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Getting it right only took a year.
#363058 01/08/12 03:57 AM
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While it's been a year since I added a blu-ray player to my system, I didn't get to enjoy my man-cave for most of the past year. So now that my head's a little clearer of late, I returned to the cave only to find that no matter what I did when watching BR discs, I couldn't get my Onkyo 706 to light up the TrueHD nor the DTS-Master lamps, nor would the LCD display show the relevant text.

After reviewing the setup menu of the 706, everything looked proper to me. So I turned to the menu of the Panny DMP-BD65. I played with switching from the default of "Bitstream" for each of Dobly and DTS sources (which I found interesting to have this split into two items), to "PCM". Setting PCM got the PCM lamp lit on the 706, and the display text now read "Multichannel", but it still wasn't lighting the icons for TrueHD nor DTS-Master. WTF?

Time for one more look at the Panny menu. Slowing down, and reading the entire screen, I notice that the last option at the bottom of the screen says something terse about Secondary Audio, which is defaulting to "On". What this really meant, and what it should have more clearly read is, "Do you want to down convert HD audio in ALL cases? Yes (On) or No (Off)?

Of course, the solution was set that accursed Secondary Audio option to Off. Back to the movie. And the receiver text now shows "Dolby TrueHD" or "DTS-Master HD" as applicable. In terms of the audio, the difference in the dynamic range is immediately apparent. Whereas with "regular" Dolby Digital, I usually set the volume to about -21 for a comfortable level and clear vocals, the same conversation scene requires the volume to be set at about -12 to be at the same perceived SPL. No, I haven't used my RS SPL to confirm that as yet. smile

I spent the next hour reviewing various scenes from the LOTR discs, the Dark Knight, David Gilmour's An Night to Remember, and a couple of others just for fun. That was last night. Today I began watching Avatar again. I'll get back to it tonight.

I can't believe that it has taken me this long to get it right. If only Panny had made a more logical default setting, or even phrased the menu more clearly. Why would anyone who has the gear for the HD audio streams (such as, oh, just about anybody who bought a BR player?) choose to down convert in all cases?

Between this improvement and the time I've spent in the last few weeks on the Xbox 360, I continue to be impressed at the incredible values that my M22s and QS8s have turned out to be. I cannot adequately describe how good they sound. It puts the local big-box (and big $$$) megaplex cinema to shame. Those who own them know this. Those who do not, should.

Given my past year, I now feel like I appreciate the good things life offers *that* much more, and being able to enjoy the many experiences of music and movies with my family comfortably at home is a real treat.

Re: Getting it right only took a year.
Kruncher #363060 01/08/12 04:38 AM
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At least there has been a big reward for finally getting it right.

I agree on the value of an Axiom setup compared to big box fare and mega theaters. I have a far superior experience watching movies at home and no longer go to the theater at all.

I swear that the industry has some sort of highly sophisticated hiring process for UI designers and manual writers. They are so uniformly bad that there can be no other explanation.


Fred

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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!
Re: Getting it right only took a year.
fredk #363114 01/09/12 03:27 AM
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Nicely done and you're not alone, I think it took me close to year to set up my system to run with the TRUEHD or DTS-HD, but I was luckily on PCM and not down converting so I was still getting the high bit audio.


Jason
M80 v2
VP160 v3
QS8 v2
PB13 Ultra
Denon 3808
Samsung 85" Q70
Re: Getting it right only took a year.
jakewash #363164 01/09/12 06:06 PM
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Thanks guys. Very encouraging Jason, in that I wasn't the only "experienced" one that had difficulty with something that ought to be very straightforward.

Now if I could only get the right setting for my sub... BR always overdrives it and distorts the poor little thing, and if I turn it down too much, well then I may as well unplug it from the wall. Frustrating. That said, I did relocate it yesterday from the front left corner of the room to the left side of the primary viewing couch so as to be that much closer and not need to put out so much SPL. That seems to have helped quite a bit. Still no magic bullet, but better.

Shame that ol' St. Nick didn't leave an EP500 under the tree for me.

Re: Getting it right only took a year.
Kruncher #363166 01/09/12 06:31 PM
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Krunch, I STILL don't know if I'm set up correctly. I only watch a BD movie every couple of months, and it'll take me too long to research it and figure it all out.

In another 3-4 years, I'll get a new receiver and by that time hopefully it'll all "just work".

Kudos to you for working it out!


::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::
Re: Getting it right only took a year.
MarkSJohnson #363198 01/10/12 12:41 AM
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Mark. Has Denon finally released a good receiver for square rooms?

Kruncher. With all the help I got from this forum it only took me weeks, but at one point during the 'getting it wrong' phase I did have only center channel material coming from all my speakers. That gave the Cave Troll scene in Lord of the Rings quite a different feel. grin


Fred

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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!
Re: Getting it right only took a year.
fredk #363205 01/10/12 01:54 AM
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My Preciousssss!

Re: Getting it right only took a year.
fredk #363212 01/10/12 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted By: fredk
Mark. Has Denon finally released a good receiver for square rooms?


Denon has indeed released such a receiver! And not only is it affordable for everyone, but as it states on page 53 of the manual, it uses Audyssey to do so AND and on that same page it details how the receiver also includes the magical ability to reintroduce stripped data that is now missing from compressed music files.

On pages 96 through 100 you'll find a concise and easy to follow table that explains the various surround modes and their optional parameters. It's so clear that you'll have no trouble getting it all setup properly the first time that you review the table.

Re: Getting it right only took a year.
Kruncher #363224 01/10/12 05:00 AM
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Yeah, Krunch; I totally agree. Can't fathom why anyone would have the slightest trouble following a Denon manual. In particular the pp.96-100 you mention are so simple that even a caveman could do it.


-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.


Re: Getting it right only took a year.
JohnK #363807 01/15/12 06:03 AM
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Well, my frustrations got the better of me lately, and I rectified my sub situation today.

As much as I'd love to add an EP500, or even an EP350, to my system, I just can't swing that much at the moment. But today I found a Klipsch SW-450 for a very reasonable price: about half the current price on Amazon.com.

The first testing session of 30 minutes or so indicates that this was a very good choice. Every BR scene has been distortion free, and the sofa is definitely vibrating, unlike the best the PDR-8 could do.

Tomorrow I'll re-run Audyssey and see how that goes. I'll play some DVD-A and SACD as well to see how musical this thing is. Other reviews indicate that this is the trade-off for this particular sub, but I'll see how it does in my small to medium room (about 1800 cubic feet).

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