PCM vs Dolby Bitstream, movies vs games

JustBright

Standard Member
I've been tearing my hair out trying to figure out the setup.

For reference my setup is like this: PS5 to TV(LG 65" CX), TV to the Sn11rg soundbar via eARC (TV is set to passthrough).

So for games, I was told leave the PS5 setting for sound on "Linear PCM" as this is uncompressed audio. Great I did that. Then I was told if you're watching a movie and want to enable atmos, hit options and then choose "bitstream" within the movie menu and that will allow atmos work (will test this on lord of the rings today).

HOWEVER, the other day I was playing the last of us part 2 and I noticed my left rear spear was just putting out static noise, no actual game sound was coming out of it. So I spent some time researching and googling only to find out that if you choose the HDMI port settings for the ps5 to "PCM" from "bitstream"(this is on the TV settings not on the PS5) it fixes it. Sure enough, this did now enable the sound from my rear left speaker. For sh*ts and giggles I switched it back to bitstream to see if that recreates the problem but it didn't, there's actual sound coming out of the left rear speaker no matter what I do.


To make matters more confusing: On the PS5 console audio settings whenever I change the audio from LINEAR PCM to Dolby Bitstream, the sound becomes louder and fuller..like noticeably. I normally set the volume on the LG sn11rg at around 15-16. Well, if I switch the ps5 sound to dolby bitstream I have to turn down the volume to around 9. Furthermore, the audio in bitstream is way more positional in nature. In games I can actually tell whats behind me, in front, to the right etc. This is counter-intuitive though because isn't linear pcm supposed to be fully lossless uncompressed audio?

My main complaint is really this: These equipment (TV, soundbar, ps5) are all expensive and new and top of the line....it shouldn't be so damn confusing to just know you're getting what you paid for.

Not sure how to proceed with the settings so for now my plan is this:

Games: leave the PS5 setting on linear PCM (even though its quiet and less positional), and change the HDMI output on that port to "PCM"

Movies: Leave the PS5 setting on linear pcm, change the HDMI output on that port to "pcm" and then within the movie thats playing hit options and change the audio to "bitstream" as this will hopefully get Atmos out of the disc.
 

Darth_terra

Distinguished Member
Movies : Yes set to bitstream within the player when a movie is playing it's the only way to get Atmos and DTS-X, you don't have to set bitstream in the player for every movie you play just need to set it once and it's done.

Games: LPCM is uncompressed being decoded by the PS5 and then being sent to the soundbar for output, it's been around for many years and will work with any setup.

Bitstream is the PS5 sending the audio compressed to the Soundbar to decode, the Soundbar uncompresses it and then outputs the audio, it's suited for modern surround codecs like Dolby TruHD / Atmos and DTS master / DTS-X and depending on what your using a soundbar / Av receiver can do a better job than the device that is doing the decoding in this case the PS5.

Basically at this stage, if you're getting better results with Bitstream via your soundbar for gaming then use it, that will need to change if you plan to use Tempest 3D via soundbar/Av Receivers as the PS5 will need to decode but Sony hasn't said when that will be and could be some ways off yet.
 

W90WBA

Well-known Member
Tbf I brought a soundbar last week and had issue where I had sound on the PS5 menu, but then when I loaded a game the sound stopped, only way I figured out to get round it is going into PS5 Sound settings and changing audio format from Lunear PCM to either Bitstream (Dolby) or (DTS)
 

N0ddie

Well-known Member
With my setup I recently changed the PS5 audio setting to Bitsream(Dolby). For some reason I kinda assumed it would be this by default as the sound/surround effects were pretty decent.

Now with Bitstream the volume and clarity is much louder/better.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
I've been tearing my hair out trying to figure out the setup.

For reference my setup is like this: PS5 to TV(LG 65" CX), TV to the Sn11rg soundbar via eARC (TV is set to passthrough).

So for games, I was told leave the PS5 setting for sound on "Linear PCM" as this is uncompressed audio. Great I did that. Then I was told if you're watching a movie and want to enable atmos, hit options and then choose "bitstream" within the movie menu and that will allow atmos work (will test this on lord of the rings today).

HOWEVER, the other day I was playing the last of us part 2 and I noticed my left rear spear was just putting out static noise, no actual game sound was coming out of it. So I spent some time researching and googling only to find out that if you choose the HDMI port settings for the ps5 to "PCM" from "bitstream"(this is on the TV settings not on the PS5) it fixes it. Sure enough, this did now enable the sound from my rear left speaker. For sh*ts and giggles I switched it back to bitstream to see if that recreates the problem but it didn't, there's actual sound coming out of the left rear speaker no matter what I do.

The LG WebOS audio menu is not the most clear or well understood function
It used to be
PCM - Stereo only.
Auto - DD 5.1, DD+ 5.1 Atmos, DTS 5.1, PCM 2.0.

Now its supposedly
PCM - stereo
Auto - DD 5.1, DD+ 5.1 Atmos, PCM 2.0 to 7.1*
Pass-through - DD 5.1, DD+ 5.1 Atmos, TrueHD 7.1 Atmos*, Dolby MAT*, PCM 2.0 or 7.1*
eARC - on*/off

HDMI Input Format - PCM or bitstream this function is very poorly explained in the LG manual, setting it to bitstream for eARC seems to help some.

PCM is the more lower latency audio format and LG systems are notorious for audio lag so sticking to PCM is beneficial in that area, some sound system may apply audio processing to Dolby signals which might explain why it sounds different if there are no configurations issues.
 
Last edited:

Mallett94

Well-known Member
I've been tearing my hair out trying to figure out the setup.

For reference my setup is like this: PS5 to TV(LG 65" CX), TV to the Sn11rg soundbar via eARC (TV is set to passthrough).

So for games, I was told leave the PS5 setting for sound on "Linear PCM" as this is uncompressed audio. Great I did that. Then I was told if you're watching a movie and want to enable atmos, hit options and then choose "bitstream" within the movie menu and that will allow atmos work (will test this on lord of the rings today).

HOWEVER, the other day I was playing the last of us part 2 and I noticed my left rear spear was just putting out static noise, no actual game sound was coming out of it. So I spent some time researching and googling only to find out that if you choose the HDMI port settings for the ps5 to "PCM" from "bitstream"(this is on the TV settings not on the PS5) it fixes it. Sure enough, this did now enable the sound from my rear left speaker. For sh*ts and giggles I switched it back to bitstream to see if that recreates the problem but it didn't, there's actual sound coming out of the left rear speaker no matter what I do.


To make matters more confusing: On the PS5 console audio settings whenever I change the audio from LINEAR PCM to Dolby Bitstream, the sound becomes louder and fuller..like noticeably. I normally set the volume on the LG sn11rg at around 15-16. Well, if I switch the ps5 sound to dolby bitstream I have to turn down the volume to around 9. Furthermore, the audio in bitstream is way more positional in nature. In games I can actually tell whats behind me, in front, to the right etc. This is counter-intuitive though because isn't linear pcm supposed to be fully lossless uncompressed audio?

My main complaint is really this: These equipment (TV, soundbar, ps5) are all expensive and new and top of the line....it shouldn't be so damn confusing to just know you're getting what you paid for.

Not sure how to proceed with the settings so for now my plan is this:

Games: leave the PS5 setting on linear PCM (even though its quiet and less positional), and change the HDMI output on that port to "PCM"

Movies: Leave the PS5 setting on linear pcm, change the HDMI output on that port to "pcm" and then within the movie thats playing hit options and change the audio to "bitstream" as this will hopefully get Atmos out of the disc.

On the TV and soundbar yes set everything to enhanced and eARC and passthrough etc etc.

On the ps5 audio settingssett your audio output to HDMI. Set the hdmi device type to Audio reciever and set the number of channels to 7.1. Set your format priority to linear pcm. This will cause 7.1 LPCM fo go to tv and then TV will passthrough this to soundbar.

For Blurays, as has already been discussed, whennin the Blu-ray player software, access the in app settings and set audio format to bitstream direct.

This will give you optimal sound quality for everything.

Make sure in game settings for your different games you also set audio to home theatre mode or high boost and stuff like that.
 

tigermad

Distinguished Member
On the TV and soundbar yes set everything to enhanced and eARC and passthrough etc etc.

On the ps5 audio settingssett your audio output to HDMI. Set the hdmi device type to Audio reciever and set the number of channels to 7.1. Set your format priority to linear pcm. This will cause 7.1 LPCM fo go to tv and then TV will passthrough this to soundbar.

For Blurays, as has already been discussed, whennin the Blu-ray player software, access the in app settings and set audio format to bitstream direct.

This will give you optimal sound quality for everything.

Make sure in game settings for your different games you also set audio to home theatre mode or high boost and stuff like that.
Hi. Why do you say choose 7.1 for a soundbar? Wont that try and play sound to the speakers that are not there? I have a 5.1.2 setup and was told to choose 5.1. Is this wrong? Thanks
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
Hi. Why do you say choose 7.1 for a soundbar? Wont that try and play sound to the speakers that are not there? I have a 5.1.2 setup and was told to choose 5.1. Is this wrong? Thanks
Is this for your HT-x8500 or something else?

Choosing 7.1 will send the full quality multi channel LPCM signal to your ACR device. Its then on your AVR to downscale the signal to fit the speakers you actually have. You can choose 5.1 instead over 7.1 but various people on various threads and forums are reporting they are getting better surround sound results by setting their HDMI device to AVR and manually setting 7.1 channels.

I don't have my PS5 yet (can't get hold of one due to reduced stock) so I can't try any of this out myself yet.
 

untamedmind

Novice Member
Does anyone here have any experience using this hardware for PC games?

Whenever I watch a movie file on my computer, surround sound works fine, but whenever I try to play a game I either get:
  • no sound from the rears
  • no sound from the left rear, and the right rear speaker is playing sounds that should clearly only be coming from the front
If I turn on Dolby Atmos it will "upmix" everything into surround, but it doesn't sound as clean or accurate as native 7.1.

I have an LG C9 and the same model soundbar as OP. Any advice would be a huge help!
 

Carl80

Active Member
Should all 4K Blu rays be set to bitstream? I’ve got a Bose sound speaker connected to Sony 4K tv.
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
Should all 4K Blu rays be set to bitstream? I’ve got a Bose sound speaker connected to Sony 4K tv.
Bitstream better for audio so you can let your audio device do the decoding of any audio signals to fit its own sound stage. That's what I like to do anyway ☺️
 

Carl80

Active Member
Bitstream better for audio so you can let your audio device do the decoding of any audio signals to fit its own sound stage. That's what I like to do anyway ☺

Cheers mate, and the other setting for games PCM ? Pity the PS5 doesn’t do this automatically to save having to change it manually but anyway it’s not a biggin :smashin:
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
Cheers mate, and the other setting for games PCM ? Pity the PS5 doesn’t do this automatically to save having to change it manually but anyway it’s not a biggin :smashin:

So in the PS5 system audio settings, leave it at LPCM if your system can handle a 5.1 or 7.1 LPCM signal. If it can only handle 2.0 LPCM then use bitstream Dolby or DTS (whichever you prefer). These settings apply to games and media apps.

When playing a dvd or Blu-ray disc, you have to set the in-disc-player-app settings to bitstream. This way you are optimally set up for both games and discs 😁👌🏻
 

Carl80

Active Member
When playing a dvd or Blu-ray disc, you have to set the in-disc-player-app settings to bitstream. This way you are optimally set up for both games and discs 😁👌🏻

Cheers mate, where is the in disc player app setting ? On the Blu ray disc menu or PS5 menu?
 
Last edited:

Mallett94

Well-known Member
Cheers mate, where is the is disc player app setting ? On the Blu ray disc menu or PS5 menu?
You have to be playing a disc and then you can press the 3 dots button and go to the Blu-ray player settings from there :).

So LPCM on generic ps5 audio settings menu, bitstream in the Blu-ray menu 👌🏻
 

Carl80

Active Member
You have to be playing a disc and then you can press the 3 dots button and go to the Blu-ray player settings from there :).

So LPCM on generic ps5 audio settings menu, bitstream in the Blu-ray menu 👌🏻

Mine is more like a sound bar speaker under the tv so I changed the in app setting to bitstream when a disc was playing, it’s not a 5.1 or 7.1 set up so would I change the PS5 audio to bitstream as well ? What tends to sound better Dolby or DTS ?
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
Mine is more like a sound bar speaker under the tv so I changed the in app setting to bitstream when a disc was playing, it’s not a 5.1 or 7.1 set up so would I change the PS5 audio to bitstream as well ? What tends to sound better Dolby or DTS ?
What model of soundbar do you have? Is your console connected directly to the soundbar or does it go to the TV first and then pass the audio through to the soundbar?

What TV do you have because if you are going to TV and first and passing audio through to soundbar then you will need to do certain settings correctly on the TV to get the best sound quality.
 

Carl80

Active Member
What model of soundbar do you have? Is your console connected directly to the soundbar or does it go to the TV first and then pass the audio through to the soundbar?

What TV do you have because if you are going to TV and first and passing audio through to soundbar then you will need to do certain settings correctly on the TV to get the best sound quality.

Thanks, my TV is Sony KD-65XG70 and the speaker is the Bose solo speaker I think it’s called, it go’s to the tv first then passes through the speaker but since I changed the settings to bitstream last night in the disc settings it did seem abit clearer and louder through the speaker, cheers all.

What settings on the tv do you think mate ? I will have a look at the manual as well.
 
Last edited:

Carl80

Active Member
In the sound menu on my tv in the AV set up it’s set to speakers -Audio System which is the speaker , only thing I’m not to sure on there is an option for Digital Audio Out and it lets you choose Auto 1 , Auto 2 or PCM so not to sure on that and which one to choose as there’s nothing in the manual but after a search I think I found what each one means if someone could tell me what to choose with the PS5 sound setting on bitstream -


Auto 1

Output compressed audio without change.

Auto 2

Output only compressed audio for multichannel content without change.

PCM

Always output in PCM.
 
Last edited:

Mallett94

Well-known Member
In the sound menu on my tv in the AV set up it’s set to speakers -Audio System which is the speaker , only thing I’m not to sure on there is an option for Digital Audio Out and it lets you choose Auto 1 , Auto 2 or PCM so not to sure on that and which one to choose as there’s nothing in the manual but after a search I think I found what each one means if someone could tell me what to choose with the PS5 sound setting on bitstream -


Auto 1

Output compressed audio without change.

Auto 2

Output only compressed audio for multichannel content without change.

PCM

Always output in PCM.
If your soundbar is able to handle decoding Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks then yes set the Sony TV digital audio output to Auto 1. This is what I use with my audio devices.

What this will do is passthrough the bitstream audio signal from your external hdmi device directly to your audio device.

If your device can only handle LPCM audio then on the TV set it to PCM or in your source device set it to LPCM.

What does your speaker manual say?
 

Carl80

Active Member
If your soundbar is able to handle decoding Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks then yes set the Sony TV digital audio output to Auto 1. This is what I use with my audio devices.

What this will do is passthrough the bitstream audio signal from your external hdmi device directly to your audio device.

If your device can only handle LPCM audio then on the TV set it to PCM or in your source device set it to LPCM.

What does your speaker manual say?

Cheers mate, looked at the manual and the Dolby Digital symbol was on there, it didn’t say much else to be honest apart from how too connect different cables to different set up’s the correct way.
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
Cheers mate, looked at the manual and the Dolby Digital symbol was on there, it didn’t say much else to be honest apart from how too connect different cables to different set up’s the correct way.
Okay mate in your situation then, if you want to try and get some virtual surround sound from the soundbar from your games, then on both ps5 audio menus, normal one for games and apps and the in Blu-ray player audio setting, set both to Bitstream. On the main ps5 one set it to bitstream Dolby as we know your bar can definitely decode it.

Leave your TV on auto1.

If using this setting for games you get some lipsync lag between video and sound, then in ps5 main settings change it to linear pcm 👌🏻
 

Carl80

Active Member
Okay mate in your situation then, if you want to try and get some virtual surround sound from the soundbar from your games, then on both ps5 audio menus, normal one for games and apps and the in Blu-ray player audio setting, set both to Bitstream. On the main ps5 one set it to bitstream Dolby as we know your bar can definitely decode it.

Leave your TV on auto1.

If using this setting for games you get some lipsync lag between video and sound, then in ps5 main settings change it to linear pcm 👌🏻

Thanks again mate, I’d be more concerned if there was any lip sync lag on the 4K Blu ray side when people where talking , I’ll stick with the settings what you said and see how it go’s ;)
 

Mallett94

Well-known Member
Thanks again mate, I’d be more concerned if there was any lip sync lag on the 4K Blu ray side when people where talking , I’ll stick with the settings what you said and see how it go’s ;)
How's it been going the last week or so?
 

canegmn

Novice Member
Mallet/Carl - This has been an extremely helpful and informative thread for me as I've recently purchased a PS5, Sony X900 (same audio settings as Carl's TV is looks like), and a Vizio 2.1 soundbar. The Vizio is a V21-H8 model and has support for Dolby Audio, DTS, and VirualX (DTS-X) - (manual for reference). This is regular ARC not eARC soundbar. I'll have my PS5 plugged into HDMI 4 and Soundbar in HDM3 ARC spots.

Based on what you described two posts ago Mallett, it looks like to get the virtual surround from games through the sound bar (which supports dolby/dts/virtualx) I should be doing the following?:
  • Configuring both the PS5 and TV settings to BitStream DTS?
  • Set PS5 to 2 channels (rather than 5.1 or 7.1)? - This one particularly confuses me a bit - I'm curious even though the soundbar is 2.1 should I set the PS5 to 5.1 or 7.1 so it can virtualize the surround or doesn't it matter?
  • Setting TV to have Passthrough set to "Auto" (Option Reads: Pass through intended audio signals automatically. Select t his setting when you want to output signals like DTS, etc.")?
  • Setting Digital Audio Out on TV to "Auto 1 - Output compressed audio without change"
  • Dolby Digital Plus Output set to "Dobly Digital" (rather than DD+)
Thanks in advance appreciate this thread its been really helpful.
 

The latest video from AVForums

LG CX Best Picture Settings
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

What's new on Netflix UK for May 2021
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung rumoured to be buying OLED TV panels from LG Display
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Netflix signs with Sony for first streaming rights in U.S.
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Audio Pro launches C10 MkII speaker
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
THX launches Onyx MQA supporting DAC/Amplifier
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom