Dolby Digital EX and THX Surround EX

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Edgeyboy, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. Edgeyboy

    Edgeyboy
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    Does anyone know of any DD EX titles ? I have plenty of THX Surround EX dvds that my amp recognises as so, but only a THX demo disc that actually flags the amp up as Dolby Digital EX.

    The reason I ask is that what if you want the surroung back EX info, but don't want to ust THX processing ?
     
  2. Miniholic

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    Blade 2 R2 is marked on the box as DD EX and DTS ES, and the Seven SE R2 has both as well. Not sure about other titles though.
    I would have thought it would be possible to turn THX processing off. Which amp do you have, as DD EX has only recently being licensed as a stand alone format, was previously only available as THX surround EX, although its the same system. It was developed by Dolby & Lucasfilm (for the phantom menace i think) and was therefore only available for THX stuff at first (Mr Lucas not wanting to share again?).

    I have a 3802 which is compatible with EX, but is not oficially an EX amp (only DTS ES). I'm only running 5.1 at present, so I've not really checked to see which titles have the extra channels.

    Hope this helps a little
     
  3. Guest

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    Try T2 Ultimate DVD. It has a few different sound settings on it.
    DD5.1, DTS, THX, ES, EX.
     
  4. bob007

    bob007
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    A few more here
     
  5. garmtz

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    In fact, an important difference between Dolby Surround EX and THX Surround EX (exept from re-eq with THX) is the fact that THX Surround EX uses Dolby ProLogic for the rears and Dolby Surround EX uses Dolby ProLogic II. Also, a disc does not have to be THX certified to be able to be played in THX Surround EX.
     
  6. Edgeyboy

    Edgeyboy
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    I am currently between amps, comparing the denon1sr with the new arcam av8 and the tag 32r with matching power amps.

    The denon shows it as Dolby Digital Ex. It seems you can then apply THX Surround EX "on top of this".

    Interesting one this. I want to use the DD EX, but not have to engage THX processing. Could someone clarify the differences ?
     
  7. Electric Mayhem

    Electric Mayhem
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    With the Denon you just engage whatever mode you want, Dolby EX, THX Surround EX, THX ULTRA 2 Cine or Music etc. If you don´t want to use any of the THX modes leave them off and it will use any of the normal Dolby EX, 5.1, DTS, DTS 6.1 Discrete modes etc etc (dependent on the format of the dvd disc itself & what you select).

    You have the choice.:)

    Same with Pro-Logic etc. When you select THX post processing you have the choice of which decoding you want to use, PL Emulation, PL2 Cinema or Music, DTS Neo Movie/Music etc.
     
  8. Edgeyboy

    Edgeyboy
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    Could John Dawson tell us what the AV8 does and displays on its' front panel if you present it with an EX soundtrack and you dont wish to use THX processing , just listen to it in 6.1 or 7.1 ?

    Many thanks.
     
  9. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Right now the AV8 always engages THX post processing when decoding DD EX, not least because I understand that is what the licence required when we designed the product.

    I have already discussed this with our engineers and in principle it is possible to disengage the THX post processing for EX now that EX is allowed without a THX licence.

    So, out of curiousity, how many of you on here would genuinely like to see that option implemented in a future SW release, and why?

    Awaiting your comments chaps.

    John Dawson (Arcam)

    PS - Tom, we have now shipped an AV8/P7 to Sevenoaks in Hull. Thought you'd like to know.
     
  10. Electric Mayhem

    Electric Mayhem
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    John

    If that can be made as a future SW release then great, I´m sure not everyone wants to have THX processing on all the time, I certainly don´t. It´s nice to have the choice, with my Denon, sometimes I have it on, sometimes I don´t, depends on the mood or what dvd is playing!

    Cheers

    Jase
     
  11. Edgeyboy

    Edgeyboy
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    Hi John,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I think it is a necessity not to have to engage THX when decoding 6.1 or 7.1. I don't use THX modes as I find it "dulls" the speakers too much for my system and in my room on some discs, much as jase describes.

    How long will this update to the AV8 software take as this is an important factor in my purchasing decision ?

    Many thanks.
     
  12. garmtz

    garmtz
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    I tend to dislike the THX re-eq almost all the time. With all the latest releases, I never use it. I found it disappointing that with the AV8 in THX EX mode re-eq was not switchable. This is understandable, as THX requires it, but nevertheless, it would be a very nice edition if the AV8 would feature a bare bones Dolby Digital EX mode.

    As I said before, THX Surround EX and Dolby Digital EX are not the same and should be implemented separately for completeness sake.

    Lexicon has done the same by the way with the MC-12, but in this model, re-eq can be switched off in THX mode.
     
  13. John Dawson

    John Dawson
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    Just a note to let people know that we have put this on the "to do" list for the next major AV8 software release, probably early in the new year.

    So guys, buy with confidence :)

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  14. garmtz

    garmtz
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  15. DVDNUT

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    Most definitely, whilst THX processing is suitable for some set-up, perhaps where something like KEF TDN's are used, then fine, use it all the time.
    Surely THX processing is very rigid in the way it processes the sound, so to be able to run in say 7.1 with it would be great and very easy to implement.
    A quick one for John (if you don't mind): Does the AV8 currently have a 7.1 mode for playback of music ? and how easy is it to impement the the DD 7.1 EX (with no THX)?
    Many thanks :)
     
  16. ANDY_DUTTON

    ANDY_DUTTON
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    Hi there, I will field this one for John, he may add something more later.

    7.1 Ch output is available from all of the AV8's multichannel and effects modes including the ARCAM Music mode, by redirecting the surround channels to both the surrounds and rears at -3dB (this way they sum to the right level in the room) a back delay is available as well as independant level adjustment for the back channels. I found in listening tests that this was a very effective way to smooth the presentation of the surround channels, significantly reducing the chance of your attention being pulled to a surround channel.

    DTS NEO 6 also provides a 6 channel music surround mode in which the 6th channel is a rear channel directed to the two back speakers, with a delay setting and seperate level adjustment.

    The implementation of DD-EX by itself is not difficult once you have already implemented THX EX, however the issue is intergrating the change into the existing user interface and ensuring that the operation is consistant in all the different states that the AV8 can be in.

    Regards,
    Andrew Dutton (AV8 Team Leader)
     
  17. Edgeyboy

    Edgeyboy
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    Hi Andy

    How does the AV8 derive the surround back information from the surround L & R channels ?
    Does it use the Pro Logic library ?
    If so, is it Pro Logic or Pro Logic II ?

    Regards.

    Tom.
     
  18. common

    common
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    When watching an EX encoded disc on my Denon A11SR, and using 1 rear back speaker I only get 6.1 on the display not EX which is the same as 'normal' Dolby Digital (until I press THX then I get THXsurround EX)

    Should I be seeing 6.1EX ?
     
  19. Electric Mayhem

    Electric Mayhem
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    It´s only the A1SR and upgraded A1SE that will show Dolby EX on the display, the other Denons will show 6.1 Surround. It was because of something to do with the licensing agreement from Dolby (or lack of!).
     
  20. common

    common
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    Cheers Jase - any other way of telling it's picking up EX ?
     
  21. Electric Mayhem

    Electric Mayhem
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    Only if the disc has an EX flag encoded on it (not many have) then the Signal Detect light will be lit up. Otherwise you have to rely on disc packaging to tell if its an EX disc (this isn´t very reliable either!).

    You can engage the Surround Backs on ANY disc if you want, just that some films sound better than others with the EX processing.
     
  22. Family Guy

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    Anybody know of any Dolby EX discs that have a flag on them? I read a little while ago that Atlantis: The Lost Empire had one but it dosen't trigger my Pioneer 811. All the dts es discs I have on the other hand, do.
     
  23. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt
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    Jurassic Park 3 (R1)
    Pearl Harbor (even though the soundtrack isn't Dolby Digital Surround EX, the flag was accidentally activated)
    Beastmaster (R1)
    Atlantis (R1, don't know about 2/4)

    All have the EX flag.

    Permitting Dolby Digital EX playback without THX's processing is an absolute must these days. Play a near-field remix on DVD such as Lord of the Rings, Blade 2 or Seven and you'll hear why. These have already been adjusted for domestic playback. Putting THX re-equalisation on top of this just kills the soundtrack.

    Adam
     
  24. Guest

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    Hope you don't mind me asking this:-

    BUT IS IT WORTH TRYING TO BUY AN AMP WITH THX?
     
  25. michaelab

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    IMO, no, especially if it's not a really high end one because getting a THX license costs quite a bit of money which, in a cheaper amp would be better spent on other things. Also, just because an amp. doesn't have THX on the cover doesn't mean it isn't up to the THX spec.

    Michael.
     
  26. klnc

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    forgive my slight confusion, but i'm still confused about some of the signals coming up on my amp (denon a1sr) when i play certain discs...

    eg. LOTR (R2) - can be played in DD EX, THX Surround EX and THX Ultra2Cine. DD EX - the basic, then you can add THX processing for THXSEX, but what is the Ultra2cine mode for?

    Finally, on a non EX disc, say Snatch (R2), I can still have the above 3 modes even though the disc isn't EX?

    As I say, apologies for any ignorrance... I've had the amp for about a month, but last night was the first night i actually wired in 2 surround back speakers just as an experiment (we're moving house next month and i'll be able to spread out a bit more then!).

    thanks.
     
  27. Family Guy

    Family Guy
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    Even though I'm none to familiar with your amp, Ultra2cinema sounds like a dsp mode to me. This means that it dosen't matter what sound format is on your disc, your amp will ruin it for you anyway!
    If you play a non EX disc in EX mode, the amp will add effects that are not meant to be there. Some films sound very good like this (Godzila) but some sound pretty awful (Forrest Gump). As a rule of thumb, I leave EX processing on all the time on my amp. But mine isn't THX EX, just bona fida Dolby Digital Surround EX:D
    (Pioneer VSX 811), EX, ES matrix, ES discrete, DPLII, Neo 6 - £305.
     
  28. chips

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    If it's a Denon A1SR that will be THX Ultra2 Cinema which although strictly speaking is a DSP, it's a bit special.

    Here is a Lucusfilm description:

    Since their introduction in 1999, Dolby Surround EX in the cinema and THX Surround EX in home theater equipment, continue to have increased acceptance. Many consumers with THX Surround EX products preferred to use Surround EX mode all the time even for non-EX encoded material. This was just as well for many of the DVD’s with Surround EX encoded soundtracks often omitted to mention it on the packaging, or include the flag for auto-detection of the format. In most cases 5.1 soundtracks sounded
    better, but for 5.1 program material containing a monaural surround channel it did not. This was because monaural surround when replayed in Surround EX mode, caused all the surround information to be sent to the single rear channel, and none to the sides.

    THX Ultra2 overcomes this limitation by including THX Ultra2 Cinema mode. In THX Ultra2 Cinema mode the Surround EX flag (if present) is auto detected. For Surround EX with no flag and all other non-EX program, special processing is applied to the surround tracks such that ambient information is reproduced by the left and right dipole surrounds, and directional cues are provided by two centrally placed back surrounds. For monaural surround tracks the signal is fed both directly to the back surrounds and after decorrelation to the left and right surround speakers.

    This optimum blend of ambient and rear directional information provides an enhanced surround experience over a wider listening area for all multi-channel formats. With stereo surround tracks and multi-channel music, the signal is fed unprocessed to the left and right surrounds and, after further processing, to the surround back speakers. This processing uses THX ASA (Advanced Speaker Array) Technology and provides an enveloping rear surround field over a wide listening area.
     

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