Receiver Display Confusion

aliman5000

Active Member
Hi All,

Hopefully a simple one - I'm currently using a Pioneer VSX-933 (but suspect this isn't model specific) and when playing an Atmos or TrueHD soundtrack via any source, I have conflicting messages on the two info panes.

On the Receiver front panel, using the info button it shows the input as the correct sound and the output as the same - so for example TrueHD in and TrueHD out.

But the TV overlay info panel which is invoked at the same time states TrueHD in and 5.1 out...?

This is when I have set the sound output to Direct, Pure Direct or Auto using the Auto/Direct button on the front. However if I use the Surround button on the front (one press) both info panes display the same message with the correct input and output.

The reason this is throwing me a bit is that my understanding (could well be wrong!) is that the preferred sound selection is Direct mode as this plays sound with basically no processing, meaning you are getting the audio exactly as it comes off the disc/streaming service etc. However it doesn't 'appear' to be doing this and instead (according to one of the info panes at least) is outputting in vanilla 5.1...?

If this isn't a simple answer at the very least could someone with a Pioneer/Onkyo receiver try what I have described above and let me know if you get the same?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Can you clarify as to what speaker set up you have. Is the Pioneer an Atmos enabled amp? Definitive model number required.

Direct or Pure Direct will give the actual sound as is present on the disc. It will not employ any other speakers if the TrueHD track is native 5.1. If you have the correct number of speakers, ie, 5.1.2 and the AV amp configured to play Atmos then Atmos will be played. When engaging upmixing modes then all speakers should be engaged which, on new models, will be Dolby Surround.

Not all TrueHD titles include Atmos metadata.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The input info will give you the type of format as well as the channels present in the discrete source. The output you get will depend upon your speakers and any modes you may have engaged. The 2 wont necessarily be the same. Output info doesn't ordinarlly make any mention of the format because the AV receiver has decoded it and applied processing to it by the time it comes to outputting it to your speakers.

Atmos is basically metadata package along with TrieHD or DD+ audio. Atmos itself isn't channel based so if being processed by an Atmos enabled AV receiver then the Stmos incoming signal with mot indicate any reference to channels. It would only be at the output stage that channel info would be made available relative to the speakers present that are being utilised. It is only the TrueHD or the DD= element of the incoming audio that is channel based, not the Atmos element.

You'd need at least a 5.1.2 speaker setup to even get your receiver to acknowledge the presence of Atmos. If you've only a 5.1 setup then the AV receiver will not acknowledge the presence of Atmos metadata and will only indicate the TRueHD or the DD+ element that it was packaged with.


The description you've posted makes it look like you've only a 5.1 setup?
 
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aliman5000

Active Member
Hi Gibbsy,

Thanks for taking the time to reply, as per my original post the make and model of the receiver is a Pioneer VSX-933 using a 5.1 speaker setup.

It's not about me trying to achieve Atmos sound or similar, my issue is the conflicting messages being displayed when content is playing:

Receiver front panel reports - Input: Dolby TrueHD Output: Dolby TrueHD
TV overlay message reports - Input: Dolby TrueHD Output: 5.1ch

All equipment is being fed into the receiver via HDMI and the receiver goes to the TV via single HDMI. The TV is irrelevant in all this, it is simply the receiver info box which is displayed on the TV seems to be reporting some sort of conversion.
 

aliman5000

Active Member
The input info will give you the type of format as well as the channels present in the discrete source. The output you get will depend upon your speakers and any modes you may have engaged. THe 2 wont necessarily be the same. Output info doesn't ordinarlly make any mention of the format because the AV receiver has decoded it and applied processing to it by the time it comes to outputting it to your speakers.

Ah the last sentence would make sense - however as I previously stated if I set the receiver to use 'surround mode' as opposed to Direct, Pure Direct or Auto then the output IS displayed as per the input.

This is what makes me think there is some sort of conversion happening that reports 5.1ch instead?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
If the source were 7.! for example then you'd not be able to output 7.1 to a 5.1 setup. Also note that you are not outputting TrueHD to your speakers. THe AV receiver has decoded the audio and the signal going out to your speakers is analogue and no longer a digital format such as TrueHD.

Maybe the manner in which your AV receiver is behaving is just an anomaly associated with Pioneer AV receivers? Most AV receivers indicate the incoming format and then show the output channels. They dopn't make mention of the format relative to the output to the speakers.
 

aliman5000

Active Member
If the source were 7.! for example then you'd not be able to output 7.1 to a 5.1 setup. Also note that you are not outputting TrueHD to your speakers. THe AV receiver has decoded the audio and the signal going out to your speakers is analogue and no longer a digital format such as TrueHD.

Maybe the manner in which your AV receiver is behaving is just an anomaly associated with Pioneer AV receivers? Most AV receivers indicate the incoming format and then show the output channels. They dopn't make mention of the format relative to the output to the speakers.

Hmm I just find it very odd that the on screen info (let’s ignore the receiver info panel for a second) displays TrueHD on input only when Direct mode is selected…but displays it against both input and output when Surround mode is selected?

The manual for the unit really doesn’t explain the sound modes well at all! From the few comments I can find online Direct mode seems to be the one you should use if you want audio as intended from the source.

If you keep pressing the Surround mode button you cycle through items like ‘Action’ and ‘Drama’ etc which suggests these are modes that add processing - but is the only mode that appears to report the right output format.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Here's qhat would ordinarilly be depicted if viewing the input and output info on most AV receivers:

by default 2021-08-05 at 15.28.26.png


This example is via a Yamaha AVR.

You cannot output TrueHD to speakers, only the analogue channels you get after the AV receiver has decoded the format and then converted the digital signal to analogue.

DIRECT and PURE DIRECT modes bypss additional processing, not just upmixing modes, but also bass manafement and room EQ correction. THe AV receiver will also turn off other circuitry not essential to the processing of the audio such as the receiver's display if and when engaging a PURE DIRECT mode.

A stereo 2 channel source would be [portrayed as a stereo 2 channel source by the AV receiver if PURE DIRECT is engaged. It would bypass any additional upmix modes that may have been engaged and simply outputs 2 channel stereo to your front left and right speakers. Again, bass management and room EQ correction would be bypassed and disengaged.
 
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aliman5000

Active Member
And that is the cause of my confusion, first pic is Direct mode, second pic is Surround mode.
 

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dante01

Distinguished Member
I'd again suggest is merely an anomally associated with your AVR.
 
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aliman5000

Active Member
I'd again suggest is merely an anomally associated with you AVR.

Sounds like you are probably right, it would just be nice to know that what is being input is being output with no alteration? Especially as when using another mode this is exactly what it seems to be doing.

The problem being I don’t want to use that mode.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
There should be another option that would result in no upmixing being applied. This is termed STRAIGHT on Yamaha AV receivers. THis option results in the bass management and room EQ still being applied, as well as oyjer settings such as tone that wouldn't be applicable if using a PURE DIRECT mode. Your AV receiver should and probably has such an option?
 

aliman5000

Active Member
There should be another option that would result in no upmixing being applied. This is termed STRAIGHT on Yamaha AV receivers. THis option results in the bass management and room EQ still being applied, as well as oyjer settings such as tone that wouldn't be applicable if using a PURE DIRECT mode. Your AV receiver should and probably has such an option?

My understanding of the Pioneer system is that this would be the Direct option, hence me wanting to use it. All other options look like they are upmixing in some form.

It does have a Pure Direct mode also which I don’t use.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
No, Pioneer also used to include a STRAIGH DECODER option on their AV receivers. There are reasons not to use PURE DIRECT such as the bypassing of the bass management and the room EQ correction if and when PURE DIRECT is engaged. This results in you losing the sub unless the incoming source includes an discrete LFE channel. THe receiver would cease to use your speaker size and crossover configurations while set to its PURE DIRECT mode, meaning that you'd no longer get any output via the sub relative to stereo sources. Stereo 2 channel sources do not include a discrete LFE channel. THis is particularly problematic if you've smaller pasive speakers that would ordinarilly be dependant upon the sub for bass,

Look in the decoder modes for an option including the term STRAIGHT.
 

aliman5000

Active Member
Look in the decoder modes for an option including the term STRAIGHT.

There is definitely no ‘Straight’ option, again from the little information I have found online it would seem Direct (not Pure Direct) replaced this on Pioneer systems.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Nothing to add has dante01 has covered it all.
 

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