolby). In a way it kind of makes sense, keeping the channels separate.
     
  9. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    Javier, what he didn't tell you (or doesn't know) is that all you did was let the DVD player decode the 5.1 signal prior to sending it down the 6 cables. Same effect as first sending the digital signal and then decoding it in the receiver.

    I'll take clueless for $100, Alex [​IMG]
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    is absurd.
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Sounds like a perfect demonstration of the adage that "a little learning is a dangerous thing".

    Your brother-in-law is dead wrong. It's that simple.

    M.
     
  12. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Your brother in law may be talking about the new Super Audio 5.1 standard, for MUSIC, not DVD's.

    Look, you do get 6 descrete(separate) channels with a DVD and optical cable. (5 + 1 = 6)

    But the DD bitstream that goes over the optical/coaxial-digital cable is COMPRESSED.

    The new Super Audio standard contains 6 channels of Un Compressed MUSIC sound. The optical cable does not know to transmit this (ok, the cable does not 'know' anything, but they dont have a un-compressed way to transmit the sound over the optical cable).

    So you have to run 5 analog cables between the SACD player and the receiver to get the un-compressed music.

    You do get true 5.1 either way, but the analog cables are the only way to get the un-compressed signal to the receiver.

    Does that help?
     
  13. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    [​IMG] Is your B.I.L. works at Best Buy,or he's a cable retailer?
     
  14. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Well I'm going to agree with the majority here and say your brother-in-law is clueless. One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that it is often preferrable to have the receiver do the decoding, there's less chance of the interference with one digital cable vs. 6 analog connections, what with the fewer connections and all that, also it's probably safe to say that many people's receiver's are as good as or better than their player's decoders, and if the recevier doesn't have analog bypass, your doing a bunch of unneccessary steps.

    So in short, unless you got one kick-ass player and pure analog-bypass on your receiver or pre/pro, use the digital connection for DD and DTS, and the analog only for DVD-A and SACD.
     
  15. Johnny Ayala

    Johnny Ayala Stunt Coordinator

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    Optical is all you need.... [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  16. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    Does this seem like a post that has a very simple answer and the longest path to get there is being taken......Just read Chris' post and be done with it. [​IMG]
     
  17. JavierS

    JavierS Stunt Coordinator

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    hahah, yeah, if it was up to me, I would of closed this thread a long time ago. Yeah, my brother in law is one of those guys that "knows" everything about cars, so he thinks he knows everything about EVERYTHING. Also, since he used to be a DJ, I thought me MIGHT have a clue about audio, oh well, thank u all for your replies eventhough a few were harsh [​IMG]
     

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