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Audio questions - need some advice

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by aldridge, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. aldridge

    aldridge New Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    My in-laws got a new Pioneer Receiver (VSX-1023) and they have a Direct TV Genie DVR. I connected the Genie to the receiver via HDMI, they also have the 5.1 speaker setup. My questions are:

    Does DTV output ALL channels in 5.1 or just movie channels or just certain channels? (I set the Genie box to output Dolby Digital in the settings).

    Should they configure the receiver to receive in Dolby Digital all the time?

    If DTV does not broadcast all channels in Dolby Digital all the time, how would the Pioneer receiver handle the signal of those channels that are not DD. Will it just convert to regular stereo?

    Many thanks in advance!
  2. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Hopefully your Pioneer AVR has an "Auto" setting for its Dolby Digital decoding. Then you won't need to change any settings.

    The Genie DVR, and other DirecTV HD DVR/Receivers, outputs whatever audio the station/network provides. That's usually either PCM2.0 or DD5.1. You can disable DD5.1 audio in the Genie's Audio Setup Menu, of course, but why would you want to.
  3. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    Yes, there are many channels and sometimes a show on a channel that usually broadcasts DD5.1 that will have an audio that is not DD 5.1.
    It is very noticeable on my Yamaha. The front panel on it says Pro Logic when it is not DD 5.1. When it is 5.1 it says Dolby Digital.

    A setting of Dolby Digital ON for the Genie and Auto for the Pioneer as litzdog911 has stated should be the way to set the system for the best sound.
    1 person likes this.
  4. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Your receiver probably shouldn't fall back to Dolby Pro Logic (a two-channel analog to four-channel surround process). It should still be Dolby Digital, just two channels.

    I suppose you could try to apply Pro Logic to the audio, but I would guess that anything done outside the late eighties and early nineties it wasn't expressly encoded for it.
  5. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Ogden, IA
    On my Onkyo SR605, I have anything that isn't DD 5.1 default back to All Channel Stereo, which sounds much better than just two channel stereo. There are other DSP modes that take 2 channel stereo and try to emulate DD 5.x, but I don't find any of them more pleasing than All Channel Stereo (this uses all 5 channels plus the sub-woofer and sounds quite good, but that's subjective). For shows that are primarily dialogue DD 5.1 is for me, a poor listening choice because the dialogue comes from one speaker (center) and the other speakers are doing absolutely nothing.

    For movies and sports, DD 5.1 is superb or at least can be, depending on the mix). For news, etc., All Channel Stereo is much more effective, not to even mention pleasing to me.

    All of this is subjective, of course, but what can be taken from it is it is worth experimenting and finding the two or three preferred settings for the Home Theater Amp that match up with the source material in a pleasing manner for you.
  6. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

    Feb 9, 2009
    Peoria, IL
    Not really. Nothing has to be expressly encoded for Dolby Pro-Logic anymore, as there is more than one type of Dolby Pro-Logic.
    The original takes a 2 channel PCM stream and creates 4 distinct channels Left, Center, Right, and Rear.
    Dolby Pro-Logic II can take any 2 channel audio and create 5.1 surround sound.
    Dolby Pro-Logic IIx can take any 2 channel audio (or dolby digital 5.1) and creat 6.1 or 7.1 surround sound.
    Dolby Pro-Logic IIz can take any 2 channel audio (or dolby digital 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1) and create 9.1 surround sound.
    I'm sure he is talking about using one of these newer versions of Pro-Logic and just calling it by the generic name.

    As the others have said he should set his DirecTV receiver to have Dolby Digital on. His receiver should be set to use Dolby Digital whenever it receives that format, and use the most advanced form of Pro-Logic available whenever it recieves a 2.0 format (indluding DD 2.0).

    The problem he may run into every now and then is channels/programs that don't format their audio correctly. Every now and then you will run across something that has the audio mixed as DD 5.1 but all of the channels except the front left and front right channels are empty. This should have been send out as 2 channel PCM or DD 2.0 but someone screwed up. When this happens there really isn't a whole lot you can do about it, because as far as the DirecTV receiver, and the AV receiver are concerned it is a 5.1 signal so it won't try to do any processing on it. The only thing you can do if this happens is turn off Dolby Digital on your DirecTV receiver until that program is over (assuming it is something you want to watch with surround). That way the AV receiver will just get a 2 channel PCM signal which it can then use Dolby Pro Logic to create surround sound from.
  7. aldridge

    aldridge New Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    Thanks for the responses!

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