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I'm confused about Dolby 5.1

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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:19 AM
Original message
I'm confused about Dolby 5.1
I just bought a new receiver because my old one wouldn't do Dolby 5.1. The new receiver's box says Digital Dolby Pro Logic II and the advertising says it's Dolby 5.1, but my Dolby 5.1 movie that has a test thing doesn't work properly.

The manual says it will automatically detect the various formats.

How do I tell if it's Dolby 5.1? How do I tell if it's working?

It's a JVC RX-6030V
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. You have to set the audio output to Dolby Surround...
ON the receiver. Make sure you have surround speakers. THEN go to the "options" menu of the DVD you want to watch, and go into audio setup and select "Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound".
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sir_captain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:27 AM
Response to Original message
2. you also have to set your dvd player to output dolby
turn on the dvd player with nothing in it and make sure it's set to output dolby/dts sound and not PCM.
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MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:02 AM
Response to Original message
3. what make and model? I'll look it up
It may very well be pro logic and not 5.1
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regnaD kciN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 04:59 AM
Response to Original message
4. Some terminology...
Dolby Digital is the standard for DVD. It can have anywhere from one mono channel (1.0) to five main channels and one subwoofer channel (5.1). Each of these channels is completely independent ("discrete") of the others from the source on.

Dolby Surround or Dolby Pro-Logic (sometimes identified as "Dolby 2.0 Surround") are earlier, analog formats that "matrix" four channels of audio (left, right, center, mono surround) into two analog channels which are compatible with standard stereo analog playback. With modern receivers, the four derived channels of these formats will be further processed to yield 5.1 channels of information. However, because the source channels are matrixed, not discrete, there won't be as much separation between the different channels than Dolby Digital, and the "Dolby Surround" audio tracks on DVD are generally not as good as "Dolby Digital" tracks.

Dolby Pro-Logic II is a recent refinement to Dolby Surround that supposedly allows you to play back the two channels of a stereo CD and get something that sounds believably like surround sound (earlier Dolby Surround or Pro-Logic worked fine with encoded movie sound, but had problems when playing back pure stereo).

(By the way, dts is an alternative, non-standard 5.1 format, claimed to be superior to Dolby Digital by many listeners, and generally found on all but the cheapest Dolby Digital receivers and DVD players -- you need both to be compatible in order to play the format back. And don't even ask about DVD-Audio or SACD, both of which are high-resolution multichannel music-playback formats, but have nothing to do with movies.)

I don't know your model of receiver, but I do know that Pro-Logic II is a more-recently-introduced format than Dolby Digital, and was generally included as an "extra feature" on Dolby Digital/dts receivers as recently as a year ago. I suppose there could be a Dolby Surround and Pro-Logic II-only receiver on the market, but it would surprise me. To be more certain, check out your box and manual to see if "Dolby Digital" is mentioned anywhere. If so, it should work. How are you connecting your DVD player to the receiver?

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Spirochete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 06:33 AM
Response to Original message
5. Do you have digital audio output
connected between your DVD player and your receiver. Usually you'll have your choice of connectors - coaxial or optical. For Dolby and DTS to work, you need to have that connection.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. That's the problem
I need some fibre optic cables.
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Loonman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
7. 5.1
Edited on Thu Apr-08-04 07:14 AM by Loonman
5 means your receiver can spread and separate a signal between 5 channels.

Left, Right, Center, Rear left, Rear right.

5.1 means bass signals are shunted to a sub-woofer, if you choose to hook one up. If you don't, the bass signals are spread among the 5 speakers you are using.

Your receiver should be able to detect how many speakers you have hooked up and propagate the signal appropriately. On some receivers you can adjust the signal levels going to each channel to take advantage of the acoustics in whichever room you are listening to music or watching movies in.

Fibre optic cables are alright, but they are expensive and easily dirtied or bent/broken. Coaxial audio cables work just as well---you won't know the difference.

Personally, I dislike JVC products because they are unable to meet my sonic needs, but they make perfectly good stuff.

Read the manual! Read the manual to your DVD player as well, in order to maximize performance, and don't get hung up on terminology, it's just confusing and needlessly distracting. No matter how much it sucks to do so, read the me.
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Zero Gravitas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
8. Its in Dubly!
also check that the DVD player is outputting the 5.1 track. DVDs often have multiple tracks and the 5.1 one is not necessarily the default one.
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