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Help! Center channel not working properly.

Old 09-05-00, 05:35 PM
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My onkyo 575x receiver and pioneer 302 dvd player are hooked up via a coaxial digital cable. I do not get sounds from my center channel when I select "DTS Surround" from the onyko fornt panel. When I select "DVD Stereo" I get sound from my center as well as my R and L. BTW, I do not have rear speakers or a sub hooked up as of now. I just called the guy at Circuit City and he said to select the "Digital" input selection for the receiver. I currently have this in AUTO. Does thid make sense? He said to slect Digital only but Auto should do analog only when a digital signal is not present. I haven't had a chance to do this yet so I wanted to see if this makes sense to anyone???
I have the Center selected as being present in the DVD setup as well as the receiver setup. Any other suggestions?
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Old 09-06-00, 01:40 AM
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If you don't have surrounds and have setup your receiver to indicate that there are no surrounds, then you should not be able to hear in Dolby Digital and DTS.
The digital signal needs to be downmixed into analog Dolby Surround so that you can listen in Dolby 3 Stereo using the front 3 speakers only.
What you need to do is hookup the DVD player and receiver not by digital means but my analog means. Use the stereo L/R RCA outs on the back of the DVD player instead of digital coaxial.

If you want to try Dolby Digital and DTS just too see what the front 3 speakers only sound like in a 5.1 mix, then use the digital cable and set your receiver so that it indicates that surrounds are present. You will be loosing surround info so I wouldn't keep it this way for long. Its better to use an analog connection and listen to Dolby Surround (Dolby 3 Stereo).

[This message has been edited by Andy Kim (edited September 05, 2000).]
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Old 09-06-00, 10:40 AM
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Wait,in order to enjoy Dolby Digital,you HAVE to hook up all five speakers to your receiver? I thought DD went to each speaker,so if you only have the front and center,you'll get DD out of those 3 speakers.
I'm confused.
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Old 09-06-00, 01:11 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by keith71:
Wait,in order to enjoy Dolby Digital,you HAVE to hook up all five speakers to your receiver? I thought DD went to each speaker,so if you only have the front and center,you'll get DD out of those 3 speakers.
I'm confused.




Dolby Digital just refers to how the material is encoded.
You don't need 5 speakers to listen in Dolby Digital. Dolby Digital comes in a wide variety of flavours. There's Dolby Digital 1.0 (mono, which requires only 1 speaker), Dolby Digital 2.0 (stereo, requires 2 speakers), 5.1 (which requires 5 speakers) and so on...

Which Dolby Digital were you refering to? I'm assuming that you're trying to listen to a 5.1 soundtracked disc using only the front 3 speakers.

To listen to a soundtrack in 5.1, meaning 5 discrete channels of sound you need 5 speakers. You only have 3. If you want to listen to the front 3 only of a 5.1 soundtrack that's fine but you are going to be loosing valuable information coming out of the surrounds because they are not hooked up.
Dolby Digital 5.1 contains 5 discrete channels of info requiring 5 speakers which you don't have.

What you want is something that will play the front left, front center, and front right, and because you don't have surrounds you want the surround channel information mixed into your front left and front right channels to give them a full sound. This is "DOLBY 3 STEREO". And this is the only option that you really have if you want to listen using only the front 3 speakers. Unless a Dolby Digital soundtrack is mixed for the front 3 only (so a Dolby Digital 3.0 or something), you won't be able to listen using only the front 3 speakers with Dolby Digital (unless you want to just play the front 3 channels while the surround info is being outputted to nothing because nothing is hooked up to them).

The good news is that you can listen using the front 3 speakers only with Dolby Surround material. Using the stereo analog outputs on the back of your DVD player, a matrixed Dolby Surround soundtrack will reach your receiver. Having your receiver on DOLBY 3 STEREO will output to the front left speaker, front center, and front right and will also downmix the surround channel into your front left and right speakers.
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Old 09-06-00, 01:51 PM
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Andy Kim is confused about what he is telling you. He did state that you can listen to a 5.1 channel dvd with only three speakers which is correct. He is wrong by stating you will be losing valuable information by doing this. As you will not have rear sound it does not hurt the reciever and the sounds that come from the rears are not vital to watching a movie. It is totally fine to listen to a dvd in 5.1 channels while only having your fonts and center hooked up and while having your rears set as not present. That is precisely what I am doing now while I save for rears and a sub. Everything should be working fine for you if you have your dvd player hooked up to your reciever via a digital coax cable or optical cable. Do not even bother with analog. To answer your question you have something hooked up wrong or set up wrong. Go back and make sure everything is hooked up right. Maybe consult someone more knowledgeable then a circuit city salesman.
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Old 09-06-00, 04:00 PM
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Hi Zendog!
I guess its just a difference of opinion.
I think that the surround info is pretty important.

I find that when listening in Dolby 3 Stereo, the left and right channels are more full adding to the effect that sound is coming also from behind you (when infact its just in the unique mix of the soundtrack). True, the sweetspot for this effect is not large.

I too only have 3 front speakers so I've chosen Dolby 3 Stereo over Dolby Digital 5.1 using the front 3 speakers. Nonetheless, we've given "de8212" two different accounts, all the better for him/her to test each and choose the best that fits him/her.

If you are trying to listen to 5.1 with only the 3 fronts, I agree with Zendog that you must have something hooked up incorrectly. Make sure you don't have the surrounds off in the receiver's setup.

Cheers
Andy
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Old 09-06-00, 04:14 PM
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Thanks,guys. So,for the record,you CAN listen
to Dolby Digital with just 3 speakers. Obviously,it won't sound as good as having the whole 5.1 package. Personally,I can do without the rears for now. Sure,I'm sure it would sound cool having bullets whiz above your head or something,but I think crisp,clear dialogue is more important,which
is why I'm going to buy a high quality center speaker for now.
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Old 09-06-00, 04:25 PM
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Definately just a matter of opinion like AndyKim said. Only having the fronts and a center doesn't really lose any sound quality for me since my Sony ES reciever has sound fields that compensate for not having rears. Definately do your HT system as high quality as you can it will pay off years down the road.
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