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Old 11th May 2009, 12:28   #1
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Default Problem with surround sound setup

I am trying to setup my surround sound system and have run into a strange problem: the "dialogue" channel doesnt seem to work!

System:
1. Onkyo 5105 5.1 setup with 518 receiver.
2. Philips DVD player DVP3116 with USB and 5.1 support

At the first attempt last evening, i connected the 6 channels(5+1) audio output from the DVD to the resp inputs on the AV receiver.

The DVD player setup menu provides 2 options: VSurr and Multi-Channel. When i play the video in VSurr mode all speakers work, though the surround effect is simulated. However when Multi-channel option is selected, its like somone has muted the dialogues! The rest of the soundtrack, music etc plays superbly with all the speakers firing as expected: just the dialogues are muted! Its not a wiring issue since the center speaker is properly working the rest of the time.

When DVD player is in Multi-Channel mode, the AV receiver shows "DTS 5.1" in red on its LCD display. It also automatically sets listening mode to "PL-II Movie 5.1" mode but refuses to let me manually switch to any of the alternative listening modes! With the DVD in VSURR mode, i can switch listening modes etc and the "DTS" logo doesnt come in the AV display.

I tried this first with a couple of Hindi movie DVD's which were 5.1 encoded: atleast as per the box, but then to rule out the DVD being a factor i tried it with an original Lord of the Rings DVD as well with the same result!

On someones suggestion, i tried using the Co-Axial out from DVD player: now the sound doesnt come at all! :(

Any inputs?
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Old 11th May 2009, 12:46   #2
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Hello Cougar,

Here is some help.

Quote:
At the first attempt last evening, i connected the 6 channels(5+1) audio output from the DVD to the resp inputs on the AV receiver.
What was the result of that test, were you able to get audio from all 5 channels?

BEFORE you connect any DVD player or any source to your AV receiver - first go to the set up menu and activate the TEST TONE. This will activate a some pink noise (sounds like FM without a station, if you know what I mean) and it will cycle across all 5 channels.

Quote:
The DVD player setup menu provides 2 options: VSurr and Multi-Channel.
Please leave the DVD player in multichannel mode.

Multi channel digital output can be transmitted to your AVR in 2 ways - using an optical cable or a coaxial cable. Both will give the same end result (in terms of working).
Quote:
When DVD player is in Multi-Channel mode, the AV receiver shows "DTS 5.1" in red on its LCD display. It also automatically sets listening mode to "PL-II Movie 5.1" mode but refuses to let me manually switch to any of the alternative listening modes! With the DVD in VSURR mode, i can switch listening modes etc and the "DTS" logo doesnt come in the AV display.
Logically the AVR should show DTS only when you insert and play a DVD that has been encoded in DTS.

Quote:
When DVD player is in Multi-Channel mode, the AV receiver shows "DTS 5.1" in red on its LCD display. It also automatically sets listening mode to "PL-II Movie 5.1" mode but refuses to let me manually switch to any of the alternative listening modes! With the DVD in VSURR mode, i can switch listening modes etc and the "DTS" logo doesnt come in the AV display.
This is normal. a 5.1 encoded source will drive the processor on the AVR to select and lock the ideal surround format. In Vsurr, you are actually offering a downmixed analog input that can be processed anyway you want.

Please keep the Vsurr off. It is a crappy feature in any case.

Please make sure of the following simple things.
  • Your DVD player has been set to multichannel mode, that there is no "downmixing" of Dolby Digital or DTS signals.
  • There should be only one link between your AVR and DVD, either an optical or coaxial cable.
  • Your AVR is selected to the correct source input.
  • You have already checked for a test tone in all 5 speakers.
If after this, you are STILL unable to hear your centre channel (assuming that you have a test tone in your centre channel) - then the problem is either in your AVR DSP decoding board, or in the DVD player.

Best way to check? Connect the optical cable to another DVD player and listen. If the centre still does not function, your AVR is broken.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 11th May 2009 at 12:48.
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Old 11th May 2009, 13:02   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply Sam!

>> What was the result of that test, were you able to get audio from all 5 channels?
No! The center speaker was not working in Multi-Channel mode.

I was using 6 separate RCA cables initially to wire up the sound but later tried with a single co-ax cable. The DVD does not have optical out.
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Old 11th May 2009, 13:13   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
Thanks for the quick reply Sam!

>> What was the result of that test, were you able to get audio from all 5 channels?
No! The center speaker was not working in Multi-Channel mode.

I was using 6 separate RCA cables initially to wire up the sound but later tried with a single co-ax cable. The DVD does not have optical out.
If the DVD has no optical out, that's weird, but the coaxial will do just as well.

Check the test tone.

Coming back to 5 channel discrete inputs:

Change an input. For example take the front left RCA plug and put it into the centre channel input. If you still don't have audio in the centre channel, the DVD player is OK, the problem lies with either the AVR, or the connection between the AVR and the centre speaker or the speaker itself.

I'm going to ask you a really daft question. Are you 100% sure that the wire between your centre speaker and AVR is well conected?
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Old 16th May 2009, 12:49   #5
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Also check the volume control for each channel and interchange just the wire except for the LFE (.1) one to check if your center speakers are working fine.

Last edited by dadu : 16th May 2009 at 12:51.
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