Watching 5.1 DVD's in 6.1

Discussion in 'DVD' started by GregBe, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. GregBe

    GregBe Second Unit

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    I know some of you force on 6.1 no matter what the source. For those of you that do, do you do it for every DVD, or are there certain ones that actually sound worse in 6.1? I posted this here, because if it makes a difference, I would like some 5.1 recomendations that sound better in a forced 6.1 mode.
    thanks
    Greg
     
  2. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    There's really only a few I remember having a problem with, but unfortunately I didn't write them down. I just leave it in 6.1 all the time and switch it back if I notice a particular problem.

    DJ
     
  3. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Screenwriter

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    I use my receiver's 7.1 SX mode (which makes the rear left and side left the same, ditto for the right) for all non-EX/ES titles (or THX Ultra2 mode for THX titles), and the TX mode (rear channels derived from side left and right) for true EX/ES titles (and THX EX for THX titles).

    Of course, this only really applies to Pioneer receivers.

    -Lyle J.P.
     
  4. GrantM

    GrantM Stunt Coordinator

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    I have my Denon 5800 convert everything into 6.1. I haven't noticed any problems with it. Some things are really improved. One that I can think of off the top of my head is Strange Days. The opening seen where everything is happening form the 1st person POV the dialog comes from directly behind you.
     
  5. GregBe

    GregBe Second Unit

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    Thanks for the input guys.

    David, on the few that you have had problems with; what were the problems. It sounds like it makes sense to force 6.1 all the time, but I would like to know what to listen for if there are problems.

    Greg
     
  6. DeanWalsh

    DeanWalsh Second Unit

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    The only time it would be a problem really is if the original soundtrack doesn't have stereo surrounds (and some are labelled 5.1 even if they aren't sometimes, namely films from the early days of digital sound in the theatres) as that would force the rear channels into the rear center only.
     
  7. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    One movie that didn't sound good forced to me was Air Force One
    When they fire at air force one, when the jet repositions behind af one to fire it sounds better coming from the surround side vs the back.

    But everything else sounds great forced (so far).
     
  8. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    I process most everything in 6.1, The Ebyss is one that will not work as it is basically a 4.1 sound (mono Surrounds) placed on 5.1 sound track.

    Wes
     
  9. AaronJB

    AaronJB Second Unit

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    Bad Boys II sounds better forced to EX. The film's soundtrack is utterly incredible.
     
  10. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    I had my Denon 3802 putting out 6.1 for a while and on DD EX and DTS discrete - in other words, titles that were set up for 6.1 - it sounded great, but with regular 5.1 I finally decided I didn't like it that much. It did kind of fill in a "hole" in the surround sound, but it also seemed to muddy or blur discrete left and right sounds in the rear...This thread has peaked my interest though and I have a different setup now so maybe I'll try it again...

    Those of you with a sixth speaker, are you using another center speaker, another surround speaker, or what?
     
  11. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    U-571 and Saving Private Ryan comes to mind that didn't benefit from forced EX/ES.From U-571 one scene paticularly comes to mind,when the English destroyer fires up it's engine and the propeller start to turn around.In 5.1 mode the swirl it creates is easily defined by it's circular motion,in the forced EX mode the effect collapses and becomes one undefined mess.The same goes for those Dolby trailers that suppose to show off your 5.1 set up.All of them suffered from the same effect I described on U-571.
    So I only use Ex/ES anymore with discs, that are specially encoded for it.
     
  12. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    For anything Dolby 5.1, I force it into THX EX mode. For anything dts, I force it into dts neo 6 mode. For anything mono or stereo I force it into 7.1 stereo mode. Then there's the Logic 7 modes...much more complicated and variable, but worth fooling with if there's a movie you really like, or you just like fooling around. Even more variable is the Dolby SS stuff - so many things you can do.

    So you see, it all depends on what your decoder can do. I haven't had a problem of sound coming from an inappropriate place yet. In fact, what I try to do is keep the sound from coming from inappropriate places...like mostly or all from the center on so many discs, when it's not just close-up conversations. As you've probably noticed, most so-called 5.1 discs that aren't action movies might as well be mono, or at best stereo for the inserted music...no point in letting all those other speaker/amps go to waste...more power!
     
  13. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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  14. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I usually watch a great deal of films in the 6.1 mode. Mostly action, animation films works best. The only film I had difficulty with was Lethal Weapon 4 whereas most of the surround materials collapsed to the rear center channel. But all the other movies sounded fine.
     
  15. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    I was just doing some comparisons this past weekend of 5.1 encoded dvd's. I was comparing how 5.1 encoded dvd's sounded in DTS-ES and DD EX or THX surround EX. I definitely came to the conclusion that 5.1 encoded material is meant to be played back in normal 5.1 DD or DTS and not forced into ES or EX surround playback. I used a number of reference quality dvd's like Saving Private Ryan, The Matrix, The Hulk, Ronin, The Fast And The Furious and in all cases they sounded better in normal 5.1 playback. What prompted me to do this comparison is I watched The Hulk in DD surround EX on Saturday night and was thinking to myself during the movie that it sounded kind of weak and restricted. LFE was not producing the way I thought it should and the surround channels were almost non existent. After the movie was over I switched my receiver to 5.1 Dolby Digital and played back some action scenes, I was literally blown away by the differences. It was like night and day. Everything opened up and the surround channels were VERY active. LFE was definitely back too. Anyway I just wanted to share my opinion on what I thought. My next comparison,which I will do tonight, will be comparing EX and ES encoded dvd's played back in EX and ES and then in normal DTS and DD 5.1. I am curious to see how that goes.
     
  16. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    Yes, you must experiment. I don't know how your receiver works, but mine has different "everything" in the setup for every single mode, and there must be around two dozen of them since some modes can be combined or overlaid. What I mean is, for every possible listening mode there are different speaker sizes, delays, levels, etc. to set up, so maybe watch that if yours is similar. There's no doubt that levels need to be adjusted, and that some listening modes suck the life out of the soundtrack. I've never really had a bad experience forcing a 5.1 source to generate back channels though...it's really just fill-in from the surround channels, and doesn't have to be very loud, certainly shouldn't be annoying.

    I will try the Hulk disc myself to see what I think. Last night I watched Below (noted for excellent PQ and clean sound) again and this time I used THX EX on the DD 5.1...this works great here because you're in a submarine...
     
  17. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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  18. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    I use two bookshelf speakers. They are PSB Stratus minis.

     
  19. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    To Jeff Adams:
    FYI, the soundtrack to Hulk (note, there is no THE in the title) was Dolby Digital EX theatrically, as is the DVD (though I don't know that it is flagged as such). Those other discs you mentioned were originally 5.1, so I can understand the preference for playing them back in 5.1... but Hulk has an excellent DD-EX mix by Gary Rydstrom, and it was VERY aggressive and directional in EX on my system. Perhaps there is a setup issue causing the difference. You might experiment with speaker distances and phase for your surrounds, since that can cause the center surrounds to adversely interfere with the sound from the left and right surrounds. For instance, I recently discovered that even though my surrounds were properly wired positive-to-positive negative-to-negative, my room was causing a phase reversal. Swapping the leads to reverse phase made a huge difference. Not that I'm saying that is true on your system, but it's worth checking.
     
  20. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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