Using stereo tv as part of 5.1

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by lee.b, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. lee.b

    lee.b Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a wega kv27fv300. The stereo sound is rather good especially because of the 15w subwoofer and the trusurround. It's not 5.1 of course, but it's excellent otherwise.

    My questions: If I purchased a Dolby 5.1(or similar ilk) receiver, would I be able to negate the purchase of all 5 satellite speakers and 1 sub, by utilizing the three speakers built into the set.

    I suppose the problem may be the fact that you can't access these speakers directly (or separately, rather). But when you purchase an a/v receiver, does it necessitate using all 5.1 speakers, or does it allow you to use 'what you have'and supplement to fill in the gaps (so to speak)?

    I realize that when I choose the audio mode for any particular dvd, I typically have a choice of 5.1, or simple stereo. Even though the 'stereo' sounds better that 5.1 for my system, I still get a signal through my set when I choose 5.1 - so something is getting routed to my two speakers/sub - though perhaps not the way it's intended.

    That is the crux of the question. What is happening when I choose 5.1 on my stereo w/sub sony wega. What signal is being sent to the tv..and can I just supplement that with a satellite speaker or two or three?

    I really have no need for thunderous additional subwoofer. I am only interested in picking up the 5.1 surround mix that I am missing, and am curious if there is a way to 'taste' this without going full blown. Thanks in advance to all replies.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Lee,

     
  3. Eric_R_C

    Eric_R_C Second Unit

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    I agree with Mr. Pflughaupt (copy&paste, so I don't mispell [​IMG] ) that using the TV in the long run is a waste of home theater. (Do it for now, until you get the speakers, but don't get settled in with it.)
    That being said, I'm confused here...
     
  4. lee.b

    lee.b Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric,Wayne..

    Thanks for replies. Wayne, sounds like prudent advice. I didn't 'think' I would be able to short cut to 5.1

    While I'm a musician, and I've also had occasion to audition the 5.1 and dts at a relative's, I didn't give much thought to stereo separation improving just my wega speakers. I just upgraded from a 19 year old mitsubishi (not bad for what it was) and am almost overwhelmed with the improvement - visually and aurally. And that's coming from an anal retentive musician.

    While I'm fairly familiar with wattage and how much is used in the music performance area, I actually have little desire to have heavy wattage in my living room. My wega, as is, is enough to give you a headache if you listen to it long enough. That's one reason I was looking for a way to supplement and get true surround without going crazy. I'm very picky with sound, but I don't need much volume to be impressed.

    Eric..my sony dvd player (newly acquired, still amazed at the improvement over vhs etc.) does have the 'wide' mode for simulated surround. You are right, it does not do much. Fortunately, I don't need it because the wega has SRS Trusurround, for it's two 7.5w fronts (and 15wsub..even though that may now be 'surrounding'). I watch everything with it. The standard stereo sound is awful without it. Even the 'WOW' with BBE bass enhancement doesn't sound as interesting. Additionally, when the wega is on surround..it is recommended that the dvd player be on standard. I auditioned all possible combinations and found it to be good advice. Wega on surround, dvd on normal= very good surround for two speakrs.

    I should note that, according to their website, SRS labratories is coming out with a new 'Trusurround'. It's called TruSurround xe or something or another. Apparently, it seems to combine the Trusurround with the WOW feature. On their website you can audition the difference. The two together seems to be something ( at least for folks that don't have 5.1). I bet sony will incorporate the new SRS package in future tvs.

    Anyhoo, chances are I will 'not' be getting 5.1 soon. Aesthetically, a full blown system will bring havoc to my living room. It will have to be surround until I either move the tv to another room or what have you.

    Here's a question, though, am I correct in assuming that if i use the audio outs of my wega that they will 'not' have access to the wega's surround features, and the like. Thanks again to all..
     
  5. Eric_R_C

    Eric_R_C Second Unit

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    I'm curious to know what you intend to "output" from your Wega, if this is what you really meant. You would have to look in your manual to be absolutely sure. I would assume that anything going into your tv would be subject to the "fake-surround" mode. I couldn't say whether or not anything coming out (i.e. piping a television broadcast from the tv to your receiver) would also be subject. If so, I would hope you can switch it on and off, at the very least. There's no point having your tv alter a pro-logic soundtrack BEFORE it gets to your receiver. No "fake-surround" system beats a decent Pro-logic decoder.
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Eric,

     
  7. Eric_R_C

    Eric_R_C Second Unit

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    Ooops, gotcha.
    I was thinking of the TV as a center channel, since I've used that setup before. Didn't put 2 and 2 together [​IMG]
     
  8. lee.b

    lee.b Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric, the 'out' I am referring to would be, for example, just running a couple stereo speakers out from the tv - via the 'audio out'. This, would give me better separation, wattage if I want it. Of course, it could be powered by an ordinary stereo receiver.

    Incidentally, If I decide to use the wega's audio outs, I can switch the 'internal' stock wega speakers off..or in addition to the audio out speakers.

    My question, and I think I know the answer even though it's not addressed in the owner's manual, is...if I have the fake surround (as you are quick to remind me..heh heh)mode on, will it affect the 'audio out' stereo speakers? I assume it wouldn't...but it would be a plus if it did. Why? Because fake surround or not, it is a clear improvement over the stock 'effect off' mode. Yes, it's not pro logic anything..but this does bring up another question..

    Eric...are you saying that if I use my audio out and run it to a dolby 2.0 capable receiver (or whatever)...instead of a regular stereo reciever, that I will get a better surround from my two external speakers than even if I got my fake surround from 'audio out' speakers run by a regular receiver?

    And if so, why? I mean, isn't a dolby pro logic two speaker surround system a 'fake surround'. (All this is based on the exclusion of 5.1 for consideration.) Thanks again for taking the time to respond...
     
  9. Eric_R_C

    Eric_R_C Second Unit

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    Lee
    The "Audio Out" on your tv is probably line-level, meaning no wattage. Your receiver would do all of the amplification (and better separation between the receiver speakers, as you said.) Some TVs do have a speaker level out, but that usually uses spring-clips, versus RCA plugs. Check to make sure, so you don't overpower your speakers.
    My meandering thoughts (sorry) were wondering if the "fake-surround" manipulation would be carried along with the signal to the receiver, or if it only carried the normal, stereo sound. As you can see, I was pondering the question in your third paragraph. I was considering that if the fajke surround signal was carried through the audio out, it would be heard through your receiver speakers, rather than through your TV speakers. Whether or not it would sound better or worse would be up to you. I've yet to hear a passable fake-surround system (of course, I don't have to worry about that, but I have tried it before.)
    I don't think there ever was a Dolby 2.0 system (just commenting) 2.0 is a subset of 5.1, and all Dolby Digital receviers I know of have had the full 5.1. 2.0 would be used for people with a Dolby Digital receiver but only 2 speakers. With two speakers, the best you could do would be the Phantom Channel (or 3 Stereo) mode. This effectively creates a "phantom center" speaker (or third stereo speaker) from a regular stereo soundtrack. If you use Pro-logic decoding with a stereo system, you will actually lose the center channel information (because it's being sent to a non-existing speaker. Recievers aren't very smart) [​IMG]
    Pro-logic is a matrix surround system. They have taken the left/right/center/surround signals, and combined them into a stereo soundtrack for backwards compatibility with older stereo TVs and receivers. A Pro-logic receiver can take the stereo signal and retrieve these individual signals, and send them to the appropriate speakers. (A Dolby Digital signal carries 6 distinct signals-left/right/center/left surround/right surround/subwoofer, and each goes to the individual speakers. Dolby 2.0 works effectivly like Pro-logic, in that it turns the 5.1 signal into a 2.0 stereo signal.)
    Most fake-surround systems mess around with the exisiting stereo signal by altering the wavelengths and changing sound durations. In essence, it is "making" a new soundtrack. Unless the system can actually read the pro-logic coding, it is merely guessing at what should be in front, and what should be behind. Different fake-surround modes from different tvs can give you radically different soundtracks. In addition to this, there's generally a drop in volume and coherency, since soundwaves are being distorted and rerouted. Basicalty, it's hit or miss. They may have improved some since I last heard one, but I'm not looking for ward to testing them anymore.
    Basically, unless you use the TVs fake-surround, you're not gonna get any surround. You need to ask yourself if you really want to use this system for now, or just use the Phantom Mode for good frontal separation until you get a 5.1 system. Try it out, and see if you can live with it.
    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     

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