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DD/DTS/PLII/NEO6/THX etc...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by rscott4563, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Ok I've read an article on PL2x and I thought I had a pretty good grasp on how all the Dolby Digital/Pro Logic/THX systems worked but I have a question, which hopefully someone can help me with.

    This is what I understand so far:

    *If I have a 2.0 source then I can get 5.1 with DD PL2/DTS NEO6

    *If I have a 2.0 source then I can get 6.1 with DTS NEO6

    *If I have a 2.0 source then I can get 7.1 with DD PL2x

    *If I have a 5.1 source then I can get 6.1 with DD EX/THX EX/DTS ES (this can be with a single rear speaker or with two on some amps, but with two they are using the same signal so still 6.1, just to disperse the sound a bit better)

    *If I have a 6.1 source (DTS ES Discrete is the only one as far as I know) then I can get 6.1 with DTS ES Discrete

    *If I have a 5.1 source then I can get 7.1 with DD PL2x/THX Ultra 2 (these will give me stereo rear surrounds, not two rear speakers using the same signal, as with DD EX or THX EX)

    Also DD PL2x and THX Ultra 2 work out there rear stereo surrounds differently, DD PL2x uses PL2x (obviously), but THX Ultra 2 uses its own processing called ASA, and when THX Ultra 2 is creating 7.1 from 2.0 it uses normal PL2 to work out the extra 3.1 and then its own ASA for the rear 2 surrounds.

    Is this correct, is there anything I've missed??

    (I'm obviously not counting surround systems such as Logic7 or DSP's)

    I'd really appreciate some feedback as I've gathered all of this from various sources and forum posts and so I'm not really sure if I've really understood it properly.

    Cheers

    Ryan
     
  2. gmt steve

    gmt steve
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  3. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    I believe PLIIx allows the option of 6.1 if you are only using a centre rear channel.

    For 6.1 you mention DTS ES Discreet, there is also DD EX & DTS ES Matrixed there are only 5.1 (six) tracks on the disc but an additional centre rear track is Matrixed into the L&R Rear channels so 6.1 tracks mixed by the studio engineer and are available with the correct decoder.

    You missed out circle surround completely, but I guess that was no bad thing, :rotfl: and there are proprietary matrix decoders on the market from several manufacturers that do similar things to give stereo centre rear.

    Apart from that from what I can see you got most everything worth mentioning.
     
  4. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Sorry yeah I should have said that I'd made the assumption that if a surround decoder can give 7.1 then it can give anything below this depending on the number of speakers

    I think you missed this line
    Again I think you missed this line
    Anyone got any info on particularly the way PL2x and THX Ultra 2 differ in the way they create a stereo rear surround, also can THX 2 Ultra work on 2.0 sources?

    Cheers

    Ryan
     
  5. gmt steve

    gmt steve
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    :confused: Doesn't my link work? The article it links to will answer ALL your questions.
     
  6. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Cheers for the link Steve :smashin:
    The link talks about all of the things I've mentioned but doesn't seem to cover the details of the rear surrounds in particularly with THX Ultra 2 in that much detail, are these definitely stereo rears?
    How do PL2x and Ultra 2 differ in their rear surround creation, I can't remember where I saw it but I remember someone saying Ultra 2 didn't really create stereo rears like PL2x does, if this is true will there be a new THX Ultra soon using PL2x instead of PL2?

    Cheers

    Ryan :hiya:
     
  7. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    Apparently there is a difference between taking a standard 5.1 track and using the EX/ES software to “get” a sudo 6.1, to decoding a Matrixed EX/ES soundtrack to re-create the intended 6.1 recording, I can not understand how it is different but I am assured that it is.

    I was only trying to point out that there is subtle difference, as for the other stuff I did not miss anything was just embellishing on your descriptions.
     
  8. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    As far as I know with the DD EX soundtracks, they are 5.1 but they purposefully matrix a 6th channel into the surround left and right channels in the studio, this enables it to be played back on a standard 5.1 system, but then allows a DD EX or THX EX equipped amp to decode the 6th channel back out of the two surround channels, this makes it a matrixed channel unlike DTS ES Discrete which is a seperate channel on the disc.

    I know what you mean as in this is slightly different to using DD EX or THX EX to have 6.1 from a standard 5.1 DVD but I just put these in together as even though there is some difference, its still a matrix system not fully discrete.

    Cheers

    Ryan :smashin:
     
  9. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    Yup that looks like what I was getting at, don't forget there is also DTS ES Matrix (6th channel hidden in rear L&R) as well as DTS ES Discreet but that is being really picky.

    I do not believe THX Ultra 2 does work on 2 channel audio but someone will no doubt correct me on that.
     
  10. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    I'm really not sure but I don't think DTS ES (matrix) works that way, as in there are no DVD's produced which are DTS ES Matrix, like there are with DD EX, instead DTS ES Matrix just uses a similar process to PL2 or NEO6 to get the extra rear channel from the two surrounds, i.e. the signal isn't hidden in the surround channels, its completely made up by the DTS ES process using the standard left and right surrounds.

    Ryan
     
  11. Apollo11

    Apollo11
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    I wouldnt worry too much about the differences if I were you, whichever format you are using will vary on how it sounds depending mainly on what you are playing through it, if you want to hear a really good demo of how good DD can sound, watch 'The fith element'. I bought a new amp last week & still can't hear much difference between Pro Logic & Pro logic 2.
     
  12. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    I would send the amp back:D.
     
  13. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    lol :laugh:

    I've never had ProLogic so can't make any sort of comparison, though from what I know about the two, you really should be able to tell?

    At the moment I'm flicking between DD PL2 and DTS Neo6 for general tv viewing to try and decide which I prefer, I can definitely tell that there is a difference but I'm not sure of which different is actually better yet, though I'm not really getting the full effect at the moment as my centre is in its box for the minute awaiting a stand so it can fit under my plasma.

    I think DTS Neo6 has a clearer front stage and when it does have surround effects they are very clear, the only downside, the surrounds now and again seem wrong, like its getting confused and putting effects to the rear that don't belong there.

    DD PL2 isn't quite as clear with dialogue and the surrounds don't seem to be in use as much, but overall it does seem very cohesive and unintrusive, i.e. no dodgy surround moments.

    Obviously this will all probably change once my surround is back in action...

    Ryan

    oh yeah and anyone got any more info on the rear surround tech with respect to PL2x, THX Ultra2, there differences and will there be a THX Ultra 3 or THX Ultra 2x, using PL2x technology?:smashin:
     
  14. Apollo11

    Apollo11
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    Ive been messing around with so called home cinema (which I think is a bad term coz it makes us sound like a bunch of techy nurds), for over 10 years and still find it a really frustrating subject, it seems to me you spend a load of money on a new amp (I bought the vsxax5i last week after buying a vsxd2011 which has a knackered left channel) and my system doesnt sound much better than it was using my 3 year old amp.
     
  15. Apollo11

    Apollo11
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    Oh and what do you think to the Kef Q9C (I am considering one but heard they can be a little light in the bass dept)
     
  16. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Well I haven't had a chance to have a proper listen yet, I did get it out of its box just to check it worked and to see if it would fit in front of my plasma (which it doesn't, hence its back in the box until I get my custom unit made up to fit it under) and so I really can't make any judgment yet, but if its anything like a Q1 (and it seems pretty damn similar, if anything bigger) then bass really wont be a problem.
    I should have it up and running by next week so will let you know the results.

    Ryan
     
  17. Apollo11

    Apollo11
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    That would b e most kind of you, I have Kef Q5's as main speakers and am using a B & W CM2 but the girlfriend is moaning they don't match (Visually of course coz what would she know about av) so will prob go for the Q9c - out of interest, how much did you pay for it ?, they seem to vary a lot in price.

    Richard.
     
  18. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    I got a great deal £152 delivered from SMC Sound and Vision, haven't seen anything as cheap elsewhere, but SuperFi do them for £199 as standard I think.

    Ryan
     
  19. Jase

    Jase
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    As mentioned. THX Ultra2 will not work with 2.0 sources, it only works with 5.1 and creates 7.1 from that track. For amps/processors with this mode you can only select it if you have two surround back speakers connected, it will not let you engage this mode with only the one connected.
     
  20. Apollo11

    Apollo11
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    Thats a good price, let me know if yours sounds ok & Ill purchase, not sure Ill goto Superfi though coz I drove to Coventry (live in Ipswich) to pick up a Pioneer VSXD2011 last Wed and it was faulty so called them and told them they would have to send a courier to collect it from me, they tried to cherge me for collecting a knackered amp) - lI told them politely where to go after trying to get me to pay 1/2 postage they agreed to collect for free.
     
  21. Apollo11

    Apollo11
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    K
    Hows the weather in Spain Jase ?, when I win the lottery Im retiring to North Spain !
     
  22. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    My previous two amps were pure Pro Logic, ambiance wise it is a big improvement on 2ch from a TV but it totally butchers music, PLII is a huge step up from the old format and totally different, IMO it is nearer to discreet 5.1 than any other format out there.

    I did a lot of experimenting when I first bought my amp, for 2ch Movies and TV I initially stated using Neo6, I felt it gave a fuller surround field possibly because it utilised the centre rear (And I had a centre rear speaker so wanted to use it) but upon extended experimentation I found that PLII gave a much more detailed front stage with clear dialogue, Neo6 was inferior and even missed some detail completely so now I use PLII for 2Ch. I use DTS where it is available DD where not but I always have EX/ES switched on in order to utilise the centre rear speakers, I have never found a situation where this has caused anything to sound worse that the 5.1 and the speakers are there so why not use them.

    I would Love an amp with PLIIx but can not justify (to the wife:rolleyes: ) an upgrade at the moment in order to get what in reality is quite a subtle improvement.

    Once again I have not even mentioned Circle Surround as it is not worth my time to do so.:rotfl:

    For 2ch audio I'm a bit of a fuddy duddy 2ch is 2ch direct, I have experimented with other surround modes of which I rate PLII music the highest but I always go back to 2ch.:D

    I have asked someone I know what the difference between how PLIIx and THX U2 decode to 7.1, if this guy can not tell me no-one can, if he gets back I will let you know.:smashin:
     
  23. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    I think my current lack of a centre may be to blame for my feeling that PL2 was a bit poor on the front stage, maybe it uses the centre a bit more and so is missing it more than Neo6, I'll be able to tell soon, though I have no plans for a rear speaker anytime soon due to lack of space, so Neo6 will give me no benefit of that extra channel.

    With music I've never really liked what PL2 or Neo6 or any of the other DSP's do for it, I listen to my 2 channel music with Pure Direct with AL24 and sub turned off, I think it feels more natural this way, though in the past for parties I have used 5/7 channel stereo mode just to open up the sound field more for everyone in the room.

    Also I'm keen to hear from your mate on the whole PL2x/THX Ultra 2 ASA thing...
    Ryan :smashin:
     
  24. Jase

    Jase
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    At the mo, it's crap! LOL. And we're supposed to be in the best place for it (Costa Blanca).:rolleyes:
     
  25. pwiles1968

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    He was not as able to help as I would hope, he is very familiar with PLII but was not that familiar with THX, Main differences are PLIIx 7.1 from 2+ channels THX will only work with 5.1/6.1 sources, he also did not know if the centre rear on the THX was stereo and other than the THX equalisation he is not aware of the differences, sorry I did try. I would be interested myself if you find out, my interest has been aroused :laugh: .
     
  26. gmt steve

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    There are quite a few discs produced in DTS ES Matrix, it is definitely a CODEC, unlike say Circle Surround or Logic7, which are DECODE only.
     
  27. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Really, I have to admit I didn't look to see, but I hadn't come across any so I just figured it was a DSP thing not a disc thing, just out of interest what DVD's have DTS ES Matrix soundtracks?

    Cheers

    Ryan
     
  28. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    DTS-ES Matrix 5.1 - Found some, Transporter (Japan R2), Dog Soldiers (Chinese R3), Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The Ultimate Edition (USA R1) and another Chicken Run (UK R2)
     
  29. gmt steve

    gmt steve
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    A.I.: Artificial Intelligence: Special Edition
    Cast Away
    Die Another Day
    E.T. - Extra Terrestrial: 2 Disc Special Edition
    E.T. - Extra Terrestrial: 4 Disc Special Edition
    Jurassic Park III
    Minority Report
    Terminator 2 - Judgement Day: Ultimate Edition
     
  30. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    This was the point I was trying to make in my first thread did a bad job of it I suppose

    One of my favorite examples is 'Gladiator' in DTS-ES :smashin: . Even if you look at the case you will not see anything on the box it is often not advertised and as there is no flag on the disc there is nothing to tell you or your machine it is matrix encoded :mad: Dolby EX discs are just as bad. This is another good reason to leave EX/ES switched on.

    Does anyone have a link to a site that lists all the ES & EX encoded releases?:confused:
     

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