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Dolby Digital Surround EX question

Old 07-14-02, 11:50 AM
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Dolby Digital Surround EX question

When I play certain Dolby Digital Surround EX titles, my receiver automatically recognizes it and plays the title with a rear center channel showing on my receiver display. (eg. Jurassic Park 3 and Bad Taste) However, with other titles such as Gladiator, Pitch Black, Seven, Fight Club and T2: Ultimate, my receiver doesn't recognize the EX and automatically switches to Dolby Digital 5.1.

I do change it manually to Dolby Digital EX but my receiver does not show a 6th center channel on the display as it does with the above two titles and there doesn't seem to be a difference in sound when I switch between DD 5.1 and DD Surround EX. I am however getting sound from my rear center speaker. But no rear center channel is showing on my receivers display as it does when playing JP3 or Bad Taste.

Does this mean these DVD titles (Pitch Black, Seven etc...) are not true Surround EX?? Am I getting an surround EX track even though there is no 6th channel showing on my receiver front?? Is my receiver faulty?
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Old 07-14-02, 12:10 PM
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With newer titles like JP3, they have a digital "flag" encoded in the audio bitstream that triggers the 6.1 EX mode on your receiver. This has caused dropouts on some other receivers, mostly Onkyo's, but the very newest receivers appear unaffected. Older EX titles like Gladiator, Se7en, and T2 lack this flag but are still EX encoded. You just need to turn on the EX decoding manually. The lack of the flag is why there is no 6th channel on your display but the receiver is decoding it properly which is why you get sound from the rear center.
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Old 07-14-02, 12:22 PM
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Thanks for the information Bricks II, but can somebody explain this...I just played a regular DD 5.1 DVD (American Pie) and there was still sound coming from the rear. Since this title is not EX how is sound still coming out from the rear center channel?

*Added*
I just played another two regular DD 5.1 tracks and they also had sound coming from the rear center. So what is the difference with these tracks compared to the ones that are supposed to be EX. I get the feeling that I am only getting true DD surround EX on the titles that have a digital "flag" encoded. The others are just giving me what regular DD 5.1 tracks are giving me. Am I being too paranoid...

Last edited by Skouby; 07-14-02 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 07-14-02, 12:40 PM
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If you are playing the regular DD5.1 encoded DVDs with your surround back channel on, you are just hearing the same sound
from your surround right, and surround left, passing through your surround back channel. It's not a 6.1 matrix, or discrete source.
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