Will my AVR-4800 extract rear information from non DD-EX titles?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by David Proud, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    Since most material out there is NON DD-EX,DTS-ES encoded I am curious if my Denon AVR-4800 THX ULTRA 1 certified can extract rear information from NON DD-EX,DTS-ES Like a regular title 5.1 title?


    The argument is that if It can then great. But if not by having your speakers configured in a 7.1 configuration with the side surrounds directly at the sides and not slightly behind on the side walls you will loose your rear center imaging if the processor is not capable of re routing that matrix information to the back to rear speakers. I know the matrix information gets routed in DD-EX encoded titles. But what about regular DD titles? Are the 2 back speakers silent effectivly making your 7.1 speaker configuration horrible for rear imaging in 5.1 stuff?
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I thought I knew what your question was, but maybe not. [​IMG] There is no "extraction" for plain old THX. Just a set of DSP options applied to DD/DTS soundtracks. (Rear decorrelation, cinema eq, among some other stuff.)

    And for normal DD/DTS soundtracks, *sometimes* there is a rear channel encoded into the 2 surround channels, but most times not. So there is nothing to extract anyway. Even with std DD/DTS decoding, that rear channel info is still there (if present), it just stays in the respective left surround and right surround channels.

    The very interesting thing is, even if you listen to a DD EX/DTS-ES soundtrack using DD/DTS decoding, like I think you allude to, if your speaker system is setup correctly, you *will* get the *image* of that rear info in between the surrounds in the back of the room.

    Am I close? [​IMG]
     
  3. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    no. I am saying that for 5.1 non es/ex material if you have a 7.1 recommended speaker setup it is not ideal since the side speakers in a 7.1 setup are directly to the sides and in a 5.1 system the ideal spot for the 2 side surrounds is about 20 degrees behind and on the side walls. Without this configuration you are gonna sacrafice rear direction and steering unless somehow the Denon can extract rear center stuff from standard non dd-ex stuff and send them to the two rear speakers.

    I know the DD-EX titles the rear stuff is extracted and sent to the back rears but for non DD-Ex titles can the AVR-4800 attempt to pull information from the sides to the rear?
     
  4. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    yes - for non-ideal layouts, this can sound better for ordinary DD and dts than 5.1
     
  5. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the solution is to just keep the side surrounds at 100 to 110 degrees back for backward compatability.
     
  6. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    Why not try it and see how it sounds? I know people who use 6.1 speaker layouts with the matrix decode on all the time because their rooms force the surrounds to be slightly ahead of the seating position.
     
  7. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    I also failed to mention I will have two rows of seating
    So I guess being even more ideal the side surrounds should be placed at 14ft between the 1st and 2nd rows.
    2nd row at 16ft
    1st row at 12ft
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    David, I understand EXACTLY what you're asking. Yes. You can force EX/ES processing on ANY 5.1 title. DD EX and DTS ES-matrix are, as you know, matrixed 6.1. That rear channels is mixed in equally to the L/R surrounds, then extracted with a very simple matrix decoder, and sent to the 6th channel, and canceled out from the sides, so you don't get twice the rear back sound. Correctly flagged DVDs that are "encoded" with this (remember it's still in 5.1 on the disk) will trigger the EX/ES processing in your reciever automatically.

    You can force this same processing to create 6.1 on any 5.1 disk too. It applies the same matrix decoding across the L/R surrounds, to create a 6th channel behind you. These older discs, or new discs not labeled as EX or ES are not purposefully mixed for EX/ES, but a 6th channel will still be created when sounds are of equal volume in the two surrounds channels (they would be imaging behind you), and sent to a new 6th channel, that will definitely image behind you. This way, you can take full advantage of 6.1/7.1 setups with all 5.1 discs. Keep in mind though, that like old stereo movie mixes that were before the era of pro-logic matrixing, the results may be mixed. Most of the time it sounds great, but you never know, the odd title that might have the rears in mono or something, might come out a little weird.

    I'm not too familiar with that reciever, so you might have to manually force the reciever into 6/7.1 every time, or maybe it can default to that. So yes, you won't at all be "wasting" your 7.1 setup with the vast majority of 5.1 movies. And keep in mind that a well-setup 5.1 system won't have "horrible" rear imaging, it's just that 6.1/7.1 can help the rear imaging and depth behind you. Definitely an improvement, IMO, and worth taking advantage of on most any movie, whether expressely mixed in EX/ES (or DTS ES discrete), or not.
     
  9. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    Glad someone agrees with me [​IMG]

    Given that the surround speakers will be ahead of some of the seating (and only marginally behind the others), I would use the matrix rear center decoding for everything (except dte-ES discrete, of course).
     
  10. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    well that is enlighting news. This would allow me to put side surrounds in there proper spot for 7.1 However there is more to it than that in my situation with multiple rows. Now I need help in deciding if where my side surrounds should be.

    Remember my first row is at 12ft and my 2nd row is at 16ft.

    Should I put my side surrounds at 14ft directly between the two rows this would allow great balanced sound for both rows and would be ideal in a 5.1 setup for listeners in my primary sweetspot row1 at 12ft.

    However it is recommended that in 7.1 the sides should be not as far back for increased side stage presense and less rear/side presence.
    If I move my sides up to 12ft directly even with my first row "my sweet spot" it will improve side stage presense at the expensive of being too far forward and perhaps to quiet for the the 2nd row at 16ft. Tradeoffs.

    This is something I am not going to be able to play around with b/c I am building the speaker into a column and must make a decision. My generally feeling is to put the side surrounds at 14ft directly between the two rows so the speaker is equally loud and distanced from each row. However my sweet spot is on the first row at 12ft so side stage presense there in a 7.1 setup needs to be addressed.

    Basically which is the lessor of two evils
    Since my sweetspot is the first row at 12ft Do you think side surrounds back 2ft on the side walls at 14ft is too far back for proper side imaging in 7.1 stuff.

    If so Do you think the lessor evil is to put the side surrounds at 12ft parallel to my sweetspot increasing side stage presence for that row at the expensive of sounding quiet and 4ft forward for the back row.

    I am working with all monopoles.
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Well, I personally would tailor it to MY sweetspot. Maybe because I'm just a selfish punk, [​IMG] but then again, I'd rather have it perfect for me, than slightly improved for all the guests who will be plenty impressed already. If you only had 5.1, I'd put them back further, that way you get a plenty good soundfield, and they also have stuff happening behing them. Since you're gonna be using 7.1 though, they will still have speakers behind them, and that should be good enough. Either way will work, why not play around a little bit and see how they sound in different places?
     
  12. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    well I cannot play b/c I am going to have to build the speaker into a column and must make a decision.

    also if a sound is met to pan to the left rear with the speakers at 12ft the sound will simply stop to your sides. I think somewhere between 13ft and 14ft would be ideal for the side surrounds. Too bad I cannot test it more [​IMG]
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Actually, I believe that you *do* get a better sound field with 5.1 with the speakers to the sides. Well known fact that the ear just can't hear as well as you go greater than 90 degs from the front. Try it, maybe you'll like it! [​IMG] And in actuality, I have come across recommendations for SACD & DVD-A that say that the best position for the surrounds is straight out to the sides too. But again, each person has their own preferences too.
     
  14. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    I don't think the 2 feet will make a huge difference. If you will be sitting in the front row, then the 14ft position would be ideal.

    Too bad you can't delay mounting the surrounds.
     
  15. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I have actually read recommendations for 7.1 setups (potentially specifically for Logic 7 though) where they say that if you can't have the rears far enough behind you, that you can move the surrounds to slightly foward of the listening position. There is a "theory & design" document on Lexicon's site that talks about this, in addition to a whole bunch of other stuff:

    http://www.lexicon.com/mc1/downloads.asp
     
  16. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    I am leaning on placing the side surrounds at 13ft instead of 14ft. Unless anyone has a good reason I should not put them at 14ft.

    Although 14ft would be an equal distance for each row1 and row2 I feel as though I will be sacraficing too much side stage presense by having my sides 20 degrees back or 2ft on the sidewalls from row1 "my sweetspot seats". In a 5.1 setup this is the ideal and recommended setup but in 7.1 I think the sides should be moved a little forward since you have the rear center to help with imaging.

    Row2 surely will not be destroyed any worse if the side speakers are 3ft in front of it v/s 2ft. The rear speakers behind row2 will help row2 with depth.

    Row1 would benefit with better side stage presence with the side surrounds up a little closer to being parallel to the sides without over sacraficing rear corner imaging like placing them parallel to row1 would.

    So like I said my thinking and rational is to make the Theater for Row1 without sacraficing too much for row2.

    I belief 100degrees from center or 1ft behind row1 would be the most optomized place for a 7.1 setup. Remember 110degrees "2ft behind row1 in my setup" is the recommended 5.1 setup for the side surrounds and 90 degrees is the recommended setup for 7.1 surrounds.

    I slightly disagree with the recommended 90 degree setting for 7.1 in that it doesn't figure in multiple rows and totally lacks a way for someone to get back corner imaging. Although I do realize that rear center information will be extracted to my rear center and the left and right sides will be silent when it does that it still is just a rear center, not a rear left corner or rear right corner. If a jet where to fly over and only come out the left side surround it would not be extracted to the rear center b/c it is not a matrix signal but the jet would end right at the side of you. By having the sides just 10degrees behind you the jet will be allowed to fly beyond you to the back corner of the room. this scenario would be even more enhanced if the side surrounds where placed another 10degrees back or 2ft behind row1 but will sacrafice side stage presence for things like birds, wind and rain. 100degres is a good compromise for increased side stage presence over traditional 5.1 setups and decent rear corner presence. the rear centers will really be rocking as it will have more depth as well and will fill any hole that moving the side surrounds up might create in the rear center.
     
  17. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Dave- I think I missed it, but do you have 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1?

    Usually during a pan, the sound doesn't completely leave a speaker to emerge in another speaker. More like the level decreases in one speaker as it increases in another. I don't know if that would change what you're thinking at the end there, but I do agree that the 7.1 recommendations are more for a singular seating position, or at least just one row of seats and not for multiple rows.

    If I remember my Denon research [​IMG], doesn't your receiver have a "widescreen" mode that copies the surround info to the rears for 5.1 sources? (Ahhh, but then what does that mode do for a 6.1 setup?)
     
  18. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    it is gonna be a 6.1 setup or 2 rear centers. The thing about pans is pans will not xfer to the rear centers when they are pans to one side of the room like just the left side surround. Take for instance in lost in space at the start of the movie where you are in space watching a space craft travel across the room and over the back left side of the room, snese it comes out the left side surround. with my Denon and my side surrounds pulled two far forward that pan would simply stop at my side and not go beyond me for a sense of depth or back right corner imaging. At the same time I do understand you would want move your sides surrounds in a 6.1 or 7.1 slightly forward to increase sense of evelopment for rain, birds, etc but having them parallel with your body also will take away from things like a space ship flying over to a specific side surround like lost in space.
     
  19. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Ahhh... The cool thing specifically about Logic 7, is with a pan like that, it actually would continue the pan from the front to the left surround to the left rear. I don't have the words, but it does do something like "intelligent" steering to give you unique signals for the rears, based on what's going on in the rest of the channels.

    Oh yeah, with something like Denon's widescreen mode, or actually the MC-8 in default DD mode also copies the surround info to the rear channel on that side (and lowers both by 3 dB so the total is what it should be), you actually would still get the "image" in the right place: 1/2 in between the left surround and left rear. Interesting to think about...

    I've personally always had this thought question: for example, I absolutely will not listen to 2 ch music sources in anything other than 2 ch mode (maybe crossing over to a sub). But then it also doesn't bother me at all to listen to a 5.1 DD/DTS disc in a 7.1 speaker setup with DSP providing the signals for the 2 rear channels. See the contradiction? [​IMG] I guess I rationalize in that soundtracks aren't "real" anyway in that all the sounds are created on a "Foley stage" such that if I throw some DSP on top, and if I like the effect, I stick with it. But if a music source was specifically mixed for 2 ch, I won't for example even try to listen to it using DPL II or whatever...
     
  20. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    "Oh yeah, with something like Denon's widescreen mode, or actually the MC-8 in default DD mode also copies the surround info to the rear channel on that side (and lowers both by 3 dB so the total is what it should be), you actually would still get the "image" in the right place: 1/2 in between the left surround and left rear. Interesting to think about..."

    hmm.. The denon widescreen mode does make me think I might be able to get away with my sides at 12ft v/s 13ft or 14ft.

    Consider I have two rows as well though. one at 12ft and one at 16ft. Rear surrounds are at 18ft.

    Don't you think that putting my sides at 100degrees or 13ft just 1ft behind the first row at 12ft would be better than having my sides at 12ft considering I do have the backrow at 16ft?

    Now I do realize putting my sides at 2ft behind the first row at 14ft will def kill all side stage envelopment but just 1ft back shouldn't kill anything at all?

    Unfortunately in my design I will not be able to move the speakers around b/c I am having to lay out where the column goes that hides the speaker in my plans.

    Thanks..
     

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