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 Post subject: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2018, 17:13 
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I've read through a bunch of the forum and continue to be befuddled with how surround sound works. I finally got a real surround receiver (Sony STR DN-1070) I'm not all that impressed with it, but that's for another forum. My LaserDisc player is the Pioneer DVL-700. I'm not likely to buy the decoder for AC3. My wife already rolls her eyes about trying to get surround sound out of LaserDisc and $600 it's not working. (That includes almost 100 movies)
So I have the player connected to the receiver via optical cable. And my Blu Ray player and computer all do surround just fine over HDMI. I've tried flipped through all the settings in the receiver, like pl ii, neo 6 I think those were the settings, but they didn't do any thing anyways. Also tried flipping through the digital l/r and analog l/r on the disc player with no change. The discs say surround sound on them. In particular I tried Apollo 13 and the original men in Black discs. I've tried others, but can't remember specific titles.
Any idea what I'm doing wrong? Or does the disc have to be DTS /AC3 to have surround sound. Also if I pop on these insanely over priced DTS disc, does it require any other equipment to decode like AC3?
Thanks,
-LaserDisc Noob
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2018, 17:40 
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Are you getting no sound at all? Or just none in your surround speakers? The optical sends out PCM audio, the surround tracks need to be decoded by Pro Logic or similar in your receiver, otherwise it comes out in stereo, I'm sure your Sony can do this, you might need to adjust settings and/or inputs.
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 00:11 
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I have the feeling that what he is trying to say is... the "surround" sound he is getting from LD, does not sound like it does from Blu Ray or his computer.
Is that it thetmaxx ?
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 01:19 
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Yup, I get stereo from the LD and full surround from my HTPC and BluRay. So the receiver works just fine, I'm just concerned it's some thing set up wrong with the LD player. I noticed in the instructions it says only digital DVD surround is sent over optical, might that be the same for the coax, ie is it possible only surround will come over the coax connection on the DVL 700? The instructions are not clear.
I believe as I'm connected right now, the receiver does identify the incoming data as PCM audio. Is that stereo only?
Thanks so much!
-Chri
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 01:27 
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Oh boy, welcome to the world of surround sound on LD.

From what I remember you need to connect the red and white and then select the pro logic settings to get the surround sound, but remember you will get dolby surround which was a 4 channel setup on some older discs.
Front left, right center and rear.

The optical will be the same just on the optical out, but you need to make sure your disc is newer to use the digital channels.

You shouldn't need any other gear unless you are doing AC-3 which I feel is not worth it.
Keep us posted on what happens.

There is a site http://www.mindspring.com/~laserdisc-forever/ which should help too.
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 02:54 
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You couldn’t have really looked all that hard...


If the disc says Dolby Stereo or Surround whatever, the pre-DD/DTS style, then they use matrix surround. You can use optical, SPDIF, or analog stereo, the settings are all the same. You either use Pro Logic or a further development of it like Logic 7 or Neo 6. As far as I know every surround receiver ever made will do this but then the new stuff is dropping so many features I don’t know what’s left on them anymore.

There are no settings on the player to this. It’s a completely passive thing. As long as the player is playing a matrixed surround track and you’ve hooked a surround receiver to its stereo output (digital or analog) then it’s working. If you go through the various mono modes (juat left or right) then it won’t work from the analogs. The digital outputs on LD players always work as long as the disc has digital sound and they always ignore the L/R thing.

There will not be as aggressive steering. L and R do most of the work.
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 03:52 
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Not sure about your particular Sony AV Receiver but on some older Sony AV Receivers one has to activate “Auto Format Decode (AFD)” to force any two channel audio source to activate Dolby Pro-Logic. Otherwise, the receiver only plays back two channel stereo (center and surrounds stay silent). Quite possibly, the “2ch/Multi” switch on your receiver is the same as AFD.

Also, on my Sony, SDP-EP9ES, surround processor it has a very similar functionality as AFD but it’s called “Mode” instead. In addition, Pressing the “Dolby Surround” button on the front panel will only push “surround” if the source is Dolby Digital 4.0 or 5.1 and “stereo” if the signal is PCM. I found this kind of odd when I first used this unit so it's understandable one can be get confused on how surround is activated on some AV gear.

But as signofzeta says, Pro-Logic surround will not sound as aggressive as a discrete 5.1 audio mix but overall sound quality on LD will be very good since two channel PCM sounds more robust due to lack of compression vs. lossy Dolby Digital.


Last edited by ldfan on 02 Jul 2018, 06:48, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 04:44 
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Thank you all so much. I am completely new to any kind of receiver/ surround sound stuff. Previously I've always just had a awai stereo running... Well, stereo....

I updated my receiver this morning and started digging in more looking for some of the stuff you guys mentioned... I found Neo:6 a DTS thing apparently and it defines it as extracting 7 point surround from a two channel input.... Mind blown. I had no idea that was a thing. This encoded audio stuff is a trip.

Not sure what matrix surround is, but it sounds like I'm getting closer.

Honestly at this point, it's no wonder these never took off for the average movie viewer. You guys wouldn't know it by my lack of comprehension on this topic, but I'm an enthusiastic a/v guy/ computer person, but have just never played with surround sound of any kind in my 34yrs on this Earth. Lots to catch up on.

So if you had my setup, would you run it on optical, coax, or l/r rca cables? I'm still just blown away that surround can be extrapolated from two channel analog.

Thank you for you patience with a noob
-chris
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 08:56 
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Even though the laserdisc surround is not as dynamic as dolby digital it should still be apparent in the surround speakers, it is also worth noting that some surround tracks are more "aggressive" then others, I've had a few where it sounded almost more like an ac-3, one example is from dusk till dawn (not the ac-3 version).
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2018, 15:34 
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thetmaxx wrote:
Thank you all so much. I am completely new to any kind of receiver/ surround sound stuff. Previously I've always just had a awai stereo running... Well, stereo....

I updated my receiver this morning and started digging in more looking for some of the stuff you guys mentioned... I found Neo:6 a DTS thing apparently and it defines it as extracting 7 point surround from a two channel input.... Mind blown. I had no idea that was a thing. This encoded audio stuff is a trip.

Not sure what matrix surround is, but it sounds like I'm getting closer.

Honestly at this point, it's no wonder these never took off for the average movie viewer. You guys wouldn't know it by my lack of comprehension on this topic, but I'm an enthusiastic a/v guy/ computer person, but have just never played with surround sound of any kind in my 34yrs on this Earth. Lots to catch up on.

So if you had my setup, would you run it on optical, coax, or l/r rca cables? I'm still just blown away that surround can be extrapolated from two channel analog.

Thank you for you patience with a noob
-chris


When home theater began in the 80s there was zero relationship to computer people, probably because computers were so bad back then they had no place in it. (A VCR beats a monochrome computer with 8k pretty handily). The computer people invaded in the 2000s, after DVD, when everything went digital, and they started to be attracked to things they found familiar like “megabytes” and how many bits of color information were being seen. By then everything was automatic so they never needed to put any logic into (ironically). And the prices dropped so much so fast no noobs would bother with old stuff. AV nerds mainly were audio nerds and expanded. They may be computer people (I have an uncle who left me some gear who was a computer programmer for the state) if they were left single too long. :)

There is a great deal of genius in analog electronic engineering. You should look into it. Surround Sound goes back at least to the late 40s.

As I sort of didn’t really plainly say, when using old sources they will be stereo until you switch to Pro Logic. Pro Logic is the only system really designed to be used with matrixed LD but you can also use Pro Logic II, Logic 7 or Neo 6. You’ll find the field more dynamic but there may be weird artifacts. If so, go back to regular Pro Logic. I use Neo 6 most of the time.

Neo 6 is just Sony’s branded ProLogic. It comes with many things that play DTS. Harmon Kardon invented Logic 7 I think. They do basically the same thing as the analog Dolby boxes did in the 70s but because they are digital there is more going on with steering different dynamics and of course converting it to more than four speakers. I usually use Neo 6.

As for what sounds, you’ll have to try them all and tell us. If one version of something was flat better the others in everyone’s opinion in every situation then there would just be an HDMI port and obviously that didn’t exist back then.

Also, while digital sound connections are better than analog ones overall, the DAC in you $800 player from back when people used analog sound and had huge stereos might be better than the one in your receiver that cost half as much. Probably not when the receiver is so much newer, but it happens. So sometimes analog out sounds best. You also have to hook up the analogs anyway because many discs have no digital sound and the player won’t send it over digital.

Most of us here have three audio paths to the receiver:

Analog outs: for main sound on old movies, for commentary isolated sound, etc on later discs. Also used when you like what the DAC is putting out more than the one in your receiver.

Digital outs (SPDIF or TOSLINK): for main sound on newer LDs and for DTS

AC-3 out: goes to demod, for Dolby Digital movies.


As for another question you had, if you have a digital out on this player and that receiver you can play DTS discs with no extra gear. When introduced DTS were very high end discs that needed special gear but Sony has done so well than their code is built into every receiver now.
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 03 Jul 2018, 04:26 
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Fantastic dissertation. I really appreciate it and you've clarified so many questions. I'm going to be playing with the connections and outputs/inputs and I'm sure I can impress the wife yet!

I'll report back when I enjoy success.
-Chris
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 03 Jul 2018, 07:59 
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thetmaxx wrote:
Fantastic dissertation. I really appreciate it and you've clarified so many questions. I'm going to be playing with the connections and outputs/inputs and I'm sure I can impress the wife yet!


Good luck on increasing your WAF!

Julien
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 03 Jul 2018, 09:41 
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signofzeta wrote:
As for another question you had, if you have a digital out on this player and that receiver you can play DTS discs with no extra gear. When introduced DTS were very high end discs that needed special gear but Sony has done so well than their code is built into every receiver now.

I think there are receivers/amps with built-in AC-3 demodulation you can find on the second hand market but those won't be the cheap ones.
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 03 Jul 2018, 21:35 
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takeshi666 wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
As for another question you had, if you have a digital out on this player and that receiver you can play DTS discs with no extra gear. When introduced DTS were very high end discs that needed special gear but Sony has done so well than their code is built into every receiver now.

I think there are receivers/amps with built-in AC-3 demodulation you can find on the second hand market but those won't be the cheap ones.


Actually there are some that can be found quite cheaply, the problem is most are 20+ years old and pretty lacking in features compared to more modern receivers.
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 03 Jul 2018, 22:30 
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takeshi666 wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
As for another question you had, if you have a digital out on this player and that receiver you can play DTS discs with no extra gear. When introduced DTS were very high end discs that needed special gear but Sony has done so well than their code is built into every receiver now.

I think there are receivers/amps with built-in AC-3 demodulation you can find on the second hand market but those won't be the cheap ones.


I wouldn’t buy a receiver just for its ability to handle AC-3. There are so many more important factors. Maybe if it was a particularly nice model Pioneer with copper chassis and such...
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2018, 03:43 
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takeshi666 wrote:
I think there are receivers/amps with built-in AC-3 demodulation you can find on the second hand market but those won't be the cheap ones.


I personally think the better option is an AC3-RF equipped Dolby Digital surround processor that also includes several S/PDIF inputs and an S/PDIF output.

As I have said in other posts, they can just be used as a digital switch box (processor will do nothing) to couple up with a more modern day AV Receiver. Thus, you can have an AV Receiver w/ all the latest surround codecs and still have the ability to process LaserDisc Dolby Digital as well as DTS .

In addition, one can usually find these gems for less than a standalone AC3-RF Demodulator.
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2018, 11:07 
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signofzeta wrote:
"Neo 6 is just Sony’s branded ProLogic. It comes with many things that play DTS. Harmon Kardon invented Logic 7 I think. They do basically the same thing as the analog Dolby boxes did in the 70s but because they are digital there is more going on with steering different dynamics and of course converting it to more than four speakers. I usually use Neo 6."

"As for another question you had, if you have a digital out on this player and that receiver you can play DTS discs with no extra gear. When introduced DTS were very high end discs that needed special gear but Sony has done so well than their code is built into every receiver now."


I wasn't aware of any link between Sony and DTS? Didn't Sony have their own multichannel system (SDDS) in the theatre market competing against DTS?
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2018, 04:51 
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As I was a bit disappointed in the Sony 1070 I bought, due to the lack of inputs... They expect you to hook everything up via HDMI. Should just be a HDMI sweetish box really. Anyways... I was looking for specific AC3 receivers, yes they are old. Yes they don't have HDMI connection. But OMG, they have so many inputs, multiple optical, RF, companies, RCA, etc. But way over priced. Like $1000 all day long. It would work great for me.. LD player, NES, Nintendo Wii, and a HTPC, most of my stuff is not HDMI compatible actually .
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2018, 05:12 
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audioboyz1973 wrote:
signofzeta wrote:
"Neo 6 is just Sony’s branded ProLogic. It comes with many things that play DTS. Harmon Kardon invented Logic 7 I think. They do basically the same thing as the analog Dolby boxes did in the 70s but because they are digital there is more going on with steering different dynamics and of course converting it to more than four speakers. I usually use Neo 6."

"As for another question you had, if you have a digital out on this player and that receiver you can play DTS discs with no extra gear. When introduced DTS were very high end discs that needed special gear but Sony has done so well than their code is built into every receiver now."


I wasn't aware of any link between Sony and DTS? Didn't Sony have their own multichannel system (SDDS) in the theatre market competing against DTS?


I seem to have been confused. I somehow associated DTS with Sony.
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 Post subject: Re: So confused about surround sound on LaserDisc.
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2018, 08:51 
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signofzeta wrote:
I wouldn’t buy a receiver just for its ability to handle AC-3. There are so many more important factors. Maybe if it was a particularly nice model Pioneer with copper chassis and such...

What's your take on the Yamaha DSP-Z9?
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