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  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Too many different sound settings, need help

    I've got a problem getting all of the sound settings right for watching 5.1-surround movies with a two-channel audio rig. This is a bit of an involved tale but I would really appreciate a word or two of reaction, so please do bear with me:

    At the moment I'm running a Sony DVP-NS70H DVD-player into a Panasonic TH-50PX60U plasma TV, connected via HDMI. From there the TV is connected to an old Rotel RC-995 preamp, via analog (RCA) interconnects. The Rotel doesn't have anything else.

    When I watch movies that are only recorded in 3/2.1 surround (e.g., "Layer Cake"), I can't hear the audio very well. There are so many different menu settings for audio, and they're so badly documented, that I can't tell which settings are right and which are wrong (and a process-of-elimination would take longer than most people live).

    Here's a sample of the DVD player's owners' manual:

    "When you select one of the TV Virtual Surround Settings, if you use the DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL or COAXIAL) / HDMI OUT jack and set DOLBY DIGITAL to DOLBY DIGITAL, and DTS to ON in AUDIO SETUP, sound will come from your speakers but it will not have the surround effect." (Page 43)

    ...Sound will come from my speakers? Does that mean "sound will come from my rear channel speakers (if I have any, which I don't), but they won't play the actual surround channel," or does that mean, "sound will come from my front speakers" (which it always does, just not always intelligebly)? Or does it mean something else altogether?

    Here's another, from a completely different place in the manual:

    "DOWNMIX switches the method for mixing down to 2 channels when you play a DVD which has rear sound elements (channels) or is recorded in Dolby Digital format. Normally, set to DOLBY SURROUND. Multi-channel audio signals are output to 2-channels for enjoying surround sounds. Set to NORMAL and multi-channel audio signals are downmixed to 2 channels for use with your stereo." (Page 66.)

    Have I got that right? DOLBY SURROUND sends the multi-channel content to 2-channels, but, on the other hand, NORMAL is the setting if you want the multi-channel content down-mixed to 2-channels? Isn't that THE SAME FREAKING THING?

    ...And on into the night. There are, at least, six other settings you can toggle, that I didn't quote the manual on, here. If I quoted them all, the post would go on for two pages (and probably by the end of it there would be blood seeping from your ears).

    Now, I could e-mail Sony (and/or Panasonic) but there's one more wrinkle: I just bought an Arcam FMJ-A22 integrated amplifier with a DAVE module for generating 5.1 output (if you add a companion, gain-matched three-channel amp). This means that I can now use a digital audio line to connect the DVD player directly to the Arcam, but it seems also to mean that I'll have to start over getting the settings right.


  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    halifax,nova scotia,canada
    Try running left and right analog outs from the dvd player to an unused stereo input on the Rotel,should work.

    Speakers-Jm Labs
    Disc player-Sim Audio Moon Calypso
    Pre-amp-Sim Audio P-5.3 SE
    dac= sim audio moon 300d

    Amp-Sim Audio Moon I-3
    Display-Toshiba CRT
    Wires and Cables-Kimber,Straight Wire, ixos, Gutwire and shunyata research
    Sacd-Cambridge Audio
    Bluray--Sony and Cambridge Audio
    Remote-- Harmony 1100

    Power-- Monster

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