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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Speakers

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Old 08-21-2022, 07:38 PM   #1
PondaBaba PondaBaba is offline
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Default How will sound work and how to optimise use of my 2.1 set up

(posted here as couldn't see an appropriate audio sub forum to post it on, mods please move if shouldn't be here) [edit i misremembered where i was posting and turns out i posted in what i thought was the appropriate audio subforum in anycase]

I've been trying to understand a little bit about audio through googling etc., conscious that a) I know nothing and b) my set up might potentially be a little bit unusual compared to what blu ray players and discs etc are designed to work with, so have a bunch of questions that I can't quite find the answers to (as everything that comes up in results seems to either be still from people with more serious set ups that include receivers etc (honestly don't even know what one of those are tbh but not googled yet as because i don't have one am not sure it's relevant) or audio engineers involved with some form of highly technical audio production etc.

Essentially, my set up involves a monitor (that I'm using as a TV for watching stuff), a blu ray player and a set of 2.1 speakers that connect to the TV/monitor via a mini jack (so designed to connect to laptop or mobile etc.). The BD player doesn't have a connection for mini jack, hence plugging the speakers into the back of the TV where it has one for headphones. So the first q is, would there likely be any problems having it done this way round?

I understand most BDs are encoded with a couple of different selectable mixes, including 5.1 and maybe a 2.0. I understand that there's a process called downmixing where audio designed for a higher number of channels can be automatically mixed down into the lower number of channels actually present in a system.

I had been looking to understand whether for e.g. forcing a 5.1 mix through to my 2.1 system would mean I would be losing information (i.e. whole audio channels being omitted from output) but I believe this shouldn't be the case and for e.g. the sound from the centre and side L/R speakers (or rear L/R not actually sure how a 5.1 system is supposed to be arranged) should get appropriately output through the L/R channels of a 2.1 system (feel free to confirm if this is correct or where instances may occur where this doesn't happen, am aware results googling indicated Netflix for some reason doesn't or at least didn't downmix from 5.1 for stereo output and so people find they can't hear the dialogue that's supposed to be output through the centre speaker..)

I found this info from a forum post on another site:

Quote:
"Since the early days of Dolby Digital in the 90s, Dolby-certified multichannel audio soundtracks have been designed to ensure compatibility with systems composed of less than 5 speakers. All Dolby 5.1 soundtracks (Digital, Digital Plus, True HD) contain additional metadata which may be used by the decoder to distribute sounds intended for absent channels between the available speakers. All TVs, 4K Blu-ray players and AV receivers use this metadata to downmix 5.1 soundtracks."

More technical info I see here https://www.audiokinetic.com/library...downmix_tables
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...it-work.23711/

I've read some other things though that a few questions still linger re: down mixing, for e.g., if the BD player is sending both audio and video signal into the TV via HMDI, because my actual speakers are one step removed from this (being through the mini jack out of the TV) will the player (with the help of the disc?) assume that I'm trying to output 2.0 to the TV speakers, and so miss out the subwoofer being utilised (completely? to its full extent?)

The above quote to me sounds as though the process of down mixing is done either via the disc encode, the BD player or both and assume this is correct (feel free to clarify if not).

Another q I have is, separate to any issues of technical quality of a particular mix (like a poor mix in and of itself), with a 2.1 system, all other things being equal, is it always advisable/optimal to choose a 2.1 track if available and I'm using a 2.1 system? I don't actually recall seeing 2.1 so much but do 2.0, so another question is if I choose a 2.0 mix, will the subwoofer be utilised? Or does the info laid out in the above quote negate the need to be so careful in choosing and rather it should sound fine with whatever is selected?

Any help/input would be appreciated!

Last edited by PondaBaba; 08-21-2022 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 08-21-2022, 09:20 PM   #2
slimdude slimdude is offline
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If I understood your first question correctly, your Blu-ray player is connected to your TV via HDMI. Any movie that's encoded with 5.1 soundtracks, will output 2.0 stereo from your TV, since your TV only has 2-channel speakers, they're not mulit-channel, as if equipped with a A/V receiver with a set of external speakers.

If you don't have a subwoofer, then you don't have 2.1, you have 2.0. There is no 2.1 audio sound mixes, it's 2.0, which indicates there is no LFE (subwoofer), only the left and right main channels. Any multi-channel: 7.1, 5.1, 4.1 audio will be automatically down converted to 2.0 stereo on your system.
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Old 08-21-2022, 09:42 PM   #3
PondaBaba PondaBaba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
There is no 2.1 audio sound mixes
Interesting! That's why i don't remember seeing any on the back of BD cases i guess then lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
If I understood your first question correctly, your Blu-ray player is connected to your TV via HDMI. Any movie that's encoded with 5.1 soundtracks, will output 2.0 stereo from your TV, since your TV only has 2-channel speakers, they're not mulit-channel, as if equipped with a A/V receiver with a set of external speakers.
ok that's understood, thank you for the clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
If you don't have a subwoofer, then you don't have 2.1, you have 2.0.
I do have a subwoofer, my (external, not the TV's) speaker system is 2.1, but it is connected via the mini jack headphone socket in the back of the TV in lieu of any direct way to connect it to the BD player

Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
Any multi-channel: 7.1, 5.1, 4.1 audio will be automatically down converted to 2.0 stereo on your system.
ok thanks again for the clarification. I think sound is still outputting from the sub when i watch things with the current set up (i.e. auto downmixing into the TV's 2.0 channels with the 2.1 connected via said TV's headphone jack) but i've not actually tested it properly yet and only watched a couple of things briefly and hadn't thought about it or noticed it (i tend to watch with the sub turned down a bit anyway as i'm in a flat with neighbours below)
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Old 08-21-2022, 11:50 PM   #4
slimdude slimdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PondaBaba View Post
Interesting! That's why i don't remember seeing any on the back of BD cases i guess then lol



ok that's understood, thank you for the clarification



I do have a subwoofer, my (external, not the TV's) speaker system is 2.1, but it is connected via the mini jack headphone socket in the back of the TV in lieu of any direct way to connect it to the BD player



ok thanks again for the clarification. I think sound is still outputting from the sub when i watch things with the current set up (i.e. auto downmixing into the TV's 2.0 channels with the 2.1 connected via said TV's headphone jack) but i've not actually tested it properly yet and only watched a couple of things briefly and hadn't thought about it or noticed it (i tend to watch with the sub turned down a bit anyway as i'm in a flat with neighbours below)
Yes, the reason why you're getting sound from the subwoofer is because, it's connected and being used as a regular speaker that's connected to your TV, not as a designated LFE channel, since it's not connected to a subwoofer input on a receiver.

Last edited by slimdude; 08-22-2022 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 08-22-2022, 09:49 PM   #5
PondaBaba PondaBaba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
Yes, the reason why you're getting sound from the subwoofer is because, it's connected and being used as a regular speaker that's connected to your TV, not as a designated LFE channel, since it's not connected to a subwoofer output on a receiver.
Interesting I see, thanks for the reply. I'm going to look up receivers, on the one hand it sounds like it could be worth getting one if that's the way to utilise a subwoofer properly, on the other hand my speakers were cheap (around 100 new but sound great to my untrained ears for music specifically, but i don't think they're designed for movies) so assume they're not designed to work with an AV receiver either and would probably be over doing it, idk
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Old 08-23-2022, 05:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PondaBaba View Post
Interesting I see, thanks for the reply. I'm going to look up receivers, on the one hand it sounds like it could be worth getting one if that's the way to utilise a subwoofer properly, on the other hand my speakers were cheap (around 100 new but sound great to my untrained ears for music specifically, but i don't think they're designed for movies) so assume they're not designed to work with an AV receiver either and would probably be over doing it, idk
If you're interested, you can check out a HTiB (home theater in a box) which includes a set of speakers and a receiver, or an inexpensive soundbar whichever is more economical for you.
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Old 08-23-2022, 07:29 PM   #7
PondaBaba PondaBaba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimdude View Post
If you're interested, you can check out a HTiB (home theater in a box) which includes a set of speakers and a receiver, or an inexpensive soundbar whichever is more economical for you.
thanks I'd not heard of those at all will def look them up!
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Old 08-23-2022, 08:50 PM   #8
AllOuttaBubbleGum AllOuttaBubbleGum is offline
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I'm guessing your subwoofer would still be utilized for low frequency roll-off, so even though it wouldn't be able to take advantage of a dedicated .1 channel information from a track which supplies it (distinct and punchier), it would deliver the generalized low end from the 2.0 input for your 2.1 channel system.

This is the way, at least, my 2.1 soundbar handles 2.0 channel information.
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Old 08-24-2022, 10:37 PM   #9
chip75 chip75 is online now
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There won't be any issues with using a 2.1 system connected to the TV, it's like listening with headphones, everything gets through (channel wise) and folded down to 2.1. If your player is connected to the TV, the TV is converting the sound into a format it can output them your audio system is outputting that.

The sub woofer is just taking on the low end sounds, if you connected one direct you'd hear dialogue (probably not best to do that) and other sounds a sub wouldn't normally output.
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Old 08-24-2022, 11:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllOuttaBubbleGum View Post
I'm guessing your subwoofer would still be utilized for low frequency roll-off, so even though it wouldn't be able to take advantage of a dedicated .1 channel information from a track which supplies it (distinct and punchier), it would deliver the generalized low end from the 2.0 input for your 2.1 channel system.

This is the way, at least, my 2.1 soundbar handles 2.0 channel information.
Based on the OP connections, the subwoofer just wouldn't be a discrete LFE channel.
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Old 08-30-2022, 09:50 PM   #11
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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A subwoofer is rarely just LFE effects though, at least not when set up properly. It's also there to support the speakers handling of the frequencies they can't go down to very well. That's the crossover.

Manual crossover needs to be done on the sub in a setup such as this. LPF dial needs set 10-20dB above the lowest rated frequency response of the speakers for smooth crossover, rather than everything coming out through the sub.

What's the bet it doesn't have this, and it's pre-set in the 2.1 setups hardware? This is why such "plug and play" stuff aimed at PC use isn't ideal for "home cinema."

Last edited by oddbox83; 08-30-2022 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 09-17-2022, 07:17 PM   #12
PondaBaba PondaBaba is offline
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thanks for the further input guys, i guess you don't get a notification even if you're the thread's OP unless your post get quoted cos i didn't realise there were further replies to see until seeing this thread again by chance
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