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Getting 5.1 sound from 7.1 rears with new "Dolby Surround" mode?

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The Bright Side

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Jun 10, 2010
Montreal, CA
Hey guys!

Back when I lived in Canada, I had a 2007-era Yamaha 7.1 receiver that had DPLII, which I could enable when I was watching movies in 5.1 and it would send some of the sound to the rears so they wouldn't stay completely silent. It worked very well and the surround experience benefited from it.

(personally, I'd prefer if the sides stayed silent in 5.1 and all the surround sound came from the rears, but that's another story).

Now I live in Germany and I have a Denon AVR-X1400H, which doesn't have DPLII. Instead, it has the new "Dolby Surround" mode, but when I enable that while I play back a 5.1 DVD, nothing happens in the rears.

Is there any way you know of to get the rear speakers involved when playing 5.1 stuff?

Some additional tech details:
- I don't use a disc player, it's all sound from PC over HDMI
- My main OS, Linux Mint, has its own processing where it sends sound to the rears when playing 5.1, it works very well
- The Netflix app seems to do the same thing in Windows (at least in some movies? need to test more)
- So the issue really only occurs when playing 5.1 DVDs in VLC in Windows
- Anticipating this before purchase, I have put my side speakers on wheels so I can move them where I want, depending on where I am in the room ;-)