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Can composite deliver surround sound?

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Old 08-22-2005, 01:56 PM   #1  
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Default Can composite deliver surround sound?

Hey Guys,

I'm quite keen on the whole home cinema thing, but unfortunately i'm not the one with the money to burn in the household. We have a 5-year-old 42" JVC plasma in desperate need of replacement (i've eyed up a nice pioneer 50" replacement for 3400 - anyone got any better suggestions?) and a BOSE Lifestyle 5 (even older).

Upon inspecting the (very dusty) back of this setup, i noticed that the DVD player etc... were all connected to the BOSE via composite (red/white) cables, as it has NO optical input.

My only question is, can this setup actually decode/play proper surround sound, or just glorified stereo? My hearing is a little screwy at the moment, so i can't tell properly myself.

Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:18 PM   #2  
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Composite can deliver surround sound, but not digital 5.1 such as Dolby Digital or DTS. You'll need a setup with either a toslink digital cable or a coaxial digital cable for 5.1 (or better) sound.
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Old 08-22-2005, 04:04 PM   #3  
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I suppose it depends on your definition of proper. Another member talks about true surround sound or pseudo surround. I can't define any of these adjectives when applied to surround sound. There are currently four methods of getting surround sound information; 1) Matrixed, 2) 5.1 digital discrete 3) 6.1 digital matrixed and 4) 6.1 digital discrete. All are proper or true surround sound.

The matrixed surround sound available with 2 analog channels will decode to four discrete channels. Being matrixed, the surround information is compatable with stereo audio systems as well. The 5.1 digital discrete will have 6 discrete channels, two of which will have surround information. The 6.1 matrixed system also will have 6 discrete channels with the 7th channel matrixed in the two surround channels for the rear placement. The 6.1 digital discrete will have 7 discrete channels with three of them being surround channels. One surround channel is meant to be in the rear of the seating area.

For more information on all of this see: A Discussion on Surround Sound Systems
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Old 08-22-2005, 09:33 PM   #4  
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Default Matrix? or Multiplex?

I see a lot of use of the term Matrix referring to Analog Surround -Dolby et.al.
I have a couple of old heathkit 4 channel amps with a 4 channel 'matrix' decoder. The deal at that time was some vinyl had 4 channels 'matrixed' in the regular stereo groove. By using the decoder some sort of 4 channel audio would be retrieved - I never tried it but I did have many 4 channel 8 track tapes that were impressive for the time. Isn't analog dolby surround a multiplexing -eg subcarriers and modulation rather than a simple algebraic matrixing of the signals. That is my understanding based upon my belated research after buying an early "surround " vcr (before HQ).
I assume I am fairly normal in having to replace my Audio equipment about every 5 years because even though the old stuff is in some ways better - it lacks the inputs for my new toys. - I keep the old speakers - (4!) JBL 4311s -not the purest but I ♥ them -- the audio amps seem to be the cheapest part of home theatre -( just like the computers- the new ones are 10x better at 2x cost):-Surround on tv is great because sometimes the put sounds from behind the camera such a a game of pool in the rear speakers and I gets really up close and personal - like you are in a small room with lots of people you can't see - only hear!

Last edited by maicaw; 08-22-2005 at 09:58 PM..
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Old 08-22-2005, 11:38 PM   #5  
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RCA jacks work with Dolby Surround, 4 ch Dolby Pro Logic, 5.1 ch Dolby Pro Logic II, and Dolby Pro Logic IIx just fine.
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:20 PM   #6  
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No Pro-Logic is matrixed. Multiplexing is a whole 'nother thing. Stereo FM and TV audio is multiplexed on their carrier frequencies.
See: multiplexing - a Whatis.com definition - see also: multiplexed
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Old 08-23-2005, 03:24 PM   #7  
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Default Digital to the rescue

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbinck
No Pro-Logic is matrixed. Multiplexing is a whole 'nother thing. Stereo FM and TV audio is multiplexed on their carrier frequencies.
...
- yep - your correct - Prologic is a lot simpler than I imagined - wonder how they could patent it? -one of the googles even told how to generate the encoded signal without using any Dolby equipment I worked with low frequency multiplexing for 30 years -usually with multiple analog audio channels something like what VHS does to video was done to the audio to get away from noise and crosstalk at the receiving end - I notice that that is one of the big problems with Pro-Logic --but I guess my confusion comes from reading this type of terminology
Quote:
After you multiplex the Dolby 5.1, you will still have a 5.1 stream in the MPEG-2, there is no down scaling to 2.0 ....
I think that some of the early surround systems - before Dolby? -had "steering" signals that were inaudibly stuck to the material --which was done either by adding (matrix) or modulating (multpx) - the latter probably - [ saved by digital ]

Last edited by maicaw; 08-23-2005 at 03:27 PM..
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