Various Surround Back Decoding Issues (DD EX, discrete channels, etc.)

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Rob.melone, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. Rob.melone

    Rob.melone Stunt Coordinator

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    1.) I have an older Toshiba (what I call second generation) DVD player running through a newer Sony ES 7.1 receiver. When I select the DTS format of a movie, my receiver automatically switches to DPL II decoding.

    2.) DD EX sources sound better in 5.1 playback then they do in 7.1.

    Can these two issues be related to my DVD player?
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    This has nothing to do with the player. Could be the receiver, the speakers, the room, your ears, or any combination of these factors.

    M.
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    DD EX sources better in 5.1????

    Can you elaborate some on that?
     
  4. Rob.melone

    Rob.melone Stunt Coordinator

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    When using a DD EX source, I switch my receiver between 5.1 and 7.1 modes. To my ears, 5.1 mode (SB disabled) sounds better. Enabling SB seems to take away dynamics from the SR channels.

    I was wondering if this could be a limitation of my DVD player (i.e. not being able to decode discrete 7.1 sound, when available).
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    There is no such thing as discrete 7.1, only 6.1 exists.

    The change in dynamics could be a limitation of your system, most likely the receiver, which is doing the decoding, or your physical setup. Have you calibrated the system using test tones and an SPL meter?

    First, make sure you have your digital audio settings in your player correct, as Michael points out. You may not be getting the correct formats the way you think you are.

    DDEX is fundamentally a 5.1 format.
     
  6. Rob.melone

    Rob.melone Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone developed a list of movies with either DTS or DDEX discrete 6.1 sound? I am looking for movies that incorporate a unique channel for the surround back.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    You're in the wrong spot (i.e., Movies). There is no sound format for theatrical exhibition with a discrete rear center channel. This is strictly a home theater phenomenon, and HT software is discussed in the various Software forums.

    In the Software - Film and Documentary forum, you will find a comprehensive listing of DD EX and DTS-ES titles on DVD. (Note that there is no variant of DD, EX or otherwise, that has a discrete rear center channel.)

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=19190

    M.
     
  8. Rob.melone

    Rob.melone Stunt Coordinator

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    I understand from this forum that there is no such thing as 6 discrete and distinct channels in DD EX or DTS. What I don't understand is why my receiver indicates 3/3.1 for LOR TT Extended Edition in DD EX and 3/2.1 for the same movie, theatrical. If the extra SB channel is not unique, then what is it?

    R.
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    You mean the DTS track? The Extended Edition has a DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete soundtrack, whereas the theatrical edition does not.

    M.
     
  10. Rob.melone

    Rob.melone Stunt Coordinator

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    My Sony ES receiver indicates 3/3.1 when I select DD EX not DTS. What is going on?
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    That's an issue with your Sony receiver. If indeed that's what it's reporting, it's technically incorrect. But given the sloppiness with which the receiver manufacturers have generally treated these distinctions, I can't say I'm surprised. I agree it's odd that the DD EX theatrical and extended editions should register differently, but DD EX is strictly 3/2.1.

    M.
     
  12. Rob.melone

    Rob.melone Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently connected a sixth SB (Surround Back) speaker to my Sony ES 4 Receiver and set the SB decoding to Auto opposed to Matrix. While experimenting with several movie formats I noticed an inconsistency with the decoding of DD EX material. For example, while playing certain DD EX movies the receiver displayed 3/3.1 and indicted SB decoding with the SB speaker icon displayed. For these movies, the sixth speaker became active with sound. For other DD EX movies, 3/2.1 was displayed with no indication of SB decoding and no speaker icon or sound from the sixth speaker.

    Here are the DD EX movies that auto decoded surround back:
    Jurassic Park III
    Terminator 2 Extreme Edition
    LOR TT Extended Edition

    Here are the DD EX movies that do not:
    ET Extended edition
    SW PM
    SW AOTC
    LOR TT Theatrical Edition

    My first thought is, this is normal and I don't understand the decoding process (unfortunate for this would mean that the majority of my DD EX movies will not take advantage of the sixth speaker). Secondly that there is a fault in my receiver, Toshiba DVD player or the way they are setup.

    Any guidance you can provide is appreciated.

    Rob
     
  13. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I may have something to do with the flags within the software itself. Some receivers, not sure about your Sony, may require you engage THX (if there is a separate button or control), since EX is a THX mode. Other receivers may do it automatically. I say just enjoy the software. There are such a small minority of discs that currently use the rear center, just engage matrix if you need to. You're talking about a whole 4 movies right now.
     
  14. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Here is a list of DVDs, composed by a member here, that contain SB information.

    Most titles before 2001 were incorrectly flagged and EX has to be manually engaged(ES titles should be fine). After that most of them should be flagged correctly, but a few slip through now and again which evade auto detection.

    DJ
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Rob, you have now posted four threads in three different forums concerning issues related to rear center processing. I have consolidated all of those threads here. If you have further questions in this area, ask them here. Please do not start another thread. Thanks!

    M.
     
  16. Rob.melone

    Rob.melone Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks to all who have participated in this discussion. The subject of decoding is of particular interest to me. I am especially intrigued by the potential for surround back decoding because I believe this has the ability to add substantial enjoyment to the listening experience.

    For example, there is a scene in Jurassic Park III where a Raptor is trapped and calls out for help. In 5.1 mode the call of the Raptor is center stage initially and then pans center up between the two surrounds. But, in EX mode the Raptor’s call pans center rear to the surround back speaker which is about 8 feet behind my listening position.

    Another example is with T2 - Extreme Edition. At the beginning of the movie, one of the Machines is firing a weapon and at one point turns toward the viewer and fires (you know the scene). In 5.1 the sound of the weapon is center stage panning up and in EX mode center stage and rear.

    I found this so enjoyable that I wanted to identify all DD EX movies (thanks to those who provided the list). But, to my dismay, not all of my movies that indicate DD EX activated the surround back speaker, when set to auto detect. I understand that I can set SB decoding to matrix but I am interested in the studios EX mix, not one provided by my receiver’s processor.

    So, are we having a problem with flagging, are we getting what we pay for and are we being misrepresented? Probably not, but what a future we are in store for with the evolution of Home Theater.

    This concludes this tread.
     
  17. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Rob,

    there should be a way on your receiver to tell it to do DD-EX processing regardless of what the auto-detect flag is telling it to do. This will still be DD-EX. This is how I listen to DD-EX/DTS-ES titles with my Pioneer receiver. I simply check the list here of DD-EX/DTS-ES movies and switch the receiver to 'Fixed' mode for 6.1. I switch it back to 'Auto' when I'm done watching the movie. I believe this is what folks were recommending that you do.

    good luck,


    --tom
     
  18. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    The studio mix IS a matrixed channel, forcing the decoding of it if it is incorrectly flagged gets you the SAME thing as the studio mix.
     

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