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Old 11-11-2013, 21:14
Pepperoni Man
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Hi All

Just purchased a Pioneer Surround Sound system. Nothing great and mainly want to improve the sound of the TV for normal viewing but also want to watch a few films with surround sound

A couple of questions that I hope you good people may be able to answer

In the settings for surround sound I have available

Off
Virtual 3D (min, mid or max)
Extra Power Mode
5 Speaker Mode
Dolby ProLogic II Movie
Doby PLII Music
Front Surround Mode

While it's easy to work out what some of these categories are and the guidance manual helps I'm not sure what to set the thing to when watching a film on DVD with the sound track labelled 5.1

The other question I have is that I have noticed on the Sky EPG some films are labelled as being shown in DD which I assume to be Dolby Digital? Again I'm not sure whether

A) I can receive DD on my HD Box and surround set up and
B) What of the above settings I should use assuming I can

Thanks
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Old 11-11-2013, 21:38
lionelmorton
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5 speaker mode sounds like the one to choose for starters although it may be the mode that changes stereo sound from cd's into a pseudo surround format .
My amp has a 6 channel surround setting and it sounds great with cd's.
PL2 Movie and Music are options for creating surround sound from non 5.1 sources although if the amp is set to either of these it should auto switch over to 5.1 if a 5.1 source is played.
Trial and error a bit I think.
Sky HD supplies its 5.1 tracks via digital optical only .
The main problem with all in one systems is that they often lack the range of inputs that you get with separates.
If your Pioneer has an optical input connect the Sky+ box using that connection and set the Sky box to DD.
If it doesn't then you won't get 5.1 from Sky.
You'll need to connect using another connection ( HDMI if the Pioneer has one) and then you'll get standard PL2 surround .

The manual will likely explain the other settings but Extra Power mode will likely boost the bass but don't do that if you have neighbours.

Also worth checking if the Pioneer accepts DTS sound.
Panasonic all in ones won't accept DTS sound from external devices so with a DTS track you get only PL2 instead of full surround - inconvenient if you have Bluray as most are DTS.
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Old 11-11-2013, 21:52
Pepperoni Man
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Thanks Lionel

5 Speaker Mode creates the same sound from all 5 speakers - with the exception of the sub so I don't think that's the one to go for

Thanks for the tip about Sky!!
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Old 11-11-2013, 22:07
Deacon1972
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Those settings look like dsp modes, settings you can chose to spice up certain soundtracks, without looking at the manual I would say it needs to be off. If you post the model I'm sure we'd be able to give a more positive answer.

DD on Sky can mean anything from DD2.0 to DD5.1, this can be output over optical/coaxial/HDMI, the later connection only being on certain HD boxes with appropriate software update.
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Old 11-11-2013, 22:33
chrisjr
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It would help to know what model you have. Then we could work out more precisely what it's capable of.
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Old 11-11-2013, 22:41
Pepperoni Man
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Thanks chaps for the help so far - it's an MCS 333
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Old 11-11-2013, 23:15
Deacon1972
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Looks like you toggle through the different sound formats with the 'audio' button on the remote, sound format should be displayed on tv screen.

Try a DVD/Bluray or flick through some HD channels on Sky to test.
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Old 12-11-2013, 00:07
chrisjr
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According to the manual the Sound options are not available on the HDMI inputs. I couldn't see with a quick scan of the manual what audio formats it supports on the inputs.

I would be surprised if it didn't support Dolby on the HDMI ins. But seems it might be a case of suck it and see.
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Old 12-11-2013, 15:53
spiney2
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puzzling.

pro logic is 2 channel to 5 speaker conversion. which will give you surround sound from 2 channel analogue audio i.. but you really want the 5.1 version if available, from the digital input (optical or coax). i would have thought "5 speaker" but it seems not ........
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Old 12-11-2013, 16:05
spiney2
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..... ps note that, some Freeview HD receivers have "the transcoding problem". they cannot output 5.1 on the digital audio output and instead only give you the 2.0 feed. depends which Freeview receiver you have.

..... i think most Freeview hd channels are only 2.0 sound anyway due to bandwidth restrictions. in which case there is nothing to feed into the digital input. your best bet - as suggested above - is experiment with a dvd or bluray player and film dvd which will have a 5.1 soundtrack ......
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Old 12-11-2013, 16:20
spiney2
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... if you are using only sky and it has a digital audio out (the standard box is now hd) the that should automatically put any put 5.1 onto the digital audio specific output. but im not so sure about the hdmi output.

if you are using analogue audio 2.0 then this is still surround sound but you will need pro logic mode. many people seem to think this is stereo sound only with "faked" surround but its actually phase encoded full surround sound.
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Old 12-11-2013, 16:42
mossy2103
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For the avoidance of doubt, and to correct any possible misunderstanding arising from that final sentence:

In 1982 Dolby Laboratories introduced Dolby Surround, a technology that piggy-backed a surround sound signal onto a stereo source through a process called matrix encoding. Not long after, Dolby brought us Pro-Logic surround and has since done its part to advance the state of surround sound in the home to the point where as many as eleven speakers can be used to put listeners right smack in the middle of the action, be it a concert or a battle in deep space.

<snipped>

Matrix

For the purposes of this discussion, “matrix” has nothing to do with the popular film series featuring Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fishburn (aside, perhaps, from the fact that the movies still make for a pretty effective surround sound demo). In this case, matrix refers to the encoding of separate sound signals within a stereo source. This approach was the basis for early surround-sound formats like Dolby Surround and Dolby Pro Logic, motivated in part by the fact that there wasn’t enough space for discrete information on early audio-video media, such as the VHS tape.

<snipped>

Pro Logic

Using the matrix process, Dolby’s Pro Logic surround encodes separate signals within the main left and right channels. Dolby was able to allow home audio devices to decode two extra channels of sound from media like VHS tapes, which fed the center channel and surround speakers with audio. Because of the limited space on VHS tapes, matrixed surround signals came with some limitations. The surround channels in basic Pro Logic were not in stereo and had a limited bandwidth. That means that each speaker played the same thing and the sound didn’t involve much bass or treble information.

<snipped>

Pro Logic makes a comeback

If you’ve been shopping for a receiver, you may have noticed that many offer one or more different versions of Pro Logic processing. In the modern Pro Logic family, we now have Pro Logic II, Pro Logic IIx and Pro Logic IIz. Let’s take a look at what each of them does.

Pro Logic II is most like its early Pro Logic predecessor in that it can make 5.1 surround sound out of a stereo source. The difference is Pro Logic II provides stereo surround information. This processing mode is commonly used when watching non-HD TV channels with a stereo audio mix.

Pro Logic IIx is one of those processing modes we mentioned that can take a 5.1 surround mix and expand it to 6.1 or 7.1. Pro Logic IIx is subdivided into a movie, music and game mode.

Pro Logic IIz allows the addition of two “front height” speakers that are placed above and between the main stereo speakers. This form of matrix processing aims to add more depth and space to a soundtrack by outputting sounds from a whole new location in the room. Since IIz processing can be engaged with a 7.1 soundtrack, the resulting format could be called 9.1.
http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-th...ats-explained/

spiney2 will of course argue differently.
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Old 12-11-2013, 17:02
chrisjr
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Stereo sound tracks only carry surround information if that information has specifically been encoded into the two channels. If the sound was mixed on a stereo only desk with just simple left/right pan pots to position the sound source there will be NO real surround information.

ProLogic can however take a simple two channel mix and recreate a fairly convincing surround effect.

If the original source was a true multichannel surround mix encoded down to two channels then the surround effect it recreates is very much more convincing and very close to a true discreet surround mix (ie one with 6 or more separate channels)
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Old 12-11-2013, 18:40
Pepperoni Man
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Looks like you toggle through the different sound formats with the 'audio' button on the remote, sound format should be displayed on tv screen.

Try a DVD/Bluray or flick through some HD channels on Sky to test.
Thanks Deacon - Experimented and yes that audio button seemed to do the job. On the film I was watching it switched from 5.1 in English to an alternative of stereo in Spanish! . Seems the options I listed are alternatives to the default setting that you mentioned as well.

The Sky bit is still confusing me - the HD box is connected to the telly by HDMI but not connected to the Pioneer unit

Thanks all for your contributions!
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Old 12-11-2013, 19:52
Deacon1972
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Thanks Deacon - Experimented and yes that audio button seemed to do the job. On the film I was watching it switched from 5.1 in English to an alternative of stereo in Spanish! . Seems the options I listed are alternatives to the default setting that you mentioned as well.

The Sky bit is still confusing me - the HD box is connected to the telly by HDMI but not connected to the Pioneer unit

Thanks all for your contributions!
Sky box needs to be connected to the Pioneer unit.......

Leaving the HDMI cable in place you could just connect an optical cable between the two, then enable Dolby Digital in the Sound menu on the Sky box - alternatively you can connect the Sky box to the Pioneer unit via a single HDMI cable (providing you have a compatible box) and let the sound system do the switching, you still need to enable Dolby Digital on the Sky box.
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Old 13-11-2013, 08:22
mossy2103
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Stereo sound tracks only carry surround information if that information has specifically been encoded into the two channels. If the sound was mixed on a stereo only desk with just simple left/right pan pots to position the sound source there will be NO real surround information.
Precisely my point.
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