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What audio setting should I use?

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What audio setting should I use?

Old 12-09-00, 05:33 PM
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I am using a Pro logic reciever. (I have only the front R and L, and the center speakers.) What audio setting do I choose on the DVD? I have always just let the movie play and not worried about changing the setting, but I just thought about this today. Do I leave it on 5.1 Dolby Digital? I always assumed that I would be taking full advantage of my Prologic reciever by choosing 5.1. Is this correct? Thanks.

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Old 12-09-00, 05:44 PM
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I'm assuming that you don't have your ProLogic receiver set to Phantom mode. If you still want to use your center speaker, then leave the audio on 5.1. I don't see how this could cause a problem (other than the fact that you won't hear the extra channel of audio behind you). You could also go for the 2 channel audio, but then the sound would only come out of your L and R speakers (no center).

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Old 12-09-00, 07:45 PM
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I would set the DVD player to 2-Stereo... Because DPL is intended to decode a STEREO STREAM...
Old 12-09-00, 08:13 PM
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I agree with electronix_kid, pro-logic decodes four outputs (L, R, C, S) from a two-channel stream. I believe a pro-logic receiver will ignore "3.1" of the 5.1 input, thus working with an improperly mixed 2.0 subset of the 5.1 input. The 2.0 supplied on the disk should be properly mixed and will give you the best output on a pro-logic system. For more info see
http://www.dolby.com/tech/whtppr.html .

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Old 12-09-00, 09:33 PM
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Hi Caiman,
Technically for optimum listening, you should be selecting the Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track.

A Dolby Digital 5.1 track has 6 discrete channels that is carried over a digital connection. Your receiver is only Pro Logic and can't decode a digital signal, only an analog one. It can only accept a 2 channel signal. Dolby Surround contains 4 channels (L,C,R,S) matrixed onto two, the two being the conventional right and left so that people with only a stereo setup can still use it. Your DPL receiver receives this 2 channel stereo signal and then extracts it back to the original 4 channels. In your Dolby 3 Stereo case, it extracts from the L and R 2 more channels, the center and surround channels. It outputs the center channel to the center speaker and because you don't have surrounds, the surround channel information is mixed into the L and R speakers.

When playing a Dolby Digital 5.1 track over a stereo analog connection that you have with your DPL receiver, the DVD player downmixes the 5.1 track to a matrix stereo signal so that it can be played over a Dolby Surround system or a normal stereo system (or in your case and mine, a Dolby 3 Stereo system). The DVD player will do the best it can in downmixing the 5.1 track so that it will sound like a Dolby Surround track. It "guesses" and tries the best it can to figure out what this Dolby Surround track should sound like on the fly. Because of this, the downmix isn't perfect.

And that is why sometimes DVD's also come with a dedicated Dolby Surround track labeled as "Dolby Surround" or "Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround" or something close to that. This track has been specially mixed for playback on a Dolby Surround or on 2 channel hardware like your Dolby Pro Logic receiver. So technically, this track will be more "true" to what should be heard over a DPL than a downmixed 5.1 track.

When soundmixers create a 5.1 track, they then listen to what it sounds like when downmixed. If the downmix sounds good, then they don't really need to include a dedicated 2.0 Surround track. If the downmix sounds unnatural, then they tweak the 5.1 track to be more downmix friendly or they include a dedicated 2.0 surround track if they have enough room on the DVD.

So technically, you should be using the Dolby Digital 2.0 track.
But personally, I sometimes find the 5.1 track downmixed sounds better than the dedicated 2.0 surround track.
So, it comes down to whatever works for you. Try both out and use the one you like.
Hope that helps,
Andy


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