DVD in Pro-Logic

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  • SMiLEY
    • Sep 2000
    • 45

    DVD in Pro-Logic

    Since I don't have a Dolby Digital receiver yet, what soundtrack should I be listening to on DVD's? I'm using my recently acquired Panasonic RV-80 on my old Sony Pro-Logic receiver (STR-D1090) and it's been good. However, the other day I decided to do a comparison to LaserDisc. I put in the Aliens Special Edition DVD I borrowed from a friend and watched it, switching to the my THX LD of Aliens and re-watching segments of the movie.

    First, the video quality is noticably better, and I'm not even using S-video or composite connections.

    However, I noticed that the sound was more "full" on the LD. I switched the DVD between regular 2 channel sound and the 5.1 channel, but could not get that better sound out of the DVD. Everything seems a little muted, it's a little strange. I had noticed it before, but I didn't think it was this drastic.

    Am I just losing something when the signal is coverted to Pro-Logic?

    I know it's also possible that the sound on the Aliens DVD isn't good, so I'm going to try some other DVD/LD comparisons, I just wanted to get your thoughts. I am hoping to get an AVR-3801 at some point, and if I'm losing DVD sound quality because of the receiver, well, that's just one more thing in favor of getting it sooner.

    Also, would anyone be interested in a review of the RV-80 sans DD or DTS discussion? I haven't done one because I figured it would be pointless.
  • Lexman
    Super Senior Member
    • Jun 2000
    • 1777

    Smiley, are you running a digital or analog connection on your DVD player? Realizing you could possibly be connecting digitally without 5.1. Though that's not to likely. The quality of your DACs is important. But it sounds like your receiver doesn't have a digital input, so your using the DACs in the DVD player.

    Lastly, and most importanting we come to not only the quality of the DACs, but also the inherent qualities of DVD. Please realize that LD media is ANALOG audio by default. What this means, is you have to output an analog signal. It's how it was engineered. there is little loss in this compression scheme (or lack thereof), and therefore the sound does not have to be digitally decoded. On the other hand, DVD is a distinctively digital media. The only way you extract the sound off the disc is digitally. Then, that "bitstream" must be converted to Analog via a Digital to Analog converter. (DAC)

    Even the best DACs can sound a bit compressed. I think it's the nature of DVD's encoding algorithms. When sound is encoded digitally, the fact it's a "lossy" algorithm comes into play when being compared to analog recordings. Analog records it just "as is". DVD's encoding doesn't. There is loss, sometimes contributing to a more closed in sound. That's why most people rave over DTS encoded DVDs. Because there is for a fact, less loss than their DD counterparts.

    Hope this helps in your understanding.



    • Markj
      Senior Member
      • Aug 2000
      • 323

      What Lex said is true but also..

      In the DVD menu setup you should set the audio to pro-logic if it has that option. I am not sure if the DVD down converts the audio to pro-logic or if there is a pro-logic track on the DVD. If the DVD player is down converting that could be the reason for the lack of full sound. I have some older movies that are pro-logic only and they sound pretty good but that is still going through the digital connection. I have my analog out connected too but use them only for mono sound tracks. You might be getting only a stereo sound coming out through the analogs.


      • SMiLEY
        • Sep 2000
        • 45

        Well, I'm using the analog connections, you guessed right Lex, there are no digital inputs on my decrepit receiver.

        I went through the manual and the onscreen menus when I setup the DVD player and found no hint of Pro-Logic anywhere.

        There are two things I think could be happening. One: the DVD player is sending a stereo signal to the receiver and the receiver's DSP is attempting to make it Pro-Logic. Two: the DVD player is actually converting to Pro-Logic and sending it to my receiver. I'm not even sure option two is possible, but those are my best guesses.

        Ugh. Who wants to buy me a new receiver for Christmas?


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