Help in setting up my new system



Hi everyone, I have just bought a Denon ADV-550SD Home Theatre System which consists of AVR-550SD AV receiver and a DVD-550SD DVD player. I’ve coupled this up with a set of Mission FS1 6.1 speakers. I’ve connected everything up (used the optical cable to connect the DVD player) and it all seems to be working fine, although I’m a bit confused about which settings to use when I’m playing various sources.

For example, I made a CD with a load of MP3’s on and I used the DVD player to play it. On the amp, I could select either Dolby Pro Logic IIx or DTS Neo:6 but which is best when playing music? I then put a DVD film in and it automatically switched to Dolby Pro Logic IIx and it wouldn’t let me switch to any other mode.

Also, I have a Soundblaster Audigy 2 NX external soundcard for my PC. There is a test function on the computer to test the speakers and it says “front right” “front centre” etc out of the corresponding speaker. For some strange reason, I can only get it to work on the front right and left speakers but not on any of the others, although when I play music from the computer I get sounds from all the speakers. So, I’m not sure whether my amp or computer settings are incorrect.

Altogether, I wish to connect the following to the amp

TV (via RCA’s from the scart)
DVD player for playing music CD’s and DVD movies (optical)
Soundcard (optical)

If anyone could help me with configuring all the settings for the best surround sound I would really appreciate it as I’m finding it all a bit hard to understand.

Kev :)

Mango Bob

Established Member
Welcome to the forums Kev! Congrats on your new purchases :)

I'm not familiar with your amp so perhaps someone else with a Denon 550 will help, but here's some general info.

Dolby PLIIx and DTS Neo:6 both take in stereo input and mix them to surround channels. You're using the digital connection between amp and dvd which is correct so if you can't change to Dolby Surround or DTS your DVD player may not be outputting the right signal.

Check the DVD is outputting "Bitstream" rather than PCM (in DVD options somewhere, but I can't tell you as I've not seen that player!). If it's set to PCM, even when you put in a 5.1 DVD it will downmix it to 2-channel PCM output.

When it's in Bitstream (multi-channel sound) mode and you put in a CD it should automatically send it to the amp as PCM (2-channel sound).

Hope this helps and isn't too confusing!


Distinguished Member
With regard to music and non DD/DTS software (i.e. anything thats not a DVD pretty much) then just play around with the different DSP's you might find you like one for a certan source or type i.e. rock music may be detter with neo but east enders would sound better with DPL.

When it comes to dvd's i would just leave it on DD or DTS (considered better but depends on the quality of the disc).


ahhhh right! thanks guys! I shall have a play around with the settings when I get back home and see what the DVD player is giving out.

Mango Bob - I think it may actually be set to PCM as I know that when I have the amp set in 'auto' mode a little PCM indicator light comes on when the DVD player starts playing - I didnt think anything of it as I didnt know what it meant :laugh:

If anyone else got any further info or advice, thanks in advance :thumbsup:

Mango Bob

Established Member
Kev, if your DVD player is *only* outputting PCM then you aren't getting proper 5.1 (or 6.1) sound. You have to set it to Bitstream to get Dolby Digital Surround of full DTS sound.

Dolby PLIIx and DTS:Neo6 are only stereo pretending to be surround sound! Although they work well for creating surround effects if watching a movie on Sky/Telewest etc.

When the DVD is in Bitstream mode it should still output PCM with e.g. a CD in the player - my Tosh 330 does at least.

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