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YAMAHA amp/rec.- Surround decoded ?? (1 Viewer)

mrlewp

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Recently employed new Yamaha RX-V363 , but still have only 4 speakers . There are small LEDs on front panel to indicate number of channels (stereo vs. 5.1) in signal being processed. In "BASIC SETUP" , I have chosen 4 spkrs. (front L/R , surround L/R). I have tried an optical line from TV to Yamaha , then same from Comcasts HD box. Regardless, only 2 front LEDs are ever present. Sounds as though I'm getting surround output from DVD's at least, but never from Cable TV, whether direct from cable box, or from TV optical out.
I have made coax-audio hookup from DVD player directly to amp, as opposed to thru TV first. As stated, I recognize surround sound effects, but still only front LED's light up on amp. More troublesome, when I dig into "sound info" via amp's menu, signal is always shown as 02000.... (? or the like) , which I read as STEREO ! , not 5.1 ch.
I have tried PRO-LOGIC , and PRO-LOGIC II with same details shown, or not shown.
**>> Even though I currently use only 4 spkrs., shouldn't I be able to verify
decoding of 5.1 signals-at least from DVDs?? , and getting use of front and rear signals ??
 

Ed Moxley

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The optical output on tvs is for getting 5.1 from local HD channels, from built in tuner, while hooked up to antenna. It's not for daisy chain connections, like you mentioned, going through tv first. Some tvs will allow going through them, but will down convert the signal from 5.1 to 2.0, so no surround, except pro logic.

Go into the setup menus of the cable box, and set the audio output to Dolby Digital. You may also have to assign the digital input you used on the receiver, to DBS instead of TV, since it's cable. Your manual will walk you through that.
Know also that the only channels that broadcast in 5.1 surround are HD channels, some premium movie channels (HBO, Starz, etc.), and some PPV channels. All the other channels, you can listen to in Dolby Pro Logic (simulated surround), which isn't bad.

For regular dvd players, go into the setup menus, and set the audio output to "Bitstream", not PCM. If you're not using a factory assigned input for dvd, you may also need to assign the digital input you used for that, on the receiver.

Once inputs are assigned to what's plugged into them, and the sources are outputting a digital signal, the LEDs should show it's getting a 5.1 signal, when it is getting one. When getting 5.1, the window on front of the receiver should also say "Dolby Digital" or "DTS", depending on what you're listening to.
I hope this helps some.
Good luck!
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mrlewp

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Normally dont waste a post like this, but short of time. You've given the best response thus far, and in a "non-condescending" manner. (spelling?) Too bad
that needed to be said.
(ok, I'll be late again for work.....) How timely , because here's what I just
looked into ;
DEVICE Info ; Cable Audio Out options(3)- Dolby Digital /HDMI /Other (?)

Samsung TV - NONE , only Input Options !
(I'm using HDMI from cable box)

Insignia DVD/Vcr-- 4 Submenus :
Dolby Digital > Bitstream / or PCM (selctd)
DTS > Bitstream (selctd) / or OFF
MPEG > Bitstream / or PCM (selctd)
Sample Freq > 48khz / or 96khz (selctd)

LiteON DVR - (not yet checked)
 

Ed Moxley

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Cable audio out options(3)-
Try Dolby Digital and HDMI, and see which does best for you.

Insignia DVD/VCR-
Change from PCM to Bitstream
 

mrlewp

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(man was I a bit scatter-brained this morning, or what?....apolgies)

That device info I provided I now see was vague to begin with, and made
far worse when it appears differently than typed into posting space.
I'll return to this , for clarity !! (let's hope) BUT........
Need to report some success!! Changed DVD player to "bitstream" on all
options. First time ever that Yamaha displays surround signal being processed, and I can hear it. Thank you.
 

LanceJ

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I'm just nitpicking here
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but Dolby Surround is an actual surround format, just not as precise as Dolby Digital or DTS.

The surround channels - which are mono despite using two physical channels - are encoded into the left/right front channels using what's called a matrixing system. This is what many movies used starting with Star Wars back in 1977 and what so many TV shows use right now.

Very audible disadvantage of DS vs. DD/DTS: the frequency range allotted for the surround channels is a lot narrower but for many surround effects, that isn't a problem. BTW when using a DS or Dolby Pro-Logic (DPL) decoder, a center channel is derived from "looking at" what's common in the front left/right channels and placing that in the center speaker, and simultaneously deleting it from the left/rights.*

FYI: a DPL or DPLII decoder is more precise at doing all this than a DS decoder.

Anyway.......with a DS-encoded track, back-to-front directional effects are recreated nicely. When I used to sell HT gear in the early to mid 90s, we used The Abyss and Terminator II to demonstrate to some people that surround wasn't a "scam" by the speaker companies to sell more speakers. This was done via VHS tape played on a Sony Hi-Fi Stereo VCR paired with a Pioneer receiver with DPL and those demos convinced a lot of people to buy a 5.1 HT system!!

TV programming: from what I've seen it's science fiction shows that seem to use DS the most. And I've noticed more and more commercials using it to liven up their message. Though sparingly, The Simpsons has used DS for nearly two decades, and I regularly hear directional effects thrown in that help with the on-screen action.

* I've read that there are DPLII ENcoders that can take a discrete center channel and matirx it into the front channels, along with separate left and right surround channels. On the playback end I assume a DPL II decoder can pull out all the separate channels.
 

mrlewp

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Thanks to previous 2 posts. Happy to say I can now get 5.1 signal from both DVDs and LOT's of TV programming. Had no idea.
I dont know why surround signal is not passed thru, from device to TV-and to
amp. So be it.
I'm still using HDMI direct from cable box to Samsung TV, for the video. When not using Yamaha amp, I want sound from the TV (natch), so have to keep cable audio set on "HDMI", or the TV gets no sound. With others making use
of TV, I have to keep it simple - turn TV on , get sound! Actually, I dont always want to have the amp. turned on anyway.
FOR CABLE TV surround, I have to set audio to "Dolby Digital". This then cuts out the HDMI sound to TV. I hoped that I could still pull audio from other outs on cable box, for TV, but no luck yet. This way I could leave the settings alone, and have TV sound always available, with or w/o the Yamaha amp. turned on.
At least I have surround "all around" , so to speak, from any source.
Thanks again.
 

Ed Moxley

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You should be able to run red & white RCA cables from cable box to tv, and get sound with A/V receiver off. Not positive though, with cable box set to Dolby Digital. Have never tried it personally. I refuse to listen to tv's speakers. If my tv is on, my receiver is on. I like Pro Logic sound much better than tv sound. But that's just me................
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